Review, Blog Tour, & Giveaway: Friction by Sandra Brown

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**Be sure to check the links at the end to enter the giveaway**

25114548I haven’t read Sandra Brown in years. This book is a big reminder that I shouldn’t overlook authors just because I’ve read them and because they are well known….yes, there are some authors out there that I believe have gotten lax over the years and taken their popularity for granted, not putting out their best efforts, however, Brown has shown me in this novel that she isn’t one of them.

From the very first chapter, I couldn’t read fast enough to hear all of Crawford Hunt’s story. Hunt is a Texas Ranger that is seeking back custody of his five-year old daughter, Georgia. After an unexpected episode happens during the custody proceedings, Ranger Hunt finds himself as the rescuer of the sitting family court Judge Holly Spencer. Once this happens the action never stops.

I loved this book, but I couldn’t help to be to look for some unexpected twist. Some hidden motives behind the obvious that made some of the characters act out the way they did. That never really happened. However, that doesn’t mean I was disappointed. Sometimes, as in real life, people hold onto the past and let it dictate how they act in the present. So although I found some of the storyline a stretch, in other ways, I found that maybe at the end of the day, those stretches, in fact, kept the story real to life.

I believe Ranger Hunt’s behavior in the past was a bit “gun-ho” and, indeed, reckless. As much as it pains me to say, I found his behavior, many times, in this book the exact same way. I couldn’t believe how he handled some of the situations. TBF, yes, it would have been nice to see that he was less reckless now as the years went on…but is life really that way? I don’t imagine he will ever change. He will always be reckless, however, his heart is often in the right place, and his intentions always seem to be. The fact that I even say that about a fictional character just points out how much I really enjoyed this book!

Whilst I didn’t think Judge Spencer acted reckless in her past, I did find some of her behaviour in the present a bit reckless. Having said that, I can’t exactly say I wouldn’t have acted the exact same way if I were in the same situation. At the end of the day there were several characters I really enjoyed in the novel. I genuinely wanted things to turn out okay for them as well.

Bottom line, I started this book and couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Once I finished the novel I was sad that my adventure was over and I was already worried about trying to pick up another book that would leave me half as satisfied as this one did.

If you’re a Sandra Brown fan this book will not disappoint you. If you’ve never read Sandra Brown, this book should convince you to become a fan. Finally, if you’re like me and just a lax fan that’s been away for a few years, this book will remind you of what a fun writer she is! Don’t hesitate, run out and grab your copy now!!!

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley, Grand Central Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

Follow the rest of today’s Sandra Brown Friction tour right Here

Buy it now Friction by Sandra Brown

Giveaway <a href="http://a Rafflecopter giveaway “>10x coffee cup plus a signed copy of Friction

Review: Be My Valentino by Sandra D. Bricker 

  

This second book in the Jessie Stanton series finds Jessie and Danny developing their relationship, the Feebs taking liberties with Jessie’s new life, and Jack Stanton getting a little bit of what he deserves. You’ll also find yummy shopping, fancy clothes wearing,  and charming dates. 

I enjoyed this book – love the characters, the detective work and the faith aspect. I’m ambivalent about Danny. He seems too good to be true. I guess I expect that in a straight up romance, but not in a mystery series, as light as it might be. I do appreciate Danny’s love for Jessie, the entrepreneurial spirit of Ms. Stanton (Hart!) — and the wonderful support of her friends. 

The writing seemed to be a little looser than usual for a Bricker read. Overuse of the word “snickered” bothered me for some reason, and some of the chapters could have been tightened up. 

I like Bricker’s talent for continuity, and for integrating faith issues in a realistic and subtle way. 

I’m awaiting book number 3! 

-calliope

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Review: Stormfront by K.R.Conway

01 stoAnother fun and exciting installment!! Stormfront takes place right after Undertow, so the action never stops. So you MUST read it first.

Eila has a lot to accomplish in this book. Besides trying to heal up after the Breakers incident, she must learn how to control her power and not kill herself in the process. She has so much power that needs to be tapped, in order for her to properly defend herself. She can’t always rely on Raef, Kian, RJ and Ana to be there.

In the midst of all the training and fighting for their lives, a few new things pop up. Raef and Eila realize that they can’t be apart. They mean to much to each to try and back away anymore. I was hope this would happen. 🙂 We find out exactly who Christian is, in all of this. I knew there was something special about him!! And let’s not forget Rillian!! Oh my gosh! What a surprise he was. I never would’ve thought of him as an asset.

This group of misfits have each other’s backs and will do everything they can to help Eila grow to her full potential. They all love each other and will fight to the death, in a heartbeat, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

I can’t wait to read the next book and see Eila come into her own. And after that last sentence!!! GAH!!!! I NEED IT NOW!!!!

~Melpomene

Buy Stormfront (Undertow Book 2)

Grab Undertow first and get caught up.

Review: Malevolent by Jana DeLeon

51bf4t0pbbL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_There’s something to be said for a good murder mystery. I hesitate to use the term “cozy mystery” because that’s always seemed like such a contradiction to me. But still. I’m not talking about one of the serious psychological thrillers full of blood and gore that leaves you sleeping with the lights on for a week. What I like from time to time is a well-written mystery with a little bit of murder thrown in for good measure. And this introduction to a new series from Jana DeLeon fits that description perfectly.

Shaye Archer is finally getting her life on track after a traumatic childhood, to say the least. And she’s realizing her dream of owning her own business with the opening of a private investigator business. But before all the furniture is even delivered, her first client shows up at her door. Emma has had trauma of her own, escaping her abusive husband only by killing him. So then how can he be stalking her if he’s dead? When she enlists Shaye to help her find the answers she so desperately needs, both of them find themselves in greater danger than they could ever have imagined.

This is a great mystery with great characters. The story moves along nicely, and there’s plenty of suspense along with a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I especially love the lead character, Shaye, and can’t wait to dive in to her next adventure coming out this fall!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Malevolent (Shaye Archer Series Book 1)

Cover Reveal: Like the Red Sky at Morning by Brielle Skye

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I really enjoyed Solitude of a Birdcage. After I finished the last page of the novel (See my review here!) I hoped that there would be a second book…so you can imagine my excitement when Ms Skye contacted me and confirmed my suspicions of a sequel! I’m so excited that I get to be one of the bloggers to share the cover for the new book with you!

I seriously can’t wait to read this new book! The release date will be October 27, 2015 so please make sure you mark your calendars!

The description has me wondering what is going to happen and I can’t wait to revisit Maxie, Van and Isaac again.

Synopsis
The story of Maxie and Isaac continues in the sequel to SOLITUDE OF A BIRDCAGE as the two lovers learn that some memories can’t be erased, and the past is never far behind.

She had a choice, and she chose him, only to be left guilt-ridden and heartbroken. Now Maxie Shannen is determined to move on from the past she shared with Isaac Cole—especially since he still doesn’t remember it.

Seeking comfort in a new job, dreams of becoming a chef, and a scheme that may be the very escape she needs, Maxie counts down the days until she’s out of the apartment she shares with Van and Isaac for good. But as she draws closer to her goals, she finds herself facing a new temptation as intoxicating—and as forbidden—as the last.

Torn between the past and the future, truth and pretense, a new love and the old, Maxie will once again be forced to make a decision that will leave her with everything she’s ever wanted, or nothing at all.

You can check out more on the book Like the Red Sky at Morning on Goodreads.

Can’t wait until October to dive into Like the Red Sky at Morning? If you leave a review of Book I of the Forget Me Not series, Solitude of a Birdcage, on Amazon, you’ll get an exclusive, first look at the first TEN CHAPTERS of Red Sky. For details, click here

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The author Brielle Skye is from New York where writing, reading, crocheting, and traveling keep her busy. She is the founder of the New York City Writers Network, an organization dedicated to uniting the very people who share her passion for words.

Look for my review in the months to come…and make sure you add both books to your TBR reading list!

Until next time…

Urania xx

Cover Review: Fated to be Yours by Jodie Larson

CoverSUPER excited for this book!!!! This is one of my dear friend’s new book and I can’t wait til I get my hands on it. But until I do, here is a little bit about it, and of course, the cover.

SYNOPSIS

Hearts are fragile, and mine's been shattered before…
 
I have always thought of love in the abstract, never something to come true. My past has shown me time after time that those who are supposed to love you will only lead you to disappointment. Destiny, fate, chance…those are things that I never believed in.
 
Until him.
 
A chance encounter with a distinct pair of blue eyes and a heart-melting smile challenges my knowledge of life and love.
 
Because there's something about this stranger that has me believing in the possibility of more…
 
 

“This is what I want to do this afternoon. I want to have a lazy day in the park with you.”
 
My heart expands as he runs his hands down my arms, pulling me close to his chest.
 
“That sounds perfect.”
 
He leads us down a path lined with lush green trees overhead. He points out the many gardens that line the park until we come across the perfect spot.
 
“There,” Andrew says, referring to a large shady tree just in front of us. “That looks like a good place.”
 
We walk to the tree and he gently pulls me down between his legs as he props himself against the large trunk. My arms drape over my knees, pulling them to my chest. But then I’m pulled back as warm arms wrap around me, anchoring my body to his. He’s holding me like he never wants to let me go.
 
“So this is what you wanted to do the most with me today?” I ask, craning my neck to the side to get a good look at him. He leans into me, kissing my forehead with a slight smile. I relax into his body, letting my head fall onto his shoulder. Our fingers play with each other, gently twisting around and exploring the expense of skin on each other’s forearms.
 
“Yes, this is what I wanted to do with you today. I just want to lay here in the park with you, holding you in my arms.”
 
That has to be one of the most romantic things anyone has ever said to me. Okay, so no one has ever actually said anything romantic to me before Andrew but still. To him, it seems to be the most natural thing to do. It’s like second nature the way he fusses over me or makes sure that I never have to open my own door. That’s just a part of Andrew, it’s who he is and it’s a part of him I absolutely have come to love and adore.
 
“I love it. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the day.” 
 
I lean over, placing a small row of kisses against his jaw before relaxing back into him. The slight chill of the autumn breeze hardly affects me, not with the heat of Andrew completely surrounding me, keeping me safe and warm. He’s like my own personal blanket, sheltering me from the outside elements.
 
The sway of the branches mesmerizes me, watching them blow softly with the wind. The excited giggles of nearby children float with the breeze, along with the exotic fragrance of wildflowers. It’s like sensory overload. I remove my sunglasses, casting them to the side, enjoying the sun’s rays at it hits my face through the leaves.
 
“You travel a lot for work, right?” I ask.
 
He nods his head. “Not terribly often but enough. It all depends on if there’s something that needs to be done at one of the centers or if I need to scout out new places to build one.”
 
“Do you find it difficult being away often?”
 
“Sometimes. There are days where I would much rather be relaxing at home or out with my mates instead of sitting in hotel rooms in other countries. But it comes with the job.”
 
“Okay, so where is the most exciting place that you’ve traveled to so far?”
 
Andrew pauses to think about his answer. “For work or for holiday?”
 
“Either one.”
 
“Turks and Caicos. A bunch of my mates and I decided to go on a holiday there after graduation. We stayed on the Grand Turk Island at one of the all-inclusive resorts there. It was pure heaven. Lots of sun, turquoise blue water and white sand beaches everywhere. We even did some snorkeling at the coral reefs. It was a grand holiday before joining the Foundation on a permanent basis.”
 
I smile and close my eyes, picturing those white sand beaches as he describes them. “That sounds like heaven. I’d love to go somewhere like that.”
 
“What about you? Where’s the most exciting place that you’ve traveled before?”
 
I give a nervous laugh and fidget with my fingers. “You mean outside of London?”
 
“Yes, besides here,” he laughs into my hair.
 
“Well, I haven’t really been anywhere before. I didn’t travel much as a child. We didn’t exactly do family vacations or anything like that.”
 
“Why not?”
 
I sit up slightly and take a deep breath, blowing it out slowly. Well, it’s now or never.
 
 

Jodie Larson is a wife and mother to four beautiful girls, making their home in northern Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. When she isn’t running around to various activities or working her regular job, you can find her sitting in her favorite spot reading her new favorite book or camped out somewhere quiet trying to write her next manuscript. She’s addicted to reading (just ask her kids or husband) and loves talking books even more with her friends. She’s also a lover of all things romance and happily ever afters, whether in movies or in books, as shown in her extensive collection of both.

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Review: Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt

  
Ohmygoodnessilovedthisbook. 

Lucy has been living in Boston – the same city as her überfeminist mother for the past two decades. With her egomania and focus on art, Fiona has managed to simultaneously  humiliate, neglect and drive away Lucy. So Lucy reaches out to her sister Juliet in the western Lake District of Cumbria, England. Juliet takes Lucy in, and there begins the roller coaster of estranged sisters, emotional numbness, putting on a happy front, and trying to find love in all the right places. 

Though it reads like chick lit, Rainy Day Sisters illustrates some heavy inner conflicts. Hewitt masterfully describes the mental anguish of the sisters and their love interests. Totally believable. Alex’s daughters were written well, also, from the sullen and reserved teenager to the perky and innocent primary-grader. Best of all were the townspeople of Hartley-by-the-Sea. They were quirky but not over the top. They developed authentically and I was just as interested in their stories as I was in Lucy, Juliet, Alex and Peter. 

I laughed and cried and sighed at the happily ever after… And then I ran to Amazon.com looking for the next one in the series. Which isn’t out yet. Because this one was just released. 🙂 But I was just so excited to hear more about the realistic, endearing, and lovely people in the HARTLEY-BY-THE-SEA. 

-calliope

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Review: Undertow by K.R.Conway

01 undThis is EXACTLY what a young adult book should be like. Action, adventure and a bit of romance, but not enough to make you blush. I’ve been trying to find YA books for my kids to be able to read, and this one is right up their alley. So I’m going to keep reading this series and then let them have it. They’re not good with waiting for their next book, so I’ll wait til it’s complete, before I tell them about it. 🙂

SYNOPSIS
Eila Walker knows luck is not a friend, so she is downright shocked to inherit a million-dollar Cape Cod home. And yeah, her new town isn’t perfect: the cheerleaders are heinous clones, the local undertow can kill ya, and her Great Grams was supposedly fried by lightning in the harbor square. Still, Eila is hopeful her luckless days are in the past . . . until history decides to repeat itself.

When Raef O’Reilly becomes her friendly, yet weirdly protective shadow, Eila thinks life is pretty darn perfect – until she is hauled beneath the waves by an unnatural undertow. Revealing coal-black eyes and iron-like strength as he rescues her, Raef can no longer hide what he is . . . or what she can do. Eila, last of her kind, can supposedly channel the power of human souls, while Raef is more adept at stealing them. Even worse, the legend about her ancestor isn’t such a myth, since Eila’s grandmother was one kick-butt warrior until her lightning-like power backfired. A power that is written all over Eila’s DNA.

Determined to stay one step ahead of a dangerous clan that is hunting her, Raef, along with three unlikely allies, will do all they can to protect her. But as hidden pieces of their brutal histories unravel, Eila begins to understand just what went down in the harbor square. She soon realizes that following in her grandmother’s fearless footsteps may be the only way to save those she loves . . . including Raef.

Eila moves to a new place and discovers that the life she thought she had, is now changed. Her family has a history that needs to be discovered and she now has powers that she never knew she had. With the help of Raef, and a few others, they set out to uncover the truth and to find a way to keep safe as the enemies close in on her.

The action made my heart race. The romance made my stomach flutter. I am looking forward to see how the group will work together and find a way to live in safety.

~Melpomene

Buy Undertow

Review: Newton’s Football by Allen St. John and Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D.  

  

I was supposed to read this two years ago when I first joined NetGalley. I just never got in the mood to read about football… until a couple of weeks ago when a near-and-dear-one started playing youth football. I figured this book might help me understand a few things, plus it appealed to the “I need to know how things work” geek in me. 

Well, it’s certainly a scientific book. I mean, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist, but it would help if you can remember some basic high school physics and math. It’s also definitely a football book. The authors interviewed athletes and coaches, they use football lingo, and they refer to historical football games and their importance in the evolution of football. 

I understood it on a basic level, but I certainly had LOTS of questions.  I interrogated my go-to football expert about the no-huddle, a nickel, declaring eligibility for receiving passes, and his personal thoughts about football plays that bent the rules.  Seriously. This book showed me how much I really don’t know about the game. 

Even though I’m not well-versed in the grid-iron world, Newton’s Football was FASCINATING. I especially loved the examples of how changing one little thing in one particilar game had ripple effects in subsequent football games. And I appreciated the discussion on proper tackling and helmet safety. (There’s some progressive thinking in those chapters!)

Reading Newton’s Football was work for me, mostly because I went in pretty clueless about plays and positions. But if you’re a football fan and you want a fresh perspective on the sport — or if you’re not but you’re bold and curious like me — go for it.

-calliope
Buy NEWTON’S FOOTBALL

Review: Optical Delusions in Deadtown by Ann Charles

11830198Wow! What happened? I loved the first book so very much! This one? Meh…..

Again, I must stress, I don’t understand these stupid covers at all! I still look at them and think of something from “True Blood” or something along those lines….very different from what the books really are about….yes, there is a bit of paranormal in these novels….but they are only a tiny slice of plot…and even at that the main character is always questioning if it even exists….so readers should be warned, if they are looking for some bad arse kicking sexy momma going off killing vampires/werewolves/zombies well they really won’t find that here……just a mention of a ghost or two….

The first book centers around spunky and single Violet Parker and her attempts to support herself and her two children, whilst also trying to maintain her sanity as she deals with all sorts of trouble that only a spunky, single independent woman could get in to. It’s full of laughs and near misses and heart tugging moments that you have no chance of escaping without loving Violet and her children.

This book? We hardly have even a glimpse of her children. Much of the book is spent with Violet trying to win over Doc…or at least getting him into a bed…..whilst at the same time she is playing best mate to her friend that fancies herself in love with Doc as well. At no point does she come clean.

Her dedication to being independent and her children that I so admired in book one really seems to take a back burner in this installment. Yes, you can be single, have kids, and fancy a man….yes, you can even sleep with said man…..but I felt that the entire novel was more focused on that then even the mystery in this novel….

I almost felt like I was reading some Janet Evanovich novel….and not a very entertaining one at that….

again….such a let down after book number one….

sigh…..

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Optical Delusions in Deadtown by Ann Charles