Archives for June 2022

* Review * SMOKE SCREEN by Adrienne Giordano

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SMOKE SCREEN by Adrienne GiordanoSmoke Screen by Adrienne Giordano
Series: Steele Ridge: The Blackwells #2
Published by Steele Ridge Publishing on June 21, 2022
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In the riveting, opposites-attract second installment of Steele Ridge: The Blackwells, a charming recovery agent questions his role in the family business until his next case lands him in the middle of a jewelry heist with an intoxicating museum manager as the prime suspect.

Acquisitions manager Maddy Carmichael has an urgent problem. Someone has stolen priceless jewels from the Thompson Presidential Center, including pieces belonging to the Queen of England. The museum’s reputation depends on retrieving the jewels before news of the theft leaks, so Maddy turns to Phin Blackwell, of Blackwell Asset Recovery Services. BARS is known for doing whatever it takes to satisfy their clients. When Maddy meets the model-handsome Phin, she wonders how far that policy goes.

Phin jumps at the chance to land the Thompson case. Recovering the queen’s jewels could cement BARS as one of the top agencies in the field. It’s all business, until Phin realizes he can’t stop thinking about Maddy’s blue eyes and tempting curves.

As the professional lines blur, the FBI turns their investigative eye on Maddy. Phin must decide whether to help her and risk bringing down his family’s company or play it safe and lose the woman who’s quickly becoming the most important person in his life.


Top notch suspense! The second book in the Steele Ridge: The Blackwells series did not disappoint as we are quickly thrust into an action packed mystery as red hot passion flares it’s head between Phin and Maddy. I loved every minute of their story, but I wanted more closure at the end regarding her job. I’m looking forward to more of these hunky Blackwells and their endearing family!

Maddy is kindhearted and sincere and seeing her world crumble down around her quickly immerses her into a reader’s heart.

Phin is a sweetheart whose loyalty to his family has left him at a crossroad when Maddy comes into his life and adds a new dimension.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone that enjoys a close knit family backdrop as danger and intrigue wraps them up in caper after caper as each sibling finds their true love.


* Review * THE PERFECT HEIR by Monique Moreau

* Review * THE PERFECT HEIR by Monique MoreauThe Perfect Heir by Monique Moreau
Series: The Lupu Chronicles #4
on June 16, 2022
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I am called the Virgin Queen and I can never marry.


I am Clara Hagi, the Virgin Queen. I may not be allowed to marry, but I will be the first woman to rule a mafia clan.

I ache for Tatum, the consilier of the Lupu family. I love his piercing black eyes, his tall, muscle-bound frame, his touch, his commands, his beguiling strain of vulnerability—I love it all.

The one time and only time he kissed me—my first kiss—was a mistake.

That’s what he called it.

A mistake.

He’ll regret those words; I’ll make sure of it.


Nothing good came from kissing that girl, Clara. A girl whose clan hates mine. A girl who’s off-limits. A girl I should loathe.

As consilier, I live and breathe the Lupu clan, and I do it perfectly. I’m charged with getting the Virgin Queen under control. Once I do, my clan will rule LA, just as it rules NYC.

Every time I see her, I remember. Every time, we spar, I want to kiss her. Every time we accidentally touch, I ache for her.

One kiss would never be enough. Maybe bedding her will get her out of my system, virginity bedamned.

Make her pay for twisting me inside out.

Make her hurt a little.

Purge her from my body and mind.

She deserves better than a tainted man like me, but what if I fall for the Virgin Queen?


An explosive connection leads to so much angsty goodness! Book four in The Lupu Chronicles series brings us Tatum’s story and it’s emotional and addictive. I loved the book, but I was disappointed with how things were left with the fam at the end. I’m not sure if Sebastian is getting a book or not, but I hope this isn’t the last we see of the Lupu clan and hope to once day see a bit more of Tatum with them.

Clara is confident and speaks her mind, so watching her fall for Tatum and learn a whole other side of herself is really fun.

Tatum is a sweetheart and though he works side by side with danger every day, he’s goodhearted and sincere.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys a mafia romance with lots of endearing characters, lots of feels and so much passion!


* Review * HARMONY OF FIRE by Brian Feehan

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * HARMONY OF FIRE by Brian FeehanHarmony of Fire by Brian Feehan
Series: Alice & Owen #1
Published by Berkley on June 28, 2022
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The We—beings who existed long before humans ever did, filled with powerful magic—walk among us. Owen and Alice are both etherealists—rare humans born with magic who are targets for those We that wish to take it from them. At nine years old and against her will, Alice’s soul was tied to one such powerful and evil We. She escaped and was trained to be a weapon so she might one day break the bond and safely return home. Everything is going to plan…until she meets Owen.

Owen is a musician who is trying to outrun his past while keeping those around him safe in an increasingly dangerous world. Owen keeps them on the move until a band of hunters crosses their path. Owen must go home—a place he swore he’d never return to—and seek protection from the We who could destroy them. And then he meets Alice. Only through finding each other do either Alice or Owen have a chance of survival.


A spectacular debut voice filled with intrical character building, dynamic atmosphere and great potential in the fantasy/paranormal field! Brian Feehan thrusts his reader quickly into the heart of the fantasy world he has spun when he lays the groundwork for Alice and Owen’s lives leading up to the moment they meet. While I was invested quickly in his main characters and each of their support systems, there was a bit of a disconnect periodically for me as time shifted frequently with an overpowering back story. Once Alice and Owen connect and their journey begins side by side the pace drastically picks up and you’ll be hooked quickly and invested in this powerful couple. I’m looking forward to more of their story in the series yet to come!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantasy world filled with good and evil as complex characters thrust themselves into your heart and take you along for the ride of a lifetime as their journey explodes with power, drama and loads of feels!


* Review * VIEW FROM ABOVE by Nichole Severn

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * VIEW FROM ABOVE by Nichole SevernView from Above by Nichole Severn
Series: Hunting Grounds #4
Published by Nichole Severn Books, LLC on June 21, 2022
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A trauma therapist escaping her father’s legacy.
A homicide detective who can’t prove murder.
A case that can heal their old wounds or send them over the edge.

When an innocent woman plunges to her death, Mallory Kotite is convinced there’s a connection to her father’s supposed suicide. Desperate to be free of the family legal empire—and the suffering at the hands of a self-made tyrant—she convinces the investigating detective to take a second look. Only to find her life and her heart in danger.

Detective Payton Nichols can’t hold onto a partner. He’s good at understanding evidence. People are a different puzzle altogether. But faced with a mistake on his last case, Payton must rely on Mallory’s insights into her father’s life. He’s not a project for the assertive therapist to fix, but as desire ramps up between them and a killer targets Mallory, he finds himself exposed to a past better left forgotten.

With a serial killer closing in, Mallory and Payton don’t have much choice. Learn to trust one another or get their own view from above.


High intensity intrigue from start to finish! The fourth book in the Hunting Ground series grabbed my attention from the first page and took me through a rollercoaster ride of danger, love and healing. My favorite of the series!

Mallory is a loyal and articulate character who is determined to find answers to right a wrong even though it takes her through an emotional journey.

Payton is intense and solitary and watching him actually let someone in for a change is heartwarming.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys lots of intrigue, deep danger and heartfelt emotional journeys.


* Review * BIG SHOT by Kat Mizera

* Review * BIG SHOT by Kat MizeraBig Shot by Kat Mizera
Series: Lauderdale Knights #2
on June 14, 2022
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Welcome to Fort Lauderdale—where the days are hot and the Knights are hotter.

I’ve always said I would settle down when the time—and the woman—was right. So having a friends-with-benefits relationship fits right into my plans. Until it doesn’t. The line between friendship and wanting more with the gorgeous doctor is blurring with each passing day. The more I get to know her, the harder it gets to stay away. I need to show Chloe there’s more to us than just chemistry… but first I have to admit it to myself.

I thought I had my life all mapped out. College, medical school, and then a demanding career as a successful doctor. Now I’m having doubts about all of it, and the last thing I need is a professional athlete with abs for days to add to my distraction and derail my plans. Falling for a big shot hockey player like Jude would be a mistake. But everything is so good between us— there’s no way I can just walk away.


Such down-to-earth characters! The second book in the Lauderdale Knights series heats up quickly as a casual fling turns all too real between hunky hockey pro Jude and floundering doc Chloe. I was hooked on their friendship and chemistry right off the bat and enjoyed watching them fall when they least expected it.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone that enjoys hockey romance with strong camaraderie between teammates, friends and soon to be happily ever afters.


* Review * JOCK WANTED by Kate Meader

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * JOCK WANTED by Kate MeaderJock Wanted by Kate Meader
Series: Rookie Rebels #7
Published by Kate Meader LLC on June 14, 2022
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She has her heart set on a hockey player. Any hockey player.

When the new general manager of the Chicago Rebels tasks Tara Becker with faking it with one of his players to help clean up the naughty jock's act, she's all over it. She'll make that misbehaving hunk of muscle look good and get her dream guy into the bargain.

Only the path from fake to real is riddled with thorns . . .

New Rebels GM Hale Fitzpatrick thinks ditzy blonde and wannabe WAG Tara is the perfect solution to his PR problem - until she isn't. Soon Fitz realizes that maybe he doesn't have control of the strings after all . . . especially when he starts to fall for his pretty little puppet.

A fake relationship hockey romance - with a twist!


An undeniable attraction! I couldn’t have loved Hale and Tara together more, but I felt the development of their relationship suffered somewhat from the secondary storyline that was playing her off of others too much. I would have loved if we could have seen them together once they were truly together more to see them shine. Great characters and lots of heart!

Hale AKA Fitz was such an endearing character. I loved every minute of him and only wanted more pages to love him in.

Tara is complex and covering up so much of her true self the majority of the book. I enjoyed seeing her finally let her cards show and receive love regardless.

I recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys a character driven hockey team that loves hard and always has a smile and support for a teammate.


* Review * MARCUS by Lori Foster

* Review * MARCUS by Lori FosterMarcus by Lori Foster
Series: A Love Undercover Novella
Published by HQN Books on June 1, 2022
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They’ve been crushing on each other for months… So what’s holding them back?

A sizzling new Love Undercover novella

For Marcus Bareden, Lucy Cortland is more than the girl next door. She’s beautiful, funny and easy to talk to. He’d really like to get closer, but something about her occasional wariness sets off his spidey sense. When he was nine, Marcus was plucked from an abusive situation and adopted by the most amazing parents a boy could wish for.

Lucy Cortland spent years overcoming an awful youth. Now, she’s got a great job, her own place and a super sexy neighbor. Marcus is warm, kind and they’ve become good friends. She’s only known him a few months, but their chemistry is undeniable. Yet for Lucy, getting close isn’t possible.

Lucy believes no one could love her after what she’s been through. No one could understand…except maybe the guy next door, who knows how it feels to be mistreated and how hard it can be to learn to hope—even love—again.

Overflowing with heart! Lori Foster is taking a jump back into her Love Undercover world with this year’s charity novella and I couldn’t have loved Marcus and Lucy more. Yes, it’s novella length so the pace is quick, but the depth of emotion and signature warmth we are used to from Foster was spot on. I can’t wait to see more of the friends we were introduced to!

Seeing Marcus all grown up, living a great life and falling for his forever love is super heartwarming to fans of the series.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a short dive into an emotional story filled with charm.


* Review * THE FRIENDSHIP PACT by Jill Shalvis

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * THE FRIENDSHIP PACT by Jill ShalvisThe Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis
Series: The Sunrise Cove Series #2
Published by Avon on June 14, 2022
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Alone in the world, Tae Holmes and her mother April pretty much raised each other, but as Tae starts asking questions about the father she’s never met, April, for the first time in her life, goes silent. To make matters worse, Tae is dangerously close to broke and just manages to avoid financial meltdown when she lands a shiny new contract with an adventure company for athletes with disabilities and wounded warriors.

Her first big fundraiser event falls flat, but what starts out as a terrible, horrible, no-good night turns into something else entirely when Tae finds herself face-to-face with Riggs Copeland. She hasn’t seen the former Marine since their brief fling in high school, and while still intensely drawn to him, she likes her past burned and buried, thank you very much. Hence their friendship pact.

But when April oddly refuses to help Tae track down her father, it’s Riggs who unexpectedly comes to her aid. On a hunt to unlock the past, the two of them find themselves on a wild ride and learn a shocking truth, while also reluctantly bonding in a way neither had seen coming. Now Tae must decide whether she’s going to choose love … or walk away from her own happiness.


Shalvis is synonymous with humor and heartfelt characters! The second book in the Sunrise Cove series brings together two scarred souls who once crossed paths at pivotal moments in each others lives and are now passing in the wind … until feelings start to grow, secrets are uncovered that could change everything and happily ever after doesn’t seem so impossible anymore. Highly enjoyed this story!

Tae is feisty and tenacious and doesn’t believe life is the sunshine and roses that some try to pass it off to be. I really enjoyed seeing her let her guard down when it came to Riggs, yet still play hard ball about not letting him think he had won her over.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone that enjoys down to earth characters with hearts of gold and sass galore.


* Review * OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY by Kristan Higgins

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY by Kristan HigginsOut of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins
Published by Berkley on June 7, 2022
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Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn’t heartbroken. She’s furious.

Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife, and nurse-midwife, she’s used to caring for other people . . . not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband’s wedding dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping.

She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she’s had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in, of all people, Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie twenty years ago. And then there’s Ophelia, her ex-husband’s oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend.

It’s the end of Lillie’s life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you . . . out of the clear blue sky.


An exhilarating dash of love, life and laughter as one life crumbles and another begins! There is a lot of goodness in this story of loss, reconnection and growth as life as one knew it drastically changes, but the growth she learns from it makes her stronger than ever in the end. There’s witty humor that will really tickle your funny bone and there is an emotional depth in several of the characters that will be easily relatable. While it felt a little long-winded and disjointed on occasion when flipping viewpoints, there was great enjoyment between these pages and I walked away with a smile on my face.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a boatload of drama, lots of humor, sadness as well as joy and more heartwarming moments than you’ll know what to do with.


* Review * STRANDED IN THE MOUNTAINS by Geri Krotow

* Review * STRANDED IN THE MOUNTAINS by Geri KrotowStranded in the Mountains by Geri Krotow
Published by Inspirational Mountain Rescue Collection on May 24, 2022
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They survived the crash…

Now can they escape the wilderness?

Part-time treasure hunter Daniel Sturges’s secret assignment was simple—find a wrecked WWII B-17 and recover the artifacts inside. But now he’s stranded with fellow crash survivor Cassie Edmunds, who's searching for the same plane, and they’ll have to trust one another with their lives. With temperatures falling in treacherous terrain, will they risk everything for the missing wreckage or discover something more valuable between them? That is, if they can stay alive...


Bonded by survival! This strongly faith based story unites two unlikely souls in a fight against the elements when their flight to a remote site strands them with the barest of resources. Each character has a back story that endears their part of the plot to the reader and watching them grow their connection throughout the wilds of the wilderness makes a powerful human interest side to the story. I liked them a lot, but would have enjoyed more relationship development once they returned to real life.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a high impact survival type romance with a strong outdoor backdrop.