Friday, June 24, 2016

The Bourbon Thief Review

Title:  The Bourbon Thief
Series:  N/A - A Standalone Novel
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Publisher:  Mira
Release Date:  June 28, 2016
My Rating:  5 Scandalous Hearts
First Thoughts:  Reisz has woven a visual story that felt so real I could feel the sultry Southern air settle over me, hear the wind whisper scandalous secrets through the trees, and feel the enormous depth of both Tamara's pain and joy as she fought for the life she wanted with the man she loved.  It's a tale of sinfully giddy highs and devastatingly brutal lows, one of lies, deceit, and betrayal, but also truth, loyalty, and love

*Many thanks to Reisz, Mira, and Netgally for an ARC of this book.

From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris. 

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

My Review:
Some people are natural born storytellers - words flow like molten gold from their lips and/or pen.  They hold you mesmerized in the palm of their hands while they weave their stories, spin their tales.  A masterful storyteller hypnotizes you into a trance-like state - his/her voice/words the only thing you hear/read as you're held captive by the magic of their gift, of their art.  I believe Tiffany Reisz is a master storyteller - one of the best at what she does.  I was totally consumed by her Original Sinners Series - wasn't sure I'd escape the series with my mind intact, but I did - although months later, Soren, Nora & the others still weigh heavily on my mind.  

I've just finished reading an arc of The Bourbon Thief and once again, I'm spell-bound by Reisz.  I'm left with my head spinning & heart racing, reeling from the sheer depth of this epic saga of unspeakable betrayal, scandalous behavior, and blood thirsty revenge/vengeance.  Yes, Queen Tiffany has done it again.  What a masterpiece! Totally intriguing!  Totally all-consuming!  Totally outrageous!  Totally shocking!  Totally one of the sweetest, yet most heartbreaking love stories I've ever read.  I'll give you a brief overview, but I promise No Spoilers as this book must be a first-hand experience.  Please - avoid all spoilers and read this book with an open heart & open mind.

Once upon a time, the Maddox family of Kentucky ruled the South and the bourbon business with their famous "Red Thread" distillery.  It was a time where blood lines mattered more than love, where one's last name or race either opened or closed doors, where legacies were handed down from father to son to son to son and so on . . . if they had sons.  What if they didn't?  How far would they go to ensure their bloodline?  When the Red Thread distillery mysteriously closed down, one bottle of its finest 150-year-old bourbon remained - with the original red ribbon still tied around its neck.  Many years later, this bottle of bourbon was sold at auction for a million dollars to Kentucky billionaire, Cooper McQueen.  When a beautiful, seductive woman named Paris spends the night with him, she tries to steal the bottle, making claims she is the legal owner.  Cooper makes a deal with her - her story for the bourbon.  

Cooper & Paris settle in with a glass of bourbon (of course) as she begins telling the story of Tamara Maddox, Bourbon Royalty, and Levi Shelby, the stable hand hired by her grandfather.  For me, this is where the story begins, where I became sucked into the tale, unable to stop reading even though a feeling of impending doom settled over me.  Afraid of turning the next page and yet unable to stop myself, I plunged ahead and lost myself in Tamara & Levi's tragic love story - one cursed from the beginning by the spirit of a Maddox family slave girl of many years ago who habitually wore a red ribbon in her hair and one who placed a curse on the Maddox family when she was forced to leave in shame.  I can't and won't disclose details of this story because of spoilers.  I will say Reisz weaves a visual story that felt so real I could feel the sultry Southern air settle over me, hear the wind whisper scandalous secrets through the trees, and feel the enormous depth of both Tamara's pain and joy as she fought for the life she wanted with the man she loved.  It's a tale of sinfully giddy highs and devastatingly brutal lows, one of lies, deceit, and betrayal, but also truth, loyalty, and love.  In typical Reisz style (as if Reisz can ever be called "typical"), this story is anything but a typical love story.  With pages heavily laden with a dark, edgy feel, Reisz delivers again . . . and I'm left with Tamara & Levi in my head, unable to yet let go of this fated couple.

The Bourbon Thief is a visual, emotional train ride - one that often had me feeling like the girl tied to the tracks with a runaway train racing toward her.  I couldn't escape.  I couldn't stop reading.  I couldn't avoid the shockers that left me reeling page after page, chapter after chapter.  There was only one way out for me - read through until the end.  The enormity of this story overwhelmed me, and yet, I'm so glad I read it.  It's beautiful, yet scandalous - a story filled with despair, loss, vengeance, but one also filled with hope, trust, and pure love.  An absolute Must Read!  A Page Burner!

My Rating:  5 Scandalous 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Monday, June 13, 2016

Paranormal Attractions Boxed Set Review

Available June 20, 2016 on

My Blood Runs Blue by Stacy Eaton
Instinct by J.A. Belfield
Parlor Games by Bonnie Edwards
Love Set in Stone by Staci Troilo
Romance Under Wraps by Michele Jones
Phantasm by J.L. Campbell
The Beckoning of Beguiling Things by Calinda B
Remembered by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon
Once Forbidden by Hope Welsh

*Many thanks to Author Nancy Gideon for an arc of this Set for an honest review.

Vampires, sexy ghosts, gargoyles, mummy’s curses and a secret magical society are some of the fabulous paranormal twists you’ll find in PARANORMAL ATTRACTIONS, a boxed set of 9 steamy romances brought to you by Amazon, Barnes & Noble bestselling, and award-winning authors. Lose yourself in these light and dark paranormal stories that are only around for a short time.

My Blood Runs Blue – Stacy Eaton
Officer Kristin Greene’s life is turned upside down when she begins to investigate a homicide and finds that killer is something out of her nightmares. What will happen when Julian and Alexander introduce Kristin to the world of vampires?

Instinct – J.A. Belfield
Werewolf Sean Holloway treats the village marketplace like a sexual buffet, until his instincts guide him toward the unique scent of the nonchalant Jem Stonehouse. Despite his pack's rules, he wants her—an attraction that can bring only danger for Jem. Will Sean defy his own Alpha to save the woman he loves?

Parlor Games – Bonnie Edwards
Carrie MacLean and Matt Crewe have secret needs when they arrive at Perdition House for a sexy bachelor auction. Can love survive the mesmerizing spirits of the hookers who once lived and worked in the haunted bordello?

Love Set in Stone – Staci Troilo
Perched above Pittsburgh, a gargoyle spends centuries as a protector of humanity while he waits for the one who will break his curse and free him from his stone prison. When he finally finds her, her life is in jeopardy, and he realizes he may face eternal damnation to save her life.

Romance Under Wraps – Michele Jones
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History gets an Egyptian installation, and it seems to come with the ubiquitous mummy’s curse. Death and destruction abound. But the real curse is on the mummy’s advisor—he must teach the mummy how to pass forty-three judgments or find the reincarnated queen and win her love—or they are doomed to continue reawakening every century to try all over again.

Phantasm - J.L. Campbell
After losing her husband in a tragic accident, Josette is convinced she's on the road to recovery—until Dwayne starts appearing to her in ways that take her to the edge of terror and back. Can Mario Browning, a persistent and perceptive man, save her from falling into a dangerous abyss between the world of the living and the dead?

The Beckoning of Beguiling Things - Calinda B
Can 24 hours really change your life in magical ways you never imagined? Marissa Engles is about to find out, when she heads to Las Vegas, meets sexy, Thunder and Lightning dancer Chris King and unwittingly unleashes the force of a secret, global, magical society known only as the Numina.

Remembered by Moonlight - Nancy Gideon
The deadly leader of a shape-shifter clan with no memories of who he is and a dedicated cop hiding a heart-breaking secret face impossible odds in steamy New Orleans that conspire to pull them apart. Because the enemy they pursue . . . might be him.

Once Forbidden - Hope Welsh
Devlin wants her from the moment he sees her save a child in a fire, but it’s forbidden for vampires to change humans. Can he bear to let her go?

My Review:
Paranormal Attractions is a collection of nine uniquely different, sizzling tales of paranormal romance, including 6 novellas and 3 novels.  PNR junkies can self-meditate to their heart's content, getting their "fix" from this awesome selection of everyone's favorite supernatural romance types - Shifters, Vampires, Ghosts, Gargoyles, Mummies - Oh My!  This boxed set has something for everyone!  A steamy smorgasbord of flavors, Paranormal Attractions offers readers a chance to sample a variety of pnr stories all neatly packaged together from some of the best, award winning authors around.  Whether you like your romance hot & erotic or slow & sweet, you'll find something to feast on that will more than satisfy your pnr appetite.

Stacy Eaton gets the blood pumping in My Blood Runs Blue when Kristen, a cop, investigates the brutal murder of a woman.  She meets the very mysterious and yet somehow familiar Julian, a vampire on his own special mission.  Julian is shocked to "recognize" Kristen as a woman he once loved, and so does his "boss", Alexander.  As Kristen looks to solve the murder/s, she finds herself in a love triangle with ties to her past.  Will history repeat itself?  Kristen discovers not only love, but also the key to her past.

J.A. Belfield's Instinct is a tantalizing introduction to her Holloway Pack series.  Werewolf Sean Holloway indulges in a different woman every week - until he first scents and sees Jem Stonehead who refuses to be his "flavor of the week".  And so the seduction begins . . . but what will happen when Jem learns who & what Sean really is?  Is love enough?  Can Sean turn his back on his pack for the woman he loves?  Instinct is a heartfelt love story about choices and consequences.

Parlor Games by Bonnie Edwards is book 4 of the Tales of Perdition series.  Matt Crew enters a bachelor auction at Perdition House and meets journalist, Carrie MacLean who is there to discover the real secrets hidden behind the walls.  Both have secrets of their own.  As the days go by, Matt & Carrie are unable to resist the powerful, sexual, supernatural chemistry between them and soon discover there is a lot more than charity bachelor auctions going on at Perdition House.  Parlor Games is an intense, sexy, erotic read with a powerful message about eternal love.

Love Set In Stone by Staci Troilo introduces the reader to Daniel (a warrior who entered a pact for his life after dying in battle in 1203), as he sits guard over the city by day as a gargoyle/grotesque and by night as a human.  Daniel meets Rina after saving her from a violent attack outside a bar, instantly recognizing her as his soul mate.  Daniel is challenged by the unfamiliar surroundings/gadgets of the modern world and by a rival for Rina's affections.  Can he save Rina from the danger stalking her?  Will Rina be able to accept both the man and the stone creature when she discovers the truth?  Love Set In Stone is an unique, almost fantasy-like story of love, regret, and second chances.

In Romance Under Wraps by Michele Jones, Dene must pass an ancient Egyptian pharaoh's curse in order to enter the afterlife by finding and winning the love of the lost queen.  Will he find her in time?  Will a mummy's centuries old curse keep him from earning her trust? Egyptian mythology, steamy romance, and a mystery to solve makes for one intriguing read.

J. L. Campbell's Phantasm is a sweet, yet terrorizing, love story about letting go of the past and taking a chance on the future.  Josette is walking a fine line, teetering on the edge of her dead husband's world as her terrorizing nightmares become all too real.  Mario offers her a second chance at love, but is she ready to let her dead husband go?  Or will she be forever lost between the living & the dead?  Phantasm is an intense, at times frightening, and yet beautiful love story.

The Beckoning of Beguiling Things by Calinda B is an introduction to the Beckoning Series.  Marissa  joins her sisters for a wild weekend in Vegas and meets Chris King, a dancer.  But all is not as it seems.  Forces combine, including The Numina (a magical society) and an evil sorcerer, to influence the outcome of Marissa's weekend by the choices she makes.  And yet, the very thing that may destroy her in the end are hidden secrets.  Will Marissa take a chance on a lasting one night stand?  This book is an intriguing introduction to the series.

Hope Welsh's Once Forbidden (Hunted #1) is a sinfully sexy, intimate love story.  Sarah was horribly disfigured saving a child from a burning house.  Since then, she keeps to herself only escaping in her erotic dreams.  Devin was watching as Sarah saved the child and found himself falling for the beautiful person he saw inside.  As a vampire, he has the power to give her formal external beauty back to her, but it is forbidden for a vamp to change a human.  Will Devin obey the rules & walk away?  Will Sarah open her heart & take a chance on real love?  Once Forbidden is a steamy, erotic and yet beautiful love story about taking chances.

Nancy Gideon's Remembered By Moonlight (By Moonlight #9) features my favorite Shifter & #1 BBF, sleek, deadly, & yet somehow vulnerable Max Savoie.  Remembered By Moonlight is an intense, emotionally charged story that continues the woes of Max and Cee Cee from previous books as they return to their high rise apartment, hoping that a familiar environment will help Max regain the memories he lost while held in captivity in The Chosen's lab. While Cee Cee yearns to resume the life with the mate she knew before his memories were erased, Max views her as a stranger, and for the foreseeable future, his prison guard. Nancy Gideon is a master at manipulating an emotionally charged atmosphere while fanning the sexual tension to a flame between characters. She sets the pages of Remembered By Moonlight afire with the desires that blaze between Max & Cee Cee as they rediscover each other and the life they lost with the erasure of Max's memories. Can they move forward as mates & lovers? Even if Max never regains his memories? Remembered By Moonlight is firing on all cylinders - it sizzles with love scenes that will have you seeking a cold shower, fast-paced action that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and an ending that will leave you sighing, smiling while wiping a tear. Moonlight fans - You will love this book! Fans of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, suspense, and romance - This is a Must Read!  While it is a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone - although you will be missing a "binge-worthy" series if you don't  grab the other By Moonlight books!

The Paranormal Attractions Boxed Set will be released June 20, 2016 for a limited time.  It offers readers a smorgasbord of sexy heroes/heroines to feast upon.  Prefer vampires?  You got it!  Are Shifters your thing?  Got that too.  How about ghosts & spirits?  Check.  Gargoyle & Angels?  I fell in love.  The PA boxed set contains an awesome selection of PNR stories - definitely something for everyone.  Be sure to grab your set on the 20th!  It's a Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Intimate 's . . . And That's The Truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx