Monthly Archives: August 2018

Twisted Desire by Desiree A. Cox #Review

Sky, Nikki’s ex-husband, has a hold on her heart.

Jeff occupies her thoughts.

Sky can provide Nikki unconditional love.

Jeff can offer her everything she thought she wanted.

Nikki is so confused! Her head’s telling her one thing, while her heart is sending another message. But Nikki isn’t the only one who’s twisted by desire.

But Nikki isn’t the only one who’s twisted by desire.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Hearts

 

Review: Love makes us do stupid things and hormones make us do stupider things. I have to say that I’m not entirely sure I like any of the characters in this book, which causes me to give major props to the author. I know that I, personally, have had times when I really did not want to listen to the good advice I was hearing from my besties and family and Nikki goes through the same through the course of the book. A warning up front: there is a cliffhanger ending, which I HATE. But, unlike other cliffhangers, the author has me well-enough invested in the story and in the characters that I actually care about finding out what happens to them in the next two books of the trilogy. Other reviewers come down on the Team Jeff or the Team Sky sides. Given all of the turmoil going on in her life, I’m actually coming down on the side of Team Nikki. This is a girl who really needs to get her life together without the influence of a man so she can know who she is as a person before opening her life up to someone else. A lot of Jeff’s behavior screams abuse to me, of the mental and emotional variety, and that really makes me not like him. I feel like there is a lot about Jeff that neither Nikki nor the reader (since this is first person) know about him. And, while Sky was Nikki’s first love, some of what he pulls seems to fall firmly in the emotional blackmail category. So, yeah, Team Nikki, at least for now. I may change my mind after future installments, but I really want to see her stand up for herself and for her daughter. I’m also sort-of wondering if Nikki’s friends, or her mother, will stage an intervention at some point.

 

The sexual situations in this book has it strongly in the Erotica genre. Some of the descriptions the author uses are crude, but overall the book is well-written. I am interested to see how her craft develops over time and see if the characters in the story mature, as well. As stated, with the erotic nature of the book, it’s recommended only for readers 18+.

 

Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1X6GZP1IZ4P77/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00QOBY60Y

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2499444420?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=

Southern Bound by Stuart Jaffe #Review

It was supposed to be a new beginning – good job, good pay, and a lovely home in North Carolina.

But when Max Porter discovers his office is haunted by the ghost of a 1940s detective, he is thrust neck-deep into a world of old mysteries and dangerous enemies.

One in which ghosts, witches, curses, and spells exist. One in which a simple research job can turn deadly.

This book is the first in the Max Porter Mystery series and ends with this particular mystery solved. Due to this book starting the mystery series, there is a lot of backstory regarding Max and his wife, Sandra. They move south to start new jobs and get a fresh start. Max’s new job involves a mystery that uncovers an unscrupulous boss and a lot of threats and danger. I had a hard time liking Max. He wasn’t a good guy in a bad situation. He actually caused this situation and he is not a good guy. He stole money from his last job and needed to leave to hide that fact.

>The mystery involves ghosts, witches, torture and greed. Drummond is a ghost bound to Max’s office. The banter between Max and Drummond, especially when another human is in Max’s office and Max tries to talk to both at once, without letting the human know about Drummond, is funny. The phone calls from Max’s mother are also funny. When Sandra reveals her secret, the trio is set and the mystery is solved. The whole reason why Max is hired is explained but is very confusing.
> I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from Romance Authors that Rock. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. I am giving this book 4 stars. The plot was confusing, but the trio work well together. Maybe the next book will flow better.

House of Guardians by Beatrice Sand #Review

When 17-year-old Laurel Harper decides to go live with her estranged father and stepfamily, she’s unaware of the fact that her fate was already sealed the day she was born. She is now exactly where some higher power wants her to be. But it’s not until she meets the proud and mysterious Sam Laurens that she feels something strange is going on. Why does he keep interfering in her life?

Then Laurel finds out about Sam’s ominous ancestry and a whole different fear arises. Fear of who Sam really is. Fear of her own feelings. And when she learns the dark truth about her own future, a sinister secret that will change everything as soon as she turns nineteen, she wants to run and hide, but soon realizes that there is no hiding from fate. Sam may be the only one who can help her escape her destiny, but then she has to start trusting him again, and time is of the essence because he has his own fate to deal with. Still, Sam is determined to stop Laurel from meeting her doom, even if that means he has to make a drastic move that will separate them for good.

House of Guardians is a young adult story with mature language and reference. This book from start to finish is hard to put down and I managed to finish it in one night because it was captivating especially if you enjoy mythology. The story kept things interesting, funny and with some angst between the hero  Sam and heroine Laurel.  Aside from a few spelling errors the only issue I found was with Laurel’s character. She often acted like an incompetent whiny immature naieve pre-teen who couldn’t take a hint instead of an mature creative artsy intelligent young woman of 17 that she was suggested to be. I truly struggled with liking her and sometimes it did distract from the book but the story was so good I pushed on. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing the outcome of the story.  I am an independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock and am giving this book 4.5 Hearts.

Dead Lines by Grace Hamilton #Review

911 operator Jim Parker wants—more than anything—to be useful again. When a catastrophic EMP strikes, and he’s the last person a kidnapped girl speaks to before the lines go dead, he knows he can’t let her down. Especially when the circumstances are so similar to his own daughter’s disappearance. With the world falling apart around him, he wants to do nothing more than retreat to his prepper cabin. But with a fresh lead on his daughter, and another innocent girl’s life on the line, the disgraced cop will do everything in his power to track them down.

Finn Meyers has lost Ava, her best, and only, friend in the world, but she knows where the missing young woman might be—and perhaps Parker’s long lost daughter. Now, Parker must form an uneasy alliance and tackle his own internal demons as the two begin a perilous journey that will take them to the headquarters of a mysterious cult in Indiana.

But what they find along the way will shatter all their preconceptions—and threaten the world as they know it. Can a has-been and a has-not save the innocent, and stop a disaster from happening?

This book has scenes of graphic violence, not suited for all readers. 

James Parker is a disgraced ex cop turned 911 operator. He’s also a prepper, ready for any type of apocalypse. One night at the apocalypse hits at end of his shift right when he gets a call that only lasts 23 seconds.

Ava Talbot has been taken by a mysterious and dangerous cult. She steals a cell phone and escapes long  enough to call 911.
Finn Meyer is Ava’s best and only friend. She thinks she knows where Ava might be and also just maybe James’ missing daughter Sara.
James decides to go looking for Ava even though all he has is a name and a zip code. Can he and Finn form an alliance to make the dangerous journey to the headquarters of the cult? Can James put aside his personal demons to save Ava?
 I couldn’t put this book down, I was up well past my bedtime reading this fast paced novel about survival and hope. I also like all the prepper information the author sprinkled through out the book. The writing brings the characters and scenes to life and I can’t wait to read the next in this heart pounding end of the world as we know it story. And the ending OMG what a cliff hanger and actually the perfect place to end the book. Now I have to impatiently wait for the next book in this great series.
One of my favorite quotes from the book sums the whole apocalypse into just a few sentences, “This situation is so FUBAR, Parker,” he said. “No cell service to call for help, no ambulance to come if we did; just people dying and no one able to do any fucking thing about it.”
Another that fits into this book perfectly,  “Barbarianism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is the whim of circumstance. And barbarianism must ultimately triumph,”  Robert E. Howard Johnson

Archer by Emilia Hartley #Review

Archer had no plans to return home. Not after the dramatic exit he’d made. An arranged marriage to settle the feud between two packs sounded alright on the surface, but he’d be damned if he were to be mated to someone he didn’t love. When Archer and his brothers left home they didn’t plan on ever going back… That is until he received a call from a familiar voice years later urging him to return home to fix a problem that could destroy them all.

Joanna loved him. When she found out she was going to be mated to Archer, she couldn’t contain her excitement. He was the most kind, generous and sexy man she’d ever met. It was like a dream come true. Until he crushed her heart on the day of the ceremony. She was broken and had never really recovered from the betrayal. And now the bastard had the balls to return to Stonefall all these years later?

Who was she kidding, she couldn’t stay mad at him. If she was honest with herself, she’d admit that Archer was and always will be the only man to occupy her thoughts… and hopefully her bed.

Content Warning: This book contains lots of sexy shifter action. Intended for a mature audience only,

This book is a standalone shifter romance with an HEA. Archer and his brothers left their pack years ago to escape their abusive alpha father. Archer also escaped an arranged marriage to a shifter in order to have a relationship with a human woman. The odd part of the story is that the relationship with the woman is never explained. Archer just isn’t with a human woman at this point in the story and no explanation is given. A strange phone call brings Archer and his 2 brothers back to his pack to find his father dying. An evil shifter has taken over a rival pack and taken Archer’s one-time arranged fiancée.

>Apparently, now Archer feels an attraction to Joanna, his jilted fiancée. He also feels a responsibility to his pack and the one being terrorized by the evil Killian. The story started out with a bang:  a fight in a convenience store in front of humans who were unaware of the existence of shifters. The continuation of the story was weaker. Joanna is a Lynx and Archer is a Bear. A huge issue is the mating between species that is never addressed. There is no backstory as to why Killian was successful in taking over a pack. If he killed the alpha, he should be alpha and not Joanne, as the story says.
>The romance between Killian and Joanna isn’t very romantic, but more of a bodily function. This book is appropriate for an adult audience. Even the reveal as to who called the brothers for help was a bit odd. This magical character has no backstory or explanation as to how she decided to finally help her pack and Joanna’s. I am giving this book 3 stars. I am a reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock.

Mistress of the King by Rex Summer

Susan Taylor is a little girl who wants to be a queen.  A thrilling encounter with a real queen is a fairy-tale for her – with unexpected consequences which change her life, making her unable to fit in with her peers.
Forced to move to the capital several years later, the now sixteen year old catches the eye of the widowed king.  His attention could be equally disastrous, for the Church is stretching its muscles and doesn’t approve of mistresses, and the nobles would prefer their own daughters in the king’s bed, not to mention with the king’s ear.
Adrift in a sea of intrigue, Susan finds unexpected strength and help at hand.  But are they really her friends?  Can she trust them when it matters?  Most important of all, can she trust her own instincts?
This is the early life of one of the more engaging characters from In Search of Spice, and it opens up a window into conditions in Harrhein – and indeed into the history of Europe.
Many of the characters are reminiscent of famous people from history, and it is fun working out who they are.
A romp through 16th century Europe as it might have been, offering insights into the ordinary lives of people.
Princes and Kings, intrigue, magic, affairs, military skills, early dances, the theatre.  A book that takes you at pace through history, making you wonder what really happened.

As a young girl, Susan serendipitously met the King and Queen and that chance meeting grew into a relationship with the couple that forever changed Susan’s life and alienated her from her peers. As she grew into a young woman, circumstances required Susan to leave her home and move to the capital, where she caught the eye of the now-widowed King. Wow. What is there NOT to say about this book? I am a huge fan of books like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series where there is intrigue abound and the characters have no idea who they can trust. I’m also a fan of historical fiction and historical romance. This book has it all. Set in a the fictional country of Harrhein, the world is close enough to our own that I sometimes had trouble remembering that the country was fiction because the author so skillfully wove details from our actual history into his tapestry. Playing on Church versus state, class strife, military action, intrigue, and magic, this book has something for everyone. Due to the nature of the relationship between the King and Susan, however, I would only recommend it to mature readers 16+.

Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock
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Shifters and Psychics By Cindy Borgne #Review

Collection of paranormal short stories.

This is book of four short stories that is quick read and well written. I’m not a huge fan of these type of books, but the author did a great job in each. I did not have a favorite one, but I did like Transhifter a bit more. Who doesn’t love a forbidden romance? If you’re looking for something light and little different from the novel reading, this is a good pick. I gave this a four star read.
Reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock!

Savage Heart by J. Woods #Review

She’s a doctor, guided by her morals. He’s an ex-soldier, robbed of his ethics and programmed to kill. When they’re two worlds suddenly collide, will they crash and burn?

For the last seven years, Ethan Black ceased to exist. Known only as the Reaper, Ethan prefers his solitary life where the only rules he lives by are his own. That is until his life is placed in the hands of his angel and he has no choice but to listen if he wants to survive.

The last thing Stella Savage needs is another overbearing arrogant soldier in her life but when she finds a lifeless Ethan Black on the side of the road, the doctor in her is forced to help him. After escaping his kidnappers and being subject to a drug destined to erase his humanity, Stella is running on precious time to save whatever is left of his soul… and his heart.

I knew when I started reading this book that I was part of a series, but I did not realize how far into the series it was. I have not read any of the other installments, and I feel like that did detract from my full understanding of the events in this novel. However, the novel was still enjoyable and it did not end in a cliffhanger as many series fiction seems to these days. I’m honestly not sure how to best characterize this book…. it is part thriller, part romance, part almost-science fiction in a way because the hero has undergone treatment to turn him into a super soldier and that has changed him into someone who is almost impervious to damage. He does not feel temperature or pain the way the ordinary human does, and it is up to the heroine, Doctor Stella Savage, to help find a way to stop the serum from continuing to make changes.

I will say that I absolutely did NOT like Ethan at the beginning. I understood he’d been through a lot, but he was really ugly to Stella, even though he knew he had feelings for her. The action of the novel helped bring some of his behavior into perspective and, by the end, I’d quit giving him mental stink eye. I really enjoyed the interaction of the Savage family and definitely want to read more of the series so I can get to know the secondary characters better, especially Stella’s mother.

This book, and I suspect the rest of the series, is very reminiscent of Lora Leigh’s Elite Ops series and I did enjoy it once I realized that I had some mental catching up to do. Like Lora Leigh’s books, this one is definitely for mature audiences.

Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock

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Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith #Review

Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn’t even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she’ll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?

After being forced to stay away from human and feeling like an outcast most of her life, Amelia decided to leave home for college. But really, being an outcast in college was no different. She wouldn’t have made it without her best friend Bethany. One of the only people to make Amelia feel normal.
When Bethany drags Amelia to another party, she never thought that running away from it she would meet the sexiest guy. He truly makes her feel things she never has, feelings she shouldn’t have for a human.
Adian has been watching her. She keeps herself, avoids people and very beautiful. When he learns of the party she will be at he knows that this is his chance. When he sees that she has ran to beach, he goes to investigate and what a sight he sees. She is beyond beautiful. The pulls she has is confusing but he knows that she’s the one he wants and yet there is something different about her.
First off, this had a great plot that I loved, but was so long. At times, I felt there was too much about the characters. I was pretty lost in the beginning. The prologue threw me, but once I knew what was going on, it flowed a lot more. Enjoyed all the Amelia’s witty and sassy best friend. Her fun country saying and humor had me laughing out loud at times. I wrote this review after I read the other two books in the series and let me just say, hang tight, its a great series! I gave this read four stars.
Reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock!

Oracle of Philadelphia by Elizabeth Corrigan #Review

Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve.

Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid. He sold his soul to a demon in exchange for his sister’s life, but his heart remains pure.

Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others, and she cannot bear to see another good man damned when it is within her power to prevent it.

In order to renegotiate his contract, Carrie must travel into the depths of hell and parley with the demons that control its pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she is willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.

Carrie works in a diner, but that’s just a cover for being an Oracle. She not only gives out advice for those that seek her out, but she can read peoples minds. She is joined along the way by both demon and Angel friends. I can’t say that this story ever captured me or held my interest. I found flipping between past scenes and current events confusing at times. I never found anything particularly interesting and the characters were not particularly deep. I found Bedlam to be most interesting. Anyone, preferring a religious storyline would probably enjoy this story, but sadly I did not. I rate this story 3 hearts. 

***Reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock***

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17304890  

https://www.amazon.com/review/R3IA16OOW6FH2J/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

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