Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

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This Man 
by Jodi Ellen Malpas

From Goodreads:

Young interior designer Ava O'Shea has an appointment for a first consultation at The Manor with the owner, Mr. Jesse Ward. She is expecting nothing more than an overweight, cravat wearing, well-to-do countryman, and on arrival, nothing would suggest otherwise. How wrong could she be? This Man is devastatingly handsome, charming and confident. He is also a conceited, hedonistic playboy, who knows no boundaries. Ava desperately does not want to be attracted to him, but she can't control the overwhelming affect he has on her. Every instinct is telling her to run, so she does, but Jesse Ward is not so willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her. She knows she is heading for heartbreak, but how can she run when he won't let her?

Review: 

Ava O'Shea is a pretty regular girl. She loves her job as an interior designer, and she's damn good at it too. She's just coming out of a long term relationship, so she's bunking up with her best girlfriend, but otherwise her life is pretty status quo. Until she goes out to meet with the owner of The Manor for a prospective job.

Jesse Ward is used to getting what he wants. Once he sets his sight on something, it's a done deal. Ava O'Shea is no exception. He has decided that he wants her and that's all there is to it. He doesn't do well with boundaries or the word no. In Jesse's world, everything goes his way.

When Ava and Jesse come together the sparks fly almost immediately. Their attraction is palpable. But it's not just chemical, it's pretty clear that there are a lot of emotions for both. It's also pretty clear that their connection is anything but healthy. He's super controlling, I mean he's downright ridiculous. Everywhere she goes, he's there, invited or not. He's like the superhero you never want to see coming! Jesse takes possessiveness to a whole different level - seriously.

While I enjoyed most of the book, the nature of the relationship was difficult to bear. At the same time I couldn't put it down. I would get tired, stop reading for the night and then pick it up with the same fervor the next night... it was kinda sick!

I give this book:

Of course this is a trilogy... unhealthy relationship books tend to come in three's, why is that? I'll be posting the review for book two shortly... stay tuned!

You can purchase This Man on Amazon and wherever books are sold... even the red store (that's Target if you didn't know).

I received a free eBook copy of this book from NetGalley which helped to facilitate this review. 
However, all views expressed are my honest opinion. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Truth (Finding Anna 3) by Sherri Hayes

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Truth - Finding Anna 3
by Sherri Hayes

Summary:

For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian's slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she'd escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn't expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring.

There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good.

Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna's father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian's clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer?

As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan's love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they've built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known?

Review:

Brianna and Stephan have developed a great deal of trust since they first met. Brianna who was rescued from the life of a slave by Stephan has grown significantly. Slowly but surely she is beginning to develop a mind of her own, but she is still very haunted (and damaged) by the torture she endured at Ian's hand.

Stephan has also grown a lot since meeting Brianna, for the first time he is actually experiencing what he is certain is love. While he wants to protect and take care of her, he also wants to dominate her.

The past is an issue, for both Stephan and Brianna. Their relationship cannot move forward without dealing with the circumstances that brought them together in the first place. While Stephan is set on revenge, Brianna just wants to forget what happened (but that's proving to be impossible).

In the first two book of the series Slave and Need explains how Stephan and Brianna come together, but Truth puts all the pieces in place.

I must admit I found it difficult to see the extent of the emotional and physical abuse that Brianna suffered. I can't imagine what it must be like to have your rights stripped away (in the supposed free world), yet Brianna endured.

Truth puts the spotlight on present day slavery its emotional impact. With recent headlines of women who have been held against their will, I must say that this book is right on time.

With just the right amount of intrigue, romance, a hint of erotica, and a few surprises, I give this book:


Truth can be purchased in paperback or ebook on Amazon and TWCS.

Visit The Writer's Coffee Shop for other stops Truth Tour.

I received a free ebook in exchange to facilitate this review. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion. 

Guest Post: Sherri Hayes Author of the Finding Anna Series

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I'm very excited to have author Sherri Hayes as my guest today. Sherri's latest book is called Truth, which is the third book in the Finding Anna series. 

As a writer, what is your favorite scene to write?

It really depends on my mood. There are times when I love to write those angsty scenes where the guy and the girl are dancing around each other. Then, there are other times when a good sex scene is what pulls me in and has my heart racing, and my fingers flying over the keyboard. I also tend to love writing those high-drama, tear jerker moments. My mood is what drives everything for me, and if I'm not in the right frame of mind for a particular scene, it becomes challenging to write.

As a reader, what is your favorite scene to read?

In reading, I'm much more the same. I write what I like to read, so I love to read those scenes that capture me emotionally. There is nothing like being swept away in a good love scene, but I'd like just as much to be reading a first kiss after the hero and heroine have been playing a game of cat and mouse for half the book. It's all about feeling your heart racing, and those butterflies in the pit of your stomach. Those are the best scenes.


Author Bio:

Sherri Hayes is the author of four novels: Hidden Threat, Slave (Finding Anna 1), Need (Finding Anna 2), Behind Closed Doors (A Daniels Brothers' Novel), Red Zone (A Daniels Brothers' Novel), and a short story.

Sherri  lives in central Ohio with her husband and three cats. Her mother fostered her love of books at a very young age by reading to her as a child. Stories have been floating around in her head for as long as she can remember, however, she didn't start writing them down until she was thirty.  It has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. When she's not writing, she can usually be found helping her husband in his woodworking shop.

Be sure to check out my review of Truth (Finding Anna 3)!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn

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What's your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trench coat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He's just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja's sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane... until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn't what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone--a dark pit he's not sure he'll be able to climb out of again.

The first three episodes of the Debt Collector serial are collectively the length of a short novel, or 152 pages. These are the first three of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. Episode 4, Broken, was released on 4/17/13. Fore more about the Debt Collector serial go to DebtCollectorSeries.com 

The first three episodes can be purchased as a set for less than $3 bucks on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can't beat that for a good read!

My review of the first episode will be posted in the coming days.

About the author:

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple of times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she's met along the way.

She doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out is exactly as much as she can handle.

Visit the Susan's official website, fan her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer - by Brian Sweany

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Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer
by Brian Sweany

From the Writer's Coffe Shop:

Hank Fitzpatrick's life is what you might expect from a man-child stumbling his way through and beyond adolescence in the late 1980's in small town Indiana: hypersexual, drunk, stoned, prone to fits of spontaneous masturbation, occasionally Catholic, and accidentally well-intentioned. His life is in perpetual conflict as he confuses sex for love, heartache for passion, desperation for honesty, and abuse for affection.

Caught in a crossfire of raging hormones, bad decisions and family tragedy, Hank is just a boy not yet ready to be a man. And like many boys growing up, Hank is desperate to impress his father. The impossibly perfect patriarch of the family, John Fitzpatrick decides at age forty-two he wants to have a vasectomy reversal. Is Hank ready to be a brother again at age seventeen? What about his mother's narcotics and gimlet-soaked uterus? A child will come of this, but not without consequences.

Laura is Hank's first true love. From their stolen nights together as high-school sweethearts to their final encounter as twentysomething adults, they never figure out how to stop hurting one another. Beth, the girl who loves Hank unconditionally, can only wait for so long before longing turns to regret. But everything will be okay as long as Hank's best friend Hatch is there to help him exorcise his demons with a half-gallon of bourbon and a bottle of cough syrup.

Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is more than just a tribute to the last uninhibited pre-9/11, pre-Facebook generation. It's a comedy. It's a tragedy. It's a love story. It's a subversive yet empathetic, wart-and-all portrait rooted in real-life that kids will read behind their parents' backs. And if somewhere along the way we can all share in the redemptive power of a belly dancer's love... well, that's okay too.

Review:

Hank Fitzpatrick is a typical male teen: confused, selfish, and horny. He's annoyed by the fact that his parents are trying desperately to have another child, at the same time he's completely preoccupied with his own sexuality. He's kinda Catholic, even thought it's mostly his parents idea. But mostly Hank is just trying to get the hang of this whole life thing.

Hank is an extremely likable character, a really good guy. He loves with his whole heart. He's suffered and triumphed, fallen down and gotten back up. He's the underdog, but not a victim.

Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is entertaining. The story flows like an 80's flick. I could totally see this on the silver screen, starring none other than Anthony Michael Hall as Hank (of course). Brian Sweany did a great job of making the story true to its era.

I give this book:

Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer can be purchased at the Writer's Coffee Shop.

Be sure to visit Brian Sweany's official website for news on the upcoming sequel, Making out with Blowfish.


Visit the other stops on the tour:

April 24 - Sandi Layne
April 25 - Outnumbered 3-1
April 26 - My Reading Lounge
April 27 - Fantasy-link
April 28 - Writer on the Verge
April 29 - Fresh Fiction
April 30 - NK Smith Writes
May 1 - Sherri Hays
May 2 - Michelle Birbeck
May 3 - Sydney Logan

I received a free eBook copy of this book in exchange for this review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Guest Post by Author Brian Sweany

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Without giving away too much, what is your favorite part of the novel and why?

The prologue of Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is one of my favorite parts, which is why I choose it the most for public readings.

The core theme of the book is how a boy learns to define himself as a man. Chapter after chapter, I consciously challenge, exaggerate, skewer, and deconstruct male stereotypes. Not so coincidentally, I was pretty much raised in this exact type of atmosphere: I was a cradle Catholic who wrestled with the Church's misogyny and moral inflexibility, plus I was raised by parents who wrestled with these very same things. The prologue is based on my true story: My Dad got a vasectomy after the third Sweany child was born, but then about 10 years later pretty much guilted himself into un-vasectomized. Given the nature of my story, I felt like a father and son arguing about reversing a vasectomy was a perfect way to foreshadow everything to come in the novel. I set the table for the major players, while having a father expound on the literal loss and reclamation of his manhood.

About the author:

Since 2000, Brian Sweany has been the Director of Acquisitions for Recorded Books, one of the world's largest audiobook publishers. Prior to that he edited cookbooks and computer manuals and claims to have saved a major pharmaceutical company from being crippled by the Y2K bug. Brian has a BS in English from Easter Michigan University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1995. He's a retired semi-professional student, with stopovers at Wabash College - the all-male school that reputedly fired Ezra Pound from its faculty for having sex with a prostitute, Marian University - the former all-female school founded by Franciscan nuns that, if you don't count Brian's expulsion, has fired no one of consequence and is relatively prostitute-free, and Indiana University via a high school honors course he has no recollection of ever attending.

Brian has spent most of his life in the Midwest and now lives near Indianapolis with his wife, three children, and a neurotic Husky/Border mix named Hank. He's currently working on his next project, Making Out with a Blowfish, which is the sequel to Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer and the second book in a planned trilogy. For future details, check out the authors website at www.briansweany.com

Click here to read my review of Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Terminus by Joshua Graham

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Terminus
by Joshua Graham

About the book:

How far must an angel fall to find his destiny?

Having witnessed one too many senseless deaths, Nikolai, a disillusioned Reaper 3rd Class, resigns his commission with the Angel Forces after a tedious century of gathering souls.
   
Immediately, another division recruits him with the promise of a more rewarding career, and issues his initial assignments: To bring down a few very dangerous threats to the human race.  In the process, Nikolai falls in love with one of his targets—Hope Matheson, a woman who will lead thousands astray. 
Caught between conflicting agendas, Nikolai chooses to “fall” from his celestial state and become mortal in order to circumvent angel law and be with her.  But for angels and humans alike, things are not always as they appear.  Still a target, the threat against Hope’s life intensifies.

Now, in order to save her, Nikolai must rally the last remnants of his failing supernatural abilities to prevent her assassination, as well as the destruction of an entire city by a nuclear terrorist strike.

But his time and power are running out…

Terminus is a perspective-altering saga that delves into ageless themes of redemption, destiny, and the eternal power of love.

Click here to read chapter one.




About the author:

Joshua Graham grew up in Brooklyn, NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).
  
Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Southern California. Several of Graham’s short fiction works have been published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press.
  
Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham debuted with his first Epic Fantasy novel ONCE WE WERE KINGS, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories and Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, as well as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, and an Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is available in ebook and hardcover editions.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the Terminus tour


You can also visit Joshua's official website, follow him on Twitter, and friend/follow him on Facebook.


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