Thursday, June 29, 2017

Come Helen High Water: A River Road Mystery (River Road #4) by Susan McBride

Title: Come Helen High Water: A River Road Mystery
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: River Road Mystery
Format: Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Witness Impulse (July 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062427970
ISBN-13: 978-0062427977
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
In the small little town of River Bend, Illinois, the water is rising and so is the mystery of what happened to Luann Dupree, At first most everyone thought the text messages Luann sent explained things--she'd run off with a beau she met over the internet. As time passes, however, and the only form of communication from her continues to be done only by text messages, it starts to look like Sarah Biddle's ( Luann's best friend) fears may be founded. Sarah thinks something happened to Luann and suspects Luann's internet date dubbed 'Mister Maybe" is to blame. When Sarah gets no help from her husband, the sheriff of River Bend, she turns to Helen Evan for help and together they'll get to the bottom of what's going on.
While this is the fourth book of the series, it didn't seem to build on any of the other books, and could be read as standalone. I suspect, however, by reading the previous books, you'd get more intimate view of the characters. This is definitely what you'd expect in a "cozy" mystery. The town of River Bend is a close knit community with an predominately aging population. For years Luann has all but been married to her career, and is ripe for romance when she starts conversing with a gentleman on the internet who is her age. Luann has shared tidbits of her personal life with her friend, Sarah, over the years, but she has been rather secretive about "Mr. Maybe."

Sarah  hounds both her husband and Helen until they look into things. They quickly find that some things just don't add up. Connections start being made which lead to discoveries that get both Helen and Frank, the sheriff, wondering if a murder has been committed.

Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was a fun and entertaining light read with a steady pace and some twists and turns. Additionally, there was a secondary mystery that needed to be solved before everything was said and done. It managed to capture the charm of a small town, but where usually everyone knows everyone else's business, Helen surprisingly managed to uncover a skeleton or two still in their closets. I'm forgoing my Romance Rating of this one as there really was no romance involved.

Order of the River Road series:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Release Day Review of Friend (With Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown

Title: Friend (With Benefits) Zone
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse (August 8, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062495615
ISBN-13: 978-0062495617
Author's Website:
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Jas and Dev have been best friends since they were young. In Jas' crazy messed up world, Dev's been her one constant, her rock. When she gets evicted from her apartment, he comes to her rescue. He offers her a place to stay and, as they've done since they were kids, she crashes in his bed. The thing is they aren't kids anymore, and this time something starts to stir between them. Dare they give in to it? Is the risk of what could be lost worth the price of what could be gained?
This was a sweet romance that dealt with family issues, the changing dynamics of a friendship, and fear. Fear is a powerful thing. It can keep us from reaching our potential, keep us from doing what we're meant to do, or keep us from finding the love of our life. The latter is the dilemma that both Jas and Dev face, but of the two, if things don't work out, Jas is the one with more to lose. While Dev has family to fall back on, he's been Jas' rock when times got rough. Jas' fear is real and while she's not alone in it, she, as her friend Nikki points out, is the one with the baggage that needs to be dealt with for the relationship to have a chance.

Dev and Jas are both deaf, but Dev still has some hearing and uses hearing aides. He's about to graduate from college and is supposed to go work for his dad's accounting firm, something he doesn't wish to do. He'd rather go into social work. Jas, on the other hand, works as a waitress and is saving her money so she can open her own bar. It's what her father had done and she's inherited his passion for running such a place. Unfortunately, her father passed away years ago and the bar he'd once run has since been sold, but she's saved his recipes in the hope that some day she'll follow in his footsteps.

The song that was playing in my head as I read this one was 'Say You Won't Let Go' by
James Arthur:

'Then you smiled over your shoulder
For a minute, I was stone-cold sober
I pulled you closer to my chest
And you asked me to stay over
I said, I already told ya
I think that you should get some rest

I knew I loved you then
But you'd never know
'Cause I played it cool when I was scared of letting go
I know I needed you
But I never showed
But I wanna stay with you until we're grey and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go'

I really enjoyed this romance and gave it 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I loved the relationship between these two, and the way Dev knew how to handle Jas, and, ultimately, put her fears to rest. I could totally relate to Jas because when you lose one parent, for me it was through divorce, and the other is dealing with their own pain and grief sometimes the kids get the short end of the stick. I had other family to fall back on, but Jas had none. What she hasn't yet come to realize is that Dev already is her family. They just haven't made it official. I enjoyed every step of Jas' journey in making that discovery. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one get a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.    

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blog Tour of The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day...

Chapter 1
August 19, 1836
House of Lords, Parliament

She’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.
     Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.
     August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.
     Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.
     He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.
     January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.
     His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.
     April the seventeenth, 1833.
    The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.
     He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.
     Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.
     Where had she gone?
     The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.
     And they had.
     March the first, 1833. The day they met.
     So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.
     If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?
     That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.
     And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.
     Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?
     Where had she gone?
     The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.
     Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.

Sarah MacLean

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Title: The Day of the Duchess: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book III
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel (Book 3)
Format: Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (June 27, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062379437
ISBN-13: 978-0062379436
Author's Website:
Notes:  I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating. Please note that as I read an ARC, any quotes listed are subject to change, they will need to be checked and verified against the final version.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Once upon a time a girl fell in love with a man she thought beyond her reach, and so she did the unthinkable--She caught him via a marriage trap never thinking of the consequences. Things did not go well and she eventually fled. Now years later, she's returned and is demanding a divorce declaring, very publicly in front of the house of lords, that the marriage should be dissolved.  The Day of the Duchess has come and she is seeking her due...
This is a story that I would never ever in a million years have thought Ms. MacLean would wish to tackle, but tackle it she did. We were first introduced to the Duke and Duchess of Haven in 'The Rogue Not Taken'. In that book, Malcolm had a tryst with another woman at a garden party and was caught by his sister-in-law, Sophie, who promptly pushed the adulterer into an indoor fishpond. I loved Sophie at that moment and knew that my sister would have done the same for me if she had ever been presented with such a situation. Thus, my hatred of Malcolm began and Ms. MacLean, after a couple of years of letting me hate the man, turned around and made me like him.

Now, as you can imagine, this was a very emotionally charged read. For these two to have any chance of  having a successful relationship there was a lot of emotional baggage on both sides that needed to be sifted through and dealt with. They had to get to the root of what caused it, and each had to be sincere in their wish to continue in a relationship. The thing that finally won me over was the grand gesture that happened at the very end. Until then, I was on the fence about this relationship.  

The song that kept playing in my head as I read the first half of this book was Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep':

'There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, and it's bringing me out the dark
Finally, I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out, and I'll lay your ship bare
See how I'll leave with every piece of you
Don't underestimate the things that I will do
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, and it's bringing me out the dark

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling

We could have had it all...'

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was a book that surprised me because I never expected to love it. When I realized whom the couple was to be for this story I was hesitant about continuing. Ms. MacLean, however, worked her magic, did her homework, and created a wonderful story that tugged at my heartstrings and makes one believe love can overcome anything. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the Scandal & Scoundrel series:

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review and Giveaway of Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone #1) by Jill Shalvis

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women's fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.'s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there's another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for.


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New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

To Mick’s relief, he caught Quinn in the parking lot, leaning against her car, her thumbs moving furiously over the screen of her phone. When she saw him, she grimaced.

He lifted his hands and stayed out of her personal space. “Thought you could use a ride back to the B and B,” he said.

“I’m not driving.” She lifted her phone. “I’m trying to get an Uber.”

He smiled. “How’s that going?”

She sighed and slipped her phone into her pocket. “So Wildstone doesn’t have drive-throughs, Thai takeout, or Uber? Seriously?”

“We have other things.”

“Yes,” she said. “Ghosts. Big bugs. Cute dogs. And girlfriends, apparently.”

“Lena’s not my girlfriend,” he said. “She’s Boomer’s. Sort of.” He shook his head. “It’s complicated.”

She didn’t take her eyes off him. “But you’ve slept together.”

He arched a brow.

“I’m sorry,” she said, closing her eyes. “That was rude. There’s a chemistry there, and a familiarity, that’s all. You know what? Don’t listen to me. My tongue’s running the show and I think I’m just jealous at how everyone else seems to take life’s shit in stride and keep going. I haven’t learned that trick and I need to. And how to keep going, that is. Like the Energizer Bunny. Or my electric toothbrush. God.” She pressed her hands to her face. “I really need to stop talking. Make me stop talking!”

He took her hand and tugged her to his truck.

“Wait,” she said, putting a hand to his chest and fisting it in his shirt to hold him to her. “You’re not a murderer or a rapist or anything like that, right?”

He lifted a hand. “Scout’s honor.”

“Were you a Boy Scout?”

Laughing a little at that because he’d been just about the furthest thing from a Boy Scout, he gently pushed her into the passenger seat and leaned in to buckle her seat belt, and suddenly their faces were an inch from each other. He heard her suck in a breath and he did the same.

Talk about chemistry.

“Mick?” she whispered.


“Are you feeling something?”

“You could say that,” he murmured. “You?”

She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered.

“That’s good.”

“Are you going to kiss me?”

He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.”

She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.”

God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek.

“Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat. He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear.

“Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it.

She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?”

It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.”

“You sure have a lot of requirements.”

He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door.

As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that.

But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.

Title: Lost and Found Sisters: A Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062448110
ISBN-13: 978-0062448118
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes used will need to be checked against the final version as they are subject to change. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
For the past two years, Quinn Weller has been walking around numb. She's been told "It'll get easier." "Time is your friend." and "She'll stay in your heart." She knows them all to be lies. Her sister/best friend died, and life seems to have lost its luster and spark. She wants to feel again, but somehow she hasn't yet been able to get beyond the tragedy, and is beginning to doubt she ever will.

Then one day a stranger approaches her and says a relative has left her an inheritance. The stranger reveals a family secret that Quinn's never been privy to. It's the type of information that could cause one to have a brain explosion. Her life will never be the same because its about to be turned upside down--at least until she wraps her head around it all.
This is the first book in a brand new series called Wildstone. Wildstone, the namesake for the series, is a small California town that's worn many hats over the years. It's been a mining town, a place noted for wine making and ranching, a haunted Wild West ghost town, and a tourist spot for those who wanted to catch a wave and do a little surfing. It's an area rich in history, and I hope we'll learn more about the town and the ghosts that haunt it as the series continues. By the way, if you've never read one of Ms Shalvis' books, then let me just say you're in for a treat. Her books are always witty, humorous, steamy, and pretty much guaranteed to put you in a good mood. This book is no exception.

***Now I can't imagine this is a spoiler (the tittle, in my humble opinion, already let the cat out of the bag), but if you're worried about those then don't read the next two paragraphs.***

While Quinn lost one sister, as the title implies, she finds a new one. Tilly and Quinn are very similar, but deal with their grief in very different ways, and I loved the contrast. Plus, I enjoyed seeing how these two eventually help one another deal with their grief.

Now if you're wondering, this is not a depressing story. Perhaps if it had been told from Tilly's perspective that would have been the case, but Quinn is just thrown into everything head first, and instead of sadness she's overwhelmed by surprise, shock, and disbelief. Tilly does get her two cents in at the head of every chapter, each of which showcases a snippet from her journal. I loved seeing these two bond as they got to know each other. They actually had more in common than either expected.

***You may resume your spoiler free reading ***

Mick is a structural engineer who lives and works in San Francisco, but was raised in Wildstone. He's been coming home every weekend to help his mom out since his dad died. Quinn mistakes him for the Bed & Breakfast's handy man, and this causes some humorous situations. I loved seeing these two fall in love. Quinn, as it happens, works as a sous-chef in a trendy restaurant in LA so Wildstone falls smack dab in the middle of both of their worlds. A relationship between the two won't be easy, but then most good things in life seldom are.

A few of my favorite quotes (of which there were many more):

- "It's like I've been living my life from chapter two of my own story! I missed chapter one entirely! And the prologue!"

- "If it's got tires or testicles, it's gonna give you trouble."

- "Never go to bed angry, stay awake and plot revenge."

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was fun, charming, emotionally charged, romantic, and immediately grabbed my attention and held it. I loved the characters and their interactions with one another. Mick's dog, Coop, reminded me a little of my own dog, and the chemistry between Mick and Quinn was scorching hot. While this one still contained Ms. Shalvis' trademark humor, it also contained a bit more weight and depth than most of her stories, and I liked the addition. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries

Title: The Pleasures of Passion (The Sinful Suitors Book 4)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Sinful Suitors (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (June 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501144464
ISBN-13: 978-1501144462
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from Netgalley. Thank you.

Once upon a time a boy and a girl secretly fell in love, but their timing was wrong...
He participated in a duel that left a man dead and had to flee England.
She had ailing mother whom she couldn't leave behind and so she the two had parted ways.
Months later she would be married to another, and thoughts of a future together seemed to be at an end.

Now, seven years later, they are pushed together and have a second chance at love, but will misconceptions, lies, and  hurt feelings keep them apart? Only time will tell.
This was the fourth book in the Sinful Suitors series. You could probably get away with reading it as a stand-alone, but you may wish to read 'The Study of Seduction' and 'The Danger of Desire' first. It's in these two books where we are first introduced to these two characters. They will give you a little more of a background on these two and those around them.

This was a romance in which a couple is torn apart by circumstances somewhat beyond their control and are later given a second chance at love. They were quite a stubborn pair, but Brilliana, aka Bree, took the cake because she had the most to lose. Her first marriage hadn't been ideal, but left her in a rather unique position of not needing to remarry if she didn't wish to do so. Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, has his work cut out for him because Bree isn't sure she wishes to remarry. He'll have to use all his charm and pull out all the stops to win her over which makes this book such a fun read.

These two almost didn't come back together because of the hurt feelings and misinformation, but the meddling of another individual pulls them together when they're recruited to spy on Bree's father. He's believed to be involved in some criminal activities. While there's no love lost between Bree and her father, she's doesn't want her son's reputation besmirched if her father is indeed found guilty of a crime. In exchange for her help, if her father is found to be guilty, he'll receive a reduced sentence. One that will have a lesser impact on her son. Thus, the book gets a healthy dose of intrigue and suspense mixed in with this seriously steamy romance.  They didn't title this one 'The Pleasure of Passion' for nothing, just in case you're wondering.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was full of romance, intrigue, mystery, and suspense. While I felt Bree held out a little too long before giving into passion, it did make for a very enjoyable and amusing read. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the Sinful Suitors series:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blog Tour and Review for White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews

White Hot
Hidden Legacy #2
By: Ilona Andrews

Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm . . . and their relationship burns hot.

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada's "talent." But there's no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice.
Ilona Andrews writing team (aka Gordon and Ilona)
“Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

“My wife is dead.” His voice shook with barely controlled emotion. His eyes glistened. 
“She’s my light. She found me in the darkest time of my life and she saw something in me . . . She believed I could be a better man. I didn’t deserve her or the happiness we had. She loved me, Nevada. She loved me so much, in spite of my faults, and I was the luckiest man alive because when I opened my eyes in the morning, I saw her next to me. She had integrity. She was kind and intelligent, and she tried her hardest to do the right thing so this world would be a better place for our child to grow up in. She didn’t deserve this. She deserved to be happy. She deserved a full and long life. Nobody had the right to rob her of it.”

His face contorted with raw pain and grief. I was trying so hard not to cry. “I love her determination. I love her spirit. I’m proud to have been her husband. And now she’s dead. Someone took this wonderful—this truly beautiful—human being and turned her into a corpse. I saw her on the morgue table. She’s just . . . cold and lifeless as if she never was. Everything is gone except for our daughter and my memories. I have to strive to be the man she thought I was. When my daughter grows up, she’ll ask me why her mother was murdered and I’ll have to answer her. I have to account for my actions. I want to tell her that I found those responsible and I made sure they wouldn’t hurt anyone else.”

He brushed moisture from his eyes with a furious swipe of his hand. “Nobody else will do this. Her family doesn’t have the means, my family doesn’t care, and her employer might have murdered her. There is only me. Will you help me? Please.”

He fell silent. He was sitting here asking for my help and I couldn’t throw him out of my office. I just couldn’t. I remembered when Mom sold our house to pay for Dad’s bills. I remembered when we mortgaged the business and kept it from him, because it would’ve killed him faster than any disease. If someone I loved was murdered, I would do the same thing Cornelius did. He had nowhere to turn. If I slammed the door in his face now, I wouldn’t be able to look my reflection in the eye.

I reached into the top drawer of my desk and took out the blue new-client folder. I opened it so it faced him, placed it on the table, and wrote $50,000 in the margins on the front. “This is my retainer. This stays with the agency no matter what happens. It’s nonnegotiable.”

I used my pen to circle the bottom number on the right side. “These are our rates. This job is likely to be high-risk, so the top rate right here will apply. As you can see, it’s a daily and not hourly rate. Depending on the situation, I may have to charge you hazard pay or additional expenses. The retainer acts like a deductible. Once the amount billed to you exceeds it, you will make additional payments in installments of $10,000. After we’re done here, you may want to go to the bank and withdraw at least $20,000 in cash. We may have to bribe people . . .”

“Thank you.”

“This is a bad idea. Please reconsider.”

He shook his head. “No.”

I walked him through the privacy policy and had him sign all of the waivers. “What happens once we find whoever is responsible?”

“I’ll take care of things from there.”

“Meaning you’ll kill your wife’s murderer.”

“It’s the way Houses handle things,” Cornelius said.

“Well, I’m not a House. I’m a person with a family, and I respect and try to obey the laws of this country. I won’t hesitate to defend you or myself, but I won’t condone murder.”

“Understood,” Cornelius said. “How do we start?”

“I need to be able to speak to Matthias Forsberg. I need face-to-face time so I can ask him some questions. I can make the necessary calls tomorrow, but he’ll refuse to see me.”

“You don’t have the social status and you work for his competitor.” Cornelius nodded. “Matthias is an active participant in the Assembly. He never misses a session. Tomorrow happens to be December 15th. The session starts at 9:00 a.m.”

“I don’t have admission to the Assembly.” The Assembly was an unofficial executive body that governed the magic users at state and national levels. The Texas State Assembly met in Houston. A family had to have at least two Prime-caliber magic users in three generations to be considered a House and each House had a single seat. Technically the Assembly had no power within the US government, but, practically, when the Houses spoke in one collective voice, both Congress and the White House listened.

“A family name has to be good for something, right?”

Cornelius smiled. It never reached his eyes. They stayed bitter and haunted. “As a Significant and a scion of a House, I’m free to attend the Assembly and bring a companion of my choice. I intend to be an active participant in this investigation, Ms. Baylor.”

“Call me Nevada,” I told him. “Good. Then we’ll meet here tomorrow at seven.”

Title: White Hot (Hidden Legacy)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Hidden Legacy
Format: Hardcover; 352 pages
Publisher: Avon (May 30, 2017)
ISBN-10: 006267479X
ISBN-13: 978-0062674791
Author's Website:
Notes:  I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
A century and a half ago, the Osiris serum was discovered by scientists which unlocked a person's magical abilities. The serum was given to soldiers so that wars could be won, but scientists didn't comprehend what they'd truly done until much later and by then it was too late. The serum was locked away, but the damage had been done because it was soon found that magical talents could be passed from parent to child. The world as we knew it was changed forever as a restructuring of power occurred. Money no longer guaranteed power, influence, and prestige in this magically oriented new world, rather, one's magical abilities did. For from the power of magic, one could acquire the rest.

Talents varied among people, but each person showed potential toward one specific type of magic. Among the varying types of magics, ranges of talent were soon noted and magic users were categorized into five different ranks: Minor, Average, Notable, Significant, and Prime. The highest and strongest being Prime. Soon magical dynasties, as the most powerful of magical families came to be called, were broken into houses and attempted to manipulate and enhance their family's magical potential by arranging marriages which would bring about the most gifted and talented of offspring. 

Nevada Baylor is a private eye working for the family business--Baylor Investigative Agency. The firm specializes in small-time investigations. She's just been hired to help Cornelius Harrison of House of Harrison find his wife killer. Normally they wouldn't take a case this big. Nevada decided to make an exception. 

On Tuesday night, Nari Harrison, and three of her colleagues, all lawyers from Forsberg Investigative Services, entered Hotel Sha Sha. Minutes later they left in body bags each riddled with bullets. Nari had called Cornelius earlier to say she'd be working late, but gave no specifics. House Forsberg claims whatever she was doing at the hotel was not work related. Cornelius wants her killer brought to justice. specifically, his type of justice. He's hiring Nevada to find out what happened and who is responsible. Nevada may be delving into a Pandora's Box because whatever it is that went down is without a doubt something bad or House Forsberg would not be trying to cover it up.  
This is the second story of the Hidden Legacy series and I'm hoping what I read at the end is wrong. It said 'Wildfire', the third book in the series, will be the conclusion of the series,er, trilogy. SAY WHAT???? NO!!!! Please, say it ain't so.

This book takes place two months from where 'Burn For Me' left off and in that time Nevada hasn't heard from Rogan. She now feels justified in telling him she wouldn't be his mistress, but that doesn't keep her from missing the big jerk. Once she's on the track of Nari Harrison's murderer it's just her luck that Rogan would once again cross her path and the two once again find themselves teaming up. I loved the sexual tension between these two and I can't wait to see where the third book will take them.

Nevada is still discovering what she can do with her powers, and her abilities are getting stronger. Soon she won't be able to keep her particular talent under wraps. Cornelius, her client, has some surprising powers of his own. I don't want to say too much about this book because I'll start entering into the land of spoilers, but let me just say the series just keeps getting better and better. I kept being pleasantly surprised by twists and turns.The story was extremely well crafted and if you haven't started the series, you really need to.

So what are Gordon and Ilona's response to whether or not 'Wildfire' is indeed the last book of the series?

"It depends on sales. There was a significant break between the releases and paranormal/UF is in decline, so the deck is stacked against it. We’ll know next week, when the first sales numbers come in, if this series is alive or dead. But…If the sales numbers suck and the publisher will not want more books, we will still write at least one more and self-publish. We won’t leave you hanging. 🙂" *

So if you want this series to continue please pick up a copy and buy it. I did even before reading the above.

If you haven't already figured it out, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I love how we keep learning more about the inner workings of the Hidden Legacy world, and the powers the people possess. The chemistry between Nevada and "Mad" Rogan is scorchingly hot. Plus, I adore seeing the family dynamics between not only Nevada and her family, but those in the Houses as well. Dare I say I like it more than Ilona's Kate Daniels series? Okay, I confess, once I read the next book of the Kate Daniels series I'll totally be switching sides because I do, in fact, love them both and whichever one is current will most likely be my fave (Yeah, I'm fickle that way). On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale this one earned a STEAM--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. Now picture me trying to use some mind power on you that surely someone in the Hidden Legacy series has as I keep repeating....."Buy the Hidden Legacy books. Buy the Hidden Legacy books." I really don't want this one to end so if you like the series join the SOS campaign--Save Our Series! lol
Notes to Keep You in the Know:
* Have some questions about the series or why something happened in the book? Check out Ilona Andrews' answer section on their website :  It is well worth your time and where I found the answer to whether or not the series will continue.

Order of the Hidden Legacy series:

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