Category Archives: Read by Christine

Can’t Hardly Breathe (Original Heartbreakers #4)

By Gena Showalter

Synopsis

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis’s past is full of memories she’d rather forget. But there’s one she can’t seem to shake—her long-standing crush on former army ranger Daniel Porter. Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves curvy Dorothea night and day, he’s as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.

Review

Can’t Hardly Breathe is about a girl in a small town that grew up surrounded by bullies and in need of human kindness.  This story takes place in a small town in Oklahoma but it could be anywhere.  There is still gossip and everyone knows each other’s business just like how I imagined a small town to be.

I really loved this book.  My emotions were all over the place.  For me, Dorothea was written perfectly.  We were given a brief glimpse in to her high school years, which was plagued with bullies, that gave us the reason why she grew into the person she is today. I love the fact that she never gave up on believing in people.  She has inner strength that I’m not sure that she even knew she had.

Daniel was Dorothea’s crush in high school.  He never knew what kind of impact he made on her life until years later.  He had his own hurdles that he had to get through and I liked that because you never know how someone else handles what has gone on in their life. And everyone handles everything differently.  Daniel really cares about his dad, Virgil, and wants him to live a long life and will sacrifice his own happiness to make sure that happens.

Dorothea’s best friends Lyndie and Ryanne are amazing friends.  They aren’t perfect and they have life issues of their own but they come together to help each other.  They are a great shoulders to lean on. Dorothea’s family on the other hand is somewhat missing in action or the enemy.  Holly, Dorothea’s sister, is selfish and still has some emotional growing to do.  She has her own reasons for acting the way she does but that doesn’t excuse some of her behavior. And her mother seems to just be going through the motions of life and doesn’t seem to be there for either of her children in the beginning.

Daniel also has great best friends and business partners in Brock and Jude. They went through a lot together in the service and they are really the only ones that understand what each of them have gone through.  I also loved Daniel’s dad, Virgil.  And it is apparent that Virgil loves his son.  Virgil also has some great one liners that make you laugh out loud and also make you think.

I really couldn’t get enough of this book.  It touched my heart.  Dorothea and Daniel have great chemistry together and I loved the strength that both of them had to show.  And I also loved the fact that this book illustrates that words matter, especially in kindness. And that life does go on after high school.

Can’t Hardly Breathe

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Captivated by Crimson

By Brynn Myers

Synopsis

She is the fated one I have been waiting for…
The crimson in her veins will restore me…

* * *

My desire for her burns like no other…
I must possess her…
Dare to touch her and you will be the one to suffer…

* * *

Nola Blair is a free-spirited photographer sent to cover the party of the century in Elizabeth Bathory’s ruined castle. It was an assignment she’d declined––twice, but when she was offered a hefty sum to indulge the wealthy eccentric, she finally gave in. Little did she know that the guests at this party were centuries old and their desires reached far beyond those of a normal partygoer.

One captivating night will change her life and the two vampires vying for her will fight to the death to get what they want. One wants her to be his and the other wants her blood.

Who will decide Nola’s fate?

Review

Captivated by Crimson is about a girl being in the wrong place at the wrong time and then thrown into a world that she never knew existed.

This book for me had a solid base and a different take on vampires but it lacked in character development.  I liked Nola and Andrik for the lead characters but there where so many characters that had their own story lines that their relationship that was being built got lost.  And characters were continuing to be added late in the story and they  also had their own story lines. With the different story lines that were going on, I didn’t feel the passion between Nola and Andrik.

Erzsebet and Paul were great evil vampires bent on destroying and getting revenge. They were easy to hate.

Nola’s sister, Quinn, and best friend, Arianna made the story fun and brought lighter moments.

Overall Captivated by Crimson had action and mystery.  It was well paced until the last 10% of the book. Then it lost energy.  The major part of the story ended around 90%.

Captivated by Crimson

My Rating: 

Buy Links:  Amazon

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The Curse (The Butterfly Effect #2)

By Margaret McHeyzer

Synopsis

It’s been the butterfly effect.
I changed the course of my life because I warned a man.
I thought what I had was a gift, but it’s quickly turning into my curse.
Now I realize I’m much more than a girl with an ability.
Because now… I’m becoming a weapon.

Review

I am so glad that we did not have to wait long for book 2 in this series.  The Curse picks up right where The Gift left off.  I love the idea that someone can change the course of the future but there will be consequences.

Alexa is so strong after her life is torn apart. I really liked her as a character.  She is smart and loyal to the people around her. But the thing I liked most about her is that she never gives up.

I wanted to hate Jude in the beginning of The Gift but quickly came to love him in The Curse.  The only thing that wish was that we could have found out more about his past and the reason he is the way he is.

The Curse was fast paced and always had something going on.  It had some great twists in it, one I didn’t expect. I can’t go into any details without giving spoilers away but I will say that I really got into this series.

The Curse

My Rating: 

Buy Links:  Amazon

My Hot Boss

By Betty Shreffler

Synopsis

Emma
From the moment I met Grayson Cole, I knew he was someone I wanted to let in my panties and maybe, even in my heart. One night, one sexy-as-sin kiss, and several drinks later, our incredible evening turns into a disaster and I’m apologizing for the vomit spatter on his fancy, black shoes. I never thought I’d see him again after that, no matter how many nights I spent wishing I would. Until a month later, he waltzes into my office as—MY NEW, HOT BOSS.
I’m so screwed.

Grayson
She was meant to be a fun f*ck. That’s all I wanted. That’s all I needed. But Emma Williams could never be just that for me. The quirky, brunette vixen challenges me at every opportunity. My desire to have her has me working for her affections, like I’ve never done before. What is this woman doing to me? Not only am I her Boss, but I don’t do feelings. There’s only one way I see this ending.
I’m f*cked for sure.

Review

My Hot Boss should have been called My Steamy Hot Boss.  Betty Shreffler has written a story with heart, heartache and steaminess.

Emma is a woman who has been through some heartache and is extremely careful about jumping back into the dating game.  In a way it seems like she has become resigned to the fact that she is never going to find that one guy.  I found her to be written honestly.  Even though she has been through a lot with her last relationship and her confidence is shaken, she gave everything of herself hoping for the same in return.  I loved her wit and her self doubt.

I could fall for Grayson.  He is a complex character that is learning about himself and what it means when someone else loves you.  But because of his family and his past, he was hold himself back from giving Emma what she really deserved.

Betty does an amazing job of drawing out these characters so by the end they feel like friends.  And she writes some very hot sex scenes.  I would love it if she would consider a book for Emma’s best friend!!

My Hot Boss

My Rating: 

Buy Links:  Amazon

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The Serpent’s Kiss (The Hunter Chronicles #4)

By Claire Marta

Synopsis

Jasmine Hunter’s addiction for the vampire bite is swallowing her whole. Left with no other choice; she seeks out the Master Vampire of London to ease her pain.

But Asier Serpico has his own agenda. Dark, lethal, and intoxicating; he offers sweet seduction and even more—pleasure. He wants to take her pain—and her body—from the one she loves.

Can Jasmine resist Asier while fighting to prevent the impending disaster of a new drug wreaking havoc on the city streets….

…or will London fall?

Review

Jasmine has a problem in the beginning of The Serpent’s Kiss.  She is now addicted to a vampire’s bite.  She doesn’t want to ask for Eric’s help so she turns to the only other master vampire in London, Asier. Asier can’t believe that Eric would ever let her go.  But he can’t say he’s sorry about it either.

Again Claire Marta takes us on a journey.  She threw another twist at us.  Jasmine really doesn’t know Asier.  He seems to have his own code that he lives by.  Jasmine needs help and Asier is more than willing to give it at a price.

There is also a mysterious drug that is killing humans. It seems to be connected to Asier’s club but he doesn’t know about it.  So Jasmine’s team is spending a lot more time in Liquor and Lust which means that Jasmine’s  secret might get out.

I liked Asier’s character.  He has a mix of good and bad guy that is very attractive even though my heart still belongs to Eric.  I also liked Asier’s right hand vampire, Kane.

Again Claire has a way of bringing this world to life.  I really see jasmine’s confusion about both men.  I do wish that we got to see more of Eric in this story, but I can also see that this series is really about Jasmine to this point.  I almost felt like it’s the devil you know versus this mysterious guy that once you get to know may surprise you.

The Serpent’s Kiss

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon

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The Devil Has a British Accent

By ZN Willett

Synopsis

This is no simple Hollywood story of famous boy meets ordinary girl, who then fall in love and live happily ever after.

This is about the town of dreamers and make believers; skilled at casting spells of deception and deceit. And what happens when the spell is lifted, and everything that you believe in is merely an illusion?

When the world of happily ever after is altered and obscured, and not only by one enticing man?

For Lauren Moreau, her journey is full of raw emotions that will tempt you with curiosity and intrigue, and squeeze out passion and angst until your heart bleeds.

This is Hollywood, after all…

Review

The Devil Has a British Accent is a coming of age romance with a paranormal twist. A girl who has to protect her heart and the men who want her.

Lauren has just returned from Minnesota after graduating.  She doesn’t have any real plans for the future but has decided to help a family friend with her catering business while a film crew is in town.  I liked Lauren, she has gone through a lot with her family and is figuring out what comes next and that makes her relatable.  She is also trying to figure out her love life when a sexy actor enters her life.  There is something about him that she is drawn to.

Jackson Cruz is an actor that finds himself completely infatuated with this small town girl.   He has many secrets that could change her life forever.  I didn’t like Jackson for Lauren.  He wasn’t my favorite character.  I wondered why he cut himself off emotionally to her a lot of the time and I think because of that I didn’t connect with him as much as I wanted to.

Cary is another actor/musician that is famous but has been a family friend to Lauren’s family since they were children.  He is best friends with her brother Blake.  I really liked his character. I knew he was keeping secrets from Lauren but there is something about the way he cares for her and her brother that stuck out to me.

I found The Devil Has a British Accent to be a good coming of age paranormal romance.  The beginning was a little bit on the long side but the ending was fast-paced and Lauren’s world really changed forever.  This is a to be continued story so I can’t wait until the next installment.

The Devil Has a British Accent

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Hunger: An Energy Vampire Novel #2

By Jacquelyn Frank

Synopsis

As an energy vampire, Halo enjoys the chase for human blood—if it’s pure and consensual. But Halo goes from hunter to hunted when he is knocked unconscious and taken hostage by vicious sycophants. As he comes to, he realizes that he’s naked, starving, and trapped in a sealed room. With him is a deliciously human female, tempting him to feed—except her blood is heady with the scent of poisonous drugs. Never has nourishment been so near, yet so far . . . and it’s all part of the sycophants’ sick game.

The last thing Felice Mendoza remembers is everything going black. She awakens stripped, drugged, exposed, and alone—with a vampire. Halo is at once savage and tender, terrifying and alluring. Felice senses that her only chance to escape depends upon his survival. Given the choice between Halo and his enemies, Felice surrenders to his ravenous hunger. It’s a calculated risk—and a delirious pleasure. As Felice is ushered into a world as dangerous as it is desirable, their fight for deliverance is only the beginning.

Review

In Hunger: An Energy Vampire Novel, we get to know Halo.  He finds himself kidnapped and and taken hostage.  He doesn’t know why he’s been taken or why he is still alive. But he does know that he only has a few days of energy left before he has to feed again.

Felice finds herself in a similar situation. But she is human. She is poisoned and given to Halo to feed off of.

This book is different from the first installment.  About the first 60 percent of the book takes place in a room where Halo and Felice are forced to get to know each other.  This is a great way for us to figure out what these characters were made of.  I really liked Halo’s never give up style and he was able to get strength from Felice.  Felice is smart and puts up a great front to show how much strength she really has. I also think that helped Halo really see the people who were already around him and that he isn’t alone in the world.

This story also had a good mystery to it.  I really liked how all was revealed in the end. I also liked that we are getting see what are the real motives of the phants are and that there might be a power struggle starting with them.

Hunger: An Energy Vampire Novel

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Steady (A Pleasant Valley Novel)

By Anna Brooks

Synopsis

Erik Anderson is paying for his mistakes and enduring every bit of pain that comes his way. After all, if it weren’t for him, the girl who gave him more than he deserved would still be alive. Even if he were to be put out of his misery, he’d never see her again. Considering angels go to heaven and sinners go to hell, Erik’s going to burn.

Polly Madison has never had it easy. She wouldn’t even know what that looked like. Young and naive, she learned the hard way how vindictive some men can truly be. She’s fought her whole life for stability and control, both of which she refuses to give up ever again since she’s older and wiser now.

When Polly and Erik run into each other in the most clichéd way possible, it shouldn’t have meant anything.

In his arms, Polly felt safer than she ever has before.

Lost in her eyes, Erik sees a future he’d given up on.

They try to fight it. Try to deny something neither is prepared for. But when his own insecurities put her in harm’s way, Erik knows protecting Polly’s life is more important than continuing to wreck his.

Review

Steady is a story of heartache, blind trust, growing up fast and surviving.

Erik and Polly grew up very differently.  Erik lost both his parents at a young age but taken in by other family.  He also lost his first love tragically.  He is full of self loathing and blames himself for all of their deaths.  Polly never knew who her parents were because she was given up and put into foster care but is in desperate need of unconditional love.

When they meet they have instant chemistry that they both try to fight.  Neither wants a relationship.  Erik doesn’t think that he is good for anyone and Polly doesn’t have the best track record with men. He is overprotective and she can only depend on herself.

This was a thoughtfully written story.  These two are damaged and it seems that they have found in each other what they need to make them whole again. And they both know that they have a lot of self growth to do. There were a lot of serious moments but there were also lighthearted moments that really completed these characters.

I really liked these two characters and I did get wrapped up in their story.

Steady

My Rating: 

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Wicked Bite (Realm Enforcers 5)

By Rebecca Zanetti

Synopsis

As she hunts for a drug lord killing her fellow witches, all Nessa Lansa’s instincts point to the Grizzly motorcycle club. That might be because their leader, Bear, is the strong, silent shifter type: warm brown eyes and more muscle and alpha male than any woman can ignore. Which makes Nessa’s plan to seduce and betray him all the more dangerous . . .

Bear doesn’t trust the curvy, blue-eyed witch. But Nessa can heal the injuries that sap his strength. And since he can’t stop thinking of her lush body and teasing smile, her plan to mate him to reclaim her own power is highly tempting. Just one problem. Once a desire this wild is loose, no one will ever control it . . .

Review

I have been waiting for Bear’s story since I read Wicked Burn.  Just like all the books before this one in this series, there is non-stop action, fast paced,  twist and turns and a budding romance. Rebecca Zanetti has carefully crafted all these characters together to make a seamless storyline.

Bear is a loner and sick.  In an effort to save his sister in Wicked Burn he changed into a dragon when his true form is a bear.  You can only change into one form. This change is now tearing apart his cells and they are not getting any better.

Nessa has stepped down from her seat on the Coven Nine Council.  She has traveled to Seattle to help heal Bear and to present him with a crazy idea.  She has many secrets that will change the shape of Bear’s world.

I really love these two together.  Bear needs someone like Nessa.  Their banter is so much fun to read.  She keeps him on his toes.  Nessa drives Bear crazy in all the right ways.  Bear is completely loyal but he expects honesty. He wants to help Nessa survive but he has other issues that he has to address.  Nessa wants to help Bear heal but she also has another agenda that she is trying to accomplish.   Not to mention the twists and turns that happens in this story to throw everyone off their game.  They still have an Apollo problem and there is still a group out there trying to kill witches.

I love where Rebecca Zanetti has taken this series.  I just can’t get enough!!!

Wicked Bite

My Rating: 5 Hearts

Buy links: Amazon

Visit Author: Rebecca Zanetti

 

No Good Deed

By Susanne Matthews

Synopsis

Escaping from her abusive fiancé, Alexa O’Brien pulls into a gas station only to walk in on an execution. She’s in protective custody until she can identify Nicoli Zabat, Montreal’s mob boss, at his trial. But her safe house has been compromised, setting in motion a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Lieutenant Mike Delorme on the Sûreté Du Québec has spent the last eighteen months undercover in narcotics to take down Zabat, the man he blames for the death of his wife and unborn child. He doesn’t have the interest or patience to babysit a woman whose memory isn’t clear—but he’ll carry out his assignment to show the brass he’s a team player.

As Mike and Alexa dodge danger, it appears she’s in deeper than merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the mafia hit she witnessed is revealed to be just the tip of an international terrorist’s plot, they must rely on each other to survive—but only if they can learn to trust their instincts and let love map out their next move.

Review

In No Good Deed, Alexa needs to escape her fiancé!  She has everything planned out and her fiancé has left the country.  So now is the time to go.  Unfortunately a snow storm started and then she was a witness to a brutal crime that left her injured and having to relearn how to do basic things. If she had left well enough alone when she realized things weren’t right then she would have never found herself in this situation.

Alexa goes into witness protection, where she finds herself isolated and alone. But free from her fiancé.  When her handler is found dead, Mike steps in for babysitting duty.  He is instantly put on alert because he knows something is wrong.

I really like Alexa.  She has a very endearing quality to her.  She feels compelled to do the right thing.  After she meets Mike and it looks like something is definitely not right, Alexa realizes that she can’t control every situation but she wants to be a part of the equation.

Mike is really thrown off by Alexa.  He really wants to protect her.  But memories of his past keep coming up and he wonders if there is more to this mystery.

This is a good mystery/thriller,  but I wouldn’t say that there was enough chemistry between the main characters to call it a romance.  Alexa was a likable character but I wondered how she didn’t know something was not right about her situation.  I didn’t care much for Mike in the beginning but he grew on me.  The story lost some energy in the middle of the book and didn’t pick back up till the end. I did find myself caring about these characters though and wanted to find out how the story played out.

No Good Deed

My Rating: 

Buy Links:  Amazon

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