Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Charlie (Cultivated #1) by Elin Peer


Charlie (Cultivated #1)Charlie by Elin Peer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB: Charles, the reserved, mysterious, and unattainable guy I had a major crush on in college, got tangled up with the wrong crowd. Being the heir to one of the largest business dynasties in the US made Charles a target for the narcissistic and cunning cult leader O’Brien. Now, I’m flying to Dublin to get him out. “

With degrees in both anthropology and psychology, twenty-seven-year-old Liv is convinced that she can resist being sucked into Conor O’Brien’s cult. But it’s been years since she and Charles last met; will he even remember her and will he trust her?

Charles and Liv are about to learn just how dangerous it is to go up against a possessive psychopath like Conor O’Brien.

Charlie is the first installment in Elin Peer’s contemporary romance series Cultivated, which offers suspense and drama. Like all her books, this one has a fast pace, lots of great dialogue, and it leaves you wanting more.


A fascinating story and masterful storytelling. This story had it all: action, suspense, intrigue, romance and redemption. What I love about Elin Peer’s stories is that I always feel I was treated to a story unlike the routine and cliche tropes that are so abundant in the romance genre. In this particular novel, we are treated to an insider look into the intense fear of family members when their loved ones are caught in the snare of a cult.

Charlotte Christensen aka Liv or Charlie met Charles Robertson at a coffee shop by accident. At the time they were both going by the nickname “Charlie”. There was a spark there, but nothing serious materialized from their college flirting. Five years later, Liv was contacted by Charles’ grandfather who wants a friend to help rescue Charles from a cult that was siphoning off his inheritance. This opportunity gave Liv another chance to reconnect with Charles, but he wasn’t the man she remembered. To save Charles, Liv had outmaneuver a sociopath a cult leader with Charles’ love and life as the prize.

I don’t know much about cult except what we see on the news but my nerves were jarred. I enjoyed the glimpse into a cult’s intricate layering in order to brainwashing people of various intelligence. It was a lesson on how masterminds sense esteem issues and use it to their advantage while gaining their absolute dedication and loyalty. It was a gently reminder that even the smartest person has vulnerabilities that can be exploited by devious people.

My favorite part of the story was Liv and Charles reconnecting. It felt like young love all over again and it added some pleasure and levity to this heavy situation. Liv and Charles were really nice individuals and they made a sweet couple. I was completely absorbed into this struggle for Charles. The author skillfully weaved an engrossing tale. What an excellent beginning to a new series.

*Thank you to the author for the advanced reading copy. My opinions of the book are solely my own.

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Falling into Fall TV (2019)


It’s Premiere time for television and I am setting my DVR to record new shows as well as making sure my old shows are still set to record.

These are the shows that I enjoy and follow religiously. What are your staple shows?

There were some very intriguing commercials advertising new shows that made me add them to my line up. I usually give shows 4-5 episodes to hook me. So by the end of October, I should know which shows are keepers and which ones aren’t for me.

What new shows caught your attention? What shows are people recommending to you?

Fiction, romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense & Thriller

Lethal Force (Brute Force, Book 3) by Lora Leigh


Lethal Nights (Brute Force, #3)Lethal Nights by Lora Leigh

BLURB:

1 bestselling author Lora Leigh turns up the heat in her latest novel of high-stakes passion and persuasion featuring the men of Brute Force. 

Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man—and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…

Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost—one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. Ilya Dragonovich and Emma Jane Preston had skirted around their attraction for different reasons. Ilya was a dangerous man and the heir to the Dragonovich family that wielded mafia power in Romania and Emma Jane was just getting out of a marriage.

When someone threatened EJ’s life, Ilya knew it was time to claim her as his own and under his protection. But the person after her was a mystery, and that was not going to fly with the Dragon heir.

I really liked Emma Jane’s independence, loyalty and inner strength. She clearly loved Ilya but she also had a clear sense of what’s right, and she also stood up for herself against her protective family. The mystery stalker wasn’t really much of a mystery although the motive was a surprise. I enjoyed their reliance on each other for comfort and love. I also see that Emma Jane was strong enough for a boss like Ilya.
The almost mythical characteristics of the dragon tattoo gave the story a supernatural feel that gave the stories Romanian family some mystique.

I had hoped for more information on EJ’s culpability with her accident as well as his mother’s motive. Maybe in the next books, we can get a resolution on those issues. But i should are looking for a book that has a mafia like presence without being overwhelming in the violence, then this romance book is for you!

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Audiobook, Blogger Themes, Fiction, Review Books, romance

Forbidden Letters (Men of The North, Book 0.5) by Elin Peer


Forbidden Letters (Men of the North #0.5)Forbidden Letters by Elin Peer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB: “Few dared live as close to the border as us. Not even the long-standing peace treaty between our two nations could make people forget how the savage Men of the North used to hunt down and kidnap women here.” 

If only Devina hadn’t been so damned curious by nature, she would have never picked up that letter thrown across the Northern wall. Now, she is horrified to see that it’s from a teenage girl who is only weeks away from being auctioned off in a bridal tournament. With no time to waste, Devina is determined to help the girl escape, even if it means putting herself in danger.

THOUGHTS: I’m amazed that with so many books in this series, author Elin Peer continues to deliver high quality story-telling, complete with a well developed plot, fleshed out characters and an emotional appealing romance. I am in awe and I’m just speechless.

Forbidden Letters is a prequel in the Men of North Series. It gave us some background into the continual breakdown of relations between the Mothlanders and Nman due to some prejudices due to the war. What a subtle commentary on societal prejudices and stereotypes, but written without a heavy-handed dose of opinion. I didn’t feel like it was preachy at all.

Devina and Tyton are one of my favorite couples in this series. They were both brave and flexible despite their societal views at that time. Tyton reminded me of Alexander Boulder, Christina’s husband, because he was protective without being overbearing or aggressively alpha. But he really worked and sacrificed to have relationship with Devina who lived in the other side of the wall. Devina reminded me of Christina for similar reasons.

Tyton’s Family was exactly what Devina needed and I love their journey to love as it was full of twist and turns. The story flowed so well, the pacing was perfect and the story left me feeling really happy at the end. The unfortunate thing was the society was even more fractured by their quest to be together.

I recommend that readers DON’T start with this one. I believe I enjoyed it more having read the other stories in order first. But you won’t be disappointed with this series. It’s entertaining and humorous and has an HEA in every book.

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Audiobook, Historical Romance, Review Books

Rebel (Women Who Dare, #1) by Beverly Jenkins ‪@authorMsBev ‬


Title: Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
Series: Women Who Dare, Book 1
Narrated By: Kim Staunton
Release Date: May 28th 2019 by Avon
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 38 mins)
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Blurb: The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins’ compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War…

Valinda Lacey’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.


I loved this book. What a brilliantly written story full of everything I love in a novel: romance, love, danger, tension, character growth, history and family/community.

Beverly Jenkins is one of my favorite authors because she doesn’t just tell a story, she educates the reader. It is so apparent that she really researches the era and crafts the story in a way that the reader will leave knowing a few more things about our American History. This story moved a fast pace, had drama and that familial ties that embraced all people especially those who don’t have loved ones around.

In this new series set in the 1860’s, Valinda Lacey moved to New Orleans to work with Nuns to educate newly empanciated slaves. She was met with some resistance from one of the nuns as well as some white supremacists who attacked her carriage. Luckily, Captain Drake LeVeq and his sister in law were on the road and rescued Valinda. It eventually led to Drake’s mother to offer Valinda a place to stay and a job. Valinda was compassionate and was clear as to she wanted to spend her life as an educator. Drake was a contractor who also volunteered at the Freedmen’s Bureau. Drake and Valinda had qualities that the other admired but there was hinderance–a prior engagement.
Valinda was engaged to be married to a man, who was a friend from her hometown, but she didn’t love him. The marriage was important to Valinda because it guaranteed her freedom from her father and the protection of her fiance’s name. Drake had his work cut out for him to show Valinda that she could have it all: freedom, family protection as well as passionate love.

I expected a well written story and I wasn’t disappointed. I listened to this story and I smiled, laughed, felt sympathy, anger and hope. These characters were resilient in spirit despite the financial or societal circumstances. This author clearly values family because the LeVeq family has been a pillar in the community for several of her books. Another thing that amazed me was the way she wrote passionate sex scenes. They weren’t crass and overly descriptive, just enough to make you feel butterflies in your belly but not look over your shoulder in embarrassment for your Pastor. Bravo!!!

I am excited for this new series Women Who Dare and I can’t wait for the next installment.

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Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, Giveaway, LGBTQ, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Review Tour & Giveaway – A.E. Via – Embracing His Syn (Nothing Special Series Book #2)


Buy Links: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Narrated By: Aiden Snow
 
Length: 11hrs 14mins
 
Nothing Special Series


Book #1 – Nothing Special – Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 – Here Comes Trouble – OUT JULY 2
Book #4 – Don’t Judge – OUT JULY 24
 
Blurb


Sergeant Corbin “Syn” Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance. But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieutenant Cashel “God” Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.

Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s overcome with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.


Just two thing needs to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long…Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.

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I enjoyed this book as much as the first installment of this series. Aiden Snow has this sexy timbre to his voice that is perfect for these characters. As the narrator, he was able to convey the various emotions in this angst-filled story.

In this book 2, a new detective Sergeant Corbin “Syn” Sydney moved from Atlanta to Philly to join Detectives Cashel Godfrey and Leonidas Day’s unorthodox yet highly effective law enforcement team. While working Syn met a skittish bartender Furious Barkley whom he found intriguing in a way he hadn’t allowed himself to consider a man in a long time. This created a tension between Sun and Furi because Furi was very comfortable with his sexuality and had been out of the closet for a long time. Then add in the fact that Furi was on the run and hiding from an abusive husband for the past couple of years. Syn and Furi had quite the obstacles to their new romance, and it gave this novel some angst.

The mystery and suspense in this novel dealing with Furi’s murdered co-workers wasn’t difficult to figure out. It got the whole task force gang involved and added danger to this story. Syn and Furi were sweet, hot and entertaining together. I really look forward to the next installment of this series.

 

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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Audiobook tag


I discovered this tag at Blue Mood Cafe  and thought it would be fun to do for this month’s celebration of audiobooks. I have been chatting books with Jonetta for years on goodreads so let’s do it!


Have you always listened to audiobooks or when did you begin?

My husband encouraged me to try audiobooks a few years ago when I would ride the train an hour each way to work. My first book was Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton (Book 1, Anita Blake). The narrator Kimberly Alexis was amazing and I was hooked. I tried a couple of other book before I realized that a narrator could make or break my enjoyment.

 

What is your favorite audiobook?

That’s impossible so I will pick my top five in no particular order..
1. Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Robert Petkoff, narrator)
2. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (Callie Dalton, Narrato)
3. The Witness by Nora Robert (Julia Whelan, narrator)
4. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Rosalyn Landor)
5. Sempre by J.M. Darhower (Carla Mercer-Meyer)

What is my least favorite thing about audiobooks?

A Monotoned narrator can really bore me and make me lose interest. Some make narrators have terrible female voices too.

What do you think is the difference in experience between physically reading a book and listening to it?

The difference to me is that I get someone who knows how to properly pronounce words (I hope) and the cadence of the reading is different from my own. Some narrators do a great job conveying humor, sadness etc. I feel like a kid being read a bedtime story to. Also if its a smutty book, I feel like someone is whispering something naughty in my ear. hehehe.

How and when do you listen?

I listen on my phone, in my car, sometimes on my tv via the audible app while I’m doing mindless household chores, grocery shopping and laundry. I listen while I am in bed, exercising, pretending to pay attention at work etc. I listen all day.

What style/genre do you prefer?

I don’t have a genre I prefer since I mostly read romance. I pretty much listen to all my reading selections if they are on audio.  I do have narrator that I avoid like the plague. If I see their name, I opt for the e-book instead.

What are some audiobook/narrator recommendations?

I highly recommend with a male and female narrator. Top five favorites are Rosalyn Landor, Julia Whelan, Therese Plummer, Lauren Fortgang and Jeffrey Kafer.   I do have honorable mentions like Bahni Turipin, Callie Dalton, Robert Petkoff, Shane East and Tristan James

What are your thoughts about audiobooks?

Feel free to do your own version of this tag!