Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Giveaway, Excerpt, & Review of Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas

Devil's Daughter
by Lisa Kleypas

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past? Only the devil’s daughter knows…


“If you have any misguided thoughts about taking me into your bed, you would find it a vastly mediocre experience. I’d be on you like a crazed rabbit, and half a minute later the whole thing would be over. I used to be a proficient lover, but now I’m a burnt-out libertine whose only remaining pleasure is breakfast food. Speaking of which—”

Phoebe reached for him, brought herself up hard against him, and interrupted him with her mouth. West flinched as if scalded and held very still in the manner of a man trying to withstand torture. Undeterred, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him as passionately as she could, touching her tongue to his stiff lips. The feel and taste of him was exhilarating. Suddenly he responded with a primitive grunt and his mouth clamped on hers, wringing sensation from her with demanding pressure. Forcing her lips apart, he searched her with his tongue the way she remembered, and it felt so good, she thought she might faint. A whimper rose from her throat, and he licked and bit gently at the sound and sealed their mouths together in a deep, insatiable kiss that involved his lips, breath, hands, body, soul.

Whatever it might be like to go to bed with this man . . . it would be anything but mediocre.


Connect with Lisa Kleypas
Facebook: @LisaKleypas
Twitter: @LisaKleypas
Instagram: @LisaKleypas

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.


Title: Devil's Daughter: The Ravenels meet The Wallflowers 
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Ravenels
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (February 19, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0062371932
ISBN-13: 978-0062371935
Author's Website: https://lisakleypas.com/
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher for review purposes. I must also admit I  am a HUGE Lisa Kleypas fan.


Lady Clare, Pheobe to friends and family, is just coming out of mourning and back into society two years after her husband's death. The marriage had been a love match, and while she's open to the possibility of love, she has no delusions as to how rare a second chance at it would be. When she meets the man who tormented her husband in his youth, she instantly dislikes him, but as she gets to know him things get...complicated. He's not at all what she pictured. He is handsome and charming with a devilishly wicked sense of humor. He draws her out from under the rain cloud that's been hovering over her since her husband's death. Would falling for the man who bullied her husband all those years ago be a betrayal???

West Ravenel parents died when he was you and was sent off to boarding school when none of his relatives could be bothered to raise him or his older brother. Truth be told, he had been a holy terror. Later he gained a reputation for being a rake. Somewhere along the way, however, he grew up and became a man to be admired, but he still feels as thought he's someone who just doesn't quite fit in. When he meets Lady Clare he is instantly enamored by the beautiful, warm young widow, but being as she is a Duke's daughter, he believes she's way too good for him and well above his reach . But is she...

"It's an unfair fact of life that the worst men end up with the best women."  


This is the fifth book in the Ravenels series and I think I just died and went to heaven. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors and I adore her stories. She tends to expertly entwine love, passion, family, and friendship into her novels, and this one was no exception. How did I love this book?  Let me count the ways...

First, I love that Ms. Kleypas included characters from one of her previous series. While you can read this book as a standalone I truly recommend that you don't. There are some scenes in this book between Sebastian, the Duke of Kingston, and his lady wife Evie (who were the prevalent characters in the Wallflower series) that you cannot possibly fully appreciate unless you've read the "Devil in Winter" first. I absolutely loved those scenes, and knowing Sebastian still loves his wife as much as he did when we were first introduced to the couple just brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Plus, there are some parallels that Sebastian, Pheobe's father, sees between himself and West Ravenel that you won't pick up on unless you've read "Devil in Winter". So definitely read it, if not the whole Wallflower series, before this one. You'll be glad you did.

Second, I loved seeing Sebastian play matchmaker. I adored watching as he oh, so subtly pelts West with questions aimed at determining the man's character. I think I fell in love all over again with Sebastian as he watched out for his daughter, and had only her best interest at heart. It was so fun to see what kind of father he turned out to be. 

Third, I loved how West was with Pheobe's children. The scenes where the kids and West interacted were just so precious. You could just feel any doubts you may have had about the man just melt away as he displayed both patience and care when he played with the children and diligently answered their questions. It was utterly charming.

Fourth, and probably the most important. I loved how Pheobe and West were together. The chemistry between them was phenomenal, but it was more than that. You could just tell these two would fall madly and deeply for each other. It felt like the reader was watching two soul mates finally find their other halves. It was simply swoonworthy.    

Fifth, I love it when an author uses parallelisms to convey a certain thought, message, moral lesson, or idea to the reader. It's sort of like a verbal underlining used to emphasize something going on in the story by pairing it with another similar yet less obvious situation. It highlights what the author wants the reader to grasp on to and/or see. In this story Ms. Kleypas uses a cat to create the parallelism. See if you can figure out what it is the author is emphasizing. (Yes, I'm being very vague because I'm trying not to give too much of the story away.)   

I could go on and on about this one, but lets just say I equate reading this book to eating warm ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies that just hit the spot without all the calories. It's like indulging in a guilty pleasure without any of the guilt. Basically, it's like partaking of comfort food for the soul that warms your heart all while making you believe in the magic of love and the power of forgiveness. 

If you haven't figured it out, I gave this one 5 out 5 roses. I absolutely loved it. The characters were engaging and extremely three-dimensional. The romance was sweet, charming, and sexy as all get out. Additionally, there was a nice dose of humor mixed in with an interesting look at life during an era in the midst of change. 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. I HIGHLY recommend this one. It's Kleypas at her best. Who could ask for anything more? Um, well, er, except for another book and another and....  Well, you get the picture. *SMILE* 

Order of The Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas:

Order of the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas:


Buy a copy at one of the following book retailers:
Books-A-Million: https://tinyurl.com/yahfn6su

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Stray Moon (Strays #2) by Kelly Meding


Title: Stray Moon: A Strays Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy
Series: A Strays Novel (Book 2)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0062847708
ISBN-13: 978-0062847706
Author's Website: http://www.kellymeding.com/home.html
Notes:  I received an eARC loan of the book for review purposes.


Eighty years ago, after World War II, the world learned that werewolves were real. They returned from the War among other revered heroes. Many myths were dispelled about them during that time, while others were proven to be true. Most could handle people who turned into wolves once a month and lived with their Pack, secluded from the bulk of society. When vampires came out ten years later, however, things got ugly. Many people couldn’t seem to handle the idea of bloodsuckers living next door, buying blood from willing donors, and generally proving that yes, some things really do go bump in the night. Not even the knowledge of how much control Masters had over their lines, or the care taken in choosing and turning new vampires seemed to assuage the bulk of folks—especially the religious ones.

Six years ago the Paranormal Investigation Units were officially formed—thanks to Julius Almeida and a few well-placed friends—on the argument that unique abilities were needed to handle other unique abilities. Shiloh Harrison is a Federal Marshal in one of the two existing Paranormal Investigations Units. For six years, the units were a force unto themselves with practically no oversight from the Department of Justice. As long as they do what is expected of them and keep the peace, they are left alone.

Two days ago, Shiloh and her team prevented a madman from creating a vampire army. They subsequently uncovered the deadly plot which revealed that the two men who had been in charge of the Paranormal Investigation Units were corrupt with hidden agendas. Two other members of the teams had been found to be double agents bringing all agents into question. Shiloh and her remaining teammates have been suspended for the past two days as their stories were collaborated, and their parts in the incident investigated. Things were complicated by the fact that Shiloh's memories were tampered with due to a deal she made with one of a sidhe. In exchange for information, she traded the memories of the person she loved the most. That person ended up being one of her teammates, Jaxon. For that reason, her story varied from the rest of her team where Jaxon was involved. For the next seven days they'll be on mandatory leave, and the future of the Para Marshals remains in question.

When Shiloh and her unit managed to expose the evil machinations of their superiors, they found something significantly absent--the missing werewolves. When they are approached by one of the Para Marshal from the other unit, and are asked to help locate the missing werewolves, they decide to forge ahead. Unsure if they'll ever be given permission to pursue any leads, but knowing time is of the essence they start investigating. All the while the memory of the threat that Weller and his cohort's made, that war is coming, looms in the background...
This is the second book of the Strays series, and if Kelly continues on the course she's so far plotted for this series, I believe I may have just found one of my next favorite paranormal fantasy series. Pardon me while I do a little happy dance. *grin* I recommend you read Stray Magic before starting this novel. It lays the foundation for the series, and if you don't read it first, you'll kick yourself later.

This novel reminded me a bit of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Perhaps it's the fact that werewolves are involved, or maybe it's a little of the situation that plays out. All I know is that I'm loving the story and the intricacies that are involved in solving the cases.

Just when we think we know all there was to know about Shiloh (minus a few backstories), the author pulls something out of her sleeve and boom. We find out we don't know the half of it. I rather liked that. Shiloh makes some poor choices in this one, but she's a passionate individual who seems to always put others first. Plus, she doesn't really know who to trust. If her bosses were corrupt who else could be? After all, the Paranormal Investigation Units were the brain child of Julius, Shiloh's former boss, and some of his friends, and that makes everything so very interesting. I'm very intrigued as to where this series will go.    

At the beginning of Stray Moon, 14 mated pairs of werewolves are missing from their packs. The only other common links among them is that none of them have any children and they all seemingly vanished without a word to anyone. When Shiloh and her team start to investigate, they meet with some resistance from the pack's Alpha, but as they explain why they are there they're given leave to investigate.

Chandra Goodfellow is a Moon witch and a Para Marshal from the other Paranormal Investigations Unit that exists. She's got a personal stake in two of the werewolves that went missing. She helped the pair give birth to three healthy children. They are the only pair among the missing that have ever had children, but their children died under suspicious circumstances. Since Packs don't allow modern medicine, the true reason that they died may be forever lost. As Shiloh and crew investigate, they uncover a disturbing fact--the number of children being born to werewolves over the years has diminished significantly. Whether this is a natural occurrence, or whether something far more nefarious is going on remains a mystery. It's all part of the puzzle Shiloh and her team will need to figure out.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I'm loving the dynamics between the characters, the creativeness of how the team maneuvers situations, and even the cliffhangers at the end. The series has so many hints of things to come scattered throughout that it sparks one's neurons and makes you wonder where things will go next. I love when a series does that. I'm again foregoing a romance rating as this one is sorely lacking in that department. There is a hint of a whisper that one is on the horizon, but it's just not in the cards, or dare I say pages, yet. *grin*    

Order of Strays series:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Stray Magic (Strays, #1) by Kelly Meding

Title: Stray Magic
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy
Series: A Strays Novel (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 416 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (July 24, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0062847686
ISBN-13: 978-0062847683
Author's Website: http://www.kellymeding.com/home.html
Notes: I bought this one.



Eighty years ago, after World War II, the world learned that werewolves were real. They returned from the War among other revered heroes. Many myths were dispelled about them during that time, while others were proven to be true. In the golden post-War years, few seemed to mind them, at least not publicly. Most could handle people who turned into wolves once a month and lived with their Pack, secluded from the bulk of society. When vampires came out ten years later, however, things got ugly. Many people couldn’t seem to handle the idea of bloodsuckers living next door, buying blood from willing donors, and generally proving that, yes, some things really do go bump in the night. Not even the knowledge of how much control Masters had over their lines, or the care taken in choosing and turning new vampires seemed to assuage the bulk of folks—especially the religious ones.

Six years ago the Paranormal Investigation Units were officially formed—thanks to Julius  Almeida and a few well-placed friends—on the argument that unique abilities were needed to handle other unique abilities. Shiloh Harrison is a Federal Marshal in one of the two existing Paranormal Investigations Units. The units are a force unto themselves with practically no oversight from the Department of Justice. As long as they do what is expected of them and keep the peace, they are left alone.

When Shiloh receives a call from headquarters about a case, she figures it will be business as usual. She quickly realizes, however, that is far from the truth. Things go from bad to worse at an alarming rate. Vampires have taken over a trailer park and are holding the people who live there hostage. They're demanding someone look into why an alarming number vampires and werewolves have gone missing in the past six months. When Shiloh's boss Julius, the only human on their team, turns up missing she finds herself leading the team. As second in command, she's the logical choice to takeover the investigation. While she's run smaller ops before, she finds the scale of this situation to be a bit daunting. She'll need her whole team to help her get down to the bottom of what's going on.
This is the first book of the Strays series. I'm torn between calling this one Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Fantasy. The series has all the grittiness of an Urban Fantasy, but it takes place all around the US as opposed to around one or multiple big cities. For that reason, I don't think it can technically be considered Urban Fantasy by the traditional definition, but I can't seem to make myself go all in in calling it Paranormal Fantasy.

Shiloh is a kick-@ss heroine who reminds me a little of Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs' series of the same name. Like Mercy, Shiloh is a bit of an underdog in the supernatural realm, but somehow manages to surround herself with an excellent group of friends and acquaintances. She tends to inspire loyalty in others through her own actions. She's half human, half Earth djinn and, yes, she can grant wishes. For that reason she keeps her djinn half a secret. In the wrong hands her powers could be used for bad, however, in the right, those powers could prove to be the ultimate weapon. There are some limits as to what she can grant, but the range of what she can do is still impressive.

Shiloh's coworkers consists of a group of misfit supernaturals, hence the name Strays for the series, with unique abilities. Kathleen is a dhampire (half human, half vampire conceived during father's transition) who is stronger than she looks. Jaxon is a skin-walker who can change into his spirit animal's form. Novak is a fallen incubus who has retained many of his previous powers. Alone their skills may not be all that impressive, but together they're a formidable group.

There are some backstories that are hinted at, but not revealed that I'd love to know more about. I also feel like Shiloh is beginning to come into her own right before our eyes. She makes some mistakes along the way, seems a bit naive at times, but learns and adapts as she goes. Plus, she's got a good heart.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. The series has some serious potential. Ultimately,  I enjoyed the story. There was a 'situation' that I could have done without, or at the very least would have preferred it to have been toned down, but that's just me.  I'm foregoing my romance rating for this one because there truly wasn't any real romance to speak of. A couple of sparks, yes, but true romance, no. That being said, in my humble opinion, this one should be bumped up to the erotic category. The  aforementioned 'situation' I talked of was of an erotic nature. I have no doubt that eventually a romance will develop, but for now I patiently await that time. This one kept a nice pace and kept me in its thrall. I definitely recommend it.
Funny after note:  Have you ever wished you could read the first book of one of your favorite series over again for the first time? Well, ironically, my wish may have been granted. Let me explain. I remember getting notifications that this book was coming out but wasn't in a position to read it or any other book at the time. I was fairly sick throughout 2018 having spent most of the year in doctor's offices, hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and recovering from all that transpired. Sometime in June and July I read a handful of books, but am still unsure of all the ones I read. Last month I went to buy this one and found I'd already purchased it. I literally had no recollection of doing so. If that wasn't strange enough, when I went to read it, I found I'd already highlighted passages which meant I must have read it, right? As I began reading, I'd remember situations which happened as I read. This was truly a strange experience for me. I had a sense of déjà vu the entire time I read, yet could never remember what happened next until I got to that part.

After reading the book, I couldn't seem to stop myself from continuing on to the next book, as I managed to snare an eARC loan from the publisher. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites so, if you're thinking 'Yeah, that must of been some book if you can't remember', bite your tongue. I could so sympathize with Shiloh when in the next book she loses some of her memories, but still feels the residual familiarity that comes from knowing you should recall some memory that you can't quite seem to latch on to. Dare I say this book cast a spell on me? More than likely it was the result of the multiple doses of anesthesia given to me throughout last year. I was put under a whopping six times with my longest stay in the hospital lasting around 7 or 8 days. Yeah, I can't quite remember the exact number of days my stay was. Go figure.

Order of Strays series:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Giveaway, sneak peek, and Review of Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7) by Jill Shalvis

 Playing for Keeps
A Heartbreaker Bay Novel
by Jill Shalvis

If you’re planning on falling in love… 

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure… 

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk. 



“Sadie.”

She shook her head.

“Look at me. Please?”

It was the damn please that had her opening her eyes. He’d closed the gap so that if she so much as took a breath, they’d be touching.

So she did just that. She took a deep breath, and then their bodies were up against each other, his warm and hard. Everywhere. “What’s happening?” she whispered.

“I believe you’re deciding between kicking me in the nuts and kissing me.” One side of his mouth curved very slightly as he lifted their still joined hands above her head, against the wall.

“But that last part might just be in my dreams.”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Yes, it’s just in my dreams?”

She meant to say yes again, she really did.

She even opened her mouth to say it, because this was insane, this incredible . . . craving she had for him. It made no sense. Less than no sense, and yet . . .

She went up on tiptoe and touched her mouth to his.


Jill Shalvis
Connect with her on:
Facebook: @JillShalvis
Twitter: @JillShalvis

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, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.


Title: Playing for Keeps
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Heartbreaker Bay (Book 7)
Format: Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (January 22, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0062741888
ISBN-13: 978-0062741882
Author's Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Notes: I received and eARC loan from the publisher for review purposes.



For the past year Caleb Parker and Sadie Lane have performed a slow and careful dance around each other. Caleb has been trying to get Sadie's attention, but the complicated, fiercely independent, and private beautiful young woman seems impervious to his charm. She's a puzzle he can't seem to figure out and that intrigues him to no end.

The sparks between the two are strong and obvious to everyone but them. Will a three legged dog who decides to adopt the pair finally be the catalyst that ignites those sparks into flames? If Caleb gets his wish it will because he's already all in, and he's playing for keeps.
This is the seventh book in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis, and it can be read as a standalone and/or out of order. The series takes place in San Francisco and centers around a group of young people who slowly become a very tight-knit group. As the series progresses, the relationships slowly weave those individuals into the fabric of each other's lives, turning strangers into family. At the center of it all is a fountain rumored to grant wishes for love when wished with a true heart. If you haven't read one of these delightful novels yet, you're in for a real treat. If you've never read one of Ms. Shalvis' books, be prepared to meet one of your new favorite romance authors. Be forewarned, however, Jill's novels are somewhat addictive. It's hard to stop at just one. They tend to be sweet and oh, so steamy all while bringing a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. This one is no exception.

Caleb ("Suits" as Sadie refers to him) is a genius who is a tech savvy inventor and entrepreneur who has made a small fortune selling his wares. He is close with his family and employs three of his sisters. He's charming, fun, and flirty--all traits Sadie's finds highly suspicious, and are characteristics of people she's learned to be cautious around. What she doesn't realize is Caleb is a genuinely nice guy. Of course she's heard that about people before, and it hadn't proven true, so seeing is going to be the only way she'll believe it. Caleb is used to having women chase after him, and the challenge that Sadie presents does not detour him. He's used to seeing what other's don't, and what he sees in Sadie is definitely worth waiting for.

Sadie Lane works as both a tattoo and a permanent makeup artist. She has trust issues, for good reasons, and is currently on a 3 year hiatus from men. She's built up walls around her heart because, in the past, when she's let down her guard people have tended to disappoint her in big ways. The pain that brought has left her a little emotionally scarred. She's wary about forming relationships of any kind, and tends to shield herself in sarcasm. That has served her well. Somehow, though, Caleb has managed to see through the rough and  prickly facade Sadie's erected, and what he see's he likes. He's willing to be patient and do whatever he needs to to gain her trust and eventually her heart.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I just love how a small sweet dog named lollipop, who was desperately in need of some love, brought these two together. Lollipop made Sadie see Caleb in a new light which gave her the courage to take another chance on love. I just adored seeing these two come together in a way that just seemed to make sense. The chemistry between them practically scorched the pages. 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. I loved it! This one is definitely a keeper.

Order of the Heartbreaker Bay series:

(One Snowy Night and Holiday Wishes are Novellas)



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