Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Robyn Carr and Thunder Point are back!

*******Thank you NetGalley for an Advanced copy of this title********

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment. 

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

We met Ginger during the last book, where she came to live with Ray Ann after the death of her child. Her parents felt like she was spiraling downwards and thought some time away would help. Grace hired Ginger to help in the flower shop, which turned out to be exactly what Ginger needed.

Since moving to Thunder Point, Ginger has finally learned to cope with her grief and start to live again. She loves working in the flower shop and learns new things every day. Her encounter with Peyton's brother aside, she has a great time at the Lacoumette wedding. Afterwards, Matt comes to apologize and they start seeing each other; as friends. But they both know that they feel much more for each other.

Neither really feel like they can let go of the past to make a future together. Matt has deeply guarded secrets about his marriage that he doesn't want anyone to know. All of his built up anger could eventually push Ginger away. At the same time, Ginger's ex husband, who abandoned her when she was pregnant, comes back and wants to see Grace again, which makes Matt seriously angry.

Of course, since we are reading Robyn Carr, we know that these two will work through their issues. Its what I love about reading contemporary romance like Carr and Mallery. There is always a happy ending. Its always interesting to see how that happy ending will come about and how the main characters deal with the obstacles in their paths.

By now y'all should know that I wasn't particularly thrilled with the first few books in this series. I am happy to say that they certainly got much, much better.  Anyways, go forth and read, my friends :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nalini Singh and the Psy-Changelings ... Why did I wait?!

For years my friend Errick has yelled at me for not reading this series. A year ago, I read the first, I liked it, but it didn't hook me. What was I thinking!

A week ago I sat down with book two, and here I am now almost done with book four. And now I must tell EVERYONE to read this awesome series.

The first book is Slave to Sensation. Here's the book description, because y'all know I really suck at descriptions:
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”—the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

So in less than two weeks, I have zipped through from number 2, to number 11. I can't put these books down.  So first we have the Psy, an enhanced human race. They have psychic abilities that range from teleportation, telekinesis,  medical professionals, tech geniuses, etc. A hundred years ago, the Psy instituted Silence. Violence among the Psy is a thousand times worse because of their abilities, and they believed the root of violence was emotion. Silence is a process that removes emotion from the Psy, so they are pretty cold hearted and technical about everything. Two people will have a child, but there's no intimacy, its all laboratory done. And the child is given up pretty early to whatever training he or she will be doing the rest of their lives. 

Second, we have changelings. Shapeshifters if you will. They are tight knit family groups who will do anything for each other. I want to be a changeling!
Third, there are humans, who just keep on living and doing what they are doing, among the world of the Psy and the Changelings. 

This has truly been a fascinating series. The Psy are all linked by what is called the PsyNet. Every piece of information is on the PsyNet and the Net itself is a sentient being, acting sometimes like an adolescent. Its part sci-fi, and mostly romance. I only have about 3 1/2 books before I am caught up, a new one was just released a few weeks ago. Not sure what I will do after that!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Erika Johansen's Tearling series continues with "The Invasion of the Tearling"

********Thank You Edelweiss for an Advanced copy of this title************


With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
In this dazzling sequel, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine. 

I absolutely loved Queen of the Tearling, so when Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read the sequel, I absolutely jumped on it. I think I knew that this series was dystopian, but with the first book I thought it was fantasy. The sequel really jumps into the dystopian aspects of the story. 

Kelsea keeps having visions, flashbacks of a woman named Lily Mayhew; a woman who lived before the Crossing. She knows that Lily has something to do with how she is supposed to keep the Mort from taking over the Tearling. 

There are so many aspects to this story. Kelsea is changing, in appearance and in her personality. We learn more about the Red Queen and why she wants the Tearling and the sapphires. We learn a bit about Andalie and her children. And the ending, cliffhanger! Ugh!! I hate cliffhangers! I'm a terrible reviewer. Im no good about going into the details of a book. I'm just going to say.. WOW. Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Another Fool's Gold novel to tickle our fancy out June 30th :)

*******Thank you NetGalley for an Advanced copy of this title*******

After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival. 

Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss that convinces him she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid. 

In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?

Some may say that Susan Mallery's books are all the same.  Same town, many of the same people, similar love stories. But these are people who really just can't enjoy a good romance novel. I love seeing all the previous characters, the friendships and families that have become since Chasing Perfect came out five years ago. Now, 16 books into the series with a couple of novellas and three scheduled to release yet this year, we are drawn back to Fools Gold. I want to live there, honestly!

Phoebe took the fall for her boss and has the bad end of the stick. She agrees to accompany her friend Maya to Fools Gold to help Maya's stepbrother with a cattle drive. One that a teenage boy set up, by accident, because he had published a fake vacation package on a real website. Unfortunately, Chase and his friends spent the money people sent in and were unable to refund it. Zane is furious with Chase and decides that the best thing would be to do the cattle drive and make his brother work to amend the situation. 

Phoebe  certainly isn't a ranch girl, but she loves the ranch. And seeing handsome Zane certainly isn't a bad thing. They are drawn to each other, but neither feel its a good situation. Phoebe is from LA and has a life to return to. Zane has done his best not to let anyone close to him. His parents marriage and his previous marriage showed that love is not all its cracked up to be.

But hey, its Fools Gold, so no worries, there is a happy ending!

As always, Ms Mallery has given us a fantastic read. As soon as  I pick up her titles, I can't put them down until I have finished them. They are feel-good, heartwarming... I need more synonyms. Thanks, Ms Mallery, for another amazing read :)

Sharon Sala brings us a new novel, I'll Stand By You

***Thank you Edelweiss for an Advanced copy of this title****
No one is alone
Dori Grant is no stranger to hardship. As a young single mother in the gossip-fueled town of Blessings, Georgia, she's weathered the storm of small-town disapproval most of her life. But when Dori loses everything within the span of an evening, she realizes she has no choice but to turn to her neighbors.
As long as there is love to give
Everyone says the Pine boys are no good, but Johnny Pine has been proving the gossips wrong ever since his mother died and he took over raising his brothers. His heart goes out to the young mother and child abandoned by the good people of Blessings. Maybe he can be the one to change all that...

So I think everyone knows that I adore Sharon Sala. She is an extremely talented author, and if you follow her on Facebook, shes is just an amazing person. Her romantic suspense trilogies have kept me occupied for the last several years.  This new novel, which I believe is the first in the new Blessings, Georgia series, is something different for Sala.
Because of the age of the characters, I would call it New Adult instead of the usual contemporary romance. The characters are barely out of high school, however they are much more mature for their age. Dori is a young single mother, not even eighteen yet. She lives with her father who helps take care of baby Luther. One day, though, she comes home and her house is on fire. Her father and the baby make it out, but her father has a heart attack and dies suddenly. Dori is completely lost without him and no idea what to do. Her neighbors turn their backs on her, and she has nowhere to go.
Johnny Pine fought for custody of his little brothers when their mother passed away and barely won. He works construction, and works hard, and takes care of his little brothers. They don't have much money, but they are getting along just fine. One night as they are out and about, they come upon the house fire and see Dori and her baby being shunned by their neighbors. Johnny has known Dori, not well, but knows her. He stops and picks her and the baby up and takes them to his house.
Dori has as support network she never even knew she had, starting with the amazing ladies at the beauty shop. After staying a few days with Johnny, and his help getting through the funeral, she makes an agreement with Johnny to help take care of the boys while he is at work. School is almost done for the summer and babysitters and daycares are expensive. Dori agrees to stay with Johnny and help out.  Dori didn't know what she would do with out Johnny.
But circumstances just can't leave them alone and a nosy DHS lady as well as Luther's father showing up will cause problems. 
Where as the age of the main characters kind of bothered me, the entire story came together well.