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Publisher: Penguin

IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING by Julie James

I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Reviewer
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING by Julie JamesIt Happened One Wedding by Julie James
Published by Penguin on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 304
Reviewed by Talia Ricci

Sidney decides six months after a major breakup to get back into the dating game.  She has compiled a list of thirty-four items that men either will or will not do that are deal breakers for her.  When she meets an investment banker for coffee and the date ends up being a dud, she is surprised and shocked by the audacity of the handsome and rugged man who stops by her table to hit on her.  Due to her discomfort and if she would honestly admit her attraction, Sidney does what she does best  — she uses her sarcasm as a buffer and verbally lets loose on the confident and unsuspecting man only to find out later that he is soon to be a part of her family.

 

FBI Special Agent Vaughn Roberts is a ladies man and he knows it.  He is confident, sexy, and secure in the knowledge that he basically can date and sleep with any woman he wants at any time and they’ll know the score.  He isn’t looking for commitment and loves being able to date as many women as possible.  Then he sees Sidney in a coffee shop and his whole dating mojo is thrown for a loop by a sarcastic auburn haired beauty that he knows he has no business messing with. Unbeknownst to Vaughn, his fate is sealed.

 

In true Julie James style, she has brought together two seemingly different characters and made them human with just the right amount of comedy and sexiness to keep the reader totally hooked on the storyline.  Vaughn is your typical lothario – he’s foot loose and fancy free and doesn’t mind dating all types of women but ask him to commit, and he is out of the door.  Sidney I could relate to so much.  She is smart, sexy, and has a great career, but because of a situation with a former fiancé six months ago, she doubts her ability to find Mr. Right.   And then she meets Special Agent Roberts.

 

Telling you I loved It Happened One Wedding would not be exaggerating.  I can’t rave enough about how well written, funny and extremely sensual this book was.  I laughed out loud more than once watching and reading Vaughn and Sidney’s relationship unfold right before my eyes.  They didn’t know what hit them and that’s just the way I liked it!  It Happened One Weddingrevisits Vaughn’s FBI buddies and while readers do not have to have read prior books by Ms. James to enjoy It Happened One Wedding, I recommend going back and reading every single release because they are just as amazingly wonderful as this, her latest release.

BLACK MOON by J. D. Tyler

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
BLACK MOON by J. D. TylerBlack Moon by J.D. Tyler
Published by Penguin on 2012-12-04
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 352
Reviewed by Jo

A group of former Navy SEALS, the Alpha Pack is a top-secret team of wolf shifters with Psy powers combating the greatest dangers in the world. But sometimes those dangers are more intimate than they bargained for… Ever since he saved Dr. Mackenzie Grant’s life, panther shifter and sorcerer Kalen Black has had trouble keeping the beautiful doctor out of his thoughts, and his heart. The brush with death awakened an intense passion between them—one that for the first time had the notorious loner letting down his guard. With the Alpha Pack battling an evil Fae who is slowly gaining control over Kalen’s mind, Kalen can no longer trust his own actions, and he breaks off his affair with Mackenzie in order to keep her safe. But when Mackenzie learns that she is carrying Kalen’s child, no amount of danger will keep her away from the man she loves. To protect his mate and unborn child, Kalen will have to battle a terrible evil, unleash the full fury of his power, and risk destroying them all…

Dr. Mackenzie (Mac) Grant works in the infirmary, which does a lot more than just heal wounded members of the Alpha Pack, a top-secret team of wolf shifters with Psy powers who work with the government to keep the world safe.  She and the other doctors also help them adjust to difficult situations and give them all the backup they can.  For Mac even getting to work there was a feat as her father is a member of the military who knows all about who and what the Pack is and he wasn’t real happy when Mac won the job.  Mac became very, very close to one of the new members of the Alpha Pack – a young, powerful and gothic Sorcerer.

 

Kalen Black is a mixture of many backgrounds; first he is a can shift into a jaguar and he is also a sorcerer even though his control over his powers isn’t the best right now.  Kalen hasn’t had the best of lives in his short 20 something years and he was on his own and roaming when the Alpha Pack found him and made him a part of their unit.  Now Kalen isn’t sure if he is better off with his new situation compared to his old one, but when he and Mac had an unforgettable night together it changed something in Kalen.

 

Kalen knows that Mac is his mate, but rather than let her know or even the other pack members, Kalen works on driving her away to protect her.  Kalen knows that something dark is within him and it seems to be coming out now and he refuses to have the darkness ruin the sweetness he found in Mac.  Mac has no idea why Kalen has suddenly turned her away but she isn’t about to let him get away with it, especially now that she has learned there is a reason to become even closer to him.  As Kalen fights to learn more about that darkness, he discovers things about himself that can not only put himself and Mac in danger but the entire Alpha Pack.  On the WTF mode, Kalen learns that he has family and it’s very close to him right now.  Unfortunately, those family members are also light and dark.  Mac believes in Kalen and his ability to defeat that darkness with love and support, now she just has to convince him, her father and the pack commander.  It has come down to a final battle of good against bad or light and dark in Kalen’s mind.  When the night is over, has Kalen defeated that darkness trying to turn him as black as his eyeliner or has he finally proven himself with the light and earned his right to finally experience all the love that Mac is offering him?

 

The battle between good and evil has changed involving species who have feet in the paranormal world fighting side by side with humans.  Within this battleground, a young human doctor and a gothic sorcerer fight for their love against all the odds in Black Moon.  I thought it was bad enough that Kalen had to fight the darkness invading his mind but when I saw he also had to prove himself to the very men who should have his back – I was outraged for him.  I enjoyed watching Mac standing up not only to Kalen, but also her father and even the Alpha Pack members when they were downing Kalen.  There were several times when I wasn’t sure if Kalen would come out of the darkness and survive in the light, even with the huge reason to do so that Mac had given him.  There were several times that I wanted to bounce a few of the pack members against a wall to knock some sense in them, but even that was taken care of by the time I turned the last page.  Kalen and Mac have more than earned the right to their happiness in my mind with this battle for Kalen’s life.  I will be watching to see how they grow in the future books.  Black Moon is intense with emotions and has a large suspense factor added in, when I add that in to Mac and Kalen’s journey to their ultimate happy ending, I found it to be an excellent addition to any paranormal library. 

 

HOW TO SCHOOL YOUR SCOUNDREL by Juliana Gray

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
HOW TO SCHOOL YOUR SCOUNDREL by Juliana GrayHow to School Your Scoundrel by Juliana Gray
Series: Prince in Hiding #3
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-03
Genres: Historical
Pages: 320
Reviewed by Shayna

Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe... Princess Luisa has devoted her life to duty, quietly preparing to succeed her father as ruler. Nothing, however, primed her to live on the run, disguised as a personal secretary to a notorious English scoundrel. The earl is just the man to help her reclaim her throne, but Luisa is drawn to her powerful employer in ways she never imagined... Philip, Earl of Somerton, has spent six years married to a woman in love with another man—he refuses to become a fool due to imprudent emotions ever again. Only, as his carefully laid plans for vengeance falter, fate hands him hope for redemption in the form of a beautiful and determined young princess who draws him into a risky game of secrets, seduction, and betrayal. And while his cunning may be enough to save her life, nothing can save him from losing his heart...

Crown Princess Luisa of Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnhof watched as the entire life she was raised to lead got turned upside down by the revolutionaries who murdered her father and her husband.  Now disguised as a man and living in England while her uncle works to regain her crown, Luisa has gone from princess to personal secretary of the most dangerous man in England.  The Earl of Somerton is dark, lethal, and extremely bitter.  His wife is in love with another man and his focus has devolved into a quest for vengeance.  Only Luisa seems able to reach him.  But can she tell the man who trusts almost no one that she’s been keeping secrets from him?  Even if he forgives her deception and promises to help her cause, Luisa isn’t so sure Somerton will ever be able to open his heart to her…and she’s very afraid she’s already lost hers to him.

 

The fate of a small German principality is decided in How to School Your Scoundrel.  In the third Princess in Hiding book, Juliana Gray has penned a story filled with action, disguises, deception, redemption, and love.

 

Somerton is not an easy hero to like, but I grew to care about him fairly quickly, thanks to Ms. Gray’s talent.  Somerton has never known love or genuine kindness, and each time he’s opened his heart he’s been slapped in the face in return.  His marriage comes across as a twisted Beauty and the Beast story, one where Beauty would never give the beast a chance because he wasn’t the Adonis of her dreams.  Somerton has become someone extremely bitter and hurt and it takes Luisa to bring him from the darkness to the light.  Luisa is smart, capable, and just a bit cheeky.  She doesn’t back down from Somerton and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  The two of them are a great pair and their relationship – both before it turned into a romance and after – gives How to School Your Scoundrel life.

 

How to School Your Scoundrel is a fast-paced read for the most part.  The overarching series plot of the revolutionaries in Luisa’s country adds action to the story.  Though I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that Ms. Gray resolves this plotline in a satisfying manner.  Where How to School Your Scoundrel dragged was the plot involving Somerton’s wife.  There seemed to be good chunks of the story missing, likely because Elizabeth and her lover are the hero and heroine of another book (A Gentleman Never Tells) and Somerton is presumably the villain in that story.  Not having read A Gentleman Never Tells I only got Somerton’s point of view and thus many of the events in his book that paralleled Elizabeth’s story seemed out of place when they were only part of a larger story.

 

All in all, How to School Your Scoundrel is an enjoyable read and an excellent conclusion to the Princess in Hiding trilogy.  I adored Luisa and Somerton together and their stellar chemistry had me turning the pages of their book late into the night.

HEART OF OBSIDIAN by Nalini Singh

HEART OF OBSIDIAN by Nalini Singh

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
HEART OF OBSIDIAN by Nalini SinghHeart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #12
Published by Penguin on 2013-06-04
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Reviewed by Shayna

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world... A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred. A woman whose very existence has been erased. A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself. A deadly price that must be paid. The day of reckoning is here. From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.

JoyfullyRecommended

Cold.  Emotionless.  Lethal.  Kaleb Krychek is all these things and more.  The dual cardinal Psy has fast risen through the ranks of his people to become the most powerful Psy in the net.  With Silence fracturing and their race close to civil war, Kaleb has almost reached the point where he is in the position to take over the Net and either become his people’s salvation, or their destruction.  Which side he comes down on depends wholly on the fate of one woman: Sahara Kyriakus, a Psy believed to be dead, one whose power many would kill to possess, and Kaleb Krychek’s most dangerous secret…

 

Heart of Obsidian is an exquisitely crafted tale by the master of world building, Nalini Singh.  In a series filled with stand-out characters, Kaleb Krychek has long been at or very near the top of everyone’s list for being the character people want to read about.  I’m happy to say that the mysterious Psy’s story more than lives up to the exceedingly high expectations I had for this book.  Heart of Obsidian contains love, passion, treachery, danger, and so much intricately woven detail that you’ll want to re-read it immediately upon finishing.

 

It’s honestly best to read Heart of Obsidian knowing as little about the story as possible (I avoided spoilers and any detail about the story like the plague before reading).  Ms. Singh has crafted this story so well that it’s best to watch the story unfold and the characters reveal themselves rather than have me tell you about it.  I will say that Kaleb and Sahara are two fascinating, strong, scarred characters who’ll leave a lasting impression.  Their intelligence and power is unimaginable, their experiences unfathomably painful, and yet they are easy for the reader to connect to as we get to know their true selves.  Sahara and Kaleb’s chemistry is phenomenal – as a pair they’re well-matched on every level.  I could say so much more, but truly that would spoil some of the joy for readers.

 

Heart of Obsidian is the twelfth full-length book in the Psy-Changeling series and Ms. Singh once again took things to a whole new level.  The chaos caused by the rotting Net, the Pure Psy terrorists, and the fracturing of Silence has been long coming and it reaches its pinnacle in Heart of Obsidian.  What happens in this story shapes the world to come in the Psy-Changeling series and I can’t wait to see the impact of this book’s events on the future of the Psy-Changeling world.  Readers new to the series should probably read the previous Psy-Changeling novels (Slave to Sensation, Visions of Heat, Caressed by Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Bonds of Justice, Play of Passion, Kiss of Snow, and Tangle of Need) before delving into Heart of Obsidian because so much of what has gone on in the overarching plot affects events in Kaleb and Sahara’s story.  Plus, every book in the series is pretty much irresistible.

 

Heart of Obsidian is a must read for Psy-Changeling fans.  It’s a tightly-written, thrilling story every bit as complex as the characters at its heart.

SHADOW SPELL by Nora Roberts

SHADOW SPELL by Nora Roberts

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
SHADOW SPELL by Nora RobertsShadow Spell by Nora Roberts
Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer #2
Published by Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin on 2014-03-25
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 352
Reviewed by Shayna

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love... Book Two of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Shadow Spell With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken... A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss. Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess...things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle. Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves... Don’t miss Book One in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Dark Witch And the final book in the trilogy Blood Magick This Book Is Bound with

JoyfullyRecommended

Long ago, the Dark Witch Sorcha fought to destroy the evil sorcerer Cabhan, a man obsessed with her and the power he wanted to take from her.  Though Sorcha perished trying to destroy Cabhan, her legacy lives on.  Centuries have passed, and now three cousins have taken up the fight.

 

As the best friend of Branna O’Dwyer, Meara Quinn has run tame in the O’Dwyer household for years.  To Connor, she’s a close friend and a loved one, but nothing more than that.  Until the battle against Cabhan begins in earnest.  When Connor is attacked by the dark sorcerer one night, everything changes for him and Meara.  Sparks fly between them, leading to a romance neither expected.  But will their newfound relationship make them stronger in the days ahead, or will it give their enemy the opening he needs to destroy everything and everyone Connor and Meara hold dear?

 

Return to the mist-covered lands of County Mayo, where magick both good and ill lie in wait in Shadow Spell.  The second Cousins O’Dwyer book is even better than the first as the three Dark Witches and the three who love them raise the stakes in the battle against Cabhan.

 

Though Shadow Spell truly has six heroes (as the overarching storyline involves all six), Connor and Meara are at the center of it all this time around.  I adore a good friends-to-lovers story, and in my opinion Ms. Roberts writes some of the best.  Connor and Meara have been friends all their lives, and there’s something about them that just works on every level.  I liked how they were both a bit stymied by their mutual attraction – it’d be a pity and unrealistic if things were too easy – but ultimately theirs was an organic transition from lifelong friends to a romantic relationship.  Even with its ups and downs thanks to internal and external obstacles, their journey to happily ever after was beautiful to watch.

 

As much as I adored the romance between Connor and Meara, I can’t write about Shadow Spell without talking about the ongoing magickal battle.  Connor, Meara, Branna, Fin, Iona, and Boyle have learned much since Dark Witch and their power continues to grow even as the book’s central two are targeted by Cabhan.  Though Shadow Spell is in many ways a bridge book and you know Cabhan won’t be defeated until Blood Magick, the action in this particularly story was no less compelling for it being a middle book.

 

Some truly charming moments between family and friends round out Shadow Spell, adding further emotion and moments of levity to the story.  All in all, I loved Shadow Spell.  It swept me off to another world for a few hours, and I loved getting lost in the lyricism of Ms. Roberts’s writing.  Joyfully Recommended!

FLAMEBOUND by Tessa Adams

FLAMEBOUND by Tessa Adams

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.FlameboundContinue Reading

THE MANY SINS OF LORD CAMERON by Jennifer Ashley

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MASTER OF SHADOWS by Angela Knight

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ANIMAL ATTRACTION by Jill Shalvis

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.AnimalContinue Reading

HEAT WAVES by Susan Lyons

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.HeatContinue Reading

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