Friday, May 1, 2015

A Seal's Pleasure by Tawny Weber

A Seal's Pleasure
by Tawny Weber

Subject: Navy SEAL Gabriel Thorne 

Mission: Initiate Operation: Romance…and prove that one night isn't enough! 

Explosives expert and Navy SEAL Gabriel "Romeo" Thorne makes his living tempting fate. Pushing the limits. So far, he's never lost—especially when it comes to women. That is, until his best friend's wedding, where Gabriel is suddenly face-to-face—and deliciously body-to-body—with the one woman hot enough to detonate his self-control. 

Tessa Monroe is used to being in control with men. Gabriel, on the other hand, is pretty much her sex kryptonite. Hard, gorgeous, dark-eyed kryptonite. Even as her defenses whisper "danger," lust demands she take her pleasure with him and then run. Now they're skirting the edge of an explosive attraction…where one wrong move could mean disaster. 

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ask the Dark by Henry Turner

Ask the Dark
by Henry Turner
April 7, 2015

Billy Zeets has a story to tell.

About being a vandal and petty thief.

About missing boys and an elusive killer.

And about what happens if a boy who breaks all the rules is the only person who can piece together the truth.

Gripping and powerful, this masterful debut novel comes to vivid life through the unique voice of a hero as unlikely as he is unforgettable.

Kathie's Review:

I picked this up because the blurb was pretty gripping. You know from the first chapter that Billy is going to survive, and I was glad to know it as there are some really intense, hard moments for this young guy to survive. I'm putting a trigger warning here. While we don't see the rapes of several young men, it is alluded to. There is also a lot of swearing, and while Billy tends to apologize for it, the words are still there. This is rated YA, and I'm sure most teens have read these words before, but do be aware.

This book is written as if Billy is telling us the story in the here and now, with grammar errors, odd phrasing, and rather weird spellings. It took me a long time to get into the flow of the story because of this. I thought about putting it down many times, then would tell myself to just finish it. Finally did, mainly because I needed to find out how Billy put all the clues together.

Because that's what he did. Billy is out and about in the town a lot. He's got his eyes open, mostly because there are a few other kids that have it out for him, and want to beat him up. Billy hadn't been a good boy all that long. He used to just do "stuff" for the heck of it. And people called him on it. A promise to his dying mom and issues with his dad made him try to toe the line. It was a hard line for him, too. When boys start disappearing, he starts putting the clues together about the missing boys.

I rooted for Billy. And I worried about him. Still wanted to take my editor's pen to his words. I think the "style" here took away some of the tension of the tale. But I still wanted to see him become a hero, and he did, even when it was hard for him. The story unfolds over the course of months, and sometimes it felt like the author was just moving time along.

An interesting debut novel for the author. Will be interested to see what he comes up with next.
Thank you, Clarion Books and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.

Henry Turner grew up in Baltimore Maryland, in Roland Park, an old neighborhood heralded, on a historical plaque outside its local shopping center, “The oldest planned Garden Suburb in the United States”. He went to public schools. He was always interested in storytelling in one form or another, and as a teenager he started making films with his brother and neighborhood kids.

Henry wound up making five feature films, writing and shooting and cutting them. When his films won awards and attracted some attention he moved to Los Angeles, after getting a call from a movie production company that was looking for scripts. He stayed in L.A. and helped build a fledgling film festival that has since become well-established. He also wrote much freelance entertainment journalism, interviewing well-known filmmakers such as George Lucas, Brian Grazer, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, and many others. All along he was writing stories.

During a year spent in Greece he made a total commitment to writing fiction. Returning to Los Angeles, he met his future wife, who encouraged him to study fiction writing with a novelist he admired – John Rechy. Henry stayed in Rechy’s private writing group for a number of years and also studied privately with Hubert Selby. Since that time he and his wife have had a son, Hugo, who is now nine. Henry Turner is now writing a new novel.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Cafe by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs

Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Cafe

by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs 
April 8, 2015

What if the world didn’t want you to go straight? 

Out on parole after almost ten years in prison, Emet First is repairing his shattered life. He has friends, a job, and his first date in a decade. The young woman, Mercedes Finch, is lovely but wounded. When her deranged brother learns about Emet’s past, he will stop at nothing to destroy him—and suddenly Emet has everything to lose.

Kathie's Review:

This short story kept me on the edge of my seat. And it made me hungry, too. Emet works for Eden Rose at the Serve You Right Cafe. The pastries made me drool. I think Ms. Jacobs could write a second book that just contained the recipes for the goodies in this one.

Emet has only been out of prison for a month. He has spent the last ten years in jail for manslaughter. Eden Rose feels everyone deserves a second chance and Emet is an extraordinary baker so she hires him. When we first meet these two, Emet has asked Mercy (a woman he met out and about) out on a date, and she said yes.

While Emet, Mercy and Eden are central to the plot, there are a lot of secondary characters that make this a lovely read, including an elderly couple who live in the park. Ms. Jacobs writes in an author's note at the end of the book that she had all these little stories in her head and when she drove by a coffee house one day, they all came together in a fictional coffee shop in her head. I liked many of these characters, so I'm glad it gelled!

Mercy's twin brother, Clay, is everything she's not. She's driven, kind, smart, and sweet. He is not. After their mother is moved into a home, he knows that Mercy is on her way out, too. He can't stand that. He deserves to be catered to, taken care of, fed, and housed, or at least that's what his stoned brains are telling him. When he sees she really is going, he decides to do everything in his power to make her stay. To say he is delusional would be an understatement. And his conniving, violent, and evil ways kept me on the edge of my seat. 

There were some truly wonderful lines in this book. Here are a couple:

Emet smiled at her. "Do you ever get tired of being right?"

"Never. It's a constant thrill."


"Everyone has a past," he said. "And no one has the future. We all have now, and right now, I like what I see."


"I live for the midnight info-dump. In fact, when I got up this morning I said to my cats, 'You know what's missing in my life? A late-night confessional to curl my toes."


"Do you always go shopping at the Crazy Store? It sounds like you bought out their entire stock."


There were many cute moments (along with the TENSION) in this one. And while it's short, it still has all the things I want in a novella: A beginning, middle and an end! I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

Thank you, Linden Tree Press and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.

Tilia Klebenov Jacobs holds a BA from Oberlin College, where she double-majored in Religion and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Following an interregnum as an outdoor educator with the Fairfax County Park Authority in Virginia, she earned a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Secondary School Teaching Certification from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Despite lacking the ability to breathe fire except in the strictly metaphorical sense, Tilia has taught middle school, high school, and college. She has also won numerous awards for her fiction and nonfiction writing. She is a judge in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, and she teaches writing in two prisons in Massachusetts. Tilia lives near Boston with her husband, two children, and two standard poodles.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Werewolf Wears Prada by Kristin Miller

Happy Release Day!!!

The Werewolf Wears Prada

a San Francisco Wolf Pack novel

By Kristin Miller

Pub Date   

Melina Rosenthal worships at the altar of all things fashion. Her dream is to work for the crème de la crème fashion magazine, Eclipse, and she'll do much anything to get there. Even fixing up the image of a gorgeous, sexy public figure who's all playboy, all the time. Even if he's the guy who broke her heart a year ago...
Even if Hayden Dean is a werewolf.
Since his father's death, Hayden's the heir apparent to the San Francisco Wolf Pack—well, once he settles down. Hayden isn't interested in giving up his partying ways, except he's pretty sure he's found his fated mate, and the fact that she's a non-shifter is bad news. Now he must find a compromise between the traditions of his wolf world and his certainty that Melina is his...before fate (or another werewolf) bites them both in the butt.
Kathie's Review:

This is the first book in the San Francisco Wolf Pack Series by Kristin Miller. She uses her shifter rules again in this new series, she's just moved them to San Fran from the Seattle Wolf Pack

Melina is ready to go to a huge affair with Hayden. She's wearing her fanciest dress, and in her case, that means DESIGNER TOGS. She felt a connection with him when she interviewed him earlier in the day. He might actually be someone she wants to get to know, long term. Her chagrin and hurt is deep when she sees him on TV with TWO other women...and she knows she's been stood up. Hayden really should have kept the words "a woman scorned" close at hand.

They meet again several months later. She is going to be the writer that gets his reputation under control and shows the world (and his pack) that he will be a worthy Alpha. Of course, she has no clue that he is a shifter. Makes for some fun scenes as she gets to know him. She's shocked that he doesn't really seem to be the womanizer that she expected. She does like him, and he her. 

For his part, Hayden has been staying away from Melina. He felt that draw, too...but the pack has only accepted him (as a turned wolf) on his father's say so. Now that his father, the Alpha, is gone, he needs to prove himself and there are those wolves that think him less worthy and that turned wolves need to be destroyed. He has his job cut out for him, and it appears there is someone in the pack that is trying to keep him out of the running for Alpha.

A couple timeline issues that bothered me, but otherwise a very enjoyable read.

This was a great first book in a series. Plenty of wolves to follow in the next books, for sure, and I'll be reading the rest of them just as soon as they come along. If shifters are  your thing, you'll enjoy this one.

Thank you, Entangled and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

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