Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Devil and The Dancer Review

Title:  The Devil and The Dancer
Series:  Elemental Legacy#2.5 Novella
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Recurve Press LLC
Release Date:  March 19, 2019
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Desirable Hearts

*Many thanks to the author for an arc of this book.


Sometimes falling is the safest step to take.

Chloe Reardon has a problem, and his name is Gavin Wallace.

Okay, Gavin isn’t exactly a problem, unless you consider a highly attractive wind vampire with dubious intentions a problem. Especially if that vampire is your boss. With an affinity for kilts and excellent taste in music.

But none of that matters because Chloe Reardon has had enough of dangerous men. Danger is overrated. Danger is the opposite of sexy. So Gavin is the last man—or vampire—on earth she needs to let into her heart.

Except what if the most dangerous man you knew was also the one who made you feel the strongest?

The Devil and the Dancer is a paranormal romance novella in the Elemental Legacy series. 


Ah, love is in the air!  Or is it just lust?  This is the one fans have been waiting for!  Gavin and Chloe have been dancing around each other for some time (well...technically Gavin doesn't dance, but you know what I mean).  Touching, feeling, desiring . . . but not partaking!  Is this finally their time?  Or will Gavin & Chloe AND readers be left frustrated and waiting?

The Devil and The Dancer is a novella, book 2.5 in the Elemental Legacy series, and finally . . . FINALLY readers learn what's going down (cough!choke!) between Gavin, a wind vampire, and Chloe, a human dancer.  There's no way to say more without spoiling this short on pages but heavy on feelings story.  I highly recommend you read the preceding books first to meet this couple and set the stage.  I promise you won't regret it!

Hunter packs a lot of story into this novella as the emotional turmoil and sexual tension threaten to erupt, burning up the pages.  It's decision time for these characters . . . do they cut and run or stay and play?  While the main story centers around this couple's relationship, other fan favorites like Geo & Beatrice appear as part of the support cast.  I really enjoyed the character development woven into this story.   As always, Hunter excels at setting the scene, drawing readers in, and delivering the whole package - all wrapped up in a pretty bow and dynamite cover.  Open this one and you'll find lots of witty banter, sexual tension, and heartfelt emotions tucked inside.  Another fantastic Must Read in this outstanding series!

My Rating:  4 Desirable Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Friday, March 8, 2019

Wolfhunter River Review

Title:  Wolfhunter River
Series:  Stillhouse Lake #3
Author:  Rachel Caine
Genre:  Suspense/Thriller
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer
Release Date:  April 23, 2019
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4.5 Adrenalin-Filled Hearts

*With many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgalley.


She can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

Gwen Proctor escaped her serial-killer husband and saved her family. What she can’t seem to outrun is his notoriety. Or the sick internet vigilantes still seeking to avenge his crimes. For Gwen, hiding isn’t an option. Not when her only mission is to create a normal life for her kids.

But now, a threatened woman has reached out. Marlene Crockett, from the remote town of Wolfhunter, is panicked for herself and her daughter. When Gwen arrives in the small, isolated rural community, Marlene is already dead—her own daughter blamed for the murder. Except that’s not the person Marlene feared at all. And Gwen isn’t leaving until she finds out who that was.

But it may already be too late. A trap has been set. And it’s poised to snap shut on everyone Gwen loves. Her stalkers are closing in. And in a town as dark as Wolfhunter, it’s so easy for them to hide… 

What a riveting, heart-pounding adrenalin rush!  My heart and head are still spinning and reeling as I try to come to grips with this story days after finishing it.  Wolfhunter River, the third book in Caine's Stillhouse Lake series, is INTENSE and that's putting it mildly.  You'll need to suit up and strap in for this one!  I highly advise you read the first two books before venturing into this minefield of suspense and then enter at your own risk, but be prepared to maneuver the many twists and turns and shockers that threaten to bury readers and characters.  While the author does an amazing job of weaving backstory into Wolfhunter River, you're going to want to get up close and personal with the complex cast and storyline before starting this one.  And please . . . PLEASE avoid all spoilers!

As Wolfhunter River opens, Gwen, Sam, Lanny, and Connor are settling into a seemingly more normal life on Stillhouse Lake.  While  ghosts from their past still haunt them, they're relaxing their guard and cracking the door on a brighter future.  Unfortunately, the past refuses to stay buried as evil reaches out from the grave to harass and terrorize them yet again.  At the same time, Gwen receives a call for help from a terrified, desperate mother in the little one-horse town of Wolfhunter.  When said woman turns up dead, Gwen, Sam, and the children drop everything to answer a plea from the woman's disturbed daughter - traveling to Wolfhunter to investigate and quickly falling prey to unknown dark forces themselves.  Something is very wrong in this small, secluded, ill-boding town, and someone is willing to kill to keep it hidden.  The story that unfolds is a dark, riveting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller, delivering blow after blow to these characters.  Told from multiple points of view, layers are peeled back and buried secrets exposed.  No one is safe as the repercussions of past betrayals explode and spread like a contagious virus, threatening each of them.  Who will be left standing when it's all over?  Will they stand together . . . or apart?

Rachel Caine
weaves an intricate, complex tapestry of dark, menacing plot lines throughout Wolfhunter River, leaving characters and readers reeling time and time again.  The fast paced action is virtually non-stop.  There came a time later in the story when I felt like the colliding plot lines and continuous revelations and punches came close to being a little too over-the-top . . . almost entering unbelievable territory.  And yet, I couldn't stop reading as I burned through the pages to find out how it would all turn out.  I enjoyed the character growth we see in this one, especially from the children, Lanny and Connor, who add so much dimension to this story, and I loved delving into Sam's background as readers learn how his secret past influenced these characters' present lives and how it overshadows their future.  As always, the setting is a major player as it flows menacingly and flawlessly throughout.  As in previous books, Wolfhunter River continues the study of the power of evil, and its ability to spread like wildfire consuming and destroying everyone in its path.  Definitely fuel for thought.  The author uses a twist in this story as a nice setup for what could be a new direction in Gwen's future.  I can't wait to see when/if she goes there.  All in all, Wolfhunter River is another insanely complex, frenzied, action-packed Must Read in this highly addictive series!  I'm giddy from anticipation for the next one!

My Rating:  4.5 Adrenalin-Filled Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Unhoneymooners Review

Title:  The Unhoneymooners
Authors:  Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs & Lauren Billings)
Genre:  Rom-Com
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Release Date:  May 14, 2019
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Snark, Sizzle, & Pop Hearts

*With many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgalley.

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

What an utterly charming, heartfelt story . . . with lots of snark, sizzle, and pop!  Loved it!  The Unhoneymooners is a witty enemies to lovers romance featuring Olive, twin sister of the bride, and Ethan, brother to the groom - sworn enemies although neither seem to understand why.  When everyone in the wedding party falls ill (except for the two of them), Olive and Ethan find themselves on the honeymoon (or unhoneymoon) of a lifetime . . . together!  Talk about an odd couple!  Olive's just one brick shy of being a jinx - if it weren't for bad luck, she'd have no luck at all.  Unlike her twin sister, she's all curves (not that Ethan noticed!).  Ethan's a numbers guy - organized, optimistic, and drop-dead sexy (not that Olive noticed!).  What will the two of them do while occupying the honeymoon suite (only one giant bed) for ten glorious days in Hawaii?  What ensues is a hilarious comedy of errors as everything that can go wrong does.  And while it might be clear to readers where this story will eventually end, it's a blast getting there.

The Unhoneymooners is Rom-Com done-right.  But more than that, this story has a hidden depth and message I wasn't expecting and didn't see coming.  What starts off as a seemingly simple plot of slapstick style comedy turns serious as the plot line takes a few unexpected twists and turns, leaving some characters, as well as this reader, wondering exactly what will happen as it all plays out.  I loved Olive's spunk and wit, but even more - her journey of self-discovery and acceptance.  The writing, as always, is flawless as these authors deliver yet again.  Prepare to laugh out loud, get the warm & fuzzy feelings, and really embrace the heat as they bring it!  Another Must Read by the masters of Rom-Com!  You don't want to miss this one!

My Rating:  4 Snark, Sizzle, & Pop Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IWSG: Hero or Villain?

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a website media business with affiliates to enhance our service to visitors. We are a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support. Visit IWSG to learn more about this great writing community!

IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. It's a great writer's resource that I'm sure you'll find well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with other IWSG Members.  

Join me in thanking this month's awesome co-hosts:     Fundy Blue,  Beverly Stowe McClure,  Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard

IWSG Question:  Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

That's a question that could go in so many different directions depending on one's definition of "hero" and "villain".  It's probably just me, but I find the lines between the two to be much murkier than they once were  - maybe because I'm a huge fan of both writing and reading about alpha heroes, aka the badboys, who often appear as a bad guy in the beginning until undergoing a big change.  That doesn't make them the villain of the story, but it sure muddies the creek so to speak.  Having said that, a hero must earn my empathy by demonstrating the tenacity to overcome all by risking all.  On the other hand, does a villain ever really consider him/herself a villain?

Either way, I believe it's all about getting in a character's head and showing motivation and intent.  For the purpose of answering this question, I'll say I most often write from a hero/heroine's perspective, but I like inserting flashes of the villain's point of view (without identifying him/her) when the story warrants it - especially in a psychological thriller like my current w-i-p titled One Of Us.  Allowing readers a brief look at the villain's pov builds suspense, insinuates a threat to main characters, and re-enforces an ominous tone.  However, I believe most readers (like me!) want and need to be inside a hero's head, feeling the emotions and turmoil first-hand while learning what made him what he is and what motivates him moving forward.  Readers want a front row seat to a hero/heroine's come-to-Jesus revelation - the one that changes the course of their life and thus the story.  As a writer, I find myself most able to deliver that to readers writing from a hero's perspective.

How about you?  Do you prefer writing from a hero or villain's perspective?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG