Category Archives: NA

#Review – Monster Mine, Fear University #3 by Meg Collett

 

 

I, Sunny Lyons, am chasing my best friend’s ghost.

Or at least I thought I was until Ollie calls me on the phone and tells me to come to Anchorage, Alaska. We find her in a renovated warehouse surrounded by halflings and Hex, her father and the greatest aswang warrior who has ever lived.

While trying to protect Ollie from the people who want to use her as a weapon, I stumble across a secret the halflings will kill to protect—a secret that could save the man I love. I may be the Cowardly Lyon, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to protect my friends—even if it kills me.

 

My name is Ollie Volkova, and I am not broken.

Though my friends may say otherwise after I spent three weeks with a sadistic madman. They think I’m crazy, but when a monster called the Manananggal surfaces on the outskirts of Anchorage, my father offers to tell me about my mother in exchange for my help in hunting down the winged creature. It’s a deal I can’t pass up. Not when my mother’s past is so important to my future.

But the more I learn about her, the more I discover about my monster’s soul, and when my father reveals the final, darkest truth, the decision I make will change the course of my life.

 

*Warning: Recommended for mature readers due to sexual content, violence, and language.*

 

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Truths and lies, twists and turns…Fate. Ollie was kidnapped and tortured. Her friends are on a never ending hunt to find her, to help her. Turns out that Ollie has reunited with her father who she learns isn’t all the monster that everyone believes him to be, at least that is what she is trying to figure out. She learns so much about her mom and how her parents came to be, why her mother left, and why her father keeps fighting. Sunny is with Luke and Hatter looking for Ollie. Ollie reaches out to them and they come to the sanctuary that Ollie is at.

So many demons…Luke is dealing with the truth about Ollie being a halfling, Hatter is dealing with his manic episodes, Sunny is dealing with trying to protect everyone, and Ollie is putting her pieces back together.

The story goes back and forth between Ollie’s and Sunny’s POV. You are totally immersed in this story. Ollie is struggling with deciding where she belongs. With her father, Hex, and the halflings or if she needs to go back to Fear University. The lesser evil, right? They are all faced with major decisions, they fight with themselves and their demons to do what is right.

The story is jam packed with…with everything. Action, love, and all around badassery. There are so many warring emotions that you can’t help but to feel like you are right in the middle.

The Fear University series is one of my favorites and the author did not disappoint with Monster Mine!

 

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Meg Collett lives deep in the hills of Tennessee where the cell phone service is a blessing and the Internet is a myth of epic proportions. She is the mother of one giant horse named Elle and three dogs named Wylla, Mandy, and Drax the Destroyer. Her husband is a saint for putting up with her ragtag life. Her paranormal romance series, End of Days, is currently available in its entirety. Fakers, a contemporary romance, is also available.

 

#Review – Watch Me Rise *SEQUEL TO NOVELLA “FEEL ME BREAK” * By Tara R.

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synopsis

After the loss of her brother, Chloe Reed left Fairville for a fresh start. Now she is back to get answers to the questions surrounding her brother’s death. But coming back home isn’t easy, especially when it’s a home filled with painful memories, a home where her life was ripped apart. However, there is someone who has been stuck in her head for a long time who makes it all easy. Her knight in shining armor who saved her life two years ago. Nick Grayson. Except this time maybe he needs saving.

Nick Grayson is back in the town of Fairville where it all started. The town that left him with nothing but guilt and regret, the town where he destroyed a family. He met Chloe on the worst night of his life. He knows he doesn’t deserve her but he can’t stay away – and neither can she.

*NO CLIFFHANGER.*

 

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kellys review

Before you start, grab your tissues and get ready for a rollercoaster of all the feels! First, you must read the novella, Feel Me Break. Unexpectedly, Nick saves Chloe by being in the right place at the right time. Neither of them could stop thinking about each other and out of nowhere they see each other again. Fate? Maybe. But a lot happens to each of them since that one meeting that changed their lives forever. “Disappointments, crushed hopes, regrets, guilt, loneliness…” Two years is a long time…Chloe has to go back to the one place she has been trying to stay away from…Home. Then they meet each other again! This is where things get messy. Both have lots of secrets. Many things that they don’t think they can get any help with. Both are punishing themselves for events that were out of their control. Slowly their lives unravel and the undeniable attraction cannot keep them apart.

 

“Everything I wanted was within my reach but instead of reaching for the stars, I got burnt by the sun and came crashing down.”

 

“It’s like the brightness of a kaleidoscope surging, the lightness in the bones when soaring high in the sky, the warmth of the first ray of sun that kisses your skin, a swelling symphony that can mend broken hearts. A feeling that’s giddy, complete , baffling and aware, thrilling and comforting ; a kind of love that soaks deep inside your bones, and lights fire to your soul and you feel it inside and outside you all the time.”

 

I have to be honest, I don’t usually go for this type of story but it is one of my favorites of all time. There are so many different things going on in the story. A lot of it hit home for me and made it all the more real and touching. These two are a definate must read. But take my advice and be ready for the feels because you are going to experience it all!

 

about the author

Tara lives in the lovely city of Toronto. An engineer during the day, she moonlights as a writer. Her favourite genres are romance, mystery and fantasy. She has been writing since she was 7 and her first story was about a spaceship (BIG Star Trek fan here).

 

When not working or writing, she catches up on her favourite shows on Netflix and spends time with family and friends.

#WOTR #Review Girl Departs Three, Part One (Spoken For) by Suzie T Roos

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synopsis

 

Zach and his family made it impossible for Tatum to be his girlfriend. Nigel made it oh-so-easy for Tate to move on. But the shock of seeing Zach again, of finally meeting his mobster family, and even coming face to face with his fiancé, convinced Tatum more than ever that Nigel was the one for her.

 

Tatum knows Zach still dreams of one day sharing his life with her, but Nigel offers her his life now – no dreaming necessary. And while Zach spends a month entertaining the fiancé that has been forced upon him by his family, why shouldn’t Tatum take her relationship with Nigel to the next level?

 

When Nigel betrays Tatum, her heart is broken. What once was clear becomes dark. She finds herself by Zach’s side yet again, needing him in a way she never imagined.

 

Zach or Nigel?

 

The decision isn’t easy because Tatum has learned the hard way—

 

Choices last a moment. Consequences last forever.

 

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kellys review

OMG! I don’t have words right now! Sooooo….In Girl Divided the author leaves us with a huge cliffhanger and this picks up exactly where the other ended. Perfect! So I pick up the book and am immediately engrossed by the story and BOOM! Chaos! Tatum is confronted by Zach and is more or less forced to go to a family dinner with his “fiance” who is a real… you know what. Tatum is trying to keep Zach at bay and convince herself that Nigel is the safe and best choice. Well, that is until we find out what Nigel has been hiding. Our perfect Nigel is not so perfect. Naturally, Zach is there to help Tatum when one thing leads to another and she and Zach are back together. Officially unofficial. Soon enough everything seems to be going the way it should and another curveball is thrown. Whew! Then things just keep hopping at this point. I have no way to tell you about this story other than to tell you to go read this, and now! If I tell you anything more about it then I will give it all away. Again, Tatum is playing with FIRE! HOT FIRE! Then the end happens and smacks you in the face! Suzie T Roos has absolutely captivated me. You have my attention and yes, I am on pins and needles waiting for part two. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!!!

 

about the author

Suzie T. Roos is from, and has settled in, St. Louis with her husband, two children and a number of foster pets at any given time.

 

She and her husband have lived everywhere from Philadelphia, PA to out West in Santa Monica, Ca. They’re thankful they could expose their children to different American lifestyles and cultures.

 

Besides writing, Suzie’s hobbies include movies, traveling, and especially concert going with her husband and friends.

 

She’s always been an animal lover and animal rights advocate. She is certified by FEMA in IS-00011.a Animal in Disasters: Community Planning. She’s also an active volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri.

#WOTR #Review Girl Divided Two (Spoken For 2) by Suzie T. Roos

 

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synopsis

Life was supposed to get easier…

 

At least that’s what Tatum had hoped. New school year, great boyfriend…and things with her and Zach were supposed to be wonderful. Fairy tale wonderful.

 

They aren’t.

 

Zach’s overbearing family controls his every move—and worse, they want to control Tatum.

 

Now Zach is pressuring her to ‘speak for him’, which means she’ll not only be committed to him but also his mob family. Where’s the guy she fell in love with? To make matters worse, her friends introduce her to Nigel, the new guy who is more tempting than Tatum wishes.

 

So which will Tatum give in to…coercion or temptation?

 

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kellys review

5 stars from this girl! What is a girl to do when she has an overbearing jock ex (absolute horrible person), an Italian mobster boyfriend, and a hot Brit that all want you, one way or another? Tatum is living every girls nightmare of a dream. In this installment we continue Tate’s crazy life. She is being pressured to “speak for” Zach from his family. All Tate wants is to be with Zach but she feels like she will belong to the mob if she does “speak for” Zach. When push comes to shove they are torn apart by unfortunate circumstances. Tate meets Nigel. Oh Nigel *sigh* the hot Brit that gives Tatum a crazy case of the butterflies. She decides to move on and give things a try with Nigel but things continue to get crazy. Kyle is back and is as crazy as ever. Zach is in Italy and desperately trying to get back to Tatum. And Tatum, she is falling for Nigel. Secrets continue to surface and Tate is right back in the middle of trying to figure out what is right for her. Tate can be rather naive but what girl isn’t somewhat naive in high school? You have to fight for what you love and want but Tatum is playing with fire. The author leaves you with a huge cliffhanger so be ready because I finished this and immediately started the next. Oh yeah….I am hooked!

 

about the author

Suzie T. Roos is from, and has settled in, St. Louis with her husband, two children and a number of foster pets at any given time.

 

She and her husband have lived everywhere from Philadelphia, PA to out West in Santa Monica, Ca. They’re thankful they could expose their children to different American lifestyles and cultures.

 

Besides writing, Suzie’s hobbies include movies, traveling, and especially concert going with her husband and friends.

 

She’s always been an animal lover and animal rights advocate. She is certified by FEMA in IS-00011.a Animal in Disasters: Community Planning. She’s also an active volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri.

#Review – Sweet & Sour (Skylar Wolfe Mysteries Book 5) by Mariana Thorn

 

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synopsis

Skylar Wolfe is at it again, and this time, her favorite fried rice is on the line!

When the owner of her favorite Chinese food restaurant goes missing, Skylar takes the case. And even though she’s come down with the plague or something, nothing will stop her from getting to the bottom of the bowl, not even Aiden and the new woman in his life.

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta hold her head up high and show the boys how it’s done, even when covered in swamp muck!

 

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kellys review

Yes! More Skylar!!!! Skylar’s last adventure has left her stunned. She has been having nightmares and is having a hard time coping. But of course she won’t let anyone in on this. Now, she is sick. As if she wasn’t irritable before, she is now. Who doesn’t love Skylar when she is a little irritated. She finds out that the owner of her favorite Chinese restaurant is missing. She is freaking out because she has no clue where she is going to get her fried rice now. What a fiasco! Sick Skylar, no fried rice, and Aiden is being nice! Whatever is she going to do?!

Skylar is one of my favorite serials. Super snarky…sweet and sour, lol! Always. If you need a fun, fast read that will put a smile on your face, this is it! Keep it up Mariana Thorn! Skylar is the bomb!

 

about the author

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If you look in the local coffee shop or bookstore you might just find Mariana Thorn. She can usually be found with headphones in and deep into the worlds she has created. There is this thing about her pens if you touch them you might receive a smack to the hand and the well-known glare of destruction.

As a child all her stories involved horses, horses and more horses. There might have been a slight obsession. Writing became more serious in her early twenties but she never dreamed of publishing until much later. Mariana participates yearly in the international event called NANOWRIMO. She has even been known as a Municipal Liaison for that crazy event. There is nothing like the feeling of encouraging other writers, she would say.

Outside of writing one of her favorite places to sit and read are the sunny beaches of Florida. At home in Washington State her favorite activity is riding horses up on the mountain trails. She has an awesome group of family and friends that keep her in coffee and encouragement. Then there is her best buddy Tony, her little dog. She suspects he will try and take over the world someday.

#Review – #WOTR – Banished by Elissa Daye

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synopsis

My time here on this world was embittered from the start. As a carrier, I had very little choice in the matter. The demon inside had been planted long before I even had a voice. From the very minute my first breath entered my body, she was coiled inside like a venomous snake. The Brotherhood wanted to control me, to keep their demon Gladius inside a host that they could groom from birth, but as soon as my mother caught on, she ripped me away from their evil clutches and kept me hidden from their reach. Under her tutelage, I had learned how to keep the monster at bay.

 

In the darkest night, my life had spiraled to a meaningless end as my time as a mortal subsided, for I had fallen under a spell woven by the vampire Demetrius. After draining me to the brink, he tossed me aside and left me to die with the first morning light. My propensity for survival he had not calculated.

 

Now, I was left with a single purpose, destroy the man who had obliterated the calm control I had kept over my life, over the monster that slithered beneath.

 

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kellys review

This has it all! Demons, monsters, evil incarnate, vampires, cults, witches….I could go on and on. Grace is not your normal everday girl. She was born into a world where things go bump in the night. She was born to bear a demon in her body and soul. The only thing is she was raised to be able to keep the demon at bay. She works and tries to stay off the radar to keep away from The Brotherhood. Their only mission is to bring Gladius, the demon inside of Grace, to the surface. She is enamoured by Demetrius and lets her guard down. He turns her to a vampire and leaves her to die. She is found by the Night Order who want to enlist her help to keep demons and vampires at bay. She is brought into a new world and is no longer on her own. She is with other vampires and mortals who want to help her rid the demon inside. Of course there is a love story here. She has been on her own for so long that receiving help from anyone and having any luck in gaining her trust has been incredibly difficult. She has things she must do to keep her sanity an one is going after the man that did this to her and to rid the demon.

 

Pity was for the weak, and that was something I never considered myself. I had been a fighter most of my life. From the time I was a child, I had learned that the world would never make it easy for me. I had to push against the machine if I wanted to survive, and I had pushed so hard that I carried battle scars, some visible, but many more that were not.

 

From the moment I was born, life was a series of missteps in directions that twisted and curled into roads where the streetlamps never seemed to work. Darkness had followed me like a harbinger, circiling around until I had no other recourse but to embrace the path that was paved in front of me.

 

The story has great characters with so many different personalities. I absolutely love paranormal and this has a great twist on something that can seem so overdone. Grace’s struggle is real and you feel it to the core. It is a fast paced read with lots of action and some hot scenes. A must read!

 

about the author

Ever since childhood, I have enjoyed reading stories as an escape from life. When I was a teenager I started to write my own stories that kept me entertained whenever I ran out of books to read. When I was accepted into Illinois Summer School for the Arts in my Junior year of High School, I knew I wanted to become a writer. I graduated from Illinois State University in December 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and began my teaching career, hoping to find moments to write in my free time.

 

After seven years of teaching, I decided to focus on my writing and made the decision to put my teaching years behind me so that I could create the stories I had always dreamed of. I am now happily married and a stay at home mom. I try my best to master the art of multitasking to get everything accomplished and write in any spare moment I can find.

#Review – Feel Me Break (A Novella) by Tara R.

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synopsis

Chloe Reed and Nick Grayson couldn’t have more different lives. Where Chloe had a bleak future and was trying to deal with a loss that had left a hole in her heart, Nick was a happy-go-lucky guy, leading a carefree life with a path set.

Until one fateful night, they met and everything changed. The night that gave Chloe hope for the future, left Nick scarred for life. Was their meeting a one-off tryst or was their story just beginning?

 

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kellys review

An incredible story of taking a chance on someone and saving them. I could call this a story of fate. It makes you feel like there is always a reason for certain things to happen and for certain paths to cross. Chloe is facing a family loss, things spiral out of control and on one fateful night Nick finds her and brings her back to reality. But then when she wants to find her knight in shining armor he is no where to be found. Nick is facing an unexpected devestation and ends up going a different direction. This might be cliche’ but they run into each other one night a couple years later. They reconnect briefly only to be redirected once again. There is some push and pull with the story but it is written beautifully. Both characters are very well defined and you connect with their feelings and thoughts in a way that grabs you by the heart and will bring tears to your eyes if you are not careful. This is a novella, but it could have been so much more. The good news…there is another full length novel coming out soon! I am so excited! Getting this glimpse of Chloe and Nick will be on my mind for a long time to come. I can’t wait to continue their story!

#Review – Battle of the Brains (The Misadventures of Maggie Moore, #2) by Michelle Graves #MichelleGraves

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synopsis

Maggie Moore is leaving small-town south Georgia behind to embrace adulthood on her own in big-city Atlanta.

Finding inspiration in the unique people she’s met covering obscure sporting events, Maggie decides it’s time to fill her life with adventure – just as soon as she figures out how to cut ties with good ol’ Murphy, and his pesky laws, once and for all.

Naturally, the universe has different plans.

Before she even sets out to cover her next big story, Maggie is bombarded with old wounds and new insecurities, forcing her to choose between the reality in front of her and the promise of a dream just out of reach.

Channeling the hard-fought lessons of her Dad, Maggie struggles against the seemingly insurmountable force that is her troublesome partner, learning the hard way that things are never as easy as you think they’ll be.

 

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kellys review

Hilarious, light hearted and fun lovingly cute! Maggie is moving on! She has another man that is showing interest in her and she is trying her best to hate John. No matter how hard Murphy’s law tries to take her down, John is always her saving grace….well, sorta. He is the man that Maggie loves to hate. They are both “finding themselves” with a hilarious love/hate relationship. It is fast paced and incredibily witty. No matter what the two of them do they are drawn to each other and are a huge part of each other’s life.

 

“That was one perk of living alone; I could wear whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. As long as my blinds were closed, I could prance around naked, and no one could complain. Though, I probably shouldn’t prance as it would likely lead to some sort of mortal head wound. Maybe a light gallop? A skip? Either way, I could be naked.”

 

“I wasn’t sure when the dynamic had shifted between us. In the span of two days, John had taken every pre-conceived and hard-earned notion I had about him, tossed it in a blender, and poured out a blurred mess of indiscernible chaos. I had no idea what to do with the kinder, more open John. So what if I’d been trying to tear down that stupidly reinforced wall of his, I didn’t expect it to ever work. Now that it had, I wasn’t sure what to do with the rubble, let alone what lay beneath.”

 

I am all about the funny and cute and this is exactly what this is. Love the Maggie Moore series and can’t wait to see what other shenanigans comes her way!

 

about-the-author

Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They lovingly play along. If you want to find out more about her be sure to check out her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mgraveswrites or on her blog http://michellegraveswrites.blogspot….

#Review #NewRelease – Ren: God’s Little Monster by Sarah Noffke

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synopsis

Ren Lewis has the life he’s always wanted: the perfect woman and the perfect job as an agent for the Lucidites, fixing problems before they happen. And yet, he’s still miserable. He blames the monster buried inside of him for his problems. But what this redheaded Brit doesn’t realize is his life is about to be intensely transformed. Problems that he never could have fathomed begin to surface one at a time until his life quickly spirals out of control. Ren, who has never considered himself quite human, is about to learn just how flawed and vulnerable he really is. There just might be problems he doesn’t have answers for, villains he can’t defeat alone, and a heart in his chest that is actually capable of breaking. Readers witness a new side to this man, a side that will make him, if for only an instant, appear human. This powerful genius will meet his match. And she has the ability to do something special. She can break Ren Lewis.

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kellys review

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*

Ren is baaaaack! And what a surprise! Oh. My. Gods. Ren is the snarky, red-headed man with the “I don’t care about anyone” attitude that we all love to hate. He does not disappoint…not even a little bit.

Ren is working for the Lucidites, the dream travelers who are all about helping humanity. Ren has come to terms that if he is going to have his “curse” he may as well use it for something good. He and Dahlia are working on their relationship. Both very much in love with themselves and in love with the misery they miss when they are without the each other. This is the only spoiler I am going to give. Are you ready for it? The bombshell??? Ren has a daughter! Adelaide! She is so much like her father. But Adelaide being in his life has upset Dahlia and their relationship is put to the test. Adelaide is a teenager but Ren takes her in to help her, not because he wants to have her in his life but he is afraid of the damage she can do with her powers if she is not taught. And so the journey begins with Ren and his daughter. In the midst of everything there are kidnappings occurring to other dream travelers and they are causing a chaos of sorts. Ren is trying to deal with his cases, his daughter, his love life, and his health. Ren is seriously put to the test but this story is so amazing! Witty, fun, and action packed! Can’t wait for more!!!!

“I’ve been in hiding for almost two decades,” I say. “So excuse me for not being around to tell you to slit your throat before you created a huge problem. It’s never too late and that’s my advice. You’re dangerous and should just off yourself and save us all the trouble.”

“You’re kind of fun, you know, like a snowball fight, chilly and piercing but still entertaining”

“I’m afraid of being out there,” she says, pointing to the window, meaning the world. I nod again. I acutely remember having those same fears. It’s hard being in a world that doesn’t understand me and that I can so easily break. It’s a wretched combination, like God was hoping I’d try and destroy his world and was just testing my self-control.

So, Ren has a daughter that is soooooo much like him. It’s incredibly endearing how they are wearing each other down. Ren is still Ren, but you see him starting to change…a softer, snarkier Ren.

Sarah Noffke, if you’re out there and reading this, I NEED MORE REN!

Melinda's Review

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

I absolutely LOVE Ren and was thrilled when I found out this was going to be a series. He is the guy you love to hate. He has attitude and does not hold back when he doesn’t like you or if he as something on his mind (just ask Aiden or John). He is in a good place right now he works for the Lucidites and has Dahlia but it is ingrained in him to be miserable. He wants more complicated files but due to his health issues Trey is keeping him away from high stress assignments. Did I tell you we get to see Dr. Raydon if you read Sarah Noffke’s series the Vagabond Circus you may remember him. Yes, Aiden and Roya form the Lucitites series also make an appearance. I love that Sarah entwines characters from her other series. Sorry got side tracked OK back the Review. Things are going good for Ren until someone comes knocking at his door and completely tilts Ren’s world. Dahlia leaves him and he is left to deal with what’s standing on his doorstep alone.

It was great to see a new side to Ren although we do not see it often when we do its great. Ren is trying to deal with his assignments and the changes in his life all while having Trey on him about his personal health issues. I cannot reveal much more without giving spoilers.  However, there are twists (oh sooo many great twists), great plot and even had me cracking up.  I love Ren and his snarky, sarcastic, and funny sides but enjoyed seeing his softer caring side in this book. I cannot wait for the next book I need to know who is behind Ren’s assignments and to know how things are going to go in his personal life.

A few of my favorite lines:

“What are you smiling about?” I say. “You’re kind of fun, you know, like a snowball fight, chilly and piercing but still entertaining.” She says. “I’m not fun at all. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you.”

“Well living on sleeping pills isn’t an option for you. So you have two alternatives. You can learn to dream travel properly so you don’t create disturbances while sleeping. Or you can off yourself. Your call,” I say. “You don’t have many friends, do you.”

“Happy people are the worst.” She says, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “The majority of them have no bloody reason for being happy. If most people really saw themselves for the rejects they are they’d wipe that stupid grin off their face.”

 

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about-the-author

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Sarah Noffke writes YA & NA sci-fi, fantasy and dystopian. She is the author of the Lucidites, Reverians, Ren, and Vagabond Circus series. She’s been everything from a corporate manager to a hippie. Her taste for adventure has taken her all over the world. If you can’t find her at the gym, then she’s probably at the frozen yogurt shop. If you can’t find her there then she probably doesn’t want to be found. She is a self-proclaimed hermit, with spontaneous urges to socialize during full moons and when Mercury is in retrograde. Sarah lives in Central California with her family.

#Review – Fractured Palace by RJ Loom – Blog Tour – #WOTR Attending Author

Title: Fractured Palace

Author: R.J. Loom

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Standalone

Release Date: March 22, 2016 

They say home is where the heart is. 

Ashton Roberts never understood that saying. Heart couldn’t be found anywhere in the rundown bungalow she grew up in. It also couldn’t be found in the luxury estate she moved into when her mother married her stepfather. 

All Ashton wants is to get her degree, meet Mr. Right and find the happy stable life she never had. But when life constantly throws her curve balls, she begins to wonder if it really is just a pipe dream.

Until she runs into her former neighbor, Reed Collins.

As a child, Reed had always been Ashton’s silent protector. As an adult, he is everything she has ever dreamed of in a man. If only he didn’t keep her at arms length. But as things heat up, guards drop and secrets are revealed which toss Ash back into the turmoil surrounding a tragic event from her youth. 

Will Ashton let her past fracture the perfect picture of her future? Or will the meaning of loyalty, family and love be redefined?

After laying out rugs and putting away towels she began a battle with the packaging for the shower curtain rings. The plastic was sealed on all sides and no amount of tugging or biting at the edges would tear it open. She growled in frustration.

“Uh…Ash?” Reed chuckled from his bedroom. “You okay in there?”

Great. He heard her. “Yeah,” she called out. “I just can’t get this package open. Do you have any scissors?”

“Hang on…”

Ashton continued her fight then hissed as the plastic edge sliced into her thumb.

Reed appeared in the doorway and held out his hand. “Give it here.”

Happy to get rid of the stupid package, she tossed it to him, then stuck her thumb in her mouth to suck away the sting. As he began to struggle with the container, his eyes lowered to her mouth. They lingered there for a moment before he lifted them to meet her own. “Are you all right?”

She removed her thumb from her mouth and inspected it for any bleeding. “Yeah, I’m fine,” she dismissed, tucking her hand in her back pocket of her jeans as if she could hide the fact she was just sucking her thumb.

Fortunately, her slight embarrassment was short lived. With one last hard tug, the package popped open and shower curtains rings flew everywhere. They ricocheted off of the medicine cabinet, sink and walls before scattering all over the floor and in the bathtub. But it was the one ominous plop which came from behind her that was cause for concern. Reed must have heard it at the same time because he stepped forward just as she turned. A lone chrome shower curtain ring sparkled back at them from the bottom of the toilet.

Ashton swung her head around and locked eyes with Reed in alarm. “Injured,” she called out, thrusting her hand in the air as if she were holding up a free pass.

“Oh yeah?” Reed chuckled and raised a brow.

“Yeah.” She nodded solemnly, cradling her hand to her chest. The small, barely visible slice in her thumb had suddenly and conveniently become a grave situation. “I could contract MRSA or some other nasty infection.”

His eyes flicked down to her hands then back up to meet her gaze. “Well, we wouldn’t want that.”

“No, we wouldn’t,” she agreed, narrowing her eyes as a smile slowly crept across his face. The smile would not have been worrisome had it been a regular smile. No, this smile should have warned her to take a step back. Instead, she got lost in the way it reached his eyes and showed off his white, almost perfectly straight teeth.

“Good thing your other hand is fine,” he pointed out just as he lunged forward to try to grab her wrist.

“No!” She squealed, jumping out of the way.

He laughed and pushed one of his shirt sleeves up. “I’m kidding, Ash. I wouldn’t do that.” Shaking his head, he turned back to the toilet. “I’m going in.”

Ashton watched from the safety of the doorway as Reed swooped in to retrieve the shower curtain ring. He tossed it into the sink then washed it and his hands, going all the way up to his elbows. After he was done, he flicked water at her then grabbed a towel.

Reed’s eyes met hers as he dried his hands. Their laughter died off and silence stretched between them. Eventually, he cleared his throat and averted his gaze to the floor. A crease formed between his brows and she wondered what he could possibly be thinking.

“Ash …,” he began and lifted his eyes back to hers. In that brief moment, Ashton’s heart beat faster and she swore she felt some kind of connection with Reed she had never felt before. She wondered if it was her imagination or simply anticipation for what he was about to say. Most likely, it was a combination of both.

“Jackpot!” Danny announced from the bedroom, shattering the moment. “I found Reed’s spank bank!”

In spite of the horrible timing, Ashton could not help but burst out laughing. Reed groaned and stepped toward where she stood in the doorway. They both looked over to find Danny with a huge grin on his face as he held up a couple copies of some car magazine.

She shook her head and turned back to Reed. “You share a gene pool with that one.”

“Yeah,” he said, running a hand over the back of his head before he looked back over toward his room. “Hey, Danny. Why don’t you go outside, dig a hole, jump into it and bury yourself,” Reed suggested as if it were a great idea.

This only made Danny laugh harder.  

“I’m just messing with him, Ash,” Reed murmured in her ear before he stepped passed her.

She knew he had been but her curiosity over what he had been about to say made her reach out to grab his arm to stop him. “Wait, what were you about to say in there,” she asked, inclining her back toward the bathroom.

His eyes shifted from the bathroom over to meet hers. He smiled but it was nothing like the smile he wore only a few minutes earlier. This one was weak at best. “Oh…nothing important,” he said with a shake of his head. Hooking a thumb over his shoulder, he took a step back. “I better get back to this so I have a bed to sleep in tonight.”

“Okay.” Ashton released his arm and watched as he walked back into his room.

kellys review

Oh my gods! Wow! Put your pajamas on, get your tissues, and settle in for the long haul. This is not a story that you can just pick up and put down whenever you get tired, need to eat, or even go to the bathroom. This is a story of love, sacrifice, and finding one’s self. Perfectly flawed fairytale!

We start the story off with Ashton. She is at a party and has to make a split decision to call her stepdad to pick her up. After she is picked and is gearing for an arguement they go look for her mother. She is dead. Ashton feels like she has been through it all. She has had a shabby home and upbringing, watched a string of boyfriends come in and out of her home, and was in the middle of her mother’s addictions. Her mother cleaned up, married her stepdad, and things went well until her mother relapsed and ended up dead. It was a devastating time but her stepdad continued to support Ashton. Ashton always knew what she didn’t want and worked incredibly hard to do everything in her power not to end up like her mother. Only this didn’t work out to her advantage. She constantly fell into bad relationships but the one thing that always seemed to help was her old friend, Reed. He always seemed to be there when she needed him. This goes back as far as her being 5. They used to be neighbors and Reed, along with his mother and brother, helped look after Ashton when she was in a bad spot at home. They would lose touch due to their age differences but he always popped up when she needed him most. Everything moves along and you just know this is going to work but Reed is beating himself up about something. Some terrible secret, some darkness, that he just can’t shake. This is where I leave you to find out the rest of the story. The twists and turns you are about to embark on cannot be given in a review. The only way to find out is to experience the emotions that both of these characters deal with. New love, turmoil, guilt, what-if’s….If you want it, this story has got it!

“It was all Ashton wanted, to be happy . She wanted the fairy tale with a Prince Charming, palaces and happy endings. Unfortunately, all she seemed to get was the part of damsel in distress. And it sucked.”

“So you’re the ‘Expect nothing from me. I get bored easily, guy’?” Reed chuckled and shook his head. “No, Ash. I’m just a guy who hasn’t found the girl I want to shape my world around. Simple as that.” Her brows pulled together in a frown. It was a sweet sentiment but something didn’t sit well with her. “Reed, you shouldn’t have to change for anyone.” His lips tilted up in a half grin. “I know. It’s the willingness that would be telling. And the right girl, would be willing to shape her world to include me in it too.”“Good answer, Mr. Collins,” she teased, even though she may have slightly melted on the inside.”

“My point is you cannot assume the motivations of others. You can judge but you have no idea what pushes people to make decisions that are unlawful or immoral. Sometimes , they may feel it is their only option.”

Perfectly flawed! This is an incredible journey to follow. Once I started reading I could NOT put the book down. It is exhausting chasing after fairy tales that don’t exist…but their fairytale is incredibly different and soooooo worth the read. If you have made it this far into my review I am not exactly sure what you are waiting for…you want a sweet love story? Go somewhere else. You want an emotional feelcoaster that is witty, funny, but also enough to break your heart and put it back together??? This is the story you NEED! A MUST READ!

R.J. Loom was born and raised along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, where she still resides with her husband, two children and two spoiled dogs. She loves books, music, travel and anyone with a great sense of humor. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book, looking for more books to add to her “to-be-read” pile or spending time with her family.

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