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Review: Archangel’s Prophecy (Guild Hunter #11) by Nalini Singh

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy….

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

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My Review

Man, Oh, Man. What a ride. When I picked up this book, I honestly didn’t know what to expect or what I was getting into. I should start this review by telling you that I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series. I know. I know. After reading this book, I definitely need to. I had never even heard about this series until I came across the Archangel’s Prophecy. And once I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I couldn’t wait to get caught up, I just had to jump right in. So, I’ll be honest with you, in the beginning, I did have a little trouble getting into this story, but that is of no fault, but my own since I didn’t have all the previous stories history. That being said, once I got into this story, I couldn’t put it down. I immediately got lost in the characters and their story. I was captivated. I was intrigued. I was dying for more. Archangel’s Prophecy kept me on the edge of my seat while delivering all the feels. I was not expecting this story to take me on such an emotional ride, but boy did it ever. This story was so unexpected and the ending not only shocked me, but has me dying to get my hands on the next book. And I can promise you, when time allows, I am definitely going to start this series over from the very beginning.

Archangel’s Prophecy was a fabulous read from beginning to end. I loved the world that the this author has created and found her story-telling to be very refreshing. I loved all the paranormal and fantasy elements. The characters grab you from the very first page and their story will leave you riveted. Archangel’s Prophecy left me with a lot of questions that I am excited to get the answers for. I am so glad I went with my instincts and picked up this book. I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt from ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY By Nalini Singh

Illium turned in a direction that would take them to the Catskills if they kept on going.

Sweeping closer to him, she said, “You just want to fly?”

Hair rippling in the quiet but cutting wind, he twisted down in a complicated fall before flying back up to her side. She laughed at his showing off. That was Illium. An angel of violent power who had a heart that might almost be mortal. And, these days, she could appreciate his tricks again. Not a single angel in the city had been ready to witness his acrobatics in the immediate aftermath of the day he’d crashed out of the sky.

Elena would never forget her screaming fear.

To his credit, Illium had flown with absolute discretion for months, letting the memory dull and fade.

When he returned to her side today, his face was flushed, the gold of his eyes rich. “Sky’s too beautiful to shut ourselves away in a club.”

“Just don’t forget I’m not as fast as you. Also, I’m currently lame.”

Illium lifted one cupped hand close to his shoulder, the other moving back and forth . . . and she realized he was playing a tiny violin in response to her morose tone.

“Crossbow, Bluebell.” Narrowed eyes. “Remember the crossbow.”

He dived, his wicked laughter floating up on the night air. Lips twitching, Elena continued to glide, letting the air currents sweep her along with cold but gentle hands. Illium, meanwhile, flew circles around her—but he never went far, always close enough to halt her descent should she tumble.

She landed a number of times to rest her wings, once in an isolated park whispering and dark. A luminescent insect appeared then disappeared from sight before she could truly see it, an earthbound star. The ghostly owl sitting on a tree branch watched her with eyes even more luminous.

A sigh deep in her mind, an old, old presence restless in Sleep.

The hairs rose on her arms.

Then Illium shot them both up into the sky again, and together, they flew far beyond the diamond-bright skyline of the city and over the sleeping homes of ordinary people who lived in a world of vampires and angels, blood and immortality.

Another rest stop for Elena.

Another throb of pain from the cut on her forearm.

Another watchful owl, this one landing on Illium’s shoulder without his knowledge. Ashwini had told her not to be afraid of the owls, so Elena ignored the goose bumps and said, Hello, with her mind. A good night to fly.

A vein began to throb at her temple.

The answer came a long time later, after they were in the air again, the glow of the sinkhole visible from the distance.

It has been an eon since I flew.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2018.

Review: The Memory of You by Jamie Beck

Stefanie Lockwood can repair anything, except her heart—that’s still recovering.

After a brutal assault leaves Steffi with puzzling memory lapses, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.

Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.

Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Ryan’s concern for Steffi’s mental health prompts him to dig into her past for answers, will what he learns bring them together or tear them apart for good?

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My Review

“Some of us need to go far and wide before we find our way home.”

Man, this review is kinda a tough one. When I first came across this book, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the synopsis. I mean it had the whole damaged heroine/second chance romance vibe going for it, so I had to give it a try….

The Memory of You follows the story of Steffi and Ryan and is told from dual points of view. When I started reading this book, I was definitely intrigued. Ryan and Steffi still had intense chemistry despite the years and pain between them. Neither Ryan or Steffi are the same as they used to be. Ryan hasn’t been able to forget the pain of losing Steffi when they were younger and now he is going through a separation and has other responsibilities to worry about. And Steffi….well, lets just say Steffi was very immature when she was with Ryan. She didn’t communicate well and really just devastated him. She never really got over Ryan and the feelings are clearly still there. Steffi also has a lot on her plate. She has a new business with her bestie and still reels from an attack she suffered years prior. This story had a lot going on, but I thought it had some good potential and was excited to see where it would go.

The Memory of You is one of those books that you love and hate at the same time. For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I loved the redevelopment of Ryan and Steffi’s relationship. They took things slow and tried to work on their issues. I enjoyed watching them find their way back to one another and learn to forgive & trust again. I also really enjoyed Ryan’s daughter Emmy. She so sweet and added a cuteness to the story that it really needed. Sure Emmy wasn’t always the perfect kid, but she was just what I would expect from a little girl who had her world turned upside down.

However, there were definitely some issues with this story. I love stubborn characters. I do. I know most people wouldn’t say that, but I do. But with Steffi, she was just way too over the top. I mean at times her stubbornness made me feel like she was a child. She just refused to listen to any logic and it made me annoyed with her. If she were a real person, I would have totally shook her and tried to knock some sense into her; that’s how crazy she made me. Also, I felt like she was really pushy with her friends and was the last person who should be doling out advice since she never listened to any of the advice that was given to her.

The next thing I need to address is the pacing and dialogue. While I appreciated the slow build and anticipation of Ryan & Steffi’s relationship, it was just too slow. I mean, it felt like things were just progressing at snail’s pace. Yes, I know there are reasons for some of the slowness, but there comes a point when enough is enough and the pacing has got to pick up. Please don’t get me wrong, when done right I totally LOVE a slow burn, but I need to feel like the story is moving/going somewhere. And that just could be me, but I felt it was worth mentioning. As far as the dialogue goes, again for the most part it was fine. However, there were some instances where it felt repetitive.

So, overall, I do think this will be a book that is a hit for some and a miss for others. For me, it was just ok. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I will say that The Memory of You does deal with some heavy subject matter and I do appreciate the way the author dealt with it. This story sends of strong message of healing and forgiveness. The characters are not perfect, but I think that made them more relateable. While this book wasn’t a total hit for me, I’m still glad that I checked it out and gave it a chance.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

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A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series. 

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….

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My Review

“Being underappreciated is like being a ghost. They know once upon a time you were there, that you made a mark, but they already topped caring before you even said good-bye.”

“You win when you realize that anyone can hurt you, even those you never expect it from. Once you know that…you’ll never be knocked off your feet long enough to lose.”

“It hit me like a hammer to my chest. I loved him. His pain was my pain. I was in love with him.”

Ahhhh!!! I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. This book was so incredibly good. So unexpected, a total gem of a read. This story is everything that you could want, need and ache for in an enemies to lovers romance.

When I first picked up this book, I just knew this was going to be a good read. I am sucker for the rude, frustratingly blunt hero and Caleb does not disappoint. Add in his sexy good looks and accent and he is trouble with a capital T! And Ava…she’s got some baggage, but she’s worked hard to get where she is and she dishes it out and can certainly take it. So, when these two strangers who can’t stand each other are stuck on a plane together, the banter between them is just off the charts. The tension is so intense, so strong. You can feel it just oozing off the pages. You just know if these two got together that they would just be explosive. So from forced interactions and chance meetings, fate sure seems to be telling these two something. And while Caleb and Ava can’t stand one another, that doesn’t mean that they can’t have sex right?! We all know this isn’t going to end well. Soon enough, lines will be blurred and feelings will come into play. But, that doesn’t stop me from hanging on to each word, living each moment and anticipating just how Caleb and Ava’s story will play out….What I can tell you is to just sit back, relax and enjoy this crazy ride…..

Fight or Flight is brilliantly written and is a story that is just going to knock you off of your feet. It grabs you from the very first page and keeps you wanting more. From broken and frustrating characters to steamy hot sex and incredible angst, this book has it all. I loved the enemies to lovers story-line. I won’t lie to you, Caleb is one of the most frustrating characters I have ever read. He was such a jerk and there was many times that I just wanted to grab him and shake him. But, there is so much more to him than meets the eye. If you’re lucky enough to be around when his guard is down, he’s actually a really nice guy. He’s sweet and caring. He’s protective and jealous. He can be a total alpha male. He’s been hurt before and has his heart firmly locked up. And Ava….Her life has been anything but easy. The only people she calls family is her uncle and her BFF. She’s smart, beautiful and talented. She’s the kind of woman you’d be lucky to have in your corner. All the more reason that I found myself rooting for these two. They were perfect for one another whether they wanted to admit it or not.

Fight or Flight is so much more than a enemies to lovers romance. It is a story filled with heart, and frustration. A story of letting go of the past and fighting for the future. It’s a story of finding love when you’re not even looking for it. It’s a story of friendship and second chances. It’s a story that is at times heavy and filled with so much emotion. The angst so intense it feels as if it is your own. In fact, there was a moment, somewhere around the 85% mark, where my heart was just broken. Ava’s hurt and pain felt as if it was my own. I didn’t know how she could come back from it or how Caleb was going to redeem himself. But, it’s moments like that, that I just ache for, that I just can’t get enough of, that will have me glued to the pages right until the very end.

There is so much to love about Fight or Flight, I could seriously spend all day just gushing about it. I loved every moment of this story from beginning to end. There were so many wonderful characters that I grew to love, two in particular that I’m hoping we will see again. This story was truly special and just a total treat. My emotions are still a total mess and I couldn’t be more happier about it. Fight or Flight is my new favorite by this author and I couldn’t be more excited to see what lies ahead for us next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

 

Review: Consumed by JR Ward

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

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My Review

“You’ve got it all wrong, Danny. Fire is like cancer. It doesn’t care what it kills. We mean nothing to it because its not alive. You’re not battling a beast. There’s no monster there.”

If you’ve been following the novella releases for this story like I have, then you’ve gotten a little taste for what author JR Ward has in store for us with her exciting new Firefighters Series. Personally, I haven’t read anything by this author since I dove into the world of The Black Dagger Brotherhood a few years ago. So, when I heard about Consumed, I was really excited to not only read something new from this author, but to also experience her take on Contemporary Romance.

Right off the bat, this author doesn’t hold back. If you’re familiar with the 3 part novella series she released prior to Consumed, you know what I’m talking about. If not, that is totally ok. The first 4-5 chapters are from part 3, so you will not be lost at all. And if you’re like me and have already read said novella’s, it’s the prefect recap to get you back into this new world. So, like I said the author does not hold back. She starts this story off with one heck of a bang and doesn’t look back. Anne’s life has been forever changed since the fire that almost took her life. She’s been handed so many obstacles since that fateful day, one of the biggest is a change in career. She now finds herself working as a fire inspector instead of on the lines with her comrades. She is determined to figure out who has been starting fires and putting those she loves at risk….Danny also has been the same since that fateful night when Anne almost lost her life. He’s taking crazy risks and his friends couldn’t be more worried about the path he’s heading down. The last thing Danny ever planned on was being teamed up with Anne again. But, that partnership might just be what the doctor ordered…..

Overall, I found this book to be an enjoyable read. This story was well written and definitely intrigued me. True to JR Ward’s writing style, this story is told from multiple points of view and has many plot lines. You are given a taste for the story and there are many layers being built. I enjoyed seeing the stage of this story being set and all the little bread crumbs dropped along the way, but not really knowing 100% what was going to happen next.

Consumed totally consumed me and had me devouring the pages. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for Danny and Anne and was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved the feeling of family, friendship and camaraderie that I got from this story. The Firefighters as a whole were loyal, true and took some amazing risks. This story was sexy and suspenseful with some great twists along the way.

Consumed kicks this series off to a great start. The world/stage has been set. Characters have been introduced and the plot has me curious as to where this series will go next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Death Is Not Enough by Karen Rose

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The past comes back to haunt a high-profile defense attorney in the newest book in the Baltimore series from the New York Times bestselling author of Edge of Darkness and Monster in the Closet.

In his work as a defense attorney in Baltimore, Thorne has always been noble to a fault–specializing in helping young people in trouble just as someone did for him when he was younger. He plays the part of the bachelor well, but he secretly holds a flame for his best friend and business partner, Gwyn Weaver, a woman struggling to overcome her own demons. After four years, he thinks he might finally be ready to confess his feelings, come what may.

But his plans are derailed when he wakes up in bed with a dead woman–her blood on his hands and no recollection of how he got there. Whoever is trying to frame Thorne is about to lead him down the rabbit hole of his past, something he thought he had outran long ago. Thorne must figure out who has been digging into his secrets, how much they know, and how far they will go to bring him down . . .

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My Review

Death is Not Enough is an exciting and fast paced romantic suspense. While this book is part of a series, I do think that it can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

From the moment I picked up this book, I was completely intrigued by Thorne and his past. His story is heartbreaking and will really tug at your heart. He’s overcome a lot throughout the years, but he doesn’t let very many people in, keeping his walls sky high. But, if there ever was a person who could break down his walls, it would be Gwyn. Thorne has always had feelings for Gwyn, but has always kept those feelings to himself. But, what he doesn’t realize is that Gwyn has feelings for him as well….Gwyn has had a hard life as well. She’s finally at the point where she’s ready to start fresh and go after what she wants. So, when Thorne’s life gets turning upside down once again, Gwyn will stop at nothing to help solve the mystery and clear Thorne’s name…

Death is Not Enough is a fast paced and thrilling read. I was hooked from the very first page and was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved all the mystery and intrigue that surrounded the story. I really liked the way the author laid things out and the clues she dropped along the way. Almost immediately, you are given the villains point of view and while you know who the villain is, you don’t know what his agenda is or why he’s doing what he’s doing. And don’t let the fact that you know who the villain is fool you, I promise you there are a lot of terrific twists and turns along the way.

Death is Not Enough is definitely filled with a ton of suspense and action, but there’s also some romance to it to. One of things that I really enjoyed was that there was a really good balance to all the elements. So, while there was romance and some sexy good times, it was the 100% focus of the story. It was the lightness that this intense story needed.

Death is Not Enough is my first book by this author and it most definitely will not be my last. This story was so incredibly fast paced that I’m still having a hard time believing that it was 600+ pages. I mean I devoured this book in just a day and a half–that’s like a record for me for a book this big!! I just really loved the pacing and the writing style. It was super easy to get caught up in this story and get lost in the characters. It was a thrilling ride from beginning to end with danger and mystery around every corner.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Touch The Sky by Kari Cole

Keep to yourself. Focus on the job. 

Sheriff Vaughn Ellis’s very existence as a rare double-shifter defies the natural order. It also makes it extremely difficult for him to get close to anyone. To trust anyone. It’s nothing Vaughn can’t handle, until a seductively sweet woman arrives in Black Robe, and suddenly he can’t think about anything but her.

The product of a witch/werewolf pairing, Hannah Cochran gets the odd-wolf-out thing. But when she uncovers a major threat to the lycanthrope world, she finds herself playing nice with the sexy sheriff. Abiding by the law isn’t usually Hannah’s style, but nothing catches her breath quite like the commanding attraction she feels toward Vaughn.

Working closely together only intensifies their fated connection, making it impossible to deny—or resist. Hannah fears that getting involved puts Vaughn in danger. But when she becomes the target, it’s Vaughn who’ll have to decide which rules he’s willing to break to save the woman he can’t live without.

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My Review

Touch the Sky is the second book in the Mated by Fate Series and can be read as a stand-alone novel. Touch the Sky follows the story of Hannah and Vaughn. Hannah has always been different. She is the product of a rare shifter paring. In order to take down the threat to the lycanthrope world, she’ll have to keep what she is a secret. That proves easier to be said that done. What Hannah wasn’t planning on was Vaughn. She can’t fight the pull she feels towards him and working together to solve the mystery only proves to make that fight harder. Will Hannah and Vaughn be able to stop the threat to their species? Will Hannah and Vaughn be able to resist the pull they feel towards one another?? There’s only one way to find out….

I thought this book was an ok read. I really liked the concept of this story and found it interesting and original. I loved the blending of the different paranormal species, seeing other shifters besides wolves and bears. I loved the idea of a werewolf/witch combination and couldn’t wait to see what that paring in Hannah would bring. Speaking of Hannah, I really enjoyed the push and pull between Hannah and Vaughn. They both tried pretty hard to fight it, but fate had other plans for the two of them and I enjoyed watching the two of them fall.

However, the pacing of this story just killed it for me. It started out pretty good in the beginning and I’ll be honest, I don’t mind a slower pace in the beginning of story since we’re setting the story up. But, I do like the pace to pick up after 30% of the story. In this case, it never picked up, which was disappointing because it made the story feel like it was dragging on and that I wasn’t making much progress with it. There was a few times where I wanted to just put this book down and walk away. However, I am not a quitter and I did finish this book. And I gotta tell you, I’m glad that I did. While this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m glad I got to see how the story played out and get some type of resolution.

Overall, I think Mated by Fate will be one of those books that you’re gonna either love or you’re gonna hate. And for me, it was just an ok read. This story-line is really interesting and the characters are very likable. I do think this series has some great potential, the pacing just needs to be improved. This is my first book by this author and while it wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’d be open to checking out more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Marlee thought she scored with the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. Now there’s a new player on the horizon and he’s in a whole league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s sure had enough practice, dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers her wide-receiver boyfriend has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. Only one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex and what a future can be like for them. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. Gavin’s teammates’ wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with her return, and they have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when their gossip attack makes Marlee public enemy number one to the rabid fans of the team, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Fearing she’s causing Gavin’s life more harm than good, she tries to ignore the articles and the comments. However, when Gavin makes a life changing decision without her, she’s hit with the fact that she’s allowed herself to fall back into the back-seat life of an NFL girlfriend she promised to leave behind. Marlee must learn how to balance loving Gavin without losing the independence and respect she’s worked so hard to gain; otherwise their relationship may not survive the season.

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My Review

I’m just going to make this review short and sweet. Intercepted is the debut novel from author Alexa Martin and I gotta tell you, when I first heard about this book, I couldn’t get over all the buzz over it. I knew I had to take a look at it. I had to read the synopsis. I had to get my hands on this book. And for me, this book was totally worth the wait. It is a great debut novel. The story was fun and engaging. I found it to be refreshing and loved this author’s take on a sports romance. I loved that it wasn’t your typical sports romance, but that it gave you a more behind the scenes look at things.

Intercepted is a fast paced read with terrific flow. The characters hooked me right away and kept me on my toes. From laughs to drama to romance and great chemistry, this book had it all. Intercepted is a great read to spend the day getting lost in. It’s fun. It’s easy. And it will leave you with a smile on your face. For me, Intercepted was worth all the hype and has me really excited to see what fun stories this author has in store for us next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*