On the Edge of Scandal (Snow & Ice Games, Book 3), by Tamsen Parker

 

Blurb:

Bronwyn Perry is the star of the US women’s hockey team, and she and her boyfriend Brody Hill have been hockey royalty since they’ve been in high school. Brody unexpectedly fails to make the men’s team but still comes to Denver to support his girl at the Snow and Ice Games. Or so Bronwyn thinks.

Ash Levenson is the coach of the women’s SIG hockey team. His primary responsibility is to keep his team happy, healthy, and primed to win. Though he’s close in age to his players, he’s been doing this for a while and mostly, it’s easy to keep his eyes on the puck. He’s always been able to discard any crush he might have on any of the women he’s coached…until Bronwyn.

When Bronwyn and Brody’s romance comes to a very public and very ugly end, Ash has to get his star player’s head back in the game and ready to dominate on the rink. Which may mean spending a little time off the ice…

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

February 6, 2018
St. Martin’s Press

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This started out really great. A story that builds on the the development of the characters is almost always going to win me over. The character build up for coach Ash Levenson is really solid. I felt like I had a good handle on who he was, where his feelings were coming from, and I really saw the affection he had for Bronwyn. The same could be said for Bronwyn, but not at the same level. With Bronwyn, I felt like I started to understand her, only to be infuriated by her decisions. 

Bronwyn is a really strong female character, excellent hockey player, with a great personality… when she’s not second guessing herself or hanging around her boyfriend. The times where she’s strong are counterbalanced by the times she’s really not, and when she looses confidence in herself she becomes this other person all together. And honestly, to me, she read as really immature and childish at times. The more I read, the more I started to dislike her. It was like I had this instant affection towards her, only to have it turn around rapidly.

And speaking of her boyfriend… for someone who comes off as strong willed, sure of herself in almost all things, and a fierce competitor, I could not figure out why she put up with so much shit from that dude. Yes, they’d been together for a really long time, since both were really young, but how she was able to be so independent and amazing in every other aspect of her life, and then let him walk all over her, belittle her, and treat her like shit was beyond me. This made it even harder for me to connect with her.

The times when I really disliked Bronwyn were when she’d talk about how Ash was not her type, not the greatest looking guy, yet something made her want to “board that train”. When Bronwyn and Ash do get intimate, it really felt like he was using him. And in reality, she was at first. She had no idea of his true feelings, and that’s not her fault, but the way she comes off in her POV really rubbed the wrong way. The way things start between these two didn’t sit well with me.

BUT! All of that was this back of my mind, simmering dislike for some things. For the rest of it, I found the story good. I liked the way Ash is so passionate about the way he coaches, how the women on the team play, that he is a positive coach for them, and his dedication to them. I wished there was more hockey in the book because those couple of times we get them on the ice were really fun. And while Bronwyn ends one long lasting relationship and dives head first into another the very next day without even realizing it, finding love after only a couple of weeks, I appreciated that Ash had this long budding crush on her. It helps the insta-insta love aspect of their story go down easier.

All in all I suppose this was not my favorite of the series, at least I don’t think, but it’s not my least favorite either.

~kristie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, NetGalley

The Upside to Being Single by Emma Hart

37420706

Blurb: 

If anyone asks, I knew better than to flash my boobs for Mardi Gras beads.

I still don’t know why I did it.
Maybe it was the dare from my two best friends.
Maybe it was the guys on the balcony saying they’d throw Fireball shots with the beads.
Or maybe it was the quiet guy in the corner of that same balcony with piercing gray eyes, wavy dark hair, and a smile so tempting I wanted to climb up there and lick it off his face.
Maybe it was because I never thought I’d see them again.
Not that it matters. Not today.
Because the hotel I manage was finally bought—and the guy who walks in and introduces himself as my new boss is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent.

There are many upsides to being single.
Your new boss knowing what your boobs look like?
Not one of them.

(THE UPSIDE TO BEING SINGLE is a standalone, romantic comedy from the author who brought you MISS FIX-IT and BEING BROOKE.)

Buy Links: 

amazon

kobo

Publish Date: 

Published January 30th 2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

10246781_10154096511100545_7803613147865022187_n_1

This book is probably not the best book to be my 1st review of 2018.

But alas, we can’t win them all they say.

Now don’t get me wrong, The Upside to Being Single definitely had great perks about it otherwise I never would have finished it.  It was funny, there was no angst, there was no woman hating shaming, there was 2 people getting to know each other and like each other. The other plus was that it took up to 95% before the 2 MCs had sex. I know lots of people need sex in their romance novels. I really really don’t! Personally I prefer sexual tension and the feelings that are associated with the struggle and the lust. The I want you so fucking bad I’m gonna go out of my mind. Those are the best kind of stories for me.

So now why was it just ok? I prefer more of a show don’t tell. I need to feel the feelings that are coming off the pages and honestly I just didn’t with this book.

Also this book needed to be edited. I don’t have a problem with spelling mistakes because I am able to get the gist of the story but this one missed words and some sentence structure was messed up. I still was able to finish it so it wasn’t that bad…

In essence I liked the blurb way more than I loved the story.

And I will read book 2 cause even though its a stand alone the 2 best friends look to be getting a story.

~Mare

10246781_10154096511100545_7803613147865022187_n

Leave a comment

Filed under Mare's Review, NA romance, Standalone

Zero Hour (Wired & Dangerous, Book 1), by Megan Erickson

 

Blurb:

The Fast and the Furious meets Mr. Robot in USA Today bestselling author Megan Erickson’s sexy new romantic suspense series.

Hacker extraordinaire Roarke Brennan lives each hour – each breath – to avenge his brother’s murder. His first move: put together a team of the best coders he knows. They’re all brilliant, specialized, and every one an epic pain in his ass. Only now Wren Lee wants in too, threatening to upset their delicate balance. The girl Roarke never allowed himself to want is all grown up with sexy confidence and a dark past … and she’s the wild card he can’t control.

Roarke might still think she’s a kid, but Wren’s been to hell and back. Nothing and nobody can stop her – especially the tatted-up, cocky-as-all-hell hacker. But when years of longing and chemistry collide, Wren and Roarke discover that revenge may be a dish best served blazing hot.

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

January 30, 2018
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When I got this, I knew I’d like it because it’s Megan Erickson. She’s just a great storyteller, you know? What I didn’t expect was just how much I’d love it. And I’m not surprised so much as really fucking pleased.

Zero Hour has this exciting thriller/mystery/revenge plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was difficult to put down as each chapter lead into the next, leaving me wondering what the heck was going to happen to my heroes, how they were going to get out of the mess they were in, and when we might get Jock’s book. Well, as it happens, I know that Jock’s book is next in this series, and I could not be more excited. As for the rest? Lets just say that yea, they get into it. Really into it. The problem is, it’s never just hacking that needs to happen. Sometimes, to do a a job, you need to actually talk to the bad guys in person, go undercover, plant a virus, and do other various highly illegal or suspicious things. So this team of hackers not only need to know their way around a computer, they need to be willing to go all out.

All out is what this team does best. Sort of… I mean, they’re not perfect. They really are hackers first, so all of those things that also need to happen don’t come easily and problems pop up. So one of the things I absolutely loved about this book is the fact that they make mistakes, they get out of situations by the skin of their teeth, and not everything runs smoothly.

Another thing I loved, loved, loved, is the balance between action/hacking/romance. Because in all honesty, at its heart, Zero Hour is a romance novel too. Erickson does a great job of keeping the romance in balance with everything else, giving readers a chance to take a breath, just not too long of one, before the next batch of action takes place. And these characters, Wren and Roarke, they are really well developed. Past history is clearly and succinctly explained, lending to the way the romance plays out. So when these two are having all the feels, and trying to deny them, it feels right. Having the history so well laid out made for a more believable connection. They’re also seriously hot together. Steaming. Add in the rest of the team, all of whom have interesting backgrounds I’m wanting to explore, and I’m a happy camper. Wren and Roarke also butt heads… a lot. But my dude seriously has a boundaries problem and when he oversteps them, he really oversteps them. Having Wren put him in his place was a thing of beauty.

Speaking of the team… Not only does Jock, new love of my life, get the next book, but also coming will be Erick, Wren’s brother. His story is one I’m also very excited for based on all the information we learn in Zero Hour. To say I have a bunch of theories about how his book will play out is an understatement. I’m also crossing my fingers that other team members Marisol and Dade get their own book(s). They’re both mysterious and compelling, so help me convince all who need to be convinced to make this happen, would you?

To close, I loved this book, in case you couldn’t tell. This was a lot of fun to read and I’m adding this to my reread rotation.

Cheers Megan! You knocked this one out of the park.

~kristie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Mystery-Thriller, NetGalley

HeartOn (Full Hearts Book 2), by Amy Jo Cousins

 

Blurb:


When an injury sidelines NFL player Deion McCaskill—maybe permanently—he heads to Miami to stay with an old college teammate and his boyfriend. He packs his tailor-made suits, anxiety about the future, and the bisexuality he’s ignored for years because it didn’t fit with his drive to succeed at football’s most elite levels.

Set designer Carlos Kelly has always known he’s bi, but dating women is easier than making waves with his Puerto Rican/Irish Catholic family. His friends and coworkers from the theater community might be almost entirely on the rainbow spectrum, but Carlos keeps things simple. Except for this heat that keeps flaring between him and the hot football player visiting his best friend.

Two weeks. Two guys who’ve never explored their bisexuality before and don’t plan on coming out, ever. One promise to let each other try out every fantasy they’ve ever had. Zero feelings involved.

At least, that was the plan. . .

Buy Links:

AMAZON

kobo

Published:

January 25, 2018
Self Published

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, how I’ve missed the words from Amy Jo Cousins...She just knows how to melt my cold, black heart.

In HeartOn, book two in the Full Hearts series, my heart melted, I swooned a little, and I’m pretty sure I told my husband to go away while reading. I mean, when there is a book in my hand, that means DO NOT DISTURB. And no, I did not want to be disturbed while reading this. Why? Well, because HeartOn is simply delightful.

In this story about coming out, self discovery, love and friendship, I found that I was immediately absorbed. I fell in love with Deion and Carlos right from the start. Having met each of them in book one of this series, HeartShip, I had a little bit of a feel for them, but I didn’t *know* them. Now that I do, I find myself wanting to know more. I feel like there should be a check in some time soon. Only because I just want to know that these guys are happy, not because they don’t get their HEA. They totally get that. But do you know that feeling you get when you fall really hard for a couple, and you don’t want to let them go? That was me with Carlos and Deion.

Things I really loved… realism when discussing the mechanics of anal sex. Yea, that’s a thing to talk about. I appreciated the frankness each character had with each other regarding all topics, but especially sex and their expectations in their not really a relationship. I liked the respect they each had for for one another and their friends, and how their friends just let them be without all the pushing. When it came to each characters individual issues and struggles with coming out as bisexual, I’d hoped for a little bit more… at first. But to be honest, I’m glad I didn’t have to go through all of the repercussions. Those that there were had already been enough. Any more would have resulted in a change to the overall feel of the story. I like that Amy Jo kept it light and happy.

If you have not read HeartShip, it’s not necessary for this book but would really add to the “heart” of it all. Part of that heart comes from Benji and Josh. While they don’t take a large amount of page time, their presence is solid and a important. And lets face it, checking in with them is a total joy.

If you, like me, want to read something sweet and a little bit angsty, but a whole lot of fun, pick up HeartOn.

~kristie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Best of 2017

I’m about 9 days late but alas it was a very busy time.

It was a time of good cheer, family, food, merriment and more food.

If you’re like me its also about books 🙂

2017 was a rough start personally for me and books. It was a fight to find a good book and then I did and then I didn’t and then I did. I love how as a reader we are able to think we will stick to 1 genre and then you start reading something that you normally wouldn’t and you find the upmost joy and wonder what rock you were hiding under and what ever possessed you to think you should only read 1 genre all the time!

I had a wonderful time this year reading YA books. I say it over and over again that YA and I is a mixed bag of love and hate. I love to hate it and I hate to love it. I just sometimes feel… yucky? weird? I don’t know but this stupid notion that a grown woman should not find so much pleasure in teenage romance. HA.  I also fell in love with Thrillers! GAH!!!!!!!!!!! Suspense and gore! Give me more!

2017 was also about re-reading my favorites. There is something so comfortable about spending time with your favorite characters. Its like sitting beside a fire, with a coffee, wearing your reading socks, cozy blanket… you are just wrapped up in warmth!

With that said, here are my fav’s for 2017 and you can check out my review by clicking on the pic.

10:

Unstrung by Laura Spinella

29152126

9:

Wait For It by Mariana Zapata

33288638

8:

Vicious by L.J Shen

30839185

7:

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

31450910

6:

Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

31450976

5:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

30653853

4: 

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

33643994

3:

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

23341252

2:

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

33230889

1:

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

32571395

 

Honorable mentions to my fav’s that I can read over and over and over again and never get bored!

 

Mare~

10246781_10154096511100545_7803613147865022187_n

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Will Trent Series Books 1-8 by Karin Slaughter

Buy Link:amazon

Goodreads:

0588c-goodreads-button

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mare's Review

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m unsure of how effective this review is going to be to show my love for all things Will Trent. He is honestly one of the best on page characters made. He is the essential bad boy that all us girls read about and drool about however he does not have 1 mean bone in his body and he is so so vulnerable that you just want to hug him, wrap him up and not let him go.

I’m devastated that the ride is over. I have been immersed in Karin Slaughter’s worlds for 21 days and I am unsure how to move on. Wanna talk about a book hangover???? I read 3 of Slaughter’s books in 24 hours. These are not small books. These are massive and very detail orientated that you can’t allow yourself to miss anything otherwise you are left in the dark.

I’ll start from the beginning. The 1st 3 books were good. The characters again and their dynamics are so well developed that you love to hate them. I can’t pick a favorite. I really can’t. I loved and hated them all with a passion. I lived, breathed, and slept with Will, Amanda, Faith, Angie, Sara and all the other characters that graced the pages of these books.

The 1st 3 books set the premise for the other 5 that followed. I loved how Slaughter brought us into these characters lives and we got to see the good the bad and the ugly. The sarcasm ran aplenty with them, your heart ached, your cheered and you fought along side with them.

See how do I move on??????

Book 4, Broken, brought us back to Grant County. Of all the books I believe this one disappointed me the most. I thought we were going to get some closure on Jeffrey’s death. I thought at least we would find out what happened in the prison, how the GBI took care of one of their own. I thought the book would go one way and it went the other. Le sigh. I cant say I wasn’t happy to be back with Lena. She’s so messed you guys. Its so sad its funny. And how she ended up with Jared kills me. I know. It makes me laugh because Dr Sara Linton HATES it.

Book 5, Fallen, made me love Faith so much. I cant explain how Slaughter makes her characters so real because they are messy, complex and down to earth. Faith for sure is the best partner Will can ask for and vice versa. They work so well together. Like a well oiled machine. This book also sets book 6 in a way where we figure out Amanda, Deputy Director GBI, a little more. Sometimes the hardest thing is to take the personal out of the job.

Book 6, Crminal, was the best book so far in this series. I gave it the 5 stars it truly deserved. We delve into Will’s past, in the orphanage and group home and see how much Amanda and Will’s lives intertwine. How much she loves him. How she started. The Amanda rookie cop vs the Deputy Director. Whoa! Huge HUGE difference. I like the DD better than the Rookie let me tell you!

Book 7, Unseen,  I will gloss over. We see Lena and Jared again, I  will just say I really really did not like Sara in this book.

Book 8, The Kept Woman, the last book? in the foreseeable future? brought us to Angie. God she really was someone I do not like. She tortured poor Will for I dont even know why.  Her own unhappiness was her downfall. Her shitty family, her upbringing broke my heart. Will and her, 2 different sides of a coin. The good the bad and the ugly. How it all wrapped up…. was Will the dad??? Will we ever find out??? Is there a book 9???? WHEN???? Where????????

So so so many questions.

Read this series ya’ll. You wont regret it. I promise!

Mare~

10246781_10154096511100545_7803613147865022187_n

Leave a comment

Filed under A Must Read, Mare's Review, Mystery-Thriller

Grant County Series Books 1-6 by Karin Slaughter

Buy Link:

amazon

Add to Goodreads:

goodreads_icon_1000x1000-bed183559c02a417861f930e33e157d1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mare's Review

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is something so rewarding sometimes when you step away from your Go To Genre and open your eyes to things you would have turned away from in the past. I”m usually not one for sick and twisted, blood, gore, depraved humans. Shit if I wanted that I would just turn on the news right? But yet I love opening myself up to CSI and 48 hours. I love how the mechanics work between good and evil and the in between. I love how minds work, the clues, and the jigsaw puzzle once all the pieces start to fit.

I am really really late to the Karin Slaughter fan club. I have to say though, that if you are that fan that waited a year between books I’m in awe of you. I could not have waited between Grant County and Will Trent. There is no way possible.

I started Karin Slaughter with the 1st 3 books in the Will Trent series. WRONG WRONG WRONG I know. Stupid really some would say because now I knew exactly how the Grant series would end. To be honest I am glad it happened this way. Because I know there are some that were in the Jeffery camp while my camp was Will and I would not change that for a thing.

Karin Slaughter wrote characters that you loved to hate. I cant say that there is 1 character in the Grant County series that didn’t make me want to shoot them in the face. The characters, and their flaws, were so well done. So well done!

Sara Linton.

Jeffery Tolliver

Lena Adams

They were all very complex characters but I will admit I liked Lena the best. She was a total survivor and was the type to jump in both feet first and ask questions later. She was a rape victim, a product of being raised in poverty with an “uncle” who was a heroin addict. Her twin is murdered. She hooks up with a Nazi supporter, she is beaten, scared, tortured and yet still went to work and kicked ass. She was so complex, hot and cold, total contradiction of all things female that I totally voted for her as opposed to against. She did some really stupid stuff but I did not blame her for what happened to Jeffrey. He was hot headed and did what he wanted. I could see that.

Sara bothered me immensely.  Her thought process in her own personal life was questionable. I get the whole woman scorned but if you take him back and forgive you also need to get over it and not have that man live under that cloud for the rest of his life.

Jeffrey made me hot and cold. I didn’t necessarily approve of how he solved crimes or how he treated his staff but then again I’m not from a small town and I do not have small town mentality. As a woman married to a man of color these books disturbed me the most for the rampant racism in America especially in their Southern states. I’ll tell you this there is no way I would drive through Grant County if it was real.

I enjoyed these books but my heart was in Atlanta with Will and I could not wait to dive back into that series. With that said I enjoyed most how these books intertwined with each other.

If you like murder, mayhem and lots of forensic science, lots of twists and turns, these books are for you.

Trigger Warnings:

Rape, racism, violent deaths, rape again, pedophiles, and more.

Mare

10246781_10154096511100545_7803613147865022187_n

Leave a comment

by | August 1, 2017 · 7:44 pm