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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.

Promising start to the series

Forged Alliances - Katherine McIntyre

I'm always up for a good shifter series, and this first book in the Tribal Spirit series is a promising start. The book is well-written and engaging, and the character development is sound - even the secondary characters are interesting. The story starts with an intriguing situation and doesn't let up. 

There is quite a lot going on in this entertaining read - an alliance between clans, a civil war, attacks from an opposing faction, and battles for the title of alpha. And on top of that, the sexual tension between Dax and Sierra is almost palpable as they dance around their attraction and the mating bond. And the banter between them is one of my favorite elements in the book. While neither of them are exactly romantic, they are absolutely perfect for each other, snarky wit and all. 

Overall, Forged Alliances is an action-packed, sexy read with witty dialogue and just the right amount of humor to keep it from getting too angsty. It's a solid start to a promising series and I can't wait to see what's next.

A journey of the heart

Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2) - A. E. Wasp

This second book in the series focuses on teammates, Robbie and Paul. It is a sports romance, and kudos to the author for including some actual game play in the story. This one also has a little bit of a second chance romance since this pair did have a night together a couple of years before becoming teammates. Make no mistake, it is quite the journey for Paul and Robbie as they figure out their way in the world of relationships and hockey and they do veer off course a time or two. The story is emotional at times and pulls at the heartstrings, but it also has its moments of levity to balance things out. Paul's innocence and excitement is so endearing and he and Robbie are so sweet together in this pair finds their way to happiness. Overall, a nice addition to the series. 

The twists keep coming

Jewels and Panties (Book, Eight): Romance Suspense - Brooke Kinsley

The title of this one says it all when it comes to this dark, twisted series. We don't see much on the page romance in this one, but there is plenty of suspense. It's hard to say much about this particular book in the series without giving spoilers, but it's just as twisty as its predecessors and for Etta and Lincoln, the hits just keep coming. 

The Jewels and Panties series is a continuing story and should be read in order. Each book is a fast-paced, quick read and there are some pretty big cliffys as the tale progresses, but the whole series is well-written, dark, and at times a bit creepy, and I can't get enough of Etta and Lincoln!

Lacks continuity

Godhunter - Amy Sumida

I love Urban Fantasy and mythology and was so excited about this one. It started out well enough, but it didn't take long for my excitement to fizzle. The book does have mythological characters, so many that by the time I was half way through, I'm not sure if any Pantheon was missed. The problem with all the gods crammed into this story is that I never figured out exactly why they needed Vervain for their quest or why she was a Godhunter in the first place. Basically, the world-building lacks continuity and the story is convoluted. I get the idea of a reverse harem and am not offended by it, but there needs to be some story to it and this character seems to be sexually attracted to almost every male she meets. What this book boils down to is a story that had potential but ended up being 400+ pages of sexual innuendo and pop culture references. A few times, I did come across a line or two that gave me reason to smile or chuckle, which is the only reason for the 2, rather than 1, star rating.

Love Major!

MAJOR (MC Bear Mates Book 5) - Becca Fanning

This series just gets better and better! Major has been noticeably absent off and on throughout the series with those absences increasing in book four. Now, with this fifth installment, we know why and where he's been. The problem isn't what he's doing, but who it's with. Then he runs into Pip and as is the way with Fanning's bear mates, Major's world is rocked. Pip's gift is the best one yet and certainly comes in handy, but the fact that this pair has a past is the hardest for them to overcome, creating just the right amount of angst for the story. 

The book is well-written and engaging enough that I read it in one sitting. Much like the rest of the series, it's full of romance, action, a bit of steamy fun, and some suspense as the Nomads take the war with the cartel to the next level. We also get to revisit past characters to see how they're doing and I have to add that the banter between Christie and Mundo was fantastic!

Excellent Debut

The Dragon in the Garden (The Watcher Rising Series, #1) - Erika Gardner

I can't even begin to express just how much I enjoyed this book! While I don't read a lot of Epic Fantasy, I love Urban Fantasy and Mythology and this one has both in spades. There are a lot of characters to keep up with and it is a lengthy read with a lot going on, but it's such an engaging story that it all just worked. We have a group of three humans, a fallen angel, a Valkyrie, and a dragon set on saving the world. With a mix like that, things are bound to get crazy and they do with plenty of action as demons, a reaper, and even the fae enter the picture. There are some moments of sadness and yes, I cried along with our heroine, and there are also some fun sexy times. It's not graphic, but it is there. With everything going on in this tale, some of my favorite parts included the dialogue between the characters. It's all quite witty, but several times it is absolutely laugh out loud hilarious and timed quite well. The whole story is just so good and overall, this fantastical, romantic, hilarious, emotional, and even a bit creepy at times story is an excellent debut from Gardner.

Fun read

Demon in Disguise (Playful Demons Book 1) - Mary Abshire

Where Abshire's other series are steeped in suspense, this one is a bit more lighthearted and fun. There is still an element of mystery and a couple of fun twists along the way as we get introduced to the world of the Playful Demons. The characters, love them or not, are interesting. I wasn't sure about Jennifer in the beginning, but she did grow on me later in the story and while I wasn't thrilled with the way Brian handled his dilemma, it made for an entertaining twist. The most interesting character, at least in my opinion, was Dominick and I really hope to see more of him in this series. He's a hoot and was so much fun to read. I have to say that one of my favorite things about this author's work, is her different take on the supernaturals and where they come from. She always paints a picture that leaves me in awe of her imagination. I can easily recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a sexy, paranormal read and the novella length makes it perfect for a quick bedtime read.

 

Confusing

The Best Kind of People - Zoe Whittall

I found this book to be more confusing than anything else. The story starts inside the head of school shooter, bent on taking out his girlfriend who works at the school. I assume this is to show how George's heroic actions during the crisis endeared him to the community, but there is little else about it throughout the book. From there, it jumps to a few years later and into the middle of an intimate scene between Sadie, George's 17 year old daughter, and her boyfriend, and I'm still scratching my head over the relevancy of that. Once George is arrested, I expected the real story here to begin taking shape and thought that I would learn something of his guilt or innocence, which would create some suspense to the story. Instead, I got what began to feel like an information dump about a lot of other people. There are pages and pages of the sexual activity of teenagers, along with their drug use and drinking, but the story reads as if all the teenagers in this community are participating in such activity, making it hard to empathize with Sadie's behavior being the result of the charges against her father. In fact, I found little about any of the characters to elicit empathy, other than the wife. Joan's behavior and reactions were the only ones that made much sense. But, as crazy as it sounds, I did keep reading, mostly out of curiosity about George than anything else, but the bulk of the story was just more of the same. George, who this story supposedly revolves around, isn't what I would consider even a secondary character. Finally, we get to the ending, which was a disappointment at best. The conclusion is rushed and unrealistic in many aspects. After giving it some thought, I believe there were just too many characters and too much going on for the author to stay on track and instead of one family's struggle to cope, it became a bit of mess of several characters running in different directions. 

Great romance collection

Drawn to Him: A Romance Collection - Willow Winters, M. Never, L.J. Shen, K. Webster, Jade West, Isabella Starling, A. Zavarelli, K.L. Kreig

The beauty of a collection of novellas is that you can read them all, one after another, or you can pick one and enjoy a quick read, getting to them all over time. My favorite thing is discovering new to me authors. Drawn to Him has a great mix of eight authors, some I've read and some I'll be reading again. There's a little something for everyone who enjoys the romance genre. We get mystery, suspense, Alpha males, angst, and even a bit of the taboo. The stories are well-written and engaging, and while I liked some of the tales and characters more than others, I can honestly say that I enjoyed them all. 

Masterful

The Queen - Skye Warren

I've been waiting for this finale to the Masterpiece duet and it absolutely blew me away. The book is beautifully written and deliciously dark. Penny and Damon dance around what they both know they want while Penny tries to solve a puzzle that could very well save a life. The heat level is off the charts and the twists just keep coming in this compelling tale of love, loss, disappointment, betrayal, and even some hope. With this series, Warren has proven her talent for playing with a reader's emotions as masterfully as her characters play their dangerous game. The Queen contributed to one more sleepless night for this reader because I absolutely couldn't put it down. And, I have to add that the last line of this tale was truly perfect! 

Sweet & Steamy

Almost Wonderful (Book 1) - Christie Ridgway

This is my first read by Christie Ridgway and I was surprised at how much emotion was packed into this very quick read. Caleb is such a lovable character and his patience with Meg makes this romance oh, so sweet. They do fall very quickly, which is a bit of drawback for me, but I liked the writing style and enjoyed the story enough that I will check out other books by this author. Overall, the book is well-written and compelling, and I can easily recommend this sweet, steamy romance. 

Fast-paced and Twisty

The Hatter and The Hare (Hacking Wonderland Book 2) - Allyson Lindt

This is not the Wonderland that we grew up with. This one is brought into modern day with a criminal underground and internet hacking. The book is wonderfully written and fast paced with plenty of twists to keep you guessing. As far as the cyber world goes, this is about as advanced as it gets for me, but you don't have to understand the ins and outs of being a hacker to follow this tale - that part isn't that detailed. What I did find in this Wonderland tale is a suspenseful story as Reagan continues to chase the clues left by her brother and Hare plots his next move. Lindt's writing style and story-telling draw a reader in as both sides work to out-maneuver the other. The only drawback was that I felt like the conclusion was a bit too quick, especially considering the journey to get there. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale with it's suspense, romance, steamy fun, and some truly endearing characters.

Suspension of belief?

His Virgin Payback: A Billionaire & Virgin Romance - Virginia Sexton

This one as it wasn't at all what I expected. I expected steam and I got that, but the huge suspension of belief required for the story wasn't something I anticipated. After the eye-rolling prologue, maybe I should've seen it coming, but I kept reading. At the start of the story, Jacob comes across as arrogant and selfish, with little regard for anyone else, so for him to willingly sacrifice himself for others would be contrary to that. Then, years later, when he goes after Lily out of revenge, she jumps at the chance to go out with the man she thinks betrayed her father. Lily is innocent as far as relationships and intimacy are concerned, but her father is all she has and it appears that they are close in the beginning, so I can't fathom a situation where a supposedly intelligent young woman would so easily accept any kind of invitation from Jacob, let alone a date. Then, to add insult to injury, when everything comes out, Jacob has no clue what was going on with his partner and mentor during the time of said betrayal? I realize that it's fiction, but it has to make sense for the world that it is set in.  The story is novella length, so maybe a bit more fleshing out of the story would've helped, but there are just too many things that don't work here. 

If you like steam without much substance, then you may enjoy this one more than I did. 

Light-hearted read

Breaching the Contract (The Conflict of Interest Series Book 1) - Chantal Fernando

Breaching the Contract is feel-good office romance with fun characters and wit. Kat's inner dialogue kept me chuckling through most of the story and I really like that this isn't an instalove romance. The fact that Tristan and Kat don't fall into bed immediately and spend a big portion of the story avoiding that very thing is one of the things that adds to the story. There is a rather unnecessary plot twist toward the end that almost seems to be thrown in for the sake of a bit of angst to this otherwise light-hearted tale, leaving the ending feeling a bit rushed to resolve the issue. Other than that, the book is well-written and entertaining, with a charismatic pair and a couple of sweet kids, making this perfect for a fun afternoon read. 

Great addition to the series

SEAL'd Legacy (Brotherhood of SEAL'd Hearts) - Gabi Moore

We get something with this May/December romance that we don't see very often - the woman is the December part of the pair, and it's done so very well. Ally isn't a cougar by any stretch of the imagination. She's been through a lot, and for a single mother in the workforce, she has an interesting innocence about her. In fact, both characters are not what we see so often in romance. David is wise beyond his years, having seen his own share of troubles. The romance is a bit of a slow build, but when David and Ally heat up, they are Kindle melting hot. But, David and Ally's story isn't just about the romance. There's so much more packed in these pages and as she so often does, Moore touches on some dark topics that certainly tug on the emotions, topics that are not only current, but also quite prevalent in today's society. I won't go into detail on that because that would spoil it and this is one that shouldn't be spoiled. To sum it up, SEAL'd Legacy is a romance, but it's also a breaking away from the things that hold you back, overcoming adversity and hate, and making a life surrounded by people that lift us up story. Of course, it's not all serious. There's plenty of scorching, sexy fun and some chuckle inducing dialogue between these characters to keep things from getting too dark. 

This reader will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!

Twists and turns galore!

Blood Runs Cold - Angela Kay

This second case of Lieutenant DeLong has just as many twists and turns as the first one, only this one brings it closer to home for our endearing Lieutenant. Once again, Kay has given us a book that is very well written and the story is both emotional and gripping, especially when DeLong's past comes back to haunt him. This series is a bit reminiscent of John Sandford's Prey series in that the author has created a character that is far from perfect, but still someone to root for as he doggedly searches for answers. DeLong doesn't always follow the rules to the letter, but he is determined to find justice for the victim, even if he has to arrest his own brother. This author is certainly one to watch in the crime thriller genre, and I hope to see more of Jim DeLong.