Category Archives: Read by Christine

Tender Echoes: A Dark Prequel to Digital Velocity

By Reily Garrett

Synopsis

Theft of spirit is no one’s birthright.

A quirk of her X chromosome furnished Alexis with an edge few others enjoyed. After fate plunged Lexi into orphan status and an intolerable foster home forced her to the streets, a group of prostitutes sheltered her from their vicious pimp. Seeing something special within, they nurtured and shielded her from their harsh reality until she could forge her own path in life.
Destiny frequently takes us back to our roots. Lexi’s return journey begins when a serial killer attacks someone who’d offered her refuge in her previous life. Relying on courage and wit, she must stay a step ahead and secure evidence to free her family from a psychopathic murderer.

Review

Family comes in all shapes and forms. In Tender Echoes, family comes in the shape of prostitutes who take care of each other and girl who finds herself on the streets.  Family also comes in the form of the kindness of others who help her get the support that she needs so that she can reach her potential.  But help goes both ways and when the pimp who is boss over her family decides to punish one of them Lexi decides to make sure he doesn’t get away with it.

Lexi is a bright girl that has been given a hard road in life but she is loyal to those who have supported her.   She is brave and even if she fears what might happen to her, she will do everything in her power to make sure justice comes to the pimp.

Ethan is the detective that Lexi is giving information to.  He seems like a good person who wants to have justice come down on the pimp as well.  Lexi has a lot of trust issues that is preventing her from telling Ethan who she is and that she is the one who is giving him all the information.

Tender Echoes is a prequel to this series.  I like the fact the Lexi is smart and uses her skills to help those who need help around her.  Ethan is also an interesting character and I hope we are going to learn more about him in the future. There was no romance in this part of the story but a lot of action that set this series up for some interesting adventures in the future.

Tender Echoes

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Claimed by Magic (The Hunter Chronicles Book 3)

By Claire Marta

Synopsis

Broken hearted from Eric’s betrayal in Prague, Jasmine turns to her best friend to get her mind off everything she has lost.

Twitch takes her on a wild adventure in an attempt to cheer her up, but unbeknownst to either of them, danger lurks within the shadows of the techno mage’s magical homeland.

An ancient evil is rising.

No one is safe.
No one can be trusted.
Lines are drawn.
The battle to survive begins.

Review

Claimed by Magic is the third installment to the Hunter Chronicles and has taken this series to the next level for me.  New characters and new revelations are made.  Eric still pines for Jasmine and Jasmine is still broken hearted.  But we learn so much about them and Twitch.

Jasmine is jobless and is unsure of her next move.  She has a broken heart.  She also has another issue that she will have to face for some time to come thanks to Eric. Jasmine is tough and definitely not helpless.  She doesn’t even know what she is capable of yet.

Eric is facing a crisis of his own.  He hasn’t had feelings for a long time and now he is finding out that Jasmine has started to warm is frozen heart.  He is having trouble processing this so he tries to put distance between them.  In book three, Eric is forced to observe Jasmine and really see her for who she is and that makes him have even more feelings for her.

In Claimed by Magic, we get to know Twitch even better. Twitch takes Jasmine back home with him to Avalon. We see his world and the place he has in it. He is an outcast and feels awkward except around the people he loves most. In this installment, you get to know how Twitch became they way he is today.  We also learn who his is and what he’s capable of.

Avalon also becomes a character in this story.  There are many facets of life on this magical island.  It has a balance where all the different magical houses have equal power.  Someone wants to upset this balance and take control of the island for themselves which could erupt into a war which would bleed over into the non-magical world.

Claimed by Magic is another great installment to The Hunter Chronicles series.  Claire Marta has a wonderful way of making this magical world visual and modernizing old tales. There is so much that happens in this book, I can’t give away any more without giving away the revelations that are made throughout this story. This book was definitely one that I was looking forward to and it did not disappoint.  I love the fact that Jasmine is so strong and that Eric has to understand who she is. I look forward to the next adventure in The Hunter Chronicles.

Claimed by Magic

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Shutter speed: A Snapshot Novella

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

She likes picking up her camera because it allows her to see things through a different lens. Like when she lost her job recently and instead of focusing on what she’s forced to leave behind, she zooms in on the new options opening up in front of her. Or when a dangerous looking silver fox comes rolling up her path on a FatBoy, and her digital output shows a deep loneliness, matching her own, in his ice-blue eyes.
But when she’s working on making her dreams come true, she inadvertently captures something in her viewfinder she can’t un-see.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, but he can’t seem to escape his old life. Stuck in an old trailer in the mountains, he walks a fine line between ruse and reality. With the arrival of a young-looking pixie—who turns out to be a full grown, hot-blooded woman—his balance is thrown.
He tries to avoid her, but with the little pixel peeper snapping everything in sight, she unintentionally risks his exposure.

And his focus needs to be sharp to keep her from danger.

Review

Shutter speed is a novella that has a lot of suspense to it.  Definitely set the story up between Ben and Isla.

Isla is taking over the campground for her Uncle who is going to take care of her ailing Aunt. She has a passion for photography which just might get her into trouble.

Ben is trying to move onto the next chapter in his life but he keeps getting dragged back.  The first time he sees Isla he knows there is something special about her but in his current line of work the best thing to do is push her away.  But Isla is very good at being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Ben must work hard at achieving his goals and keeping her safe.

Shutter speed sets this up to be a thrilling series.  I look forward to the next chapter in Ben and Isla’s story.

Shutter speed

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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For His Eyes Only (Masters and Mercenaries Book 13)

By Lexi Blake

Synopsis

A night he can’t forget

Five years ago, Nick Markovic found himself consumed by his quest for vengeance. The one time he managed to find peace was in the arms of Hayley Dalton. Being with her was like bathing in sunlight, and he ached to feel that again, but he couldn’t. He gave his oath to Hayley’s cousin Desiree, his partner at McKay-Taggart and Knight, that he’d never let his darkness infect Hayley’s innocent world.

A spark she can’t put out

It was years before that Hayley offered everything she had to Nick. After that one amazing night, all she wanted was to be his forever. Unfortunately, Nick’s reaction was to walk away from her and never look back. The warm and caring man she’d discovered was gone, and after Des’s death, he’d only grown colder. But when Hayley finds herself in mortal danger, she’s forced to seek protection from the man who broke her heart.

A flame that threatens to consume them both

Haunted by the women he failed, Nick can’t allow himself to grow close to Hayley again. Running to stay ahead of the powerful forces that endanger their lives, they travel from the lush Garden in London to the glittering lights of Rio. As the threat against her becomes clearer, he realizes that to keep her safe he must confront the demons from his past, even if it costs him a future with the woman he loves.

Review

Some of my friends may say that I have an obsession with this series and they would be correct. For His Eyes Only is a great addition to this series.

Nick is a man who choose retribution over love.  He had a chance to run off with the woman he fell in love with and live a happy life five years ago but he choose to follow the other woman in his life to avenge his sister’s death.  The other woman was Des who we meet and lost in Master No. It was really interesting getting to know the true nature of their relationship.  Des was a sneaky woman that dragged Nick around.  I don’t think even he knew the depths which she would sink to.

Hayley was a girl who fell for a man that wasn’t ready to leave everything else behind five years ago.  She was Des’s cousin and kind of the black sheep of the family.  The English part of her family saw her as the poor American. After losing her cousin and dad she is just going from day to day.  After she read the letter from Des stating that if she is ever in trouble she should find Nick, her house blows up and she knows that she is being followed.  She shows up on the door step at the Garden in London.  They have to work together to keep Hayley alive and to give Nick a second chance to correct past wrongs.

For His Eyes Only is another example of Lexi Blake’s ability to convey a whole range of emotions.  Ian and Charlotte create great moments in this story that make me laugh out loud and inject insight through sarcasm.  Damon and Owen give us some of the more serious advise. We learn a lot more about how Nick got the place where he is at now.  The chemistry between each of the characters is amazing.  They are family and will protect each other.  I don’t think I will ever get enough of this series.  I also love the Zanetti reference.  As in most Lexi Blake books we are given a little tease of what’s to come and I can’t wait because she manages to draw me in with every book.

For His Eyes Only

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Author:  Lexi Blake

Undiscovered (Amoveo Rising #1)

By Sara Humphreys

Synopsis

He’s the man of her dreams
A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who-and what-she really is?

She’s the end to his nightmare
Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…

Review

Undiscovered is a story of guilt, family and love.  It also explores relationships on many levels. Brothers, girlfriends, adoptive parents and lovers.  Plus finding out that dragons still exist.

Zander and Zed are twins that are dragon shifters.  They are cursed.  Zander stuck in human form and Zed trapped in hibernation as a dragon.  This curse happened all over a girl that the brothers were fighting over.  Zander will do anything to free Zed, even sacrifice his own happiness. He believes that if he can get Rena, Zed’s mate, to him that the curse will be broken. The only problem is Rena doesn’t know anything of his world and definitely doesn’t subscribe to being anyone’s mate.

Rena is an independent soul.  She was on the streets when she was found by Vito, who would become a kind of adoptive parent to her.  Rena knew she was special because she could sense things through touch.  Even though she knew that Zander was different and was pushing her away for reasons she couldn’t understand, she couldn’t help but want him.

As they made their way across the country to help his brother, their bonds deepen.  Zander must make a decision between the love that he feels for Rena and for his brother.

Fans of the Amoveo series will love Undiscovered.  It has all the elements that makes that series so good.  We get to revisit the characters of that series in this book which is a nice treat. This novel sets this new journey for the dragon shifters up.  They aren’t necessarily part of the Amoveo but they have the same qualities that made the Amoveo special.

Undiscovered

My Rating:  4 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Author:  Sara Humphreys

Sentinel’s Kiss (Sentinels of Babylon #2)

By Jamie K Schmidt

Synopsis

A fiercely protective bad boy. An innocent reporter in serious trouble. They shouldn’t work, but after he throws her onto his bike, there’s no going back.

If Josh Lehman learned one thing as a Green Beret, it’s patience. Josh founded the Sentinels of Babylon because he was sick and tired of watching scumbags cheat the system—scumbags like the man who murdered his sister. Of course, if Josh’s sniper rifle was linked to the death of his ex-brother-in-law, that might be a problem. The bigger problem is the nosy reporter who’s this close to exposing the club. Josh has to find a way to keep her hot mouth from talking . . . but he’ll be damned if he lets someone take her from him. Not on his watch.

Ashley Carver thought she’d do anything for a scoop. That was before her latest story leads to multiple attempts on her life. Ashley’s been investigating a homicide that has gone unsolved for five years when she uncovers evidence tying the vigilantes of the Sentinels of Babylon to a revenge killing. Now she’s in their crosshairs. But after Josh defies all notions of club loyalty to come to Ashley’s aid, soon they’re burning up the sheets—and taking on the world.

Review

Sentinel’s of Babylon or SOBs are a vigilante group that right wrongs that were dismissed by the legal system.   In Sentinel’s Kiss they are righting the murder of Sentinel’s sister, Sarah.  They know who killed her and are ready to act but they find out a reporter has come across new information. They decide there is more to this act of violence than mets the eye and must follow the clues.

Sentinel, or Josh, is a military man who is about to end his brother-in-laws life.  Josh knows that he killed his sister and her unborn child.  The SOB’s have done all their research and they are ready to complete this mission.  But right as they were ready to take the shot, Josh notices that Ashley was there to get an interview.  Josh knew that there was more to this story that he would have to track down.

Ashley Carver is a reporter always after to a good story no matter if her life is in danger or not. She is a daredevil with a solid heart.  Ashley is on the side of the facts. She isn’t looking for a long term relationship with Josh but they have instant chemistry.  There is something about Josh that helps calm her life.  She hasn’t had an easy go of it and deserves to start the next chapter of her life.

Sentinel’s Kiss has a good mystery to it.  Sarah’s murder leads to something deeper and ends up with a twist at the end.  Things aren’t always what they seem.  I loved all of the SOB’s.  I think that they all have an interesting story to tell.

Sentinel’s Kiss

My Rating:  4 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

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Don’t Speak (A Modern Fairytale Book 5)

By Katy Regnery

Synopsis

In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman’s daughter from an Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of the North Carolina governor at a fancy party where she is working.

Laire, who wants more from life than her little island can offer, is swept away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.

Years later, when fate finds them together once again, they will discover the terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.

Review

Don’t Speak is a new adult romance in this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid. The relationship between Laire and the people around her is what pulled at my heart.  This novel is broken into two parts with an interlude.  The first part is the journey of self discovery and the second part is about a second chance at love.

Laire is a girl that is becoming a young woman.  She wants more for her life than her tiny island can provide.  Laire is caught between what is expected of her and her dreams of seeing what is beyond her home town.  Her family has outdated values and anything but settling down and starting her own family is out of the question.  I found myself hating Laire’s family more and more through the story.

Erik is a young man who has dreams of his own but his future has already been mapped out for him. Erik’s mother is determined for him to achieve the goals that she has set for him.  He is embarking on his own journey and did something he never thought he would do.  He fell for an island girl while on vacation with his family.

Don’t Speak is an emotional journey for a young woman who must choose between who she is and what her family believes in.  And for a young man whose own family provides obstacles on his way to happiness.  I found the interlude especially gut wrenching and effective to mark the passage of time.

I definitely could identify The Little Mermaid in this story between Laire and Erk.  And it made me see more complexity in The Little Mermaid.  This was am emotional journey for this two people whose families were not on board for their relationship.  And in the end they had to see past what was expected of them.  This was a very effective retelling of a classic story.

Don’t Speak

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon l iBooks

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Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures Book 1)

By Christina Lynn Lambert

Synopsis

Taking risks, especially risks of the handsome male variety, is currently out of the question for Sydney Reid. She will make no exceptions for tall, gorgeous Derrick Porter. Never date a player–it’s rule number one in Sydney’s book, and the charming lawyer constantly devouring her with his eyes is every inch the reason. Despite her best efforts to keep Derrick in the friend zone, sparks fly between the two of them, and Sydney isn’t entirely sure she wants to throw water on the flames.

Can Derrick convince the shy, sexy Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive “maybe”? More importantly, should he? Derrick has a few secrets, the least shocking secret being that he can transform at will into a powerful wolf. He’s still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he’s pretty sure not having her would be just as bad.

And with an obsessed stalker on their tails, more than their hearts are at issue.

Review

Wolf’s Challenge is a story of a wolf shifter that has lost a lot and woman who is learning to take back her life again.  It’s a carefully crafted tale of loss and courage.

Derrick is a wolf shifter and successful lawyer, is coming back to the world after losing his son in a horrible car accident while he was driving.  He has been going through the motions of life but not really engaging in it.  He joins a running group that is coached by his friend and then paired together with Sydney.

Sydney is recovering from two emotionally damaging relationships.  She is done with men for the moment.  Sydney definitely decides she does not need anymore players.  She decides that Derrick is a player so that definitely means that he is not for her.  But thanks to her friend Jack that she would join his running group is going to put her decision to swear off men to the test.

These two are attracted to each other but Sydney can’t see past her past to give Derrick a chance.  He is persistent because for the first time since the accident he has found someone that he has feelings for.  But there are other forces at work here and there is another person that is obsessed with Derrick that will do everything in her power to bring him down.

I enjoyed Wolf’s Challenge and got wrapped up in their struggle to get past the things that were haunting both of them.  They were both very insecure and had a hard time believing in each other.  The only thing that I was surprised by was that I was expecting a different resolution between Derrick and the person who was obsessed with him, though there was a major answer that was answered and he could move on, I just felt that I wanted there to be more of a confrontation.  But I loved the ending and to see the confidence that both Sydney and Derrick gain from each other.

Wolf’s Challenge

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Christina Lynn Lambert:  click here

Holding on Tighter (Wicked Lovers #12)

By Shayla Black

Synopsis

Jolie Quinn is a woman in charge. Her no-nonsense attitude has made her a rising star in the fashion world and her brand a household name among the Dallas elite. Nothing will stop her from achieving her goals—not even the gorgeous British security contractor who seems just as interested in seeing her personal assets as he is in protecting her professional ones.

After a tragedy left him broken, Heath Powell made a rule of staying unattached. But Jolie challenges him in a way he can’t ignore, and he isn’t used to backing down from a confrontation—especially when the reward for winning could feel so good. As passion blazes between them, the stubborn, confident beauty arouses more than his desire. She touches his heart.

When a mysterious enemy threatens Jolie and her company, Heath is the only person Jolie can trust to help. But working with him to save her business might put her dangerously at risk of falling in love…

Review

Holding on Tighter brings the Wicked Lover’s series to an end in a spectacular way.   Shayla Black has a way of writing that makes you fall in love with each of her characters.  Jolie and Heath are no different.

I fell for Heath the minute I opened the book.  He had a wife that he loved and was the victim of a senseless act of violence.  Heath is really only going through the motions of life until he starts a job protecting Jolie.  He starts to understand that he has more love that he has to give.

Jolie is a head strong woman who knows what she wants in life.  She has a jaded view on love because of her mother’s experience.  When she meets Heath Jolie is thrown off and now is finding herself having to pave a new path for herself.

From the first chapter the story builds on itself.  From a budding relationship to protecting Jolie from history repeating itself. There are also unforgettable characters in this story.  Karis, Jolie’s sister, has an upbeat spirit and is still looking for love. Jolie has quite a unique set of employees that gives her sanity a run for her money, but she manages to keep them focused and moving towards the same goal.  On Heath’s side, he has his best friend that he hasn’t talked to for years after them both losing their wife’s in the same shooting.  We also got to know Cutter and catch up with some other characters we know well like Stone, Tyler, Logan and Hunter.

There is also a mystery to figure out.  Why someone would want to hurt Jolie and how it connects to Heath. Plus Heath has a chance to get some closure on his wife’s murder.

Holding on Tighter is a great addition to this series.  I really loved the attention to detail right down to the rules that were at the beginning of every chapter. And make sure to read the epilogue because lots of old friends show up. I am definitely going to miss this series but I am looking forward to reading what Shayla Black has in store for us next.

Holding on Tighter

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Author:  Shayla Black

         

Vanished (A Beautiful Mess Novel)

By T. K. Leigh

Synopsis

Rayne Kilpatrick has everything. A job she’s dreamed of since a little girl. The perfect house. And a man she loves and is about to marry… Until he never returns from a humanitarian mission.

Gone. Disappeared. Vanished.

When footage of his gruesome murder by a Muslim extremist group is shown across the country and around the globe, she wants the person responsible for the disappearance of the man she loves to pay. She wants him to lose the one person who means the world to him, too, and she won’t stop until he does.

Alexander Burnham has everything… Finally. A job he enjoys where he can actually make a difference in the world. The perfect woman who he’s loved his entire life. And the most beautiful daughter a father could ask for… Until he walks into her bedroom one morning to find it empty.

Gone. Disappeared. Vanished.

It’s a race against the clock for Alexander to put the pieces together and find out who has taken his daughter and what they want from him. As information comes to light, he is forced to bury the guilt he feels after losing his fellow team member and focus instead on finding and saving his daughter…

Before it’s too late.

Review

Vanished is an appropriate title for this novel.  It’s meaning can be taken on so many levels through this read.  On an emotional level, a love that’s vanished replaced with grief. Compassion that’s disappeared replaced with anger and fear.  On a more physical level, loved ones are taken for reasons beyond comprehension.

This novel is split into three different parts.  Part one was definitely the hardest part for me to get through.  I really saw Rayne’s pain.  She grieves for the life that she will never have back and she wants someone to pay for that.  Rayne is a broken woman who now sees a way to help alleviate some of her suffering.  We also got a sense of the man that Alexander has become through the years.

Part two was were the mystery really picked up.  Alexander is on the frantic hunt for his daughter who has been taken.  He is piecing together who and why this is happening.  I loved his relationships with all of family.  And he has a really special bond with his wife.  I also liked his relationship with Agent Moretti.  They have the relationship need to get the job done.

Part three also continues the mystery but also ramped up on the thriller part of the novel.  We get to the real issue of why Alexander’s daughter was taken.  There are actually two twists in this part.  One I saw coming but the second took me by surprise.

This novel deals with deep issues at it’s core.  The first part jumped around a little so I found it a little confusing to start with and I found it extremely dramatic.  Parts two and three I couldn’t put down.  T.K. Leigh has an unique way of writing.  She broke this book up not just by parts but by hours as well. She understands that in a kidnapping every minute counts.   She also conveys emotion in a powerful way.

Vanished

My Rating:  1/2

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Author T.K. Leigh:  click here