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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Shana Galen

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a GentlemanKirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ARC Review: Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney

Dreaming Death has many elements to it. It's a fantasy, a mystery, and has a small romance. It took me awhile to really get into the story, but once I did I was thoroughly enthralled. Despite the length, this story felt more like an introductory novella. It felt like it was giving background information, and the big conflict and plot has yet to appear.

The fantasy world is very detailed, and it confused me quite a bit. There are quite few different races and political groups. With the investigation going about the mysterious deaths, it was falling into different jurisdictions, and I didn't completely understand the differences. I didn't have any sort of map either because of my ARC, but if the published book includes a map, I think it will really help the reader with understanding everything.

The romantic element was held back due to Shironne only being 17 and not considered an adult. Shironne has a unique connection with a man who she calls, the Angel of Death. He dreams people's deaths and she sees them with more clarity than even him. Because Mikael is older and an adult, the two are kept apart for her innocence. It takes about half the book for them to even meet. However, the chemistry between them is strong an almost instant. Their dynamic was really interesting to me.

I am very excited to continue this book. There are several different aspects of the world and the story that haven't been revealed that have grabbed my attention. I'm excited to see where Shironne and Mikael's relationship progresses. J. Kathleen Cheney's writing is great, and I'm now adding her earlier books to my to read lists!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Review: Combative by Jay McLean

I am still reeling after the ending of Combative by Jay McLean! I cannot wait to get the next book and more of this story. This is the first book of Jay McLean's Combative trilogy, and each book will continue the story of Kyler and Madison so readers should expect cliffhangers. (and there was a huge one here!) This book had me on the edge of my seat though and I really need the next one! 

After returning from Afghanistan, Kyler Parker finds himself in a bar fight that lands him in jail. His detective brother Jackson (not biological) is able to offer him a deal that will help him out. The deal requires Kyler to go undercover as a fighter to help the cops bring down the leader of the fighting ring and a suspected drug ring that has ties to Kyler and Jackson's past.With both Kyler and Jackson looking for justice and few choices, Kyler agrees. Then he meets his new and mysterious neighbor Madison and things become more complicated than ever.

I really can't go into much detail here except to say that I really liked Kyler and Madison. I loved seeing them get to know one another and I thought that they were building a great connection. They had a ton of chemistry, and it was clear right away that they each were into each other. Madison is the innocent naive type, and there is so much about her that we don't know. There are a few details here that have me so curious as to what is going on with her and who she is, and I honestly can't wait to get more on her. Kyler had a horrible upbringing, and I cannot even imagine going through what he did. In that he found a brother in Jackson, and I absolutely loved that relationship! I just couldn't get enough of these characters and I really love where this series is headed.

I will say that things were a bit slow at times here, and obviously we are still far from having all the facts. There is so much left a mystery here and at times having all the questions and none of the answers got a bit frustrating. I can be impatient and there were a ton of things here that had me so curious! I need to know what the deal is with the mailboxes and everything else here! I thought that Jay McLean did a great job of grabbing the reader's attention here and giving such an interesting start to this series. This book was steamy and mysterious, and kept me guessing the whole way through. If you are expecting a typical fighter book, this is not that at all. It is so much more, and I cannot wait for Redemptive. If you like some mystery with your romance though, this is definitely one worth checking out!

**Review Copy Provided by Author**

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Sealed With a Kiss Event with Maya Rodale

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and has written for The Huffington Post, NPR, and more. Maya lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ARC Review: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

Call Me, Maybe is my first Ellie Cahill book, but I have heard great things about her book When Joss Met Matt and I absolutely loved the blurb here. This book unfortunately left me with mixed feelings, and I didn't really know what to think after having finished. While I really enjoyed parts of this book, I have to say that there were things I definitely had some issues with.

 Clementine Daly is used to being the black sheep of her family. An almost scandal a few years prior has kept her under the thumb of everyone in her family, and now she is headed to California to do right by the family with her brother. But just before take-off, her phone is mistaken for that of a stranger's and there is no choice but to spend the week with the wrong phone before they can meet back up to exchange them. Soon though, Justin Mueller is no longer just the person with her phone, but he is also the sexy voice on the other end that she can't get enough of. Justin wants more, and just when it looks like things could go somewhere, he finds out that she hasn't been telling him the truth. But can he get over everything that she hid from him and take a chance on a future with her?

I liked both Clementine and Justin. They had great banter and were super fun to read about. I loved their flirty texts and seeing them get to know one another. I am always a sucker for a romance that starts off with the couple getting to know one another through texts and emails, and these two definitely had a great connection forming. Unfortunately I didn't care for the fact hat Clementine kept the secrets for as long as she did here. At first it was understandable. After everything she had been through and with her family being who they were, it was easy to see why she would do what she did. But as she got to know Justin, it no longer made sense and she even got to the point where she was suspicious of him when he had been nothing but truthful with her. I knew it was going to blow up in her face, and I was just hoping it would come from her. I really don't care for the fact that she never was honest with him, and it came out the way it did without her telling him herself.

I also felt like while the first half of this book was super cute and I was really enjoying it, the second half just seemed to lose everything that I had been loving. It was almost as if the author just ran out of steam, and the story just sort of lost it's way. Though I didn't like how Clementine had handled things, I also didn't care for how Justin treated her either. It just felt like two completely different characters in the second half of the book, rather than those that we had been getting to know in the first half. I ended up rating this book 3 stars, because while the first half was a 4 or 5 star read for me, the second half was more like a 2 star read. I really wish that the second half of this book had been more like the first half, because I was really loving this story so much. While Call Me, Maybe wasn't my favorite story, I will definitely give Ellie Cahill another chance in the future. I liked her writing style and I think that this one just lost it's way a bit.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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