Monday, July 23, 2018

Collision Point (Brute Force #1) by Lora Leigh

Title: Collision Point (Brute Force, Book One)
Author: Lora Leigh
Publication Date:February 27, 2018
Genre: Romantic Supense
Rating: 3.5 out 5 stars

Those readers familiar with the author's previous series will not have a problem falling head first into Collision Point, the first entry of the Brute Force Series. This first entry has all of the markings of a Lora Leigh tale, which includes a good storyline and lead characters whose chemistry leaps off the page.

What happens when the son of a Russian mob boss goes legit? Well, a lot of baggage is cut loose (some still breathing) and they gain more enemies than they had before. Amara, the daughter of the Resnova crime heir represented a solid female lead for the first entry of Brute Force series but I would have liked to see her character do more. Amara's character is a survivor with incredible heart and loyalty but I do feel there was a little something missing. Amara's character survived being kidnapped, being brutally beaten and memory loss. After going through all of that there was still an expectation to see more an evolution of her character beyond the regaining of her memory.

Riordan is the sexy alpha male lead that Ms. Leigh is famous for and nothing is missing from this character's makeup. Ubber protective and willing to go toe-to-toe with Amara's father, Riordan is the cock-of-the-walk of this entry but besides being great mind candy his character is a bit limited. His task is to keep Amara alive and there aren't many action sequences that display his ability as her protector. Was looking forward to having scenes where this character was kicking the tar out of something. As her lost love, there is more than enough fuel for the interactions between the two characters. The chemistry is off the charts.

While reading, it will be easy for the reader to believe that they know who is behind the plot to take down the Resnova family but the author will keep the reader guessing until the end. Since the memory loss angle took up most of the story the ending is a bit rushed. Trust and believe there are many more characters that didn't meet with what they deserved.

Thank you to the St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cleaning House (Appalachian Elementals #1) by Jeanne G'Fellers

Cleaning House (Appalachian Elementals #1)Cleaning House by Jeanne G'Fellers
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

About the Book
Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn't know this yet.

Growing up in southern Appalachia wasn’t easy, so Cent left home as soon as she could, but the post-collegiate happiness she’d expected has never occurred. She can’t find a decent date, much less find that special someone and, after losing her job in a corporate downsize, she’s struggling to meet her most basic needs. Her car has been repossessed, her bills are piling up, and her questionable North Chicago neighborhood is dangerous to navigate.

Returning home to Hare Creek, Tennessee, never crosses Cent’s mind until her Great Aunt Tess contacts her with an offer she can’t refuse. The family’s southern Appalachian homestead must be sold, and Aunt Tess needs someone to clean it up. Cent will have access to Aunt Tess’ garden and truck and can live on the homestead rent-free for as long as it takes. A part-time job is waiting for her as well.

It’s a chance to solve some of Cent’s financial woes, but will her return be enough when evil sets its sights on Embreeville Mountain and the homestead?

Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition – served with a delicious side of fries and a generous quart of peach moonshine. 

The Review
Being a Southerner, I really liked the idea of this book - something that brings together folklore and beliefs that some people of the South (the Southern portion of the U.S.) grow up hearing. Unfortunately, Cleaning House became a book that was DNF'ed(did not finish) because the story was a bit too confusing. Centenary Rhodes (the heroine)is an interesting female lead who is dealing with the duality of her spirit/mind and past lives. The secondary characters presented are intriguing as well but this wasn't enough to combat the confusing nature of the story or any of the issues with timing (story/character progression).  

Thank you to Mountain Gap Books and the author for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

About the Author
Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers' early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with her father and reading the books her librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with her spouse and their five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Bella Cove (A Second Chance Romance)

Title: Bella Cove (A Second Chance Romance)
Author: Rochelle Katzman
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book

She Gets a Second Chance at Love, But Her Family's Secrets Could Ruin Everything

Kayla Conway is devastated when she is forced to leave her life and her fiancé behind in California to take care of her family. She must return to her hometown of Bella Cove, a small, charming town on Long Island to visit her grandma on her deathbed. Just before her grandmother dies, Kayla promises that she will help put the pieces of her family’s life back together.

But when she makes that promise, she has no idea of the lies, deceit, and betrayal she will have to deal with. The grief from grandma's death brings out the worst in her family.

Two years later, her family is stronger, but Kayla’s passion for life seems to have died the day grandma left.

When her ex-fiancé, Gabe Wademan, walks back into her life—not as her partner, but as her new landlord and neighbor—Kayla feels more alive than she has in months.

But getting back together with Kayla is the last thing Gabe wants—he never forgave her for leaving him so suddenly. He demands explanations for her behavior two years earlier, but Kayla refuses to reveal her family’s deepest, darkest secrets.

So instead, she makes it her mission to show Gabe she’s the same woman he fell in love with back at school—just a little older and a lot less naïve. And if he gives their relationship a second chance, she promises she’ll never leave him again.

But when Gabe gets close to her family, Kayla is terrified that he will discover their secrets. How could he ever trust her again if he found out?

He’s only been back in her life a few weeks, but Kayla doesn't think her heart could handle losing him a second time. Especially since this time it would be forever.

The Review

Bella Cove is the tell Kayla Conway's and Gabe Wademan's second chance at love. It is a quaint love story about college sweethearts who were torn apart by life's circumstances. The backdrop for this tale is the charming town of Bella Cove where everybody knows each other. Also, this town plays a very important role in bringing Kayla and Gabe together.

Leading characters in any story can make or break a tale and Kayla makes for a somewhat troublesome leading character (at least for this reader). Kayla is strong, beautiful and sometimes overly caring. She lacked some sass or a least some extra inner strength to not take on the secondary character's issues. While reading, there was an expectation that the heroine would have this grand personality evolution and that she would finally get the consideration that she deserved. Her character evolved (somewhat) but it happened slowly and not in a very satisfying way.

The male lead, Gabe Wakeman representative the typical male for a romance novel. He is handsome, successful, generally liked by everyone he encounters. Unfortunately, I think the relationship between he and Kayla was a bit lopsided and I believe that his character was a bit too rigid. Due to the rigidity, Gabe became the perpetual victim of his behavior, his distress, and his selfishness. His character added to the abuse that the heroine was already experiencing and Kayla calmly accepted it. Though the story did end with a happily ever after for the characters, I would like to see a change in Gabe's sooner so that there could have been more focus on the couple's romance. More focus on romance - less focus on dysfunction or a least make it equal. It the story is going to be sweet like Bella Cove then their needs to be some wining, dining, flowers, chocolate or something other than a distrustful leading male and a leading female that way too accepting of his behavior.

Bella Cove is well written and it showcases family dysfunction at its finest. The secondary characters are well structured and relatable. There is an easy flow to this work that makes for a smooth transition between pages.

Thank you to the author and TSK Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author
Rochelle Katzman spent her childhood penning stories, and at the age of six, she won two creative writing awards. When she was twenty-two years old, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in musical theatre from Syracuse University. Rochelle is also an international yoga instructor and a life coach. When she’s not traveling the world teaching workshops or helping women to achieve their dreams, she’s at home writing books. She currently lives in New York, but she’d love to move to a beautiful land filled with ethereal fairies and magical castles. Rochelle enjoys spending time with her dog, Henry, when he’s not eating her favorite shoes. 

You can find this author 
Amazon          Goodreads          TSK Publishing