Author Archives: Kristin

Sneak Peek Wednesday: Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg (Giveaway)

Digging Up Love
(Taste of Love #1)
by Chandra Blumberg
Publisher: Montlake
Publication date: Jan. 1, 2022
Genre: Romance

Alisha Blake works her magic in the kitchen, creating delectable desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant in rural Illinois. Though Alisha relishes the close relationship she has with her family, she can’t help but dream about opening a cookie shop in Chicago. She may be a small-town baker, but Alisha has big ambitions.

Then a dinosaur bone turns up in her grandparents’ backyard. When paleontologist Quentin Harris arrives to see the discovery for himself, he’s hoping that the fossil will distract him from a recent painful breakup. Instead, he finds Alisha—and sparks fly. The big-city academic and the hometown baker seem destined for a happily ever after.

But Alisha is scared to fall in love. And Quentin’s trying to make a name for himself in a competitive field, which gets even more complicated when the press shows up at the dig site. For love to prevail, the two may have to put old bones aside—and focus on the future.

 

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Review: Wanted by J. Kenner

Wanted
(Most Wanted #1)
by J. Kenner
Publisher: Bantam
Publication date: Jan. 7, 2014
Genre: Romance
Rating:

He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.

 

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The Start of a New Year

I’m linking this post to Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday, and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

Well, it’s the start of a new year. Looking back at 2021 I realized that I had my world flipped upside down. I quit my job right before the new year, found out we were moving to Okinawa in June. Got ready for said move. Said goodbye to all my friends and family before hopping on a plane to a foreign country. Then dealt with adjusting to the new country while covid raged on, shutting down locations upon our arrival. Not to mention finding my calling while out here by helping as many stray, feral, and dumped cats on the island. So, it’s no surprise that my reading and blogging took a nosedive. I kept beating myself up for my lack of reading and blogging, but at the end of the day, we are all human. Reflecting back on the last year really put into perspective why I haven’t been as active as I’ve wanted to be. And ya know what, that’s okay.

I won’t lie, my focus has shifted a lot from blogging and more into helping the cats here in Okinawa. There are just so many of them. It’s insane. Not only do I spend a lot of time doing TNR (trap, neuter, release), but I have rescued and taken in a handful of cats and got them either into a home or into a foster system with the local rescue on island. Unfortunately, I did lose a couple of the cats. My first being Kazu. He was a feral cat that was not only deaf but had a diaphragmatic hernia that needed emergency surgery. While he survived the surgery, the vet got back to the office the next morning to find that he has choked in the middle of the night and passed away. The other angel baby is Leeloo who was a tiny kitten that was battling upper respiratory infection and parasites. Sadly, my friend (who was holding her at her house), woke up to find that the kitten had passed away in the night. While it has been really difficult to get past these losses, it pushes me even more to continue to help as many babies as I can. This past month was especially hard because I came across 3 dumped cats. One I have a friend watching who is about to go into the foster system for the local rescue, one my other friend has taken on which has a upper respiratory infection and mange, and the third is one that I have in my custody. All three of these babies just randomly popped up in an area with no one looking for them. It’s heartbreaking to witness, and sadly this is a common occurrence since I am on an island with a heavy military population that rotates on and off the island. So a lot of animals get dumped when the military members move off island. While I try to focus more on doing TNR, I can not sit by and watch an animal suffer. Hence, my current house guest. If anyone would like to help me on my mission, I will leave my links below.

So, with all of that being said, what does 2022 hold in store for me? Hopefully a lot of success stories, a bit more reading, a lot of exploration of this beautiful area, and some much need rest and relaxation.

What are you hoping for with the new year?

 

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Review: The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

The Royals Next Door
by Karina Halle
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Aug. 31, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

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Review: My Almost Ex by Piper Rayne

My Almost Ex
(The Greene Family #2)
by Piper Rayne
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

In the middle of a crowded bar in our small Alaskan town, my estranged wife snuggles up to me as if we’re still a happy couple.

Don’t get me wrong, we were a happy couple—before she walked out on me a year ago. We were the high school sweethearts everyone thought were destined to be together forever. We thought so too, which is why we married shortly after graduation.

We had a good marriage. Until she left me without any real explanation.

Now, she’s back—and this is the real kicker—she has amnesia and thinks I’m still her husband. Technically I am, although the divorce papers are sitting at the lawyer’s office.

She’s desperate to remember her life in Sunrise Bay but I only want to find out why she left me. Once we conjure that memory up, it’s sayonara because there’s no second chances here. But as you probably already figured out, things didn’t go quite as I planned.

 

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Snuggly Weather Should Mean More Reading…

I’m linking this post to Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday, and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather. I know that I am.

This month was pretty successful as far as TNR goes. I caught 5 cats, got them fixed, and then returned to their colonies. I also got Nezuko into the rescue organization on the island. She’s currently getting loved on by her new foster mom and I’m sure she will be adopted out soon enough. While I was sad to see her go, and definitely shed a few tears, I am not equipped to find her a good home. My intentions would be in the right place, but the organization I got her into had a six page questionnaire for potential adopters, then once they find an adopter, they make them sign contracts, and continue to check up on the animal after adoption. So, I was very relieved that they had a foster home ready for her. I know that they have the capability to make sure she finds a forever home and not just simply an “Oki pet” for military members while stationed on the island.

I’d like to say that I killed it with my reading, but I didn’t. I suppose I read more than I have been lately, but still nowhere near as many books as I used to read pre-pandemic. I’m sure that’s going to decrease even more now that I have my Hiragana and Kana textbooks to help me learn Japanese. Figured it might be useful to know more than a few polite words if I’m going to be living here for a handful of years. So, I really want to buckle down on that now that my textbooks arrived.

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Review: Her Wolf by Fiona Davenport

Her Wolf
(Shifted Love #1)
by Fiona Davenport
Publisher: self-published
Publication date: May 18, 2020
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:

Allegra Hale had no idea shifters existed when she headed off to college with her two best friends. Let alone that her campus was near a shifter town. But that all changed when she got into a crash and was rescued by Zeke Blakesley—the wolf shifter who insisted they belonged together.

Zeke knew Allegra was his fated mate the moment he caught her scent. Now that he has found the woman who was born to be his, he’ll never let her go.

 

I loved the idea of this story but it didn’t really work for me. Let’s just say that the romance moves a lil too quickly for me. I mean, I get that the author tries to explain it away as the mate link, I needed a moment to warm up to the idea. I mean, they haven’t even known each other an hour and we’re already hot for each other… two virgins. Now, I get that Zeke’s 30 year old self has definitely got some serious hormones going, and being a shifter, he would feel that mate pull pretty hard. However, Allegra is a human, and although she feels the pull, I would think it would just be an attraction. I didn’t expect her to be totally okay with a stranger taking her to his house, touching her (not inappropriately but still, I have a thing called personal space), and when he reveals he’s a wolf shifter, she’s just like “okay, take me now!”. I just wish that the author did a little bit of background on both of them as individuals as well as the building romance. I just felt like the romance was so rushed. Considering this is the first book in the series, a little bit more info on the pack and their town, let alone going in depth of the mate pull/bond would have been nice.

Maybe because this is a novella at only 100 pages, but there was just no information and no plot. We get nothing about the pack, even after finishing the book. There’s a small epilogue at the end that says it’s 5 years later and everything’s great, nothing more. I just wish we had actually seen her introduction into the pack. However all we got were about 100 pages of them being horny for each other and rushing things way too quickly in the span of a day. This sounded like it could have been a really good story, but there was just no substance to it.

 

 

Review: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

The Heart Principle
(The Kiss Quotient #3)
by Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Aug. 31, 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating:

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Wolf Reborn by Sara Snow (Giveaway)

Wolf Reborn
by Sara Snow
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Nov. 12, 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance

As an Enchanted, I might not be able to shift like other wolves, but I’ve saved countless lives through the visions I receive. And in the end, saving others cost me my life.

That sacrifice buys me a one-way ticket to my LAST chance at happiness: an afterlife in the God Realm.

Sounds great, right?

Wrong.

The problem is, the perfect afterlife for me includes settling down with my fated mate. And whoever he is, he’s probably back down on Earth wondering where the hell I am.

When I actually find my fated mate, the gorgeous but scarred white wolf Lucian, in the God Realm with me, I learn that the wolf of my dreams, my other half, the wolf that was created to complete me…

…wants absolutely nothing to do with me.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, a second fated mate shows up out of nowhere… and he’s not even a werewolf. Just my luck.

It turns out my two mates can’t stand each other. And while Lucian may not want me himself, he doesn’t want Remir to have me either. Seriously?

All I know is, if either one of these two hotheads rejects me, my one last chance at a perfect afterlife could turn into an eternal hell—or worse…

 

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Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis
by Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

 

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