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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.

Chilling

A Girl to Die For: A Thriller - Lucy Wild
While it's not a long story (only about an hour and a half read time), A Girl to Die For has everything a good thriller needs. It's creepy, twisted, and keeps you guessing. I've read Wild's romances and liked them, but this is a cut above. There's zero romance in this one, but there is plenty to keep you sitting on the edge of your seat and turning pages. 
Holly has an innocence about her that makes you worry in an almost parental way and that worry grows as the story progresses, especially when it's combined with the horror stories about online predators. Take those factors, add them to a disturbing tale about a serial killer and you have a tale that's impossible to put down. 
Let's not forget the twists in this gripping story. Just when you think you know where it's going, you really don't. A Girl to Die For is not one of those happily ever after, everything's coming up roses kind of tales, in fact, it's quite the opposite and I loved every single word! All I can say is I sincerely hope that this isn't a one off in the thriller genre for Lucy Wild because I can't wait to see what else she has in her imagination. 

Chilling

A Desolate Hour (Point Pleasant) - Mae Clair

Growing up an hour from Point Pleasant, WV, I've heard the Mothman stories all my life and was excited to read A Desolate Hour - one take on the Mothman story. What I didn't realize was that this is the third book in Clair's Point Pleasant Series, so I was a bit lost on some things at the beginning of the book. Fortunately, as the story progressed and things started coming together, those things began to make sense and I found myself getting wrapped up in the character's lives. My initial confusion aside, the plot was well thought out and I can only imagine the amount of research that went into the telling of this tale. 

There are so many theories about the Mothman and Clair certainly weaves a chilling and engaging tale with one such theory. The story does center on Quentin and Susan and their connection to the Mothman legend, but there are also several other characters that are central to the story. In all honesty, every character in this story was interesting - love them or hate them, they all played their part in this tale. 

Overall, A Desolate Hour is everything I would expect from a Paranormal Suspense novel. It's creepy, chilling, engaging, a bit disturbing at times, and keeps a reader turning the pages to see what will happen next. 

Romance, Suspense, Intrigue

Dirty Deeds (The Dirty Series) - HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon has a writing style that quickly pulls a reader in and that, combined with the opening scene in Dirty Deeds, caught my attention and had my gears turning long before the romance began. Both Gaige and Alec have their secrets and determined to keep them, so naturally, they divulge things, little by little, in their intimate moments. The pair is good together and they have great chemistry, even when they're tiptoeing around each other.
Between spies, possible espionage, attacks, break-ins, and the steam generated by our main characters, there's plenty going on, but the story did still lag a bit at times. Fortunately, the suspense, intrigue, and twists kept me plunging ahead for the next bit of action.
Overall, Dirty Deeds is well-written, interesting, and entertaining. It is steamy and those scenes are pretty hot, but it's about so much more than that. There's a lot of story here and well worth the read.

Sweet & Romantic

Roaming Free: A Paranormal Mpreg Gay Romance (The Omega Date Diaries) (Volume 3) - Odin Nightshade

I've enjoyed all three books in Nightshade's Omega Date Diaries series, but this one is definitely my favorite so far and it's most certainly the most emotional. It's not an overly long story, around two to three hours read time, but there's a lot packed into that time. Tarly and Roam are keeping secrets as they get to know one another and their anxiety over those secrets is almost palpable. Tarly's situation is scary and heartbreaking, especially when he reveals his turbulent past and Roam's determination make the relationship into something real is like a ray of hope to the lonely Tarly.
Roaming Free is not one of those action-packed shifter tales of wars between rival packs. It is a romance, in every sense of the word. It's all about Tarly and Roam and their journey to happiness, and what a sweet, engrossing tale it is.
I have to add that as a writer, Tarly is working on a book throughout this story. I've seen this done before, but I have to say that for an author to add in pieces of another, completely separate, story in the middle of everything going on between the main characters, and make it just as interesting, takes talent. Nightshade pulled it off splendidly and even had me curious about the characters in the Tarly's story.
Overall, Roaming Free is a tale of love, loss, hope, and ultimately, happiness. It's a story of two people finding that special someone to share their life and make a family with. Oh, and an absolutely adorable toddler to lighten things up when they get a little heavy.

Magic & Mayhem

Denai Touch: Excalibar Investigations Series - Tiffany Shand, Melody Simmons

This one has it all! Gripping suspense, edge of your seat action, and forbidden love in a story of magic and mayhem. The characters are well developed and interesting, the world-building is great, and the story line flows so well, creating a page turner that I couldn't put down.

Cate is a talented witch who has more on her plate than any one person should have to deal with. There's plenty of angst as she and Jason deny their feelings for each other, and if that isn't enough, she faces danger at every turn. Shand builds a world where two groups of witches are battling for control and our heroine often doesn't know who to trust. In fact, there were many characters that I was unsure of until the end and as I turned the last page and several things were made clear, I was still wondering about a couple of them. 

Overall, this first in the Excalibar Investigations series is a solid series starter and does well at introducing Shand's world and the characters that live in it. I would easily recommend this one to anyone who enjoys the genre. 

Nail Biter

The Red Rider - Randall Allen Dunn

We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but this dark tale paints Red in a new light. Helena has every reason to hide in a corner and never go outside again. Instead, she's tough and determined, even as a child, and becomes even more so as she moves toward adulthood.
As I've come to expect from this author, The Red Rider is packed full of heart racing, edge of your seat action. But, it's so much more than that. The story is quite dark and heartbreaking with Helena losing so much, but her fierce determination and bravery in the face of so much loss is inspiring.
This is not a book that's easy to set aside while you get your work done, nor is it one for the faint of heart. The tale is bloody and the author is quite descriptive in the telling of some truly disturbing and gruesome scenes, especially when you consider the people involved and how they affect our heroine. Helena's story is one of heart-wrenching loss, terror, and betrayal, but it's also one of family, loyalty, bravery, and hope. Dunn's talent shines in this thriller with its whiplash inducing twists and nail-biting suspense and action. This is one that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good heart pounding thriller.

Perfect finale

Bears of Burden: MATT - Candace Ayers

Matt finally gets his mate! I've grown attached to the characters in this series and while seeing it end is a bit melancholy, it couldn't have ended on a better note. Matt's past has him living in shadows when Cannon comes along to muck up his orderly life, and he does it splendidly. There's lots of angst as Matt comes to terms with who he is and who he's destined to be with, but I loved every single word.

Sweet & Romantic

The Shifter's Secret Twins - T. S.  Ryder

I wasn't sure about this one at first. I didn't care for Simon and his attitude, but as the story progressed and started coming together, he grew on me and I could understand where he was coming from. This story was both heartwarming and heartwrenching at times. But it was also sweet, romantic, and even funny. With a few twists and some steamy times for Lana and Simon, this one's a winner. T.S. Ryder is one of my favorites for novella length reads that draw me in and keep me turning pages.

Fast Pace

One Dirty Scot (Trouble by Numbers) (Volume 3) - Donna Alam

The characters were interesting and the dialogue was witty and often humorous. I enjoyed the way Kit and Bea met and Kit's persistence in chasing her. Even though Kit is a bit of jerk at times, I liked him. The only drawback in the story was Kit's complete 360 about relationships. I get meeting that special someone, but it all happened a little too fast for me. Otherwise, it's an amusing tale that held my interest.

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.