Review: Lynda’s Christmas Joy by Vikki McCombie

Lynda’s Christmas Joy
(Christmas Surprises Book 3)
by Vikki McCombie and Danielle Doolittle

After battling breast cancer and winning, Lynda embraces life, refusing to let the deadly disease rule her any longer. She’s looking forward to spending a week in the sun enjoying her vacation, but…her plans fall through.

When she learns of the dilemma Navy Commander Russell Winston faces, she offers to watch his son and daughter for the week until the childcare center has room for them. After all, she’s at loose ends and she loves kids.

Although she thinks Russ is too young for her, sparks ignite between them. The tall, dark and handsome man is hard to resist. Dare she explore their budding friendship?

As the holidays approach, she wonders…has she found the man of her dreams and a new family to love for Christmas?

Vikki McCombie’s newest novella in her Christmas Surprises series is a heartwarming story of a woman’s ability to move beyond tragedy with God’s help and discover true love at last.

After a cancer scare that got her son Cameron worried, Lynda was now recovering and spending as much as she could with her son and grandchildren. Soon she met Commander Russ and his family and before long, she found herself falling in love with him and his kids. But she’s already in her late forties and was much older than him, and she still worried that her cancer might come back. Was she willing to risk it all and might cause pain to her loved ones in the end?

This was supposed to be a light romantic read, but why oh why did I cry so hard? Lynda was a very good woman, she’s the mother everyone would love to love and have. She’d been through a lot and seeing her all flustered with love and delighted was such a relief. I love how she had so much strength in her and have even made me think about my faith too.

Russ, bless his heart, I love this man with all my heart. He’s the perfect guy for Lynda, regardless of their age difference. He was such a keeper.

The past two years, I was able to read Vikki McCombie’s Christmas surprises series and she always makes me feel special and loved with this kind of stories. I like that she never fails to include wonderful stories about love for oneself, love for family and most importantly, love for God. I think this 3rd book is my favorite because I love Lynda and love how she was able to find true love at her older age. I feel so maternal about her, like I want to keep her on my pocket so I could protect her forever. This has been such a sweet, heartwarming holiday read!

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Review: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
(Dead Things #1)
by Martina McAtee

17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.

They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.

As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.

Ember had always preferred the company of the dead, she thought it was safer that way, with no one criticizing her every moves and not getting hurt by real alive people. But her fascination with corpse and everything dead had a reason, and it was only until the day that she was supposed to die did she know the truth about herself.

She didn’t want to attend her father’s funeral, knowing how he had drank himself to death. It wasn’t after she was about to die in the hands of a handsome stalker when she was rescued by her long lost cousins who took her to Florida and met a motley crew of paranormal creatures she never realized were real. Her twin cousins, Kai and Tristin were both affiliated with the dead, a reaper and a banshee. Then there’s the wolf pack headed by the feisty Alpha Isa and her mate Wren, plus a human with intelligence far superior than Einstein’s and a coven of witches and grims that turned her world upside down.

Bearing the significant birthmark of a moon, the pack realized Ember was one of them – a reanimator from a family of reapers. She could bring back the dead and turn them into zombies. But the truth was, she was more than that, far more sinister and darker than everyone had assumed. For the power she possessed was something deadly, something that had killed a community twelve years ago, and was now on the verge of breaking out again, wreaking havoc to her pack and the ones she considered family. A power that have abilities that could rival the gods. A power unimaginable.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things had been a really fun and adventurous read! I’d like to kick myself for not reading this immediately when I downloaded it. I’ve had this book for a year and was supposed to read it to my kids who love scary stuffs. But when I learned that this was for more middle age readers, I decided to read it myself first. And then life got in the way..

Now… I am flabbergasted! I can’t believe I waited that long to meet Ember, Kai, Tristin and Mace! This book about teenage shifters and witches is a gem! Martina McAtee is a gem herself. I love how she put everything into place, how how she brought life to these characters, how she got me rooting for Mace and rolling my eyes at Tristin and roll on the floor laughing with Kai and Rhys!

There’s a lot I really feel about Ember and her pack. It was everything I never expected and everything I wished for. I’ve always had a soft spot for werewolves and supernaturals, and a badass heroine with deadly attitude. So suffice it to say that Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is a sure winner for me. Can’t wait to read the next book!

Words aren’t enough for me to express how I love everything about this book. So let me just put it this way…  This book is…

 

 

Review: Fallen Heir (Royals 4) by Erin Watt

Fallen Heir
(The Royals #4)
by Erin Watt

These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

I can’t remember who recommended Paper Princess to me a year ago. Honestly, I thought it was just one of those YA reads that I would soon forget when I get to finish it. But when I finally met the Royals and Ella Harper, I was surprisingly drawn to them and never wanted to let go. For the next two sequels, I became engrossed in their world, entangled in the controversies and scandals of the Royal family and became involved with the students of Astor Park.

I devoured each and every page of Paper Princess, Broken Prince and Twisted Palace. And now, it’s Easton Royal’s turn in the Fallen Heir. And boy, what a rollercoaster ride this had been.

The day I got the ARC for Fallen Heir, it was 5:30 am and I literally fell from my bed when I saw it on my Kindle. I couldn’t stop myself from reading it even though I’ve got tons of paper work and deadlines to attack. When a Royal fell into my lap, I made sure he becomes a priority. And so Easton did.

I finally got inside Easton’s head, the seemingly happy-go-lucky son of Callum Royal, the easy-going brother of Reed and Ella’s super adorable male bestfriend. He had ladies waiting at his beck and call, even teachers couldn’t resist him. But there was one girl who didn’t bat her eyelashes at him. She intrigued him. She wasn’t as gorgeous as his sister Ella, but she definitely got something going on with her. Her name is Hartley Wright, mysterious, studios, upright and uptight; and she might just be the right one Easton had been looking for.

Or so he thought.

The wonder twins were also back, Lauren milking them or getting her fill with the twin Royals. I really hate Lauren here, I wanna throw her outside the mansion. And Felicity Worthington (gosh, I remember her name is similar to Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series) I really really hate that girl. She’s nothing but a tyrant wanting power above all else. And yes, I don’t like my namesake, Claire, too. Ugh.. This girls were even more annoying than Steve and Dinah combined in book 3!

But overall, let me say that This. Is. The Bomb!

I don’t know how to vocalize or express how I feel about this book. It feels like I’m at a losing end of my insanity. But it was really fun reading Easton’s POV, I got to know him better and deeper everytime he opened his mouth. Sure, he was kind of obnoxious and conceited and egotistical, but deep within him was a heart that knew how to care and love.

That ending though! Super unexpected. My mouth was literally hanging open when that explosive cliffhanger careened towards me and crashed!! Nooooooo!!!!!

As much as I want to scream and comfort Easton Royal, I can’t. My emotions are all out of place. I think I’m gonna cry. Erin Watt, why do you do this to me, to us? To Easton? WHY!!! Can’t wait for 2018! I need the freaking next book now!

Review: [Duology] Going Down and Man Candy by Elise Sax

Going Down and Man Candy

(Wish Upon A Stud #1-2)

by Elise Sax

Book 1: Going Down:
Marion MacAlister wants to nail her audition, not get nailed. Truly. Honestly. All right…maybe she does want to get nailed, but that’s just because her hottie landlord and local diner owner Mack Ryan is confusing her. Can friends become lovers? Especially friends who might not even be friends in the first place?

Book 2: Man Candy:
Raine Harper is in love with Wade Gates. But Wade likes women who are model thin, and Raine is model thin plus a whole lot of pounds. Desperate to make him love her, she trains just a little too hard and passes out in the arms of superstar movie star Dirk Adams. Dirk thinks Raine’s junk in the trunk is perfect and proposes to make Wade jealous by becoming her pretend boyfriend. Pretend soon seems very real. Is Dirk a great actor, or is something really developing between Raine and the movie star?

I think I finally found my new favorite author who could make me cackle out loud, cry hard and roll on the floor dying with laughing spasms. I had the impression that the author Elise Sax is actually a comedienne, and she had me laughing like there’s no tomorrow with this book.

The first story, Going Down was downright hilarious, Marion McAlister was a walking disaster. She wished upon Esperanza’s wishing well to nail her acting audition but ended up getting stuck inside the elevator, with Mack Ryan, her landlord, food provider, best friend all rolled into one.

Mack, oh Mack.. I don’t get Marion’s issues with him.. She’s been using blinders for the past two years, ignoring Mack’s discreet advances and sultry looks. If I were Marion, I’d get his number immediately and stop throwing furtive glances at him. But Marion’s hilarity was what made her real and hysterically funny. I can’t get over her mishaps around Mack, from the elevator to the convenience store, up to the fishing boat. This girl is mad and I love her!

Book 2, Man Candy was fun fun fun!! Can’t imagine getting naked in front of a man actually, what more in front of a movie star? But Raine Harper wasn’t interested with Dirk Adams. Her mind and heart was all out for Wade Gates, and she had been training nonstop to become the model thin woman Wade usually went after. Dirk Adams would just have to back down… Or not.

These two short stories are simply fantastic! I enjoyed every moment of it. I read them both in one sitting and I believe In have never laughed as hard before. Marion was a hoot while Mack Ryan was a darling! Raine Harper was amusing while Dirk Adams was a sweetheart. Two perfect matches in wishing well haven!

I loved that these were short endearing stories, Elise Sax easily relieved my stress and added laugh lines to my face, but I’m not complaining. I can’t wait to read the other knee-slapping stories soon!

Review: Royally Matched by Emma Chase

Royally Matched (Royally #2)
by Emma Chase

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

 

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Omg, my heart..i never cried for a royal before. Ever. Until I met Prince Henry..

Two weeks ago, I read Royally Screwed by Emma Chase and found Prince Nicholas quite the man. I thought he was the best thing that’s happened to a royal.. Honest, funny, charming, crazy in love. But when dashing prince Henry came to the rescue, life became even more exciting and fun!

In Royally Screwed, Prince Nicholas relinquished his title to Prince Henry and deep inside, I thought that was a big move, a big leap of faith. The mighty prince brought to his knees by a commoner. I thought that was so sweet.

 

In Royally Matched, Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook took his responsibilities in stride, not really serious in politicking and matters of the crown. Until a reality TV show got him chasing skirts of royal blood. A non-disclosure agreement was all he needed to sign and all the pretty girls would be frolicking his bedroom at night.

If only everything about reality TV were true.

Lady Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Titebottum had this fear of public speaking. She would never dream of facing a hundred people and talking to them in public. No, she would rather hide in her nook and read Jane Austen novels than do the project that was assigned to her by her boss. But when a TV producer came knocking at their door and convinced her sister Penelope to join Matched: The Royal Edition, Sarah Titebottum agreed to chaperone her sister and fulfill her Act of Royalty instead of getting back to work.

If only she could get around the Royal Prince and dodge his every move. But when Henry met Sarah, he was intrigued by her. He wanted to discover everything about her, what made her tick, what books she read, what she wore underneath her black gothic dress. What he didn’t anticipate was him slowly falling for this timid, mysterious royal and willing to forget everything just to hold her tight and protect her from the villains of the world.

In the grand scheme of things, this reality TV show should solve all Prince Henry’s quest for a future Queen. But in the end, getting royally matched was the last thing he could ever hope for.

I love, love, love Prince Henry, and I would do everything for him. ‘Cause all of me loves all of him, all his curves and all his edges, all his perfect imperfections…. (I made you sing, didn’t I?)

“No, you don’t understand—”
“I understand perfectly. What you don’t seem to comprehend is that Sarah is my best friend. The only one I’ve got. I’m not fucking helping you. Piss off, Princess.”
He turns to walk away.
And I shout, “She’s hurt!”
That makes him pause mid-step, his back stiffening.
“I haven’t just made her angry, I’ve hurt her terribly. She’s still hurting . . . and I can’t stand it, Willard.” My hands find their way into my hair.
I move in front of him, bending my knees to catch his eyes, which seems quite apropos.
“Help me make it better. Not for me, but for her. Please.”

Sarah’s love for books gently rubbed on Henry and I thought that was so sweet. I am all for a guy who knows how to appreciate the written words, the texture of books, the smell of pages. Ahhh, it’s divine.

“The only thing that smells better than a new book is an old one.”
I put the book down.
“This isn’t it. She’d want a book that’s been read—dog-eared and held and sighed over—not one that’s been caged in glass its whole life. She’ll want one that’s been loved.”
Ever so slowly, Willard smiles. “There’s hope for you yet.”

Their slow burn romance got me really giddy and hopeful. I was dreamy eyed every time Henry comforted Sarah. I was in a roller-coaster of emotions whenever Sarah went catatonic. I was tickled to the bones when Henry spurt words I could only her from Casanova’s mouth.

I would give up a crown for her. I would give up my name, my title—I would trade my country, forfeit my birthright, lie, kill, cheat, and steal, for this. For her.

“If anything happens to you, I’ll die. I’m not exaggerating.” My voice is strangled and wetness trickles from my eyes and I don’t give a damn. “You are woven into my soul and you are wrapped around my heart. And if anything happens to you, both will wither and die and I won’t even care.”

The ending…

It may be quite expected, but it was definitely off-the-charts romantic. Absolutely up on my alley. I swoon and sighed and smiled and swoon again. Could this be love?

Emma Chase, I love you too… Please don’t stop writing royal stories and romances, okay?

 

P. S.

 

 

I  buddy read  this  awesome book  with  my  book  club gal, Blessie aka iBlessth13th, of  Mischievous Reads...

 

 

Review: A Thorne in Time by Lorel Clayton

A Thorne in Time: An Eva Thorne prequel novella
by Lorel Clayton

Before Eva Thorne can accept her destiny, she must learn to accept herself. Eva leaves her family behind for boarding school (that’s a good thing when your family includes necromancers and crime lords), but the foreign city of Gernwold has its own dangers. An intruder, a teacher injured, a stolen necklace left in her room… Either someone is trying to frame her, or they know what Eva really is.

In this prequel novella to the Eva Thorne series, enjoy mystery and magic melded with technology, as you explore the Three Kingdoms and meet all the friends who will one day help Eva become the famous (or notorious) detective we know and love her to be.

Just when I thought I’d seen the best of Eva Thorne, the duo of Lorel Clayton continued to impress me with this explosive intro to The Thorne series. Eva the dyed hair Solhan heroine is enigmatic, her and her friend Karoline is formidable and Hazel the ghost simply astounded me.

I love how Eva got her first taste of action in this prequel. I thought nothing else would surprise me when it came to Eva, but with A Thorne in Time, I was in for a big surprise. This was short and fast paced and action filled, just the way I liked it. Lorel Clayton is great!

This is the prequel to the Eva Thorne series. I’ve read the first three books and really really love the series.

Tangle of Thornes (Book 1) – Review

A Thorne for a Crown (Book 2) – Review

Blood and Thorne (Book 3) – Review

 

 

ARC Review: Riser’s Resolve by Lindsay Cross

Riser’s Resolve (Men of Mercy #12)
by Lindsay Cross

Laney was a woman on the run. Her ex-husband, who just happened to be a cop, had a penchant for violence. After Laney took their daughter and ran, he had a promise for revenge. She’d made a new life with a new name and had planned to stay hidden forever, but even the best laid plans go wrong. Forced to rush her daughter to the hospital, Laney’s location is revealed.

Laney had vowed to never seek help from a man again, until Riser’s 200 pounds of packed muscle made her his own personal mission. He vowed to protect her and her daughter from her ex, but could she trust him with their lives when she’d been burned so badly in the past?

Riser Malone was an admitted adrenaline junkie whose distraction on a crucial mission last year had resulted in complete failure of his objective: protect the girl. Unable to face his failure, Riser accepted every mission put before him, but a lull in the terrorist tempo left him with too much time on his hands back home. He needed a distraction, and he needed it badly.

And that distraction showed up in the form of Laney and her daughter.

With an abusive ex bearing down on her, Riser saw his second chance at redemption. And after one night with her, Riser knew his bachelorhood was over. But if he ever had any hope for a relationship with Laney in the future, he’d have to make sure her abusive ex-husband would never harm her again.

Lindsay Cross does it again as she continues to surprise me with amazing stories. Riser Malone may be a mountain of a man, but he sure had the softest heart among the men of Mercy. I’d love a piece of Malone, please.

Riser helped out a lady in need after he saw a doctor callously ignored Laney’s pleas to check on her very ill daughter. Little did he know that Laney was actually on the run, hiding from her brutal cop-husband. Laney’s identity was compromised when Riser took it upon himself to help her out with the medical forms. and no sooner than later did they find themselves on a hot pursuit, with threats and bullets following their every move.

I’ve read most of Men of Mercy series and I must say, each story just kept getting better and better. This last one, Riser’s Resolve, is currently my favorite, next to Mack Grey and Marley Mitchell’s story. I loved how Riser rose to the occasion, how he risked his life for that woman he’d been admiring from afar. My heart cried for Laney and her daughter, I really hate men who abuse and batter their wives just so they could feel manly about themselves. Ugh.

So far, everything Lindsay Cross writes makes me more excited to read the next book. I wonder how she does it, how the ideas easily come to her and weave themselves into stories. Love love love!