Monday, August 8, 2016

Death of an Assassin (Saint Roch City #1)Death of an Assassin by Ian Hiatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is it okay to root for someone who kills people for a living? I received an early release copy of Death of an Assassin through NetGalley. I was totally at odds with how I should feel about Layla given her nature. She was raised to kill and not have any feelings about her actions. The story takes place in Saint Roch, a town where non-humans are very well known by humans, with the exception of all of the types of non-humans running around the city. Layla is a siren who was raised by her mother, well part of her life. I am not positive about Layla's age, but, I get the impression she is about 19 or 20 years old based upon comparisons she made of herself against another siren she runs into. Layla has killed a lot of people and she is very good at her job. She has been hired to kill two brothers for a great deal of money. It is a job that she initially declines because she knows it could be trouble. She is right. This job goes very wrong and brings a great deal of trouble literally to Layla's doorstep.

One of the great things about this book is how the non-humans are so well described. The dragons are awesome and a bit gross. The reader is treated to some really good politics, both within the non-human world and the human world. It is interesting how the non-humans and humans interact and what seems like an obvious pecking order. The great thing is that the reader can anticipate being introduced to more non-humans and the political machinations between the non-humans. One of the best things about this book is that just because a non-human is weaker doesn't mean they will always lose. Layla shows that she can use her gifts to keep herself above the fray, even when she might be the weakest non-human in the room. I really look forward to more from this series.

Friday, August 5, 2016

WanderlostWanderlost by Jen Malone

What a completely awesome book! Wanderlost is this thrilling, travelogue told from the perspective of a teenager that has never been away from home. I received an early release copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say this was a great book. Aubree has just graduated from high school and what starts out as a small house party while her parents are away overnight celebrating their anniversary, turns into a drunkfest with underage drinking. Of course the police are called. But, Elizabeth, Aubree's older sister is home from college and things go from crazy to worse than crazy when the police show up. Elizabeth is in a real bind and she has a Summer job as a tour guide for several senior citizens who are touring Europe for three weeks. She is not able to go, however, she has a brilliant plan. Aubree can go in her place. It's the least she can do since Elizabeth was covering for her. Aubree, who has never left the city they were raised in, let alone, leave the country. The baby sister whose mom still does pretty much everything for her. I'll leave the details of how they work that part of it to the reader because it is one of the best parts of the story.

Aubree is in trouble from the time she steps off the plane in Amsterdam. She meets awesome people along the way. They are friendly and helpful which is completely amazing when you are traveling alone in another country where you don't speak the language. The seniors she is traveling with are great, quirky and colorful. But, the tour group owner's mother is on the trip and Aubree is in more trouble than she even realized. She is even taking some fun, flirty calls from an employee of the tour owner, Sam, who makes things a bit easier for her and she is not as homesick when she gets to talk to him each evening and she gets the biggest surprise when she gets to meet him in person and see wonderful parts of Europe with him and the zany seniors. The thing about the characters in this story is the reader can see a bit of themselves in Aubree and Elizabeth. The people Aubree meets along the way help her grow and mature as she prepares to head to college after the Summer. Following Aubree as she works through the knots of lies she and Elizabeth have created is fun. I look forward to reading more by this author.

The chaos of fate and the promise of hope.

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Title: The Judas Contact
Author: Heather Long
Series: Boomers #1
Genre: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Superhereos
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Publisher: All Romance eBooks LLC
Format: eBook
Digital ISBN: 9781945193019

Doctor Ilsa Blaine

Codename: Doc

Abilities: Designs programmable bioware, enhanced understanding of brain chemistry

Mission: Research, analyze and troubleshoot the team’s active microchips
On the cutting edge of neuroscience, Ilsa is developing microchips that can be inserted into the brain and deliver information. The applications are endless, but her current goal is just to get dogs to return to their owners should they ‘become lost.’ When her college roommate turns up asking for lunch, she’s hardly prepared for the chaos that ensues or the revelation her chip changed the world and the lives of five heroes from the future. And now they need her help…

Garrett Fox

Codename: The Viper

Abilities: toxins, poisons and assassination, he can kill with a touch

Mission: Protect Ilsa Blaine

One of five desperate men sent back in time to save the future, Garrett volunteers to be the doctor’s guinea pig as she studies their neuro-chips. It’s not his first time being a lab rat. In close quarters, the unthinkable happens, an attraction that could kill Ilsa. Drawn together by science, and on the fast track to destiny, Ilsa must prove to Garrett he isn’t toxic to everything and save his team from their chips before they can end them…

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. An alliance with Halo has given their leader a taste of hope. For these five lonely soldiers, the single emotion may prove their most dangerous threat.

Find out more at: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | ARe
Read an excerpt from SNOW WOLF:

Everything was happening too fast. One moment Rory was dropping in to take her to lunch and, the next, Director Chambers’ goons wanted to detain her. Ilsa dragged her heels as Rory all but shoved her up the stairs. "We can't go this way. It leads to the roof." And to the private labs in sections eight through ten. Not only could they not get into those labs, they stood a real risk of being shot on sight.
But her friend was implacable. "Up, Ilsa. Just keep climbing." Below them, doors slammed and booted feet hit the stairs. For a dizzying moment, all Ilsa could imagine were the jackboots of Nazis marching, the images overlaying the surreal moment. She twisted to argue as a security guard lunged around the corner.
"Rory!" Fear ripped through her gut. The guard was huge, his expression a fierce mask and his arms, easily as big as her thighs, tried to lock around her sorority sister. The black-haired beauty, with her seeming delicate fragility, stunned her by latching her hands onto the railing and literally flying over it, legs wrapping the bigger man and spinning him. He slammed into the wall and Rory delivered three sharp jabs, two to his eyes and a third to the bulging vein in his neck.
He dropped and Rory snagged ahold of her arm and pushed her again. "Let's go. We've got more incoming."
"What are you?" Adrenaline surged through her system, and she tried to drag to a stop. Her mind couldn't process everything happening at once. Rory spun away from her and she managed to look back as two more men flew down the stairs. It wasn't possible. Rory never stopped moving. She barely looked at them and flew up, body twisting, fists jabbing, feet striking, and her opponents went down like dominoes. The smart skirt she wore was torn in strips, flapping around her legs like three banners.
Blackish bruises discolored her calves and two of her toes were purpling. "You broke something."
"Don't make me tell you to keep moving again." Something cold infused that warning and Ilsa fled upwards, obeying her friend. Four more flights then they raced past heavy metal barriers on a stairwell remarkably different from every other floor—at Section Ten, Rory hesitated. Ilsa's chest burned as she wheezed for air. Her idea of a workout was a brisk walk at lunch and hours spent on her feet in her lab. Her quadriceps burned and she was fairly certain she'd strained something in her ass.
Something crashed against the metal door and Ilsa flattened herself against the wall. Rory spun in a half-circle and stared at the door. A furred face appeared in the tempered glass window—a face that wasn’t remotely human. A roar of fury pounded against Ilsa’s ears and she shoved her hand against her mouth to keep the scream at bay. Keen intelligence shimmered in the creature's eyes and hate surged in it as the beast ignored Rory and glared at Ilsa.
"What the fuck are you?" Rory’s murmured question, so obviously not directed at her, kickstarted Ilsa's brain from fear to analysis.
"Section Ten—this is the no man's land. We need to get out of here." R.E.X. Labs experimented in any number of weaponized options, from super soldiers to super technology. But not all of their experiments were successful and some were downright dangerous. Section Ten required clearance on the highest levels—despite the Director's one time offer to bring her aboard these elite projects, Ilsa had refused.
She was a pacifist at heart. She preferred working with animals.
The creature roared again. "Rory, we need to go." Ice slithered along her spine. Bile burned her throat.
"Yeah, we're going." By mutual consent, they jogged up the last twenty-eight steps, the beast's roars following them to an impenetrable looking steel door, crisscrossed by sensors.
"We can't get out this way." Ilsa sagged against the wall. She could barely catch her breath. Every shallow pant lanced more flame into her already oxygen-starved lungs. Fingers against her wrist, she shuddered at the rapid-fire speed of her pulse. One hundred and fifty beats per minute was too fast. She needed to slow it down. The heart murmur she'd been diagnosed with as a child pinched with every squeeze.
"Back up a step." Rory pulled her away from the door and pushed her against the other wall. "Head down."
Wild fear raced through her,  and she ducked obediently. Ozone scorched the air and metal ground on metal. The sound ripped through the silence, halting even the mad pounding of boots and the creature's roars below. Sunlight blinded her as Rory tugged her back into motion. A figure, bigger than the insane guard below, stared at them through the now melted door. Melted.
A heavy portion of steel flowed like slag, hardening into a shapeless blob against the frame. Jerking her gaze up, she stared into the most potently beautiful green eyes she'd ever seen. They shimmered in the too bright light—as though suffused from the inside out. Her breath clogged in her throat and her heart felt like it had paused mid-beat, only to thump again with more brutal force.
"Give the doctor to me. The captain wants you off the roof." He extended a leather-clad arm, his fingers stretched expectantly. She would never want to meet this man in a dark alley—or anywhere there wasn't a lot of light for that matter. Beyond the exquisite beauty of his eyes was a raw tension in his face, both fierce and frightening. Her insides went liquid with the most curious sensation, but a slam from below drove any analysis away. Maybe her mind had snapped under the pressure, but she trusted this man and she took the hand he offered.
Cool leather gloved fingers fisted around hers and tugged her forward. She let him guide her through the opening, Rory flattening a hand against her back—whether to offer comfort or to make sure she didn't flee, she couldn't really say. Outside, Ilsa blinked at the sunshine. The roof seemed so ordinary after the mad exodus up the stairs. The two hustled her toward the southwest corner. The rolling landscape of the R.E.X. complex swam up toward her and she dug in her heels.
"No, no…no, I can't—what are we doing?" Panic jacked up her spine, but her escort didn't release her. He didn't even drag her. Instead, he wrapped a steel banded arm around her and pulled her right up to his chest. Oh my God. He's so big. She was a tall woman, taller than Rory and most of her sorority sisters. Five foot ten was nothing to sneeze at and was why she preferred flats to heels. But she barely reached this guy's chin.
She beat a hand against his chest as he continued to fast-walk toward the edge—were they going to kill her?
"Shh." Brilliant green eyes clashed with hers and her heart hiccupped. "You're not going to fall." The warm scent of patchouli and sandalwood tickled her nose and she sucked in a deep breath, filling her lungs with his underlying masculine wildness. A sharp sting pricked her neck, then euphoria surged up, blotting out the fear, and her muscles sagged with relief. The pounding of her heart stopped bruising her ribs.
"What did you do?" Rory's agitation barely scored against the bliss enveloping her mind. It would be all right. Everything would be fine. She opened her mouth to tell her sorority sister just that. But they weren't paying any attention to her. Over Green Eyes’ shoulder, she stared at the men racing toward them. Rory would kick their asses, didn't they know that? But instead of engaging them, they just blew back, one at a time—slamming into the roof as though punched by invisible fists.
Green Eyes climbed up onto the ledge and she turned to look over her shoulder. The ground raced up to meet them. She waited bemusedly for the pain, but it didn't come. Green Eyes landed on his feet—like a cat—and the smooth motion gave way to a jagged race as he ran. Amazingly enough, the R.E.X. facility retreated over his shoulder.
Did he fly? Ten stories from the roof to the ground. Ten stories and they weren’t a splattered pile of goo. Where was Rory?
"She's fine. Stop." The whisky warm breath tickled her ear. She was wrapped completely around the giant of a man and beating on him. Her fists released obediently and her bloody palms swam into view. She'd clenched her hands so hard, crescent moon shaped cuts had formed against the skin. "We're clear. Halo, out?"
Clear of what? She wanted to ask the questions but, no sooner did they form, they drifted away on a peaceful haze. A door opened and Green Eyes set her down on something soft. She rolled onto her side, cheek tucked against a raspy blanket. It didn't smell as sweet as he did and she tried to protest, but her eyelids drooped.
She couldn't wait to analyze this dream when she woke up.

Other Books by Heather Long:
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys, and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature has affected every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity for a real chance to be useful.  Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs, lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him, until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.

Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe
One Thief...
Wealthy, titled, and very privileged, Lady Katherine Hardwicke successfully eluded some of the best thieves in the world in a quest to obtain the Fortunate Buddha. Her time is running out and her enemies are closing in, and one deliciously enigmatic man seems determined to get in her way. Will he save her or end her quest forever?
One Hunt...
Jarod Parker wears many faces and lies for a living, but when the same thief steals the Buddha out from beneath his agents not once but twice, this handler returns to the field. His target? The last woman anyone would suspect of being the thief. But is he really after the Buddha or has this brilliant woman stolen his heart?
One Choice...
Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?
Find out more at: Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | ARe
About Heather Long:

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
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The Judas Contact (Boomers #1)The Judas Contact by Heather Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Judas Contact was an action-packed thriller that I received an early release copy of in exchange for an honest review. It is the first book in a new series by Heather Long. Ilsa is a scientist working on a chip designed to help owners find their missing pets. She has had some success, but, like all scientists there has been some failure along with those successes. She is contacted by an old roommate, Rory, whom she has not talked to in quite some time. Rory is seeking Isla out because she has been helping a group of time travelers who are all too familiar with the chips since many years in the future the chips have advanced beyond anything that Ilsa can even imagine. Of course, she can't imagine time travel so not seeing her work morphed into what it becomes is not a stretch.

The Boomers, the time traveling group from the future, consists of all males including Garrett, who has the ability to poison with a touch. He is assigned to guard Ilsa and the chemistry between them is off the charts. It is too bad that Garrett's touch poisons, to the point that he has never been touched by another human being. The company that Ilsa is working for want her to start working on research which would be against the law and inhumane. She has declined to work on anything so controversial. But, her company is at the point where they might just insist on it despite Ilsa's morals. The Boomers and Rory are what stand between her and an evil corporation that has no moral boundaries.

The Judas Contact also is an endearing romance. The reader gets the chance to see two people fall in love and keeping pace with Garrett and Isla's story makes this book an even better read. It is a great introduction to each of the members of the Boomers and we get a good introduction to the future they came from, however, I look forward to learning more about why they traveled to the future. One of the surprises is how long they have been in Isla's time so I can't wait to read more about that part of the storyline.

 by Katee Robert

Sparks will fly on this roadtrip from hell...Fool Me Once is the second novel in the Foolproof Love series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Katee Robert and Entangled Publishing.  

Title: Fool Me Once
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Brazen

They say opposites attract, but this is just ridiculous.
Aubry Kaiser doesn’t like people—actually, that’s not right. She loathes people. With her crippling anxiety, there’s no way she can demo her favorite video game at a convention with five thousand other people. Maybe if she brings someone to act as a shield…
But the only person available is the sexy cowboy she can’t stand.
Quinn Baldwyn is in a mess of his own. He’s been dodging his wealthy family’s matchmaking attempts—and life advice—for years, but with his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs of a shield of his own.
He and Aubry can barely hold down a civil conversation, but in bed…fireworks. And the closer they get to Quinn’s sister’s wedding, the more he realizes that he might actually like Aubry.
Now it’s up to him to convince her she might actually like him, too.

Get More information at: Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

About Katee Robert
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.  Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Instagram | Tumblr | Youtube


“You know, I’ve been thinking—”
“Good God, don’t strain yourself.”
“—and I’m thinking that I need a better nickname for you. Sweet cheeks might be accurate, but no one in my family is going to believe I’d call the woman I’m in a relationship with something that…lowbrow.”
She tilted her sunglasses down to stare at him over the top of them. It made her amber eyes stand out all the more. “How about you call me nothing at all? Because that sounds ideal from where I’m sitting.”
“Nah. I’ve always been a fan of pet names.”
“One—I can tell. Two—save your pet names for your actual animals.”
She’d left that one wide open, but he chose to ignore it. Just this once. He twined her hair around his finger again. “I was thinking bunny.”
“You can call me bunny if you want to provoke me to actual physical violence.”
Yeah, it didn’t fit, either. He relaxed back into his seat, starting to enjoy the idea of this. “Cherry.”
“Hard pass.”
“No way.”
He wondered when she’d noticed that he was still stroking her hair. He hadn’t been lying when he said they would have to put on a good show for his family. That meant he had to get her used to him touching her, at least in these innocent ways. Or that was what he told himself as he kept playing with the ends of her hair.
And touching in the not-innocent ways?
To distract himself, he said, “Peaches. No, don’t look at me like that. You got to pass on three—that’s your limit. And you smell like peaches.” He leaned a little closer, keeping one eye on the road, and adopted his best Nicholas Cage voice, “I love peaches. I could eat peaches for hours.”
“Ew, gross.”
He sat back and laughed. “You have a problem with a man worshiping you that way?”
“I have a problem with Nicholas Cage comparing my lady bits to a fruit and, frankly, the image of him down there is enough to kill any desire the act would cause.”
She sounded so horrified that he laughed again. Or he started to. The problem with teasing her like this was he was now picturing himself between her thighs. Quinn shifted, trying to get his instant physical reaction under control. His cock wasn’t in a cooperative mood, though, and his brain kept serving up images of Aubry’s back arching, her fingers digging into his forearms, her head thrown back in ecstasy he was giving her.
Jesus Christ.
She pinched the bridge of her nose. “If I say you’re right, am I ever going to live it down?”
He didn’t answer, and she opened her eyes. Their reflection was slightly distorted in the passenger window, but even she could see he had a seriously tense look on his face. She belatedly realized that they were pressed together, her back to his front, and that he was…
Oh my God. She couldn’t resist leaning back into him, just a little. Yep, that’s not a micro penis. A shiver worked its way through her, leaving goose bumps in its wake, and her nipples perked right up, showing through the thin fabric of her T-shirt. There was no way he didn’t feel her reaction, not with his arm creating a band across her ribs, his forearm against the underside of her breasts.
Even as she noticed, he started to release her, his hand sliding over her stomach, but he stopped when he hit her hip, his pinkie finger dipping below the waistband of her shorts, just a little. It wasn’t anywhere near anything vital, but that little intrusion made her moan all the same.
Fuck.” The word was barely audible, but she felt it in the way his body tensed behind her.
She shivered again, torn between telling him to back off and getting the top button of her jeans all undone for him. If she didn’t make a decision—and fast—he was going to back off again. It was written all over the tension she could feel emanating from his body.
Aubry started to reach for his hand, still undecided on whether she wanted to encourage or threaten him, but he moved, bending down to brace one hand on the truck in front of them, the other still on her hip. The move brought his mouth against her ear, and his harsh exhale made her shake.
She arched against him. She couldn’t help it. Her body took over, a primal part of her knowing he could give her all the pleasure she could handle, and was only too happy to extend an invitation by rubbing her ass against his hard length.
His grip on her hip tightened, but he didn’t try to stop her. “You’re playing a dangerous game.”
She knew. They had to stop for so many reasons, the least of which was that they were on the side of a freaking highway and it was only a matter of time before a car drove past.
But she didn’t want to stop.

Fool Me Once (Foolproof Love, #2)Fool Me Once by Katee Robert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started Fool Me Once not sure how things would work out. I had not read the synopsis but, I wanted to help out by giving the book a try. I received an early release copy in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say there was only one thing that did not work for me with this book and that is the "big girl pants" saying that I totally dislike in all books. However, Fool Me Once is a great book. I was not aware of this series prior to receiving this book. Aubry, whose name I almost forgot after Quinn gave her a nickname that sticks with you, is a loner in a small town. She has one friend who owns a really cool cafe. She has had a hard life which has taught her to keep to herself and not trust other people. Despite having a family she does not appear to be close to them so the reader expects some horrible things to have happened to her. Quinn was raised by rich parents that he does his best to stay away from, with the exception of family dinners. Quinn and Aubry have one thing in common. They both have events coming up where they need a buffer and agree to be each other's buffer, despite how hostile they have been towards each other in the past. What ensues is a crazy, sex-filled, fall into each other.

Quinn and Aubry are very well described. The reader gets a good feel for Aubry's no nonsense, tough, smart mouth attitude. You also get a feel for what she goes through when surrounded by a crowd of people. We empathize with Aubry because we can hear her start to hyperventilate. Quinn is leading a drama free life, though he can’t help be antagonize Aubry whenever he sees her. Aubry and Quinn typically have Aubry’s and Quinn’s friends around as buffers. They are on their own for an entire week as they go from one event to another where each is being tested. They both find out that they like each other a bit more than they thought and they especially like sex with each other. When the stress levels highest, will Quinn and Aubry come out of these two events as a couple or hating each other more than they did before the trip started? The reader cannot help but hope Quinn really does not want one of the socialite girls that keep throwing themselves at him and that Aubry will let down her guard and let Quinn into her life. One great thing about Quinn is that he does not mince words too often. When he decides he has something good with Aubry he goes for it.