Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Vindicate by Beth Yarnall

Author: Beth Yarnall
Type: Novel
Length: 242 pages (Kindle)
Publisher: Love Swept - Random House
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Genres: New Adult Romance/Suspense

Cora. . . . I got my driver’s license on my sixteenth birthday so I could visit my brother in prison. Five and a half years later, he’sstill locked up for a murder he didn’t commit and I’m still trying to find a way to set him free. Then I hear about Nash Security and Investigation, a private detective agency that helped exonerate a wrongfully convicted man after thirty-nine years in prison. The problem? They’ve already taken on the one pro-bono case they’ll accept this year.

Leo. . . . I’m this close to finishing law school—and never working another day at my dad’s P.I. office—when Cora Hollis walks through the door. She’s got a box of files, a handful of leads, and an independent streak a mile wide. She fascinates me and I can’t say no. Suddenly I’m volunteering to help her find a missing witness who could be the key to her brother’s case. But nothing is what it seems and giving in to the attraction between us could be more dangerous than finding the real murderer.

… two thousand, two hundred seventy-one days

Full Steam Ahead
That’s how long it took Cora to get her brother freed from prison. 2,271 days she served with him until he could be vindicated of all crimes.

Vindicate is a suspenseful romance that keeps the reader at the edge of their seat. You see … I love any book or any author that turns me into a stalker and I must say that I want part two now. Well written with compelling characters that I definitely want to read more about. Cora is the no non-sense girl on a mission and Leo is the cocksure hero clubbed in the head by love. Both characters are well written and play off one another very well. There romance is a bit lukewarm but that doesn't hinder the progression of their relationship. In fact, it enhances the characters because as the reader you get to see how each character is slowly evolving.

So, besides the main characters what works for this tale? Well, a whole lot works for this one. Heck, even the secondary characters catch and hold the reader's interest because like Cora and Leo you’re busy trying to figure out who's the real killer. Throw together some well placed angst, some disapproving moms (gotta love the self absorbed witches) and one crazed murderer and you have a good read that is hard to put down. 

Happy Reading Everyone!!!

~~ ARC graciously provided by author, RockStarLit PR and Netgalley in exchange for honest review.~~

Review: Chasing the Girl in Red by Jean Russell

Title: Chasing the Girl In the Red Dress
Author: Jean Russell
Type: Novel
Length: 289 pages (Kindle)
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance (A Dark Romance)


Sam – He has the, power, and looks. However, there are rumors about Ace Erickson – rumors that go well beyond his fascination with brunettes, and how he conducts his business. As a former fighter, turned hairstylist for the dead, I'm not afraid of the Boogie Man or things that go bump in the night but Ace is not like any other man. And when those beautiful brown eyes focus in on me I swear he is looking for something – something only he can see. Will his desire for the truth put me in danger or will my lies destroy the both of us. 

Ace – After searching all of my life for the Girl in Red I finally have a name, Samantha. When I found her hiding in the shadows of the mortuary I thought to myself – surely this can't be her. But isn’t that how destiny works? A meeting that is so random and implausible that it reminds you that something bigger than you is possibly out there. With Samantha finally in my life I 'm one step closer to finding a cure, and learning the truth about what I really am! 

Tasty Pudding
This book was such a refreshing read and one of the most enjoyable ones I've read this year. It’s what I would consider a paranormal suspense with lead characters that the reader can’t help but love. Samantha ‘Sam’ is the girl from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Achilles ‘ACE’ is the successful ‘All American Guy’, but appearances can be deceiving. 

The author did a great job of weaving a story that is full of twists, turns and the unexpected. Samantha is the beautiful MMA fighter who can hold her own against just about anyone until she meets big shot Ace Erickson. His character is cocky, arrogant, attractive and the all-around great catch for any female who can catch him. Their chemistry as lead characters work very well together because both have just about the same level of cockiness. The story is full of so many great elements (angst, action, and a guy with superhero potential, foul mouthed little kids, strong secondary characters and some all-around funny stuff) that make a story great. Chasing the Girl in Red has some very good action sequences (which I happen to like a lot) and is ‘in your face’ with some other social issues that I haven’t seen addressed really in this genre. It’s nice to have an author who is unafraid to approach sticky subjects (especially if it’s appropriate for the book and its setting). Unfortunately, the story has some issues with editing that hopefully can be corrected. Overall rating for this book is 3.5. 

I will definitely continue to follow along to see what happens next with Ace and Sam.

~~ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.~~

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Obscured by Tara Sue Me as Cat Waters

Title: Obscured 
Author: Tara Sue Me as Cat Waters
Type: Novella
Length: 172 pages (Kindle)
Publisher: After Six
Publication Date: October 12, 2015
Genres: New Adult Romance

There’s the truth you know…. 

At age 16, Athena Hamilton traded her body for survival when a powerful Vegas hotelier and pimp lured her into his world. Ten years of turning tricks has taught her to trust no one and feel nothing. Yet a chance meeting with a childhood crush sparks hope for something more. 

The truth you believe… 

There’s no way Isaiah Martin could want her. He’s a pastor. Too good. Too pure. But when she learns her days are numbered, she runs into the safety of his arms and trusts his promise of protection. 

And the truth you never imagined... 

The aftermath of a tragic accident and a bitter betrayal leaves her destitute and alone. The one man she shouldn’t trust offers her a chance to escape. But when good and evil collide, what do you do when the truth is Obscured?

In Deep Like!
When Athena Hamilton first arrived in Las Vegas she was a sixteen year old girl abandoned by a grief stricken father and in need of a way to support herself. She tries her hand at being a showgirl. What’s so hard about that, right? All she would have to do is dance a little and wear pretty outfits … right? What happens when Athena can’t make the cut and there’s a predator sitting in the wings waiting for his next victim. Athena takes the reader's heart with her as she tries to survive Vegas and break free from her abusive pimp. The story delves into the underworld of Vegas’ sex trafficking trade. Obscured gives the basic anatomy of how ‘certain’ young women are preyed on, how they’re drawn in and finally used by pimps/predators. The emotion the story stirs lingers, but the heroine is able to retain this naivety … this sort of youthful innocence that has stayed with her even after 10 years in the game. Personally, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her a bit for being so silly, trusting or selectively blind. The book is considered a romance but it is a very unconventional one. For those looking for a full ‘minute by minute’ bedroom romp, then you will be disappointed here. Then again, I am happy that the author excluded some of these elements because of the subject matter of human trafficking and prostitution. 

There isn't the goofy eyed hero or any recognizable hero that the reader can pick out from the beginning. With its characters, Obscured deals in shades of gray with the exception of Mike (Mike ‘the pimp’ clearly has on a pair of gasoline underwear headed straight to hiffle). For example, the pastor who could have been a clear path to freedom. Isaiah Martin (the pastor and childhood friend) would have made an unusual romantic hero but a feasible one considering the life the heroine is leading. With Isaiah, his gray areas begin to show almost immediately and his innocence is just a mask to cover the devil within. His character sets off mini alarms because at times he’s just too good to be true.

Then there is Harris (the ‘sheep’ hiding in wolf’s clothing), the henchman … the hero that as a reader I didn't really see coming. Like Isaiah, Harris’ character had many gray areas but it was hard to dislike his character (even as a supposed bad guy). Thankfully, Harris fits the role of a traditional romantic figure (you know the bad guy turning good to save the girl). So, picturing him taking the road to salvation and freedom with Athena isn't hard. 

The most gripping portion of this story is the evolution of Athena’s character after her captivity.The simplest of things that most take for granted are all new experiences for her.

Happy Reading Everyone !!!

~~ARC graciously provided by author, RockStarLit PR and Netgalley in exchange for honest review.~~