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MommaSaysToRead

Momma Says to Read

Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.

Looking For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series) (Volume 2) - Stella Starling

Looking for Love is one of those feel good, leave you with a smile romances. It's not all sunshine and roses; it does have some angst, but the story is more about Zach and Micah finding each other and holding on in spite of that angst. It is lengthy, but with Starling's writing style and gift for storytelling, the time seemed to fly by. This is not a book that you can read one chapter and put it aside - I didn't want to put it down. 

Zach is a serial dater, always looking for that spark that leads to a lifetime love while Micah has never even had a romantic partner. Their different in so many ways, yet absolutely perfect together. Micah has an innocence about life that is sweet and endearing, and Zach has seen some of the worst things in life, but he's determined to be better than the examples set for him. 

To say more would give spoilers and this is one that you need to read and enjoy for yourself. It is the second in the Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful series, which is a spin-off of the At Last, Beloved series, but you won't have any problem following Micah and Zach's story. Warning: once you've read this one, you'll want to read the others. The characters are addictive!

Mind Blowing Read

Mind Games - A Bad Boy Romance With A Twist (The Complete Trilogy) - Gabi Moore
Speaking directly to the audience in a book is generally not done. It's hard to pull off and keep the flow of the story, but Gabi Moore does it wonderfully in this trilogy. It felt like an intimate, one-on-one conversation with the character telling you their most private thoughts and secrets. While you may not agree with their actions, you can't stop "listening" to their story. 
The trilogy is the continuing story of Nora and Dean - their romance, their inner darkness, their kinks, and the lengths they'll go for each other. Each book adds a new twist and just when you think you know where the story is headed, guess again. 
Gabi Moore shows just how good she is in this trilogy and if I weren't already a fan, this one would convince me. It's deliciously dark, twisted, romantic, suspenseful, steamy, and captivating, all rolled into a mind-blowing tale that I couldn't put down. 
If you enjoy dark romantic suspense, I highly recommend this one.

Coming of age tale

College Threeway: A First Time Gay Romance (Bareback University) - Angel Lovecox

Leighton likes Alex, Alex likes Geoff, Geoff likes Leighton - a situation with the potential for all kinds of crazy, but works out pretty well in this sweet, steamy, coming of age read. The story is fast-paced and the characters are likable. The last chapter was sweet but a bit heavyhearted, I would've preferred that the story end with chapter 17 and a HFN ending. The end isn't bad, just not quite what I expected. Overall, the story did hold my interest and was an entertaining read.

Slow Pace

Exploited: A Zero Day Romance - A. Meredith Walters

This story had so much potential and I'll admit, when I read the preface, I was all kinds of excited about it. That small introduction pulled me in and I was ready to be wowed. It is very well written and Walters has a great writing style. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the story to fizzle after the preface. 

The book is rather lengthy, which isn't a problem for me as long as the story keeps a good pace and holds my interest. While the book does have a steady pace for the most part, it's almost agonizingly slow and even a bit repetitive at times, to the point that I found my interest waning. 

The story is suspenseful and Hannah's crimes were intriguing, but it would've benefited from a faster pace. I did expect more of a romantic element, but honestly, I didn't feel the romance with this one. Hannah comes across as cold and calculating through much of the story and while we're told on the page that she's falling for Mason, I didn't feel that. 

Mason could've been a truly great character, but he has to be the most gullible agent in the history of fictional FBI agents. Not only does he accept Hannah's excuses for her lies, but he justifies them in his head. There were so many red flags waved in his face that it became eye-rollingly frustrating. 

The cliffy at the end was a big one, but between Hannah's coldness and Mason's gullibility, I wasn't left with enough curiosity to read to the conclusion to this tale. 

The author is talented and I would read other books by her, but this one just wasn't for me. 

An okay read

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch 1 - Vic Connor, Raquel Barros

I read this with my mid grade level kiddo and found that her attention waned through much of the story, as did my own. I did finish the book but had to push myself to do so. It's an okay story, not bad but not great either, just too easy to set aside.

Saved the best for last

First Blood (Awakening Series Book 3) - Jane Hinchey

As with the first two books in this series, there's plenty of action and suspense as the big bad is finally revealed. Georgia has grown on me throughout this series and I've enjoyed watching the character develop and grow as the story has progressed. With impending motherhood, she's finally reached a level of maturity. She still has quite the temper, and often acts when she should plan, but she shows just how strong she is in this final book. With more power than even she knows she has, she still has her work cut out for her and realizes that she can't do it all alone. The continuing questions about the ring and dagger are answered as well as Zac's very long past as the couple prepares for parenthood and what they hope is a happily ever after. 

Even better than the first

First Witch (Awakening Series Book 2) - Jane Hinchey

The intensity picks up in First Witch with Georgia, now a vampire, learning that she's also a witch. There's a hunter looking for Georgia and the tale gets quite creepy when he comes on the scene. The story is fast-paced and packed with suspense, action, betrayal, and some great twists and turns (the one at the end is a whopper). We do learn more about the ring and the blade and the connection between them, but the reason for their creation is still a mystery.

Good series starter

First Blade (Awakening Book 1) - Jane Hinchey

I read First Blade about a year or so ago and at that time, it was written as a standalone. Along with some grammatical errors, there was also the feeling that Georgia and Zac's story wasn't finished. At that time, I was on the fence about this one. When I heard that the book had been tweaked and was now part of a continuing series, I reread it and came off that fence quite quickly.

In this first book in the series, Georgia is psychic, often getting visions of other's future. Bring in Zac, the sexy angel/vampire hybrid and things escalate rapidly. Georgia frustrated me in this one with her attitude and tantrums. I could understand her reasoning for some of it, but she came across like an angry teen more often than not, rather than an adult who co-owns a business. That aside, the other characters were likable and the story flows nicely with plenty of action to keep things moving. The attraction between Georgia and Zac was palpable in its intensity and the suspense of the connection between the ring and blade add to the suspense. There were some unanswered questions, but that's to be expected in a continuing story. 

Suspension of belief required

Single Dad SEAL - Charlize Starr
There's just something sexy about a single dad caring for his child, which is what drew me to this one. Considering the length of this one, I didn't expect a lot of depth. Usually, with a story like this one, I expect to get instalove, lots of steam, and a happily ever after. Well, I suppose I did get those things, but what I didn't expect was the complete suspension of belief that would be required. I get that it's fiction, but the story has to make sense in the world that it's set in and this one went a little too far for me to wrap my head around it - Luke being a Navy Colonel was just one of the things that stuck out for me. If I'm not mistaken, that would be Captain, not Colonel. 
I usually enjoy a good bad boy romance, but the thing that draws me to them is the redemption of said bad boy when he finds that one woman who makes him want to be redeemed. I didn't find Luke a likable character from the beginning and him continuing to sleep around for months after Emma left didn't help to endear him to me. Also, the description of Emma from Luke's point of view was, in my opinion, left something to be desired. Keeping in mind that Emma is a big, beautiful woman, Luke sees her naked and stepping out of the shower. While he likes what he sees, the wording used would not lead me to believe it and frankly, I found it a bit offensive and not the least bit sexy. 
The steam in this one is certainly hot, but there were just too many other things that I couldn't overlook. 

A bit rushed

Rook (Black Mountain Pack) (Volume 2) - Miranda Lynn

I quite enjoyed the first book in this series, Mack, and while Rook has an interesting premise, the characters are likable, and the author has a good writing style, I didn't connect with the story like I did in the first one. It is a continuing story and if you haven't read the first book, things in this one may be somewhat confusing. The story is easy enough to follow, but there are references to things that take place in Mack. The story is fast-paced and emotional, especially the treatment of people under the old alpha's rule. I was a thrown by how quickly some of these people accept a new alpha and all the changes that are being implemented, considering the oppression they were living under. Overall, I feel like the story had the potential to be really good, but it just felt too rushed, making it hard to become invested in everything going on.

Good start to a series

Mack (Black Mountain Pack Book 1) - Miranda Lynn

This is fast-paced read with a writing style that pulls a reader in. I was a bit leery at first with the whole sister or mate thing, but as the story progresses and things come together, it makes more sense. The romance of shifter mates, some shifter politics, a bit of magic, and a war between packs keep the story flowing nicely, and the characters and relationships between pack members were interesting, creating a solid start for a series.
The only drawback for me was that I felt like some areas of the story could've been developed a little better, but hopefully, that will come as the series goes on. Overall, I did enjoy the read and will be checking out book 2 in the series.

Great Read!

Unbreakable: An Unacceptables MC Romance (Volume 3) - Kristen Hope Mazzola

MC Romances aren't usually my thing. I've read a few, but most times, I can take them or leave them. That's not the case with this one. It's so well written and there's a lot packed into this novella length book. The author's talent for storytelling shines in this gripping tale. While it does get into the MC side of things, it also shows the family side of things and how much love these characters have for each other. 

Ryder and Raine's story is emotional, tragic, full of action, sweet, and sexy, all wrapped up in one great book. This is my first read by this author, but it certainly won't be my last. 

 

An Interesting Twist

The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

The author has a wonderful writing style that pulls a reader in and this one was quite interesting at times and had great potential. My problem with it is that I felt like I was reading a soap opera with some not so likable characters. In my opinion, the most likable characters in the book were Nancy's teenage sons and even they had their moments.

Nancy was boring and judgmental, more often than not, at least until the end. She's so concerned about her marriage that she moves to Hawaii, but then proceeds to spend as much time as possible away from that family. I understand and can sympathize with her situation, but as a married woman and a mother, I couldn't get on board with her actions. Ana is certainly a psychopath and it was easy to see her manipulation of Nancy and the situations they were in, but I was disappointed with her endgame. After everything that happened, I expected much more. The wayward husband, Chuck, does at least try to make things right, and honestly, his actions were the only ones that made sense to me - I didn't agree with them, but they did make sense. 

There is an interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but by the time I got there, it was too little, too late for me to have much more than a meh feeling about the whole book. 

 

Fantasical

Lace (The Vampire-Fairy Series) (Volume 1) - Wendy Rathbone
Lace is an intriguing story but a bit more fantastical than I usually read. It is fast-paced, if somewhat confusing at times. I wasn't sure about Var and I'm still undecided about whether or not I like the character, but he was starting to grow on me by the end of the book. There are some truly heartwrenching scenes throughout the story, but it does end with hope. The author has a good writing style and excellent world building, so I will check out the sequel.
 
 
 

Good series starter

New Wings: The Anahira Chronicles Book 1 - N. D. Iverson

A fast-paced read and good world-building for the series. The characters and storyline are interesting and the dialogue is witty and at times quite humorous. I loved the voice in Ana's head with its snarky comments. While the current problem is resolved, there are still some unanswered questions at the end, but that's to be expected with a series. I'll be interested to see where Ana's story goes in the next book.

Slow pace

The Guardian: A Standalone Romance Novel - Pamela Ann

The story started out with a good pace and what I thought would be an interesting and fun storyline, then it went off the rails. There is cheating in this tale and I know that some find it offensive. While I don't agree with cheating - ever - I can read about it and it has nothing to do with my rating on this one. What did affect my rating was the agonizingly slow pace and the constant back and forth and miscommunication between Jared and Gisele. It became tedious and after awhile it was no surprise when they were on the outs once again. The book is quite long and eventually, I just didn't care if this couple worked it out or not. There were also several extraneous circumstances - I say extraneous because they were just dropped without resolution or explanation. I did finish the book, mainly because I can't start a book and not finish, but this one was way too easy to set aside and finishing began to feel like a chore about halfway through.