Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: As Lost As I Get

As Lost As I Get by Lisa Nicholas

Publication Date: 08/18/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 225
ASINB00TY3ZKJK


(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Koboitunes

Lisa Nicholas on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from As Lost As I Get, courtesy of the author's website

Synopsis:

From the author of The Farther I Fall comes an action-filled romance in which two lovers discover that the best thing about being lost is having someone find you...

CIA operative Lee Wheeler is glad to be back in the field, even if the assignment is at a backwater station in Colombia--what he considers punishment for crossing lines in an attempt to save his brother's life. Either way, he's ready for action. But he never could have predicted the action he's about to get...

Doctor Zoe Rodriguez is in charge of a clinic in a tiny town on the edge of the rain forest. She's still dealing with a traumatic experience she had in Mexico--a trauma she wouldn't have survived if it weren't for Lee. So when they unexpectedly cross paths again, unresolved wounds rise to the surface, and their mutual passion flares to life.

But when a new threat reveals itself, Lee and Zoe's reunion takes on echoes of the past that may ruin their chance for a future.


Thoughts:

Lisa Nicholas returns with a follow up to her successful debut novel, The Farther I Fall. Her newest book, As Lost As I Get is a romantic suspense thriller that will have readers on the edge of their collective seats. Danger is around every corner of the Colombian jungle in this heart stopping story that has that suspenseful edge, as well as, a good solid romantic connection. Readers looking for a new author in romantic suspense genre can't go wrong with Nicholas. Her sophomore effort is just as satisfying as her debut and comes with a cast of characters that are well defined and a plot that is gripping and full of energy. 

The Farther I Fall was a great debut novel and I'll have to say that I was somewhat skeptical that the follow up would be as good. Sometimes when an author comes out with an outstanding first novel, it's a little bit hard to top. Nicholas proves that theory wrong with As Lost As I Get. I could see the author's growth in her writing with this one on every page. Her characters showed much more depth, their back stories were easier to follow and more fleshed out and Nicholas did a wonderful job of making them relatable even though most of us readers will never be CIA operatives or doctor's in a foreign land. But that's the beauty of romantic suspense, we get all the action, but none of the real danger!LOL

Lee and Zoe have a past, which is one of favorites ways to start out a romance. They already have a connection, something that ties them together and gives the story somewhere to go right from the start. In this case that start is a bit more intense than most. Lee is, in a sense, Zoe's knight in shining armour. Their shared past involves Lee rescuing Zoe after being kidnapped. Now, they find themselves once again in a situation where their lives are on the line and intensity of the situation only inflames their feelings for each other. Nicholas gives readers a great balance between the action and the romance in this one.

I liked the fact that the lead character, Zoe, wasn't a damsel in distress. She was a woman who could handle herself in some pretty dangerous situations. Her commitment to helping others was also a quality that I loved. Lee might be the big muscular type that you might expect for a CIA operative, but he also had a big heart and he wasn't afraid to use it. Nicholas made these characters stand out and stand on their own and that was refreshing. Usually in this genre you run the risk of making your characters either too strong or too weak. This one has a good balance in every aspect of the story.

Bottom Line:

I wasn't entirely sure how Nicholas was going to work this one out in the end. You have two strong characters who love their work and no real way for them to be together on a normal basis. But I shouldn't have worried, the solution Nicholas found was perfect for the characters and for the story. Nobody gave up anything and everybody was satisfied, including me as a reader. A great second effort from an up and coming author in the romantic suspense genre.

As Lost As I Get is available now from your favorite online retailer.

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




About the Author:


Lisa lives in Michigan with a tiny ridiculous dog and possibly more cats than is sensible. If she's not writing, she's feeding her story addiction any way she can: raiding Netflix, pillaging her local bookstore and library, and (most recently) tearing her way through the comics archive at Marvel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Still the One

Still the One (Animal Magnetism - Book 6) by Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-100425270181
ISBN-13978-0425270189

(Received for an honest review from Berkley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Jill Shalvis on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Animal Magnetism

1. Animal Magnetism
2. Animal Attraction
3. Rescue My Heart
4. Rumor Has It
5. Then Came You
6. Still the One

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




Excerpt from, Still the One, courtesy of the author's website

Synopsis:

Love is a dare in the sexy new romance by the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of the Animal Magnetism novels and the Lucky Harbor series... 

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?


Thoughts:

Jill Shalvis brings readers the sixth book in her Animal Magnetism series, Still the One. Shalvis is a master at weaving a story that is both relevant and heartwarming. Reader's who are looking for a feel good story with lots of humor and charm will find this one irresistible, but there is also an edgy vibe to the book that will interest readers who are looking a little deeper. Shalvis takes on two issues in this book, retired service dogs and physical therapy patients who need more rehab, after the insurance money runs out. A great new read, from a seasoned writer!

Reader's who are familiar with this series and with Jill Shalvis' writing in general know that Shalvis has a real knack for writing characters that speak to readers in unique and different ways. In Still the One, we have two characters that contrast each other well. Darcy is recovering from a serious accident which has completely changed how she views life. I think Darcy's character is a little hesitant, a little fearful and is a woman who is trying to find herself again. I know that there are many readers out there who will be able to relate. The fact that she is using her own funds to find homes for retired service dogs is a cause that really spoke to my heart, since I am in need of a diabetic service dog myself. A great cause to champion as a character and as an author. 

AJ is a strong man. He is a confident, take charge kind of person. He see's a need in the lives of his physical therapy patients and he tries to solve that need. I think he will appeal to those readers who enjoy a hero that protective and intense. Finding the funds to continue helping others is a worthy goal and makes AJ, super appealing. Shalvis writes both characters in the book with such care, it is easy to see that she is moved by them as completely as the reader is.

Six books into this series, I think Shalvis has hit a good stride here. This is my favorite of the series so far, mostly because it hit home for me a bit with the service dog aspect of the story. But there is a lot for a reader to love about this book. I loved the humor that Shalvis uses and she made me want to visit a little town like Sunshine, Idaho. Her attention to detail drew me in and kept me glued to the pages. Certainly, not one readers will want to miss.

Bottom Line:

I always enjoy a book that doesn't make the romance the only interesting part of the story. I love a good romance, but I want a little substance to and I think Shalvis gives reader that perfect balance. Darcy and AJ have a shared past. They have some obstacles to overcome both in their romantic lives and in their personal lives. I liked the fact that they weren't perfect. They were real and that made all the difference. Shalvis knows how to write good characters and readers will not be disappointed with this one! 

Still the one is available NOW from your favorite bookseller!

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


About the Author:


Jill Shalvis is the author of several popular series including the Lucky Harbor Series (It Had to Be You; Always on My Mind; Forever and a Day); the Animal Magnetism series (Rescue My Heart; Animal Attraction; Animal Magnetism), the Wilders series (Instant Attraction; Instant Temptation; Instant Gratification), and the Sky High series (Strong and Sexy; Superb and Sexy; Smart and Sexy). Her baseball-themed romances include Slow Heat and Double Play, and she also appears in anthologies such as He’s The One.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Wedding Duress

Wedding Duress (Southern Sewing Circle - Book 10) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Publication Date: 04/02/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10042525786X
ISBN-13978-0425257869

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Elizabeth Lynn Casey on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Southern Sewing Circle

  1. Sew Deadly
  2. Death Threads
  3. Pinned for Murder
  4. Deadly Notions
  5. Dangerous Alterations
  6. Reap What You Sew
  7. Let It Sew
  8. Remnants of Murder
  9. Taken In
10. Wedding Duress

Coverart




Excerpt from, Wedding Duress, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:

“The Southern Sewing Circle will win your heart.”—Monica Ferris, USA Today Bestselling Author

Librarian Tori Sinclair is tying the knot—as long as a murder doesn’t unravel her plans…

Tori is ecstatic to become Mrs. Milo Wentworth in a few days, but she has a lot to do before she sashays down the aisle. Favors need to be sewn, vows need to be written—and a mystifying murder needs to be solved.

When Beatrice, a fellow member of the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle, learns that her former nanny took a fatal fall in her new employers’ home, she suspects the death was not an accident. Now Tori’s spending her last days as a single woman untangling rumors and stitching together motives to find a killer. But can she nab a murderer and make it to the church on time?


Thoughts:

Elizabeth Lynn Casey continues her long running Southern Sewing Circle mystery series with her latest book, Wedding Duress. Readers who love the series will be enthralled by Tori and Milo's wedding plans and how that effects the Sweet Briar Sewing Circle. It's not fun and roses with circle in this book, as Leona once again speaks her mind, when she probably should have kept it shut. There is also murder afoot when a nanny from England ends up at the bottom of a basement staircase. A great addition to this ever changing series!

One of the things that I always find interesting about this series is the way that Casey is able to change things up. Readers have become accustomed to all the ladies in the sewing circle now that the series is ten books in, but I think there is still so much to learn about all of the ladies and their amazing friendships. Beatrice is a character we rarely hear anything from in the series and I thought Casey did a fantastic job of bringing her into the spotlight. Beatrice becomes a focal point that was unexpected and very enjoyable.

There is a lot going on in this addition to the series. Tori and Milo's wedding is just around the corner, Beatrices' former nanny has taken a tragic tumble and Leona is simply being herself in this one. Casey does a great job of melding all of the sub plots together to form an amazing cozy. We get a great mystery, time with friends and plenty of drama, both murderous and childish. I loved the way it all worked itself out. 

The mystery aspects of this one were intriguing. Beatrice's friend and former nanny Miss Grace is dead. It could have been an accident but Beatrice doesn't think so. It's up to the ladies to figure it all out. At first I thought I had it figured out, early on. Then after a few twists and turns, I wasn't too sure. When the final reveal came, I was dumbfounded. Nope, I did not have this one anywhere close to right... lol. That made it just perfect for me. Casey made the killer illusive and full of surprises. 

Bottom Line:

If you love a good cozy series, that has long standing characters and intriguing new plots, the Southern Sewing Circle books are for you. Wedding Durress centered around Tori's wedding, but it wasn't overwhelmed by it. Casey certainly kept me in the dark as to who the killer was until the very end. I love it when I'm totally surprised by what happens. A great read and a great addition to the series!

Wedding Duress is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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




About the Author:


Elizabeth Lynn Casey is the author of the bestselling Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, including Taken InRemnants of Murder, and Let It Sew.


Giveaway Details:


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 28th.

1. Please leave a comment. Anything strange happen at your wedding or someone else you know?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review: One True Heart

One True Heart (Harmony - Book 9) by Jodi Thomas

Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-100425268411
ISBN-13978-0425268414

(Received for an honest review from Berkley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Jodi Thomas on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Harmony

1. Welcome to Harmony
2. Somewhere Along the Way
3. The Comforts of Home
4. Just Down the Road
5. Chance of a Lifetime
6. Can't Stop Believing
7. Betting the Rainbow
8. A Place Called Harmony
9. One True Heart

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




Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Harmony, Texas—a small town where love blooms and secrets of the past threaten to alter the future…

Millanie McAllen is always logical. But after returning to her childhood home, she learns that some things are beyond explanation—like her undeniable passion for Drew Cunningham…

After finding success as a singer on the road, Beau Yates returns to Harmony to make peace with his dying father—only to find the woman he’s been dreaming of for years. But the secrets they discover might be too much for him to bear…

When Johnny Wheeler is charged with his wife’s murder, he turns to the only person who believes he’s innocent. Fortune teller Kare Cunningham’s life has always danced around reality—but Johnny is able to ground her like no other…

As their paths cross in new, captivating directions, the townspeople of Harmony need to learn to love and let go in order to live together in their little slice of heaven.


Thoughts:

Readers are treated to a one-two-three knockout with Jodi Thomas's latest book in the Harmony series. One True Heart features not one, but three romantic couples. Readers who love this series will love the mix of old and new characters that Thomas brings to the ninth book in the series, about a small Texas town, steeped in history and love. This series just keeps getting better and better. In the tradition of authors like Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods, Jodi Thomas gives readers real stories about real people that will touch the heart. A great addition to the series!

I have lately become a huge fan of Jodi Thomas and I am often surprised at how long it took me to find her books. The Harmony series is one that strikes close to heart with me. The characters always seem so easy to relate to. The have problems and issues that my best friend might have. They deal with life's ups and downs in a realistic fashion and always bring a smile to lips. Life isn't perfect and I don't want to read about perfect characters. These characters are real and that makes all the difference.

In One True Heart, readers get a real mix of romantic encounters. Thomas gives us three love stories instead of just one. I liked the way that Thomas gave each couple ample time to find each other for the first time or to find each other again. I didn't feel like any one romance out shined the other or took anything away from the other. Each one had time to blossom and grow. I was interested to see how they all fit together and I was certainly not disappointed, Thomas has a knack for making it all work out. 

I think my favorite story of the bunch belongs to Johnny and Kare. Johnny is accused of murdering his wife, Scarlett and just about everyone in town believes he did it, even his family. Kare is a fortune teller who doesn't always go with the flow. She believes he's innocent and sets out to prove it. It was interesting watching their emotions for each other grow while Johnny was in jail. It gave a unique perspective to the story that was very engaging.

Millanie McAllen is a daughter of one of the founding families in Harmony, but she has been away at war for a long time. As an Army Captain she could have come across as staunch and hard, but she didn't. I liked the romance between her and Drew and how she was able to resolve his past with the man she had learned to care for in the present. I liked her as a character and thought she added a lot to the Harmony community.

I wasn't quite as into Beau's story as I was the other two couples, but that was just a pet peeve of mine. I have a hard time putting 'famous' characters in romantic situations with the common gal. The president of a bank no less. I did like the angle of how much "Trouble" had changed since Beau knew her as a teen and that did redeem that part of the story for me a bit. Also Beau's relationship with his father was a very heartfelt part of the book. 

Bottom Line:

This a great three for one story. One True Heart takes three romances and meshes them so wonderfully that the reader can't help but smile. Jodi Thomas is a master at making her characters relatable and easy to like. This might be the ninth book in the series, but it isn't slowing down any. I hope to see many more Harmony books out there. This was one was simply outstanding!

One True Heart is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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





About the Author:


Jodi Thomas is the New York Times bestselling author of the Harmony novels, including A Place Called Harmony and Betting the Rainbow. She is a certified marriage and family counselor, a fifth generation Texan, a Texas Tech graduate, and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives in Amarillo, Texas.

Review: Bite at First Sight

Bite at First Sight (Scandals with Bite - Book 3) by Brooklyn Ann

Publication Date: 07/04/2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Casablanca
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
ISBN-101402274505
ISBN-13978-1402274503

(Received for an honest review from Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Brooklyn Ann on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Scandals with Bite

1. Bite Me, Your Grace
2. One Bite Per Night
3. Bite at First Sight

Coverart:




Excerpt from, Bite At First Sight, courtesy of 

Synopsis:

Her interest is purely scientific
Cassandra Burton wants to study medicine, surgery, healing, and everything related to the human body and its mysteries-and she's willing to rob graves to do it! But a lady can meet dark and dangerous characters lurking around the cemetery. And who could be more fascinating than Rafael Villar, Lord Vampire of London? If she could study his physiology, she could learn so much that would help humans. After all, he's immortal-and Cassandra is now his prisoner...


Thoughts:

If you like your Regency romances with a splash of the paranormal than Brooklyn Ann's, Scandals with Bite series, is right up your alley. The third book in the series, Bite at First Sight is an entertaining mix of historical and paranormal romance. Readers who like strong heroines and brooding heroes will not be disappointed with this addition to the series. Rafe is the Vampire Lord of London and Cassandra is a would be doctor. Together they become embroiled in betrayal, political intrigue and a very steamy romance. A great addition to the series!

This is my first book in the Scandals with Bite series and my first by this author. I think I would have benefited from reading the other two books in the series first, but Bite at First Sight does stand on it's own well. There were a few mentions of things that went on in the previous books, but not enough to throw me off while reading it. Brooklyn Ann did a good job of backtracking, but not becoming distracting. 

My first impressions of this author were for the most part good. I liked the world building in this book and found the subplots intriguing and full of surprises. Her characters were on point and I found myself really interested to see where she would take them throughout the story. Ann's transitions were good and I didn't feel like anything in the story was filler or fluff. The romance scenes were hot and steamy and very evocative. Overall I liked this one a lot. 

Rafe's backstory was interesting and Cassandra had all of the marks for a good heroine. I tend to like my heroes a bit on the alpha side and Rafe most definitely fit that bill, though he did cave in regards to Cassandra, but that was a good thing. Rafe's scars gave him a distinctive manner that added to his commanding aura, but it also gave him a vulnerability that is missing in some Regency and PNR heroes. A very well thought out character!

One of my favorite parts of this one was the balance between the Regency elements and the paranormal elements. Even though Rafe was a vampire he still adhered to what I expected from a Regency character. The customs of the day and the political climate were still true to form and Ann did a wonderful job with those parts of the book. It made the setting come alive and became essential to the story.

Cassandra was a woman before her time and a very pleasant character to read about. She wanted nothing more than to practice medicine in a time when it was unheard of for women. I liked that aspect of the story and her desire to find out more about Rafe's physiology. What better way to learn than to explore, lol. The romantic parts of the book were spot on and readers will love it.

Bottom Line:

Brooklyn Ann was a great new author for me. She put two genres together that I love. Regency and paranormal. Her characters were engaging and full of life and I loved the brooding alpha male vs. the smart would be doctor theme. The behind the scenes action was perfect for the book, from betrayal to politics. The Regency setting was still kept intact, but spiced up a bit with a vampire and really hot romance. Great job with this one!

Bite at First Sight is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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





About the Author:


A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire series. The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. She can be found online at http://brooklynann.blogspot.com.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Wicked Stitch

Wicked Stitch (Embroidery Mystery - Book 8) by Amanda Lee

Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10045146740X
ISBN-13978-0451467409

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Amanda Lee on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Embroidery Mysteries

1. The Quick and the Thread
2. Stitch Me Deadly
3. Thread Reckoning
4. The Long Stitch Goodnight
5. Thread on Arrival
6. Cross Stitch Before Dying
7. Thread End
8. Wicked Stitch

Coverart




Synopsis:

When murder strikes the small town of Tallulah Falls, embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer isn’t afraid of getting down to the knitty-gritty to clear her name....
 

For most small-business owners in Tallulah Falls, the upcoming Renaissance Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy’s nemesis, Nellie, and her sister, Clara, it’s an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to make grudges a family affair and have set up competing booths right next to Marcy’s at the Ren Faire.

When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth—strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting—Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling—and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn....


Thoughts:

Amanda Lee takes readers back to Tallulah Falls just in time for the Renaissance Fair. Wicked Stitch is the eighth book in the Embroidery Mystery series and readers who love a good yarn will love this one. Marcy Singer, owner of The Seven Year Stitch is putting up a booth in the fair along with several other shop keepers including her enemies Nellie and Clara. Lee captivates with well drawn characters, more than one mystery and plenty of eclectic knitting, embroidering and other arts. Readers who want a cozy with some flare will find this one right up their alley. A good addition to the series!

This series has been kind of hit or miss for me. Some of the books have had engaging plots and plenty of suspense and mayhem and others, not so much. With Wicked Stitch, Amanda Lee starts out on a good track. The Renaissance Fair theme is unique and full of potential for lots of interesting havoc. I liked the fact that Lee puts Marcy up against the sisters who want to ruin her. Nellie and Clara are always up to some no good and they make for an entertaining read.

Lee's ability to write good characters is the salvation for this series. Not only is Marcy, multi-faceted and fun to read about, but so are the secondary characters in the series. Ted, Marcy's love interest is always there to help her investigate and this time the murder of Clara ties in with a cold case Ted has been working, so readers get a two for one. I love it when there is some secondary conflict that the reader can get into along with the main story line. Lee pulls that off well here.

Once the big reveal came at the end, the story starts to rush a long at a head long speed. Basically, you find the killer and the end of the book sneaks up on you. I wanted a little more explanation and time to see the direction the next book would take and I didn't get that here. But this was a very solid book in the series and I think Lee did a great job with it. 

Bottom Line:

This was a good book. It had a great theme with the Renaissance Fair and the murder wasn't easy to figure out. The characters as always were believable and down to earth. Ted and Marcy's romance is both sweet and comfortable. Even though there was a murder and an arson case, it just didn't heat up the pages for me. It was good... but perhaps not great. I recommend it to readers who are fans of the series and those who love embroidery. A good addition to the series!

Wicked Stitch is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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



About the Author:


Amanda Lee is a full-time cozy mystery writer and author of three cozy mystery series: the Myrtle Crumb mysteries, including When Good Bras Go Bad and Claus of Death; the Daphne Martin Cake mysteries, including Dead PanKiller Sweet Tooth, and Battered to Death; and the Embroidery mysteries, including Thread EndThe Long Stitch Good Night, Thread on Arrival, and Cross-Stitch Before Dying. She is married and has two gorgeous children. Like Marcy, she enjoys needlecrafts and pop culture.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Wicked Stitch by Amanda Lee.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever done any embroidery? Machine or by hand?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review: Mate Bond

Mate Bond (Shifters Unbound - Book 7) by Jennifer Ashley

Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-100425266052
ISBN-13978-0425266052

(Received for an honest review from Berkley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Jennifer Ashley on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Shifter's Unbound

1. Pride Mates
2. Primal Bonds
3. Wild Cat
4. Mate Claimed
5. Tiger Magic
6. Wild Wolf
7. Mate Bond

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




Synopsis:

Together but unbound, they must learn what it means to love completely, in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wild Wolf.

To cement the leadership of his North Carolina Shiftertown, Bowman O’Donnell agreed to a “mating of convenience.” Two powerful wolf shifters, he and Kenzie keep the pack in order and are adored by all. Bowman would do anything to protect Kenzie, for in each other’s arms they’ve found far more than friendship. But as strong as their attachment is, they still haven’t formed the elusive mate bond—the almost magical joining of true mates.

Now with a monster ravaging the countryside and threatening the Shiftertown community, some in the pack fear that a pair without a true mate bond isn’t strong enough to lead. Bowman and Kenzie will have to rely on their instinctive trust in one another to save their Shifters—and the ensuing battle will either destroy them or give them the chance to seize the love they’ve always craved.


Thoughts:

Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound series is fast becoming one of my favorites in the paranormal romance genre. Her latest book Mate Bond is ultimately my favorite of the series so far. Readers who looking for a mature romance, with couple who has been married for some time will love this one. Bowman and Kenzie may have a wonderful relationship but they do not share the mate bond that will keep them together forever. Their struggle to find an illusive foe hinges on their relationship and readers won't be able to put it down for a minute. A great addition to the series!

Ohhhh, I really liked this one! Jennifer Ashley is sooo good at world building. In Mate Bond readers get to see what the North Carolina pack's Shiftertown is like. We have seen other Shiftertown's in previous books, but this one was really interesting. If you are unfamiliar with the series, a Shiftertown is kind of like an Indian Reservation. The shifters have been forced to live in these towns away from the human population. Each one is unique and I loved learning about the Bowman and Kenzie's town. Ashley never ceases to amaze when it comes to her mythology and world building, it's one of the best parts of this series.

I liked the fact that this book wasn't a boy meets girl and falls in love story. Kenzie and Bowman have been together for a long time and even have a son, Ryan, who will one day lead the pack. It was a marriage of convenience that united the dissident parts of the pack, but it turned into something more. It is obvious that this couple loves each other very much, but they have yet to form the elusive mate bond that will ensure that they will be together forever. I liked the maturity of the story here. There problems were a lot more dynamic and deep than the problems a reader generally finds with a new relationship. I thought that was a great idea for the book and loved how it worked out.

Kenzie and Bowman are up against a really devious villain and the things he does are simply gut wrenching. He made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That part of the book was cleverly put together and I think readers who like a story with substance will really find this one up their alley. This guy was a real piece of work and the way the hero and heroine solve the problems that comes with the bad guy was simply awe inspiring. I loved that part!

The romance is hot and steamy in this one and it seemed completely natural. You have two alpha shifters, which is a volatile combination in the first place. They have a lot of passion in and out of the bedroom and readers who like a little heat will not be disappointed. Ashley seems to really understand the kind of aggressive and fierce relationship that needs to happen in this kind of shifter society. Very well done.

Bottom Line:

This is my favorite book in the series so far. I am becoming a huge fan of this author and I think anyone who loves a good were story will fall in love with this one. Kenzie and Bowman were a mature couple with mature problems and I liked the fact that they knew exactly where they stood with each other. The romance was hot, the action was fast and readers will just have to hold on for dear life. A great new book from a very talented author.

Mate Bond is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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





About the Author:


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley writes historical and paranormal romance as Jennifer Ashley; paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James; and mysteries as Ashley Gardner. Jennifer's novels have won RWA's RITA and RT Reviewer's Choice awards among others. 

For information on all her novels visit www.jennifersromances.com. Also see http://www.gardnermysteries.com (Ashley Gardner) and http://www.allysonjames.com (Allyson James) for her other works