Thursday, March 17, 2016

MIA: Missing in Action

Hey everyone! I've been MIA for about a week now, dealing with kidney stones. It's been pretty awful, but I'm going to try to play catch up and get some reviews out as quickly as possible! Just thought I'd let you know I haven't deserted you again...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: How to Handle a Scandal

How to Handle a Scandal (Scandalous Sisters - Book 2) by Emily Greenwood

Publication Date: 03/01/2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 384

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Emily Greenwood on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from How to Handle a Scandal, courtesy of the author's website

Books in the series:

Scandalous Sisters 

1. The Beautiful One
2. How to Handle a Scandal

Coverart: Click the photo for a larger, clearer picture of the covers in this series.


They thought the debutante was scandalous
Miss Elizabeth Tarryton was the toast of the London Season the year she was seventeen and spurned young Tommy Halifax. A careless flirt who didn't know what she wanted, she was startled into laughter by his public proposal of marriage. Furious and heartbroken, Tommy promptly left home for a life of adventure in India.
If they only knew about the widow
Seven years later, Elizabeth has much to make up for, but the methods she chooses for doing good are as shocking as her earlier wanton behavior―should the ton ever find out. Tommy returns to England a hero, with no intention of allowing himself to be hurt by a woman ever again, but he's fascinated nonetheless by Elizabeth, now widowed and more alluring than ever.


Emily Greenwood returns to her Scandalous Sisters series with How to Handle a Scandal. Greenwood is a proven Regency writer, who knows the ins and outs of the ton like the back of her hand. Readers who love a good second chance romance will find this one enchanting, if a bit trying at times. Greenwood is always good for a great scandal and when Lizzy laughs at Tommy's high profile proposal, sparks fly. But there is still more scandal in their future and readers will find these intense characters full of surprises.

What I liked:

I can totally believe that a young girl could laugh at a young man's proposal. Been there myself actually. I don't think Eliza meant to be so insensitive, but Tommy certainly didn't see it that way. Emily Greenwood gives readers an interesting premise for her latest book, How to Handle a Scandal. Readers get a second chance romance, but that's not all. Scandal abounds, and that is definitely what a reader looks for in a great Regency novel. If an author can pull off a good scandal, half of the battle is won with her audience. Greenwood proves she can do that here.

Tommy isn't the wide eyed young man he once was when he returns to the ton. He is being knighted for his service and doesn't have any plans for romance. But as often happens, one thing leads to another and he ends up in the middle of another scandal... with the same woman, no less. I liked Tommy even though he has become a bit jaded where women are concerned. He could be harsh and he seemed a bit unfeeling at moments, but I'm telling you, Eliza could make a priest curse. This was one hard fought HEA. He had his hands full and it wasn't what he bargained for.

I can see Eliza making a turn around. She grows up a lot in this novel. She changes for the better. Since she is a widow with a lot to make up for, seeing her mentor young women to keep them off the streets was satisfying. She has a new purpose in life. But she tends to go a bit overboard with everything. Dressing the part of a prostitute in an actual brothel, probably not the learning experience she expected. I found her a bit childish at times, bratty, self serving. I wasn't too sure she was the right woman for Tommy even after all these years. 

What I didn't like:

The heroine in this one was a bit much for me. I liked parts of her story, but other parts left me a bit aggravated. She wants to make a great turn around in her life and she does, but not when it comes to the romance of the story. She lies to Tommy, time and time again. She tricks him, she throws temper tantrums and just made me a little disgusted with her at times. The action lagged a little because of it and I just felt he deserved a lot better. Not the kind of feelings you want when it comes to a good romance. 

Bottom Line:

Loved the hero, even if he was a bit gruff at times. Liked the heroine in some ways and detested her in others. Not the couple I would have chosen. The scandal was good, well written. The heat was good to a point and certain will cause some readers to need a fan. But the romance was a bit flat, because the heroine wasn't very honest and when she did tell the truth, she made it seem like the hero was to blame. Ughhh! I was wringing my hands with this one. Take it with a grain of salt, you might like Eliza, she just wasn't my cup of tea.

How to Handle a Scandal is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 3 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance is the chocolate-and in some exquisite cases, the wine-of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives with her husband and their two daughters in Kensington, Maryland.

Review: At the Edge

At the Edge (Alpha Crew Part 1) by Laura Griffin

Publication Date: 03/07/2016
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Imprint: Pocket Star
Genre: Romantic Suspense
File Size: 2426 KB

(Received for an honest review from Pocket Star)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, Kobo

Laura Griffin on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from At the Edge, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Dive into Part One of this heart-pounding romantic suspense story, which continues in Edge of Surrender: Alpha Crew Part Two!

When Emma Wright’s government plane goes down over the Philippine jungle, she’s forced to survive alone until an ultra-elite SEAL team goes in after her. As the leader of Alpha Crew, Ryan Owen is no stranger to challenges, but he’s never tackled anything quite like this sexy, smart, and resourceful woman. The mission is to get Emma home safely, but danger is everywhere, and Ryan’s unexpected desire for Emma could be a deadly distraction.

Back home in California, Ryan’s mission is over—but Emma’s has just begun. She knows her plane crash was no accident, and she’s determined to uncover the truth about what happened—even if her quest for answers puts her at risk. Torn between duty and desire, Ryan searches for a way win Emma’s heart while protecting her from an invisible enemy who wants her dead.

The thrilling conclusion to this Alpha Crew romance is just weeks away!


Laura Griffin brings her readers a new series and a new format. The first part of the Alpha Crew series, At the Edge is a heart pounding, suspenseful story with plenty of romance. Don't be surprised with the cliff hanger at the end, since this is just the first part of the book. Readers looking for a challenging story in a new format will find this one right up their alley. Griffin is a master at romantic suspense and readers will love this new offering.

What I liked:

I have become a big fan of romantic suspense of late. But, I still have a few qualms about it. When I read romantic suspense, I want the balance to be good and I want the suspense and the romance to be believable. Laura Griffin is one of those writers who can give readers what they want in a novel like this. Her suspense is generally well thought out and has some action packed moments. Her romance is most often strong and passionate, but still has those tender moments readers love. When it comes to balance, Griffin has it down to a science. Not too much action, not too much romance. Weighed in the balance, At the Edge comes out with equal parts of both.

In a romantic suspense novel, I think one of the key elements is having a strong, commanding hero. In At the Edge readers get that in Ryan Owen. I don't think you can go wrong with a character who may be a bit of an alpha male, but still has a heart. Ryan was very focused on his mission, but he couldn't help falling under Emma's spell. Romance can be a distraction in his line of work and I wasn't sure I could believe he would just dive into it so quickly. But I misjudged the format of this one and didn't realize he had more time than I thought. I liked him a lot. He was a little over the top but I think that's believable in a Navy SEAL. 

Emma was strong and sassy. She never let Ryan get in the last word and she made some smart decisions. I liked her character a lot. I wanted to find out what happened to her. It meant something to me. Her plane crashes, she ends up surviving in the jungle until she can be rescued and she still has time to fall in love. Not every writer could pull that off, but Griffin made me believe it was not only possible, but realistic. If a writer can pull the wool over the readers eye in that way, she knows what she's doing.

What I didn't Like:

There was plenty of action, with the jungle rescue and the story heating up when Emma becomes convinced it was no accident that her plane went down. The romance was good, intense and passionate, but the format for this one didn't work for me. I think I was expecting something different. I figured Part 1 would still be a book unto itself, but it wasn't. It was basically, just half of the book, which made me feel a little like I'd been cheated. I wasn't expecting a cliff hanger and I thought there would be a plausible ending. It might be perfect for some readers and maybe I just need to get used to the idea that's more serialized. But I didn't find it as enjoyable as I would have, had it been the whole thing.

Bottom Line:

Great writing. Griffin's style always appeals to me. She has great balance, plenty of action, plenty of romance. I thought the main characters were not only believable but enjoyable to read about. I wanted to give this one a 5 apple review, but the format threw me off a bit. I didn't like it. I guess I'm greedy, wanted it all at the same time. Serial stories are good sometimes I just wasn't expecting that with this one. Regardless of that, this good romantic suspense. If you haven't tried Laura Griffin, you should!

At the Edge is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

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

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin where she is working on her next book. Visit her website at and on Facebook at

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review and Giveaway: All They Ever Wanted

All They Ever Wanted (Second Chances - Book 2) by Tracy Solheim

Publication Date: 03/01/2016
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Tracy Solheim on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the Series:

Second Chances 

1. Back to Before
2. All They Ever Wanted

Coverart: Click on the photo for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series

Excerpt from All They Ever Wanted, courtesy of the author's website.


In the new Second Chances novel by the author of Back to Before, even love might not prove strong enough to save a man’s promising future from a woman’s hidden past...

All he ever fought for...
Aspiring congressman Miles McAlister has dreamed of representing his hometown of Chances Inlet, North Carolina, since he was a boy. So when he’s asked to help run his mother’s bed and breakfast he moves home and rolls out his campaign at the same time. But political stardom isn’t a given, especially when he’s expected to compromise the very ideals he’s trying to uphold. Making matters worse is the inn’s stubborn, and distractingly beautiful cook. He’s loved and lost before, so falling for Lori Hunt is not part of his plan.
All she ever feared...
Lori just wants to do her job and be left alone until she can safely move on. The last thing she needs is to get involved with her boss’s son. Miles proves to be too sexy to ignore, however.  Their heated fling elicits feelings deeper than either anticipated. But everything about Lori is a lie. She’s harboring a secret that’ll destroy Miles’s career, and when the truth gets out it’s going to shock Chances Inlet to its core, forcing Miles to make the hardest decision of his life.


Tracy Solheim continues her Second Chances series with, All They Ever Wanted. This story has everything from political candidates to some very heavy secrets. Readers will appreciate Solheim's soulful storytelling. Her readers get a great romance, but also enjoy the charm of a small town coastal setting and the intrigue of a mystery. The author knows how to hold the reader in suspense, while giving them everything they want in a good romance. Another great book by Tracy Solheim.

What I liked:

Chances Inlet is one of those places that readers will want to visit again and again. It's a small town which always comes with it's own set of charms and it's own set of problems. Solheim has created a place where second chances abound and readers are able to believe that everyone deserves one. The townspeople are quirky and eccentric in some cases and completely engaging. I wanted to know more about every single one of them. They intrigued me and made me enjoy every line about them. Great job with setting in this one.

Political candidates are not always the kind of heroes or heroines I look for in a good romance novel. Especially, with the race for the presidency heating up. To Trump or not to Trump! (Eke Gads!) So when I figured out that Miles, the hero, in this story was running for office, I had a cringe worthy moment or two. But Solheim quickly won me over. Miles was a stand up kind of guy, if a little bit repressed and straight laced. He had a moral compass which is saying a lot for a congressional candidate, lol. I liked him in spite of his candidacy. Solheim always knows how to give readers characters that are easy to relate to despite their station in life or their political leanings.

All of the secondary characters were great. From the characters in the first book in the series to the new ones that Solheim introduced in this book, all of them were well drawn. I didn't feel like any of them were unnecessary or just put in for filler. They were multi-faceted and memorable. I found myself hoping that this character or that one would get their own book. That lets me know that the author took some time with these characters and put each of them in the book for a reason... good or bad. Matt has my vote for his own story in the future. Very interesting situation that one.

What I didn't like:

Lori was a great heroine. She was flying under the radar, trying not to draw attention to herself. She had some pretty big secrets. Just about everything about her was a lie and for good reason. But starting out a relationship on that kind of footing was not only scary it was a bit sketchy. I wanted Lori to be everything that Miles wanted and needed and when the situation between them heated up I felt a little bad for the guy. Honesty, even in a book is always the best policy.

Bottom Line:

This was actually a great book. I had my issues with a couple things, but nothing that was a deal breaker. I still loved Lori, the housekeeper and cook at Patricia's bed and breakfast. She had her secrets and watching her and Miles work throw them was a pleasure. Great characters and a great setting and one heck of a romance. Another great one from Tracy Solheim.

All They Ever Wanted is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Tracy Solheim, a military brat who now makes her home near Atlanta, began her writing career as a teenager when she penned a column in her town's local newspaper. Then, it was on to journalism school and a brief stint with NBC sports. After spending nearly two decades writing reports and testimonies for Congress, she delved into fiction. She lives in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a Labrador retriever who thinks she's a cat and a horse named after her first novel. When she's not writing, she enjoys photography, cooking, and reading. A frustrated sports writer, the books she loves to read--and write--feature athletes and the women who capture their hearts. See what's she's up to at

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a one book giveaway for All They Ever Wanted by Tracy Solheim.

* You must be an email subscriber to participate.
* U.S. addresses only
* The deadline to enter this giveaway is, Midnight EST March 23rd.

1. Please leave a comment about your favorite second chance romance.
2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review: A Treasure Concealed

A Treasure Concealed (Sapphire Brides - Book 1) Tracie Peterson

Publication Date: 03/01/2016
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Imprint: Bethany House
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: 336

(Received for an honest review from Bethany House)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Tracie Peterson on the WEB: Website, Blog, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from A Treasure Concealed, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Bestselling Author Tracie Peterson Launches Exciting New Series Set in 1890s Montana
Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .

Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?


Tracie Peterson brings readers the first book in her new Sapphire Brides series, A Treasure Concealed. Peterson is well known in the Christian fiction genre, but her books are also full of historical detail and romance. Readers looking for a novel steeped in history, yet fortified with faith and grace will love this one. Peterson once again shows her versatility and amazing knack for detail and description. A great new effort from a trusted favorite.

What I liked:

There are a couple of things that I look for when it comes to a Tracie Peterson novel. First, I know I am going to get a story that is historically accurate and very detailed. Peterson does her homework when it comes to every detail of her story. She brings the Montana gold fields to life in her latest book, A Treasure Concealed. I had no problem imagining the claims and the people who were drawn to gold mining. Peterson makes them come alive. Her books are always on point when it comes to the historical aspects. 

I also know that when I pick up a Tracie Peterson novel, that the characters will be both believable and realistic. Peterson does a great job with characterization. Emily was a great heroine in this one. She has been dragged around from gold town to gold town most of her life at her fathers insistence. Her mothers health has suffered and she is feeling the strain of wanting a home of her own. She is strong in faith and knows what she wants. I found myself very engaged in her story. Peterson also does a great job with the hero, Caeden. Caeden has no intention of turning into the man his father was, and he holds women at a distance until he meets Emily. Both are great characters who Peterson brings to life so well.

As always with Peterson's books, the reader gets a message of faith in one form or another. Peterson never comes across as preachy or too overdone. Her characters live out their faith in such a way that it seems an integral and necessary part of the story. Peterson is very skilled at getting her message across to the reader in a way that will make them think about things in a deeper way. 

What I didn't like:

There was definitely a bit of action in this one and I thought Peterson did a great job in the build up to the end. I wasn't sure how everything was going to play out and I wasn't exactly positive the author could pull it all off in the amount of time given for the story. Rest assured there is no cliff hanger ending in this one. But the resolution of the story comes very quickly and seemed a bit trite in some ways. It was a little too easy to suit me. Conflict is necessary in a good novel and readers get that here, but the ending was a bit rushed.

Bottom Line:

I liked this one a lot. It was a typical Tracie Peterson novel. Full of history, a bit of romance, some action and a story that had a deeper meaning than just your average fluff romance. I loved the characters and the way that Peterson was able to bring out what was deep within them. The Montana gold mining communities came to life here and readers looking for a great historical romance, and a good clean read, will love it. The ending was a bit rushed for my tastes, but everything does get resolved in a believable way. 

A Treasure Concealed is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana. Learn more at

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: The SEAL's Rebel Librarian

The SEAL's Rebel Librarian (An Alpha Ops Novella) by Anne Calhoun

Publication Date: 03/01/2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Imprint: Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 124
File Size: 1556 KB

(Received for an honest review from Swerve)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, itunes, Kobo

Anne Calhoun on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Alpha Ops 

The SEAL's Secret Lover
The SEAL's Rebel Librarian

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

Excerpt from The SEAL's Rebel Librarian, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


The second in the Alpha Ops novella series that features an alpha Navy SEAL and the librarian who brings him to his knees.

Jack Powell never planned on leaving the Navy, but his final mission as a SEAL left him with a tremor and a bad case of nerves. He's home, taking some college classes and trying to figure out what comes next when he meets Erin Kent, a divorced college librarian with an adventurous bucket list and a mission to get her ex-husband's voice out of her head. Jack guides Erin through skydiving and buying the motorcycle of her dreams, blithely accepting Erin's promise that their relationship is purely temporary. But when Jack gets the chance to go back into the shadowy world of security contracting, can he convince Erin to break her word and join him on the adventure of a lifetime?


Anne Calhoun returns with the second Alpha Ops novella, The SEAL's Rebel Librarian. What happens when a sexy, Navy SEAL meets a divorced librarian with a wild side? A lot! Calhoun writes a passion filled short that will have readers swooning. This one night stand turns into a whole lot more than the characters bargained for. Motorcycles, skydiving, walking on the wild side... This one has that and more!

What I liked:

Anne Calhoun is one of those authors that has a lot of versatility. Her shorter stuff, novella's in particular are just as well thought out as her full length novels. She has a knack for knowing what to keep and what to throw out when it comes to length and still keep the story just where the reader needs it to be. I'm not always a big fan of novellas because most authors cannot shorten or temper their writing enough to make the story line believable, but Calhoun does a great job with that in her latest, The SEAL's Rebel Librarian.

Jack is a Navy SEAL, but his last mission was a tough one and needs some time to recover. He has PTSD and his nerves are getting the best of him. During his down time he decides to take some college classes which put him right in the path of the university Librarian, Erin. I liked the premise of this novella. Jack needs to get out of his head a little bit and Erin is just the person to help with that. It's a no strings attached romp that leaves them both a little breathless. When Jack finds out that Erin isn't quite the straight laced librarian type, he begins to help her let loose and let go. It's a story about Erin embracing who she wants to be and not who she thought she had to be. I liked that Calhoun doesn't get too deep in the relationship mire. She just lets this romance take off and bloom.

Erin's relationship with her ex husband must have been a real doozy! She was a great heroine. Ready to find out for herself what she enjoyed whether that be a motorcycle or a Navy SEAL. She let her hair down in a big way, but she also wasn't afraid to be vulnerable and fall in love again. I liked that she wanted to take some risks and see where they took her. An all around enjoyable character!

Jack was swoon worthy to be sure, but he also had his issues. He wasn't the perfect hero. He had flaws and that made him seem all the more realistic. He wants to get into the fray, but it's been hard on him and I got the feeling that this character was wondering if it was worth it at times. A great short portrayal of the effects of PTSD that will certainly bring awareness to the issue to those who read it.

What I didn't like:

Well, it was a novella. I like novella's in a sense and in another sense I don't. Anne Calhoun does a great job of making the length constraints work for her because she knows how to get what she wants to get across, across... lol! But I still wanted more. I wanted more of Erin and Jack. I wanted to know what happened next. I was a little disappointed that it ended, but that can be a good thing. I hope to see more of them in the next addition to this series.

The other issue I had with this one was that it is touted to be romantic suspense because of the title of the series. I realize that Jack was a part of the Alpha Ops, but that really played very little part in the story itself. I went back and changed the genre from romantic suspense to contemporary romance because I felt like it was a little misrepresentative of the genre. If you are going to call something Alpha Ops, it probably should have some Alpha Ops in it.

Bottom Line:

This is a good story. Anne Calhoun did a great job of giving the reader believable characters and a story line that really fit with the idea of a one night stand turning into something more. It was short and sweet and hit a lot of the right buttons for me. But I wanted more, I always do... I didn't think this was romantic suspense and that was what I was expecting from the name of the series, but that didn't make it a deal breaker. Still a good story. Still a great author!

The SEAL's Rebel Librarian is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Her first book, LIBERATING LACEY won the EPIC Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance and was chosen as one of NPR’s 100 Swoon-worthy Romances. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and has overcome her Starbucks addiction.

Review: Fire Touched

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson - Book 9) by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: 03/08/2016
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: ACE
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from ACE)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Patricia Briggs on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Mercy Thompson

1. Moon Called
2. Blood Bound
3. Iron Kissed
4. Bone Crossed
5. Silver Borne
6. River Marked
7. Frost Burned
8. Night Broken
9. Fire Touched

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

Excerpt from Fire Touched, courtesy of the author's website.


Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer...
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?


Mercy Thompson is back! Readers have been waiting for this one for awhile. Patricia Briggs continues the Mercy Thompson series with the ninth book, Fire Touched. All out war is coming and the pack had better be ready. Humans, fae, werewolves and shapeshifters all have a part in the latest addition to this wonderfully written paranormal series. Briggs delves deep into her characters in this one, taking them to new places of growth. A great new book, from a great paranormal writer!

What I liked:

Mercy Thompson is a heroine after my own heart. She isn't perfect, she has her moments just like everyone else. Her problems may be a little different from the average reader considering she is a coyote shapeshifter, but it all boils down to one thing. How we survive in the world and finding our place within it. Patricia Briggs has given readers a heroine they can stand behind and relate to, regardless of whether this is a paranormal story or a regular one. 

Mercy has some big choices to make in this one and I felt like the novel was much more focused on her as a character than the action that is typical of this series. That was a nice change and felt organic and natural. Her relationship with Adam was also in the forefront, as well as, her relationship with the pack and what it meant to be Adam's mate. There was definitely action in this book, but it wasn't the main focus. It was much more character driven than usual and I found that I liked that and that it was needed this far into the series.

Most of you know that I am from Scottish decent. I read a lot of books that are related to Scotland and Ireland in some way. I also read a lot of paranormal fiction. The fae are characters that I am well acquainted with. Whether from stories passed down or from books I have read and it's alway interesting to see how the fae are portrayed. I find that there are stark differences in how readers view fae and how they view fairies, though they are essentially the same thing. In the Mercy Thompson series readers aren't getting Disney fairies like TinkerBell. These fae mean business and they are not sweet and cute and fluffy. I liked the hard nosed approach to the fae because that's how legend truly portrays them. 

There are some hard moments in this one including some tragedy. I like books that don't necessarily let everything end in a happy ever after scenario and this one does that. You have the paranormal characters all at each others throats here. You have a human child hanging in the balance. It can't all end well and Briggs proves that sometimes the conflict can't always be resolved with rainbows and bunny rabbits. It was tough one, but a necessary one.

What I didn't like:

Some readers will not like the fact that this particular Mercy Thompson book is not quite as action filled as usual. Personally, this didn't bother me that much, but I can see where it will be a problem for some readers, so its just something to keep in mind. I liked all of the introspection and growth, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Bottom Line:

If you are a long time fan of this series, this book will be very satisfying. This one is a lot more character driven than any of the other books in the series. Mercy is basically coming into her own and owning both her victories and her mistakes. Her relationships are very important in this one so the action has to take a back seat. This book is not without it's tragedy and readers will be left feeling, sad at moments and happy in others. A great addition to this wonderful series!

On a side note, I'm going to a book signing with Patricia Briggs and Anne Bishop later this week and I look forward to interacting with the author of this series! 

Fire Touched is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. In Fall 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy, when Ace published a revised version of her very first book, Masques (2010), and its never-before-published sequel, Wolfsbane (2010), both of which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction.
In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson. The non-stop adventure left readers wanting more and word of this exciting new urban fantasy series about a shape-shifting mechanic spread quickly. Blood Bound (2007), the second book in the series, debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestsellers list. After the incredible success ofIron Kissed (2008), which landed at #1 on the New York Times list, the Mercy Thompson saga continued to win the hearts of readers and grew in popularity with the release of each book. Bone Crossed (2009), the fourth book in the series and first to be published in hardcover, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list, where it stayed for four weeks. The most recent hardcover, Silver Borne (2010), debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list and stayed on the printed list for a total of three weeks!
Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series. The subsequent books were Cry Wolf (2008) and Hunting Ground (2009), both New York Times bestsellers. The third book of the Alpha and Omega series is Fair Game (2012) and debuted at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list. For more information about Patricia Briggs and her marvelous novels, feel free to visit the author on the web at