Archive for the ‘Romance (ARC)’ Category

samantha5 stars



by J.R. Rain
Published (first published August 13th 2011)




All four novels in Nook’s #1 Bestselling Vampire Series by J.R. Rain, including:

(Vampire for Hire #1)
Mother, wife, private investigator…vampire. Six years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire.

Now the world at large thinks Samantha has developed a rare skin disease, a disease which forces her to quit her day job and stay out of the light of the sun. Now working the night shift as a private investigator, Samantha is hired by Kingsley Fulcrum to investigate the murder attempt on his life, a horrific scene captured on TV and seen around the country. But as the case unfolds, Samantha discovers Kingsley isn’t exactly what he appears to be; after all, there is a reason why he survived five shots to the head.

(Vampire for Hire #2)
Private investigator Samantha Moon finds herself hunting down a powerful crime lord and protecting an innocent woman from her ruthless ex-husband — all while two very different men vie for her heart. And as the stakes grow higher and her cases turn personal, Samantha Moon will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent and bring two cold-blooded killers to justice — her own brand of justice.

(Vampire for Hire #3)
Private investigator Samantha Moon receives a heartbreaking phone call from a very unlikely source: a five-year-old girl who’s been missing for three months. Now on the hunt, Samantha will use her considerable resources — including her growing supernatural abilities — to locate the missing girl before it’s too late. And as she gets closer and closer to the horrible truth, she receives devastating news on the home front. Now with her world turned upside down, Samantha Moon is forced to make the ultimate choice of life and death.

(Vampire for Hire #4)
Now in MOON CHILD, sequel to AMERICAN VAMPIRE, private investigator Samantha Moon is faced with an impossible decision — a decision that no mother should ever have to make. A decision that will change her life, and those she loves, forever. And through it all, Sam finds herself in a lethal game of vampire vs. vampire as a powerful — and desperate — enemy will stop at nothing to claim what he most desires.




I love vampire books and one of my favorite series of all time is the Dresden files, so a series that is about a vampire private detective sounded amazing, and I was not disappointed. At first I was not sure I was going to enjoy this series since Samantha Moon’s husband was a cheating jerk head and it appeared that she was just going to take his demands lying down, I was thoroughly annoyed, but I continued reading, and I am super glad I did, because Samantha does get a backbone eventually, and that made me love her. This series definitely grew on me as I continued reading; it only got better with each book I read.

There is sex in some of the books, but nothing very descriptive or terrible, I just kept wishing that Sam would meet a great guy, a guy that really deserved her, I am not sure she has found him yet. Sam has to make some terrible hard decisions and it made me feel for her. Sam has made some supernatural friends, but I have a bad feeling some of these “friends” are not really what they seem, I will have to read more of the series and see what happens.

I would highly recommend the Samantha Moon: Vampire for Hire series to anyone 18 or older, mostly because of the few sex scenes, and maybe a bit for the crudeness of Sam’s ex- husband. These are quick books to read, and even though the series starts out slow, it really picks up as the series progresses.

If you are a fan of paranormal mysteries, please do read theses, there is also just enough romance in them to keep you wanting more.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.


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by D. María Trimble

Published May 23rd 2012 by D. Maria Trimble




When a hero emerges in the Kingdom of Teravinea, he often rises from the ranks of the dragon riders. In the past, only one female has fit the profile. Until now … Fifteen-year-old Amáne finds herself witness to the hatching of a dragon egg. The painful linking rite creates a bond between the two that cannot be broken. She and her dragon, Eshshah, become the only dragon and rider in a kingdom that once abounded with the beautiful creatures and their riders. Amáne and Eshshah are thrown into a conflict that they do not yet understand. One thing is for certain — the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders…




I don’t normally read books in the fantasy realm, but when Ms. Trimble asked me to read and review her book, I read the synopsis and thought it sounded pretty interesting.  I have only read one other dragon rider book and that was many years ago, so reading Amáne of Teravinea was fresh and very interesting for me.  The story flowed nicely and the plot was well developed.  There were plot twists that I didn’t see coming, danger around every corner, strong and fierce characters, and a bit of romance mixed in; the perfect combination of action, adventure, and boy meets girl.

I rarely read a story where all the characters, at least the good guys, are likeable, but I felt a connection to all the main characters in this book.  The characters had depth, and as the story progressed and we learned more about them, the main characters became more developed.  I really enjoyed the character and plot twists and I can’t wait to learn more as this series develops.

Amáne is a wonderful character.  She is a great example/role model for girls.  She is strong, independent, fierce, powerful, intelligent, and wholesome.  She is not weak in any way, well, except for a bit when it comes to Ansel.  Amáne shows maturity beyond her years most of the time, though she does still have some growing up to do as she learns the intricacies of being a dragon rider.  Amáne has to deal with a lot in a very short time, the death of her mother, her painful bonding with Eshshah, moving away from her home to live with the Healer, friends turning out to be quite different from what she had always believed, secret missions, and her feelings for Ansel; and in my opinion, she does a superb job facing all these new challenges head on, though not always in the manner that her mentor would approve of.  I look forward to seeing Amáne grow up and develop as her story progresses.

Ansel is a very likable character, after you get to know him.  At first he is spoiled and condescending, though you get to see more of his true colors as he befriends Amáne.  We don’t know much about his background, but I am hoping to learn more about what makes him tick as the story progresses.  Will he make a good king?  Only time will tell.

The Healer is also one of the main characters in this book.  She is there for Amáne when her mother passes and has always been a friend to the family, but she holds a great secret, one that may rock the very foundation of her relationship with Amáne.

I highly recommend Amáne of Teravinea to anyone from middle school on through adult.  It is clean, no swearing, wholesome, no sex or almost sex scenes, has two strong, independent female characters, some cute guys, a bit of romance, and a ton of action.  This is a perfect book for teachers to recommend to their students, especially if they are fans of book series such as The Kane Chronicles.  Every middle school library should have a copy, or two, and every English teacher should have a copy on their reading shelf.

Amáne of Teravinea is a page turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to stop reading until you reach the final page, and then you will be counting the days until book two comes out, just as I am.

PS- The cover of this book is amazing- especially if you buy the paper copy.  There are also great maps in this book to help the reader get a feel for the lay of the land.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Krystal Wade

Published July 4th 2012 by Curiosity Quills Press




“Hello, Katriona.” Those two words spark fear in Katriona Wilde and give way to an unlikely partnership with Perth, the man she’s been traded to marry for a favor. Saving her true love and protector Arland, her family, and their soldiers keeps her motivated, but the at-odds duo soon realizes trust is something that comes and goes with each breath of Encardia’s rotting, stagnant air. The moment when concern for her missing sister spirals out of control, all thoughts of trust are pushed aside and she finds herself trapped by the daemon tricks Perth warned her of. However, rescuing those she loves is only half the problem. Kate still must get to Willow Falls, unite her clashing people, and form an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness. When so many she’s grown fond of die along the journey, her ability to play by the gods’ rules is tested. How will she make allies when the world appears stacked against her? And will she still be Katriona Wilde, the girl with fire?



I loved this second installment of the Darkness Falls series. It was action packed and you learned a lot more about the characters and what their destiny is. Perth actually ended up being rather likable, though not quite as likable as Arland. Kate grew as a character and I loved seeing her magic grow stronger.

What can I say; Kate is a likable character, strong, fierce, and intelligent. She also has a soft side, especially when it comes to her sister and animals. Kate has to grown up quite a bit in this book, as she deals with many different conflicts as she attempts to figure out how to unite her people, form an army of her own, and also keep the peace between two races that are only loosely joined together, all while fulfilling her destiny, first of which involves her connecting and being with Arland, the one person she is both destined to be with, but also poses the biggest threat to the fragile peace between the races. Throughout most of the book she is trying to find a balance that both keeps the peace, but also allows her to continue her relationship with Arland.

OK, for those of you who might want to know, finally, there is a wonderfully awesome sex scene, one that I wholly approve of, but if I told you why, I’d be giving away an awesome part of the story, and I want you to experience it like I got to, so I won’t spoil it for you in this review.

Because of this sex scene, I would recommend this book more for adults, though it is not a super graphic scene. I highly recommend this book, but only after you have read the first one in the series or this one may not make sense. This was one of my top 10 books I have read recently, very good plot and character development. There are characters to love and characters to hate which makes for a great story with lots of suspense; the romance in this one is just an added bonus.
I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

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by Jeffe Kennedy

Published July 16th 2012 by Carina Press




This is no fairy tale…

Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiance, I impulsively walked out of my life–and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can’t control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price–my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…

With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils–including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…




I am a bit iffy with this book. Normally I totally LOVE Carina Press books, but this one was more on the ok to not like level. I can’t say it was good, but I can’t say it was bad either. Basically, there was very little development of any of the characters in this story; it was more like a novella, or a short story in an anthology, than a novel. It was very superficial, even the plot was not very developed, or even really believable. I know it is a fantasy/paranormal romance and that it is totally a fiction story, but a well written fiction can make you feel like the events are real, at least while you are reading the story, this book did not do that for me. The events or scenes in this book also felt disconnected, I was really not invested in this story.

As for the characters, I didn’t feel any connection to them either. Gwynne did things that just seemed so out of her character that I couldn’t even believe that she would do the things she did, for example, how she got into fairy. Rogue, well, I am not sure I have ever disliked a male lead that I am supposed to like and fall for so much in my life. He had no redeeming qualities, at least that I could see. He just seemed like a total douche bag, except that he was hot.

I also hated the abuse scenes in this book. They were very disturbing. Ugh, just thinking about a good chunk of the book where she was sexually abused as part of a fair trade/punishment for something she didn’t even know she had done until after it happened (using her powers)- before she was given back to Rogue to be yet again abused by being forced to have a child with him, just disgusts me. The way she was “broken” was just disgusting and totally not needed. It went way beyond S&M. It was the kind of thing that if read about in the papers we would all be calling for the perpetrators to be severely punished, not rewarded, as they were in this book. I wish I had not had to recall those parts to even write this review, but, you, as a potential reader, need to know this. A big part of this book is EXTREMELY disturbing.

If there is a second book in this series, I might read it if I could get it for free, just to see if the author polishes up her writing style for her next book. I probably would not recommend this book, unless it was free, or like a $2.00 or less book. This is an adult only book, I would not allow my teenage child to read this, ever, under any circumstance, they might have nightmares, or think the events in this book sexually were acceptable.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com

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by Coleen Kwan

Published June 25th 2012 by Carina Press




Five years ago, Asher Quigley broke his engagement to Minerva Lambkin, believing she was an accomplice in a scheme to steal his prototype for a wondrous device. Minerva swore she was innocent, though the thief–and Asher’s mentor–was her own father.

Now, sheer desperation has driven Minerva to Asher’s door. Her father has been kidnapped by investors furious that he’s never been able to make the machine work. Only Asher, now a rich and famous inventor in his own right, can replicate the device. He’s also become a hard, distant stranger far different from the young idealist she once loved.

Despite their troubled past, Asher agrees to help Minerva. He still harbors his suspicions about her, but their reunion stirs emotions and desires they both thought were buried forever. Can they rebuild their fragile relationship in time to save her father and their future together?




First, I have never ever commented on a cover before, but I love this one! Asher is so super cute. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I thought I would like this book and I did. Asher’s invention is pretty straight forward. The summary of the book explains the overall plot quite well and tells you enough to get you hooked but not so much that you know the whole story. What the summary does not tell you is that this is not only a love story, but also a mystery.

The plot was quick paced and some of it was to be expected, Asher really is a good guy, Minerva didn’t betray him, ect… but the part that caught me off guard was who the bad guy was all along. I would never have guessed who in a million years. That was a refreshing twist.

I have really come to love Carina Press books, I don’t think I have read one yet that I did not like. They have all been interesting and refreshing. I also love that they are digital.

FYI- for those that want to know, there is mention of sex, but nothing graphic or overly descriptive, and they were engaged at the time. There is the threat of rape, but that term is not used, just inferred. I would recommend this book to adults because of the mention of rape, but, as always, it is up to you what your kids read. Again, I highly recommend this book to adults who like a nice mystery/romance novel in the steampunk genre. I loved it! It is also a standalone novel, as far as I can tell, with a nice ending.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

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The Unquiet



by Jeannine Garsee

Published July 17th 2012 by Bloomsbury




Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese…or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about–not to mention her own–she can’t help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?




I was apprehensive about reading this book since I knew the main character was bipolar and I know a few people who are bipolar.  I have also read quite a few books over the years written by, about, or to help people who know those with the condition.  So, needless to say, I am familiar with the illness but yet I was intrigued by the supernatural aspect of the story and how the author was going to blend the main character being bipolar with the seeing of ghosts, without making it cheesy.

I was quite impressed.  The representation of Rinn and how she acts without medication is spot on and not overly embellished, well except for the part about seeing ghosts.  The supernatural aspect aside, Miss Garsee portrayed the inner workings of the mind of someone who is bipolar and how they can think and act in a realistic way.

Now for the supernatural aspect; this part was, as was expected, farfetched, but yet had enough “reality” or at least the possibility of the situation being real, to make this part of the story acceptable.  I really loved the whole Annaliese portion of the story.

The third element was relationships.  There was a bit of a “like” triangle, but the whole relationship part got weird, kind of small town- only a few people to choose from kind of thing.  There were secret relationships, people dating friends ex’s, ect…  There was also a lot of secret keeping between so called friends.  This part of the story is very sad and I am not sure I really liked how things turned out for all of Rinn’s new friends, even Nate was affected, though she was able to help him.  Rinn’s mother was also confusing on the relationship front.  It seemed relationships started, but really just kind of stopped, abruptly.  Rinn’s mom definitely had some issues she needed to work through; she was not a good example for Rinn in any way.

Even though this book was geared toward YA’s in high school, there was strong violence and attempted sex- explicitly described.  Basically Rinn was trying to seduce Nate, but he said no.  I would not want my middle school kid to read some of these scenes; I am not sure I would want my high school student to read most of them.  I would recommend this book for 18 and up, no younger, but that decision is up to you.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Deborah Harkness

Published July 10th 2012 by Viking Adult




“Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown”—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.




I was super excited about getting an ARC of this book.  I am a huge fan of A Discovery of Witches and am now a huge fan of Shadow of Night.  Shadow of Night picks up right where Discovery left off, so if you have not read the first book, I highly advise you to do so before reading Shadow of Night, otherwise you may be a bit confused, oh and you will also be missing out on a super awesome story!

I don’t want o give too much away, but in Shadow we learn more about both Matthew and Diana, as they learn more about themselves.  We are introduced to quite a few historically famous people, who just happened to be friends with Matthew in Elizabethan England, unfortunately, even though Diana expects to have intelligent conversations with some of these men, she soon learns that not all of Matthew’s friends are as accepting of her as she would have hoped.  This causes both tension and problems for the new couple.

The longer Diana and Matthew stay in Elizabethan England, the more they change history, causing ripples that run all the way through to modern day, little hiccups that the rest of the family, still in modern times, must strive to clean up in order to cover-up Diana and Matthew’s time jump.  This was a neat way of keeping the reader connected to what was going on in the present time, so that we were not left wondering what was going on with Ysabeau and the rest of the de Clermont family.

Overall, I have nothing but positive things to say about this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who read the first book, if you have not read Discovery, please do so and follow up with this one.  I recommend this book more to adults, this is because there is sex in this book, it is not super graphic but it is described in some detail.  The positive is that this is sex between a married couple in order to consummate the marriage and make it official in both the human and supernatural worlds, and to prove their love for eachother.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com

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