Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow – Bout of Books 19 Review

I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.
It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.
She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.
There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.
I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

Note to self: When an author tells readers that they cried every single time they did a read through of the book you’re about to read, PAY ATTENTION!

So yes, I obviously knew what I was getting myself into before I picked up Believe in the Wish and I read it anyway. Why, you might be asking yourself? That’s simple. Even though Christi Snow promised tears, I’ve read enough of her books to know that they would be worth it. Regardless of how much she puts her characters through, she manages to put them back together and most importantly, leaves both them and the readers who fell in love with them, with a sense of hope. I had to keep that in mind through almost every chapter of Believe in the Wish… consider yourselves warned.

Ethan was introduced to readers first and his grief was all consuming. He had no idea how to go on without Emma but thankfully, Emma knew expected that and found a really creative way to help him after she was gone. Ethan just couldn’t understand why she chose Hawk to be the one to help him through his grief.

To be honest, I was afraid in the beginning that Believe in the Wish would only be told by Ethan’s POV. That would have been okay, but I literally sighed with relief when the first chapter labeled ‘Hawk’ popped up. Things aren’t always what they seem and Hawk’s POV only revealed little by little what was really going on, but those glimpses made me fall in love with him. It also helped readers realize that he was almost as broken as Ethan.

Ethan’s grief wasn’t a quick fix and it shouldn’t have been. For every step forward he made, he seemed to stumble back at least two more. This book was an emotional roller coaster full of love, tears, tragedy, anger, grief, betrayal and hope… it took a while, but it’s important to know that they both finally got there, but not on their own. Which brings me to the supporting characters. I loved Miller, Katya, Dix and even Slade almost as much as Hawk and Ethan. (I may or may not be hinting to the author that one, if not all of these characters are begging to have their story told… 😉 ) One of the most amazing characters in Believe in the Wish was Emma. The love and devotion that she had for both Ethan and Hawk was inspiring.

So, pick up Believe in the Wish armed with plenty of tissues and an open heart and mind because those tears were really worth it in the end.

Joshua (Male Model Chronicles #3) by Christi Snow

joshuaDecember is the time for romance, twinkling lights, and roaring fires in the fireplace. It’s also time for the annual Holiday Fantasy Lingerie show. This year, the show has a masculine twist with the introduction of male models who were once soldiers.
Joshua Scott Brown has made quite a name for himself as a male fitness model since he got out of the Air Force. But nothing prepares him for the media circus that occurs after he catches one of the female lingerie models during the live show, preventing her from a ten foot fall. Now the lingerie company wants to turn that media coverage into holiday profit by pairing him up romantically with the model. Unfortunately, he only has eyes for Autumn Layne, the publicist who keeps pushing him into another woman’s arms.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1My only complaint about Joshua is that it was short and sweet. Well, the short part, not the sweet part. My first thought when I started reading this last installment in Christi Snow’s Male Model Chronicles series was how absolutely adorable Joshua was. He was funny, sweet and not exactly comfortable in a room full of half-naked women. He was also totally infatuated with Autumn from the first moment he saw her.

Autumn was strong, hard working and deserved far more credit for everything she did than she received. She was crazy about Joshua but was determined not to rock the boat with her sister because of misplaced guilt. I admired her for her loyalty almost as much as I disliked her sister.

As is this author’s style, she didn’t make things easy for this couple. There was danger, a little bit of mystery, plenty of heat and a meddling overbearing relative thrown into the mix. I’ve almost forgiven said author for all she put these two through, almost. 😉

I’m sorry that this series is over, but I’m sure that Christi Snow has more in store for readers to fill the void. In the mean time, I may have to go back and get reacquainted with Justin and Lance.

DragonFlyRating4

Rejecting Destiny (Through the Veil #3) by Christi Snow

rejectingdestinyShe has one final chance to embrace her destiny or lose it all.
Twenty years ago Bethany Harris fell in love with Aaron Vaughn, but then she shattered his heart. When the Veil fell two years later, she became the leader of the Western States. She wasn’t ready for the job, but she stepped up and did it. She couldn’t have done that without Aaron’s friendship and support.
Since then they’ve become lovers in the physical sense, but Bethany continues to keep her distance. She lost the right to Aaron’s love a long time ago.
Now things have changed. What once defined their world may no longer be true. With the turmoil that follows, Bethany must lead her people into a terrifying new era. She’s reeling and doubting herself more than ever. But when Aaron brings home her biggest challenge, it may be one too many.
To succeed she has to face her biggest fear…trusting the strength of the relationship between her and Aaron, or else risk losing it all. She could lose her job, her people, but most of all the man she’s loved almost her whole life.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Bethany and Aaron… readers may not have learned much about these two up until Rejecting Destiny, but this book definitely made up for that.

I have to warn you, this one made me just a little bit teary… well maybe more like a lot teary. Which kind of took me by surprise. Not that I didn’t already know that Christi Snow was capable of making me shed a tear or two. She’s proven that more than once. Let’s just say she pulled at all my vulnerable heart strings in this one. I think the real reason I was caught off guard was because as emotionally distant as Bethany seemed, I didn’t expect her to break my heart, but she did… big time.

On the other hand, having Aaron break my heart came as no surprise at all. I loved him from the beginning. So, how did these two break my heart? There were so many little twists, turns and surprises in Rejecting Destiny I don’t want to spoil it for you. Just know that every tear was totally worth it.

Beyond what was going on between Aaron and Bethany, there was a lot going on in the Western States. Changes were happening that no one could explain. People were shaking things up and pulling strings while forces were at work that were totally unexpected. Some were positive and the jury’s still out on the others.

Oh, and for the record, I sorta fell in love with a couple of new characters along the way and I’m hoping that readers will get to know them a lot better. Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next book in the Through the Veil series.

DragonFlyGreen4-5

 

Allied in Flight (Through the Veil #2) by Christi Snow

AlliedInFlightA rescue gone wrong.
It was supposed to be simple. Four members from the Western States planned to sneak into the Eastern States to free four condemned Others. But when they arrived at the experimental labs where the Others were being held, it was under attack from Rebel forces.
Griff Hughes had one job…
He had to find Shar, a wounded hawk shifter. But in the ensuing chaos, he became a captive instead of a rescuer. Three days later he awakens in his own cage, alone. But during the nights, he’s not alone. An alluring redhead with a siren’s call visits his dreams, and his resistance is breaking down.
Shar McIntire is just trying to survive.
After three years in captivity, Shar has one goal…keep her and her sister alive. To do so means cooperating with the evil doctors who want her to seduce and manipulate Griff. She likes and is drawn to the man with the strange chocolate wings, but she can’t let that attraction distract her. Her sister’s fate is in her hands.
In the last eighteen years, life hasn’t been easy for anyone.
The WS and the ES have been separate entities, but once the Veil was crossed, things began to evolve. It’s a new world, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to get any easier anytime soon.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1In hind sight, I probably should have re-read the first book in this series, Through the Veil, before I started Allied in Flight. Especially since it had been over a year since I read it. I still might go back and read the first book, but Christi Snow did a really good job of giving just enough hints, without totally retelling the previous story, that I caught up to speed in no time. 😉

From the very first chapter, there wasn’t a lot of down time in Allied in Flight. Griff was a loner. He had no idea signing onto this rescue mission would change his perspective on so many levels. Regardless, love wasn’t something he was looking for and definitely not something he wanted.  Shar had known nothing but captivity for the past 3 years, so trust didn’t come easy. Until she knew her sister was safe, nothing else mattered. Fate had very different plans for both Shar and Griff.

Obviously I loved Griff and Shar’s story, but I also loved the twists and turns that made up the story, which included quite a few supporting characters. Some were new and some were introduced previously. Some were pure evil and some I still haven’t figured out yet. But that’s okay, because it means that there is much more to come. I love this unique world that the author has created and can’t wait to see what happens next.

I have to say that things wrapped up a little too quickly at the end, but that’s probably just me wanting more. It’s a common occurrence in stories I love and it happens frequently when I read this author’s stories. I also have to admit that as much as I loved Griff and Shar’s story, I was more than a little excited to learn that a couple of my favorite characters will be getting their own story. Sorry, I can’t tell you which ones, but you’ll know by the end of Allied in Flight who I’m talking about 😉 I kinda had a soft spot for them from the moment they were introduced.

So… if you like unique fantasy world building with some heated romance and interesting characters, crazy twists, a world view that makes you think, and more than a few mysteries, Through the Veil should definitely be added to your TBR list 😉

DragonFlyRating4

Found at the Library (Found #1) by Christi Snow

FoundAtTheLibraryHis entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront…again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.
Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow…until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not.
Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.
Life is hard, and sometimes when conflict arises you have to write your own plot twist to pull yourself out of the fray.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I really liked these guys… well, except for the times that I wanted to smack them. They both made some serious mistakes along the way, but I forgave them their moments of stupidity. Mostly because they had legitimate reasons for feeling and acting the way that they did… and they fixed it.

Mac and Tommy were both extremely artistic, but in very different ways. They were also both very passionate about their art, which was what caused their initial misunderstandings. They also both had a knack for jumping to the wrong conclusions, which almost tore them apart more than once. That was aggravating at times, but when I stepped away from the emotion of it all, I kind of understood it. Tommy had lots of reasons to mistrust both his feelings and Mac’s. Even Mac thought his own attempts to help Tommy were borderline stalkerish, but the pull he felt toward him was something he couldn’t fight.

The supporting characters in Found at the Library were a great addition to the story. I can’t really talk about them too much because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that I shed more than one tear in this one and even ‘yelled’ at the author for making me tear up at a totally unexpected point in the book.

On a side note, every once in a while a book makes me want to find out more when I’m finished. Found at the Library had me searching the internet for anything close to the art that Tommy creates. My gut reaction would have probably been something like Mac’s initial one to desecrating a book until I glimpsed some of the artwork. It’s amazing…

Oh, and I’m also really glad that this book is the first in a series… but I can’t really tell you why. *snickers* Let’s just say when I found out who the next book is about I smiled… a lot. 😉 Happy reading!DragonFlyRating4

 

 

Right by Your Side (Martin Ranch #1)

RightByYourSideBest Female Country Artist. Sold out world-wide tour. Record-setting album sales. It’s been a stellar year for Skye Taylor and it’s left her exhausted. All she wants to do is go home to Oklahoma, curl up in her little house, and veg out in pj’s with a pile of junk food. But when her tour bus crashes in the middle of West Texas, her priorities suddenly shift. Now she’s sitting bedside hoping her best friend and bodyguard, KC, survives.
For Scott Martin, he simply wants this horrible year to end. After the murder of his brother, his family is falling apart. With one crisis after another pulling him back to the family ranch, he’s put way too many late night miles on his truck between his family home and Lubbock, where he works as a paramedic. When he comes upon the wrecked tour bus, he has no idea this is one emergency which will change his life forever.
Skye and Scott quickly form a friendship which hints at possibilities of more. But as these two dodge paparazzi, over-zealous label executives, and stalker fans, they soon discover that everything is easier when you have someone you trust RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE. And that becomes even more important when they discover the bus wreck wasn’t an accident…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I know I’ve said this before, but it bares repeating. I was hooked on Christi Snow’s writing and characters from the prologue of her very first book, Operation: End Game. One of the main reasons I’m bringing this up is because the Martin Ranch series is an indirect spin-off of the When the Mission Ends series. The Martin brothers were introduced in the second book, Operation: Endeavor. Don’t let that bother you if you haven’t read any of the books in the When the Mission Ends series though. Although they’re connected, you can read one independent of the other.

Another reason to bring the connection up though is the fact that I forgot how much I missed this little world that Christi Snow created. I can see me becoming just as enamored with the Martin boys as I was with the Robertson siblings. Yeah, with little or no effort she has me totally hooked, once again. *sigh*

Okay, enough with the connections… this book was the perfect beginning to another amazing series. I love it when two ‘broken’ characters find each other and make no mistake, Skye and Scott were both broken… to a degree. Skye was torn between what she wanted and what was ‘expected.’ Scott was still recovering from the loss of his brother and the turmoil it has left his family. My heart broke for both of these characters.

Beyond that, this book had pretty much something for everyone. There was romantic tension, the inevitable heated romance, the family dynamic (obviously between Scott and his family, but it included Skye’s makeshift family as well) and the mystery of who was behind the conspiracy to hurt Skye. There were just as many sweet moments as there were witty, intense, smexy, heart breaking and dangerous moments. And as an added bonus, I honestly didn’t figure out who the true ‘bad guy’ was until they were revealed. I may have been a tad bit distracted by the romance and the heartbreak, but I still consider it impressive.

I love how things were resolved by the end, but I still wanted more. I can’t hold that against the author though, because that is a frequent ‘complaint’ that I voice. I can’t wait to see what happens next and I’ve already given the author my opinion on who needs to get an HEA sooner rather than later. Not that she’ll listen to me. Authors rarely do… it was worth a try though. 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5

 

Lance (Male Model Chronicles #2) by Christi Snow

13175-lance900x600As the owner and CEO of Lancer Industries, Matthew Lancer spends his days in three piece suits and conducting meetings that affect the world financial markets. What the world doesn’t know is that Matthew Lancer has a deep, dark secret. He’s actually super-hot, super-sexy, and covered in tattoos. When he can, he spends his free time letting loose as bad-boy male model, Lance Jones. No one knows and it has to stay that way or Lance will lose the one thing that’s keeping his high pressure life sane.
Andi Kelly writes erotic romance. Day in and day out, she imagines a world filled with bondage, multiple partners, and just a few whips and chains. But that’s the fantasy life in her novels. In the real world, she’s an introvert who spends her days at home living out her fantasies through her laptop. Andi’s finally worked up the courage to ask Shauna Kruse if she can sit in on the photo shoot for Andi’s next novel…with her model-crush, Lance Jones.
But Lancer Industries has a mole and it’s put both Andi and Lance in danger. Lance’s two worlds collide and when corporate espionage meets erotic romance, there’s no telling what might happen.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Did you ever consider that those cover models that you admire (and sometimes drool over) have a life beyond those smexy poses? Christi Snow’s Male Model Chronicles series gives readers a behind the scenes look into what those lives may be like. Lance is the second book in this series and I think I liked it even more than Justin. You’re probably going to think I’m crazy when you find out why.

Lance used his modeling career as an escape from his stressful reality. He took his job and his responsibility very seriously, but he was so young when it was forced on him that he needed that escape to keep his sanity.

Andi was a true introvert, but you would never have guessed it by the genre she chose to write. The more I got to know her, the more I admired her. She was a lot braver than she gave herself credit for and she used her writing as a venue to help others in a very subtle way.

So, why did I like Lance more than Justin? I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but it was the element of danger that Christi Snow threw into the story. Although I enjoyed the sweet story line in the first book, I missed that dangerous edge that has been a part of most of this author’s stories. Sure, some readers (this one included) have given her a hard time about some parts of Texas being too dangerous to visit because of her When the Mission Ends series, but that harassment was done lovingly 😉 To be fair, I didn’t even notice that I missed that aspect until it was front and center in Lance and Andi’s story.

Beyond the dangerous edge, this story had a lot to love about it. I especially liked getting to know Shauna a little bit better and I’m kinda hoping that she gets her HEA before this series is over. In the mean time, Joshua is up next. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our next cover model.

DragonFlyRating4

Snowcroft Safehouse (Snowcroft #2) by Christi Snow

SnowcroftSafehouseA year ago Declan Jasper was entertaining sold-out arena crowds as the lead singer of Black Rainbows. But that came to an explosive end when the band got caught up in a criminal cover-up, one that ended with the entire band dead. At least that’s what everyone is supposed to think.
Now, Dex is hiding in plain sight, working as the school band director in a sleepy little mountain resort town while under the protection of a hard-nosed FBI agent. Instead of eyeliner and black leather, he now wears glasses and corduroy. Instead of having sexy coeds—both male and female—throw themselves into his bed, he’s dealing with teenage angst and grumpy parents.
At the top of his troubles list is Kelsey Walker, a junior high bundle of rare musical talent in the form of one confused, messed-up adolescent. Dex figures the problem comes from her broken home and wants to help. But when he meets her father, sexy bar-owner, Jack Walker, he realizes that instead of helping he’s probably just bringing more trouble and danger to their door.
Dex has to stay alive until the trial to bring his bandmates’ murderers to justice, but can he do that if it means sacrificing his own happily ever after?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’m happy to say that the Snowcroft series is turning into everything I thought it would be…and more. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I’ve been a fan of Christi Snow and her characters for quite some time. This series has just given me a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with. ❤

Finn (aka Dex) was a broken mess. His world ended when the explosion took his best friends along with his identity. Instead of being the center of attention, he now has to blend in and some of the people sworn to protect him are less than friendly. By the time he reaches Snowcroft and ends up in the hands of a grumpy Law, he’s pretty much had it. Then he meets Jack.

Jack was introduced in Snowcroft Lost and it was obvious then that there was a lot more to his story. He was deep in the closet because of his fear of typical small town mentality and hurting his family, especially his daughter. Starting a relationship was totally out of the question. Sometimes fate has different plans. This turned out to be a story about hiding. Finn was hiding from the obvious danger of the mob. Jack was hiding his true self from everyone who loved and cared about him. Those kinds of situations never end well and this story was no exception.

Even though I loved the relationship between Jack and Finn, there was another character that pulled me into Snowcroft Safehouse even more. That character was Law… I love that guy and in my opinion he can’t get his HEA soon enough. In my mind I know that he has some serious healing to do before that can happen, but he’s really breaking my heart. The big tough ones usually do. *sigh*

DragonFlyRating4

Justin (Male Model Chronicles #1) by Christi Snow – Bout-of-Books 12.0 Review

fd2fc-justin_christi2bsnow2b600x900Tara Malone is having one of those lives. Born to Oscar award-winning actor, Anthony Malone, and model-famous beauty, Veronica Scott, she should have it made. But her curvy figure and out-of-control frizzy red hair are just the start of her many, many issues. Now to make matters worse, she’s started out her week by running over model, Justin James, with her car. She had a lot of fantasies about the cover model, but never did any of them include vehicular assault.

Justin James doesn’t have time for two broken wrists, but neither does his over-achieving family. He can’t open up his fridge or unzip his fly without excruciating pain and no one else has the time to help him. Tara already shot him down at the accident scene, but maybe he can work this so that the curvy bombshell has a reason to hang around for a bit. He’s not above using guilt if it means he gets to know her better.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Well, this was fun. Not surprising since Christi Snow has made me fall in love with most of her witty, fun and most importantly ‘real’ characters. 😉

Justin and Tara met under the worst of circumstances. Not many guys would fall for a woman who ran into him with her car and broke both his arms. Justin is just that kind of guy.

Tara’s sweet and adorable. Her biggest fault is her low self-esteem. Her boss’s demeaning attitude doesn’t help and makes Justin furious from the time he realizes it.

These two are thrown together by Justin’s determination to not be controlled by his mom while recuperating and Tara’s determination to do whatever she can to make up for hurting him in the first place. Of course, it grows into much more than that, but I don’t want to spoil the fun. This is one you have to experience for yourself.

Justin is short and sweet (my only complaint is that I wanted more… but that’s a frequent complaint, so you can ignore it.) It’s also the first of the short, sweet & smexy romps in Christi Snow’s new Male Model Chronicles series. You can get a sneak peek at all of them in my Cover Reveal post. This one releases on January 21, 2015. You can click on the cover link above to reserve your copy now… you can thank me later. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

 

Through the Veil (Through the Veil #1) by Christi Snow

ThroughTheVeil58 years ago a gorge opened up from Mobile, AL to Quebec City, Canada to split the United States into the Western States (WS) and the Eastern States (ES)

40 years later a fog rolled in on the WS that they called the Veil. Within twelve hours it formed an impenetrable wall between the two sides.

It’s been 18 years since anyone has known what’s happening on the other side of the Veil.

Now, Lori, an Other, in a desperate attempt at escape from the ES’s torture and experimentation, has crossed the Veil and found a world beyond belief.

Marcus is a Warrior, but when Lori collapses at his feet wounded and exhausted, he knows he has to protect her. But seeing that she’s the first person he’s seen in 18 years without wings, he’s worried about what her appearance means for his people and the world they’ve created since the Veil fell.

Two new societies: one built on a respect for the natural order of nature and the world, the other built on mistrust and corruption. Can they learn to co-exist once again?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Christi Snow has had me as a fan since I read the prologue in Operation Endgame, her first book in the When the Mission Ends series. That was several books ago and even though I knew that I was going to like Through the Veil, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. See, When the Mission Ends is a Contemporary series. It was actually one of the first Contemporary series that I read. Through the Veil is a PNR series. Not only that, it’s also apocalyptic. Although I love PNR – it is, after all, my g0-to genre – apocalyptic books go kind of slow for me. It usually takes me a while to wrap my head around the world so I get a little nervous each time I pick one up – especially when it’s from an author I already love. So, when I picked up Through the Veil I did so with just a little bit of trepidation. I should have known better. Lori’s introduction pulled me in. Marcus’ introduction broke my heart. The world building had me totally intrigued. Needless to say, I’m hooked.

Through the Veil is actually comprised of two totally different worlds. The Eastern States and the Western States went through totally different transformations after the shift that caused the Veil. The Eastern States had a Dystopian feel, while the Western States were almost magical. Things weren’t perfect in the Western States, but people faired a lot better there. It was definitely the side of the gorge that I would have wanted to end up.

Then there were the characters. Of course Marcus and Lori took center stage but the supporting characters were just as interesting. The society within the Western States was so tight knit that it didn’t take long to get to know them and get totally wrapped up in their relationships. I can’t wait to get to know them all just a little bit better.

As for the story itself… there was plenty of romance, lots of mystery, plenty of danger and a touch of humor. It’s one of those stories that’s hard to put down and you’re sad when it ends. If I had one complaint it would be that I wanted more… but that’s a normal reaction with this author. Even though the next book doesn’t center around Lori and Marcus I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of them. I have a few predictions where they are concerned and I can’t wait to find out if any of my hunches are right. 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5