Book List 2017

Review: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo

Un-masked-fTitle: (Un)Masked

Authors: Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo (self-published)

Genre: M/M paranormal romance, magical realism, new adult

Buy it here

Summary: 

Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life

Excerpt:

His music sailed over me, beautiful, seductive; the call of a siren—and I went willingly.

He stood on a concrete wall dividing the beach and pavement, cutting notes into a thousand beautiful fragments that the air caught and whipped around me.

His hips twisted and his fingers slid over the accordion keyboard as he commanded the bellows.  Like magic, the disappointment that had clung to me all morning dulled, and I sank against a pylon across and watched him. Watched, and wished the lip of the hoodie he wore would lift so I could see his face.

He swayed with the music, and I glimpsed blond hair and a scar splitting one brow.

Nearer and nearer, I inched, until I stood before him.

His song ended abruptly, and he stared down at me with haunted, tired eyes.

I opened my mouth to ask him to play again, to tell him he was truly talented, but he jumped onto the beach and fled.

My soul prickled, and I knew I would never be the same again.

One never was, when death lurked nearby.

Continue reading “Review: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo”

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Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: A Snow Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller

a snow country brideTitle: A Snow Country Bride

Author: Linda Lael Miller

Genre: Romance

Summary: It’s a Christmas affair to remember as a Hollywood mogul discovers his inner cowboy—and the woman of his dreams—amid the rugged beauty of Wyoming.

Raine McCall would take snow-covered mountains over a star-studded premiere any day. But when hotshot movie executive Mick Branson arranges dinner on Christmas Eve to discuss a work opportunity, she’s intrigued—by the offer and the man. She’s a no-makeup, no-frills single mom, who’s happy with her quiet life. Sharing chili cheeseburgers and sizzling kisses with Mick is sure heating up her holiday, but country girl and power player don’t mix…

It’s not just work that’s brought Mick back to Mustang Creek. Since he first visited to oversee a documentary, free-spirited graphic designer Raine has been in his head. Her approach to life is as unconventional as her quirky holiday ornaments. Their attraction is undeniable—and so are their differences. Putting down roots in the Wild West wasn’t in the script. But there are some Christmas gifts you can’t walk away from, even when they turn your whole world upside down…

Review:

Warmth.

That is the word that comes to my mind whenever I am reading a book by Linda Lael Miller. I can’t even tell you how long her writing has captivated me for but it has been quite a while, which is why I was so happy to get my hands on a copy of this book, especially with the coming holidays.

This book and its characters made be delighted to be reading it. Raine is not your run of the mill romantic heroine, and Mick is definitely not your typical cowboy. In fact he’s rather laughably not one at all. But man are they both awesome characters.

Raine is an artist, interested in the beauty of the world around her, and despite living in Hollywood Mick is much the same.

The two of them come together in a really sweet way, friends of friends, I suppose you could say, and it makes it all the more magical.

The cast of characters includes Raine’s daughter, their dog, Sampson, and their colourful, amusing cat who doesn’t seem to realize how large he is.

This is the type of book that you should read before the holidays, to incite those warm, loving fuzzy feelings within yourself. Or all year long when you need a little bit of Christmas magic.

This book feels indulgent, it’s an escape from a world that has gone a little bit chaotic, even for a little bit.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “A Cowboy to Keep” by Barbara Ankrum

61Title: A Cowboy to Keep

Author: Barbara Ankrum

Genre: Romance

Summary: On the run from her past, photographer Ali Thibeaux arrives undercover in Marietta to find her biological half-sister. Plan A: Meet Olivia, photograph her wedding, and disappear before endangering anyone. Plan B: All hell breaks loose.

Reclusive rancher Adam Wolfe’s only plan when he hires Ali to manage his dysfunctional household is to go on hiding from the world. But his scars don’t seem to matter to the beauty who unexpectedly turns his house into a home and heals the rift between him and the teen aged niece he’s taken in. Still, he suspects there’s more to Ali than meets the eye and he’s determined to uncover what she’s hiding from him before it’s too late.

Review: 

Ali is one tough cookie, and I like her. Plus I am big into photography so I have to admit that this novel may have caught my attention due to that. She is a fighter who thinks she’s a runner, and it makes her someone interesting to read about.

Adam is a character I can appreciate because he’s multifaceted and has some very real trauma to deal with that does extend to his niece, Carrie. He is one of those people who does the right thing no matter what, and sometimes at cost to himself.

Carrie is a great secondary character, who actually goes through the most development out of any of the characters in this book. The  thing I liked about her is she seems like a brat at first, until you realize why and then she becomes much easier to sympathize with.

The plot of this story is familiar, but it doesn’t seem too cliché. It is not slow burn, and does seem to be a rush to romance, but I am certainly not complaining as it was an enjoyable read with comfortable characters.

 

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “DJ Dangerfield” by Anyta Sunday

60Title: DJ Dangerfield

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance

Summary: “. . . and you’re listening to 91.3 FM.”

Justin knows three things for sure about DJ Dangerfield:

He has some questionable taste in music.
He always provokes Justin into ringing in.
And he might just be his favorite weekly distraction.

But who is this DJ Dangerfield in Real Life? And will Justin like him in the flesh as much as on the air?

Review:

I enjoyed this novella thoroughly, though I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more of a slow burn.

Justin is an interesting character, a little rough around the edges maybe? Without true knowledge of who he is as of yet, without giving too much away. He loves music in a way I can certainly identify with, and I enjoyed him.

This is cute, sweet and made me want to snuggle down in a blanket and read a little slower. But instead I devoured it. This book is a familiar-ish trope, especially for those who read fan fiction and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Book List 2017

Review: “Scorpio Hates Virgo” by Anyta Sunday

59Title: Scorpio Hates Virgo

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance

Summary: This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover. Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all…

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past…

Review:

Anyta Sunday does it again, leaving me with a romance that had me flipping the pages so quickly that my poor Kobo kept freezing up. It just couldn’t keep up with my voracious appetite for more of this story and the nerdy, wonderful characters within it.

Percy is a character that is very identifiable to some, I believe. Afraid of the word home, and all the “trappings” that might come with it. Afraid of commitment, even though he does want his own happiness. Instead of trying to stick close to the one place he feels most comfortable, cared for and loved he seems to spend most of the book fighting against those feelings instead of treasuring them.

Callaghan amuses me for so many different reasons, including his verbosity. He is my kind of guy, with a word for every occasion, and a dictionary as a weapon. Sometimes almost literally. His love of dinosaurs is honestly what drew me to this book, as I’ve been obsessed since a child, and I want to own every single one of his t-shirts.

Their relationship is the type of slow burn I do love to read, and their quips and jibes at each other are truly amusing. Callaghan’s family honestly felt like spectators in the best possible way. Ellie and Marg have their own kind of heart, filling the pages they’re in with love, and amusement. It is the heart of this novel which burns brightest.

I can’t wait for the next Anyta Sunday book I can get my hands on, as she has truly made me fall in love with her writing.

** Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. **

Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Cody by Megan Crane

cody

Title: Cody

Author: Megan Crane

Genre: Romance

Skylar Grey lost everything when her fiancé died. But her move back to her hometown, Billings, Montana is not the fresh start she seeks, as too many people know her tragic tale. But then she meets a bull riding cowboy who treats her like she’s made of fire and everything changes. 

Cody Galen joined the American Extreme Bull Riders Tour to make money, not friends. He enjoys whiskey, winning, and women and he doesn’t care who he pisses off while he pursues the hell out of all three. He figures he only has a few years left before his body gives out and he might as well go down hard in a blaze of glory. He knows the pretty thing he meets his first night in Billings is no buckle bunny, but if she wants to play that role, who is he to argue? 

Neither one of them is looking for anything lasting. But there’s only one thing more dangerous than riding bulls—and that’s love.

Continue reading “Review: Cody by Megan Crane”

Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Casey by Kelly Hunter

casey

Title: Casey

Author: Kelly Hunter

Genre: Romance

Summary:

Rowan Harper has traveled the American Extreme Bull Riders tour circuit with her stock-contractor father since she was four years old. She’s seen the best rides and the worst wrecks. And then there’s TJ who impressed her most when he didn’t ride at all. 

T.J. Casey walked away from his rightful place in last year’s bull riding finals in order to bury his father. His sponsors are gone, but he’s back to stake his claim. He wants the buckle, sure, but he also wants the woman who treats her bucking bulls like lambs. 

Can T.J. really score the championship and the girl? Or will he have to choose between the two..once and for all?

Continue reading “Review: Casey by Kelly Hunter”

Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Chase by Barbara Dunlop

chase

Title: Chase

Author: Barbara Dunlop

Genre: A Hurt/Comfort kind of romance

Summary: Betrayed by his fiancée and his best friend, Chase Garrett heads out on the road with the American Extreme Bull Riders Association, determined to ride hard and keep a wall around his heart. But during a competition, three-year-old Riley Barrett bursts through that barrier when he throws himself into Chase’s arms, insisting Chase is his daddy. And Chase’s walls collapse further when he meets Riley’s mother–beautiful, vulnerable, sexy Maddy.

A widow for only a year, Maddy Barrett is stunned by her son Riley’s outlandish assertion that Chase is his father. She tries desperately to convince Riley that his father has not come home to them. When Chase and Maddy join forces to help her son, she finds herself falling fast for the sexy, hard-working bull rider—wishing he truly could be the man for Riley, and the man for her.

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Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Title: Dark Horse by BJ Daniels

dark horse

Title: Dark Horse

Author: B.J. Daniels

Genre: Romance and Suspense

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji.5

Summary:

Burdened by family secrets, this cowboy rides alone

For twenty-five years, the case of the McGraw twins kidnapping has remained unsolved. As the eldest son, Cull oversees the McGraw horse ranch, wary of prying eyes. So when true-crime writer Nikki St. James comes forward with new information, Cull can’t believe his father invites her onto the compound.

His family has suffered enough–he’s not about to let St. James snoop and ruin them completely. But Nikki finds the eldest McGraw’s protectiveness as endearing as it is aggravating. After all, this case is personal to her, too… And her secrets can set the truth free–if they don’t destroy the McGraws first.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

This book drew me in at the beginning with a very captivating, intriguing scene which is definitely an attention grabber. I’m a sucker for suspense, so sue me? (Actually don’t, I’m broke as a joke.)

Nikki St. James is a character I can definitely appreciate, as she is tenacious as she is smart, and definitely doesn’t know when to let go, even if it gets her in a touch of danger. She is a good character, with secrets of her own.

Cull McGraw is a tough guy. But not quite as tough as he thinks he is and I, for one, am perfectly okay with that. “Tough guys” appear in abundance. He also has some secrets, only his are far more tragic.

I was so disappointed that this book ended, and that I’d read it so quickly. The pace was quick moving, something I truly appreciate, and it was a nice, quick read. I will be looking for the next one and adding it to my to be read list.

This is recommended for anyone who likes mystery, and romance, with a touch of suspense. Don’t let the Harlequin label scare you off like I almost did.

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

tanner.jpgTitle: Tanner

Author: Sarah Mayberry

Genre: Romance

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji

He’s used to risking it all in the ring, but nothing prepared him for love…

After flying half-way around the world to surprise her boyfriend, Evie Forrester finds herself heartbroken and stranded in a strange city. What could be a total disaster becomes something else when a tall, dark bull rider turns out to be a white knight in disguise. Evie isn’t sure she needs saving, but Tanner Harding is a difficult man to deny. He’s even harder to resist…

Tanner Harding can tame a monster bull with ease, but he never expected to be floored by someone like Evie. Sparks fly between them until injury threatens to end Tanner’s career –and suddenly he’s the one in need of a rescue.

Evie can’t turn her back on her wounded hero and, as Tanner struggles with his recovery, she’s not sure she can guard her heart against him either. Tanner knows Evie has slipped under his skin, but she lives in Australia and his future is under a cloud. Can two people with too many reasons to walk away make the bold decision to stay?

Continue reading “Review: Tanner by Sarah Mayberry”