With so many fun book challenges to participate in, I could no longer be without a blog. I intend for the blog to help me keep track of my reading for the year as well as my progress on the challenges I choose to join.
Published: June 6, 2019
I’m desperate and destitute when Lockwood Construction rolls into my small town with an offer too good to pass up: high wages to any able-bodied man willing to join their crew.
Say no more. I throw on baggy clothes, tuck my long hair under a baseball hat, and apply for a job. Unfortunately, my half-baked idea of disguising myself as a guy is flawed from the beginning. As Shakira says, these hips don’t lie.
Still, I like to think I might have pulled the whole thing off save for one thing:
I know my boss.
Last month, we met at a bar, and after a fiery first encounter, it seems we’re destined to be sworn enemies.
Ethan Stone is ruthless and arrogant, a man I never would have crossed had I known how much he likes to toy with his prey.
He should just fire me and be done with it. Instead, he decides to make me his personal slave. Oh right, I think they’re calling it personal “assistant” these days.
It’s torture, all of it—his bad attitude, his ruggedly chiseled face, his desire to grind me into dust.
Every one of our friction-filled battles burns hotter than the last.
A girl can only hold out for so long. Soon, I’m bound to go up in flames.
My objective? Survive the heat long enough to send home a paycheck.
My real objective? Stop having X-rated fantasies about my coldhearted boss.
This was my first read/listen by R. S Grey and I loved it. Taylor’s character was my favorite. I loved how determined and driven she was. If you want a strong willed, fierce heroine – look no further than Taylor. Her character was the strongest part of this book for me.
I also gotta give Coldhearted Boss it’s props because this one really delivers on enemies-to-lovers (a favorite genre of mine)and slow-burn romance. I mean this is ~SLOW~ burn The banter was great for enemies-to-lovers, and the tension between Taylor and Ethan was amazing.
I loved how they were forced into a “live together” situation and they tried their best to out do one another by causing tension and heat between them. The “enemy” part of the story seemed to go on and on but finally they gave in to their desires and started a relationship and the epilogue was fantastic, almost tears worthy.
If you enjoy “enemies to lovers” contemporary romances with humor thrown in, add this one to your TBR list. You won’t regret it.
Published: May 12, 2016
You know that group of people in school that everyone fears? Popular. Beautiful. The in-crowd?
That was my family. Kind of.
We were above that group. We held court over everyone else. We were the best looking. We were the mysterious and elusive ones. Most of the girls wanted to (and did) date the guys, but they didn’t want to be one of us. They couldn’t be. They were our prey.
We were the feared.
But like every family, nothing is as it seems. That was my truth.
Kellan was in his own league. He was our leader and he was the one no one messed with. No one dared. He was ruthless, powerful, and no one could match him…
Except for me.
I was about to find out just how different I was from my family.
**Evil is a full-length paranormal romance stand-alone.
**This book contains adult/mature young adult situations.
Not a fan of paranormal romance, but I’m on a Tijan reading frenzy so gave this one a try.
I started, stopped, contemplated whether I should continue, forced myself to continue because I had to know how it ends, got confused, frustrated, and then just deleted it as soon as I read the end. I initially thought this was a “The Walking Dead” version of “Twilight.” You know, where it’s more gory, more sexy, more adult. Turns out: it’s not.
Sexy? No. Bits and pieces of the romance and lust between Kellan and Shay peek out, but — meh. Adult? Nope, it’s really just high school with demons and angels in it. How the story got from the beginning to the end was just a whole lotta “WTH is going on.” What I liked about Tijan’s books is they are fast-paced. Her writing style is fluid and easy-to-read. She kept me wanting to know what happened next. I normally like twists that I could not predict. There were lots of those in Evil, but the same twists were just… forced, I think. They don’t “fit” well. They were abrupt, unbelievable, and psychopathic in nature. Yes, I know: “psychopathic” fits with “Evil.” But, I’m sorry, I just don’t buy the whole story’s revelation and ending.
Good should triumph over Evil, that’s what we all constantly hope for. In Tijan’s “Evil,” Evil won, ’cause I sure as hell don’t think Kellan and Shay are good.
Will I read another PR again? I doubt it.
Published: October 11, 2016
In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…
Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.
And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.
Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.
After I read Serpentine (#26) I realized that I hadn’t read #25, Crimson Death, so I looked on OverDrive and it was available so I borrowed it and drove right in. Having read Serpentine, I knew that some VERY bad things were going to happen.
In Crimson Death vampires aren’t supposed be living in Ireland, but it seems something strange is going on across the ocean with dead bodies turning up with tiny holes in their necks. Even worse, whatever is going on isn’t good for Anita’s vampire servant, Damian. He’s suffering badly with night terrors and sweating blood, leading Anita to suspect that his old master could be responsible. Determined to learn the truth, she teams up with Edward in Ireland to hunt down those causing trouble before any more bodies turn up.
Ever since book #10 of this series, Narcissus in Chains, which I may have re-read soon, I’ve been getting more and more annoyed by the relationships Anita has with her men. There are just too many for me to handle,(and keep track of) and quite frankly, I think Ms. Hamilton is beginning to focus too much on Anita’s relationships and not nearly enough on the investigation side of things when it comes to her job in hunting rogue vampires and shape-shifters or raising zombies.
However, in saying that, every time I read one of Ms. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books, I find myself totally captivated by what Anita needs to do to ensure the safety of humans and those supernatural that are doing the right thing. With this book, readers are taken on quite the adventure with Anita heading to Ireland, and although it takes quite a few chapters for her to get there – since those that are already hunting the rogue vampires (besides Edward) seem reluctant to accept her help – I could not stop listening once she starts investigating.
The dialogue was intense due to the investigation; what happens to Anita and her triumvirate in Nathaniel and Damian; what is happening to Damian with his nightmares and blood sweats (which was a little spooky); what Anita needs to do to figure out who is breaking vampire rules and the ever burning questioning of whether her powers as a necromancer will work in Ireland. Moreover, I liked that Anita finally began to find peace with her triumvirate and worked hard to make it work because she needed Damian, if she was ever to survive what she faced.
I really liked the introduction of characters readers have never met until this book. The fae; the vampires and their animal to call that they were up against, and the people Edward was working with. Anita had to prove herself and faces some tough challenges from each of them. Can she work with Edward and the team he’s currently working with in Ireland? Will the Fae give her grief over her abilities or will they accept her help? The tough challenges Anita faces, especially towards the end of this book are hard, yet the way she overcomes them certainly proves she’s still one of the best vampire hunters.
Overall, this was a good (almost great) book with an ending that brought tears to my eyes because of what happens to one of Anita’s men and with her, yet she’s tough and proves it with how she uses her powers to take down her enemy. I would recommend Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton, if you enjoy strong heroines that hunt vampires but doesn’t have an easy time when it comes to relationships.
Published: August 7, 2018
Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight…
A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…
In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.
When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret–if she survives at all, that is…
Since the meaning of the word “serpentine” is “of or like a serpent or snake” I expected this twenty-sixth installment of the Anita Blake,Vampire Hunter series to be about snakes, but I was very disappointed because the “snake cursed people” were more of a second thought.
A huge chunk of Serpentine is focused of the interpersonal dynamics of longtime relationships — between lovers, friends, colleagues, and enemies. If you prefer more action than character development, you might not enjoy this particular story as much.
In the first few books of this series, I always thought of Anita Blake as a paranormal female Sam Spade. Anita lives and works in a world that is more often gritty than full of hearts and rainbows, and she is a detective, warrior, and survivor all rolled into one. In Serpentine, Anita has a full plate. What ideally should be a fun vacation with loved ones for a destination wedding, turns into more work than playtime. The last few chapters of Serpentine are perhaps more of the action and adrenaline-rush that fans of this series are accustomed to, but overall it is very much worth reading.
Serpentine is a wild destination wedding-palooza — with snake people, a meddling bridesmaid from hell, and a sociopath or two. The last few chapters of racing to stop a killer are entertaining, but also relieve some of the tension from all the relationship drama. I look forward to reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s next book in this series.
Published: January 29, 2018 (in Australia)
When former police detective Ted Conkaffey was wrongly accused of abducting Claire Bingley, he hoped the Queensland rainforest town of Crimson Lake would be a good place to disappear. But nowhere is safe from Claire’s devastated father.
Dale Bingley has a brutal revenge plan all worked out – and if Ted doesn’t help find the real abductor, he’ll be its first casualty.
Meanwhile, in a dark roadside hovel called the Barking Frog Inn, the bodies of two young bartenders lie on the beer-sodden floor. It’s Detective Inspector Pip Sweeney’s first homicide investigation – complicated by the arrival of private detective Amanda Pharrell to ‘assist’ on the case. Amanda’s conviction for murder a decade ago has left her with some odd behavioural traits, top-to-toe tatts – and a keen eye for killers . . .
For Ted and Amanda, the hunt for the truth will draw them into a violent dance with evil. Redemption is certainly on the cards – but it may well cost them their lives . . .
Redemption Point is the second book set in the fictional far north Queensland community of Crimson Lake. And again Fox not only offers up some amazing characters, but also firmly plants readers in the humid dense rainforest and the murky crocodile-infested waters of my home-state’s isolated and often unwelcoming far north.
The first book in this series introduced us to Ted and Amanda. We learn of the accusations against Ted and his escape from Sydney. We also meet Amanda and though they pair up to solve a recent crime, Ted can’t but help dig into the past Amanda would prefer to stay buried. She doesn’t hide the fact she’s served 10 years in prison for murder, but the questions surrounding her crime interest Ted and it becomes one of two mysteries solved in that first outing.
That book ended just as Amanda uncovers new information about the rape of a thirteen year old – the crime of which Ted’s accused. And as this book opens we learn he’s done nothing with that information, and nothing to support an online community who believe in his innocence.
There are a couple of additional voices in this book. One we’ve met before, a former uniformed officer promoted to Crimson Lake, DI Pip Sweeney, who’s captivated by Amanda and her ways; and then there’s Kevin, whose diary extracts we read and whose role soon becomes clear.
Again the author offers two mysteries for the price of one as we delve into the charges against Ted, as well as the murders in Crimson Lake.
There are a few red herrings and local secrets thrown into the mix however and the author again does a great job of recreating the far north, nailing the idiosyncrasies of some of the small and unusual communities you find there. So, although I wasn’t really drawn into that mystery, a sense of foreboding surrounding the investigation remained.
And then there’s Ted’s case which is the more interesting of the two and I guess we get into the psychology of the crime (of which he’s accused) a little more than the double-murder. And this time around we meet some of the players from his former life and wonder if he will (one day) return to it.
Ted’s again a bundle of surprises. In some ways it’s almost as if he’s given up on life; but then there’s a smidge of rebellion as he fights his way out of his fugue and self-imposed isolation.
As for Amanda – she seems even more outrageous (and endearing) in this outing. Having said that she’d be bloody hard work to be around. She is tough as nails in this installment and takes beating after beating and keeps on ticking.
She and Ted have settled into a bit of a pattern now and their relationship is an interesting one.
In this book Ted’s story in done but I’m sure the author will show us (the readers) that Queensland is a hot bed of crime and corruption and I’m anxious to see where she takes the series.
Published: August 26, 2018
To survive where I live, you have two options.
You can be a Normal–a cheerleader, jock, member of the debate team, or on the yearbook committee. You pretend everything is normal.
Or you can be crew.
You insult us? We hurt you.
You hurt us? We really hurt you.
And if you screw with us, we will end you.
My name is Bren.
I’m the only female in the Wolf Crew–the best, fiercest, and most dangerous crew there is–and we have a rule: There’s no falling in love.
Well… too late.
*This book contains mature young adult situations.
Crew is centered around four teen-agers and they aren’t a gang but they have each other’s back at all times. In this book we are introduced to Bren, a very complex person, with many layers. Bren is cold, closed off, a bad ass, and volatile but there is a vulnerable, sad and scared side to her as well.
Throughout the story we get glimpses and pieces as to why Bren is the way she is and it really breaks your heart. Bren was a very interesting character to read about and some of the stuff she did in the book had me stunned. She was a legit badass at times and I loved it! Bren also did some growing in this book and that warmed my heart as well.
Cross is also apart of the crew and I’ve added him to my list of Book Boyfriends. He was very protective of Bren. He was silent but lethal and always had Bren’s back and was there for her and could reach her in ways no body else could at times.
The other two members of the Crew are Jordan and Z. Each of them plays an important part in this story.
This book was addictive from start to finish. I’ve read a few books by Tijan and this one is a lot darker and grittier than her others and it was great. It’s a best friends to lover romance and those are some of my favorite reads. It was a delicious slow burn between the two characters and I loved seeing their relationship played out.
I have not read Tijan’s series, Fallen Crest, but Heather and Channing are integral in this new series. I may have to go back and read the series later.
This isn’t your typical YA story. Yes, there’s a romance, but this series starter really is about love, family, and friendship, and how there are times that family isn’t limited to just the ones who share your DNA. This also has quite a few supporting characters, but majority of them have marked appearances. Warning: Crew does end in a cliffhanger.
Loved this book.
Five stars !!!!
Published: March 6, 2018
Crimson Lake, by Sydney-based, Ned Kelly Award-winning author Candice Fox, is a thrilling contemporary crime novel set in Queensland, Australia, perfect for readers of authors like James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, and Tana French.
How do you move on when the world won’t let you?
12:46: Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop
12:47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her
12:52: The girl is missing . . .
Six minutes in the wrong place at the wrong time—that’s all it took to ruin Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of a brutal abduction,Ted is now a free man—and public enemy number one. Maintaining his innocence, he flees north to keep a low profile amidst the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.
There, Ted’s lawyer introduces him to eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past. The residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move… and the town offers no place to hide.
In Crimson Lake by Candice Fox, (an author wh is new to me)readers are introduced to Detective Ted Conkaffey. After a particularly tough and testing time in which Ted is accused of the abduction of a young girl, he is hiding away in the sweltering heat of Crimson Lake where he is hoping to keep out of the radar in order to start afresh.
He is adamant he didn’t do it. Convinced, even. But with everything and everyone standing against him, it seems the label of abductor just can’t be scrubbed off. Still, in his new surroundings, no one knows he is the man accused of the crime, and he’s seriously hoping that it remains that way.
Visited by his lawyer, Sean, one day, Ted is made aware of a woman in town, Amanda Pharrell, who Sean thinks will help Ted out in some way. At first, after imagining that what Sean had set him up for was something romantic, Ted realises that what Sean has actually done is sent him to Amanda in order to put his detective skills to good use unofficially.
The two team up to try and find out what happened to the author of a wildly popular book series which juxtaposed religion and young adult drama. It turns out the author had some secrets of his own, and there appears to be more than a few people who wished him harm.
As Amanda and Ted work their case, Ted isn’t entirely sure whether Amanda was guilty of the crime she was punished for, and he can’t stop himself from looking into it. Meanwhile, he continues to be taunted by those who believe he shouldn’t be free, and those who don’t like the idea of the two criminals joining forces—and some mean to do him, and perhaps Amanda, grave harm if they don’t heed their warnings.
Both characters were incredibly intriguing in this instance, both with a rocky past behind them that only strengthened their beliefs and motives even more. I adored getting to know both of them, thoroughly enjoying figuring them out as they approached a missing persons case that would put their acquired skills to the test. They were strong alone, but when standing together, Ted and Amanda were truly a force to be reckoned with.
This is one of those books that hooks you at page one and doesn’t let you go. It’s taut, tense, and it packs quite a one-two punch of action and suspense. Ted and Amanda are both fascinating characters—you really don’t quite know what to believe about either of them. Fox is a great storyteller, and she really makes you feel you’re right there in the croc-infested wetlands with her characters, hearing the sounds of nature and watching your surroundings.
I had never read anything Fox has written before, but I was really impressed, and I love the she added the geese into the story. (you’ll have to read the book to find out the part they play) I’m excited there are more books in the series, because I’m definitely hooked. There may be an unending supply of thrillers and mysteries out there these days, but Crimson Lake is one you should add to your list.
Published: April 8, 2019
Escape is just the beginning.
Twin sisters Becca and Cassie barely got out of the Crazy House alive. Now they’re trained, skilled fighters who fear nothing–not even the all-powerful United regime.
Together, the sisters hold the key to defeating the despotic government and freeing the people of the former United States. But to win this war, will the girls have to become the very thing they hate?
In this gripping sequel to James Patterson’s YA blockbuster Crazy House, the world is about to get even crazier.
I had been looking forward to this book because the first one was so good, but this one is just plain bad!
It’s rushed and leaves many unanswered questions and the ending is horrible. Thank Heavens there is not a book three.
Don’t waste your time!
Published: August 3, 2017
The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.
He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.
When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.
You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.
He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.
Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.
Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.
Oops. My mistake.
Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.
I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?
That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.
Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.
I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.
Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.
This was going to be interesting…
This book features a sort of teacher/student forbidden love aspect. Caine West is exactly what you’d think of when you hear his name is Caine—strong sexual presence, perfect body, sex god. He’s a music professor and Rachel is his graduate teacher assistant (GTA), much to her shock. Why? Well, she may or may not have told him off at a bar the night before her first class, without knowing she was going to be working under him.
He’s the professor and she’s his new TA. Leave it to Ms. Keeland to work in a trope that you usually see done a certain way and give it her own spin. That’s one of my favorite things about her writing.
I don’t want to give a spoiler so lets just say that with this book giving you some insight into the past at times, it added another element to this story that added the emotion it needed. (you may need tissues)
This book has everything you would want in a contemporary romance: chemistry, sexy banter, swoony hero that has more layers than meet the eye at first, feisty and smart heroine. The relationship between Caine and Rachel was explosive at times and tender at others. And the writing, kept me engaged and wanting more. If you are looking for something that will keep you glued to your seat while sipping a nice drink this summer, pick this up. You’re in for some fun with this one.
Published: March 3, 2019
Three years ago my father walked away. Away from our MC club, all his responsibilities, and me. We haven’t spoken since the day he handed me the keys to the kingdom.
Shoved them down my throat was more like it.
I hate him, and the new family he’s playing house with. He left his entire life behind for a woman he barely knows. But I’m strong, resilient, and don’t need a damn soul to survive.
At least, that’s what I thought…until she walked into my bar.
Someone is watching me. I can feel it. I wake up in the middle of the night freaked out of my mind, paranoid a stranger is there. My skin prickles every time I leave my house, because I know someone is following me.
I’m afraid. Alone. And there’s only one person left to turn to.
The stepbrother I never met. The man my stepfather speaks so highly about, but never sees. He’s the president of a notorious motorcycle club, and exactly the kind of person I need to protect me.
Little did I know, Ky Parish, freakin’ hates my guts.
Slashes in the Snow is an enemies to lovers, stepbrother romance, romantic suspense (emphasis on romance) with dark elements and a motorcycle club throw in for good measure. What more could a female reader ask for?