Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Book of The Month Picks ~ Summer Starts With a Bang!

Cheers, everyone, and welcome to another installment of our Best of June, most loved books to kick off the summer!

As always, there's the chance to win a couple of e-titles from this month's picks, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below. 

And now, here they are, the BotM picks for June!

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DougThrowing Stones by Robin Reardon – “There is so much more to this story that I couldn’t possibly cover it in a review. The scenes describing Pagan rituals, rochhounding (gotta read the book if you don’t already know what this is), simply driving around in a truck, all bring to life the inner workings of a young man’s life and how he manages to piece everything together to bring unity to those around him. Ms. Reardon has educated us as well as entertained, mixing an appreciation for the land and spirituality with the universal need we all have to belong and to feel loved.

This is a good book. A great book. One that had me crying for practically the whole last quarter of it.”

Cassie – The Dark Horse Bundle by Kate Sherwood – “While each book focuses on the relationship, they all highlight different points of that relationship arc. Dark Horse is all about beginnings. It really rocks that slow burn, which is pretty much my favorite way to have a romance unfold. The story gives the characters a believable span of acquaintance and plenty of good ol’ fashioned simmering attraction before the big moment, which I really appreciate. Out of the Darkness focuses on establishing the trio as a unit, working out logistics (emotional and physical – wink wink), and overcoming lingering doubts. Of Dark and Bright introduces the biggest stressor the trio has had to overcome yet, and forces the guys to either pull together to take the next step, or walk away.”

Jennifer – The Tales of Amaranth Bundle by Thom Lane – “I loved this series as a whole. The world building was excellent, as were the characterizations. I like that Thom Lane managed to work Master Mage Lucan and Tam into most of the other books because they were what drew me into the series.

While each book can stand alone and be read separately, it’s fun to read them in order because you see the small progression of Lucan and Tam’s relationship while other couples are being established.

As for the slavery, it’s handled well. There are cruel owners, yes, but the main characters are not the cruel ones, and it fits in this world where mages exist and some can open the door between this plane and hell.

If you like historical-like worlds with fantasy and do not mind characters who are slaves, or you like BDSM or D/s, then I highly recommend this entire series.”

AngelTHIRDS: Beyond the Books (Vol. One) by Charlie Cochet – “THIRDS Beyond the Books is a Grade A, first rate collection of awesome fan service. Charlie Cochet expanded her beloved characters from the THIRDS series at the fans’ behest, and it was fantastic. Just as the blurb says, if you’ve ever wondered about something just mentioned in passing in the series, this is a book for you.

This is the first set of THIRDS Thursday stories, and there are more to come. To date, the author is also continuing to write more as she continues the main series, too. They were all once posted online on Charlie Cochet’s website, but have been gathered in one handy place for the fans’ enjoyment. Not to mention the proceeds going to a wonderful cause.”

LisaThe Mercy of Men (Saint Flaherty: Book Two) by S. Hunter Nisbet – “If you’ve ever finished a book and were so floored by it that all you wanted to do was start reading it again from the beginning, that is this book. If you’ve ever loved a book so much that all you wanted to do was shove it under everyone’s noses and scream “Read! It! … Pleeeease…” just so you’d have someone to talk to it about, yeah, that’s this book. If you’ve ever wanted to own a book in paperback because you want to be able to inhale its words… okay, maybe that’s a bit weird, but dammit, that’s S. Hunter Nisbet’s Saint Flaherty series for me. If What Boys Are Made Of and The Mercy of Men are any indication, this series is going to make my Top Reads of 2016 list, no question about it.”

LynnLove Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding – “Let me say here that this is my favorite kind of story. I love damaged characters. Not that I get pleasure in reading about their abuse and struggles, but I like to see them overcome and succeed. And I like to see it happen realistically. This author does that. Both Jeremey and Qay fumble, they have set backs, and nothing is fixed permanently in one chapter, or even by the end of the book. We get both POV’s, so we’re seeing how their minds work, we’re seeing the mistakes they make, and that’s okay, they’re human. I love the realism in this story.

All that being said, the tone of this story is kind of bleak, melancholy even. Do the characters get their HEA? Yes, they do. But this story is not for the faintest heart. It’s angsty, sad and, at times, down right depressing, but it’s oh-so-good. It smacks you right in the feels. Kim Fielding’s writing is superb with this one. Fantastic!”

KimPulling Leather by LC Chase – “I love the Pickup Men series! And I can’t decide whether it’s Pickup Men or Pulling Leather that is the winning favorite. I mean, you can’t read one without the other, but Pulling Leather exceeded my expectations in how Scott Gillard was going to redeem himself after being such an ass in book one. I was kind of sad yet happy when it ended. What can I say? I don’t like to let go of a book that’s captured my imagination. All in all, Pulling Leather is a wonderful finish to the Pickup Men series.”

CarrieReckless by Caitlin Ricci – “Have you ever been in a situation where your head and your heart are totally at odds? This book is a clear example of the heart wanting what the heart wants, and nothing can stand in the way. There is a lot about BDSM etiquette here, and what the rules are when a Dom loans out his sub to another Dom (or bets him and loses).
Lee loves to bet. He bets on everything. He bets with everything—even the time of one of his current subs (he has multiple). I have to say that Lee is not shown in the best light in this book, and I would love to have him be the focus of the next installment and see him really meet someone who gives him a run for his money. Lee hasn’t found “the one” yet, but he inadvertently is the catalyst for his best friend and business partner meeting his.”

SadonnaA Dandelion for Tulip by R. Cooper – “This is an absolutely gorgeous love story between a human, David, and Tulip, the faery he is in love with. David is a mixed race human Ph.D. student who is working on his doctorate, specializing in reexamining the literature of the past, featuring beings—particularly faeries and such—in great works such as Shakespeare. Now that beings have come out of hiding and are “known” in the human world, David is trying to put the pieces together to show that these great writers, in fact, were in contact with beings and those actual beings were the inspiration for these works. Apparently this is quite unpopular with the “establishment,” as they seem to think that such a theory denigrates the “genius” of these writers. That hasn’t stopped David, though, and he’s forging ahead.”

JulesBeta Test by Annabeth Albert – “I loved these guys together, and how they each gave the other a safe place to truly be themselves. It’s not completely smooth sailing, of course. There is some miscommunication, and some holding back…but, they get there. I really enjoyed their journey. I loved the big ‘A-ha’ moments they each had with their families—Ravi’s with his sister, Avani, when she makes him realize how he must have made Tristan feel about his support of his mother; and Tristan’s epiphany after seeing the ‘Family First’ button for his mom’s campaign.

I absolutely love Annabeth Albert’s easygoing storytelling style. This was a laid back but also very engrossing read. The characters are fabulous, and all of the gaming stuff was really fun and so well done, and obviously well researched. It’s always such a win when being super nerdy also makes you super cool!”

LindseyAbsinthe of Malice by Rhys Ford – “I always find Ms. Ford’s writing style and descriptions to be phenomenal, and this book it was no different. I felt like I was right there in the back alley of New York, or a rundown venue in a podunk town. I could picture being there, walking with the boys as they were strolling down the Las Vegas strip and seeing (and smelling) the City of Sin. Not just the locations but the feelings of each of the characters were so intense. When Rafe is playing his guitar I could feel his euphoria. I am not a musician—I don’t have a musical bone in my body, other than playing the radio or my iPod—but I felt the guys’ love for the music and how much of a part of them the music is, and how the music bonds these guys in ways it is hard to fathom.

The main story is about the band members: Miki, Damien, Rafe & Forest. We still get our Morgans and their Murphy-Finnegan cousin fix, so don’t worry.  And, as always with Rhys Ford’s writing, she has brought them each to life. No two are alike. They are all flawed and have their own quirks, which make them who they are.”

MaryannSnakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black – “Cam made one last mistake before leaving Harold Livey’s gang of thieves, and now he’s being tracked down, putting the people of Hog Mountain in danger. Cam has to decide to trust in Jackson and tell him what’s going on.

I love Jackson and Cam; their growing feelings for each other bring out the best in both of them. And they both have a special bond with Galen, Luanne and Tony. There are many solid characters to enjoy in this story, and I found Dr. Grant Moore, the town vet, to be just a little too creepy/stalkerish.  Snakes Among Sweet Flowers is suspenseful, dangerous, and was an absolute page turner for me.  Jason Huffman-Black is an author I will definitely keep an eye out for.”

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The full reviews for these books, and more, can be found at The Novel Approach Reviews.

And that's it for now. Until July, happy reading!

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The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cover Reveal for Checkmate!

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/checkmate-by-nicki-bennett-and-ariel-tachna-7296-b

I am so happy and excited to share the new cover for one of my favorite books with you all: Checkmate.

Back in 2009 when Checkmate first came out at DSP I was hesitant to read a historical. They were not my favorite things unless there were Scottish lairds in them so I decided to skip the book. But the thing was, the authors. The authors had me curious. I had already read several books by Ariel Tachna by that time and Hot Cargo by both and so based on that, by the quality I knew I'd get, I decided to at least read the excerpt... and the rest is history.

I can't say enough about how much adventure and romance is crammed into the pages of this book. Teo is one of my favorite heroes--excuse me while I swoon--a swashbuckler, a champion, a passionate and gentle lover, a fierce protector, a loyal friend, and a wonderful surrogate father all wrapped up in a gorgeous and vulnerable and wicked package. He's utterly perfect and you'll fall as madly in love with him--and Christian--as I did. I have no doubt. And now Teo and Christian have a stunning new cover by the amazing Reese Dante that I just love because I think it gives a perfect overall idea of the feel of the book--quiet sexy times punctuated with danger and intrigue. The new cover edition is out on July 25th. If you missed it the first time, don't miss it a second.

Blurb:
When sword for hire Teodoro Ciéza de Vivar accepts a commission to “rescue” Lord Christian Blackwood from unsuitable influences, he has no idea he’s landed himself in the middle of a plot to assassinate King Philip IV of Spain and blame the English ambassador for the deed. Nor does he expect the spoiled child he’s sent to retrieve to be a handsome, engaging young man.

As Teodoro and Christian face down enemies at every turn, they fall more and more in love, an emotion they can’t safely indulge with the threat of the Inquisition looming over them. It will take all their combined guile and influence to outmaneuver the powerful men who would see them separated… or even killed.


Bios:

Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.
She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands). 
Visit Ariel:
Website: www.arieltachna.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielTachna
E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.com

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Update


https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/chevalier-by-mary-calmes-7018-b

Happy Sunday all, hope you had a wonderful, productive week. I had an odd week and then in the middle of it, went to an amusement park which, when you're old like me, is never a good idea. I have to remember I'm not a perpetually young moviestar who can ride roller-coasters and not feel it the next day. :)

As far as updates go, Chevalier, the sequel to Romanus, was released on May 27th. I hope you all enjoy it. I turned in Chosen Pride, the last in the L'Ange trilogy and that will be out in December. Also, Glenn's novella, Perfect Place, Perfect Time, maybe... completes the Timing trilogy. And I've said for years that that would be the last one but now I'm thinking I'm not sure. We'll see. But Glenn's novella (out in November) is being combined with After the Sunset into a paperback. Both Timing and After the Sunset are getting new covers so they go together better, so I'll keep you updated on the progress. Also, the third marshals book will be out in September. Yeah! More Miro and Ian and of course, Chickie. Currently, I'm working on Conrad's book which, if I stay on schedule, will be out in January. 

That's the extent of the excitement at the moment. Hope everyone has a great upcoming week. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our May Book of the Month Picks: From Magic to Menage

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the May edition of Booyah Books!, the place where we get to share some of our favorite reads from the past 31-derful days (sorrynotsorry). This was a really tough month, let me tell you, because I myself had four outstanding contenders for the best of the best, and narrowing it down to one was really difficult. So, if you’re looking for some other great reads, be sure to check out Aidan Wayne’s Loud and Clear, Lissa Kasey's Candy Land, Amelia C. Gormley’s Risk Aware, Eli Easton’s Howto Wish Upon a Star, S. Hunter Nisbet’s WhatBoys Are Made Of, Felice Stevens' Learning to Love, and Bey Deckard’s Kestrel’sTalon, just to give a shout out to a few.

But now, to move on to our top reads for the month of May, here they are. And, as always, there’s a chance to win any two e-titles mentioned in this post, including those ^^^ honorable mentions. :)

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Brock Earthshatter by Albert Nothlit – “Earthshatter is an adrenaline-pumped page-turner with an action-packed plot—I freaking loved it. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. The premise of the plot is pretty simple: eight people are taken by an artificial intelligence for safe keeping during a riot, but when they wake up, the town they grew up in has been destroyed by swarming bugs, and even though it seems to them as if they were just put into stasis, the evidence stacks up to suggest they were under for a lot longer. Why they were chosen, and what happened to the town is a mystery they have to uncover before they die of the elements, starvation, or the horde of man-eating insects that are hot on their trail. Yeah… that might be a problem.”

Angel Where There’s a Will by Cari Z – “Cari Z is a repeat author for me, and like the other stories I have read by her, I couldn’t put down the next novel in the Panopolis series. Where There’s a Will takes a turn from the previous installments, as the other stories were told by the Villains. That doesn’t detract from Cari Z’s abilities and, in fact, enhances my respect and admiration for such dedication to the trade. As a villain girl through and through, this says something to me, and that something is Cari Z has talent. She knows her characters, and her world, and doesn’t skimp on sharing those details with her readers. But she does it at her own pace, and that makes this world, and story, all the more fantastic.”

Lindsey A Time to Rise by Tal Bauer – “Though there is a romance between Alain and Cris that builds through this book, the focus isn’t entirely on their romance. I would say it is split equally with the paranormal and religious aspects. It worked for me. The way the Knights Templar’s history overlaps with the Catholic religion’s, specifically the Vatican’s own history, along with the paranormal elements is something I haven’t seen, and I enjoyed every moment of watching it unfold. The way the religious leaders within the Vatican walls interacted with the halberdiers and the chain of command within the Vatican was very interesting. The attention to detail made me feel like I was right there in Rome, seeing the beauty as well as the darkness it masked with the Vatican’s secrets buried deep within.”

Kathie Safe in His Heart by Renae Kaye – “Andrew has spent way too long listening to other well-meaning friends and family. Being gay is a sin and the only true way to live your life is with a wife and children. One of the recurring themes in this story is Andrew’s thoughts about “the vault.” Andrew describes the vault in many ways, but the one I took notice of was, “that was where his true self was allowed to come and play,” and “without that outlet you could explode into a billion pieces.” Those two quotes really summed up Andrew and his struggles for me. To stay in a traditional marriage, he needed to rely on his vault. And once in a while he needed to allow himself an outlet, or explode. Maybe that would have worked for Andrew, keeping his two lives separate with the use of his vault, but life does have a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans.”

Carrie Five-Sided Heart by Max MacGowan – “First let me say, I loved this book! Like really loved it! And it shocked me that I did. Don’t get me wrong, my prejudice wasn’t with the book; it was with the whole polyamorous storyline. These books are flat out difficult to write, and sometimes harder to read as your brain tries to process all the differing points of view and body parts. This is only Max MacGowan’s second book and WOW. Just WOW. It’s clear; it’s concise; it is engaging, evoking emotions with every page; it is well written, and the story takes you in directions you don’t expect.”

Jules Power Play by Avon Gale – “Power Play had a slightly heavier feel than the previous two books in the series. It’s still playful and light throughout much of the narrative, but with darker backstories for Misha and one of the Spitfire’s players, it definitely had a more serious tone. Don’t get me wrong…it’s still very funny at times, and there is still that epic banter we have grown to love with all of these guys. I LOVE how funny these books are! But, this one felt a little deeper and more serious at times, and I liked that, too.

Once again there was a ton to love here. Misha and Max…the team and all the rest of the supporting characters (including some fabulous cameos from other Scoring Chances peeps that are so fun)…so much humor and love, and so many feels…and, the hockey. Always the hockey.”

Maryann Only Say the Word by Scott D. Pomfret – “Even though there is an abundance of characters, and all play a part in this tragedy, Father Jack and Colm Flaherty were the two characters I grew most concerned over.  They both seemed to know what they had gotten involved in with the church, but they couldn’t walk away. This novel is very different and deals with some disturbing events, and I couldn’t put it down. Only Say the Word has no HEA. It’s a tragic story because so many people suffer in different ways, and it raised many issues for me; how people are still trying to deny the right to same sex marriage and the way homosexuality is used as a scapegoat so people will focus their attention away from the pedophilia issues, and what happens when a person is a victim of a pedophile.”

Jennifer Phase Shift by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen – “There really was not a single bad book in this series, and each one builds up the tension to this one. The first reunites Zed and Flick and rekindles their love for each other. The subsequent books show the challenges their love will face if they decide to stay together. This final book puts them on the ultimate test and, as I said, the most dangerous mission. Stuck on Leonis Bb, an uninhabited planet, they must survive all sorts of things—weird tentacle creatures, a sunken ship, and scorching temperatures—with barely anything to survive on. And when they find out they aren’t alone? Well, that’s when all hell breaks loose.”

LisaHexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk – “Once again, Hawk has captured the nuances of the historical time period in which this novel is set, a post-Boss Tweed/pre-turn-of-the-century New York City in which the cops were sometimes every bit as corrupt as the criminals, the place where a melting pot of humanity were freshly landed to grab hold of the American dream—only to discover that survival often meant a hardscrabble existence where the profit of crime maintained a certain level of appeal, and the city was ripe for an anarchy that would bring about a change in power. And again, the atmosphere is drawn out to perfection in the sights and sounds and the often unappealing scents that permeated the air. I love to sit down to read a historical novel and become grounded in its setting, especially a historical novel that bleeds unreality into it—Hexbreaker does that with ease. Hawk offers the perfect balance of detail without burdening the pace of the narrative with extraneous description, and in every scene you’re right there with the characters.”


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And that’s it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!

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THE GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Our Book of the Month Picks - April Showered Us with More Great Reads

Cheers, everyone, and welcome to the April edition of Booyah! Books. We're glad to be back with another list of some of our favorite reads for the month, and are also thrilled to bits to offer one reader the chance to win free e-books.

As a special giveaway this month, because of my title pick and it being the last book of a series that absolutely can't be read as a standalone, I'm offering a sort of Grand Prize giveaway--if you haven't read the Wake Up Married serial and would like to give it a go, I'll gift you All 6 Books on Amazon, plus 2 additional e-books of your choice. Woot! :-D

So, without further ado, here's our list!

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LindseyOllie Always by John Wiltshire – “This book is more than a romance. It is a complicated story about personal growth and the overcoming of one’s own insecurities, fears, choices, failures and harmful coping mechanisms. There isn’t any focus on sex-on-page. They are more or less suggested to, and the brief times there was physical intimacy, there was not much focus on the acts but rather the feelings associated with the moments, because sex was not the focus of the story, and I am glad for it. If the book had been mired with sex references and scenes, it would have taken away from the internal growth and a different kind of intimacy that was needed for both our MCs.”

SadonnaA Summer of Guiltless Sex by Dan Skinner – “Wow wow wow! I’m embarrassed to say that this is the first Dan Skinner book that I have read, despite owning a number of his other titles for some time now. I’ve decided that I really need to move those books up the TBR list, pronto. I cannot say enough how much I loved this book. I wanted to just reread it immediately after I finished it.
Highly recommended for an emotionally satisfying, if quite unconventional, love story.”

LisaWill & Patrick’s Happy Ending by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths – “Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths didn’t slap together a simple happily-ever-after here. They pulled out all the romantic trope-y stops but didn’t turn them into annoying clichés. The ending to this series was a happy and sexy heart-tugger that pulled everything together in a satisfying way. And yes, there were sniffles because I got something in my eyes, dammit (it’s called joy and feels). The authors gave Will a happy ending he could take charge of and embrace, even if it hurt both he and Patrick in the process, and it was joyous. They made Patrick a hero who swept in and saved Will from himself. And Patrick, well, he kind of needed rescuing in return (though he’d never admit it), so Will gets to hero up too, and then, true love won and all was well with the Whos down in Whoville.”

MaryannShatter by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott – “Drake and Elliott bring us the second thriller in the Unbreakable Bonds series. Shatter is fast paced, suspenseful, and takes us into the dark recesses of Ian’s past, and I liked Snow’s perspective on each of his friends. Shatter is also a story filled with a variety of emotions and heartbreak—it’s a tearjerker. There were moments with Snow and Rowe Ward that give us more depth into their connection. What I feel makes this a unique story, though, is that all the MCs from Shiver are back, and Drake and Elliott take us through different phases of each characters’ relationships and friendships—a new love, love growing, love lost, and a special bond. The characters become more solid and are not just skimmed over; they all have major roles to play.”

KathieSomething Like Stories: Volume One by Jay Bell – If you are a fan of the Something Like… series, you will enjoy reminiscing as Jay Bell takes you on a journey and gives some of the characters an ending, or, as I like to call it, the rest of the story. If I had a favorite it would have to be Something Like Eternity. Victor is my favorite character and Something Like Autumn is my favorite book of the series. To read about Victor and knowing that he found his destiny was just amazing to me. Yes, I know they are characters in a story that Jay Bell created, but Victor is special. I see him every day, standing in front of my local convenience store smoking a cigarette.

Thank you, Jay Bell, for another great book.

CarrieThe Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur – “The books in the Perspectives series are sensual reads; they are plot driven and chock full of pure romance. These books unfold, and as Henry dies and Jon and Isaac become closer, we are treated to another emotional journey in this series. And the ending, on the beach… too many feels… too many feels! A.M. Arthur delivers another punch to the heart with this one, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series. If I had it I would read it today. Each book in the Perspectives series stands on its own, but I recommend all the books, as the characters do overlap and know each other and interact in each other’s lives.

I highly recommend this book!”

JenniferGuardian Angel by Hayden Thorne – “Despite the younger age of the protagonist, this book is not a young adult novel. There are some incredibly erotic scenes, proving to me that Thorne can write love scenes with the best of them. There were times when I was quite literally swooning and fanning myself. I completely fell in love with Edgar Swann.

Thorne also writes some of the creepiest characters I’ve ever encountered. I won’t say who it is, as that would give away a crucial plot point, but disturbed doesn’t even begin to cover this character’s actions. There were moments when I even second guessed myself, so well done was the characterization that I thought maybe I was reading the situations completely wrong.”

KimUntil September by Chris Scully – “There wasn’t a bunch of unnecessary drama in this novel, and the plot didn’t drag out or end with a bunch of unanswered questions. It’s the kind of book I want to read when I’m missing someone, or life is so chaotic that I need something to ground me and remind me of what’s important. I actually had a moment or two where I was crying with Archie!
I so would love to listen to this one on audio and, as it turned out, after I finished reading the ebook, I immediately bought the paperback since it’s what I do with favorites. Ereaders are ok but paperbacks ROCK when holding something you’ve come to love. Chris Scully has officially become an auto-buy and an insta-read author for me.

Until September just hit all my 5 star buttons!”

JulesInfected: Bloodlines by Andrea Speed – “Speed’s writing style is excellent. I love that the series is gritty and intense, but it’s also full of humor and snark. There is something here for everyone. If you think, “I’m a romance reader. This isn’t for me,” I challenge you to give it a go. There is absolutely something here for you. The storytelling is amazing and exciting, but residing in these two books is also, without a doubt, one of the most beautifully compelling and heart-rending romances I’ve ever had the pleasure of being gutted by. And on that note, I’ve got to say, “Go get this bundle!” If the first two books are an indication of the quality of the rest of the series, you’ll be so glad you went for it.”

SammyThe Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy – “Micah is a work in progress and as his story unfolds, we are privy to the hurt he carries, his dreams and aspirations and his regrets. We watch as he painfully grapples with the fact that life on the football field may never be easy—that he will have to rise above the slurs, the homophobia, the hatred, and dig deep to remain true to his team, even if they don’t always like him just because he is gay. It is with raw emotion and unflinching honesty that Kennedy introduces us to a world that is not always fair, where being gay can make you the enemy and where biting your tongue in order to make it through another day is sometimes necessary. And he does it all through the eyes of a teenage boy who has one dream—to make it to the big leagues with his pride intact. It is sometimes so painful to watch and is always an education for those of us who are privileged not to have to endure it, but it is also tempered by humor, new-found love and loyal friends.”

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And that does it for this month! For these and more reviews, visit The Novel Approach. Until next month, happy reading! 

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

It Was a March to Be Mad About, and We Have the Books to Prove It

Cheers, friends and fellow book lovers, and welcome back to another edition of Booyah Books. We at The Novel Approach have compiled another great list of outstanding reads from the month of March, and we're so giddy to share the love with all of you.

There's also the chance to win a couple of the titles we've chosen via the Rafflecopter widget below, so click away to enter. 

Now, here they are, our fave books of March!

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JenniferLove Is for the Living by Nicholas Kinsley: “This book is phenomenal. I mean, honestly, I loved it so much I couldn’t put it down and at one point was shoveling popcorn into my mouth in a frenzy, along with the pace of the story, because I was just so hyped up. So to portray everything that’s right about it, I’m just going to make a list.

First, there are the characters. They’re so realistic. And by that, I don’t just mean the dialogue. I mean they are real people with real quirks and faults that make them human and not just stock characters in a romance novel. I adored Blaine and Andrew, and what makes them perfect is their imperfections. Neither one is drop dead gorgeous, which, let me tell you, was a breath of fresh air. While they find each other attractive, the descriptions are of realistic men.”

Inversion Point by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen: “This book is my favorite of the series. And I know I likely say that every time, but honestly, the books just keep getting better, and I cannot wait to see what these talented authors have in store for the final (NO!) book in the series, Phase Shift. This book is filled with even more character development, more heart-wrenching moments, and awesome new aliens who just immediately make you happy, as if they are also communicating with you.

This new species is fascinating, and I don’t want to give too much away, because the initial introduction to them is just fascinating. They are completely unlike the other species already at the Hub: humans, ashushk, and stin. And yet, because of the Guardians, Zed is able to communicate with them. They seem peaceful enough, so that must be good for the humans and ashushk, right? I wish I could talk more about them, but it would give away critical information, so instead I’ll talk about my love for Qek and how it continues to grow with every book.”

SammySleight of Heart by Aisling Mancy: “Anyone who is under the misconception that author Aisling Mancy does not create stories with engaging plot lines, fascinating characters who capture the imagination, and thoroughly researched ancient cultures that seem to step right out of history, obviously has not read his latest offering, Sleight of Heart. In this novel, you step into a fantasy world rich with different gifted magical creatures who instantly tug you back in time to a world where living by a strict set of standards ruled over every decision made. From gypsies to the fae, vampires to dragons, we are invited into a story that speaks of the harsh hate of bigoted minds juxtaposed with the gentle love and passion of creatures that have been mindlessly feared throughout time. What a stunning novel Sleight of Heart turned out to be.”

LisaThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: “The Song of Achilles is a glorious feat of storytelling, far too magnificent in scope and with a cast of characters too vast to easily encompass it all in a review. Even if you’re only vaguely familiar with “the face that launched a thousand ships” and know only the most basic details of the Trojan war (and the roles Hector and Paris played in Achilles’ fate), there is no mistaking the legend of heroes and the bonds of love forged between Patroclus and Achilles in this novel. And, the price they both paid when war and the Fates came to collect.

For ten years I watched the gods take sides in this war and lost myself in the romantic idea that those thousand ships sailed with the intent of mounting a rescue of the most beautiful woman in the world, but then ended on little more than pretense, an excuse for men to go to battle over a woman who seemingly didn’t want to be rescued. It was to be Achilles’ own launch into eternal glory, his swan song before his own demise, this war and the death of Hector, and though Achilles and Patroclus did their best to defy fate and thwart Achilles’ destiny for a time… in the end, the gods and a man’s destiny always win.”

Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford: “Told with a skill and precision we’ve become accustomed to from this author, and in this series, one that’s part mystery and part romance, Dirty Heart gathers together all the loose threads that have become the warp and weft of the series’ tapestry, and has lain them all out for us to see in the culmination of years of weaving these characters and their lives together into a family and, finally, reveals all its beauty—in the building of these relationships through trials and triumphs, through joy and sadness, through hilarity and heartache. We’re drawn into each scene, viscerally, emotionally, imaginatively, and, I might add, quite happily. And, in the end, Dirty Heart culminates in a place we’ve all been waiting for yet dreading because The End is never easy once a colorful palette of characters become so deeply ingrained in our lexicon of favorites.”

MaryannThe Danger in Bohemia by H.E. Kollef: “The Danger in Bohemia is a first time reading author H.E. Kollef for me, and the book was excellent. Ms. Kollef created an absolutely suspenseful, dangerous, adventurous and romantic tale that takes place in Prague. In her Author Bio it’s written, “Her favorite city is Prague and she recommends it to everyone she meets, especially if she thinks they’d enjoy romance, hearty beer and snowy walks along the winding Vltava river.” The Danger in Bohemia brings all this and more. Ms. Kollef’s architectural descriptions and a tour of the many sites in Prague really show the appreciation that she has for this city, and made me take time to look up many of the mentioned places just to see that architecture.”

House Hunt by Jackie Keswick: “House Hunt is another double thriller from Jackie Keswick. It’s suspenseful, fast paced and action packed, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. And, once again, Ms. Keswick brings us an amazing cast of characters that will peak your interest. We also get to learn a little more about Aidan Conrad’s life.

I liked that she gave that little flaw of jealousy to Gareth in this story, but she also brings love and warmth with Roz, Nico and Daniel. No matter what Jack’s endeavors are, there is a family for him. I’m hoping Ms. Keswick is going to add another book to the Power of Zero series because there are two major questions that haven’t really been resolved. One does concern Nico and Daniel, and the other involves Jack, Garth and the boys. This is an intriguing series and I highly recommend all three books: Job Hunt, Ghosts and House Hunt.”

JulesFinley by Ella Frank: “I adored both characters so much. Finn is cocky, mischievous, fun, adorable and sexy as hell. And, while Brantley is nervous at first that the seven years his love spent becoming a big city lawyer in Chicago have taken some of those qualities—qualities he loved—away from Finn, he couldn’t be further from the truth. Daniel is still the same fun, cocky, sexy man he was back then, only a thousand times hotter. And, the two together? Sparks for days and days. They are all about intense heat, yet aren’t afraid to do tender and soft. There is never a question about what they mean to each other. So good!

Finley was fun. Sooo romantic and lovely, but without being overdone. A great love story that I highly recommend. Can’t wait for the next one! I’m crossing my fingers that it’s Derek and Jordan’s story!”

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt: “Brandon Witt is so good at mixing in humor with the drama in his heavier themed works. This book is definitely on the heavy side. Extremely heavy at times. But, one gift he has given us here is the unbelievably fabulous ManDonna to help brighten up some of the darkness. ManDonna, who Ben calls “momma,” is unforgettable and hilarious. For more levity, there is also a wonderful wedding in the book. And, Isaiah’s relationship with his co-teacher and roommate, Charity, is so lovely and lighthearted as well.

Ok—I feel like I’ve given you all enough reason to go out and grab this book. Under a Sky of Ash is a fantastic, suspenseful, soulful read. I wanted to hug both MCs, as well as Aaron and Hershel and Daniel/ManDonna, throughout. I got goosebumps on more than one occasion.”

SadonnaHat Trick 3: Penalty Shot by Jeff Adams: “The truth is that life is unpredictable and sometimes things are great, sometimes you get slapped upside the head with crappy circumstances that are beyond your control. The true strength of character and of a relationship is forged during those times. Alex and Simon have faced many trials and tribulations, and each time they come back stronger. Ideally, this is what building a partnership and a truly lasting relationship should do. Are some of the situations they face wrapped up a little more neatly than many times happens in real life? Maybe. But this series has really shown these guys growing together and facing whatever comes their way, with courage and love and with the support of their friends and families. Penalty Shot is a thoroughly enjoyable book and a fitting end to this series.”

CarrieJury of One by Charlie Cochrane: “So much subterfuge! So many lies! Jury of One is the second book in the Lindenshaw Mysteries series; it follows The Best Corpse for the Job. These books are about Inspector Robin Bright, of the Stanebridge Police Department. The cast of main characters is rounded out with Anderson, Robin’s partner on the force and Adam, Robin’s partner at home. Robin and Adam meet in the first book of the series, but their relationship really doesn’t get off the ground until the end of that book—this book is set a short year later. The two men are still very new with each other, and with what each expects from their relationship. Be warned, however, this is not a romance book. Adam and Robin’s relationship is touched on because it is part of the mystery and rounds out the characters, but it is not the focus of the book. The mystery is. We could not, however, have a clear picture of Robin if we did not have Adam. There is also a cast of secondary characters that totally hold their own in the story and are exceptionally well written.”

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And that does it for this month. The full reviews for these and many more books can be found at The Novel Approach. Until next time, happy reading!

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