Friday, September 25, 2015


Manwhore by Katy Evans
Audiobook Narrated by Grace Grant

This is a book I would normally avoid. I did avoid it. It kept coming up over and over again, however, as an audible recommendation. So, I finally took the plunge. I read the negative reviews and thought I'd find the same wooden characters, it was all about some woman so addicted to rather boring and one sided sex with some self centered, insecure, egotistical man...
Wow, was I wrong. I could totally see how some of the things in the negative reviews could drive them crazy. They were things that would drive me crazy normally too. But, I actually liked this book for having Rachel's thoughts, some of her strange ways, etc. They came off like real people with all of the quirks and hang ups, good and bad. Rachel having real reservations about sleeping with this man who is obviously a womanizer makes total sense to me. I didn't see it as slut shaming, but I can totally understand why she didn't want to be one of them. I can't relate to desperate women myself. I don't judge them, I just don't understand them. But, he actually showed real interest in her, his actions showed he cared, he wasn't just abusing and using her. Too me, that is such a more realistic struggle. Being attracted to a guy who's totally hot, treats you nicely, does caring things for you, pleases you both in and out of bed, but not wanting to get involved because he has a major player and womanizing reputation? Yes!! I can see that!! Seems more realistic and healthy to me.
Being in love with some guy who treats you like crap, gets off on hurting you, then you say how nice he was to sooth your bruises and hurts after he inflicted them, let's not forget that you really aren't into his abusive sex, but he likes it so you'll suffer through is so...not interesting. If you want a guy to spank you, tie you up, etc and he does, then yea I get it. But, if you don't and you're just being some guys small tortured animal he can abuse at will and somehow you can't get away from the creep and think that's love, but somehow it's hot and the character doesn't see there's an abuse situation here? I don't think so. not my kind of read. Those stories that show the character understands the problem and is helpless against this persons pull? I can even do that. But, mistaking abuse for love, I just can't get into. It takes all kinds though, and I know some readers love it. So, I'm not judging. But, I digress.
This is the first book I have listened to by Katy Evans and I was MAJORLY, PLEASANTLY SURPRISED. I lost sleep trying to finish this book I was so stuck. I was so glad I read the reviews about it being a cliffhanger, because boy was it. Again, another thing I know some readers don't like. But I don't mind. I thought the inner struggles of the characters and the thoughts were done brilliantly, and that is testament to the author. Because normally, having that much inner dialogue would drive me nuts. But, I was going through the emotional changes and challenges with the characters.
I'm not sure, but I don't believe I've ever listened to anything by Grace Grant and ended up with 2 books narrated by her back to back. She did an awesome job. She really captured the characters and put you into the story. I could see and feel everything. It was like watching a movie in my head. I love her interpretation of the characters and her flow. She has no little nuances that take you out of the story. Great book with a great narrator is win win! I'll be diving in for more of both. 

Reviewed by Marla Josephs
Marla's GoodReads Reviews

One Moonlit Night

One Moonlit Night by Gaelen Foley

I love Gaelen Foley's work. But, I often don't do Novella's because they just don't have enough time for character development and things often feel rushed. But, I enjoyed this one. Yes, I would have loved this story to be longer, but Ms. Foley does a great job of creating likable characters and not trying to add to much to a short story. Though one could complain that everything happened too fast, the story and characters were there. It felt full. After the initial first chapter or 2, I found myself fully engaged and enjoying the story. If I'm just hunting for something negative to say, I could pick apart wishing there was more of this or that. But, it is a novella and I enjoyed it. It didn't leave me hanging as if it was actually part of the first book and I was just getting a glimpse at the next one. It was a complete story. And, I'm looking forward to the next book.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Marla Josephs
                                                         Marla's GoodReads Reviews

Thursday, September 24, 2015

March to November by Byddi Lee

March to November by Byddi Lee

March to November is about love and loss, betrayal and trust, happiness and despair and the cycles of grief. It details the events of Tracey Duggan and her friends and family lives during the months of March to November, hence the title. The book is set in modern-day Belfast, Ireland. There are 4 predominate characters in this novel. Tracey Duggan, Molly Duggan, Dermot Duggan and Tommy O’Brian. It deals with the doomed marriage of Molly and Dermot, Tracey’s best friend and brother. Molly must accept that her love and obsession has left her for another woman and their impending “love child.” It details past abusive relationships and the terror that comes back to haunt Tracey in her budding relationship with Tommy. The author does an excellent job getting the reader to fall into the lives of these characters and make you feel like you are a fly on the wall watching or as a friend. I fell into despair with Molly at first and in love with Tommy as if I were Tracey. I had a love hate relationship with Dermot because I understood the betrayal Tracey felt but the lingering hope she had in this messed up situation they were in.
I never really fell for Sheila, Dermot’s new girlfriend. She seemed as cold as her apartment, all white and clean lines. She seemed distant and reserved yet at times showed her humanity when she thought of losing Dermot. She never seemed to connect with the pregnancy so the twist at the end was accepted as real.
Molly’s heartache was so real until it became almost too much. Her obsession with Dermot and her demented revenge set the pace for the downward spiral that her life took. I was so happy to see her get to the stage of acceptance and was hurt by the twist that spiraled to a bombshell for everyone to deal with near the end. I was happy to see the growth in Tommy and Dermot by the end of the book.
Out of the minor characters, Orla is probably my favorite. I love her no nonsense “grab life by the balls and hold on tight” personality. I laughed at so many of her comments. She really brought out the Irish setting with her way of saying things such as:
“F*** off! No way did I lead him on. He was drunk as a skunk.”
Fury pummeled Molly.
“Well, he’d have to be. Look at you!” she screamed and jabbed her forefinger at Orla. That slut always threw herself at men, Dermot couldn’t help it!
“Jesus Christ, that’s a bit low. I might not be Scarlett Johansson, but that randy f***er would poke a hole in the wall if the wall let him.”
I would recommend this to anyone looking for bit of romanticism with a twist.

I received a copy of this book from the author and After Dark Reading Nook in return for a fair and honest review. Thank you for this opportunity.

Click here to find out more about “March to November” by Byddi Lee
Read our interview with Byddi Lee!!

Reviewed by Amanda
Amanda's Book Review Club
After Dark Reading Nook

Three Ways of Desire

Three Ways of Desire by Judith Rook
I didn't know what to expect when I decided to read this and being honest, once I started I didn't know how I was going to fee about this book. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Judith Rook is a great author who writes a strong storyline that flow beautifully. The story and writing will draw you in. The characters were good with great character development. If you are looking for a good story with some hot, steamy, panty melting sex scenes - This one is off the charts hot and steamy!! All around I would say this book was a good read that that definitely keeps you turning the page.
I was given this copy for an honest review through The Next Great Read Book Review blog.
Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Letting Go by B.A. Wolfe

Letting Go by B.A. Wolfe 
Tear, speechless, and more tears. In this companion novella we revisit Away, which completely shattered me, but in Jase's POV. I undeniably fell in love with Jase all over again with Letting Go. Even knowing what was going to happen and trying to prepare myself for what was to come, I still cried. I did not feel like I was re reading the same book again. Jase made it his own and gave it his soul, which just made a completely phenomenal story that much better. B.A. Wolfe is an amazing writer. Each book and character has taken a piece of my heart.
I was gifted this ARC for an honest review.
Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Azurite: Daughter of the Mountain Book One

Azurite: Daughter of the Mountain Book One by Megan Dent Nagle

When I was first sent the book description of
“Azurite: Daughter of the Mountain Book One” by Megan Dent Nagle, to see if I was interested in reviewing it, I quickly found myself intrigued. Magic, imagination, fantasy and a twisting complex plot. I just couldn’t keep myself from wanting to see where the author would take the story and just exactly how it all would turn out. Because of my interest in just the mere description I had high hopes for this book and I wasn’t let down at all.
The author is remarkably talented and describes every detail in a well thought out story. She creates a fantasy world that yet seems so real to the reader. It was a read that kept me completely absorbed all the way through.
The main character, Zora, is easy to like and enjoyable. I found myself cheering her on at times. Megan Nagle is an amazing author who has potential to go far with her creativity and imagination. She weaves a story that books you in and doesn’t let go to the very last page, yet still by then wanting more.
This is a excellent start to a series and I’m sure Book Two will be just as great. I recommend this book to any reader who wants to get lost in another world for awhile and just escape.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author for my honest review.
Reviewer: Kristin
Click here to read about Azurite and find out how to get yourself a copy!
See the author Megan Dent Nagle’s Interview here!

Reviewed by Kristin Hinkle
The After Dark Reading Nook

I Wish

I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

When I first received “I Wish” by Elizabeth Langston, I was overly excited. After reading the books description, it sounded intriguing, different, and tempting. I couldn’t wait. Upon reading this book I wasn’t disappointed a bit. It was exactly as I hoped and even more.
The main character, Lacey, is very relatable and likeable. I felt how hard she tried and how much weight she shouldered. I believe my favorite aspect of the story is when she discovers the Genie, or as called in the book Benevolent Supernatural Being (BSB). Her BSB, Grant, at first seemed stiff, but quickly he fell in place. In-between chapters when he submitted his reports to his boss it showed his side and how he perceives everything in Lacey’s life.
The author, Elizabeth Langston, out did herself with this one. Her creativity and outcome of the story deserves applause. I can recommend this book to every reader that wants to get lost in a great authors imagination.
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author for my honest review.

                                                        Reviewed by Kristin Hinkle
                                                        The After Dark Reading Nook

Forever Grace

Forever Grace by Linda Poitevin

Emotional and suspenseful are the best words I can think of to describe this book. It was very well written and you can truly feel the characters' emotions through the entire book. The fear, paranoia, determination, helplessness, exhaustion, and the love are so powerful in this book. The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat with not only what is going to happen but when. This is the fist book I have read by Linda Poitevin and I have fallen in love with her writing and the away she draws you into the story and the world her characters live in. She made the characters so real. Through all the fear, determination, and everything, the book left me feeling complete and proud of the characters. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a great suspenseful romance.

I was given a copy of this book for an honest review through The Next Great Read Book Blog.

                                                     Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
                                                      Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Forbidden: Reluctant Series # 2 by Marla Josephs

Hot and sexy landlord, sweet beautiful new tenant under the same roof - what could go wrong??

I loved watching this story unfold. I was drawn in one the first page. There were moments I laughed and times I truly felt for both characters. Then there were the shockers, the moments that literally made me do a double take and re read to make sure I read what I had read. lol Each work, each page kept you intrigued and wanting to know what was going to happen next. I honestly could not get enough. This was one of those books that I started getting mad at my family because they kept interrupting me through and I had to go hide away in the tub so no one would disturb me again. lol Marla Josephs has written a great book that made me smile, laugh, shocked me, and melted my heart.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Kristin Hinkle's Review

Forbidden by Marla Josephs is a romantic story after my own heart. A story that captures the girl next door image wonderfully for the character Savina. Savina is a very relatable character for me in this story as she has so many over protective brothers and is the only daughter. Personally, I could feel the love, mothering and irritation she had at times for her siblings as I am the exact same with three brothers of my own while being the only daughter.

You never know where love will turn up. That was something that struck me while reading. In Savina and Shelton’s case it turns up when he becomes her landlord after her father rents the upstairs at Shelton’s for her. The pull and attraction Savina and Shelton felt for each other felt so natural to me. The way the drift from side ways glances on to friends and then forward was not the cliche it was it’s own. Marla Josephs was very careful and well thought out this story to keep it so simple, but not ending up with the run of the mill cliche.

“Forbidden” is a light romance that will even pull out a few laughs along the way. I couldn’t help but to roll laughing at the assumption Shelton made of all the males Savina had following her around while not knowing about her brood of dominating brothers. I even felt the embarrsment when he felt the need to confront her out of fear for her safety and jealousy that he poorly hidden.

With the story centering around the two main characters it makes for a lovely and realistically written story. The way they bond over food and television reminded me of my own current relationship. I even felt the awkward moments they had since they are moments every new founded friendship has between opposite sexes who are secretly attracted to each other.
This is the second book I have read written by Marla Josephs. It is also the second book in The Reluctant series. The author writes this story beautifully and doesn’t disappoint at all. She grasps the realistic sides of the story and runs with it. I recommend this book and encourage it as a book to read over a weekend so there is no worries of being disturbed.

I was provided a copy of this book by the author for my honest review.

Judith Rook's review

One is taken quickly into the events of Forbidden: A Reluctant Series Novel by Marla Josephs; in other words, one is hooked.  There’s something immediately attractive about the story; about the goodness, the reality, the honesty of ordinary life which it depicts.
Particularly interesting is that in this book ordinary life is busy and densely populated.  Around the two protagonists and one or two secondary characters, there is an absolute cloud of other people involved in the storyline.  They are not like a chorus from a classic tragedy, commentators and interpreters of the action; they participate.  In their contemporary and comfortable urban setting they ebb and flow according to the author’s need of them; they are essential to the development of the plot, but they are perhaps a little hard to follow. This character “busyness” may be difficult to absorb, particularly at the beginning of the book.  However, once the reader has settled into this proliferation of persons the main action takes over, drawing the attention to the carefully and precisely worked out plot.
There have been so many stories written on this classic “girl and boy find each other and encounter difficulties” theme that one could hardly expect a greatly interesting variation on its presentation.  However, Marla Josephs has done exactly that.
The attraction of this book is not so much the plot, although it is a good one and supports a pleasingly strong storyline, as the way in which the action is developed.  Quite slowly, and with great attention to necessary detail, the author reveals the complexity of the relationship which builds between the protagonists.   She does not take short cuts; she spends time laying out the emotional and intellectual reactions and responses of the characters.  She ensures that the reader witnesses each small step along the road towards mutual understanding and acceptance. There is plenty of conflict in the novel but most of it is slightly bland in its effect. When the heroine needs to rid herself of her plague of male relatives she does so without aggravation.  Of course, this is true to her character, but a little extra force would not have come amiss in this particular part of the storyline. Some also might argue that the action does not move along quickly enough and that the inclusion of a constant food interest can be distracting, but this author is highly skilled and she knows what she is doing; the meals are used both as a mirror, reflecting the nature of the characters, and also as a thread, drawing them gradually together. Despite its extensive insights into every corner of the developing relationship the action progresses in sharply defined peaks and troughs, carrying the interest forward and culminating in a surprising revelation which adds even more energy to the final outcome.
The main characters are particularly well developed.  The author moves between two separate points of view with accomplished ease, creating thoroughly convincing people who quickly engage the attention.  One may not agree with how they conduct themselves, why they seem incapable of the openness needed to support a growing relationship, but they are authentic and interesting and between them they create that happy condition where the reader begins to care genuinely about them and continues to the final and full working out of the situation.
Forbidden: A Reluctant Series Novel is a book to appeal to readers of Romance novels in general and to those who like to reflect on their reading experiences in particular.  It does provoke thought and its impact will probably not end with the final word.

Having read the previous book in this series “Reluctant” I was looking forward to another enjoyable read with “easy to like” well-developed characters and I wasn’t disappointed. One reason is because the main male character was a minor one in the first book. I liked Shelton’s strength and values and the fact that he doubted himself. Ms Josephs has done a fantastic job of making Shelton real, not just some made-up character in a book.

Savina is the lead female and I enjoyed the story switching from her point of view to Shelton’s. I don’t think it would have worked if we could not see, hear and feel Savina’s thoughts as well as Shelton’s. This was particularly true when some unexpected incidents happened. I was as shocked as the characters when these events unfolded and was glad I knew what was going on inside each of their heads.

Lorriane Loveit's Review
Having read the previous book in this series “Reluctant” I was looking forward to another enjoyable read with “easy to like” well-developed characters and I wasn’t disappointed. One reason is because the main male character was a minor one in the first book. I liked Shelton’s strength and values and the fact that he doubted himself. Ms. Josephs has done a fantastic job of making Shelton real, not just some made-up character in a book.

Savina is the lead female and I enjoyed the story switching from her point of view to Shelton’s. I don’t think it would have worked if we could not see, hear and feel Savina’s thoughts as well as Shelton’s. This was particularly true when some unexpected incidents happened. I was as shocked as the characters when these events unfolded and was glad I knew what was going on inside each of their heads.

Forbidden was full of emotion and passion. I liked Fallon, Shelton’s cousin from the first book, popping in and out of this one. It kept the connection between the series real and up to date. I am keen to know if Ms. Jospehs will continue with a third book featuring Sergio, Savina’s half-brother. His character seems interesting and I would love to get inside his head. Please Ms. Josephs, bring him to life in a book of his own.

Ghost Orchid

Ghost Orchid by D.K. Christi

Ghost Orchid by D.K. Christi is a book that almost had me lost for words. As I looked at the book cover, before I began reading, I couldn’t help but to feel excited. Just the background, the girl and the white most around the camera had my imagination getting ahead of me. Calming myself down I had to remember to read it first.
When I finished reading I saw in awe. The book cover did not disappoint, because the story is as brilliantly beautifully as it is. A mystical romantic story of love, betrayal, heartache and forgiveness, I was hooked from the beginning.
D.K. Christi is a talented author who has her own style of writing that amazes me. The Everglades plays as a setting in the story, at what points I won’t say because I don’t want to give spoilers, and the author described the setting with more than on point knowledge. Not only is the Everglades described on point, but they were beautifully and vividly described. I felt as though I could imagine every single detail down to the smallest thing.
The story came alive as I read each word and I didn’t want it to ever end. The plot contained twists and turns that kept me from even thinking about putting the book down. Mysteries around the past come slowly undone as she tells her story. “Ghost Orchid” is a magical and yet romantic read that I’m adding to one of my favorite reads. I even felt as though I was following the characters, Neev and Mel, watching them from afar throughout their lives.
D.K. Christi captivated me with this book and stunned me to the very end. It’s a very moving story, one that deserves to be read by everyone. She is a brilliant author and I can’t wait to read her next book. I recommend this book to everyone and guarantee that you will be stunned when you're finished. I do caution readers who plan or will read this book by saying that it’s one you need to make sure your schedule is clear until you're done since you won’t put it down until the end.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author for my honest review.

Reviewed By Keishian
The After Dark Reading Nook
Click here to read more about this book or to get your copy.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stuck in Between

Stuck in Between by Blakely Bennett

As Jaqs' friend Lainey says in this book: "It's a tangled mess, really. And, I'm really interested to see how it all unwinds."

That line perfectly describes this book. No seriously, I liked it. Just keep reading and you'll understand.

You know how you read the excerpt and read a book, yet come away disappointed? You think, it had all of the elements but the story fell apart, didn't come together, got too over the top, and just fell flat? Well, this book is just the opposite. This is typically not my genre, because of all of the things I just mentioned above. I find that often in this genre everyone is so hung up on the sex, that seems boring and disgusting without any story or realistic characters to connect it to. Or, it's this totally abusive situation that in no way resembles consensual sex or love, but the girl is just too desperate to lose this person's abuse she's mistaking for love, or a gluten for punishment, hard to tell sometimes.

HOWEVER, that should have been what was happening here. This book had all of the elements to make it that full of meaningless sex, with no real story or depth, with wooden crazy characters that I could care less about and were so uninteresting that the sex scenes would just feel contrived and icky. But, it was just the opposite.

Ms. Blakey Bennett knows how to pen a full story with rich, developed characters. Were they over the top at times? Yes. Was it crazy? Yes. Where these characters a fairly screwed up bunch, from dysfunctional families that need to spend some time on someone's sofa in therapy? Yes. Yet, they were characters you could relate to as real. Or like that same friend that will not just let this guy go. Or, the friend who's a cheater who you know is going to get caught, but yet you can't turn your back on them when the *stuff* hits the fan because of their bad choices. I won't say more, as I don't want to add any spoilers.

But, the real emotional changes the characters went through, even the ridiculous emotional changes they went through, brought on by their own crazy decisions seemed realistic. There is a reason people watch those reality television families and marvel at how screwed up they are. They are a train wreck you can't stop watching. There really are people who wind themselves up in these crazy situations. And, of those situations described in stories, Ms. Bennett penned one that felt way more realistic then the contrived stories created around and seeming to only be half attempted to throw characters together for raunchy sex that fails to draw you in because there's no real story to tie it all together.

I found myself pulled in and totally absorbed in this disturbing story surrounding these characters. Even loved the reference to Cards Against Humanity, an outrageous game I have even played myself. Just so many realistic touches added to circumstances that could easily, and to most people, be something unrealistic and ridiculous. That speaks to this authors serious talent to spin a solid, good, realistic, and creative story. I am so glad I gave it a chance. I made the mistake of starting it at night and forced myself to put it down when I was sucked in so quickly. I picked it back up in the morning and listened to the end, getting nothing else done all day.

The narrator, Lily Horne, did an amazing job bringing these characters to life. She seemed to capture the personality of each character. Her portrayal of each character had me seeing in my mind as if I were either a spectator in the room as they went through all of their various and individual insanities. This was a perfect blend of a good writer being paired with a great narrator who can bring those characters to life in audio.

Reviewed by Marla Josephs
Marla's GoodReads Reviews

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

No Regrets

No Regrets by Savana Jade

Okay, first I have to say I finished this book days ago and for days after it was still on my mind. These characters truly found a deep spot in my heart. I thought Live Today was amazing, but No Regrets is absolutely phenomenal!! These characters are real and so relatable. I don’t think I can begin to describe the emotions all of these characters brought out of me. This story has truly touched me on such a personal level. Their emotions are so real you can’t help but feel it also or if you have ever been in a similar situation remember those emotions. There were times I literally had to put the book down so I could breath and truly gather my thoughts, but at the same time I couldn’t stop thinking about the story either. You truly can’t help but to love these characters and honestly care about them. Gabe and Jenna completely steal your heart.
Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Live Today

Live Today by Savana Jade

There is no greater bond than the bond of family, but not all family is blood. This group of bandmates……..friends………family are an amazing group that completely embraces the word and meaning of family. I could feel the love, compassion, and support they all felt for each other. No matter what life throws at any one of them, they will get through it together.

Savana Jade has truly written a mash hit with her debut novel. The characters are so well developed, loveable, and real. Not only does the story draw you in, but the characters capture your heart entirely. Jenna, Brennon, Gabe, Matt, Will, and Drew made me laugh so much and cry. I could honestly feel their pain, anger, sadness, shock, and courage, but through it all I could feel their love. This is truly an amazing story of friendship, love, courage, family, and learning to live for today.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Giving Chase

Giving Chase by Hannah Hooton

This was a really interesting story. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this read. I was really on the fence. But, I ended up pleasantly surprised. It was a bit long and tended to meander at times, YET I didn't mind.
The relationship between Rys and Frankie developed slowly. But, it wasn't too slow. The whole story kind of flowed organically. I thought Doug was a bit gruff and at times a jerk. There were definitely a lot of jerky moments for several characters. Ms. Hooton did a good job of making everyone human, and show their good and bad sides. Frankie at times was naive and made questionable decisions, but that wasn't a detraction. It was something that anyone can see in the people around them that make them human. There are a lot of things I could say about which characters irritated me, made me mad, etc. HOWEVER, these are not things that would be negatives about the book. It speaks to Ms. Hooton's ability to draw you in and make you care enough to go through a few emotions about the characters as you follow them through the journey to the end of the story. And, there were a lot of funny and sweet moments of the book that I loved.
This was a racing story and I thought that the romance and other human dynamics that developed around the racing element of the story is what made it work so well. It didn't just feel like a typical romance, but like following the story of the lives of the characters for this specific period of time.
Overall a wonderful listen. I thought the narrator, Elan O'Connor was really great. She has this wonderful quirkiness. And, some of the voices she did would probably not have gone as well without her charming accent. But, somehow, the accent and Elan's performance gave them so much character and life. I loved her Rys and Frankie voice. Overall just a great job.

A copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review

Reviewed by Marla Josephs
Marla's GoodReads Reviews

We Never Left You

We Never Left You by Rick and Beth Olsen
“We Never Left You” by Rick and Beth Olsen is an emotional story that really tugged at my heart. As a mother I found myself wondering how I would have handled loosing my child in a blink of an eye. No matter how much I racked my brain I couldn’t even begin to find an answer.
The book is written in both Rick and Beth Olsen’s points of view. They take turns telling their story and when reading it I felt as though they were speaking directly to me. It’s unimaginable what they experienced and throughout reading I found myself randomly hugging my daughter while being thankful for her.
I’ve never read any book that packed an emotional and motivational punch as this one. It really made me appreciate little things in my life more. Rick and Beth Olsen are amazing people to be able to relieve this specific time in their lives all over again to write this book in hopes to help others who have experienced a similar tragedy.
Honestly, I have to recommend this book to readers, even those who don’t know the loss of a child. But as I recommend it I also have to forewarn my readers that tissues are a requirement, as it’s very emotional and I couldn’t stop the tears myself. After finishing this book I really have a new outlook on life, and other aspects. “We Never Left You” is amazing, moving, emotional, and a book with multiple meanings that will stay with you for years to come.
I was provided a copy of this book for my honest review.

Reviewed By Kristin Hinkle
The After Dark Reading Nook

Minder Rising

A science fiction romance novel such as Carol Van Natta’s Minder Rising: Central Galactic Concordance Book 2 has to do two things.  It has to develop characters which can reveal the magnetism of inter-personal relationships and it has to invent a world-scale setting in which that magnetism can take place.  More than in any other romance sub-genre, in a science fiction romance the setting takes a central place, and if there is anything which is not clear about the setting, the reader’s interest can become distracted from the developing relationship.

In this novel the Central Galactic Concordance is an interplanetary system of governance, regulating over five hundred planets and providing an impersonal power which controls the lives of all the inhabitants of those worlds.  It is the third central character in the storyline, taking the role of the inimical authority, bringing into the narrative all that is threatening and destructive to affection and love.

The first flowering of attraction between the protagonists is necessarily slow because for both of the main characters other factors have become dominant.  Special security agent Lièrén Sòng is attempting to survive in a social system which, he slowly realises, has betrayed him completely, and Imara Sesay struggles to protect her gifted young son, Derrit, from the predatory clutches of the same system.  All three characters are “minders” that is, they all possess distinctive mental powers to a greater or lesser degree.  In the case of Sòng the powers are known and are used in support of the system and in the case of the mother and son they unfold as the action progresses.

        This is a recipe for success, both in the science fiction genre and equally in the romance genre, and to a very large extent Van Natta develops all the potential of her plot.  She is a stylish and accomplished author who writes with confidence and authority, and develops the action at a pace which perfectly suits the storyline, except perhaps at the outset of the book.  At the beginning of the first chapter the reader is introduced to a great deal of world references and nomenclature which are not clearly explained and which are sometimes confusing in their effect, as is the great amount of background detail which, while necessary, could perhaps have been spread more evenly across the opening pages.

A highly packed introduction courts the danger of not fixing the reader’s attention; however, by the end of the first chapter the action is unfolding smoothly, the conflict is becoming apparent and the reader’s interest and anticipation are engaged.

It is impossible to have a truly successful romance story without convincing characters.  If an author cannot create believable figures to support the storyline then they ought not to take on the challenges of this particularly demanding genre.  More than in any other genre the characters must be not only self-aware but also intensely aware of each other.  Although they are individuals, the magnet of mutual attraction draws them together and the author has to be able to depict that essential aspect of a romance story with persuasive clarity.

Van Natta’s characters are very strong and quickly take on the solid yet complex identities that are needed to support not only the romance theme but also to make the reader believe completely in the world where the storyline is played out.  Sòng’s growing realisation of his isolation within the system, a realisation which turns him from cooperation to opposition, is particularly well handled.  Imara’s more pragmatic determination not to allow the system to overcome her life identifies her as the perfect partner to accompany Sòng into the future.  Even the secondary characters are well-shaped, particularly the flamboyant and exhibitionist Rayle who carries his own line of interest through the full course of the action.

In Minder Rising Carol Van Natta has brought together two genres, giving each a similar weighting in the development of the plot.  The book is not science fiction with a romantic interest nor is it a romance incidentally placed in a different world.  It is a highly satisfactory and successful integration of the two, resulting in an enjoyable story very well told against a setting which is completely believable.
Reviewed by Judith Rook
Judith's Facebook Page

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Under the Shadows

Under the Shadows: Alexander Ranch Series #4
 by Marla Josephs

Again, another completely addicting story!! I might even say this was my favorite. Lela and the Alexanders have to go to Costa Rica for an assignment and things get very interesting. Lela is excited to go, but leery also as her and Jordan are no longer together and will have to work together more than they have. Things really get a little uncomfortable when one of Jordan's exes is there to welcome them as well as will be helping with the case. Again I absolutely could not put the book down and damn anyone who asked me to lol. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Deep in the Night

Deep in the Night: The Alexander Ranch Series #3
by Marla Josephs

After reading book 1 and 2 of the Alexander Ranch, the story just gets more and more interesting. Here we find dead dogs and humans, but there is no reasoning behind the deaths. The hunt is on to find who or what is killing them. This book takes us more into the relationship of Lela and Jordan as things heats up and gets very hot. Passion sure does fill the night for these two. There is the other man, Shane, who Lela has to work close with. Jordan isn’t too happy about this and things take a swirl twist and come to a head for them.

There's a nice balance between mystery and the building relationship between Lela and Jordan as she struggles to decide just how deep she wants their relationship to go. This is a well written paranormal mystery with a dose of romance and passion.

The author gives a well told story that is easy to follow as she takes us through the mystery of the supernaturals. I have really enjoyed this series and look forward to the next book in this series.

Reviewed by Cynthia Keagy, (Cyn's Reviews)
Page by Page Inside Out Reviews

Time On

Time On (Playing the Game Series #5) by Lorraine Loveit

I really enjoyed this book. There was much more depth in the characters. Suzie's development was front and center. And, the view of the emotional sides and thought processes of each character pulled the reader deeper into the story of Suzie's love triangle. Each of the stories has been engaging and provoking so far. But, I think this is my new favorite. Ms. Loveit really put the human factor in this one. I'm anxiously waiting for the next installment. I'm so curious to see where everyone will end up from here.   

Reviewed by Marla Josephs
Marla's GoodReads Reviews

Full Time

Full Time (Playing the Game Series #4)

First let me say – WOW!!! HOT!!! SEXY!!!! This books picks up right where book 3 leaves off. Suzie is running back home and turns to the one person she probably shouldn’t, Jason. But can she stay away from Brendon? Can Brendon change? Well that’s what he promises, but when situations arise will the old Brendon come back? Oh how I wanted to slap Brendon and loved him at the same time and Jason, oh how I just don’t want to like him but I will say he is just mmmmmmmm. Which Dom would you choose? That is definitely the question. I know my choice, but he just might have to prove himself to me first. *wink*

I love this story. These characters will keep you on your toes and on the edge of your seat. Lorraine Loveit writes a great story that will keep you guessing. Oh, and did I mention HOT and SEXY, let’s just say you might need and cold shower after reading this.
copy provided for an honest review

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson

Hard Ball


Hard Ball (Playing the Game Series # 3) by Lorraine Loveit

WOW!! Best book yet!!! This was an amazing hot and sexy read. I was completely drawn into it from the first page. I loved watching where Brendon and Suzie’s relationship is going. I will say this one was an emotional ride for me. Watching Suzie grow as a person with so much happening, she is rightfully scared and emotional, but she is strong. Brendon, Brendon, Brendon – one minute I love him, the next I hate him, and then there are those in between times. He is truly the alpha male, so got to love him in the end. I can’t wait for the next book and to see what happens.
Copy provided for an honest review.
Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Into Thin Air

Into Thin Air by Marla Josephs

I had been looking forward to the sequel of Alexander Ranch, and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, I believe Ms Josephs has outdone herself with “Into Thin Air”. I found both novels very easy to read and when I had to leave them, found it extremely easy to pick up the story again.

This second novel in the Alexander Ranch series gets straight into the action, with the first kiss between Lela and Shane, a guy she has been admiring. A returning character Jordan, reappears in her life as Shane is kissing her, setting the scene for plenty of friction, which made me want to keep reading.

The background from the first novel Alexander Ranch is revealed early on, so it doesn’t leave you guessing – you can just get on with the story without trying to figure out what’s going on. There is a lot of suspense with the Alexanders turning to Lela to assist them with a case. Without giving too much away, there are good reasons for Lela to not get involved, but her sense of wanting to do what’s right, has her agreeing.

This case once again puts her in close quarters with Jordan, making it hard for her to decide how she feels about him, especially when Shane is still in the picture.

Strap yourself in for this one, with the twists and turns of the case at times overshadowing Lela’s relationship with Jordan, Shane and the rest of the Alexander clan.

Reviewed by Lorriane Loveit
Lorriane Loveit's Author Facebook page

Her Dom's Lesson

Her Dom's Lesson by A.D. Justice

I should know by now that when I start an A.D. Justice book that it automatically will be the best one I've read and I will not be able to put it down. This book picks up right where the first one left off. Questions will be answered and truths will come out, but brace yourself because it is a hell of a ride. Revenge and greed are powerful motivators and you are about to find out just how much. I thought the first book had suspense, action, gasping moments, and moments that I was holding my breath - I think this book has even more. This story gripped me so much that I could not stop thinking about it once I finished to the point I literally has a dream about it the night I finished it. lol  

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Her Dom

Her Dom by A.D. Justice

Holy....WOW....No words can describe the feeling that went through me upon finishing this. A.D. Justice can do no wrong, I swear by it!! She packs a punch that will get you right in the gut and heart. You want great, strong characters that are real, a storyline that captivates you from the very beginning, suspense that will have you holding your breath turning page after page, action that keeps you on the edge of you seat, romance that makes you swoon, an ending that makes you scram and beg for more.........You NEED to read this book!!! I do have to fair warn you that as you finish this you will be wanting/buying the next book immediately. The second I finished, I went and got the next one because I was already having withdrawals and having to know what was going to happen next.

I received this copy for an honest review.

 Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
                                                         Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Alexander Ranch

Alexander Ranch By Marla Josephs

WOW!! I was completely drawn into this story on the very first page. If work, kid, and life had not decided they wanted me to actually do something I would never have been able to put this book down. Let me say even when I did have to put it down I still thought about it and could not wait jump back into it. This is a fast pace story that keeps you wanting to see what is going to happen next. Now I cannot wait to jump into the next book. 

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Knocked Out

Knocked Out by Julie Tetel Andresen

I can't get enough! I want more!! Every book in this series gets better and better. The characters are great. They are real and relatable. The story completely pulls you in from the very first page and grips you to the every end. Suspense - check Action - check Drama - check romance - check Julie Tetel Andresen has away of blending multiple cultures and backgrounds beautifully and making them all come together. The suspense alone will keep you turning page after page. Definitely an amazing read. This book can be read as a standalone, but I would highly recommend starting this series from book one to get the whole picture.

I received a copy for an honest review.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Wicked Nights

Wicked Nights by A.D. Justice
A.D. Justice has done it again and I swear these books just keep getting better. I can not get enough of these Steele boys!! Every page left me on the edge of my seat. Turning page by page with anticipation of what was going to happen next. The suspense A.D. Justice created was unbelievable, I could not put it down. I found myself holding my breath, gasping, and the banter between this family kept me laughing and smiling. This book along with the whole series has everything you could ask for to get you hooked right away and have you hold on to the last word.

I was given an ARC for an honest review.
Rviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Getting Tackled

Getting Tackeld (Playing the game series # 2) by Lorraine Loveit

I will say while this book was not as great as the first book, but it was good. The beginning was a little hard to get drawn into, but about half way I was completely drawn back into the world of Brendon and Suzie and could not put it down. Loved the twist towards the end and I am still completely captivated by the story of Brendon and Suzie and absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next.

Ms. Lorranie Loveit does write an amazing story and while the beginning of this book was a little slow for me, I still love her writing. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series and any other book she writes.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews


Reluctant by Marla Josephs

I thought this was a nice sweet read with a lot of heart and soul. Fallon and Reid story was a humor read at times. They had so much against them but came out of it with a wonderful relationship. The author writes a wonderful story that flows easy and keeps you interested. I thought I would die laughing when Fallon found him on the counter with a women having sex and he told her she was up next.

Reid is very intrigued and even shocked when a beautiful woman who isn't aware of his celebrity turns him to the door. She isn’t even swayed by his charm. Lord what has he done wrong. She doesn’t even seem to like him and doesn’t know who he is. Fallon is a puzzle Reid wants to solve. Why is Fallon reluctant to let Reid get too close? He obviously can have any women he wants and seems to have more than his share. Fallon is a very private person. She isn’t one that wants to be in the public eye. She just doesn’t see herself and him together. They are not each other’s types or are they? But, there is more to Reid than meets the eye. Underneath that hot exterior is a nice vulnerable guy who got burnt. Having experienced it in the past, he is also reluctant to be hurt. Then along comes Fallon, without even trying, has gotten under his skin as he has hers. Now, he just has to convince her to take a chance. But he is a patient man and puts his plan in to action.

Marla Josephs has a well written likeable story that is easy to follow.  I do hope we will find more out about each of the other characters.

Reviewed by Cynthia Keagy, (Cyn's Reviews)
Page by Page Inside Out Reviews


Widler: The Guardian Series by  G.K. DeRosa

5....10....20 - There are not enough stars for me to put on this little gem!!! I really haven't read much in the paranormal genre in about 2 years (it was my most favorite genre then) and this has definitely brought me back and reminded me what I loved about this genre. This literally has me addicted on the first page. This was one of those books that you want to read slowly because you do not want it to end, but end up reading it in one sitting because you cannot put it down. The author definitely puts it all in there - action, suspense, love, and amazing characters. The second I finished this I was stalking trying to find out when the second book will be released.

I received this book for an honest review.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

A Portal in Time

A Portal in Time by Claire Fullerton
A very captivating read. Claire Fullerton takes you on not one but two lovely journeys. I thoroughly enjoyed how these two stories, thus from two different time periods, flowed so well together. It was definitely a page turner that I did not put down. Both stories kept me wanting more, with the bond they shared and the suspense of what will come. I do have to say I wanted more at the end. It does not end with a cliffhanger, but I just wanted more, maybe I'm just greedy. lol
I received this copy for an honest review.

Reviewed by Michelle Thompson
Michelle's GoodReads Reviews

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Evitable Destiny

Evitable Destiny by Izabela Monick
Evitable Destiny is a beautifully written story that captivated my attention through the entire book. Giving this book five stars didn’t even do it justice. Full of love, betrayal, and forgiveness I couldn’t seem to stop reading long enough to do anything else. It’s a great read to settle in on the weekend for, because trying to read it through the week won’t leave you time for anything else when you can’t put it down.
Izabela Monick is a brilliant author and is one of my newest favorite authors after reading this book. It’s one of the best in it’s genre and I expect many more great things to come from this author. I recommend every reader to take a look and read “Evitable Destiny”. You won’t be disappointed and will find yourself begging for more.
***** 5 Star
Reviewed by Kristin Hinkle

Caloun Sacrifice

Calhoun Sacrifice by Joe Mansour
is a very enjoyable read. It’s a faced paced novel and I really enjoyed reading it. It had a lot of action packed into it that I never knew what was going to happen next. The characters are so wonderfully written by the author that I couldn’t help but to feel as though I knew them by the end of the story.
I can’t wait to see what other great books this author comes out with. I was held by this book to the point I couldn’t let it go. Reading “Calhoun Sacrifice” was so enjoyable I have to give it five stars. I recommend that everyone add this book to their reading list and pick themselves up a copy so they don’t miss one of the best great reads of the year.
***** 5 Star
Reviewed by Kristin Hinkle


Heartsong by Geri O’Neill
Heartsong is a book that pulled at my heart strings. I found myself laughing and crying at times. I became so wrapped up in reading this book that I had it finished before I knew it. Although the book did start out a bit slow, I stuck with it and wasn’t disappointed at all. The author made sure the reader could feel the emotions in the words written.
It’s a very well written story that packed a lot of emotion. The plot of the story is very well written and thought through. The author is very talented and I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next. I recommend this book to any reader who wants to feel the emotion the author puts into the words.

**** 4 Stars
reviewed by Kristin Hinkle
The After Dark Reading Nook

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Mine

The Mine by John A. Heldt
Time travel and romance. What’s not to love about those two in a story, especially together? John A. Heldt took both to a new level in this extraordinary read, “The Mine”. This author really let his creativity show while writing this amazing story. It’s well thought out and written with pure talent.
I have to admit when I read this books description my interest was already peaked, but as I dove into the story it sucked me in completely. I enjoyed the time periods and the details put into it. The characters themselves are very enjoyable. If I could only use one word to describe myself while I was reading this book I would chose, absorbed. 
It’s a must read for everyone who enjoys reading. Disappointment is the only emotion you won’t feel while reading this one. 
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
                                                       ***** 5 Star Review
                                                      Reviewed by Keishan

                                                      The After Dark Reading Nook
Get your copy of “The Mine” here!

Gilgamesh in the 21st Century

Gilgamesh in the 21st Century: A Personal Quest to Understand Mortality by Bracken, Paul   Kindle Edition.

There is a contemporary movement known as “Terror Management Therapy” which is catching the attention of many people in the early 21st century.  The mindset behind TMT awareness is not new.  Humankind has always wondered and worried about the fact that life leads to death.
       Paul Bracken, the author of Gilgamesh in the 21st Century – A Personal Quest to understand Mortality uses events and characters from the third millennium BCE to make the point that the appearance of death is rarely hailed with enthusiasm, and throughout the ages people have sought to cheat nature of her rightful due, which is not to be burdened with ageing and no longer productive organisms. 

However, humans are not quite as straightforward as that.  The power and creative potential of our minds argues that we could well wish to continue living far beyond our three-score-years-and-ten.  In our well-fed and medically supported western society we could probably notch that up to four-score-years-and-ten and, if we take notice of what Bracken shows us, we could think seriously of going even further before very long.
          Bracken says:  I invite the reader to think about death, not out of any desire to be morbid, but rather because it opens the door to a lot of interesting science, and because our mortality is often what prompts us to contemplate the grander mysteries of life.

Taking this troubling subject into firm and scholarly (although light) hands, Paul Bracken presents an intriguing and often amusing account of the many attitudes which people adopt on the subject of human mortality.   Founded both on personal experience as a scientist, and on meticulous research which must have kept him occupied for a number of years, together with the frequent involvement of his dad, Jim, and Granddad Waine,  Bracken opens the doors into an often highly enjoyable library of thought and opinion about mortality.

He gives the reader a great deal to think about, from the first appearance of rock paintings to the redesigning of the human body, but he does not become an advocate for any one particular attitude, except that he does point out that the consolations of religion are not founded in the science we know.  He also makes very clear his deep admiration of both Carl Sagan, and the Star Trek saga, from which he frequently quotes.  

Perhaps Bracken’s own position appears at the end of his penultimate chapter, just before he quotes from Eliot’s Little Gidding:

It is, after all, the only home that humanity has ever known, so if it’s heaven we’re after, we’ll have to find it on Earth. It also means that there are no second chances. If we only get one shot at life, then we need to be extra careful not to waste it.

It’s a sensible position to take and after reading this very well-written and attractive book on a difficult topic, one feels that the situation after all is not desperate and a busy and contented life is a very good thing. Highly recommended to readers in a wide range of genres.
***** 5 Stars
Reviewed by Judith Rook