Where There’s Hope

Where There's Hope cover

Author: Marianne Rice

Series: Well Paired

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Star Hill Press

Pages: 272

 

Hope and her daughter live a comfortable, quiet life in a small Maine town. It has been Hope’s safe place, until Cameron Smithfield arrives. He is a stranger to Hope, but she has hated him for years. Cameron, the man who killed her daughter’s father, the man that she loved, is in town and doing a wonderful job of becoming a town favorite.

Cameron had his life turned upside down the night that he killed his brother in that car accident. After serving his time, he is determined to make amends with his niece, and help in any way that he can. Her mother, however, won’t let him in. This isn’t the shocking part…What shocks him is what he is feeling for her.

Hope has hated Cameron from afar for many years, and now he has shown up wanting to be in her daughter’s life. She had no intention of letting him in at all, but suddenly she is having feelings that she never expected to have. When all signs point to him as the culprit, will she believe the evidence or her heart?

I swear, it is Marianne’s goal to make me in to a romance reader one series at a time. This is another great read from this author! It sucked me in by the second chapter, and before I knew it I was almost done with the book! The characters are all very well fleshed out, as I have come to expect. The reader can feel their complex emotions and inner turmoil as they are going through the process of figuring them out. The secondary characters are well rounded, as well, so maybe we’ll see some of them get their own books?? Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun romance read and/or you’ve liked her previous series’ definitely pick this one up! It’s the second in the series, but can be read alone with no problem. Enjoy!!!

 

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Stone Cursed: A Zodiac Sifters Paranormal Romance: Taurus

Stone Cursed cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Highland Gargoyles

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 137

 

You guys!!! The Gargoyles are back!!!

Alec has not been very happy since he had to leave with his clan from the Isle of Stone to relocate to the Scottish Highlands. Settling in a run-down castle, he missed the sound and smell of the ocean and the feel of flying over it. While off sentry duty one night, he notices a strange green light in the distance, and decides to check it out. He finds that last things that he expects, or wants, to find: witches- the enemy of the gargoyles. These particular witches have left their coven in search of ley lines in order to increase their power. Alec is discovered by Kai, the male leading this offshoot of the coven, and he uses dark magic to entrap Alec in stone. He has no idea how he will get a message to his brothers to warn them of the danger, and to get help, until Veda (the most gorgeous witch he’s ever seen) comes to his rescue. Now they both must run, or face the wrath of Kai…

Yay, more Gargoyles!!! This was a great novella within the Highland Gargoyle series and can be read without reading the rest of the series if you’d like (you really should read the others, though!). Carlisle’s wonderful world building continues on in to the Scottish Highlands and allows the reader to perfectly picture the world that she has envisioned. The character development is up to the standard that we have some to expect from Carlisle. This was just a quick, fun read, that is a wonderful addition to this series.

Heat (Underground Encounters, Book 5)

Heat cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Underground Encounters

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 115

 

Tracy tends bar at Vamps to pay her way through school. She has had her share of problems- an abusive ex, family problems, etc- and she finds comfort in sharing her turmoil with the status of the gargoyle that hangs out at the bar. She doesn’t know why, maybe she’s losing it, but there’s no harm done. One night, as she’s closing down the bar for the night, aforementioned ex shows up, drunk and looking to either hook up or fight. Just as Tracy is figuring out the best way to defend herself, her statue and confidante comes to life before her eyes and takes care of the problem for her. He believes that they are fated to be together, and he has twenty-four hours to prove it to her or he will turn to stone again. Will he be able to convince her, or will he remain under his curse?

Thanks to this lovely author, I have really come to love gargoyle shifters, and Danton is no exception. He’s hot, strong, and sweet- what more could you ask for? This story is written along the lines of the other Underground Encounters stories, which is excellent! The characters were well developed, as always. The world building just continued to grow from the previous books. The story was well rounded enough, even for a short novella, that it would be no problem to grab it and enjoy without having read the previous books (although you should, if you like PNR!). If you’re looking for a quick, fun, PNR, pick this one up!

Sisters of Spirit

Sisters of Spirit cover

Author: Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk, Jeanine Duval Spikes

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Seaside Publications

Pages: 342

 

This is a lovely anthology that tells the stories of four ladies- Marina, Bryce, Clara, and Anastasia- who are drawn to one another by something deeper than merely their friendship, or the blood that bonds traditional family. They are bonded by spirit. This bond makes them feel as though they have been not only friends, but sisters their whole lives. One day, while walking along the beach with one another, each sister finds an item that set her on her own special course. One is having a marital crisis, while one is having a crisis of confidence. Another sister wonders if she can trust the man that she is working for, while the last questions whether she can help someone without losing her own heart along the way.

Each author tells the story of a different sister. When reading the stories of these Spirit Sisters, the reader can tell that these fantastic authors have their own spiritual connection to one another. While the reader is able to discern the individual voice of the author, they flow together in a way that really makes this anthology work well. Each story is short enough to read in a sitting, but fully developed enough to leave the reader satisfied. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, go ahead and grab this one up! You won’t be disappointed!

 

Pre-Order the re-released anthology, Available April 21!

Fresh Ink

Fresh Ink cover

Editor: Lamar Giles

Genre: YA Fiction

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 208

 

This is an anthology that was written in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. It includes never before seen works from thirteen of YA’s most recognizable, diverse authors: ten short stories, one graphic story, and a one-act play. I am thrilled to have been allowed to early review this amazing collection of short fiction, that is just demanding to be read, shared, and talked about!

Let me just begin by saying- Wow! After reading the early synopsis of this anthology, and learning who the authors contributing to it were, I had high hopes… I mean really high. This blew them away! Every one of these short stories had something very important to say, and they all made their point in the best way possible. I may not have been able to personally identify with all of the characters in these stories, but the message of each was not lost on me. These authors are all so brilliant, that it is really hard to pick a favorite story out of this collection. If pushed to choose, I would have to say that Eraser Tattoo (Jason Reynolds), Why I Learned to Cook (Sara Farizan), Don’t Pass Me By (Eric Gansworth), Meet Cute (Malinda Lo), and Tags (Walter Dean Myers) really stood out to me. All of the stories were just long enough to pique the reader’s interest, tell their story, and then leave you wanting more. This is an anthology that has been needed for some time, especially in this climate, and I am so glad that it is here! It is bound to be a hit, and one that will last for a long time to come. Now…Can we get another one of these, please? Fresher Ink, anyone?!

 

Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath

undercurrents cover

Author: Multiple

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Publisher: WordFire Press

Pages: 334

 

I was asked by one of the authors of this anthology to review this book for the release, and I am so glad that he asked me to do this! I absolutely loved it! The stories included in this compilation range from strange and creepy to outright scary, and there was not one of them that I can honestly say that I just didn’t enjoy. There were some, however, that stood out for me. One that really stood out for me was The Kraken’s Story by Robert J. McCarter. THe reason that this one stood out, in my mind, was the POV that it was told from: the Kraken’s. I do believe that this is the first time that I have read a story told from the POV of a Kraken, and it was very different (in a good way!). One of the stories that I just loved was Gregory D. Little’s A Marsh Called Solitude. The writing was beautiful, with wonderfully developed characters. It feels like he was able to put so much in to a short story. It is the writing that I have come to expect from him in a neat little package. One of my other favorites has to be Sea Dreams, written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. The writing was also very lovely in this story, and the underlying message of friendship is an important one.

If you love short stories (we all know that I love them by now!) and sci-fi/fantasy, I think that you will really enjoy this anthology. You are getting so much packed in to this one book!

Burn (Underground Encounters, Book 4)

Burn cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Underground Encounters

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 254

 

Layla is on the run from a Master Vampire. She has fled from London, and arrived in Boston to become Angelica, the singer in an 80’s cover band. Devon is the shapeshifting bounty hunter who is after her. He hates vamps, so there is no issue with him hunting her down…until he meets her. With more vampires on their trail, will this end well for them?

This is the fourth installment in Carlisle’s Underground Encounters series, but each one can be read as a standalone. This, as all her work thus far has been, was an incredible enjoyable read! The characters were well fleshed out, and fun to hang out with. The plot line was a very interesting and fun one. What I think that I love most of all about this author’s work, though, is her world building. It is always very rich and well imagined. I can almost always picture, with great detail, the environment that she is describing. If you are a PNR fan, this is a series (and author!) that you shouldn’t miss!