Review – By Break of Day by ML Buchman (@sourcebookscasa, @mlbuchman)

By Break of Day (The Night Stalkers, #7)By Break of Day by M.L. Buchman
My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

I shall, as I all too often do, admit I am a ‘major’ ML Buchman fan. I have been since I read my first SOAR novel (which was, sadly, not the first one in the series – I had to go find that one on my own). I like all of those books, including this one, because there is a certain familiarity to it. The rhythm doesn’t change from book to book. You get to see old familiar faces, get deeper stories on newer faces, and so on. The wonderful insight into military life and technology is simply icing on the cake.

Let’s look at this book (duh). In the past few books, there have been multiple references to the drones SOAR (and the firefighting company that Emily and her man went off to run). This book features Kara Moretti, the actual drone pilot for SOAR. She’s not in a helicopter, but she’s right there along with the helicopters in spirit and vision. Without her drones, their missions don’t go nearly as smoothly, and I LOVED seeing that. I loved that she was blunt and honest. I adored her slow fall for Justin. She didn’t want to be in love with him, wanted to sleep with him sure, but she was just so…New Yorky…I loved seeing the mix of Big City Girl (and Italian to boot) with Big Sky Cowboy.

Justin, a helicopter pilot of the Chinook, not the DAPs we’re so familiar with from other books, was just about as good ol’ boy as you could get. I loved the way Buchman characterized him with his words. I could just hear the country-boy ooze out of him (in my head) as I read.

As I intimated above, there’s a certain rhythm. Hero/heroine dance around getting together, start on it, then at approximately 60-75% through, you have the emergency mission crisis. This book was no different. I knew the crisis was coming, but wow, when it did…I just couldn’t read through it fast enough. It was heartbreaking when Kara had to make a very specific decision and live with the aftermath of it.

Of course everything works out (it’s not a romance if it doesn’t), and Justin and Kara get their HEA. But I wouldn’t trade a single minute reading this book for a more “traditionally” (read here sex, hot and heavy fun and games) flowing romance. ML Buchman is (to me) a god among romance authors.

Please – check this book out. You won’t regret it.

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Review – Falling for His Best Friend by Katee Robert (@entangledpub, @katee_robert)

Falling for His Best Friend (Out of Uniform, #2)Falling for His Best Friend by Katee Robert
My rating: 3 of 5 gargoyles

This was a great book. I liked the use of Avery’s Asian background to help set the tension between the hero and heroine. While I’ve seen characters with non-good-ol’American backgrounds, this is one of the best uses of such a background I’ve seen. I really enjoyed Avery.

Sheriff Drew…now why can’t I have a hunky sheriff like him to want to make me pregnant (well, other than the fact that I love my actual husband and have three children already, but, besides that point…).

I’m writing this some months after I read the book, and other than the really big influence of Avery’s family over her actions, I don’t really remember that much of the story, which is why I ended up only being able to give it three stars. This is unusual, because I know I love Ms. Roberts’ work most of the time.

So – it’s a good story, just not a spectacular one (IMO).

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Cover Reveal – Tessa Bailey’s Boiling Point (@mstessabailey, @entangledpub)

Get ready for Boiling Point! The next installment in Tessa Bailey’s thrilling Crossing the Line series.  We hope you love the cover as much as we do!

Cover - Boiling Point

Release date: January 26, 2016

About Boiling Point:

Falling for a con man is the most dangerous game of all…

Con artist Austin Shaw’s been in disguise so long he’s not sure where his fake identities end and he begins. Now that he’s been strong-armed into working for a specialized undercover unit working with the Chicago police—criminals with unique “skills”—the last thing he needs is to risk his iron control. Especially when it comes to a certain stunningly sexy hacker who tempts him with every look of disdain.

Polly Banks will never, ever trust a con man. On the trail of a ruthless crook who destroyed the only family she’s ever known, Polly is unnerved by the shadow who follows her every move. The one who makes her pulse pound and breath short with lust. Austin. He’s infuriating, enigmatic, and pure sex appeal, and she’s determined to resist him.

But an untrustworthy man of disguise can become anyone he wants…including a man that Polly must trust if she’s to escape their dangerous game alive.

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 About Tessa Bailey: Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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Review – The Duke’s Disaster by Grace Burrowes (@sourcebookscasa, @graceburrowes)

The Duke's Disaster (True Gentlemen, #0.5)The Duke’s Disaster by Grace Burrowes

My rating: 4 of 5 gargoyles

Ahhh, beloved Grace Burrowes. Whenever I settle in for one of your books, I know I’m in for a treat and you have almost never disappointed me. This book was no exception.

Noah and Thea were a beautiful couple. What sets this book in particular apart from most of the historical romances is that it DIDN’T feature the oh-so-typical routs and rides in the park, and all of the stuff happening. No. The bulk of this book takes place AFTER the wedding. Noah’s proposal to Thea, to my mind, really was more like what proposals were probably like back in the period. Business arrangements, with everyone getting something out of it (granted, women didn’t get much in the grand scheme, other than a bit more freedom).

Both carried secrets and both had a heavy burden on them. It’s not easy being a duke when said duke takes his responsibilities to heart. Noah is the picture of what a proper man should be – he’s serious about those in his care, and will protect his own. He’s understandably upset about Thea’s little secret, but the book didn’t focus on that. The two worked through it with little uproar.

Thea – she might have been raised a Lady, and had a peer for a brother, but she didn’t shirk away from doing what she thought necessary to take care of her family, even if it meant putting herself into service as a companion. I loved her attitude toward life in general and was happy to see her get a happy ending.

Nice cast of secondary characters and I look forward to more in this particular series. This didn’t make me cry like one of Ms. Burrowes’ more recent books, but I don’t need to cry to enjoy a book.

So – highly recommend. Check it out!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – Part Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates (#bookreview, #review)

Part Time Cowboy (Copper Ridge, #1)Part Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates

My rating: 4 of 5 gargoyles

This was a sweet, yet hot, book from Maisey Yates. Sadie comes home after many years to the town she grew up and was known as a wild-child in. Of course the first person she runs into is the town sheriff, who was also the one who arrested her many years ago.

I really appreciated Sadie’s quest to settle down after years of avoiding her own issues. She acknowledges she has them and is finally facing up to them. That takes real strength, a strength that many category-romance females just don’t have, but then again, Ms. Yates excels in providing strong women as her heroines.

Ahhh, Eli. There’s just something about a man in a cop uniform. With handcuffs. Heh. He’s absolutely devoted to his family and is less than pleased when Sadie wants to run a B&B from his family’s land. However, kudos to him for not overtly trying to get her out (sabotaging anything). He wasn’t over the top in anything, simply a good man who (with good reason) doesn’t really trust Sadie.

Watching these two wind the treacherous path toward love was enjoyable and of course toward the end heart-rending. Ms. Yates makes me cry almost every time at the end of a book, and this one was no exception. Another fantastic book!

Book provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – Total Surrender by Rebecca Zanetti (#review, #bookreview)

Total Surrender (Sin Brothers, #4)Total Surrender by Rebecca Zanetti

My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

Wahoo, last book in the awesome series that introduced me to Rebecca Zanetti. Awww, last book in the series. 😦

I’ve been absolutely itching to get my hands on this book since I read book 3 and realized I had to wait an ENTIRE YEAR to read this one. But let me say it was sooooo worth the wait. Jory was everything I wanted and more.

Piper and Jory were a great pairing. I liked how Piper was so suspicious and gradually got introduced to the nightmare that was Jory’s entire world as he grew up. And Jory, while he might not have the same drive for action/adventure that the other Gray brothers had, he definitely had the brains in the family.

The driving concern (the chips in their backs) definitely kept this story moving. The book starts with only days left before the chips explode and it’s a race to see whether Piper can find a way to recode / remove the chips in time. Toward the end, even KNOWING it’s a romance and there had to be a HEA ending, I began to doubt whether she’d actually solve the problem with Jory’s chip. It’s not exactly a spoiler to say she does, and thank heavens. Whew.

We get to see the other brothers that I fell in love with over the course of the series AND learn that they’re not the only “gray” brothers. It was nice to see a younger crop come along. I don’t necessarily see a series in the younger crowd, though it’s possible. It definitely wouldn’t be a rehash of this one though.

All in all, this was an incredibly satisfying conclusion to a phenomenal action/adventure/romance series from Ms. Zanetti.

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren (#review, bookreview)

Hard as a Rock (Gargoyles, #3)Hard as a Rock by Christine Warren

My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

OMG OMG OMG, finally this series continues! Sorry, major fan girl moment here. I love when I get a chance to get sneak advance peaks at my favorite authors’ series and this is definitely in my top series list.

We first met Wynn in the prior Gargoyles book – she was the witch brought in to help the last hero/heroine. She of course was asked to help them track down the other guardians and she went to the last known location of one…finding only rubble where the Guardian should have been. She’s devastated of course and is jumped by one of the bad guys almost immediately. All seems lost until a gargoyle rises from the rubble and attacks, saving her (though she doesn’t let him kill the bad guy at that point).

Knox – he’s fresh from creation. We learn through this book that if one Guardian is destroyed, another will be summoned/created, with the genetic memory of those who have gone before him. So – this is great for the Wardens and Guardians because now they know that even if the bad guys get to the gargoyle Guardians before they can be woken up, they’ll still have 7 Guardians when all’s said and done.

Woot – this book is easily as good as the others in the series. Seriously, as soon as I saw this hit NetGalley/got the widget invite, I downloaded it and sped-read through it. I honestly couldn’t finish it fast enough. The pacing was spectacular and the romance between Knox and Wynn was great. I loved that while he had all the basic gargoyle knowledge, Knox definitely didn’t come across quite as, erm, hard-headed as the last two heroes. Wynn of course is powerful in her own right, which made for a nice change. She’s always wanted to be a Warden, but the Wardens were an all boys club recently. We discover just how and why that came to be in this book.

There is so much in this story. Wynn’s brother, who got to be a Warden when she didn’t, is missing and the story involves her search for him, along with dodging the minions of the Order of Eternal Darkness. I cried toward the end when I realized where it was all leading, and the ending was…spectacular. I couldn’t get enough and once again I’ll have to sit back and wait AGES for another gargoyle book. ARGH!

So – definitely worth buying and reading. And re-reading. Don’t wait, get this book now! (And yes, it does stand alone, though if you’ve read the first two, it will fill in a few gaps here and there, like who some of the supporting characters are in this book).

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – To Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates (@harlequinbooks, @maiseyyates, #review, #bookreview)

To Defy a SheikhTo Defy a Sheikh by Maisey Yates

My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

First up – it’s Maisey Yates. That, for me, is pretty much an auto-read issue. Add in the fact that it’s a sheikh story AND it’s a revenge story…revenge of the WOMAN…and I’m allll in.

I had uber-high expectations and Ms. Yates, as always, did not let me down. Samarah is a princess who’s lived her entire life in hiding because her entire family (save her and her mother) were slaughtered by rebels after Ferran had her father executed for sleeping with his mother (he actually witnessed it). She hates him for this and so, having worked her way into a situation where she can get close to him, and having been tutored in martial arts by a kindly man as she was in hiding (no, as it’s presented, I actually had no trouble believing in how/why she was trained to fight…it really works in the story), she tries to kill him. She of course fails and strangely Ferran offers her a choice: prison or become his sheikha. Weird, but again, it’s a Harlequin Presents book and Ms. Yates’ talents work to make it believable.

Ferran – very closed off man who carries a heavy weight on his shoulders for past deeds. In Samarah, he finds a way to at least partially alleviate some of his issues. It’s not so much a case of her marrying him will redeem him, more he’s as always trying to carry out his duty.

It’s very difficult to summarize this novel because there’s so much packed into the category length story.

I loved the setting. Ferran’s tale about how his ancestors came to rule the country, along with the tribes that still inhabit parts of the kingdom without being citizens of the kingdom were great. I loved watching Samarah grow beyond the angry, hate-filled woman she is at the beginning into realizing the choices she was making. These two really did help each other heal from the wounds inflicted both by themselves and by the world around them.

Without a doubt, I recommend this and hope everyone will give it a chance, even if you traditionally turn your nose up at the sheikh trope. This one’s worth your time!

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review – A Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison (@burningbunnies, #review, #bookreview)

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13)The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

Oh. My. God. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH!

And I’m very sad it’s now over. However…wow. What a freakin’ ride throughout the entire book. Certain things were obvious (Trent/Rach ending up together) and have been for several books now, but that knowledge made the journey ever so much better.

The only SLIGHT haggle I had (and I’m clearly not alone in this) was all the blasted time Rachel was agonizing over holding Trent back. I get why she’s like that, I even get behind some of it because she was (to her mind) making it hard for him to be the man he could be. But what she didn’t get (and why I can accept the angst story line) was because she hadn’t learned that the man she thought he could be wasn’t the man he WANTED to be any more. Trent. Grew. Up.

Ahh, Al. I will miss Al most of all of the characters. I was pulling for him and Rachel for a while before the Trent thing became obvious, buuut still. Feel bad for him and his backstory.

There are so many things I COULD say, but I won’t because I want every single person to have to read the book and glory in it for themselves!

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Review – To Love a King by Shona Husk (@sourcebookscasa, #bookreview, #review)

To Love a King (Court of Annwyn, #3)To Love a King by Shona Husk

My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles

I’ve only read (completely) one other of the Annwyn books (the novella, and I didn’t like it because it left out the battle), but it clicked into place as I read through this book. I enjoy Ms. Husk’s world of the fairies and how the two worlds (ours and Annwyn) not only came into play but how they are still very much interconnected millennia later.

Felan – Gotta suck to be him. He’s got two weeks to get married and get a woman pregnant so he can ascend to the throne of Annwyn after his mother’s execution, because if there’s not a King and Queen, the worlds as we know them will destruct – not a good thing at all. That’s two weeks EARTH time, not even two weeks Annwyn time (time flows differently/much slower there). Luckily, he knows a human who might just fit the bill, but he sort of broke up with her 7 years ago (earth time). It’s complicated, but makes sense in the flow of the story. And, as he tries to convince Jacqueline to fall in love with him, he’s got to dodge the murder attempts being thrown at him by the competitor for his throne.

Jacqueline – She went through the hardest thing I can imagine, losing a baby, and has never fully recovered either from the loss of it or the relationship she shared with Felan. Add in she was considered crazy because she was seeing things others didn’t (fairy folk, who normal people can’t see without help from the fairy themselves), and she isn’t particularly thrilled when Felan shows up in her life again.

The road these two took to end up back together was definitely bumpy. Kudos to Jacqueline for not just falling in bed with Felan again and immediately/easily forgiving him for what he’d done. Kudos to Felan for working past what he believed Jacqueline had done and sticking to his responsibilities as Crown Prince (keeping the tears between this world and Annwyn from ripping further open) while resurrecting his relationship with the human he’d never forgotten.

I love the world of Annwyn and how the fairies came to be. There was plenty of explanation into what would happen if there wasn’t a King and Queen, along with why it was so important. I loved the very inhumanity of most of the fairies – they’re definitely not just cute little Tinkerbells.

Definitely a great read. Check it out.

Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review posted on Tory Michaels’ Time Out.

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