Author Archives: Kristin

Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted
by Meagan Spooner
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Rating:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

 

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Review: Kiss of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Kiss of the Night
(Dark-Hunter #4)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication date: April 19, 2004
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:

Wulf is an ancient Viking warrior with a useful but extremely aggravating power—amnesia. No one who meets him in person can remember him 5 minutes later. It makes it easy to have one-night stands, but hard to have a meaningful relationship, and without true love he can never regain his soul.

When he finally meets Cassandra, the one woman who can remember him, she turns out to be the princess of the cursed race he’s sworn to hunt—and forbidden to him. The two of them must face ancient curses, prophecies, and the direct meddling of the Greek gods to find true happiness at last.

 

 

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Black Hole Infection by Nazarea Andrews

Black Hole Infection
(The Hopeless World, #2)
by Nazarea Andrews
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Jan. 7, 2018
Genre: Scifi Romance

They thought they knew how the world ends…
Parker has always been other, an outsider in the Last Holdout, a strange almost feral creature that trusted Josiah. Josiah always accepted his strangeness as a strength.
Africa changed everything.
Parker is different here. Dangerous and powerful in a way neither knew he could be. It’s terrifying.
But if they are going to survive the continent, they’ll need to trust each other–and their reluctant allies–in ways they never have before.
All of Africa is watching them as they change the balance of power.
And the zombies aren’t the only things trying to kill them.

 

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Review: Down by Contact by Santino Hassell

Down by Contact
(The Barons #2)
by Santino Hassell
Publisher: Intermix
Publication date: Jan. 16, 2018
Genre: M/M romance
Rating:

Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

 

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Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side
by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: Jan. 31, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Rating:

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Candidate by Tracy Ewens

Candidate – A Love Story
by Tracy Ewens
Publisher: self-published
Publication date: June 23, 2015
Genre: Romance

If only life were as simple as choosing between Toaster Strudel and Fruit Loops.

Katherine Galloway is two years divorced and still living out of boxes. Between her brothers (cops that work with her ex) and her mother’s constant reminders that her clock is ticking, Kate is trying to hold it all together. But the truth is, she’s eating Toaster Strudel for dinner, and living and breathing her PR career. When it comes to public relations, there’s nothing she can’t handle . . . or at least that’s what she thinks.

Grady Malendar, the only son of United States Senator Patrick Malendar, has a reputation as a playboy who likes to have a little too much fun. The senator is running for re-election and needs Grady’s help with the youth vote. But what they want is a new and improved, headline-free Grady, so they hire a PR firm. Grady is willing to participate in the dog and pony show to help his father win, but there are some things about Grady’s life he wants to keep hidden. Especially from his snoopy new PR “babysitter,” Kate Galloway.

Somewhere between campaign stops and fundraisers, Kate and Grady discover that neither of them are what they appear to be on the surface. Tensions between them grow until there is no denying they are falling in love behind the scenes of a façade they both need to keep in place. Will scandal, old wounds, and secrets tear them apart, or will Kate and Grady realize, despite appearances, they are both candidates for love?

 

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Review: Elizabeth’s Wolf by Lora Leigh

Elizabeth’s Wolf
(Breeds #3)
by Lora Leigh
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication date: Jan. 2, 2018 (revised edition)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:

From New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh comes a new, revised edition of a beloved classic in the passionate Breed series–Elizabeth’s Wolf won the hearts of readers everywhere when it was first released, and now experience the magic again in this special, expanded edition!

Special-Forces solider Dash has all but given up his will to live until an innocent letter from a little girl brings him back to life. Cassie writes to him every week, strengthening his resolve to recover from the devastating loss of his unit. But when the letters suddenly stop arriving, Dash instinctively knows Cassie and her mother are in critical danger.

Elizabeth and her daughter are on the run from a dark and bloody past that refuses to let them go. The stakes are too high for her to fall for this dangerous man who’s just walked into her life, but now more than ever she needs help.

Saving his mate and her daughter calls Dash’s beast to the forefront and transforms the lone wolf into an alpha protector–he becomes Elizabeth’s wolf.

 

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Review: Headmaster by Tara Sue Me

Headmaster
(Lessons From the Rack #2)
by Tara Sue Me
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: Jan. 16, 2018
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating:

Lennox MacLure, owner of the RACK Academy, has sworn off the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. Years ago, his submissive, Winnie, died in a car accident following a heated argument for which he blames himself. Guilt-ridden and emotionally closed off, Lennox sees the academy as both his punishment and penance for her death.

Mariela, a dance instructor and a natural submissive, was Winnie’s best friend and longs to help Lennox move past his grief. She’s accepted that he will never see her as anything more than a friend, but she still wants to help him acknowledge what he needs. Mariela comes up with a plan of seduction, guaranteed to unleash the Dominant he’s willfully buried—but the passion they unleash could prove to be stronger than they are ready to handle.

 

Lennox runs a BDSM academy where Doms and Subs can learn the ins and outs of being in a D/s relationship. He doesn’t participate in any of the training sessions, he doesn’t partake in any of the kink himself, and actually, Lennox is pretty aloof most of the time. You knew going in that there was a lot of history there for him, none of it good, and part of it involved Marie, his employee. I was really looking forward to reading about their history and why he is the way he is. I mean, who runs a BDSM school but doesn’t actually partake in it?

Oh man. I don’t know what to say about this one. I fell head over heels in love with Master Professor and I knew that Lennox’s story had to be amazing, but I just wasn’t feeling this one. While I really loved Marie and Lennox separately, and maybe even as a couple, I felt like I was missing something. It didn’t help that the author would completely skip ahead in the story. So, we’d see a conflict pop up, it sort of be dealt with, and then we’d be catapulted a day, week, months into the future. So, for instance when a sub is kicked out of the academy during training, the next chapter we apparently skip forward in time. Is it fully dealt with? Are there any repercussions? What about her Dom partner? Did they bring in a new sub as a replacement? It was things like that that really kept me from fully getting into the story. It just seemed like the author would show you the beginning workings of something and then skip ahead to the end of it without really giving the readers all the nitty gritty in between.

I will say that I liked the aspect of this tragedy that both he and Marie experienced that has sort of set them both off kilter. Lennox used to be this very confident Dom, and now he can’t even be in a room with a scene taking place. Essentially, this story should be called, “How Lennox got his Dom back.” We pretty much see Lennox go from this broken shell of himself and slowly (very slowly) start to embrace who he really is and become whole again. I also liked that in between chapters we got a journal entry from his dead girl friend. Those little tidbits were interesting to read about and gave you a little insight into the past.

Headmaster was not my favorite read of the year. I felt like some scenes dragged on, while other parts were completely skipped over. I loved my time with Master Professor and was really looking forward to Headmaster but this just didn’t do it for me. The next book seems to follow Andie’s (from Master Professor) ex-boyfriend and maybe a Senator’s daughter? That’s a complete guess from the epilogue I got at the end of this book. Will I be tuning in for that story? Maybe. We will see.

 

Previous reviews from Lessons From the Rack
Master Professor

 

 

 

Top 10 books I read in 2017

I can’t believe it’s already 2018! Last year was a little chaotic for me. It seemed like there was always something going on, and my reading/blogging took a hit because of it. Thankfully, I was able to talk my sister, Jodi, into coming on board and helping me review for the blog. She loves to read and has a different genre preference than I do. She likes more Stephen King and paranormal books, whereas I like romance novels. So, it’s been great having her help out because she will be adding a little something different to the blog.

While I never did meet my Goodreads goal for the year, I did read a little over 100 books. So, I am not too upset with my reading from last year. While there were a lot of duds for me, there were also some really amazing books that I read last year. A few of which surprised me. I just want to take a moment to highlight some of my favorite reads from last year.

 

Top 10 books I read in 2017

 

Haven by Mary Lindsay [review]

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

 

 

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren [review]

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

 

 

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent [review]

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

 

 

Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne [review]

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.

 

 

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen [review]

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

 

 

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye [review]

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

 

 

Trust by Kylie Scott [review]

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

 

 

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle [review]

He lost his mentor.
He lost his K9 partner.
He almost lost his will to live.
But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.

Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.

Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.

When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…

And this time, there’s no escape.

 

 

Master Professor by Tara Sue Me [review]

Students are begging to be held after class…

Andie Lincoln is madly in love with Terrence Knight–her childhood friend-turned-Hollywood’s newest golden boy. But he’s a Dominant and wants her trained as a submissive before he’ll consider a relationship with her. He enrolls her at the RACK Academy with strict instructions for her teachers: Do whatever you need to, but don’t take her virginity.

Fulton Matthews, the director of incoming students, is enthralled by Andie. Though he questioned her enrollment at first, watching her discover her submissive nature is hotter than his most intense fantasy. Under his control, her sexual awakening brings him to his knees.

Yet they can go only so far. Andie belongs to another, and Fulton is bound by a contract that strictly forbids relationships between teachers and students. But when Terrence comes to collect his prize, Fulton discovers it’s not easy to let Andie go. . .

 

 

Written in Red by Anne Bishop [review]

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

 

What were some of your favorite books from 2017?

 

 

Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Ones Who Got Away
(The Ones Who Got Away #1)
by Roni Loren
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: Jan 2, 2018
Genre: Romance
Rating:

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

 

 

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