Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2) by J. Leigh Bailey

RecklessHopeWhat’s life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’m so glad that this book had alternating POVs. Otherwise, I would have had a hard time sympathizing with Sebastian. On the surface, he was a spoiled brat who took full advantage of his financial status. Underneath, there was a lot more to him than even he realized. Unfortunately, Micah didn’t have the same advantage that readers did, so Sebastian had his work cut out for him.

Oh Micah… he had so much responsibility at such a young age. He was one disaster away from losing it all. The last thing he needed was a rich playboy distracting him. He trusted no one but himself to shoulder all that responsibility and he was coming close to failing miserably. These two guys needed each other, whether they knew it or not.

I’m not sure whether Micah or Sebastian broke my heart more. The sympathy I felt for Micah was obvious, but Sebastian’s need kind of sneaked up on me, mostly because his pain was hidden under layers of denial. He carried a lot of guilt, but he wanted to be seen for something other than the screw-up that he was known for. Micah kept a lot hidden from Sebastian as well, but his need was obvious regardless of what he kept hidden.

I liked the way things played out and I was happy that some of the characters weren’t as bad as I thought they were in the beginning. I was also kind of disappointed that at least one character didn’t get what they deserved, but I’m okay with the eventual HEA regardless.

Just a quick note… you don’t have to read Letting Go in order since none of the characters in Nobody’s Hero are even mentioned in Reckless Hope. I’m not sure what the future holds for the series, but both books are excellent, so you can pick up either one and not feel like you’re missing anything at all.

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A Veiled Truth (The Hunted #2.5) by Amanda Shofner – Bout of Books 14 Review

VeiledTruthShe’s about to learn life isn’t like her controlled experiments.
Edie Brown is a lab rat, dedicated to improving the lives of her fellow Gifted. And while she saved countless Gifted soldiers with her research during the war against the Hunters, she’s haunted by the one person she hasn’t saved: her aunt. With a new pair of joint illusionists to help her, Edie’s closer than ever to a breakthrough.
But her well-ordered scientist’s life unravels when her best friend Marcus proposes a different kind of experiment — one that puts her heart at risk — and her aunt collapses, leaving Edie wondering if she’s too late to help. She’s not about to give up yet, though, not when there’s still a chance she can cure her aunt — and find the one thing she didn’t even know she needed.

Oh Edie… for as smart as this girl was, she had a lot to learn. Seems that everyone around her knew that except for her.

To be fair, Edie was carrying around a lot of guilt. Unnecessary guilt. Her only focus was her work. Her research offered protection and knowledge that was invaluable, but life couldn’t always be filed neatly under X and Y… and it shouldn’t be. Beyond the walls of her carefully controlled lab, she cared for her aunt, who she desperately hoped she could cure. When Marcus gave her a change in focus, everything else she thought she knew changed with it. When her aunt’s condition took an unexpected turn, her focus switched back and narrowed even more.

I’ve liked this series from the beginning A Veiled Truth made me love it even more. Edie’s routine needed to be shaken up and Marcus was the perfect person to provide the diversion. He cared about Edie and whether she could admit it or not, she cared about him too. Her whole world was turned upside down in A Veiled Truth, but that’s not always a bad thing.

As an added bonus, the heat was turned up more than a little in A Veiled Truth. Marcus and Edie were obviously good together… very good. It just took a little bit of convincing on Marcus’ part to prove to Edie what they had was more than a diversion or an experiment.

If you haven’t read any books in the Hunted series, there’s really no reason why you can’t start here. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to learn more about this world that Amanda Shofner created once you finish. If you want to start at the beginning, the series starts with Elusive Memories. Regardless of where you decide to start, enjoy! ;)

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You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison

YouMeHim“Do not ignore a call from me when you know I am feeling neurotic about a boy. That is Best Friend 101.” —Nash
Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.

I admit, most of the time I avoid contemporary young adult books. Honestly, it’s not them, it’s me. Cliche, I know, but I raised 3 daughters through their teenage years into adulthood and I’m so over the drama that those years entailed that I can’t even explain it. Every once in a while though, I make an exception. Like when another blogger takes the time to throw a recommendation my way. That’s why I picked up You and Me and Him and I’m not sorry that I did.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1So, if me making that statement makes you think that this book didn’t contain teenage drama, you would be wrong. Wrong on so many levels. Just the drama that’s caused by Nash alone would debunk that theory. You and Me and Him is full of drama, but even so, it’s different. Vague I know, but trust me.

When I first started reading this book I thought I had all the characters figured out. I was wrong on that count too. There were a lot of layers that were begging to be revealed… and not just with the teens in the story. Speaking of which, my favorite character (aside from Maggie) wasn’t a teen at all. I’m not going to tell who, because his wisdom kind of sneaked up on me, but I’d bet I’m not the only one who fell in love with him ;)

Maggie had a lot to come to terms with in You and Me and Him, but she did it with a wisdom and grace that few teens find while they’re still ‘teens.’ Not that she didn’t have a couple of teenage angst moments herself. That would have been totally unrealistic.

I have no regrets with my first dip into the Contemporary YA pool in ages, thanks to this story woven by Kris Dinnison. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to pick up all of this genre that cross my path, but it does mean that I’m willing to give a select few a second glance. ;)

DragonFlyRating4

Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3) by Rory Ni Coileain

DeepPlungeFor the last six hundred years or so, the only things reminding Lochlann Doran he’s a Fae have been his faceted aquamarine eyes and the fact that he can’t die. He’s been a wanderer for so long in the human world – over two thousand years – that he’s lost his magick, including the gift of healing that goes along with being a Fae of the Demesne of Water. Finding his SoulShare might get it back for him. But it might kill him, too.
Garrett Templar has been living on borrowed time, in a sense, since he was eighteen, when one of the johns he entertained to pay the bills while he danced at Purgatory infected him with HIV. It was always supposed to be a “manageable” disease, though, at least until a cure was found. Except he’s just found out that the virus in his system has inexplicably mutated into full-blown AIDS, and no known drug cocktail can even slow it down.
And when Lochlann and Garrett find each other at last, on Purgatory’s dance floor, the only thing as urgent as their need for one another is the hunger of an ancient evil to do whatever is necessary to possess Lochlann’s magick…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The first book, Hard as Stone, laid the ground work for the SoulShares series.  Gale Force added more players to the fight against the Marfach. Deep Plunge is the book that starts bringing things together and revealing more behind the Pattern, the Fae, the Sundering and what it all means.

I’ve liked all the books in this series so far, but I have to admit, I think that Deep Plunge is my favorite. That might changes as the series continues, but for now, I felt a connection with Lochlann and Garrett that I didn’t feel with the others. Maybe it’s because Lochlann was the very first Fae to pass through the Pattern. He was the proverbial genie pig for the Loremasters. Maybe it was because of the sympathy I felt for Garrett being dealt yet another blow that sentenced him to being alone for the rest of his life. Or maybe it was because of irony that Lochlann’s power was the ability to heal and he had lost it before he found his dying SoulShare.

I enjoyed the switching POVs, with the exception of the Marfach, Once again, being in that monster’s head was more than a little uncomfortable. Tiernan, Kevin, Conall and Josh were once again and integral part of the story. And then there was Cuinn… who knows a lot more than he can reveal. He’s kind of growing on me, but he has a little bit of work to do to convince the other Fae that he’s working for them, not against them.

Out of all the SoulShares so far, Garrett and Lochlann had the most to lose and came very close to losing it all. There’s a lot more to come and a few more questions that need to be answered. Firestorm is next and it features Cuinn, which should prove to be interesting. Just a note, the books in this series are being released in rapid succession so if you start from the beginning, you won’t have to wait for the next book. Book five, Blowing Smoke, has already been released, so if you aren’t a fan of a long wait between books in a series, SoulShares is a perfect series to pick up.

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Crimson Chaos (Crimson #4) by Amos Cassidy

CrimsonChaosAn ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1For those of you who haven’t started reading the Crimson series yet, you need to. Now. For those of you who have already started and have waited patiently for the last book in the series to be released… be careful for what you ask for. And since you are already familiar with the evil duo that is Amos Cassidy, that statement probably needs no further explanation.

The entire time I was reading Crimson Chaos I kept thinking ‘there’s not enough time left in this book for everything to be resolved.’ Honestly, I had this feeling more than once. I’m not saying that pages were wasted on irrelevant stuff. That doesn’t happen in this series. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but all of them serve a purpose. Trust me, when you read any of these books, pay close attention. The past comes back to bite everyone sooner or later and even the most minute detail shouldn’t be overlooked. This is definitely a series that begs to be re-read.

This series finale was full of action, drama, danger, romance, tears and even more twists and turns. And then… well, part of the evil persona that makes up Amos Cassidy is their ability to make a book impossible to review. Honestly, so much happens and so many people are affected by all that happens and then… I’m trying here. I’m trying really, really hard, but… well, you’re just going to have to read this one to understand. Then you can yell at the author yourself. ;) (I may have done this once or twice, they can handle it, honest.)

Beyond the frustration, this was an amazing series and Crimson Chaos tied everything up quite nicely… kind of. The POVs switched between all the characters we have grown to love and most of their story lines came to a satisfying close… kind of.  In case you haven’t already surmised, the Crimson series may ended with Crimson Chaos, but Amos Cassidy isn’t quite done with these beloved characters yet. Thank goodness because I might have to chase them down if this book was really the end. ;)

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Crimson Chaos (by Amos Cassidy) Release Day Blitz

Crimson Chaos gold 2


Crimson Chaos by Amos Cassidy, the thrilling conclusion to the Crimson Series, is out today! Rose, Raven, Roman and the gang must face their own personal demons and come together to fight an invisible threat that challenges the existence of their world.

An ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?
 
What readers are saying…
…Amos Cassidy always does an amazing job of giving you just enough info to follow while still keeping you in the dark until the last possible moment…
…This series has been twisty and turny from book one, which I thought was going to be a typical UF but NOOOOO … we can’t have that. And following the gang’s story has kept me on the edge of my seat for the last three years…
Little Read Riding Hood
Fancy A Peek Inside?
Crimson Chaos release blitx image 2
Don’t miss out on the Goodies!
 
EXCLUSIVE!!!!!
 

For the next 48 hours only, you can grab the LIMITED EDITION. Purchase it before 12AM 29th August PST (8AM GMT) to get access to an exclusive download link where you can get books 2 and 3 FREE. The limited edition also contains 7k worth of exclusive content; character interviews, shorts, an author bio from a few years back, told by Roman himself, and Raven does karaoke…yep, that happened.

Crimson Chaos release Blitz image 1

AMAZON
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Want to know a little bit more about the Authors?

 Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.

You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…

Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at amoscassidy.com, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

Links to Stalk the Author’s!
      

PAS (War of the Alphas #4) S.M. Reine

PASDeirdre Tombs is a Beta without her Alpha. Everton Stark is missing, just days in advance of the election to replace Rylie Gresham as leader of all North American shifters.
She can’t control his allies anymore. She can’t win the election without him.
Everything will be lost unless Deirdre can become a better monster than Stark.

S.M. Reine is an expert at creating terribly flawed characters who blur the lines between good and evil in unimaginable ways. From the beginning of this series, I had a hard time sympathizing with Deirdre. Mostly because of her feelings toward Rylie. I’ve said it more than once since I started reviewing this series. PAS didn’t change that, but I started looking at these characters from a different perspective when I started thinking about this review.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve had three series full of books to fall in love with and respect Rylie as a character. Seeing her from Deirdre’s perspective was hard, but it was necessary. I wanted to tell her everything that Rylie had been through. Basically, I wanted to speed up the process, but I couldn’t. Those were things that Dierdre had to learn on her own. Besides, Rylie’s patience and honestly with Dierdre only succeeded in making me love and respect her more.

One of my favorite parts of this series has been the sometimes unexpected appearances of and/or references to past characters. Of course Dierdre’s clueless, but to those of us who have read the previous books, it’s almost comforting to see where they ended up or how they’re immortalized after Genesis.

To say that PAS was intense would be an understatement. Dierdre held the fate of a lot of people in the decisions she made, but her fate was held by others’ actions as well. My opinion about some characters changed, which is a normal occurrence with this author. My opinion on some didn’t change enough to make a difference though, but I have a feeling that SM Reine isn’t quite done with them yet, so I won’t write them off totally. There were plenty of twists, turns, revelations and surprises to keep the pages turning, which I’ve also come to expect. Take nothing for granted and never assume.

I’d like to say that this book brought everything to a satisfying close, but I can’t. A story arc came full circle, but the story is far from over. That’s okay though, because when it comes to this world of demons, angels, shifters, wolves, vampires and even humans that this author has created, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough. ;)

DragonFlyRating5

Tough Love (Ultimate #3) by Lori Foster – Bout of Books 14 Review

ToughLoveVanity Baker loves a good, clean match, but she’s not above playing a little dirty. She’s wanted Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan from day one. Seems as though the best way to corral the famously commitment-phobic fighter is to insist on keeping it casual. And her plan works—deliciously well—until Stack’s past steps out of the shadows.
Stack learned early to stay free of attachments. But with sexy, forthright Vanity, he’s the one always left wanting more. Then his troublemaking family comes back into the picture, threatening everything Stack cares about—Vanity included. Suddenly he realizes they’re much more than friends with benefits. He’s ready to go to the mat for her…but will it be in time to protect the woman who’s tamed him for good?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The more I get to know these fighters, their ladies and their families, the more I love them.  Tough Love started pretty much where Holding Strong left off… at Cannon and Yvette’s wedding.

I loved Vanity’s tactics, but honestly, Stack wasn’t quite as hard to ‘catch’ as she thought. He just needed a little bit of convincing. Once they finally got together (really, it felt like it was never going to happen – even after their book started) the outcome was inevitable. If there ever was a girl made for Stack, Vanity was it.

As usual, the supporting characters were more than just window dressing. Both the new and the familiar characters added a lot to the story. These guys and their strength, loyalty and sense of family are impressive. If I had one complaint… actually more than one, but I’ll get to the other one in just a minute… it would be that just once I’d like the guy in one of these relationships to make the stupid mistake that almost breaks them up. Other than over reacting to the girl’s stupid mistake that is. This isn’t the first time I wanted to jump into a book and shake someone before they did something that jeopardized everything. Okay, so it doesn’t happen all the time and I know that it wouldn’t be much of a story if there wasn’t some conflict somewhere, but it really makes me cringe when someone as smart as Vanity does something as stupid as… well, you’ll have to read Tough Love to find out.

As for my other complaint… I wanted more. *sigh* Things just sort of wrapped up at the end and I still had some questions and I want to know how things work out after all the dust settles… with everyone. Speaking of which, rumor has it that Armie and Merissa are next. Finally! If you’ve been following this series, I bet you can’t wait for Fighting Dirty. ;)

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Raven’s Call (Crimson #0.5) by Amos Cassidy – Bout of Books 14 Review

RavensCallHe came from darkness, lifted from the bowels of despair, saved by hope, but who will save him now?
Raven is a survivor, a fighter, but not a lot of people know that. He keeps his past hidden, even from himself. His dirty little secret, the only secret, or so he believes…
When Raven and his friends are summoned to The Culling, it seems like a dream come true. Hosted by the Alpha at his famous Retreat, The Culling, an event to select the werewolves that will take on the role of Active Pack and protect the civilian wolves, is a gruelling test of skill. As Raven, Roman, Damon and Kris make the journey to Wales, the days ahead seem filled with possibility. But the stakes are much higher than any of them could have imagined. A shadow stalks The Retreat, a dark assassin with an unholy mission, a mission that will put Raven and his friends directly in the line of fire.
As the truth of his inceptions puts Raven on a supernatural hit list, a choice must be made, one that could change Raven’s life forever.
When the time comes, will Raven make the right call?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Raven… yes, at the expense of feeling the wrath of others who have claimed him as their own, I am totally in love with this guy. I liked him before, but getting his back story… especially the beginning… totally made me team Raven all the way.

As for Amos Cassidy? They have the irritating talent of making their books impossible to review. They throw so many twists and turns in their stories that I don’t know where to start, much less continue, without giving something away. And don’t even get me started on the cliff hanger. *glares at evil authors*

Raven wasn’t the only character that got a POV in Raven’s Call. Even though the focus was Raven, readers were also given time with Roman, Damon and Kris. I loved getting to know them all better, but Raven is the one who broke me.

This was my second reading of Raven’s Call. It’s short so reading it twice wasn’t a huge deal, but worth mentioning because it was necessary and I’ll probably be reading it again. Short or not, there is a lot packed within those pages. There’s a lot of history, but there’s also a lot of foreshadowing. Some of it I remembered, but some of it I had forgotten and some of it I didn’t realize was as important as it was until… See… they’re EVIL!

If you haven’t read the Crimson series yet, Raven’s Call would be a good place to start. It’s short, and gives you just a hint of the torment that this talented duo is capable of. Plus, the final book in the series, Crimson Chaos is coming soon.

DragonFlyRating4

Cursed Wolves (Grimwood #2) by Kelly Apple – Bout of Books 14 Review

CursedWolvesLucy Grimm knows what it’s like to be on the outside. Ever since her curse kicked in on her 18th birthday, she’s lived in the woods on her own, cut off from everyone but the other cursed and slave to the cycles of the moon. Her one joy in life is spying on hunky Connor Redfield while he works at his grandmother’s inn.
Connor knows someone’s out there watching him, but he can never get close enough to catch them in the act. When he decides to take matters into his own hands and lay down a trap for the peeping tom, he doesn’t expect to end up with a bundle of nervous woman who runs every chance she gets.
He certainly doesn’t believe she’s one of the legendary cursed wolves that roam the woods.
For all that she’s fighting against herself, Lucy can’t help but like the burly lumberjack with a heart of gold. With the moon coming up on full, Lucy doesn’t dare trust herself when her wolf takes control. But Connor remains unconvinced and the more time Lucy spends with him, the more she longs to stay.
Can a cursed wolf find love with a mortal man? Or will her beastly side destroy her heart’s desire?

Kelly Apple definitely knows how to twist a fairy tale. As I mentioned when I reviewed Cursed Blood, her twist on these familiar tales takes it up a notch. In Cursed Wolves, she flips the tale of Little Red Riding Hood with Connor being the prey and Lucy being the wolf. This series is giving me a whole new reason to love twisted fairy tales. ;)

Lucy was reluctant… out of fear, not out of desire… and Connor was determined. Together they were combustible. I loved their story. As hot as they were together, it was also a sweet tale. It was also laced with humor and just a little danger. A perfect mix.

My only complaint would be that I want more! Given the fact that all of these tales center around Grimwood, I’m kind of hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Connor and Lucy, or for that matter Zel and Geneva. There’s a mystery brewing and I can’t wait to see where Kelly Apple takes us next.

DragonFlyRating4