Wednesday, April 30, 2014
My Review: This is my first experience with author Mila A. Ballentine and it definitely will not be my last. I started reading this book one evening and literally did not put it down until I had finished the last chapter. It was that engaging. She has a few different stories going on in one book and you wonder how they will all tie in together. It is brilliantly done.
Ballentine tells us of François who has been haunted by something that happened to his little sister almost fifty years ago. When he was younger, days before his little sister disappeared he, his mother and sister were walking past the shop of a fortune teller and she says something to his mother in passing. He couldn't make out what it was but it it really upset his mom. Days later his sister went missing. He has tried not to think about it but with the events that are about to unfold, there is going to be no way around it. Ultimately, he comes to find out but at what cost?
Madame Leatherby, the town gypsy and fortune teller is a woman who has a gift of "sight beyond seeing." That's how she describes being able to tell what will happen, or has happened to a person without using an apparatus. She sits outside of her shop on Canal Street and every once in a while she will have such a feeling about someone about to pass that she will say something to them. Of course, some react strongly and others aren't sure she even said it to them. Nonetheless, she shares what she sees. This happened one day with a girl named Patience. As she passed by Madame Leatherby, she tells Patience to not step on the sand dollar. Of course, Patience had no idea what she meant or even if she was directing it to her so she walked on not to think of it again. Later, we see that she should have heeded what Madame Leatherby told her.
I don't want to go into any more of the story because I don't want to spoil it! There are different characters that all come together beautifully and make for a great and intoxicating read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery/suspense with a little bit of a love story as well. You will not be disappointed!
Ballentine has done such a fantastic job that you will have to get the book to appreciate how the story comes together and plays out. In the end, I was very impressed at how seamlessly she had brought all of the characters together. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
*****5 Stars! I LOVED it!
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer
Having failed to assemble the band of hardened warriors he’d hoped for, Saul enters the town of Trest with a homeless dwarf, and two would-be sell-swords from the barbarian northlands, who've grown weary of working as laborers at the dock.
Seeking a fabled dragon slayer, the last known living soul to prevail in battle against a noble dragon, seems logical, even though he may not turn out to be all they expected. When the companions set out from Trest, they find simply getting to the Sky Cleavers proves to be a challenge and by the time they are ready to confront the beast, their party has changed dramatically and includes individuals from some of the rarest races in Torea.
As the gravity of their grim task becomes apparent, the warriors begin to realize their chances of success are not good, and even if they can prevail against the odds, it seems unlikely they will all survive the encounter.
Only when the quest is done, is the true nature of the Empress's mission revealed. What is not revealed however, is the mysterious 'Truth', which Brael continually alludes to but is unable to talk about. Nobody can foresee the devastating consequences that the emergence of this ‘truth’ will unleash, and the impact its unveiling will have on their lives.
My Review: I am not one to read fantasy so when I started this one, I was skeptical to say the least. I mean, the thought of reading about dragons and slaying said dragon is not on top of my "do to" list. However, once I started reading, I was impressed! Here, we have a story of a man named Saul who is ordered by the Empress to kill a dragon. He sets out and finds some men to help. He finds Harald and Korhan, two men who had the misfortune of losing what they had and ended up working as laborers at the docks. And Saul also found Vortex. Vortex is a dwarf. They are very rare to see out and he is met with a lot of curious glances and ridicule from strangers along the way. But, he can hold his own which is what Saul wants! With these three men, they set out to seek the rumored dragon slayer, Silus. Not only will they try to recruit him, but also pick his brain on any insight he might could give them.
They find Silus in the town of Trest. He is in a bar drinking his life away. When they approach and tell him their quest, Silus laughs and basically tells them they're idiots for seeking the dragon! He proceeds to tell them of the time when he killed a dragon. He had many men with him and they were all either burned to death on the spot or killed in some way by the dragon. Not sounding too good for them is it? They ask Silus to join them and, of course, he refuses. He barely escaped with his life the first time. Why would he want to tempt fate again? But in the end, he decides to join them. The next morning before leaving town, they notice an execution of five men about to take place. One of them is a dark elf, or gravian as some call them. They are extremely rare and he is only being executed because of what he is. In other words, just for the enjoyment of seeing him die. Saul, Harald, Korhan and especially Vortex do not like this and they intend on trying to free the elf. Saul talks to the Barger of Trest and tries to talk him into giving the gravian over to him but it's no use. With nothing more to do, Saul tells his men they need to leave and keep to the task at hand. Korhan will not hear of it and tells them to mount their horses and head towards the gate as fast as they can. He'll catch up with them...any guesses as to what he will do? You got it! He Frees the gravian just before he has his head cut off. He throws him on his horse and makes his way to the gate of the city. He escapes just in time. The five of them are on the run from the Berger and his men. They need to get to a safe place and lie low for a while. During this time they find out the dark elf's name. Brael. He is in debt to Korhan for saving his life and will not leave until his debt has been repaid.
They trudge through the thick forest and find a stream and it's there where the men from Trest catch up with them. Just when you think all is lost, a figure leaps from out of nowhere and threatens to cut the Barger's throat if his men don't leave. They do as they are told and then this person whispers something in the Barger's ear to make him act oblivious and lose his memory. He gallops off not sure of which way to go. Who is this person? Her name is Vashni. She is an elf. Elf's are also mystical creatures with magical powers and cannot be trusted. But, one brave warrior is captivated by her...Korhan. There is something about her that draws him to her. So he asks her to teach him how to guard his mind from "whispers." That's something she, and other elf's, use to persuade people to do what they want...among other things. She agrees and this starts a series of events that the other men do not agree with. It seems that Korhan is becoming her slave and will do things that are degrading. But he puts up with it because she is also helping him to be a better warrior! If he learns to guard his mind, he will be able to go into battle even more prepared against the enemy.
As their journey comes to an end, Korhan is getting better in the ways of what Vashni has been teaching him. Everyone is preparing for the battle. Saul comes up with a potion to put on the end of the swords to make the blade penetrate the skin easier. They'll need it since dragons have layers of iron like scales! We learn the dragon's name is Thrax. Lord Thrax to be exact. He has manipulated the people who live near his den that he is to be worshiped. The people who worship him believe that it is an honor to be eaten by him. They will volunteer themselves in belief that their sacrifice will secure riches for their family. Of course, this is ridiculous and the others can see it so when there is a young girl awaiting to be eaten by this dragon, Korhan knocks her out and the others move her from danger.
The time has come for them to enter the dragons den. Will they conquer the dragon or will Thrax end up being victorious? If they do somehow kill the beast, why did the Empress order that to be done? What is it about the dragon that she had to have it killed? You have to get the book to find out! Click here to purchase part one in this three part series, Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer on Amazon.
I really did enjoy this book! There were some grammatical errors but they weren't bad enough for me to stop reading. Also, there was no bad language which was nice. Some scenes involved alcohol and when they are in the dragon's den, there are a couple of graphic scenes but not too bad. All in all, if you want your tween/teenage son/daughter to read this, I say it's pretty safe. But of course, I always urge the parent(s) to read something first :)
Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Stevens Place
My Review: When Aidan and Beth were kids, they were the best of friends. They loved each other and knew it but, as kids, they didn't know what to do with it. One day Aidan's sister, Ally dies. Aidan, Beth and Ally were really close. It's hard on everybody, especially living in a small town where everyone knows your business. After his sisters death, Beth and Aidan grow closer and finally kiss! It was under a tree at The Stevens place where their group of friends loved to hang out. It was so special but also bitter sweet since Aiden's parents were divorcing and he and his mother were leaving the little town of Ballard heading to a new life. Beth was devastated! She thought she would never see Aidan again and her heart was broken! Aidan didn't want to leave either. He loved Beth. Before he left he told her "No matter where I am or what I'm doing, you will always be on my mind and forever in my heart." He will live up to that years later.
Fast forward fifteen years and we see that Aidan has made a huge name for himself in Hollywood. He is a very successful actor and, of course, very handsome! Beth has had a tough time with a marriage that was very abusive and since divorcing, she is living back with her parents. Little did they both know that their paths were soon going to cross again.
One day Aidan comes back to visit his sisters' grave after years of being away. Of course, this also brings back memories of Beth and how much he misses her. Once he comes to the realization that he is needing some time to heal from everything that has happened in his past, he decides to take a ride out to the Stephens place and there is where he sees the most beautiful woman swinging on the tire swing. It's Beth.
When Beth sees him, all the memories of them together as kids flood her mind and she is so happy to see him! They spend hours together talking and catching up and feel so comfortable and at ease together. This is where their new romance begins. They can't get enough of each other and are so happy to be back in each others lives. Beth's parents are ecstatic that he is back and welcome him with open arms. He bides his time between Ballard and L.A. He loves Beth with all of his heart and she feels the same. They spend time together when they can and when Aidan has to be away for work, they call and text. It seems nothing can go wrong. Of course, life happens.
One of Aidan's past relationships with a woman named Gwen comes out of the woodwork and claims he has a child with her. What?! It's been five years and she's just now letting Aidan know about it. Something is fishy. But, the first thing Aidan thinks about is Beth. How is this going to effect her? He really cares for her and doesn't want her life ruined by the tabloids and all the drama that comes with being a movie star. Beth will hear none of it and assures him that she is strong enough to take on whatever this woman throws at them. But she is holding on to something. Something that she feels will turn Aidan away from her. She was married for six years to a man, Brad, who sexually abused her. She was basically his sex slave. He didn't care about her needs, only fulfilling his. He was brutal, raping her, exposing her in front of others and other horrible things. Beth thinks that if Aidan ever found out, he wouldn't want her anymore. But one day, she tells him...only a small part, but she tells him. He loves her more than ever and wants nothing but to protect her and love her. But it brings to light a very important topic of sexual abuse.
Their love seems to have conquered once again, but when Brad shows back up in Beth's life, claiming he's changed and is saying he just wants to be friends, Beth doesn't know whether to believe him. But she's the type that will give a second chance, and she gives him the benefit of the doubt. Her parent's aren't very happy, knowing, to an extent, what he did to her but figure she's a grown woman and can make her own decisions.
Meanwhile, Gwen is upping her game and is making Beth out to be a monster. Aidan and Beth are trying to plan their future but how can they when they aren't certain what is going to happen with Gwen and the supposed "love child" she is claiming is Aidan's? Also, Brad seems to be getting a little nosy when it comes to Beth's relationship with Aidan. Why? Does he have anything to do with the Gwen situation or is it all just coincidence?
There is so much more to this story but I don't want to ruin it!! Will Aidan and Beth have their happily ever after or will someone destroy it? And what will come of Gwen and her child she is claiming is Aidan's? Wil Beth welcome the child if it does turn out to be his or will she bow out and let him be a family with Gwen and the baby? You need to get the book to find out! Click here to purchase on Amazon.
I really did enjoy this book! It has a wonderful love story that will have you pulling for Beth and Aidan the whole way. The sex scenes are very well done and steamy ;) There is some language in the book and some typos but overall, it was great!
Friday, April 18, 2014
Escape Part 1: Greece
When a threat from Baltimore casts a dark shadow over their romantic paradise, Michelle is forced to reveal her secret to Jake. But it turns out Jake has a secret as well, with his own reason for hiding out in the middle of the Ionian Sea. When Michelle learns why, she discovers that Jake might be the only man alive with the resources to save her.
My Review: From the very first sentence, this book had me! We meet Michelle Meadows. Except, she is no longer called Michelle, she is now Jenna and is in witness protection because of something she saw at her place of work. Now she has the Russian Mob after her so she is sent to a beautiful island in Greece where she is waiting to be called back to the states to testify. She's learned to stay mostly to herself. Replaying her handlers words in her brain daily "Treat every stranger like a potential enemy." Jenna had grown accustomed to living that way, until one day when she noticed someone swimming to shore from a distance. She had never seen this person before and as he got closer, her suspicions were confirmed. Out of the ocean walks this Greek God...fitting for the location ;)
He walks to his belongings, just steps from Jenna and unwittingly, strikes a pose. Jenna gets to work. She sketches him beautifully. He notices and walks over to her. His name is Jake Dasher. Fitting name, don't you think? ;) He is so impressed by how she, a stranger, sees him that he asks her to dinner. Of course she is very reluctant but she finally accepts. After almost four months with very little human interaction, and a beautiful man asking, how could she say no? The only problem is, he is ten years younger than Jenna and he might be working for Sokolov. The Russian Mobster that is after Michelle.
This is where the story heats up! Jenna learns that Jake is a billionaire that likes his privacy. He and Jenna have sparks from the beginning. After their first date, which ends in a steamy kiss on the beach, they make plans to meet the next morning. Jake takes her to a secluded cavern where they get more intimate....
Jenna feels that she can trust Jake and one night, after steamy sex, she tells him the truth. All of it. And she gets what she's longed for from him. He calls her Michelle. Jake is worried for her safety but she assures him that she is taken care of by the American government. And she doesn't really know how much longer until the case is built and she will have to leave. And he will have to leave soon to go back to the states for his business. The realization of their relationship hits both of them. They don't have much longer together so they make the most of it.
Until one night, when the fairy tale comes to an end. Michelle knows she isn't supposed to contact her family. Her handler, Martha made that very clear before she was relocated. But Jake has a satellite phone and, while he was sleeping, Michelle longs to connect with her family. Just to let them know she is okay. She reasons that she will just leave a message telling her family she loves them and be done in less than 10 seconds. Well, little did she know that her sister would answer the phone. Little did she know that she would talk for almost a minute. And little did she know that satellite phones can be traced. In less than an hour the Mob has located her. Martha calls and tells her they are sending a plane to get her and take her somewhere else. Take her away from Jake. But Jake steps up and offers to take care of her! He is a billionaire after all! So he makes his case that the Mob might get to her before the American government can and he wants to get her to safety. But where?? He asks "Have you ever been to Italy?" It's a cliffhanger ending but it will leave you ready to grab the next book and see how it all turns out!
MJ Meadows has done a great job engaging the reader and making you feel that you can really connect with the characters. You are pulling for them and for the happy ending. Of course, there is more to this story that I didn't touch on here. To purchase on Amazon, click here.
I really liked this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a good romantic suspense. It does have explicit sex scenes so don't leave it lying around for little eyes. The only thing I didn't like was there were a few times the dialog didn't seem realistic. It seemed too young for their characters or not realistic. But it wasn't bad enough for me to stop reading.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
My Review: Before I started this book, I thought "Ok, this is a teenager, so go easy on him." Little did I know that I would read a book that, not only is very well written but one that I could not put down! Dahl has done an excellent job in his research for "Lies" and executed the story beautifully.
I was very familiar with the Salem Witch trials. I knew enough about it to know what happened but not any more details than that. This is a story of a girl, who is 12 years old at the time the story begins. Her name is Ann Putnam Jr. One day after church she is asked to her friend, Betty Parris' house. "Magic" was the word used to describe what Betty wanted her to see. In other words, witchcraft.
Ann was a girl who followed the ways of the Lord and knew that anything pertaining to witchcraft was a sin. Yet, she was so curious and the more she tried to convince herself not to go, the more she wanted to. Upon arriving at Betty's house, she took Ann into a back room where a few other girls were waiting. One was Abigail, Betty's cousin. The Parris' family slave, Tituba, enters the room and instantly Ann is horrified. She pulls out a dirty glass and a small bottle filled with water. She fills the glass almost full and then cracks and egg and puts the yolk into the water. Tituba then begins swirling it. Ann knows this is wrong but she is so intrigued that she cannot help but look. As the futures of the other girls are told, Ann waits, listening and nervous. What will hers hold? Suddenly, the yolk started coming out of the glass, took on a human shape which quickly turned into a coffin! It made it's way towards Ann and she started screaming! The shape vanished. The others in the room acted as if nothing had happened! Ann was so confused. Had they not seen that?!
Ann rushes home. She is hoping that nobody will find out what happened but little does she know, things are just getting started. The next day, Betty and Abigail get sick. They would scream, twitch and stare at things unseen. For weeks, they were that way and Ann knew this had to do with what they experienced with Tituba. The townspeople had prayed and doctors had done all they knew to do. They all came to the decision that witchcraft must have done this.
Ann knew the truth and she wanted to help her friends so she decided to make others believe she is also sick. She uses this to see if any other witches would be exposed, but what she doesn't expect is to have her father use her in such a way that will change her life forever. It is absolutely amazing to see what a person will or will not do for someone they love.
Ann was responsible for dozens of deaths with most of them, if not all of them, being innocent men and women. In the end though, will she regret what she has done, or will the pleasure of doing enough wrong deeds make her heart hard? You need to get the book and find out!
I really did enjoy this book and thing Dahl did a wonderful job with the historical aspect and keeping the events true to the time as well as making the story come alive! To be a teenager, he writes outstandingly! I look forward to reading other works by him and feel that he has a very bright future in the literary world.
Click here to purchase Lies on Amazon!
*****5 Stars!! Very Well Done!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Ms. Croft has been described by one well known erotic author as her favorite find of 2012. This, her first novella, charts her discovery of the relationship between Miyuki (a beautiful half-Japanese girl) and her Mistress.
Described as a stunning story full of dark angst, mystery and suggestive erotica, the story is sure to delight readers of Romance and Erotica.
My Review: When Carla was a young girl, she inherited a porcelain doll named Tilly from her great grandmother. Even though Tilly was petite and fragile, and had to be kept under a glass dome, Carla loved her. At night, Carla would dream of Tilly and how she would dance and they would play together. Making it feel like the two weren't so alone in this world. But as the years passed, Carla outgrew Tilly and realized that she was only a doll. Little did Carla know, Tilly would come to life in a way she would never expect.
As Carla grew and eventually married, she kept Tilly with her. She couldn't bear to give up a part of her childhood and a reminder of her innocence when she was a little girl. She put the doll, complete with glass dome, on her dresser and went on with life.
Miyuki is a friend who reminds Carla of Tilly in so many ways. Maybe it's her porcelain skin. Or maybe it's her childlike innocence that she portrays when they are together. Whatever it is, it draws Carla to her and she touches Carla in ways that she cannot explain or have ever imagined.
This is where the story starts. As the friendship grows, Carla finds herself fantasizing about Miyuki. Even though she is married, there is just something about her that Carla can't resist. One day, Miyuki asks Carla to meet for lunch. Once together, she gives Carla an envelope and asks her to open it. What the letter says is something I didn't see coming.
Miyuki is a Sub. Her Dom is asking Carla to come and spend time with them. I forgot to mention that Carla is a lawyer by day, but by night she writes erotica stories...most of them have involved her friends. So, Miyuki has spoken highly of Carla and now her Dom wants to meet her.
Carla reluctantly accepts the offer and is shocked to discover that she is wanted now. There is no time to think it over, no time to ponder the pros/cons. So she gets in the car and they head out.
A short while later, they pull up to a beautiful house. Carla doesn't know what to expect! She has never had a chance to get a look into this world and doesn't understand it. She has so many mixed emotions and hopes that this will help her sort some things out. Did I mention that she is attracted to Miyuki?? Well, she is!! Once in the house, Miyuki leads her upstairs and shows her around, taking her to a few rooms. She takes Carla into one that is her favorite and sits on the bed talking about how beautiful it is. Carla is so taken by all of it that, in a moment of vulnerability, she kisses Miyuki.
As the story goes on, Miyuki's Dom, Dominica comes home and that's when Carla's eyes start to open to the world of Dom/Sub. She shows Carla that it is not just about dominating somebody, it is a relationship built on love, trust and submission. It is compared to a traditional marriage...but not the marriages of today where couples want to be equal. It is compared to when the husband ruled over the house and the wife was "submissive" to him.
As things are explained, and shown to Carla, she finds it very erotic and it turns her on to see it. At one point, Dominica has Carla and Miyuki perform sexual acts together. It is nothing like Carla thought! It makes her see how it can make a person feel safe and secure, even though someone is being told what to do and when to do it. She also sees it as freeing! Something she did not expect.
Overall, this is a story of not trying to find the problems in life but embracing it and realizing that not everything has an ulterior motive. Some things in life are meant to be, and are only for, our pleasure. And if someone chooses to do something, even if we don't agree with it, or understand every aspect of it, then we need to trust that that person knows what they are doing.
I liked this book and thought it was very well written. The Characters seemed real and well developed to have been a shorter book. To my surprise, there was no bad language in it, which I appreciate :) However, same sex erotica is not my personal taste so that is the only part I didn't care for. Other than that, it was very good!
To purchase Miyuki on Amazon, click here!
**Please be mindful when leaving your Kindle lying around that this story does contain sexual acts and adult content. It is definitely not for little eyes or anyone under the age of 25...j/k! It is not intended for anyone younger than 18 :)
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Mind Me, Milady
Eve is an attorney, not a cop, but the serial rapist terrorizing women on New York’s Upper East Side is obsessed with her. She is a determined, strong woman. But she has enough to deal with in her personal and professional life. She does not have the time or experience to solve a mystery in New York.
Now the Gentleman Rapist has escalated to murder. Now he stalks Eve's latest client, a sweet innocent girl with amnesia. Is this monster a part of the girl's mysterious past? Or did Eve herself endanger her client by handing him a target for revenge?
Now Eve must catch the Gentleman Rapist and stop his deadly game before yet another woman feels a wire tighten around her throat, and hears him whisper, "Mind me, Milady. Mind your master.
My Review: I love mysteries. And if they are romantic mysteries, that's a bonus! This novel incorporates both plus much more. As the story starts, we are introduced to a young woman named Natalie. She is on her way to look at an apartment and upon arriving, by herself, she is attacked by a man. He is known as the "Gentleman Rapist." With his victims, he uses tape over their eyes and mouth and bounds their wrists. He has a very sadistic way of doing things and leaves these women in a very telling position once he's done.
Eve Peterson is a young woman who practices law in the city of New York. She has recently lost her mother, Norma and is in the process of closing down her mother's law office so she can give all of her attention to Hadley & Hodge, another law firm in the city. Eve is winding down her mother's cases when Grace, one of her mother's old friends asks for a favor. Help a young woman by the name of Susan. She lost her parents when she was 13 in a car accident and lost her memory from it as well. She recently lost her Aunt who finished raising her. Susan is a vital part to the story! It all seems to center around her.
As the story progresses, Eve figures out that the Gentleman Rapist is after Susan and he will stop at nothing to get to her. But Why? Also, after each victim he calls Eve Peterson and taunts her. Telling her that she is on his list and how he cannot wait to have his turn with her. As Eve gets closer to finding the truth, the Gentleman claims a few other victims. But this time, he doesn't leave them alive. We also see why he is the way he is. Why he feels the need to punish these women and leave them feeling humiliated. It is a very disturbing realization and one that will make you squirm...at least it did me.
Mind Me, Milady will not disappoint. It is a story of betrayal, trust, friendship and finding love in the process. I don't want to go too far into the story because I want you to read it all for yourself. It is a really good book and it will keep you guessing until the very end on who this man is and why he wants Eve so bad! Even when you think he's been revealed, think again.
The only thing I didn't like was through the whole book, the Gentleman calls Eve after every occurrence and tells her she's on his list but when the time comes, it falls short for me. That might sound morbid or horrible, but I felt that it was built up so much that more time should have been spent on it. It just didn't fulfill my expectations. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book!
Click here to order the book on Amazon!
*Please note, there are adult situations and also some language. So don't leave this lying around for little eyes :)
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
My Review: In this 32 page book, we see a glimpse into the lives of ten women who have their first girl on girl experience. They are normal women, from all walks of life and different ages at the time of their experience.
This book does not leave anything to the imagination and if you are looking for a "light read" before bedtime, this is not it! This is something that you can share with your partner (male or female) and get a good rouse out of them ;)
I won't go into detail on any of the stories, but just know that you will not be disappointed in them. Click here to buy the book on Amazon!
*Please note this book is definitely NOT for young readers! Dare I say, most adults would have a hard time reading it ;) Just be sure you don't leave it out for young eyes.
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