Saturday, June 24, 2017

Royally Roma (The Royals, #1)Royally Roma by Teri Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Royally Roma takes place in one of my most favorite cities in the world, Rome. How can anyone not love Rome? It has all of the best things in the world including architecture, art, language, food and people, in no specific order. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for review. Julia Costa makes her living in Rome conducting guided tours around the city while earning her PhD. She arrives at her next scheduled personal guided tour appointment to pick up her client. She sees a man who appears to be waiting for someone and mistakes him for her client. Niccolo, a crown prince, knows that Julia has mistaken him for someone else as he waits to leave the hotel for the next stop on his business for his country, but, he is intrigued by the fact that she has no idea who he is and plays along as if he is the client for her tour. They spend the entire day going from one amazing spot of Rome to the next when things start to get weird as Niccolo's security team is looking for him and typically it is his brother is the one that pretty much does anything he wants. Niccolo has decided for once he will throw out responsibility and do what he wants and creates a huge fiasco. The tour ends and Niccolo has no cash. Julia doesn't believe him and intends to ensure Niccolo doesn't leave her sight until the fee is paid. Her job is on the line. Of course, at some point the actual client turns up at the agreed upon spot waiting for his tour guide which creates a huge headache for Julia.

Niccolo is the prince that always does what is right. He follows the letter of the rules for which a prince must act while his brother does everything that is the height of improper behavior spending more time with his photo in tabloids doing some of the most outrageous things. Niccolo finally wants time off for himself. He has seen his schedule and it involves him moving from one place to another without seeing home, having time for himself or even time for a relationship with someone of his own choosing. As a matter of fact, he was scheduled for an event in Rome at the exact time he was running across Rome with Julia. Julia cannot afford to lose her job and not receiving payment for the tour is the least of her problems. An angry boss who has to guide the tour that Julia was supposed to give is right up there with not receiving payment. Of course they fall for each other. Niccolo is not ready to go back to his life but, he has to find a way to pay Julia and set right the mess he has caused by disappearing. When the truth comes out about his true identity will Julia forgive him? Is there a future for them? If the press finds out about how and why Niccolo avoided his duty it could cause an international incident. Royally Roma is a great character study of how far someone is willing to go when they have been pushed too far and do not ever have a moment to themselves. It is a great start to The Royals series and I look forward to the next book!


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)White Hot by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The husband and wife duo, Ilona Andrews probably does not need me to weigh in how brilliant they are at crafting a story. I received a copy of White Hot in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss and Publisher) and I can honestly say this story is brilliant. I have to admit I was not aware that this was a trilogy. I was happy to know that I would be up on all of the secrets in only one book, but, I thought it over again and realized this meant no more Rogan and Nevada. They are not the only characters I will miss. Every single one of the Baylor clan adds depth to the story. We never know what most of them will do or say and it just makes the story more original and rich. To say that the characters pop or stand out is an understatement. Even the critters, who might just be my favorite characters in White Hot, drive home a plot that is just awesome. I was literally twitching my foot around as things would build in a scene. My teeth are happy for the break from me grinding them while reading this really intense story.

In White Hot, Nevada is recommended a new client and honestly she knows from the time she hears the details of the investigation she and her entire family are going to be in danger for getting involved. Taking this client is going to bring her up against some of the most dangerous magic users in the city and even some not in the city. Rogan is interested in the outcome of this investigation because he has a very big stake in how things go, not just because he wants Nevada, but, because his company was involved in the circumstances. If it sounds like this is just an easy way of having them go head up again, that is about as far from the truth as what happened to drag him into the investigation. White Hot ramps up the magic, the heat between Nevada and Rogan and drops some details about members of Nevada’s family that will leave the reader sitting there with a crazy look on their face from the surprises we are awarded with in White Hot. The action is exactly what readers of the Ilona Andrews books have always looked forward to and now I am looking forward to where Ilona Andrews goes next. >

Friday, May 19, 2017

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I said it from the first pages of the book and I am still saying it as I get to the end. Red Sister is this magnificent fantasy with seriously kick-butt fight scenes and awesome displays of magic that I was lucky enough to receive a copy of from the publisher via NetGalley. Mark Lawrence has outdone himself. I have his other books on my to be read pile but something struck me about this book that I could not wait. As soon as I had a gap in my calendar for reviews owed by specific dates I jumped into this book, feet, mind and heart first. No mistake, this book can be heart-wrenching. From the beginning of the book when the reader is introduced to Nona Grey the reader is heart sick at how she is taken from her village and moved to what must be nothing but slavery where children are trained from a very young age to fight in pits after having been bought and dragged across lands to be sold to different men who house children to make them fight.
Nona is one inch from death when she is moved to the convent of the Sweet Mercy. What is different about Sweet Mercy is that each of the novices are taught not only about the religion that is prevalent in this world, but, also the craft of being an assassin which comes in many forms. What draws the reader to the convent’s world is a cast of amazing characters, from the diverse personality and gifts of the sisters that are training the girls to each of the novices. In the middle of all the training is the promise that there is a “chosen one” in which rumors have floated across the land and it looks like she may have come to Sweet Mercy. This creates an additional rivalry as the students start vying for their roles not only in the school, but also in the world. Ara is brought to the convent under heavy guard to be protected because the emperor’s sister is known to have tried to have her taken from her family.
The convent is the one place where, like Nona, she can be safe. Nona comes to the convent under a cloud of suspicion and known to be from “peasants”. She is the youngest and smallest when she arrives and initially does not seem to take well to the others, especially after being abandoned by her village. Clera is the first person to take Nona under wing and the second person she calls friend which is of the utmost importance to Clera, so much so it resonates throughout their relationship and especially at the end of this first part of the story and leads me to my most favorite line in the book: “You choose your friends. If you’re going to worship dead people you didn’t choose, then perhaps the bonds of friendship shouldn’t be so easily broken. No?’ At the end of the day, most of us can say we didn’t choose our families, but, we did choose our friends which makes that choice of the utmost importance and something worth protecting. We have to wait until the next book to see how Clera chooses as she seems to always choose economic gain.

Friday, May 12, 2017




A countess flees home—and the family curse requiring her to marry a prince—to hide out in the South Carolina low country. There, she meets a man who’s not quite a prince…but who steals her heart all the same. 

Find out what happens in the fifth installment in Jennifer Chance’s Crowns and Gowns series, CURSED!
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Synopsis:

When the prince she was supposed to marry falls for someone else, Edeena Saleri is done with Garronia's courts, crowns, and family curses. She grabs her sisters and escapes to the nobility-free coast of South Carolina, USA.

Refuge isn't anything like it's supposed to be, however. The family's island vacation home now borders a singles' retreat, which Edeena's sisters embrace all too eagerly. Worse, the private protection firm Edeena hires is run by the most infuriating man she's ever met--a rough-hewn, dark-eyed, charismatic charmer named, of course, Prince. He's not a royal and he's nowhere near noble, so there's no way he can break the family curse. And yet...

Vincent "Prince" Rallis has spent his whole life justifying his name. The son of hardworking immigrant parents, he's hustled for every dime, finally building a personal security firm with the muscle and grit to live up to its promises. He's used to keeping his cool, but when the high-strung, high-class Edeena shuts him down despite her obvious interest, pride demands he fight for her--even if he has to track her back to her glittering court to prove his point. Only once Prince arrives in the seaside kingdom of Garronia, he finds his troubles are just beginning.

Sometimes love in Garronia can be magic. And sometimes you're just
 Cursed.


Available at:  Amazon

Add Cursed  to your GOODREADS TBR stack!




About Jennifer Chance:

Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the new adult Rule Breakers series as well as the contemporary romance modern royals Gowns & Crowns series. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. In addition to her work in romance, she is also Jenn Stark, urban fantasy author of the Immortal Vegas series, and Jennifer McGowan, YA author of the Elizabethan spy series The Maids of Honor. She is truly NOT trying to become 27 Jennifers, but it's getting a little dicey. 

Connect with Jennifer: Website | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


Cursed (Gowns & Crowns, #5)Cursed by Jennifer Chance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a huge fan of this series, but, admittedly missed reading the two previous books. I received a copy from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. Although there were a couple of references to things I missed, the story still flowed well and was still engaging. Countess Edeena and her two slightly younger sisters have taken a vacation from the home in Garonnia to visit a family property in South Carolina. It was a property that her mother loved and their father insists be sold. I found this interesting given Edeena is in charge of her mother's holdings and the home was part of her mother's properties and not a property from her father, Silas' side of things. I did not get a good feel for why the property was being sold given they did not need the money, and the daughters and the cousin currently living there, love the property.

Silas, and apparently the entire kingdom of Garonnia are an extremely superstitious lot and apparently the Saleri side of the family has been cursed for over 100 years and Silas has specifically groomed Edeena to be the one to break the curse. Where the curse came from was a bit foggy and maybe to come in a future book or when I get a chance to re-read it and all of its predecessors (I love to re-read great books) I will pick up on where the curse came from. The Saleri's, though they are nobility, could have been the ruling family of Garonnia and Silas firmly believes it is the curse that has kept the cousins in charge of the land and the Saleri's at their feet and never ruling. Edeena has everything planned and knows her duty and plans to do it so that he sisters are not forced into trying to break the curse. There are bunch of rules that must be followed, one of which is that the person has to marry royalty or nobility. Another is that the person must bring the Saleris back together as a family. What is clear is that this particular rule was interpreted incorrectly and the person can marry someone who carries themselves with noble deportment and they have to bring the family back together.

Prince is really not a prince, but, happens to carry himself as a noble would so he picked up the nickname Prince as a child. He comes from a huge Greek family that loves hanging out together and a mom that loves being involved in her adult children's lives. Vince owns a security company and has taken on the security of Edeema and her sisters while they are in the U.S., a job that carries him back to Garonnia to see to her safety and as it should be, her happiness. If he can, he would like to protect her from herself as she digs in to break the curse even if it is to her own detriment. I have to admit that I fell for the trap laid by the author where I waited for a miraculous announcement that Vince really was a prince, because, hello, I love contemporary royal love stories. You will just have to read the story to know if this is what happens. I have never visited South Carolina, but, Jennifer Chance writes a story that describes its beauty and things that makes the reader want to go and check it out for themselves. Cursed not only does a great job with scenery but also with character development and a bit of family mystery. I loved the ending, and you will too.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan, #2)A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 A Twist in Time is proof that the second book in a series can be sometimes just as good, if not better than the first book. I received a copy in exchange for review from NetGalley and also thank Pegasus for allowing me the chance to peak at the latest in the series. Julie McElwain is a gifted writer, and, dare I say, researcher also with an imagination that keeps the reader turning the pages. When I was working on my Bachelor’s degree I had trouble choosing a major and as these things go I was forced into the Liberal Arts program with three focus areas, of which, history was one of mine. I developed a particular interest in Chinese history with all of its dynasties. Part of that was driven by the fabulous textbook the professor chose for the course. A Twist in Time gives you that feeling. Since I am a very visual reader and literally picture most things I read in books in my head, this book was like watching a historical, murder mystery in my head.
Kendra is still in the wrong time. The plans for how she thought she might be able to return home did not go as planned and Duke Aldritch thinks there is a reason. She is meant to be there, especially given the mystery that needs to be solved in A Twist in Time. One of the terribly negative ladies she met in A Murder in Time. Lady Dover also happens to be a woman Alec was seeing until he broke things off, has been murdered. She was murdered in a hideous fashion also so not only is Alec thought to be the killer, the Ton are looking at him a bit differently now. His life is on the line not only from possibly being arrested for the murder but, some surprises have surfaced about Lady Dover’s past that put Alec’s life in danger. Kendra has a very short period of time to get to the truth. She also has to work without the technology and other gains that the passing of time has provided for law enforcement. She also has to remain cognizant of the fact that women do not usually perform law enforcement duties. Also, outside of the Bow Street Runners there really is no form of law enforcement in a time when duals are still legally fought. The reader still gets to see Kendra work her magic, even as she struggles to work around the prejudices that both men and women have against a woman’s ability to do law enforcement work, heck even against merely running across a street. But, the reader is also given the treat of watching Kendra struggle with the possibility that she just might be stuck in this time warp of hers. Either way, I look forward to seeing what Julie McElwain has in store for Kendra in the next book.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Finding EliFinding Eli by Jake Irons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finding Eli was literally "hot". I received an eArc in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit I am quite curious to know if the author is male or female because part of the fun with this one was guessing. I even had to double back and see if there were any hints. I did not want to assume male because sometimes females can have nicknames like Jessie for Jessica so Jake could be short for some female name also though if it is a male it is my first experience with sexual situations written this well, thoroughly.

Tara is about to be let go from her job at an online news site but she has an idea. She can take the clues her work buddy has provided to find Eli, the owner of the news site that wrote a wicked tell all book then disappeared. If Tara can find him and get a story that tells where he has been since he disappeared and hopefully why he disappeared it might save her job. Tara is desperate and uses the last of her funds to give it a shot. What she finds is not what she expects. Eli is as good looking as he appears in pictures but, she didn't expect the instant sexual awareness she felt when she met him, even after the way they met.

Both characters are very likable and it is always great when a reader can get a plot with their sexual scenes. I will admit to listening to this on my Kindle on the 1 hour commute home and looking around as if people could hear it and imaging that my face was some sort of crazy pink. Wow! It did not take over the book and sexual tension was appropriate in places so the reader could still see the mystery/bit of thriller that was developing. My only problem was not knowing what the heck happens. I have to wait for the next book.

Royally Roma by Teri Wilson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Royally Roma takes place in one of my most favorite cities in the world, Rome. How ca...