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Book Review: With a Twist by Sawyer Bennett

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Wyatt Banks is ready to give one woman the world. Unfortunately, his job as a cop tends to interfere with other goals. When Wyatt is sent deep undercover to investigate a sex slave ring, he doesn’t have time to do anything but focus on staying alive in a dark and dangerous underworld.

Wyatt isn’t alone though in his quest to save the women that are being sold into sexual slavery. 

His partner, FBI Agent Andrea Somerville, is immersed just as deeply as he is, and she’s the bait to lure the sex slavers out into the open, as she poses as an erotic dancer in an attempt to snare the enemy. But danger runs as high as the sparks between them, and now Wyatt is caught between the job he loves and the woman he wants.


My Review

I am a big fan of Sawyer Bennett, so when I saw that there was new book coming out in the Last Call Series, I couldn’t wait to read it. With a Twist was such a surprise. It was so different from the other books in the Last Call Series.

With a Twist follows the story of Wyatt and Andrea. Wyatt loves his job as a cop. When Wyatt is presented with an major opportunity to go undercover, he doesn’t even hesitate to take it. Wyatt will soon find himself immersed deep inside the criminal world, where danger is around every corner and he’ll just have to hope, he’ll be able to make it out alive.  As the time for the bust comes closer, Andrea is introduced into the picture. As Wyatt’s partner, she will become the bait needed to trap the enemy. One thing neither one of them planned on was the attraction they would have for each other. The stakes are high and the danger is huge…..What will happen when it’s all over???

I really enjoyed With a Twist. As I said before, this story is completely different than the others in this series.  With a Twist could essentially be broken up into two parts. The first part of the story was darker and more suspenseful then I was expecting. It showed just how deep undercover both Wyatt and Andrea had to go and the risks they were willing to take to make their bust. It had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. The second part of the story was the after. The chance for Wyatt and Andrea to explore their chemistry and give their attraction the opportunity to develop into something more….

With a Twist was a quick and enjoyable read for me. I was completely hooked from the first page and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. With a Twist was exciting, suspenseful, captivating and sexy. I did not want to put this book down! A great addition to the Last Call Series!

* An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review – The Forged by Magic Trilogy by S. L. Gavyn

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I recently found myself taken by an Urban Fantasy mood. I had nothing lined up so I turned to Amazon for inspiration. After aaaages browsing through book after book, I found Brimstone. Admittedly, the cover did not grab me but hey, it’s not the first time (or even the 500th time) that I was leery over an urban fantasy book cover. However, the blurb COMPLETELY suckered me in. In fact, it had me at the word ‘Fey’. My most beloved of all ‘other-world’ creatures. There’s just something so romantic and whimsical about the Fey.

I ended up devouring all three book in the Forged by Magic Trilogy in just three days. I loved it THAT much. It had all the elements that make up a great urban fantasy for me; magic, intrigue, fascinating non-humans, hot hero and kick-ass heroine! 

A manipulative boss. 
Demon attacking at every turn. 
A Fey Prince she’s tried desperately to avoid. 
A deception of massive proportion. 
It’s tough being a single woman these days. 

Genivieve Belaveau was a simple girl with simple needs. For example, all she wanted to do was sit in her favorite pub and have a drink with her friends. After centuries of being imprisoned she vowed she would never be forced to do anything again. Unfortunately, her boss has a different agenda. He manipulates Vieve into stealing from the one man on the planet she has tried to deny herself for centuries. Primarily because her own emotions for this man will lead to her destruction. 
Raynon Dubhshaine the Scottish prince of the Fey, a dying race of the strongest warriors on the planet. Their women are unable to bring a child to term without one or both dying. He has tried to give his people hope but how can he tell them it will all be alright when his own mate won’t even acknowledge him? 
Vieve isn’t interested in getting locked up (or knocked up) at castle Fey. She just wants to do her job, save her friend, and get her tail back to America. But when she’s deceived by one she trusts there will be only one place to go. After all, sometimes a girl has to say no. And sometimes there’s no taking no for an answer.

The background story we got on this book was minimal, to be fair. At times I felt like I was missing a book that explained to me whats actually going on. The background story that we did get though made for an amazing introduction to this world and this story. It drew me into the story and connected me with the heroine in the best way.  

The romance was hot and swoony but I didn’t find that the story lacked because of it, which is a big thing for me in a urban fantasy series. I LOVE the romance and it needs to be there but I also love experiencing the world and getting lost in the adventures of our characters. This story had the perfect balance of both adventure and romance. 

There were a couple of plot holes that I either missed (god I hope not) or that remained unanswered. Perhaps this was done purposefully but I’m unsure of that at this point. There is another series written by this author called the Avery Tywella series that is a continuing series but based in the same world. Many of the characters bridge across both series so I’m absolutely dying to get my hands on this series and read more from this world! I’m officially adding S. L. Gavyn to my ‘favorite UF authors’ list!

Book Review – Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole

Wow. This story was INTENSE in every way. There’s something raw and appealing about reading a book when the author has had personal experience with the subject matter. You know that the story will most likely be done exactly right, and the emotions will be captured and expressed in a way that will draw you in, because they KNOW their subject matter.

We all have secrets.

Secrets well buried.

Until we find the one soul who makes the burden of such secrets just that little bit easier to bear.

Lexington “Lexi” Hart is a senior at the University of Alabama. Surrounded by her best friends, her loving family and having fulfilled her life-long dream of making the Crimson Tide cheer squad, everything is going exactly as she always dreamed it would. But beneath her happy exterior, demons lurk, threatening to jeopardize everything Lexi has worked to achieve. When events in her life become too much to cope with, Lexi finds herself spiraling down into the realm of her biggest fear. Lexi falls hard, victim once again to the only thing that can destroy her and, on the way, finds herself falling straight into the dangerous tattooed arms of a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Austin Carillo, starting Wide Receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide, must get picked in this year’s NFL draft. He needs it. His brothers need it. Most importantly, his mother desperately needs it. Brought up in a world where the poor are forgotten, the sick are left to fend for themselves and no hero miraculously appears to pull you out of hell, Austin had no other choice but to make a living on the wrong side of the law—until football offered Austin the break to get his life back on track. But when a family tragedy drags him back into the clutches of the gang he believed he had left far behind, Austin finds himself falling. Falling back into criminal ways and falling deep into a suffocating darkness. Until a troubled yet kindred spirit stumbles across his path, where Austin quickly finds he is falling for a young woman, a young woman who might just have the power to save him from his worst enemy: himself.

Can two troubled souls find a lasting peace together? Or will they finally succumb to the demons threatening to destroy them?

This story does follow a reasonably ‘typical’ NA plot line. Bad boy from the  wrong (very wrong) side of the tracks meets good girl in college. HOWEVER, in this story the ‘good girl’ is not all she’s projecting herself to be. She has many deep, dark demons of her own, which she struggles with daily to overcome. 

I really admired how both of these characters fought until the bitter end to try and overcome their problems and better themselves. They both showed great strength of character and it’s easy to see why these two were drawn to each other. They found solace in each other, when they were trapped in their darkness. 

“For a time, the sun shone every day. Birds would chirp and time would be spent lounging in the heat, content basking in its glow. 
But again, the unrelenting winter returned, bring days of forever night, and with it, all loss of hope.”

From early on I worried that Austin and Lexi had placed too much pressure on each other by being their ‘reason’ to carry on. Even though they were tough and they fought hard to be the people they wanted to be, neither of them seemed to be doing it for themselves. Even after the book has finished I still wonder what would happen if life had not gone according to their plan to live happily ever after. But, I told myself to get a grip and just appreciate the story for what it is – a true love story about hope, bravery and fighting to overcome adversity.

“And that’s how we fell.
Fell into sleep.
Fell into trust…
Fell for each other.”

I have a lot of admiration for Tillie Cole after reading this story. What a strong person she must be to not only overcome her own demons, but to then turn around and face them head on by writing about them for the world to read. Keep doing what you’re doing, Tillie! You’re a star inside and out! I can’t wait to read whatever comes next. 

“Ti amo. Ti amo tantissimo.”


photo credit: .bravelittlebird via photopin ccphoto credit: Francesco Basile via photopin cc

Book Review – Ghouls Rush In by H. P Mallory

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Do you believe in love after life?

Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…

A few weeks ago I was on quite the roll with various kinds of UF/Paranormal/Straight up scary type books. This was one of those books. I have had it on my kindle for a while and had started but then got distracted by other things, but I came back and restarted it and finished it within a couple of nights! I have to put a disclaimer in here: I’m useless with anything remotely scary. I should not be allowed to read these books at night, I know this fact, yet I still do it!

Firstly the characters in this book. I loved Peyton; she was well measured parts of hilarious, flawed and endearing. I was pleased that she had a solid back story and a decent reason to be kicking around an old haunted house. I cracked up at her witty personality that was entertaining rather than snarky and I loved that she wasn’t perfect, that she could sometimes be a bit annoying or ridiculous… because aren’t we all…

Ryan also was a win of a character for me. I’m all about the strong tough men who can move mountains… (or in this case, remodel old houses) He came across as the perfect southern gentleman. He was really the most human aspect of the story; I really, really enjoyed his storyline. Drake (GHOST) was such a compelling character. He was almost larger than life, he had SO much personality…especially for someone who wasn’t even in solid human form. He actually did quite a good job of growing on me, at first I wasn’t sold on him at all (GHOST!) but by the end of the story I ended up having a bit of a soft spot for him!

As far as the storyline went I did enjoy it for the most part, I just got blindsided once or twice…. I have to admit when the first lot of ‘ghost bits’ crept in I wasn’t sure about the direction it was taking, it was a decent way into the book and I felt up until that point I’d been reading a cute southern paranormal romance. There had been nothing sinister going on and I honestly thought that when the paranormal parts finally started happening they would be light too. But they were not. Suddenly it felt like an episode of ‘Worlds Most Haunted.’

The second half of the book was more paranormal than paranormal romance. So on the plus side it was more consistent in style. I was being terrified and intrigued at the same time by ghosts! (Well terrified by one ghost and intrigued by the other) I felt that the story really had found it’s stride now that all of the character and background work had been completed. The pace definitely did pick up a lot. However I think from reading the blurb I did expect it to be a bit lighter than what it was…

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

I thought this was going to be a love triangle of sorts between girl, man and ghost but that’s not the entire sum of it. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing wrong with this story. I really did enjoy reading it, but I think the problem was the blurb and the story did not really match up? If it had been more reflective of the story I wouldn’t have expected a lighter paranormal romance read, so therefore I wouldn’t have been as stunned when the book took it’s very sudden detour into scary town.

All and all I am glad I went back into my folders and finished reading this book. I think I will definitely give the second book a try, I am super interested in seeing what twists Peyton, Ryan and Drake’s stories take next. I’ve promised myself that next time I will be much much braver, also I’ve promised myself I won’t read the next one at night like I did this one!

 photo credit: i k o via photopin ccphoto credit: Alyssa L. Miller via photopin cc

Book Review – A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess

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A Girl Like You

By Gemma Burgess

Sigh. This book reminded me of how much I love British chick-lit. It was quite long for that type of story but super enjoyable. I could not put it down. I was cooking dinner and holding the stirring spoon in one hand and my kindle in the other. No wonder dinner was sh-t that night. Actually dinner’s sh-t most nights here. I’m a reader not a chef.

“I’ve discovered the secret to successful singledom. I’m acting like a man. And it’s working.” 

After breaking up with her boyfriend of, well, forever, Abigail Wood must learn how to be single from scratch. Her dating skills are abysmal, and she ricochets from disaster to disaster – until Robert, one of London’s most notorious lotharios, agrees to coach her. With his advice, she learns to navigate the bastard-infested waters of the bar scene and practices the art of being bulletproof. The new Abigail is cocky, calm, composed… but what happens when she meets her match?

This book followed a pretty standard chick-lit formula so you knew what was going to happen in the end but it didn’t make the anticipation any less. By the time the ending was nearing I was glued to the story, unable to tear my eyes away. I swooned my way through the final chapters. I LOVED these characters.

“Alice says sometimes she sees her kids as really cool housemates with serious dependence issues.”

I’m going to keep this review short because I really just think you should go and read it. A lot happened in this book but it never felt drawn out and long. I have said it before and I’ll say it again – one of my biggest book peeves is finishing a book and feeling like I didn’t get to know the characters. That was absolutely not the case in this book. By the time the story ended you knew all of the characters inside out and adored them all.

“I’m not steak. You can’t just order me.”

This book actually gave me some Fiona Walker Kiss Chase vibes. The story was not at all similar, just the same loving feelings. Comforting, like snuggling up under a duvet with a hot choc on a rainy day. Complete satisfaction. 

Quick note – there’s a ton of swearing in this book so if you don’t like that then you might want to avoid it. Personally I found it hilarious. And realistic, because f-ck is one of my favorite words. It’s so versatile. I definitely recommend this story.

“I love teen girl-pop. I was quietly obsessed with Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8ter Boi’ and ‘Girlfriend’ for years. (Immature, I know, but Plum loved Justin Bieber so I feel OK about it. Fucknuckle.)”

 

 

 

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