Friday, May 30, 2014

Love's Own Reward Review

Celebrating the re-release of Love's Own Reward -  the first of 4 books written by Dana Ransom (aka Nancy Gideon) for the Lucky In Love line of contemporary romances first released in the early 90's.  Love's Own Reward is a timeless contemporary romance - a reminder of  the possibilities if you dare to dream & hope, love & trust...and raises the age old question  - Can love survive the devastation of betrayal?

Re-Released:  May 27, 2014 by Belle Bridge Books

Find it at:  Amazon
                      Barnes & Noble 
Titles & release dates of next 3 books:
  • Totally Yours - July, 2014
  • Lifetime Investment - Sept. 2014
  • From This Day Forward - Nov. 2014 

Charlene “Charley” Carter risked her life to rescue a child from a burning car. Suddenly, the quiet research assistant becomes a media darling—and a half-million dollars richer, thanks to the boy’s grateful grandparents. But big money brings big moochers and bigger betrayals. Charley retreats, wounded and suspicious about the motives of even those dearest to her.

He doesn’t trust that she’s for real . . .Jess McMasters exposes frauds for a living, and if it means using his charms as well as his tough skills as a journalist, no problem. What’s Charlene Carter trying to gain by refusing to be interviewed by the press? Is she angling for more money—or is she hiding secrets that prove she’s nobody’s hero?

Jess goes undercover to get close to her, but the closer he gets, the less he understands. Except this: the cost for his deception could be his own heart.

My Review:

Love's Own Reward is a timeless contemporary romance that had me quickly turning pages as I became engrossed in this couple's story.  A horrific accident brings about Jess & Charley's first meeting, though she will not remember that meeting for some time.  Afterwards, she is hounded by a sea of reporters, each looking for their next big story and for the moment, she is it.  Charley is both a hero and a half million dollars richer - all because of saving a young child from a burning car.  Everyone wants a slice of her pie...and everyone wants to know what she plans to do with the money?  Extravagant shopping trips?  New cars?  Exotic vacations?  Jess seems to be in the right place at the right time to rescue Charley from the horde of piranhas vying for her story and money.  Coincidence or  carefully planned?  Is her rescuer too good to be true?  He admits to being a writer and professor, so what secret is Jess hiding from Charley that begins eating him alive as their relationship develops?  Can a relationship founded on half truths survive?  What is the ultimate cost of deception?

 What a beautiful story about trusting enough to open your mind and heart to possibilities - to what can be if you're willing to let go and live life - love enough, trust enough, and yes, even forgive enough.  Charley has lived her life caring for everyone else - she's learning to let go and live her own dreams.  I loved watching her transformation from a shy, innocent victim of circumstance to a take charge of her own happiness woman.  Jess has lived his life being someone he's not very proud of, and he's been burned by love before - he knows it doesn't last.  Both of them fear betrayal most of all, as they explore the possibility of a future together.  Promises are made but is a promise binding when it is pledged without knowing the whole truth?  The tension and suspense continue building in this one as the reader is privy to the truth that Jess fights to keep hidden and the devastating effect it will have on Charley when it is ultimately revealed.  My heart raced through the latter pages as I watched it all unravel and was screaming, "For God's sakes, Jess, tell her the truth!" 

Love's Own Reward is beautifully written, mesmerizing, and emotionally touching - a lesson in redemption and forgiveness.  Be prepare for it to engage you, seduce you, break your heart, give you hope, and make you laugh.  I loved the humorous banter between characters that I have come to know as a trademark of author Nancy Gideon.  Kudos to the author for also bringing much deserved attention to the disease, diabetes, through the warm, funny character of Robert - Charley's brother.  He's the perfect role model of what it means to live life with the disease instead of letting it steal your life from you.  This is a must read for fans of romance...contemporary or otherwise.  I eagerly await the release of the next 3 books in this line by Dana Ransom.

My Rating:  4 Beautiful ♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

Cross My



"If you expect breakfast from me, in the future you'll have those neat little microwavable deals in the freezer," she told him haughtily as she picked her way around the egg remains."
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥

"Have you some unhealthy fondness for ladies' underwear, Mr. McMasters?"
"Only when the ladies are still in it, Miss Carter."
"Then there's nothing in this sack that should interest you."
  ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥

"You didn't strike me as the expensive-jewelry type," he commented mildly.
"Oh, I'm not."  She laughed with a touch of embarrassment.  "Just these.  I've always wanted some just like these."
"Then get them."
Carefully Charley positioned the earrings back on their tray.  "Not this time.  I don't want to buy up all my dreams.  I won't have anything to look forward to."
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥

She'd brought something wild and wounded into her home, into her heart, and there was a definite possibility she could end up torn to shreds.
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥

"What about your promise?"
Charley knocked his arm away.  So embroiled in her own misery, she had no idea what he was talking about.  "Some promises can't be kept."



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Illumanti: The Book of Life Review


Ljluka Vargas, immortal prince and the cool-headed enforcer for the Vargas Dynasty, must go up against his most intriguing enemy, the mysterious Nalini. She intends to beat him to the secret archaeological site of The Book of Life which contains the genetic secrets of their ancient ancestors.

In order to escape the cruel domination of her family and gain freedom for her mother, Nalini assumes the role of assassin. In her rival, the sleek and deadly Luc, she finds a different kind of danger. She’s supposed to eliminate him, but that would foil destiny’s plan for them to be together.

It’s a race from power-hungry D.C. cabinet rooms through the secret realms of the Vatican, from cloud forests and desert sands to the caverns of the Underworld as mankind hangs in the balance. For whoever possesses the Book of Life has the potential to rule the world, offering or denying immortality to the human race.

My Review:

Elizabeth Alsobrooks debut novel, Illuminati:  The Book Of Life, is a mysterious mixture of mythical ancient legends brought to life, intrigue and sabotage in both the ancient and modern day corporate world, family duels that rival the Hatfields & McCoys, and love that seems destined to end before it has a chance to blossom like Romeo & Juliet.  I quickly found myself drawn into a web of suspense and intrigue as the race to find and possess the Book of Life escalates, and Luc and Nalini battle to claim the book for their rival families...while also fighting their attraction to one another.  The author slides back and forth between the modern & ancient settings flawlessly as the characters travel via camels through the desert, navigate the booby trapped tunnels of the ones who came before, survive the horrors of the underworld, and sit in on meetings in a modern corporate boardroom.   The wide array of characters include mortals, immortals, gods & goddesses, and mythical beings...the creatures legends are made of.  They lend authenticity to the story as well as mystery, action, intrigue, romance, and yes, even humor - I'm talking about you Hassidim!  What a great supporting cast of both friends and foes.

I was quickly drawn into Illuminati: The Book of Life.  The characters are engaging, the action fast, the suspense intriguing.  I found the characters, both good & evil, to be believable and became invested in their lives as the story unfolded.  I liked the author's use of mythology & ancient legends in the modern world.  It read as both an Urban Fantasy & Romance Suspense all rolled up into one.  

The only issue I had is a minor one.  At times, the dialogue felt a little drawn out, impeding the natural flow of conversation for me, and after all the tension and build up, I felt the first love scene occurred too quickly - not in the book timing but in the content of their relationship.  I won't go into detail because of spoilers but suffice to say, I wanted a longer scene & more details of the seduction.

Illuminati: The Book of Life is a good, intriguing read.  The author has laid the groundwork for Ljluka & Nalini's story to continue, as well as additional books featuring other characters.  I read this one quickly and look forward to more of the story.  Recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy and even Romance Suspense.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Pretty ♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

Cross My


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Behind His Eyes: The Missing Years Book Review


 THE MISSING YEARS is the final piece to Aleatha Romig’s CONSEQUENCES SERIES puzzle. Follow the twists and turns as secrets are revealed, consequences are delivered, and the future is shown.

In CONVICTED, we saw what happened that fateful afternoon at the Rawlings Estate. Now experience the shocking repercussions firsthand. More than a companion, this full-length novel fills in the gap of time that was only mentioned, beginning when Claire Nichols forgets and seen through the eyes of collective men (the HIS is plural).

In THE MISSING YEARS, readers will see Anthony Rawlings fight for what belongs to him and cope with the reality of his past. Watch as Harrison Baldwin discovers the truth that threatens his beliefs, and as John Vandersol comes to terms with his revelations. Witness Phillip Roach, as he decides with whom his loyalties lay, and Brent Simmons, as he demonstrates the meaning of friendship—no matter the cost.

As the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED goes beyond. This final installment of the series offers a glimpse into the future of the lives that will forever be changed because there was a man who...

Once upon a time, signed a napkin that he knew was a contract. As an esteemed businessman, he forgot one very important rule—he forgot to read the fine print. It wasn’t an acquisition to own another person as he’d previously assumed. It was an agreement to acquire a soul.
—Aleatha Romig, CONVICTED

BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED also contains a complete glossary of characters and a timeline that covers the entire series. If you have read New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig’s CONSEQUENCES, TRUTH, and CONVICTED, you must learn the rest of the story: BEHIND HIS EYES CONVICTED: THE MISSING YEARS!

My Review:

Let me begin by saying I'm going to keep this short & sweet.  For those of you who follow me, you know I love this series and have previously reviewed the first three main books.  In my own words:  This series is a puzzle if I've ever seen one...a card game, a roll of the dice, a chess match, a game of's all about consequences - every action is followed by a consequence, either good or bad.   You can find my review of the series here:  My Consequences Series Review.  

Now, we have Behind His Eyes:  The Missing Years, the final book.  I have to say, "Thank you, Aleatha Romig!"  What a ride!  This series is one of my favorite series ever.  We were "in Claire's head" as she shut down in Convicted - swallowed up by darkness - lost in pain & heartbreak.   We experienced the horrors of what happened that day and the devastation that resulted in so many lives.

In The Missing Years, we sit in on Tony's therapy sessions in prison, learning from his words what happened to him, why, & what he was thinking as he came to finally realize the consequences of his own actions - the horror of what he had done.  We're with him as he reaches an agonizing decision that will affect the lives of those he loves forever...and we're with him as he walks free to do what he knows he must do to set things right.  My heart broke all over again for him and Claire in this agonizing, so heartbreaking.  I also loved getting the other POV's  (Brent, John, Harry, Phil)  as they helped clarify some things and most of all, I loved the epilogue and glimpse into the future of them all...a perfect ending.  I'm so sad to say goodbye to Tony & Claire and the rest of these characters.  I felt a loss as I read the final pages.  But what a way to go!  A must read!  Well done, Aleatha Romig!!

Rating:  5 gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

Cross My


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spotlight on Author Elizabeth Hunter & The Singer Book Blog Tour

 Author Elizabeth Hunter:

Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance writer.  She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher.  She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening.  Thankfully, people now pay her to write books and eighth-graders everywhere rejoice.

She currently lives in Central California with her son, two dogs, many plants, and a sadly dwindling fish tank.  She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, and the Irin Chronicles.

Look for Elizabeth Hunter on:

I'm pleased to take part in the Book Tour for the release of Elizabeth Hunter's 2nd book in The Irin Chronicles, The Singer.  This blog book tour was organized by Nica @ Oh My Shelves  Thank you, Nica!  You will find links to other participating blogs at the end of this post as well as a rafflecopter giveaway!

 ♥Coming May 6th, 2014...The Singer♥


When you've lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness?  Ava left Istanbul with a new identity, new name, and new magic she could barely control. Laid low by Malachi's sacrifice, she searches for help from the fabled Irina. But will the secretive women of the Irin race welcome or shun her? Ava's origins are still a mystery, and her powers are darker than any they've encountered before.

The Irin world hangs in the balance. And as the children of angels battle their own demons, ancient rivalries among the Fallen threaten to wreak havoc on earth.

Thousand of miles away, a warrior wakes with no memory of his identity or his people. Stumbling though the dark and twisted schemes fallen angels, ravenous Grigori, and even his own leaders, he must find a way back to the one thing he remembers. A single voice calls him. Malachi has one mission.

"Come back to me."

THE SINGER is the second book in the Irin Chronicles, a contemporary fantasy series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries.

Readers:  Because of world building and character introduction and progression, as well as catastrophic events, I highly recommend that you read The Scribe first.  You will find my review here:   The Scribe Review

My Review:

Elizabeth Hunter fans have waited months to continue the Irin Chronicles and the story of Ava & Malachi.  Like me, I'm sure many of you wiped tears at the ending of The Scribe, heartbroken by the devastating loss of Malachi.  As I settled in to read The Singer, I found myself a bit wary and anxious.  I have fallen in love with these characters, shared their love and laughter, felt their pain and heartbreak, suffered and grieved with them.  Elizabeth Hunter has the magical ability to breathe life into her characters, propelling them from the page of their fantasy world to capivate you and make you believe, make you care, make you want I turned to page one, took a deep breath and got lost in their world once again...

The Irin world is in turmoil.  The Grigori are increasing their presence in Istanbul, and there's a power play among The Fallen that threatens to destroy everyone.  Both Volund and Jaron want Ava, each for reasons of their own, and will stop at nothing to get her as an epic, world-ending battle ramps up between the Ancients.  But Ava is unaware...

 "Grief struck at the oddest times.  Like a cat, it waited to pounce.  She could go about her day, even talk about Malachi, ignoring the black hole that lived inside, then something little would swallow her up."

What do you do when you've lost everything - your heart, soul, mate - your reason for living?  How do you continue when your other half is missing?  Ava is lost, battling the darkness while drowning in her grief...she watched her mate die, killed while fighting to save her.  The darkness is closing evil force is stalking her so she seeks refuge among the elusive Irina - a magical race of women who can help her discover and broaden the scope of her magical powers - help her release her voice and finally sing.  She is haunted by dreams of her lost love, Malachi...dreams that feel so real, she can sense his breath whispering over her skin, caressing her with words of love.  However, Ava's dreams also have a dark side - an ominous presence, always lurking around the shadows, tempting her, calling her, preying upon her mind.  Who is luring her into the darkness?  Why do they summon her?

While Ava struggles with grief and darkness, there is a warrior far away, battling his own demons.  He has awakened lost, not knowing his own name or where he belongs.  As he fights to recapture his memories, his mind is inundated by a woman's mournful plea - "Vashama canem.  Come back to me."  The warrior's nights are spent pursuing and loving her in dreams, driven by a powerful bond that will not be denied.  As his memory slowly returns, the mystical siren calling him in the night continues eluding him.  He may no longer remember the woman haunting his dreams and mind, but he knows he loves her and recognizes her as his mate. 

Elizabeth Hunter has created a magnificent world of amazing characters, entangled in a web of deceit, danger, loss, power, politics, and love that will have your heart racing time and time again.  She has once again raised the bar in the world of fantasy and totally captivated me.  The writing is wonderfully imaginative, enticing you deeper with a plot laden with twists and turns.  I was quickly lured into The Singer and couldn't turn pages fast enough to discover what would happen next.  Approaching the end, I thought I had a handle on it, Yes...I can live with this...things are good...and then...I read the Epilogue...What?!  OMG...I need book 3 now!  What a great read!  A definite reread!  I can't wait for the next and final book of The Irin Chronicles trilogy!  Fans of fantasy, paranormal, romance and suspense will love The Singer and the Irin Chronicles.  Beautiful!  Creative!  Brilliant!  A must read!

Rating:  5 Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!
Cross My

**I received an ARC copy of The Singer from the author**


"I see him everywhere.  He's everywhere.  And he always will be."
 "And I hate him for that.  For leaving me," she choked out.  "And for not leaving me."
 ♥                   ♥              ♥               ♥           ♥ 

 "And I sleep..." Ava cleared her throat and decided to just tell them.  "I sleep because, in my dreams, he's there.  And for a little while, I'm happy."
         ♥                  ♥               ♥              ♥             ♥

 "A wound doesn't heal," she whispered, "just because it stops bleeding."   
 ♥                ♥                ♥               ♥              ♥

"Who am I?" she asked, her tears making her voice rough and swollen.  "What am I?"
        ♥                   ♥              ♥                ♥            ♥
           Ava. The name fell into his mind and filled it. It brought the memory of air tinged with cloves and roasted hazelnuts.
           “Who is she?

           The old man looked at him, pity in his eyes. She is your mate. You remember nothing of her?
           “My mate? Not a wife. More than a wife.
          “Your mate. Your reshon. It is a sacred union.
          “Your souls were created for each other. And when you marked her with magic, they bonded.
          “Where is she?
           Evren and Rhys exchanged a look. Rhys said, We dont know, but were going to try to find her. We will find her.
          She wasnt here. He felt as if he were stumbling through the dark, looking for something just out of his reach.
         “Malachi, Evren asked. When you woke, you were like this?
         Malachi frowned. I was by the river. There was nothing around. But I followed the water and found the farm.
        “The old retreat, Evren said. He woke near the old retreat. I think when he came back, he was reborn in the exact place he was born the first time.
        Rhys said, You think Ava—”
        “It must have been. I dont know how, but it is the only explanation.
        “No Irina has the power to—”
        “No Irina is like Ava. She has no training. She has never been told what she may not do, so who knows what she is capable of?
        Malachi broke into their quiet conversation. Youre telling me I died?
Evren and Rhys turned to him.
       “I died? he asked again. Truly? I died. And I came back to life?
       “What do you remember?
       “Nothing. I remember nothing. Just her voice on the wind and the stars overhead. Ive been getting flashes here and there, but I dont remember her. How could I forget her? He felt torn. Incomplete. And it wasnt just the memories he was missing. And you think she did this somehow?
        Evren said, We dont know. Not really. But there is no other explanation. Your brothers saw you die. Saw your body turn to dust. Your mate saw you diefelt you die.
        “But why would Ava be able to—”
        “She said the words, Rhys said. The words she had heard her whole life. From the souls of everyone who mourned. She came to me before she left. Asked me what it meant. Vashama canem. Come back to me. He turned to Evren. I had no idea. How could I?
        “There was no way of knowing she could do this, Rhys. No way—”
        “Wait! Malachi felt a chill creep along his skin. Youre telling me she spoke this command and I answered. Even from beyond death?
        “Hes telling you words have power, Evren said. Ava asked you to come back to her. And you did.

♥Coming May 6th, 2014...The Singer♥

Please stop by the other blogs participating in this Book Tour by clicking on the links below. You may enter a rafflecopter drawing for autographed copies of The Scribe and The Singer and a $5 gift certificate below! 

Book Tour for The Singer:
  • April 30th

  • May 1

  • May 2

  • May 3  This is me!

  • May 4

  • May 5

  • May 6

a Rafflecopter giveaway