Review: Ruined by Shiloh Walker

ruinedReviewed by Jen

Ruined is book 4 in Shiloh Walker’s Barnes Brothers series, and though I didn’t read any of the previous books, I didn’t feel the lack. This works just fine as a standalone.

I rarely read contemporary romance, but I’ve read an entire series under Walker’s pseudonym JC Daniels, and I like her style. Plus, this features a wounded/ scarred hero, which is probably my favorite trope. It didn’t let me down. [Read more…]

Review: Shadowed Blade by JC Daniels

shadowed bladeReviewed by Jen

I know it’s hard to wait for a new book when you love a series. I’m right there with you, griping and wondering if that precious story I want is ever going to get here. This book, in particular, was one we had to wait on. And I hate to say it, but we should have waited a little bit longer. The story is a good one. As it unfolds, there are some major revelations. It unlocks secrets and it changes Kit’s life. It’s a big deal and the ideas are really good. But the book feels so unfinished. By that, I don’t mean that there’s a problem with the ending. I mean, it needed more work. It needed more time, and maybe as fans, that’s partly our fault for pushing so hard for it to come out.  It wasn’t ready, and you’ll be able to tell. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2015

It’s hard to believe we’re leaving another great year of reading behind us. In 2015, I found it more difficult to find books that suit my taste. I don’t care to read about billionaire bachelors, rock stars, step-brothers, biker gangs, or BDSM. Take a minute and think about how many titles fell into those categories last year.  I did a lot of backlist reading to fill in the gaps.

There were some really good new releases that I did enjoy; they were just more scarce. Here’s a look at some of the 2015 releases that really satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Misery’s Way by JC Daniels

miserys wayReviewed by Jen

There are actually two short novellas inside this ebook. Both are in the Kit’s Colbana world, but only one features Kit as the narrator and that one was previously released.

“Misery’s Way” takes place after the events of Edged Blade and is actually told from the POV of a pain eater and healer named Frankie. She isn’t human and she thrives on the misery of others. But she also feels the need to fix that pain. So she travels around as a faith healer, doing enough to make a difference, but nothing so flashy as to bring too much attention. When Kit and Justin walk into her tent, she senses all the pain Kit carries around and it calls to her. What happens next makes this story an absolute must read for fans of the series. [Read more…]

Review: Final Protocol by JC Daniels

final protocolReviewed by Jen

I went back and forth with myself about whether I wanted to read this after I saw the warning in the blurb about some scenes involving questionable consent. I appreciate the heads-up, but I am glad I decided to go ahead and jump in. As much as I love JC Daniels efforts in Urban Fantasy, I have to say she rocked Sci-Fi pretty hard as well. [Read more…]

Review: Edged Blade by JC Daniels

edged bladeReviewed by Jen

Every time I read a new book in the series, it leaves me wanting more. Sometimes, it’s because I’m left crying and broken-hearted; other times, I am just dying to find out what happens next.  This time, it was because there’s this great, fast paced story that was just over too soon. It felt short, but that may be because (A) it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and (B) there was a six chapter short story that filled out the last 40 pages or so of my ebook. [Read more…]

Review: Broken Blade by JC Daniels

broken bladeReviewed by Jen

Kit Colbana considers herself broken.  What she endured at the end of Night Blade would break almost anyone.  But despite what she believes, her spirit is not beyond repair.  That’s what this entire book is about: her journey as she tries to find herself again and rebuild the inner core of strength she fears is gone for good.

The entire first half of the book is focused almost exclusively on Kit’s heartache and struggle. [Read more…]

Review: Night Blade

Reviewed by Jen

I knew something was up when I read the Dedication on this book:

Thanks to everybody who encouraged me to continue with Kit’s story. Be warned… she’s got a rocky road ahead of her. But I hope it’s worth it in the end.

I saw this and thought to myself, “Dammit.  Kit and Damon are going to break up.”  I dreaded it.  I steeled myself for it.  What I fool I was.  Suffice it to say, Shiloh Walker and I have a vastly different understanding of the words “rocky road.”

Let’s back up.  As the story begins, Kit and Damon are going strong, though they are both hard at work.  Damon is cleaning house in his pack, getting rid of the crazies who thrived under the old Alpha.  And Kit is solving cases for her investigative firm.  Things are actually kind of… good…. until Kit gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Justin.  The witch works for a powerful branch of law enforcement that is investigating Damon. They believe he is behind some unauthorized kills and if Kit can’t prove he didn’t do it, he’ll be slated for execution.  To make matters worse, Justin puts a spell on her that prevents her from talking about the case.  Kit has to work against the clock to clear the man she is falling in love with, while keeping her mission a secret.

I really, really like Kit.  She is tough, but she is also so very vulnerable. She endured so much as a child, and it’s clear we don’t even know the whole story. Entirely new atrocities are hinted at.  And the memories still plague her.  Still terrify her.  But she soldiers on. There is something like steel at her core. She will not break.  Her past makes her growing love for Damon even more poignant.  She’s always been afraid to love anything, for fear of losing it.  Damon shows himself worthy of her and makes me fall for him as she does the same.  The characters just strike such a chord.

And then it all goes to shit.  Not the book.  But everything in Kit’s life.

I won’t spoil it.  But I will tell you that dedication should have come with flashing yellow lights and perhaps a skull and crossbones.  This book gutted me.  Completely and utterly.  I cried.  I shook my head.  I talked to myself. And I cried some more.  As I write this, I still feel sucker punched and slightly hollow.

It was amazing, horrible, terrible, wrenching, and utterly consuming.  Worth reading, to be sure.  But have your Kleenex ready and a support group standing by. You’re gonna need it.

Rating: A-

*ARC provided by author for review 

Click to purchase: Amazon
Night Blade
by JC Daniels
Release Date: March 4, 2013

Review: Hot in Handcuffs

Reviewed by Allison

Arresting Desire
Shayla Black

When FBI Agent Jon Bocelli went undercover in the mafia, he met and never forgot the beautiful Lucia DiStefano. When his brother ends up in jail and won’t talk to get out or save his life, Jon decides he has to come calling to his old “family” contacts to make sure his brother gets out alive. After spotting Lucia across the club, he decides that since she’s waited this long to save herself, he would be the one to finally deflower her. Aggressively. After much “protesting.” There was a mystery surrounding her father and somehow it all tied back to Jon’s case when he was undercover but to be honest, it wasn’t all that interesting. Definitely hot, but pretty underwhelming otherwise.

Grade: C
On Fire
Sylvia Day

Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron blows into Fire Inspector Darcy Michaels’ small town in order to aid an investigation of a series of arson attacks destroying their community. The chemistry between these two is explosive & immediate. It starts as just an itch to scratch, but quickly (and I do mean quickly) moves to much more. Even though I’m not usually a fan of the “we’re meant to be” after 24 hours in bed, for some reason it totally worked with these two. You could just feel it, you were swept up in the passion and knew that there was no one else who could answer the others needs like they could for each other.

“Good.”
The rush of relief he felt almost made him dizzy.
“So we make it work.”
“It’s going to be work. A lot of it. We’re too volatile. Too…greedy.”
“Like a thirst you can’t quite quench,” he agreed softly.
“The flip side being that every time you take a drink, it’s the best fucking thing you’ve ever tasted. If that’s not worth working for, what is?”

Right?! (*sigh*) The on-the-job chemistry worked really well, too, as Jared and Darcy worked together to figure out who was behind the fire and another mystery that pops up. I had an inkling who the culprit was but she definitely surprised me! I definitely enjoyed this short story and look forward to reading more by Ms. Day!

Rating: B+

The Unwilling
Shiloh Walker

Mica Greer is a cop trying to solve a strange series of brutal murders of women when her ex-FBI ex-boyfriend, Colby Mathis, gets called in to consult on the case. He is “psychic” and probably their last chance at finding the bastard before he hits again. As they work together to find whom they’re coming to believe is a fellow cop, the passion they once shared is reignited in their search for the truth.

The psychic twist to this one didn’t really float my boat. I love paranormal stories but this one didn’t seem to add to the story much.

Ms. Walker is an incredibly talented writer, but this story was too graphic and creepy for me to find it the least bit sexy. If you like to get in the killer’s head, be steeped in the mystery, and get creeped out, then this story is for you. It most assuredly wasn’t for me.

Grade: C (This is based on the fact that it wasn’t my cup of tea, because it really was well written and constructed.)

Click to purchase: Amazon
Hot in Handcuffs
by Shayla Black, Shiloh Walker, Sylvia Day
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Berkley

5 for Friday – September 21

A sick husband and a sick kid this week.  Plus the other kid had a birthday. Throw in a cheerleading/ football game event, various sports practices, cupcake making, and school projects –and I am desperately in need of some “me-time.” I have no idea when it will happen, but I can dream.  Let’s talk about fun stuff.

5. I have been stalking Sherrilyn Kenyon forever since I found she was planning this Styxx book.  Now she’s got more deets about him on her website. She says, in part:

…(I)n many ways, it’s another story of Acheron. You will see events that weren’t in his book and I know Styxx will win you over. In all honesty, he was done wrong and it will break your heart.  Misjudged, condemned, betrayed and abandoned… There is a whole side of him that no one knows.

I am so anxious!! Only 11 months to go.

4. Shiloh Walker, aka JC Daniels, has revealed the cover for book two in her Colbana Files series.  Take a look at Night Blade:

Kit Colbana is always biting off more than she can chew. She has a knack for finding trouble. This time, though, trouble finds her. Someone from her past drops a case into her lap that she just can’t refuse…literally.

People on the Council are dying left and right and she’s been requested to investigate the deaths. The number one suspect? Her lover, Damon. If she doesn’t clear his name, he gets a death sentence. Even if she succeeds? They still might try to execute him. Oh, and she’s not allowed to tell him about the case, either.

The stakes are high this time around, higher than they’ve ever been. Kit may be forced to pay the ultimate price to save her lover’s life…a price that could destroy her and everything she loves.

I really enjoyed Blade Song so I have high hopes for this one.

3. JR Ward is sharing tidbits on the next Fallen Angel book, Rapture. Every day, she is releasing a new little video on her Facebook page, which is evil and refuses to allow me to embed her clips. However, you can click on the pretend video player below and it will take you to the clip where she is talking about the heroine.

Rapture is out Tuesday.  Please, JR, you must fix this Eddie thing.

2. I really loved the ARC of Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell. It’s a Beauty & the Beast type of historical romance (also out Tuesday.)

Forever is giving away seven copies. You can win it before you can buy it. Check out the giveaway here.

1. And finally, Karen Marie Moning is answering some of the big questions about the next book in her Fever series, ICED.  If I wasn’t nervous before, I definitely am now. (I was totally nervous before, but now it’s worse.)

Here are some of the high points:

  • The next three books will be Fever #6-8
  • The titles are ICED, BURNED & FLAYED
  • They will be Dani POV
  • She will be 14 at the beginning of her 3 book arc and 17 when it’s over
  • Dani will have sex with one of the guys who is in ICED
  • Books #9-10 will be Mac POV
  • These are not teen fiction
  • ICED will not end in a cliffhanger

Without crossing the line into too much information, I know all too well that teens Dani’s age have sex.  But if it’s with a being who is hundreds (or thousands) of years old, I’m out.

I loved the Fever books. Loved.  But I am scared. Somebody needs to read this for me and give me the all clear.

I’ve got big news coming next week!  I can’t wait to share.  Until then… stay to the light!

XOXO,
Jen