Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review: He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin
by KA Tucker
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Source: Half Price Books
A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin. 

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered. 

I absolutely love KA Tucker's contemporary novels, so when I saw she was coming out with a thriller, I was definitely intrigued. The Spookathon came around and just so happened to be the perfect time to pick up this story about a woman trying to uncover the truth about her best friend's death.

Celine Gonzalez seemed like the last person to take her own life. With her dream of working with antique art finally seeming to become a reality, Celine's life was going really well. So when she appeared to have committed suicide in her apartment, Celine's best friend Maggie Sparkes is determined to find out what really happened to Celine. Maggie digs deep into Celine's life and uncovers secrets she never knew her best friend had, and soon realizes she can trust no one who was part of Celine's life before someone took it far too soon. 

When this book first started, I was intrigued. I was chugging along with Maggie as she was uncovering more and more things about Celine's past that she didn't know was going on. And that's how it felt the entire time. Chugging along. There was nothing particularly scary or heart pumping or thrilling about this story. I just continued reading it so that I could finally see if Celine really was killed or if she just committed suicide like the police thought. 

When it came to the characters, I still don't know if I liked Maggie's character or not. She was so quick to trust certain people and distrust others, while to me, I thought she should have been skeptical of every single person attached to Celine's life from the moment she met them. It did get a little tiring how much Maggie's wealth was brought up. We understood that she was wealthy and it was a sore spot for Celine, but we didn't need to be told over and over again. 

When the ending finally came, I was underwhelmed. While it was kind of surprising when we finally figured out the truth, the end felt rushed and I didn't quite believe how things played out. Maybe it's just that I am not a huge fan of thrillers in the first place, but this one was just average and didn't leave me feeling any sort of emotion.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (263)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what books they got throughout the week!

From Amazon 

I only picked up three books this week and they were three e-books on sale on amazon. These books by AM Johnson were only 99 cents each and I was seeing them ALL over Instagram. I asked some friends if I should go ahead and buy all three and everyone said yes, so I got them! I am in love with those covers and can't wait to find the time to read them!

That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: A Little Too Late by Staci Hart


A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is coming October 24th!


A Little Too Late by Staci Hart
Publishing Date: October 24th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I wasn't supposed to fall in love with the nanny.

When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I've been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I've been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.

For nine long months, I've been failing.

When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I'd found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I've been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I'd packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.

She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she's so much more.

The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn't. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.


The first time I saw Charlie Parker, I didn’t see one thing at a time; I saw all of him. It was an assault on my senses, an overwhelming tide of awareness, and for a moment, the details came to me in flashes over what was probably only a few seconds but felt so much longer.
His hair was blond and gently mussed, his face long and nose elegant. I could smell him, clean and fresh with just a touch of spice I couldn’t place. I tipped my chin up—he was tall, taller than me, and I hovered just at six feet—and met his eyes, earthy and brown and so deep. So very deep.
And then he smiled.
He was handsome when he wasn’t smiling. He was stunning when he was.
I was so lost in that smile, I didn’t register the flying gob until it whapped against my sweater. Tiny splatters of something cold speckled my neck.
This was the moment the clock started again, and the sweet serenity slipped directly into chaos.
A blond little boy looked up at me from his father’s side with a devilish gleam in his dark eyes. The spoon in his hand was covered in blood-red jam and aimed at me like an empty catapult.
Several things happened at once. Charlie’s face morphed into embarrassed frustration as he reached for who I presumed to be his son. The boy—Sam, I guessed from the names I’d been given by the agency—spun around lightning fast and took off down the hallway, giggling. Another child began to cry from somewhere back in the house, and a bowl clattered to the ground, followed by a hissed swear from what sounded like an older woman.
I glanced down at the sliding, sticky mess against my white sweater and started to laugh.
Charlie’s head swiveled back to me, his face first colored with confusion, then in horror as he looked at the Pollock painting on my sweater.
“Oh my God,” he breathed, his apologetic, wide eyes dragging down my body. “Jesus, I am so sorry.”
I was still laughing, almost a little hysterical. I couldn’t even tell you why.
I waved a hand at Charlie, and he took my elbow, guiding me into the house as I caught my breath. Another crash came from the kitchen, and a little girl came toddling out into the entry, leaving powdery footprints on the hardwood.
Charlie’s face screwed up. “Sam!” he called, stretching the word, a drawn-out promise of consequences.
A riot of giggling broke out in the kitchen.
We both snapped into motion. I followed him as he scooped up his crying daughter and stormed toward the kitchen. The little girl watched me over his shoulder with big brown eyes, her breath hitching in little shudders and her small finger hooked in her mouth.
Charlie stopped so abruptly, I almost ran into him.
When I looked around him and into the kitchen, my mouth opened. I covered it with my fingers as laughter bubbled up my throat.
A bag of flour sat in the middle of the floor, the white powder thrown in bursts against the surrounding surfaces and hanging in the air like smoke. The floor next to the bag was the only clean spot, shaped like a small bottom—the little girl’s, I supposed. A bowl lay upside down, its contents oozing from under the rim and slung in a ring from ceiling to cabinet to floor, as if it had completed a masterful flip on its way to its demise. And in the center of the madness stood an older woman with flour in her dark hair and dusted down the front of her. Clutched under her arm was a wriggling Sam, offending spoon still in hand.
Her face was kind but tight with exasperation. “Please tell me this is the new nanny,” she said flatly.

“I doubt we could convince her to stay at this point,” he said with equal flatness.


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About the Author


Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #10)
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Source: Publisher

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.


Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.


Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

I fell in love with Elizabeth Hoyt's historical romances four years ago, but sadly have not picked many up since then. I don't read nearly enough historical romances these days, so it was like coming home when I got to snuggle up with my pups and Elizabeth's newest release. 

Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore, will do anything to take down the Lords of Chaos, a horrible group of men his father was in charge of. Raphael is the hardened man he is today because of his father and he despises everything the man was. What Raphael didn't expect, though, was Lady Iris, a woman who was wrongfully kidnapped by the Lords of Chaos and finds herself at their mercy. Before he knows what he's doing, Raphael rescues Iris and finds himself marrying her to protect her. As a new duchess, Iris wants to take the role head on, even though she did not plan on her marriage to Raphael. The more she tries to integrate herself into his life, though, the angrier and more distant he becomes. Can Iris break down his walls before she loses him to his need to revenge forever? 

Holy. Cow. From the very first page of this book, I was sucked into this dangerous, dark world of the Lords of Chaos. Poor Iris was thrown headfirst into this terror and thankfully she had Raphael there to save her from a horrible end. Raphael was the definition of a dark and brooding male and I fell so hard for that man. He was so damaged and it was sad watching him slowly reveal his dark past to Iris throughout the story. That meant, though, that he was opening up to Iris and slowly letting her into his cold, dark life. 

Since this book centers around taking down a dark, disturbing group, this story was full of dark, suspenseful moments. Raphael has some serious enemies, so Iris and Raphael found their lives in jeopardy many times throughout the story. There was never a dull moment in this book and I was just waiting to figure out who was leading the Lord of Shadows and how Raphael was going to finally take them down. Oh, and don't forget the nice chemistry that burned between our two main characters. As much as they wanted to push each other away (*cough* Raphael *cough*), they obviously couldn't ignore their insane attraction towards one another. 

If you're a fan of historical romances, you HAVE to pick up Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series. There was romance, intrigue, suspense, and action in this addicting romance and I could not get enough. I flew through this book and did not want this story to end!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

Most of All You 
by Mia Sheridan 
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Source: Publisher 
A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior, and carries within her a deep mistrust of men who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness about him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world that had stolen everything from them would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

I am so incredibly excited for Mia and her first venture into traditional publishing. The books that I have read that she has self-published have been so emotional and so addicting. This one sounded like it was going to be just as emotional and I made sure to prep my heart before diving in. 

Crystal and Gabriel have been broken time and time again. Neither one of them knows what love is or how to let their hearts open up to love after what they've been through. When the two meet, they find they can't seem to stay away from one another, no matter how hard they try to push each other away. 

I don't know why, but for some reason, since this is a traditionally published book, I didn't think it would be as emotionally heart-wrenching as Archer's Voice or Becoming Calder. BOY WAS I WRONG. Both Crystal and Gabriel had such damaged pasts, both of which were not their faults at all, and I just wanted them both to feel happy. Because of their pasts, neither one of them knew how to let others in, emotionally or physically, and it was just heartbreaking to get to know each of them in the beginning. Since they both had issues with trusting people, it was so hard for them to even grow close to one another no matter how hard their hearts were yelling at them to just love each other. 

While this was more of a slow read because it took a long time for their relationship to develop, I thought it was a very necessary pace for their stories to be told right. Gabriel is such a vibrant character, even though he was struggling emotionally because of his past. I loved how well he balanced Crystal's harder shell and helped crack her walls until he could wiggle his way in there. The progression of their relationship was so sweet and I loved every second. 

If you want an emotional read about two broken people just trying to find their missing pieces, you have to pick up Most of All You. This was a fabulous first dip into traditional publishing and I can't wait to see what else Mia writes in the future!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Release Week Blitz + Giveaway: Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

MOST OF ALL YOU by Mia Sheridan
On sale: October 18, 2017 | Forever | Trade Paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $4.99

"Heartbreaking...inspiring, uplifting and raw..." ― RT Book Reviews, A 5-star Gold Pick

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there's an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

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About the Author

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.


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