Book Review: Ignite by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

IGNITE (Underground Encounters Book 3) by Lisa Carlisle is now my favorite of this series!

Vamps underground nightclub is the epicenter of each book in this paranormal romance series that are all easily read as standalone stories. Ms. Carlisle’s world of vampires, shifters, witches and gargoyles just keeps getting better and better.

Book 3 has Lily Everett celebrating a promotion with her friend at Vamps. Lily works hard at her job, works out hard at the gym and is an avid reader who has occasional sex with no commitments. Lily’s night out is interrupted by The Velvet Cocks lead singer and she is not thrilled until she hears him sing. He has a sensual voice that captivates her. Lily is interested, but very guarded and a loner because she has a furry secret that she never shares.

Nico Bedrosian aka Leggy Bones is a rock star by night and a computer geek by day. He is intrigued by the golden eyed beauty who does not seemed interested in him. He gets Lily to let him in enough to be a friend with benefits and those benefits are extremely hot!

Real feelings begin to grow on both sides, but Lily refuses to share why they can never be together. Nico wants to break down Lily’s walls and find out why she is so afraid to commit, but can he really handle the truth?

Lily and Nico are both well fleshed out characters that have many layers to their personalities that make them unique. You can feel for Lily having to grow up with her secret and being too afraid to share. Nico is just perfect with his rock star looks and voice, literary knowledge, geekiness and English accent. These two have explicit, steamy, smokin’ hot sex scenes throughout the story, but they are well placed and realistic to the building relationship.

Ms. Carlisle has built an intriguing paranormal world around Vamps and each book has increased my interest and love of the series. I cannot wait to see who will be introduced next!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Book Review: Tell It Like It Is by Stanalei Fletcher

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

TELL IT LIKE IT IS (Northstar Security #5) by Stanalei Fletcher is the newest addition to this fantastic romantic suspense series! I believe Ms. Fletcher consistently produces realistic and strong heroes and heroines, interesting suspense plots and romance to heat up the sheets on these chilly winter nights.

Justine Shelby is an agent for Northstar Security who lives and works in California for the D.C. based company. Tiny, white haired and honest to a fault, Shelby has a past that she has worked hard to overcome. Her latest assignment is to be a personal bodyguard/assistant to world famous author Rosalee Kane. Rosalee is writing her memoir and has started to receive death threats. Shelby begins to care for the author as more than just a job and does not want to lose jurisdiction to Rosalee’s FBI Special Agent nephew.

FBI Special Agent Nelson Kane has many reservations about Northstar handling his aunt’s case from a previous encounter. As the threats escalate, he must put those reservations aside and trust in Shelby to help him keep his aunt alive.

With each turn of the page, you become even more involved with the mystery, suspense and action. Most romantic suspense stories center mainly on the H/h and protagonist, but this book also has a feisty, elderly author/aunt, who is just as smart, young at heart and entertaining as the H/h. Ms. Fletcher’s dialogue between these characters is intelligent, funny and sassy. The romance is there and happens without sexual intercourse. I was more focused on the suspense plot and Rosalee. (Not a slight, I just was not as completely into the H/h’s romance in this book.) I was able to predict the villain of this tale, but it did not ruin the story for me.

If you have not tried this author or this series, you really should! This book can be read as a standalone, just like the others in this series, but I think once you finish this story, you will want to read the others, too.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Book Review: Last Rights by Ava Bradley

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I have just finished a story by another fabulous new-to-me author who had me on the edge of my seat in suspense, crying and laughing, morally debating cloning and hot and twitchy with short, but steamy sex scenes.

LAST RIGHTS by Ava Bradley was a romantic suspense set in the future that starts from the very first page at jet speed and does not let up.

P.I. Fallon Monroe is sent by her sister to retrieve her nephew’s clone for life saving heart transplant surgery. Fallon soon comes to realize this clone is not just a lump of cells, but an exceptionally gifted little boy who calls himself, Jamie. The cloning company does not want people to know the true reality of the clones and a terrorist group wants to set this child up as a symbol to get the country to change the cloning laws.

Special Ops Lieutenant John White is awakened from a medically induced healing coma as Fallon and Jamie burst into his hospital room attempting escape. He does not know why, but he knows he has to protect these two above all else. John and Fallon will do anything to protect Jamie, but each is also harboring a secret that they fear could change the feelings that are beginning to blossom between them.

I did not want to put this book down. The chase and suspense were always constant. Fallon, John and Jamie are wonderfully realistic characters that I fell in love with. Cloning is debated, not just in the hypothetical, but by making you fall in love with characters it effects and makes you think about what you would do and how you feel. I never felt it was preachy because the author made you feel Fallon’s heart wrenching decisions as she made them.

This story had everything I am looking for in a romantic suspense and more. I highly recommend this story and I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

 

Book Review: Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story by Katrina Shawver

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

HENRY: A POLISH SWIMMER’S TRUE STORY OF FRIENDSHIP FROM AUSCHWITZ TO AMERICA by Katrina Shawver is a memoir/biography that had me turning the pages and finishing this memorable read in just two sittings.

Katrina Shawver was trying to come up with a new story for her column in ‘The Arizona Republic’ when she heard about a former Polish swimming star who survived the death camps of WWII Germany. After her column ran, she knew she had to continue meeting with Henry and tell his entire story. He had an amazing cache of original documents and pictures with stories for them all. This book documents Henry’s story in his own words and the author interjects her own research that verifies Henry’s stories.

Henry tells his story to Ms. Shawver over many taped meetings. With gallows humor and always a sense of hope, Henry recalls his youth and capture by the Germans as they rounded up all Polish young men after their invasion. Henry was a strong young man who was a champion swimmer and water polo player for the Krakow YMCA team at the time of his arrest. Catholic and a proud Pole, Henry was sent to Auschwitz 1 as a political prisoner.

There are several instances when Henry should have died, but he always seemed to know someone who would find him at just the right time to help him survive. Henry knows he was incredibly lucky. From Auschwitz to Buchenwald, Henry details camp life. Even with all the killing and death, there are stories that sound absurd to the situation, but were small moments to forget where and what they were living through so that they could hope and survive for another day.

I have read many stories of the camps from Jewish survivor stories, but this book is through the eyes of a Polish political prisoner. I learned that they could and did send and receive mail, that there were underground activities ongoing in the camps and that the prisoners were segregated from the Jewish prisoners. Buchenwald held mainly German communists, criminals, Jehovah Witnesses, gypsies and the 1000 political prisoner Poles sent from Auschwitz until almost the end of the war.

Henry survives to live under communist rule in Poland because he returns home to his mother. After she is gone, he and a friend have the chance to escape to freedom in the west and they take it.

You will not be able to resist Henry. He is an ordinary young man who survived and lived an extraordinary life. If you are like me and devour books about WWII, this one should definitely be on your list.

Thanks very much to Koehler Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I could not have enjoyed it more.

Book Review: How to Lose an Alien in 10 Days by Fiona Roarke

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Oh how I LOVE the fun, witty and romantic books of the Alienn, Arkansas series!

HOW TO LOSE AN ALIEN IN 10 DAYS (Alienn, Arkansas Book 2) by Fiona Roarke is another romantic romp through Alienn, Arkansas and the Big Bang Truck Stop. This time Cam Grey, Chief of Security at the Big Bang Truck Stop will learn to his surprise that sometimes he is willing to bend or break the rules when it comes to a sexy Alpha with a blue streak in her hair who jumps ship at the rest stop.

Alexandria “Ria” Latham Borne is on a get-to-know-you journey with her arranged marriage fiancée, chaperoned by her mother who wants the money and prestige from this marriage. Ria knows the true nature of her fiancée and wants nothing to do with him or this arrangement. She has studied everything about Earth and has a bucket list to accomplish. She jumps ship and makes her way to a karaoke bar, where she cannot believe her luck. She has found and is instantly attracted to a man, who she believes to be an Earthling.

Cam’s secret pleasure is to go to a karaoke bar just across the county line. When he sees Ria and she sings directly to him, he knows he has to have her, Earthling or not. Cam has been burned by an Earthling before, but he tells himself he just wants her in his bed for a short tryst, not forever.

When Cam finds out Ria defied colony rules, he should lock her up, but he just cannot lock up his rule breaker with a bucket list of Earth attractions. He breaks all of his rules to share what little time they have before she must leave.

This romance is so pure and simple which makes it so beautiful. Ms. Roarke writes romance with sex scenes behind the curtain and in this case, Cam will not have sex with Ria once he knows she is promised to someone else, but the romance is in everything they do together. The plot has some adorable twists involving Cam’s aunt, her best friend, and his brothers, Diesel and Axel. Once again, I loved all the unique play on word names of places and people. I laughed out loud in places, felt despair at how Cam and Ria could ever come together for their HEA, and loved how Ria saw everything on Earth with child-like eyes.

This is an easy to read series that plays on all your emotions without you realizing how much talent that takes from the author, who does a wonderful job in this series.

Written for and posted first for The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

BROKEN BONES (D.I. Kim Stone, #7) by Angela Marsons is an intricately woven web of clues under investigation by Kim and her team that brings together international sex slavery, illegal immigrant exploitation and prostitution into a realistic and brutally honest story. Once again, I can highly recommend this book and series!

It is Christmas and as D.I. Kim Stone is leaving the station, she finds a baby abandoned on the steps. As the team comes together to watch Kim deal with a baby, a call comes through for Kim and her team of a murdered prostitute. As Kim and Bryant follow the trail of clues, they get pulled into a world of not only prostitution, but also the grooming and entrapment of young girls into modern day slavery and gangs.

At the same time, Stacey and Dawson investigate to find the mother of the abandoned baby. Their investigation leads to a factory of Romanian workers that just does not seem quite right and a dead Romanian man, who appears to be a vagrant. As they work the clues, they are introduced to a world of illegal immigrants forced into indebtedness that will never be overcome and is therefore just a form of slavery.

At first, there appear to be too many threads to follow and I was not sure of how all of the plotlines would come together, but under the deft plotting of Ms. Marsons everything all tied together beautifully with a very surprising ending. I believe all of the issues covered throughout this book were handled with truth and empathy, including the revelations in the main characters lives. Kim, Bryant, Stacey and Dawson are a realistic group of investigators/characters that have all grown in various ways throughout this series. Another great addition to the series that can be read as a standalone, but I believe if you give it a try, you will become as hooked as I am and read the whole series.

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I hope this series continues on for many years to come!