Lucid (Brightest Kind of Darkness #2) by P.T. Michelle


51nxggdxa4l-_sy346_Blurb: 
 Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t.

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5 stars

This one is my favorite book in the series so far in my re-read.  I didn’t realize I’d forgotten so much.  The cover has been changed which is a shame because I really liked the original one better.

This is a great follow-up to the first one and not at all where you would expect the story to go.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve followed this series for so long.  I really liked how her powers evolve. In fact, her whole character evolves.  One of the things that stuck out for me in this YA is the fact the fact that her life didn’t become so entwined with the romance she had with Ethan to the exclusion of most else.  It was nice to see her deal with everything without him in the picture for most of the story.

Don’t get me wrong, he may be gone, but he certainly isn’t forgotten.  It was just nice to see it really focus on the main plot with very little romance.  Most paranormal’s that I read have a very strong romance sub-plot.  In exchange of that, we see the MC evolve and get a better sense of depth.  This story is very intense so it was easier to follow without the added romance and the added drama that it brings.

And her family is not one-dimensional in this.  Again, in the YA’s that I read, parents have very little presence in the story but in this one her bond with her family is strong and consistent throughout.  Not just her parents but her aunts too,  it brings another layer to her and the story.  I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae

33401722Blurb: Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t  sure if she’s ready to move on.

Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

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5 stars

I’m running out of ways to say I love CM’s writing! It just doesn’t get old for me. Her stories have such originality and this one was no different. And the cover is lovely too.

She nailed both characters feelings of guilt and attraction.  The warring emotions took me on a roller coaster ride that I’m still feeling the high from. I loved how Kennedy stepped outside her comfort zone with Aaron. Especially when they didn’t have the answers to why they were feeling this way.  They accepted the not knowing and just went with it. They both had some defining moments that I can’t share because of spoilers but suffice it to say, it was beautiful.  Aaron seemed to really struggle with his worthiness of receiving love and happiness.  I identified with that so hard!  (Really who doesn’t at some point in their lives) But I kinda wanted to strangle him when he tried to ignore or suppress his feelings.

The whole story had an undercurrent of meant to be or an outside force in play.  And while I struggle with believing those kinds of situations happen, it was cute none the less. I loved how she ended the story.  The sex scenes were very juicy and I’d love to see more of that from CM. I think she could do well in this genre.

I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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Sweet Tea and Summer Love by Regan Claire

sweettea_finalcoverBlurb: It’s been more than a decade since Anna Lynne graced the home where she spent every summer of her childhood. Now, she’s back and overwhelmed by memories of her last summer there. One defined by loss, love, growth, and change. A few short months that changed her forever.

Anna Lynne was mourning her father while most of her friends were thinking about college, making her question everything about the life she used to live, and the person she no longer wanted to be. She felt isolated in her grief—until she met Will and his sister, outcasts far outside her normal social circle. Through them, she learned about sacrifice and strength; about loyalty and love. Ultimately, they taught her that tragedy comes in more ways than one.

As she recalls that fateful summer and the reason she stayed away from the only home she ever knew, Anna Lynne can’t help but wonder how the people she left behind managed to navigate the heartbreak she helped create—and if they can ever forgive her.

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4.5 stars

This is miss Claire’s first dip into the contemporary romance genre.I think she did beautifully and am excited to see where she goes from here.  I was lucky to get a last minute slot to beta read this book.  In fact, if I’m able, I will always volunteer to beta for this author cause she is so talented.  Oh my gosh, I just realized, she was the first author I ever beta read for!

I really like the timeline of the story.  The flashbacks broke it up in to little bite size chunks for me.  And I love that we get to see the past catch up to the present, I was getting giddy to see how it would play out.  I may have mentioned this before but RC has a way of bringing levity to a serious story without losing the impact of it. It’s not easy to do. The climax really stands out to me as one of her best sequences.  It was just written fantastically.

I totally identified with Anna Lynnes rebelliousness and her anger.  I felt betrayed with her.  I kept thinking, “Its like I’m reading about myself” And I loved how she was affected by Will. In a positive way.

He was such a great influence on her.  Will was solid.  That’s the best word for him I think. He was not afraid to tell you how he felt and while sometimes he came across a bit over-cautious, I admired his convictions.  It’s just a sweet story about second chances at first love.  And it is a prefect read for V-day!

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Kentucky Bride by Norah Hess

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Blurb: Fleeing her abusive uncle, young D’lise Alexander trusts no man—until she is rescued by trapper Kane Devlin. There, amid the simple pleasures of cornhusking and barn raisings, she comes to recognize that the deep affection she holds for her savior is true love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3.5 stars

I know. The cover right?  Sometimes I love these cheesy romances.  This was kinda one of those times.  This book was soooo slow.I mean, I liked the story, especially the slow simmer.  Which would have been required due to the early content in this book but it was like watching paint dry in some parts.  And the constant misunderstanding started to grate on my nerves.  I received this book for free through my Kindle for Samsung app. (great app!)

I’m partial to historical romances and equally partial to rescuees falling for rescuers, which is obviously one of those stories.  This was my first trip into Norah Hess’ work and also into this time frame.  I would absolutely read more in this time frame but I don’t think I have the patience to get through another long descriptive book like this  one right now.

It seemed each day was described and he timeline didn’t vary; i.e. flashbacks or others POV’s.  It was very linear and there wasn’t much of a subplot or it was so predictable as to seem non-existent. Which caused me to take many breaks while reading this.  It was also very predictable and while I do love those from time to time, this one kinda fell flat for me.

I think in the end the predictability of the book is what saved it for me.  Since I knew how it was going to go, I finished it.  And as I got through the second half the time seemed to pick up a bit too. Like I said I liked the story, it just took a while to get to the meat of it.

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Make Lemonade (Hope Falls) by Cassie Mae

make-lemonadeBlurb: Beth’s dream has always been Disneyland, and with the way life has been going, a trip to the magical world was just the ticket she needed. But with a broken transmission halfway there, Beth and her boyfriend Ben get stranded in the town of Hope Falls, and she is not in the best of moods.

As things continue to take a dive, Ben is determined to turn this situation around. With a knack for fixing cars and a ring in his pocket, he prepares to turn the sourest lemon into the sweetest lemonade, all for the woman he loves.

But the problem might just run deeper than a broken down car and a delayed vacation.

 

 

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5 stars

I love the concept of Kindle Worlds. Different authors writing stories in a shared world. How cool is that?  I know a few other authors who write these books. And while this is a short story, it still carries a great emotional weight for me.  That is a tough thing for novellas to do, as I usually don’t become too emotionally attached to them.  But, I felt this story in my bones.  And honestly, I was a bit scared as I read it.  Reading about intangibles has always been a bit scary for me.  I don’t know why.

I myself have not been diagnosed with depression but I know many friends and family that deal with it.  As an outsider looking in, I identified with Ben’s character right away.  He wanted to fix it.  (I’m a fixer) Then questioned himself as a catalyst. (Is it something we did?) I can’t imagine the courage it took for Beth to open up about something so personal and ask for help.

It felt so real, literally I have witnessed a similar situation so those feelings came bubbling back up to the surface. And I could attempt to imagine what Beth was feeling, while in reality have no idea.  I imagine a helplessness not knowing what was wrong and so being unable to know what to do.  As a bit of a control freak, I know this would mess with my head.

Little side note about my past: I was raised to believe that depression was not ‘real’ and it was a controllable condition. That whoever claimed to have it was either too sensitive or just a complainer.  That admitting you needed help was weak or a character flaw.  It took many years for me to break away from that contemptuous outlook.  I still struggle with it from time to time.

At any rate, I feel like Beth showed me that its okay to not be okay.  And I think that lesson is one we need to hear more often.  Because no one is perfect, yeah? So if you like love stories with a dose of reality you’ll like this one.  Go visit Hope Falls and fall in love.

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Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti

justice-ascendingBlurb: Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

 

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5 stars

I’m so happy with this series!  I have received them ALL through Netgalley and I can’t wait to get the next one. But I’m conflicted!  I was expecting this to be a trilogy.  But it looks like there will be more books in this series since the sociopathic president and the VP aren’t dead yet and they so need to die. I’m happy I get to keep reading the series but dammit I really wanted him to die!

This is my fave book in the series so far and I’ll tell you why. 🙂 This is not a story of a soldier finding his love with a civilian – which has been the progression of the characters so far.  She switches it up in this one with both MC’s being soldier.  And it was a totally different paradigm than her previous books in the series and I love it.

First off, Texan Tace Justice is smexy! Super smexy! Super duper smexy! I really loved how self aware he was.  He knew he had OCD and he was obsessing about Sami.  He was very mush internally conflicted because of it.  He knew it wasn’t normal.  He was one of those guys you could always depend on and he enjoyed being that person.  He was proud of his long family line of texas rangers and couldn’t wait to be a part of that legacy.  Watching him struggle and come to terms with the fact it will never happen formed a soft spot in my heart for him.

Sami seemed to have a bit more dimension for me.  In the beginning she seemed a hardcore hand to hand combat expert with a background in law enforcement.  As the story progresses we get to see her feelings start to shine through.  And the dynamic of having a female soldier and how she is treated different but equal at the same time.  It’s written quite beautifully.

There was a lot more action and sex in this book.  Their chemistry was instant and escalated quickly.  It gave me tummy warmth to read it.  The solidarity exhibited by this new militant group is quite heart warming.  The trust is there and when someone fucks up it’s dealt with swiftly and not used against them at a later time.  They are a family and all that that entails.  They are flawed and forgiving.  And I love that about these characters.

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Thomas’ Heart (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #4) by Melissa Haag


33010788Blurb:
 Thomas’ race is dying. To protect those left, the Elders create a safe haven. However, the safety of their sanctuary is threatened by the cause of their kind’s decline. A human. But, she’s not like the rest; and despite his hatred of humans, Thomas wants her for his own.

When females start dying while trying to reach safety, Thomas realizes it’s no longer just humans who pose a threat, but desperate males. Thomas must secure his place at Charlene’s side as leader of sanctuary, or everything they’ve worked together to build will crumble, and any hope of a future for Thomas’s race will die.

 

 

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5 stars

I was surprised at my interest in this book.  Although I suppose I shouldn’t be, it seems if I don’t like the girls story, I love the guys.

This story was different due to the fact that this is the beginning of the cycle.  (You would understand if you read them all) We get to see how some of the elders came to be.  Along with some insights into the enemies camp and the extent of their influence to the shifters and the damage they have done.  Not to mention how far they will go for control and power.  These bad guys are INSANE!

Since no one knows who Charlene is, she gets a very different welcome than the other judgments.  It was nice to see a different POV.  Thomas may be one of my favorite out all the guy novels so far.  I feel like his character had the most growth because of the difficulty they went through striving to bring order to a pretty lawless and violent species.  He didn’t want her there at first, even though she was clearly his mate.  This was telling for me in several ways. His pride in the old ways conflicted with the fact that he knew his race would die out if they didn’t change.  The parts where he started to realize this and was opposed by his own species was very intense to read.

Grey was my favorite and reminded me of Jim.  And they hint of Jim’s future in this pack at the end of this book guys so keep your peepers peeled.  Wini is in this one again – she has a pretty prominent role in this book.  We see the progression of Mary and Gregory – in fact, a whole lot of holes are filled in this book.

I was never a fan of Charlene and I gotta say this book didn’t change my opinion of her in the least.  She came off as over-aggressive and even a bit condescending at times.  Thomas was no angel either. He constantly used every advantage available to him to get his way. I’m just glad he was called on it.

The ending brings us back to current timeline. I’m very interested in reading the rest of this series.

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Leo Tops Aries (Signs of Love #1.5) by Anyta Sunday


33554843Blurb:
 Why did Theo ever bet that a Leo could outwait an Aries?

Blue balls have never been so blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 stars

This book is FREE!

Yes, this book is about what you think its about! A sensual steamy experience from beginning to end! Theo is too cute for words.  His unfamiliarity with his new lifestyle is oddly endearing and not at all clumsy or awkward.  This is a fabulous follow up to Leo Loves Aries.

I found Jamie to be a bit over smug in this novella.  His described facial expressions came off that way to me.  And I loved their competitive interaction with regards to their bet.

But holy hell this book was explicit!  And tastefully so.  My cheeks reddened and I had to fan myself multiple times to cool down.  I would advise you to read the first one so you can experience their full depth of characters.

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Storm Warrior (Grim #1) by Dani Harper

17899157Blurb: Enslaved for millennia by the masters of the Welsh faery realm, the fierce Celtic warrior Rhys is doomed to wander the earth forever. But when a brave beauty unwittingly breaks the enchantment, he is drawn into a strange new world…and an all-consuming desire.

Sensible Morgan doesn’t believe in magic—until a mysterious being saves her from a fate worse than death, and life as she knows it changes forever. Now the man of her dreams has become flesh and blood, igniting a spark in Morgan’s soul which science cannot explain. But even a love that transcends time may not be strong enough to withstand the power of an ancient curse.

From the best-selling author of Changeling Moon, this stirring novel of passion and magic launches an addictive new series for fans of paranormal romance.

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4 stars

This story started out great, then it slowed down a bit, then it picked up, then…you get the idea.  I had a hard time with the ebb and flow of the pacing TBH.  I generally have found that the books I read are pretty consistent in their pacing so this one threw me off.

Rhys is a strong, typical welsh/celtic warrior.  I wasn’t too impressed with him except for his assimilation into the current culture.  Jay and Starr were happy hippies who loved their hobbies and were very supportive of Morgan.  Almost like older siblings. Leo was my favorite supporting character.  He was funny, straight to the point and I liked how he wasn’t the same age as the MC.  It gave the story a little more non-linear feel to it if that makes sense.

I found Morgan to be a bit confusing because the author kept referencing her love of her grandmothers fairy tale/myth stories yet she refused to believe that they could be true.  Then the major epiphany came across to me as a bit melodramatic.  Even the climax seemed a bit of a let down.  Her inner conflict seemed very important to her, yet it all seemed to fall away once the physical attraction came into play.   I will say I loved how she tried to always protect herself and doesn’t expect others to step in.

I did enjoy the story, character flaws notwithstanding.  I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series anytime soon though.  I got everything I wanted out of this story and have no desire to continue in this world.  Maybe that could change in the future, but for now I need to focus on the series I have to finish before I go deeper into another one.

I received this book from the Kindle for Samsung app on my phone.  I get some great books from there.  Who turns down a free book a month?  Crazy people, that’s who.

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A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak

a-matter-of-grave-concernBlurb: When Maximillian Wilder hides his noble identity and joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but Max knows he must gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could earn.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max almost as much as Jack. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene to protect her, no matter the risk to his plan…or his heart.

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4 stars

This book was a great mystery/love/historical that made really sucked my in and made me believe it.

The chemistry was amazing!  The restraint and passion they both showed had a wonderful ebb and flow. It really gave this mystery a deeper layer that I enjoyed very much.  I suppose I should have been concerned with the fact that Abigail clearly suffered from Stockholm Syndrome but it was written so well that I couldn’t have cared less.

Abigail was a feminist during a time when it wasn’t socially accepted to be.  Her desire to prove herself was (I think) a driving force behind most of her actions.  That and her need to be treated equally.  And Max was pretty supportive of her for the most part.  He didn’t shy away from treating her differently than the men, for example the vulgar language he used around her wasn’t held back.  It was pretty funny to hear Abigail throw the same words back at him as if she spoke that way all the time.  Her manner was very clinical and came of as funny from an outsider.  But Max was there whenever she was unable to defend herself properly.  It was a nice combo.

The mystery was great and pretty intricate.  The author clearly didn’t hold back in any aspect of her story telling.  Sometimes you will see that one aspect is emphasized more in a novel but this one had equal billing between the love story and the mystery.

The only thing I will say kinda bothered me was the ending.  Without giving anything away I felt the ending was a bit melodramatic.  It would have read just fine without the added drama.  But that’s such a small part of the story as to barely tweak my radar.

I received this book from Kindle for Samsung‘s app.  Kindle for Samsung is a free reading app designed exclusively for Samsung customers. It gives customers a free eBook every month through Samsung Book Deals.

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