Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: White Knight

White Knight (Cornerstone Trilogy - Book 3) by Kelly Meade

Publication Date: 01/20/2015
Publisher: Penguin
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: Paranormal Romance
File Size: 1182 KB (appox. 277 pages)
ASIN: B00I8RB100

(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, Kobo

Kelly Meade on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Cornerstone  Run Trilogy

1. Black Rook
2. Gray Bishop
3. White Knight

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, White Knight, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Kelly Meade, author of Grey Bishop and Black Rook, continues her Cornerstone Run saga...

Checkmate…


Despite a month of peace from hybrid attacks, the constant threat of violence has the loup garou on edge. Knight McQueen’s home feels like a military compound and his people have become battle-weary soldiers. And Knight’s tenuous grip on his own self-control has been further damaged by the disappearance of the only woman whose touch brings him peace.

Held prisoner by her hybrid half-sisters and forced to care for an unknown child, Shay Butler’s quarterly is approaching but a silver-laced collar prevents her from shifting. As her time draws closer, her sanity begins to slip.

The opportunity to rescue Shay arrives when Magus enemy Archimedes Atwood requests a parley to discuss ways to end the conflict between their people and stop the rogue hybrids. Alpha Bishop McQueen agrees, bringing his brothers together to form a plan that will bring Shay home to Knight, stop the final two hybrids—and finally bring Archimedes to justice once and for all...


Thoughts:

White Knight is the final book in Kelly Meade's Cornerstone Run Trilogy featuring werewolves and a couple of hybrid werewolf/vampire sisters who are out for blood. Readers who have followed the series have been waiting for Knight McQueen's story with baited breath. This brother and his empathetic abilities has taken the heart of many readers and this installment in the series focuses on Knight and his soon to be mate, Shay. The romance is both touching and sexy and the Meade ties up every arc and thread in the series with a nice big bow. A great addition to the series!

This series is one that has quite of bit of darkness to it. It reminds me more of an Urban Fantasy title than a Paranormal Romance for that reason. It has that dark, gritty kind of energy that is so prevalent in Urban Fantasy, yet there is always a powerful love story at the heart of each novel, including the final book, White Knight. 

Knight's soon to be mate, Shay was taken prisoner by the hybrids at the end of book two and readers have been waiting to see what happens for quite a while now. Her relationship with Knight has already been established so readers aren't necessarily getting a happy-ever-after story, but more of continuation of a love story. This book is more about how the couple learns to trust each other, through their struggles, than it is about finding love. They already have it. They just have to learn to trust it.

Knight didn't quite live up to my expectations as a hero. I knew he struggled with his abilities as an empath, but I thought he had more control than he exhibited in this book. In the previous books he had always been this sort of enigma, a mystery that wasn't easy to solve, but in this one, he lost that a little bit and it was hard for me to rationalize both parts of his character. I knew he would be different than the average alpha hero because he was always the one who didn't quite fit the mold, but I wanted more here. I still liked him, I just wanted more.

Shay, however, more than made up for Knight. She was a kick-butt, heroine. Not only did she survive her captivity and keep her sanity, but she seemed to thrive afterwards. She came into her own in the run and was able to be a part of things and even offer suggestions and help to Rook. I loved her tenacity and my heart broke for her and Knight during several parts of this book. It wouldn't be a Cornerstone Run book without some tragedy and dire circumstances and Meade did not disappoint.  

Bottom Line:

Meade tied everything up nicely here, doing a fantastic job of making every arc and thread make sense. I wanted to know what happened to so many people and things before the end and Meade gave me a very satisfying finish to a great series! Knight may not have been everything I wanted but he was still a good character. Shay was amazing and it was great to check with old characters and find new ones. A great overall finish!

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!





About the Author:


Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, Freddy Krueger and "Fear Street" novels, Kelly Meade developed a love for all things paranormal at a very young age. The stealthy adolescent theft of a tattered paperback from her grandmother's collection of Harlequins sparked an interest in romance that has continued to this day. Writing as Kelly Meding, Meade is the author of the Dreg City urban fantasy and the MetaWars books. She is also the author of the first book of the Cornerstone Trilogy, Black Rook, and the conclusion, White Knight.


Review: Last Hit: Reloaded

Last Hit: Reloaded (Book 4 - Hitman) {Novella} by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick

Publication Date: 01/20/2015
Publisher: Penguin
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • ASIN: B00O9A4AFS
File Size: 948 KB (appox. 134 Pages)

(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleitunes, Kobo

Jessica Clare on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Jen Frederick on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Hitman

1. Last Hit
2. Last Breath
3. Last Kiss
4. Last Hit: Reloaded
5. Last Hope

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Last Hit: Reloaded, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

With their explosively sexy novels, the bestselling authors of Last Breath, Last Kiss, and Last Hit have proven themselves “a force to be reckoned with.”* Now comes an all-new to-die-for novella in their acclaimed Hitman series…

There was a time when Nick loved the fear he instilled in his enemies. His tattoos alone promised danger, but it was the look in his eyes that delivered on it. A contract killer since he was just a boy, Nick has now forged a new life—and a new identity—with the woman who followed him, captured him, and changed him.


He terrified Daisy. Once. But she couldn’t resist, and she ignored every warning. It paid off. Now she’s part of a new beginning, a fresh start in America helping him to leave behind a reckless and violent past as a professional killer. But the past is never easy to outrun, especially when so much of it thrives on revenge.


A new threat has emerged from the shadows, and now Nick and Daisy have no choice but to rely on Nick’s killer skills to protect them from everything they’ve tried so hard to escape.


Thoughts:

Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick bring readers a new novella in the Hitman series. If readers were wondering how on earth Nick and Daisy would make it in the real world after their happy-ever-after, this is that story. With the same intense characters, a lot of hot love scenes and just enough mystery and suspense to bring it all together, Last Hit: Reloaded is a definitely a hit!

The Hitman series is one that seems to produce some strong feelings in readers for one reason or another. Personally, I liked it a lot because of the intensity of the characters that Clare and Frederick have created. Readers first met both Nick and Daisy in Last Hit where they ended up together despite the odds stacked against them. Nick was a former assassin and Daisy had led such a sheltered life that their normal was anything but. I loved the powerful connection between them and was so happy to see that the authors decided to continue their story in Last Hit: Reloaded.

The story picks up with Nick and Daisy now living in America. They have begun their new life together but fitting into a normal everyday existence is proving a little harder than they imagined. Nick has to learn to channel is assassin urges and his deep need to protect Daisy, while Daisy struggles to fit in with her new classmates and longs to make new friends. 

It was interesting to see these characters in such an unfamiliar environment. I loved seeing Nick start to interact with people in the real world and the way he was able to see a different side to life. Daisy, however had in me in agony. I hurt for her as she tried to find a way to fit in. I wanted to reach out and grab some of her coeds and shake them for not understanding her awkwardness and shyness. When she did make a friend, Nick got worried and he had good reason.

A lot of things happened in this short novella and good deal of it was sexually related. These two might be intense outside the bedroom, but inside it, they were simply explosive. Together they could tackle anything and their love for each other was present throughout the book but their sexual connection was just as important to the story. I liked the fact that Clare and Fredrick understood that a guy like Nick could not possibly be vanilla in the bedroom. He rocked every scene and readers will not be disappointed.

Bottom Line:

If you liked any of the Hitman books, you won't want to miss this InterMix novella. A topnotch addition to the series, with the same intensity and mind blowing suspense that will keep readers coming back again and again. Clare and Frederick mesh well together giving readers a cohesive and smoothly flowing story, with powerful love scenes and a mystery that will keep you guessing, as well as, a great after, the happily-ever-after story. 

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!





About the Author:


Jessica Clare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Hitman novels which include Last Hit, Last Breath, and Last Kiss. She also writes under the names Jessica Sims, and Jill Myles. She lives in a teeny tiny town in North Texas that has no Starbucks, which is a cruel and unusual punishment. She spends her time with her husband, pets, and Keurig. Because, coffee.


Jen Frederick is the USA Today bestselling author of the Woodlands series as well as the Hitman series. She lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I've Been Reading!

Though I have been on hiatus from my blog, I have still been reading all along the way. In the next few days I will be posting some reviews of the books and authors that have kept me busy while I've been under the weather. I hope you enjoy these reviews and pick up some of these wonderful books.

Here are some of the reviews you may be seeing in the next few days. I hope to get them all ready and posted by the beginning of next week:

Last Hit: Reloaded (Book 4 - Hitman) by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick






White Knight (Book 3 - Cornerstone Trilogy) by Kelly Meade






Broken Bonds (Book 3 - Cold Creek) by Karen Harper






Dogwood Hill (Book 12 - Chesapeake Shores) by Sherryl Woods






The Devil Takes a Bride {aka. The Fall of Grace} (Book 2 - The Cabot Sisters) by Julia London





Unfaded Glory (Book 2 - Home to Glory) by Sara Arden






Flirting with Disaster (Book 3 - Girls Night Out) by Victoria Dahl






Echo Lake (Book 4 - Swift River Valley) by Carla Neggers






It Must Be Your Love (Book 11 - The Sullivans) by Bella Andre

Romance Showcase: March

The first week of each month I will be posting a showcase of the romance novels coming out for the month from several Penguin imprints. There are tons of other romance publishers but I've worked with Penguin for a long time and I prefer to read and review the romances they publish. But you will get a few bonus choices from other publishers at the end. 

I will also be spotlighting and/or reviewing specific books throughout the month.

This is not a comprehensive list, it is just those I am covering this month from Penguin.

Here is what you have to look forward to in March 2015!

You can add them all to your Goodreads want to read list NOW!

And I Love Her (Book 4 - A Green Mountain Romance) by Marie Force






The 27 Club by Kim Karr


A stand-a-lone novel!




Return to Me (Book 1 - Covington Cove) by Kelly Moran

First in a new series!




What a Woman (Book 4 - Manley Maids) by Judi Fennell






Brash (Book 3 - The Cavanaugh Brothers) by Laura Wright






Every Little Kiss (Book 2 - Harvest Cove) by Kendra Leigh Castle






Binding Ties (Book 9 - Sentinel Wars) by Shannon K. Butcher






Rising Fire (Book 1 - Stone Circles) by Terri Brisbin

First in a new series!




The List by Anne Calhoun







His To Take (Book 9 - Wicked Lovers) by Shayla Black






His Wicked Reputation (Book 1 - Wicked Trilogy) by Madeline Hunter

First in a new series!




The Bedding Proposal (Book 1 - The Rakes of Cavendish Square) by Tracy Anne Warren

First in a new series!



Here are a few bonus choices from other romance publishers releasing in March:

The Shadows (Book 13 - The Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J.R. Ward

from NAL




Four Nights with the Duke (Book 8 - Desperate Duchesses) by Eloisa James

from Harper Collins




Last One Home by Debbie Macomber

from Ballantine Books





Longing by Mary Balogh

from NAL





The Beekeeper's Ball (Book 2 - Bella Vista Chronicles) by Susan Wiggs

from Harlequin MIRA





Enjoy all of these great books in the month of March!

Which one are you looking forward to the most?


Cozy Mystery Showcase: March

The first week of each month I will be posting a showcase of the cozy mysteries coming out for the month from Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian Mystery. While I know there are other cozy publishers, I have worked with Penguin for a long time and prefer to read and review the cozies they publish. But you will get a few bonus choices from other publishers at the end.

I will also be spotlighting specific books throughout the month and/or posting a review and giveaway. But here is what you have to look forward to for March 2015!

You can add them all to your Goodreads  want to read list NOW!

From Berkley Prime Crime: 

A Wee Murder in My Shop (Book 1 - A Scotshop Mystery) by Fran Stewart

First in a new series!




A First Date with Death (Book 1 - A Love or Money Mystery) by Diana Orgain

First in a new series!




Assault and Pepper (Book 1 - A Spice Shop Mystery) by Leslie Budewitz

First in a new series!




A Horse of a Different Killer (Book 3 - A Call of the Wilde Mystery) by Laura Morrigan






Suspendered Sentence (Book 4 - An Amish Mystery) by Laura Bradford






Murder Ties the Knot (Book 4 - A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery) by Christy Fifield






Ladle to the Grave (Book 4 - A Soup Lover's Mystery) by Connie Archer






How to Catch a Cat (Book 6 - A Cats and Curios Mystery) Rebecca M. Hale






Steeped in Evil (Book 15 - A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

Releasing in Paperback!

You can read my review of the hardcover here.


From Obsidian Mystery:

Dying for a Cupcake (Book 4 - A Deveraux's Dime Store Mystery) by Denise Swanson






Borrowed Crime (Book 4 - A Bookmobile Cat Mystery) by Laurie Cass






Aloha Betrayed (Book 41 - Murder She Wrote) by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain





Also releasing from Berkley:

Mrs. Jeffries Serves at Six (Book 35 - A Victorian Mystery) by Emily Brightwell

3 in 1 volume including books 16, 17, and 18 in the Victorian Mystery series!



Here a few bonus choices from other cozy publishers releasing in March:

Garden of Death (Book 3 - A Natural Remedies Mystery) by Chrystle Fiedler

from Pocket Books!




Marked Fur Murder (Book 3 - A Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot Mystery) by Dixie Lyle

from St. Martin's Press




Tails, You Lose (Book 2 - A Witch City Mystery) by Carol J. Perry

from Kensington Books




The Cat Sitter's Whiskers (Book 10 - A Dixie Hemingway Mystery) John Clement


Releasing in hardcover from St. Martin's Press (Minotaur)



The Edge of Dreams (Book 14 - A Molly Murphy Mystery) by Rhys Bowen

Releasing in hardcover from St Martin's Press (Minotaur)



A Dangerous Place (Book 11 - A Maisie Dobbs Mystery) by Jacqueline Winspear


from Harper Collins



Enjoy all of these great books in the month of March!

Which one are you looking forward to the most?