Saturday, May 19, 2018

"Apart" Book Review


by C.J. Pastore

Book Description:
Growing up is hard. No one knows that better than Alicia Cesare.
As a child, Alicia struggled to free herself from the cloying shadow of her mother’s depression and the overprotectiveness of a meddlesome family. Now, with a top-selling fashion design and a passion-filled relationship with New York City real estate mogul Chase Reardon, being an adult isn’t so bad … until she’s viciously attacked by a Russian drug lord out for the blood of anyone that matters to Chase.
Under constant surveillance from family and a team of ex-special-ops Marines, Alicia remains determined to maintain her freedom and grow her fashion brand. This does not sit well with Chase, who considers Alicia’s behavior as much of a threat to her safety as the drug lord himself. 
Chase thought his service to the United States ended, but when he’s called to duty overseas, he readily responds. What’s meant to be a simple mission unravels into a dangerous separation for the new lovers. 
No matter how independent Alicia thinks she is, nothing could have prepared her for this twist of fate. 
Trapped in a web of lethal reprisals from Chase’s past, Alicia struggles to protect herself and those she cares about while grappling with loss, need and the transcendent force of unconditional love.

My Book Review:   Apart is a book that you won't likely forget.  I know that I won't.  It's one of those books you want to read again.  I'll be honest that I had trouble getting into the book, so I read from the middle to end, and then I began at beginning of book and read to the middle.  This helped me to follow the book and fall in love with the characters, although I also developed a distaste for the "bad guys".  This book is a steamy romance, but it also contains suspense as well as featuring characters who are active military who experience deployments.  
        The deployments challenge the young newlyweds and create tension for a number of characters in the book.  Chase has to plan for his wife, Alicia's, safety from the dangerous people from his past, and he won't be there for most of the time.  
        I rate this book 4 stars, as I did notice a few editing errors which did detract from my enjoyment of the book.   I highly recommend this book to adults.  Disclosure:  There are sex scenes as well as some offensive language.  This book is written for mature readers.  
        I received a copy of this book from netgalley and New Rose Press in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:
C.J. Pastore
C. J. Pastore lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. When not pounding the keyboard, she enjoys jogging, hiking, reading, and traveling. Immersing herself in other cultures, laughing, eating and drinking with the local populace are favorite pastimes. She holds true to Anne Frank's belief that “people are really good at heart,” and deems that whether walking in your own neighborhood or traversing the globe, the kindness and well-meaning wishes of others can be absorbed and reflected. 

As a former writer of curriculum and teacher mentor, C.J Pastore has published articles in TESOL Journal and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Essays on the global rights of Children have been published in The Citizen. Captive of a Commoner, Book I in the Commoner series, is her first foray into the world of romance writing.

To learn more about C. J., visit her online at

"Flowers and Foul Play" Book Review


Flowers and Foul Play
(A Magic Garden Mystery #1)
by Amanda Flower

Book Description:
Fiona Knox lost her fiancé and her flower shop—but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in the Scottish Highlands, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there are a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends. 

Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late in Flowers and Foul Play, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting first Magic Garden mystery.

My Book Review:  Wow, can you see the ivy covering the wall of the Magic Garden?  Can you smell the shepherd's pie from Twisted Fox Pub...made from the owner's late mother's recipe? Can you feel the cold chill of the brutal cold of the quaint village in Scotland?  I'd be surprised if you didn't experience each of these elements of Flowers and Foul Play because Amanda Flower's writing makes it so clear to me that I almost felt like I was there with Fiona.  
       I adore a good mystery and this one is definitely good.  In fact, it is superb!  I'm usually very good at solving the mystery by the middle of the book, but I never saw this one coming!   That makes any mystery more exciting for me.  This book is not predictable.  It is fresh and fun!   It's intense at just the right moments.   It has characters you will love and those jerks that you will love to hate.   
        I am rating this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to those who enjoy mysteries.   

         I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:
Amanda Flower

Amanda Flower, an Agatha Award-winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an adult services librarian for a public library near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

"His Secret" Book Review

His Secret: The Secret Series

by Gina A. Jones 

Book Description:

Welcome to the carnal world of...
His Secret

Young and innocent, Julia Ellis has no idea what awaits her at the manor, where she is to become the nanny for Mr. Jonas Fairbanks, a ruthless, yet devastatingly handsome entrepreneur. Julia's only plan is to earn enough money to fund her studies of French cuisine in Paris.

Julia falls in love with
little Sidney, the ten-year-old daughter of Jonas, but can't help noticing the peculiar way the towns people talk of the little girl. An omen. The devil's spawn.

Sidney is not the only young girl who will be groomed at the home of Mr. Fairbanks. What was taught as sinful, now, clouds her moral judgment of right and wrong. Julia fights with her innocence, giving into lust and a world all new to her. She loses all control, when she can no longer deny her attraction to Jonas. But no matter how much she feels love for this man, hidden deep in the house, tell a different story of his past...And what he's capable of.

Secret book trailer 

My Book Review:  I am blown away by Gina A. Jones' first novel!   This book has romance, spice, excitement, and suspense.   I would say there is an element of psychological thriller included.   I found myself constantly talking aloud to the characters in the book, and saying things like, "She's the one."  "Woah!"  "Oh no! I can't believe this." 
         I loved Julia and Sidney, and Natalie.  I didn't trust Cathy or Erin.  I both loved, hated, and mistrusted Jonas.  My heart broke for Sidney.  I want the relationship to work out, and then I don't want their relationship to work.  This book is full of contradictions, chaos, control, and love.  Add in murder, love affairs, secrets, and chaos and this book is irresistible!   I can't wait to read the other two books in the series. 
           I am rating this book 5 *****stars.  I highly recommend it to readers.   Disclosure:   This book contains sexual scenes and curse language.
         I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Gina A. JonesFollow her blog

Gina A. Jones was born in Northern Indiana, where she still lives today with her husband, Robert. Her profession for the last thirty years has been in orthopedics. She believes, that while working under the strict guidelines of a government regulated industry, her writing was a way to unleash and discover her creative side. Her first novel, ‘FACES’, was the work of a bet between her and her husband. It was self-published, but never released. In the beginning, he discouraged her writing of which made her press on to receive an outstanding review from the Kirkus. Since then, he’s been her biggest supporter, and has allowed her to leave her career in orthopedics to pursue her dream. She loves to write about intense characters, with deep conflicts and an over the edge mystery. Putting several genres in her stories, such as romance, erotica, and suspense, create her own unique style. A romantic at heart, she strives to bring her world into the lives of those who enjoy her books. 

To learn more about Gina, and updates of her upcoming novels, you can find and follow her here:

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

"Madd Ink" Book Review


Madd Ink
by Dani Rene'

Book Description:

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled micro-romances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily ever after.

Detective Slade Maddox doesn't let the same woman warm his bed twice. Get it in and then get out.

But Ryn Callan is something else. The way her breath catches in her throat, the way she stares at his chest, and not just because of his ink. The goose bumps on her skin when he leans in close.

Her incredible response to his every touch.

Ryn's meant to be his, and Slade wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life showing her just how satisfying it can be to let go.

For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: Quick and dirty, just the way we like it.

This book is approximately 12,000 words

 This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise

Edited by Kerri Buckley

My Book Review:  Hot, sweet, and hard to put down....this book is a quick, fun read.  Abandonment has left our heroine, Ryn, afraid to trust men and let them close to her or her daughter, Roxie.  But Slade is totally smitten and he just can't leave Ryn alone.  The best bonus is that he and Roxie are instant buddies.  
             Check this one out.  It's worth the read.  Word of Warning:  sexual content.  Not appropriate for young readers.

              I am rating this novella 4 **** stars.  
I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Carina Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:

Dani René
Dani Rene' is an international bestselling author and proud member of the Romance Writer's Organization of South Africa.

A fan of dark romance that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It's from this passion that her writing has evolved from sweet and romantic, to dark and delicious. It's in this world she's found her calling, growing from strength to strength and hitting her stride.

On a daily basis, she has a few hundred characters, storylines, and ideas floating around in her head. From the feisty heroines she delivers to the dark, dominant alphas that grace the pages of her books, she promises light in a world filled with danger and darkness.

She has a healthy addiction to reading, TV series, music, tattoos, chocolate, and ice cream.

Monday, April 23, 2018

"Where Are You Hiding, God" Book Review


Where Are You Hiding, God?
by Elisabeth Zartl

Book Description: 
Originally published in Austria by Tyrolia-Verlag in 2013 under title: Wo versteckst du dich, lieber Gott?

Where are you hiding, God? In the dresser between my pants and socks? In the bathtub under my little rubber duck? In the grass next to the flowers and the dragonflies?

This colorful picture book tells the story of a little girl trying to find God. She searches in the house, in the bathroom, and in the garden, without any luck. But just as she gives up hope, she finds God.

With beautiful illustrations that offer a treasure trove for exploring, recognizing, and naming, this touching story shows children that God is always with them. Ideal for children ages 3 and older.

Where Are You Hiding, God? is a 2017 Spirituality & Practice Award Winner

My Book Review:   While this book has lovely illustrations and simple, repetitive phrases, as a Christian who believes that God is with us and His Holy Spirit is given by God to comfort and convict us,the theology of this book promotes and teaches pantheism.  
Pantheism is defined in this way:
   1. a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.
  1. 2.
    worship that admits or tolerates all gods.
My personal beliefs taught by the Protestant Christian church are that God created all things, including leaves, but He is above all things and He is the only God. Therefore, I would advise other Christians to read this book and consider its' teachings before purchasing it and sharing it with your young children.  
     Based on the illustrations and general writing ability, and not on doctrine, I am rating this book 4 **** stars.
     I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Westminster John Knox Press in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:
Related image
 Elisabeth Zartl has studied religious education, psychology, philosophy, and graphic design. She is currently a teacher and freelance artist in Vienna, Austria, and has authored and illustrated several children's books.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"Blind Betrayal" Book Review


Blind Betrayal
(Defenders of Justice #3)
by Nancy Mehl

Book Description:
U.S. Marshal Casey Quinn is tasked with escorting a reporter to testify before a grand jury regarding a missing environmentalist. At first, the assignment seems routine. But when it becomes dangerously clear that there's more to the story than anyone knows, Casey and two other marshals--one a man from her past--will have to do whatever it takes to survive.

My Book Review:  Wow!!!  This may well be Nancy Mehl's best work of suspense yet.  There is intrigue, romance between old flames, terrorism and the fight against it, FBI involvement, and more.  US Marshals, Casey and E.J. are professional and highly trained as well as the couple you root for.   The romance does not play a heavy part in the story, as the marshals and the people entrusted to their protection are the focus of the book, but it certainly makes the relationship more exciting.  
            Nancy is well-known and loved for her Mennonite fiction, but the move to suspense has been well-received by her faithful followers. Suspense is one of my favorite genres so I'm thrilled for one of my favorite authors to feed my addiction.  
This is the third book in the Defenders of Justice series, and while Blind Betrayal, can be read alone, I think it will give more insight into the characters and plots.   
             I am rating this novel 5 ***** stars and wish I could give it more.  
             I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:

Nancy Mehl
Nancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing. 

All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help." 

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: and on her 
Facebook Fan Page

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"In Deep" Book Review

In Deep 
In Deep by Stacy Gold37063319

(Emerald Mountain #2)

Book Description:
Sophie Tremore is trying to build a career in the male-dominated world of Ski Patrol. Hard to do when her new boss is her smokin’ hot ex-lover. She hasn’t forgotten how he made her body tingle and her heart pound, although he’s making it a lot easier by treating her like she’s incompetent—when he’s not ignoring her existence altogether.

Emerald Mountain Ski Patrol Director Max Demford has been doing his best to avoid working with his feisty former flame, given his judgment is clouded by those eight mind-blowing weeks two years ago. Ski patrol is dangerous enough, and no way could he handle another person he cares about getting hurt on the mountain.

Forced to work together, their simmering attraction becomes difficult to ignore. When Sophie gets caught in a slide, an adrenaline-filled day could turn into a spectacular night they will never forget—one that could risk both their careers.

My Book Review:   Well, I love snow, I love romance, I don't know how to ski, but I do love a man who wants to protect me.   Max wants to protect Sophie whom he loved fiercely so time ago, before he and she parted ways.   She has no idea what he was doing when they were apart, but they do feel an irrestible attraction towards each other.  But the dilemma remains that they are working together and the work policy states that there is to be no fraternization among employees.  Yet they are having a difficult, in fact, impossible time obeying that policy.
              Max and Sophie are amazing characters.  They are lovable and the author makes them so real that I felt like they were old friends of mine.   Max stole my heart.  Sophie may have gotten mad at Max for not allowing her to do the job duties she is trained for, because he is fierce in his desire to protect her.  This is a quick read as it is not as long as a novel, but longer than a traditional novella. I like books that I can read in a few hours as I live a very busy lifestyle. 
                I am rating this book 4 stars.
I was given a copy of this book from netgalley and The Wild Rose Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:
Stacy  Gold

Compulsive tea drinker. Outdoor sports junkie. Lover of good (and bad) puns. 

Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors (Think Sarina Bowen or Elle Kennedy, but with skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, etc. instead of hockey/team sports). 

When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.