Excerpt: Third Rail by Rory Flynn

thrdrailThird Rail
By: Rory Flynn
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: June10, 2014
Genre: Mystery

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At crime scenes, Eddy Harkness is a human Ouija board, a brilliant young detective with a knack for finding the hidden something—cash, drugs, guns, bodies. But Eddy’s swift rise in an elite narcotics unit is derailed by the death of a Red Sox fan in the chaos of a World Series win, a death some camera-phone-wielding witnesses believe he could have prevented. Scapegoated, Eddy is exiled to his hometown just outside Boston, where he empties parking meters and struggles to redeem his disgraced family name.

Then one night Harkness’s police-issue Glock disappears. Unable to report the theft, Harkness starts a secret search—just as a string of fatal accidents lead him to uncover a new, dangerous smart drug, Third Rail. With only a plastic disc gun to protect him, Harkness begins a high-stakes investigation that leads him into the darkest corners of the city, where politicians and criminals intertwine to deadly effect.

Excerpt

When the first headlights burn in the distance, Harkness shoves the wire cutters in his back pocket, climbs through the fresh hole in the chain-link fence, and scrambles down the gravel embankment. He pulls on a Red Sox jacket to hide his uniform and finds his place in the center of the road like a pitcher taking the mound—focused and ready for tonight’s game. His departmental counselor would see this late-night return to the scene of the incident as proof of risk-seeking tendencies. His brother George would just shake his head and tell him to get over it and move on. Thalia would tell him to have another drink. But they aren’t here. Only Officer Edward Harkness, formerly of the Boston Police Department, stands on the Turnpike, ready to see if a stranger in a car will kill him.The first contender appears, a white BMW that takes the curve at Kenmore Square and races toward Harkness. The roar grows louder and echoes from the cement walls of the Pike. At twenty yards, the headlights set his Red Sox disguise aglow.

Harkness runs west toward the car. No dodging. Stay on the line. These are the rules of engagement tonight.

The BMW hurtles closer and the driver hits the horn. Breath steaming in the cool night air, Harkness runs down the yellow line. The horn screams and the car swerves so close that Harkness could reach out and touch the doors as it flies past, its slipstream spinning Harkness to the ground. The driver lays on the horn, the note bending lower as the car speeds away.

“One down,” Harkness whispers. His palms scrape in the grit as he stumbles to his feet and turns to watch the red taillights smearing toward South Station.

When Pauley Fitzgerald stood here exactly a year ago, the highway was crowded with Sox fans driving home. In the blurry security video, he leaps across the lanes, pivots sideways, ricochets from one lane to the next, and somersaults over moving cars. More than three million people had watched Turnpike Toreador the last time Harkness checked YouTube, staring in sick fascination as Pauley Fitz dropped, danced, and died. After it was all over, the Staties couldn’t even find his teeth.

Harkness runs down the empty highway as the white eyes of new headlights race toward him.

authorrory

Rory Flynn is a Boston-based mystery writer whose novels include Third Rail, the debut of the Eddy Harkness series (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2014). Author Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins) calls Flynn “a suspense writer to watch.” And readers compare his work to Robert B. Parker, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, and George V. Higgins.

Website

Review: Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West

18827239

Pieces of Olivia
(Charleston Haven, #1)
By: Melissa West
Publisher: Intermix Books
Published: July 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future.
But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

 

1thoughtsThis was a really emotional book. Olivia is clearly still grieving over something that happened to her. She blames herself and is in a very deep depression for a lot of the book. She has PTSD from her past and the littlest thing like a movie theater or a song will revert her back in time to that horrific day. However, she finds comfort in her therapist, her new college roommate, Kara, and Kara’s best friend, Preston. Over time she starts to heal little by little in the hopes of becoming whole again.

“You’re a little wrinkled right now, and I understand how heavy those wrinkles can feel. How permanent they can feel. But I’ve never met a crease that time couldn’t iron out.”

This was a great story. There was so much raw emotion that there were a couple of times where I was balling my eyes out. I don’t often cry like a baby while reading, so when I do, you know the book is good. I never went through what Olivia did, nor have I been to therapy before, but living through it with Olivia definitely brought it to life for me. So many emotions, so much pain. I could understand why Olivia was the was that she was. The girl had survived something horrific.

There wasn’t a whole heck of a lot going on in the story. Just a girl trying to get back to having a normal life again. Now of course there is the love interest, Preston, who is your typical “I don’t want a relationship” guy. Now granted something horrible happened to him to make him become that way, but I didn’t understand how only dating/sleeping with a girl for a couple of weeks really protected his past from repeating itself. Olivia I understood, but his reasoning didn’t make sense to me. Nevertheless, I like the fact that it wasn’t insta-love. Hell, they don’t even say “I love you” until way down the road. There is angst, I will give it that, but thank goodness not the immediate love connection.

This is the second book by West that I’ve read and loved. She’s definitely becoming an author that I will automatically read without waiting to read reviews first. I just really enjoy her writing style. It’s so easy to fall into the characters and live their lives with them. They aren’t just simply words printed on paper. They become alive with every word. You grieve with them, fear for them and in the end you’re sad to see them go when you finish the story.

 

1favequote“Sometimes it’s all just a guess, Olivia. Life. We move through it, we plan, we try. But at the end of the day, like the weather, it’s all just a guess. We can’t stay inside all day, afraid of the rain. We have to live.”

kRISTIN

Review: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

18363243Going Down in Flames
By: Chris Cannon
Published: June 30, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance YA
Rating:
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If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

 

1thoughtsNot only did Bryn not know she was a dragon shifter, but she’s also a mutant that shouldn’t exist. Her parents are from different clans and weren’t supposed to be able to breed. Apparently, they were wrong because a fire dragon and an ice dragon can apparently create a hybrid. Bryn is not only able to use both elements but she’s also able to change her appearance by willing it. Her “coming of age” draws the councils attention and soon she finds herself shipped off to an institute for dragon kids. Not only does the fact that her parent’s ran away breaking the law cause her to be an outcast, but she’s faster and have more abilities than even the more skilled dragons. Yup, there’s a lot in store for Bryn.

This was a good paranormal young adult story. There was a little bit of romance sprinkled in but it wasn’t what stole the show. The author has a great way of giving the readers details on what’s going on without overloading them with information. I liked that we were talked through the transformation instead of getting the usual smoke and mirrors that so many paranormal books throw our way.

There wasn’t anything overly surprising in this story. However, I enjoyed it a lot. I like that the dragon clans are kind of set in their old ways. The council determines whether a dragon is eligible for marriage and if so they are designated a mate. If they aren’t approved for marriage, they are left to find a “benefactor” to whom they become the mistress of. Considering dragons are an old species that date back thousands of years ago, it would make sense that their ways would be a bit outdated.

The author did manage to throw some twists into the story to keep it interesting. I was never bored with where things were going. There was always something going on between attacks on Bryn, her non-existent romantic life, and the fact that she’s still learning about what being a dragon means.

The ending is a bit abrupt and left a lot of loose ends. I’m hoping that there is another book in the works and that this wasn’t a stand alone novel. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot of frustrated readers.

 

1favepartEvery time I’m reading a romance novel the Mr. always leans over to my side of the couch see what I’m reading. This is pretty close to what we go through this a lot.

 

“What’re you trying to hide? His longer reach almost allowed him to pull the book from her grasp.

“It’s about rival dragons falling in love and ending a war.”

“Why are they half naked?”

“It takes place in a desert.”

“Isn’t that a forest behind them?

“They travel.”

kRISTIN

Excerpt & Giveaway: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

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perfPerfected
By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Dystopian YA

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Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

“Do you mind if I sit?”I jumped a little, surprised to see one of the young men Penn had been talking to earlier standing next to the foot of my chair. He smiled broadly, bringing two deep dimples to his cheeks. He was dressed in the same sort of black tuxedo Penn was wearing.

“Please.” I gestured to the chair next to me.

“Thanks.” Ignoring my gesture, he brushed my feet to the side and sat down near my legs. “I’ve been looking at you all night. Have you not noticed?”

I shook my head.

“I’m Collin,” he said, sticking out his hand for me to shake. I took it lightly, surprised when he brought it up to his lips.

“I’m Ella.” I didn’t know how much Penn had told him about me, but I didn’t want to make the congressman’s wife angry by saying too much.

“It was kind of rude of Penn not to bring you over to meet us,” he said, resting his hand on the cushion near my leg.

I was suddenly very aware of how short this dress was compared to the other gowns I was used to wearing and I tugged at the bottom of it, trying to get it to cover my knees.

“But I can see how he’d like to keep you to himself,” Collin went on, scooting a little closer. “So, is it true what they say about pets?”

I fumbled to pick up my drink, which still sat on the small table by my chair, and took a small sip, but with the bubbles gone it didn’t taste good at all. I swallowed. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Sure you do,” Collin said, reaching out to put a hand on my thigh. “I’ve always wondered what they taught you at those kennels. It can’t just be how to sit there and look pretty.”

“I…well…there’s etiquette…” I stumbled.

“Not that I have a problem with you just sitting there looking pretty,” he said. “Has anyone told you how gorgeous you look?”

“That’s very kind of you.” I swung my legs over the side of the chaise lounge to give myself some distance. I needed to get out of here, somewhere where I wouldn’t be such a distraction. I was afraid this was exactly what the congressman’s wife had been talking about.

“I’m sorry, but if you’ll excuse me.”

“Wait,” he said, tightening the grip on my leg. “We were just getting to know each other.”

My stomach knotted and I tried to scoot farther away from his grasp. “It really has been a pleasure meeting you, but I think Mrs. Kimball is expecting me.”

Collin laughed softly. “No, she’s not. Come on, we both know she’s trying to hide you. I mean, look at this dress.” He rubbed the fabric between his fingers. “When has a pet ever worn anything like this?”

I shook my head, trying to find my voice. “I don’t…I don’t know what you’re talking about.

“It’s all right,” he said, stretching his hand more fully across my thigh.

I swallowed back the embarrassment that burned the back of my throat. “I…I shouldn’t be talking to you. Mrs. Kimball asked me to keep my distance from the guests.”

“How about we keep our distance from the other guests together?” He nodded his head at the dark house. “I bet it’s nice and private in there.”

My gaze traveled up the shadowed brick to Penn’s room on the second floor. My heart stuttered, imagining how different it would feel if he had been the one to invite me inside. I remembered the way he’d kissed me. Is that what this boy wanted to do? I didn’t want to kiss him.

“That sounds lovely,” I said, pushing down the fear in my voice. “I just need a minute to freshen up. If you want to head inside, I’ll meet you in the conservatory in just a few minutes.”

Collin grinned. “Don’t keep me waiting.” He traced a finger along the collar of my dress.

“I’ve been imagining what’s under here all night. I don’t know how much longer I can stand it.”

“I won’t,” I choked out. As soon as he closed the door behind him, I slid out past the pool house and onto the cool lawn. A swarm of tiny bugs hovered in front of me like a cloud and I batted them away.

Never. I would never let him touch me.

My legs wobbled as I broke into a run. A dark undercurrent surged beneath the congressman’s picture-perfect world, threatening to pull me down and it frightened me…almost as much as what waited for me at the kennel if I was to make a mistake.

 

 
author
sb

Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

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Review: Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

18628672Then Came You
(Animal Magnetism, #5)
By: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Genre: Contemp. Romance
Rating:
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Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.

Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night. She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out plans…

 

1thoughtsEmily isn’t overly excited to be assigned to some podunk town for her vet internship. She was hoping for a little more city and a lot less country. However, she can manage being stuck there for a year, that is, until she walks in on the first day and realizes her supervisor is the guy whom she had a one night stand with. They try to keep their relationship professional but pretty soon they find themselves sneaking around. The only problem is, Emily doesn’t plan on sticking around and Wyatt’s already had his heart broken by a woman who left him behind.

This was a cute story. It was highly predictable but enjoyable in the end. Emily is put in a pretty interesting predicament when her one night stand turns out to be her supervisor. At first she tries to skirt around the whole ordeal but soon finds herself literally jumping Wyatt’s bones… or boner if you will. I liked her character to a degree. I liked that she had compassion for animals and put them before her own safety. I liked her devotion to her family. However, I didn’t fully understand her when it came to Wyatt. She’d tell him that they couldn’t be together, and then the next minute she’d be stripping him in the broom closet saying how he’s just too scrumptious to resist. I’d have been fine if she decided to just go for it, but instead it just came off as weird and scripted. I mean, every interaction between the two when it became sexual was her voicing how she just couldn’t help the slut coming out when she was around him. One time this happened when Wyatt was expressing a dog’s anal glands. I kid you not, the woman got hot and bothered watching his hands work the dog’s ass. And that right there was what really turned me off.

Wyatt was a great character however. He knew what he wanted and he went after it… again to a degree. As a child, his parents moved him and his sisters around the world a lot. His life was uprooted more times than he could count and he never got a say in the matter. So therefor he will never take anyone’s decision from them. Which also means that he would never influence or alter their decision by giving them the choice to stay with him. Thus, the problem with his and Emily’s relationship. However, he is loyal to his sisters and friends. He’s even there for Emily on a moments notice in the middle of the night after she’s made it clear that they don’t have a relationship but rather a bit of fun before she moves on with her life. The guy was a stand up man, minus his problem with owning up to his feelings.

Like I said, this was a cute read. It didn’t wow me, but I wasn’t entirely bored with it either. I wish there was a bit more to it though. It just felt like it was missing something. I never fully committed to the characters.

 

1favequote“He wasn’t sure why she’d been in a suit in the first place when her job was wading knee deep in questionable shit all day, but hell, he had sisters, two of them, both bat-shit crazy, so he knew better than to question a woman’s clothing choice.”

kRISTIN

Review: Straddling the Line by Jaci Burton

18277064Straddling the Line
(Play by Play, #8)
By: Jaci Burton
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Gener: Contemp. Erotic Romance
Rating:
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Trevor Shay has it all—a successful football and baseball career, and any woman he wants. But when he finds out his college mentor’s daughter is in trouble, he drops everything to come to her aid.

Haven Briscoe has finally landed a dream job as a sportscaster for a major network. But she hasn’t been able to move past the recent death of her beloved father, and it’s affecting her career. A plum assignment following the daily life of sports superstar Trevor Shay might be just the inspiration she needs…

Trevor will do anything to spark life back into Haven, including letting her into every aspect of his world. The chemistry between them flames higher than one of Trevor’s home runs and faster than his dashes to the end zone. But as they grow closer, Haven stumbles onto Trevor’s closely guarded secret, one he’s hidden his entire life. And despite his protests, now it’s Haven’s turn to put everything on hold to help Trevor. Will he let her in and trust her with a secret that could blow his professional and personal world apart?

 

1thoughts Trey is a very talented man. He not only plays one sport professionally but two. He’s a very busy man considering he jumps from baseball season to football season in one year with no breaks. He gets a call from his old college dorm parent who calls in a favor. Her daughter (his college tutor) isn’t handling the passing of her father well and with her being a sports reporter, she should do an interview piece on him to take her mind off of her father. Have I mentioned that Trey is a very private man? However, he’d do anything for his dorm parent and agrees to help out. Only, he doesn’t plan to fall for the sexy reporter who shows up, or her persistence in revealing his skeletons.

I LOVED Changing the Game. So I was really excited when I got this book. Even though I haven’t read the other books in the series, each one can be read as a stand alone. However, this one just didn’t work for me. The characters seemed too scripted. There were parts that were just about robotic in both the characters speech and actions. I just found myself not connecting with anything going on because of this.

I did like that the author didn’t include a lot of nonsense drama. The problems that these characters face are real. They don’t play cat and mouse, leaving the other person confused on their feelings. I liked that twist at the end that the author gave Trey. It definitely humanized him.

This was a nice romance with some erotic highlights to it. However, it wasn’t the best one from the series. The characters came off as fake and that really detracted from the story for me.

 

1favepart“I sure as hell hope my mother doesn’t come running down the hall to see what that noise was about,” Haven finally said.

“Me, too. But if she does, I promise to throw you on the floor on the other side of the bed, toss a blanket over you, and then tell her I was thrashing around because I was having a nightmare.”

Her lips curved. “How chivalrous of you to protect my virtue like that.”

“Just the kind of guy I am, babe.”

 

Previous reviews from Play by Play
Changing the Game

kRISTIN

Review: Crux by Moira Rogers

5895613Crux
(Southern Arcana, #1)
By: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publisher
Published: March 3, 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

 

1thoughtsMackenzie has been on the run for about a month from a man who will do anything to get and make her his. When she first met him, she thought he was charming but then he started talking about destiny and their babies and not soon after Mackenzie found herself running through five states to escape him. No matter how fast she runs and how well she hides, he always seems to find her in the end. Her latest stop in New Orleans has proven to be no different than the last except that she has stumbled across a supernatural community who is willing to lay their lives on the line to save her.

Mackenzie is a really skittish person. She isn’t quick to trust people and it takes her a little bit of time to trust Jackson when he tries to help her. However, she soon learns that the man chasing her, Marcus, wasn’t crazy when he talked about other beings. Not only is Jackson someone who can cast spells and make himself invisible, but apparently she can shape shift into a cougar. Which just so happens to be really rare.

This is the first book by Moira’s that I’ve read and I must say that I really enjoyed it. You don’t only have shape-shifters but seers and wizards as well. There are a lot of secondary characters in this story and sometimes that can throw me off, but they play such a huge roll in the story, that I never got confused with who was who. There was quite a bit of action in this story and a lot of sexual frustration at the beginning when Mackenzie goes into, what can only be described as, heat when the spell binding her cougar side starts to unravel. I found myself flipping through pages just to find out how it all ends and even though this book is rather large… I read it within a day.

 

1favequote“Jesus. How are we supposed to explain any of this to the cops? A wild cougar attacked me in the shower and you shot yourself?”

kRISTIN

Review: Five Ways to Fall by KA Tucker

18170583Five Ways to Fall
(Ten Tiny Breaths, #4)
By: KA Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.

Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.

If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…

 

1thoughtsReese was left at a diner by her father when she was five. Her husband cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend. So it goes without saying that Reese is kind of a little wild when we first meet her. Ben is a character that we met in previous books. He’s a bouncer at the strip club who just passed the bar to become a lawyer. His father abused his mother, cheated on her and in the end became a bitter husband/father. With a husband/father role model like that, Ben isn’t looking to become anyone’s husband. So he bounces from chick to chick. Which is when he meets a fiery purple haired chick in Cancun. Fast-forward a few months later, they find themselves working for the same law firm.

This was a great story. Yeah, it’s predictable but it’s entertaining. Tucker has a great sense of humor and kept me laughing throughout the entire story. From Reese’s naked drunken starfish re-enactment to Ben being extremely drunk and wearing a thong with his nuts hanging out. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

“I’m going to puke. I’m going to puke doing a facedown starfish if I don’t get up right now. The bathroom is no more than six feet away and I know I’m not going to make it all the way back to my feet. So I do the next best thing.
Scrambling to my hands and knees, I crawl toward the bathroom.”

The author has a great story telling voice. I was never bored with the story or felt like it was rushed. The romance isn’t one that happens instantly or out of left field. In fact, Reese isn’t a fan of Ben’s, not only because he’s sleeps around but because of their first night together where she made a complete fool of herself. Ben is of course attracted to her, she is a female after all, but he can’t quite figure her out. She’s hung up on her now-married ex-husband when what she really should be doing is singing her praises for getting out of the relationship and moving on with her life. She’s a wild child with a fiery attitude and yet she is a paralegal at a highly sought after law firm. She is a nut that he can’t crack which just makes him want to get to know her more. The two become friends and in the end develop a romance. At no point did I feel like anything was unbelievable.

This is a new adult romance however it’s not as explicit as some new adult books I’ve read. There are a couple of sexual scenes but nothing in sordid detail. Anytime there was sex, the author just left that part implied and hanging at the end of the chapter. If you’re looking for a story that will leave a soft spot on your heart, this is it. I fell hard for all the characters involved. Even the secondary characters. I have to be honest, I’m a little bummed by the author’s note at the end that talked about this being the last planned book in the series. I’m really hoping there are some unplanned books in the near future.

 

1favequote(you know you’ve thought it too)

“When I was sixteen, she made me go to a stuffy country-club Christmas party with one of Barry’s law firm partners’ sons. The guy was a twenty-four-year-old med student with aspirations of becoming a gynecologist. Call me sexist – I don’t really care – but in this day and age of equal rights and women becoming doctors, I wonder about men who choose to poke around in vaginas all day long as a career. Naturally, I spent the entire meal interrogation him on his intentions and his motivations.”

 

 Previous reviews from Ten Tiny Breaths
Ten Tiny Breaths
Four Seconds to Lose

kRISTIN

Review: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

2168860One Foot in the Grave
(Night Huntress, #2)
By: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Avon
Published: April 29, 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:
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Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around Bones awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline rush of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard Cat tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever…and Bones won’t let her get away again. Original.

 

1thoughtsThis second book takes place 4 years later. Cat is now the team leader of her special forces group who take down the undead. She has turned cynical and sour over the years but she will do anything for her team. After all these years she still misses Bones and cannot seem to forget about him. However after a turn of events Cat is reunited with Bones and it doesn’t take long for their relationship to rekindle. But Cat seems to have a price on her head and Bones is ready to do anything in order to keep Cat safe, which includes joining her team.

The first part of the book is about Cat and her new life. You see how much she has changed but no matter what she still holds onto the past. She is respected by her team of men and she would do anything to make sure they are safe. Then comes Bones who after years of searching for Cat, has finally found her and no matter what refuses to let her go again. So since Cat is so dead set on staying with her men since, let’s face it, without her half vampire strength and speed, they would be dead without her, Bone decides to join the special forces group. Once Bones is on board, he and Cat pick up where they left off. There of course are a couple of bumps along the way, like someone putting a bounty on Cat’s head, Bones’ ex-lovers popping up and a little problem with Cat’s vampire father making an appearance.

This one sets the stage for Cat and Bones to work with the team and create a stronger vampire fighting unit. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Cat and Bones’ story.

 

1favequoteTate and Bones are ready to fight and Tate rubs it into Bones’ face that he has known Cat for 4 years now whereas Bones only knew her for 6 months.

“Quit it! Tate, enough of the taunts, and Bones, how old are you? Why don’t I just give you a pair of my panties to hang around your neck? Then whenever you feel jealous, you can wave them at whoever’s pissing you off.” -Cat

 

 

Previous reviews from Night Huntress
Halfway to the Grave
kRISTIN

Sunday Wrap-Up #34

Sunday Wrap-Up is all about sharing the books and book related items that I’ve picked up recently. I also recap what went on last week and let you in on what’s coming up. I link up my post to Sunday Post, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, Showcase Sunday, and Stacking the Shelves.

 
 
This week was one hell of a week. Maybe is was the whole Friday the 13th moon or something. My vehicle broke down thus leaving me with a hefty $1,000 bill. Which was a big blow considering the Mr and I just came back from a cross country drive where we had to take the vehicle in twice to get fixed. The Mr’s birthday was also this week and my boss was awesome enough to allow me to split my hours up between days so that I could take some time off to bake his cake and wrap gifts. Also, I got my NES working again. Found out that you can’t play Duck Hunt with flat screen TVs. Which really stinks. I told the Mr we will have to go to garage sales and find us an old boob tube. Every NES needs to have Duck Hunt.
 
 
Last week on BSA:
Treasures on Your Doorstep by Julia Lynam (Review)
Lost in Starlight by Sherry Soule (Character Quiz & Giveaway)
The Reapers by Jacinta Maree (Excerpt & Giveaway)

This week on BSA:
Crux by Moira Rogers (Review)
Second Chance by Jelsa Mepsey (Excerpt)
Five Ways to Fall by KA Tucker (Review)
One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Review)

 

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Pieces of Olivia
By: Melissa West
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
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Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future.
But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

 
 
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Shelter Me
By: Catherine Mann
Release Date: Aug 8, 2014
Genre: Contemp. Romance
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Staff Sergeant Mike Kowalski wants only one thing after he gets home from Iraq: to sleep in a king-sized bed with clean sheets. But first, he has to hand off his fallen commander’s dog, Trooper, to his family without handing off his heart to Sierra…

Sierra McDaniel needs a break. Her family life is crazy, and when she’s not mucking out kennels, she’s slogging through grad school. Sierra certainly doesn’t want another dog, especially one that reminds her of her father. And she definitely doesn’t want to see Mike with that charming smile of his…

But Trooper has a mission of his own. Before too long Mike is moving to the ranch to lend a hand—and hoping for his own second chance with Sierra.

 
 

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The Vault of Dreamers
By: Caragh M. O’Brien
Release Date: Sept. 16, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi YA
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The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

 
 
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Going Down in Flames
By: Chris Cannon
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance YA
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Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

 
 
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Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches
By: Kris Holechek Peters
Published: June 3, 2014
Genre: Cookbook
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Nothing beats the marriage of crunchy cookies and luscious ice cream. Whether you’re hosting a birthday bash, dinner party or just indulging yourself on a hot summer’s day, homemade ice cream sandwiches are the perfect frozen treat.
This book offers endless combinations of cruelty-free, decadent recipes to please any palate, including:
Traditional Favorites
•Chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean ice cream
•Coffee cookies with chocolate nut ice cream
•Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream
Fun Creations
•Sprinkle cookies with cake batter ice cream
•Chocolate wafers with peanut butter cup ice cream
•Shortbread with strawberry balsamic ice cream
Gourmet Treats
•Lemon cornmeal biscuits with raspberry sherbet
•Cardamom cookies with Pistachio ice cream
•Orange zest shortbread with earl grey ice cream

kRISTIN