All posts by Jo-Anna W

#BookPromo #Review Under Her Care: A Thriller by Lucinda Berry

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Child comes a shocking thriller about the disturbing complexities of a mother’s love and the deadly consequences of unravelling family secrets.

On a humid summer day in Alabama, a mayor’s wife turns up brutally murdered under a railroad bridge. Standing next to her body is fourteen-year-old Mason Hill, the autistic son of former Miss USA Genevieve Hill. The locals are quick to level their verdict on young Mason: he did it.

The town detective calls in local autism expert Casey Walker to consult on the case. At first, Casey tries to keep an open mind. But the more time she spends with Genevieve, the more her unease grows, and she suspects that Genevieve is doing more than just protecting her son.

Casey’s misgivings surrounding Genevieve’s story only intensify when she meets Savannah, Genevieve’s nineteen-year-old daughter. Savannah, as it turns out, has some disturbing secrets of her own. But as Casey dives ever deeper into the Hill family dynamic, her search for the truth leads to another shocking murder—one that shatters her understanding of the human condition in ways she never imagined.

Like most of Lucinda Berry’s books, this one comes with quite the twist. I always look forward to Lucinda’s books. When I think she can’t shock me more than she already has, she throws me for a loop I never expect but appreciate just the same.

Under Her Care starts off with a murder. The mayor’s wife no less. The main suspect is an autistic boy. We meet Casey Walker, an expert on autism itself. She tries to figure out what’s going on and who exactly killed this woman, while finding out secrets she’s not prepared for in the least.

I really liked the chapters titled “Then” – They were creepy and unsettling.

Just like the rest of Lucinda’s books, I do suggest going in blind. It’s much better that way. Much like the rest of her books, this one keeps you guessing. I can never figure out did the crime and I prefer it that way but it is fun trying to come up with theories.

If you like the rest of her books, I highly recommend this one as well. What’s even better is that they’re all standalones, so you don’t have to commit to a series if you don’t want to.

#BookPromo After He Killed Me (Emma Fern Book 2) by Natalie Barelli

Emma’s friends are close. Her enemies are closer.

Emma Fern has won at life: she’s a prize-winning author and she’s blissfully happy with her husband, Jim. It wasn’t an easy rise to the top, but Emma knows you can’t achieve success without sacrifice. The trouble is, Jim knows that too.

As her literary triumph starts to fade into the past, Emma comes under pressure to write a second bestseller. But her big secret is that she didn’t write the first one. She’s a fraud, and the only people who ever knew the truth are…no longer a problem.

What Emma didn’t count on was Jim playing the long game too. He has his own secrets—and a dangerous plan that could derail her beautifully orchestrated life. Faced with the loss of everything that defines her, Emma is forced to take increasingly desperate steps.

She won’t go down without a fight. And as Jim should know, she won’t fight fair.

This is the second book in the Emma Fern duet and it was so much fun! As a writer myself, it was interesting seeing what could happen under desperate times between an author and their ghostwriter. I do reccommend going into this duet completely blind. Don’t read the blurb and just dive right in.

#BookPromo Until I Met Her (Emma Fern #1) by Natalie Barelli

She should never have said ‘yes’…

When Beatrice said she wanted to publish her next novel under Emma’s name, Emma couldn’t believe it. Why on earth would Beatrice Johnson Greene, the famous crime writer, not want to publish her new book as herself?

This time, Beatrice explained, she wanted to write something different, and publish it as an unknown author. She was too famous—and she needed Emma’s help.

After everything Beatrice had done for her, Emma could hardly refuse. But what was meant to be a favour has turned into a betrayal, and now Emma has done something terrible, something shocking, and the consequences are terrifying…

I’m not going to review this book because I do think you should go in blind. If you can help it, I also suggest not reading the blurb. I will tell you though that this book is about a regular woman who ends up being a ghost writer for her favourite author and well…you’ll have to read to find out what happens.y

#Review #NewRelease – In Between – An MMF Romance (Love is Love Series) by Andi Jaxon

I’m the preacher’s daughter.

Dylan is the punk son of the bigoted sheriff.

Julian the new kid in town everyone talks about in whispers and avoids like the plague.

Dylan and Julian shouldn’t want each other.

It’s dangerous.

This town won’t accept them and yet I run towards the fire because love deserves a chance.

It’s not just them that’s in danger this time.

They both want me too.

I crave them and all they can offer me.

But I can’t have them.

It’s wrong. Perverted. Immoral. And I’m a good church girl.

At least, that’s what everyone thinks…

Can we hide who we are from a town who’s against us or will we be burned by their hatred?

*This is Mary’s story and can be read as a stand alone but will be best enjoyed after reading Bully King. This is an interracial MMF story and will have triggering language and situations due to racism and homophobia. If you would like a list of triggers in this book, please visit www.andijaxon.com/trigger-warnings

This book. Man this book. It felt like going home. I love this world and these characters so so much.

In Between is about Mary, Julian and Dylan. It’s an MMF story and man, once the sexy times start happening, they’re highly explosive.

Now for the review: We first meet Mary in Bully King. She’s Jonah’s sister – if you’ve read that book, yay! If not, grab it now! – She’s strong and fights for what she believes in. I wish I was half as strong as she was when I was her age. It would have made highschool so much easier. Anyway.

Julian is the new kid in town but isn’t taken well, based on the colour of his skin.

Dylan is a local bad boy, who says exactly what’s on his mind and uses sarcasm to mask his emotions, since he doesn’t know how to deal with them in the first place.

Attraction blossoms between the three of them. Things start getting hot and heavy first between the boys and then once Mary is involved, wowza.

But of course, things aren’t all flowers and puppies as time wears on.

Someone wants Mary. Apparently he thinks her good girl act is just that, an act. He’s dangerous and the boys try and do what they can to protect her but of course, they aren’t always around.

One thing leads to another and the boys have to rescue Mary before things get really bad. I won’t say exactly what happens but make sure to one-click this story to find out!

Add to the fact that both Julian and Dylan are dealing with their own personal issues. Man, it was heart breaking to read. Andi sure knows how to write grumpy boys. I thought Roman from Bully King was bad. He’s a kitten compared to Dylan in my personal opinion. Don’t tell him I said that.

If you love MMF type books, be sure to grab this one. It does deal with triggering situations. ex. racism, homophobia, etc.

Andi Jaxon writes these difficult subjects expetionally well. I’m in awe of her and her bravery to take on something that unfortunately still happens quite a lot on this world.

If I could keep these characters safe, I would. If you’re reading this, know that you are safe with me. Always.

#Review The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

An instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times). Now an award-winning Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss.

In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’ s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.

So I’m taking part in a personal reading challenge. It’ll motivate me to get some books read that I wouldn’t normally read. I don’t think any of them are romance but I’ll review them anyway of course. This challenge is 40 books every woman should read before she turns 40. I have a year and a bit, so I have some time at least.

This book. Oy.

Now, if you’ve watched the show, you obviously know what this book is about. I’m sad to say that I never even heard of this author or this book until I was told about the show. So I watched the show first.

While a few things are different from the book to the show, you get the idea of what’s going on.

This book is about June or Ofred, who’s the main character and tells the story through her point of view. It’s a dystopian type world now, as a government has taken over. Women’s choices are stripped from them. If you’re fertile, you’re used for babies. If you’re not, you’re sent off to do who knows what. Some are Marthas, which means they cook and clean and take care of the house.

What sets this book/story apart from the rest is how different it is but at the same time, especially with things happening in the world now, it’s almost like a prediction in a way.

I won’t get all preachy or bring up worldy politics and stuff – not that I know much about that anyway – but I will say that this book, the story within this book, is one of the scariest things I have ever read. Why you ask? It’s not a thriller or a horror, Jo! I know right? What makes it scary is that it could actually happen. Maybe not exactly like what happens in the book of course but something similar could definitely take place.

I haven’t read book 2 yet but I most certainly will! But first, on to book 2 of this challenge!

Happy reading, friends!

Available on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yjw5dsjb

#BookPromo #BookBlitz Scandal: A Driven World Novel (The Driven World) by J.L. Baldwin

An installment of The Driven World by K. Bromberg. Dive into a new, never before seen story and new characters with cameos from the characters you already know and love.


A female racer set on defying the odds, a famous playboy set on ruining her reputation, an attraction neither one can deny

Kellie

Kellie was a rebel without a cause, a defiant force to be reckoned with, and everything her parents feared she’d grow up to be.
Defying the odds and breaking the rules. On and off the track. That was Kellie’s motto for life. Being a female race car driver in what’s considered a male-dominated profession has given her some challenges in life.
But when a wrench is suddenly thrown into the path of her dreams, she decides to take matters into her own hands and not bend down to anybody.

Ashton

Ashton has had his fair share of rules. Growing up as the son of a famous indie race car driver, he has been at the epicenter of the media his whole life.
Things take a sudden turn when Ashton catches Kellie, his old high school “acquaintance” in a rather compromising position, then the perfect plan started to form.

Blackmailing Kellie into a fake relationship was the only way to get what he wanted and that was to get the media off his back and his playboy ways. Even if fighting him every step of the way and letting him see that fire inside of her made him fall harder each and every day, pretending to fake the feelings he developed might just veer him off track of his perfect plan all together.

J.L. Baldwin’s Scandal is an adrenaline pumping, fast paced, sexy contemporary romance written in K. Bromberg’s Driven Worlds project.

#WOTR22 Collision Force (Crossing Forces Book 1) by C.A. Szarek

The last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent…
Badboy FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts the human trafficker all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.

Cole doesn’t do small towns and he doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent that sees her as no more than a tagalong.
As a widow and single mother, she’s used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.

Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she left behind when her husband died.
Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.

Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardize their case and their hearts?

I chose to read this book because so far I have loved everything that C.A. Szarek has written. Love fantasy romance? Read Sword’s Call. 😉

Collision Force is Romantic Suspense and wow does it ever live up to the genre. It’s fast paced and keeps you on your toes from beginning to end. It’s definitely a page turner and I didn’t want it to end. You fall deeply in love with the characters and at time’s want to bash their heads in. When does that not happen in a romance book? Lol!

Andi is headstrong and I just love her. Definitely one of my favorite heroine’s. She keeps Cole on his toes and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s a role model for young girls and I can’t wait to read about her and Cole.

Cole…yeah, wow. Ok, he’s hot. Shower scene? Holy crap balls batman. LOVED IT! Definitely yummy and a perfect alpha male. Love him!

Without giving too much away, some things happen to bring Andi and Cole together and I, as demented this may sound, really love the bad guys. They’re written so well, they creep me out and that’s the point right?

I think Andi and Cole will be my favorite couple throughout this series just because they were the first but I can’t wait to read the next book. Great job C.A. Szarek and keep up the wonderful work!

#BookBlast #BookPromo – The Housekeeper: A Twisted Psychological Thriller by Natalie Barelli

She’s a liar. She’s a stalker. She’s in your house.

When Claire sees Hannah Wilson at an exclusive Manhattan hair salon, it’s like a knife slicing through barely healed scars. It may have been ten years since Claire last saw Hannah, but she has thought of her every day, and not in a good way. So Claire does what anyone would do in her position—she stalks her.

Hannah is now Mrs. Carter, living the charmed life that should have been Claire’s. It’s the life Claire used to have, before Hannah came along and took it all away from her.

Back then, Claire was a happy teenager with porcelain skin and long, wavy blond hair. Now she’s an overweight, lazy drunk with hair the color of compost and skin to match. Which is why when Hannah advertises for a housekeeper, Claire is confident she can apply and not be recognized. And since she has time on her hands, revenge on her mind, and a talent for acting…

Because what better way to seek retribution—and redress—than from within the beautiful Mrs. Hannah Carter’s own home?

Except that it’s not just Claire who has secrets. Everyone in that house seems to have something to hide.

And now, there’s no way out.

#BookBlast #BookPromo – Music Lights & Never Afters by C.L. Matthews

THIS IS A STANDALONE ROCKSTAR NOVEL.

Some blades cut deeper than others.

When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage.

I had it all, until that very first cut.

Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but not as bad as the betrayal I felt from Andy.

I admit I went a little crazy when they passed away. I isolated myself, pushed away everyone I could, and it worked.

I was free from the confines of expectations, but that high only lasted so long before the second cut came.

Andy gave me my space.

Even though I asked for it, it wasn’t what I wanted.

It was almost as if the connection we shared, all the late-night conversations, and laughs evaporated.

And now, five years later, when I feel at least halfway decent about my life and the music I create, she calls me, asking me to meet him—her new fiancé.

Some blades cut deeper than others, but that one completely bled me dry.

#Review – Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry

We forgive murderers, not pedophiles.

Not since Lionel Shriver brought us We Need to Talk About Kevin has a writer delved into the complexities of a disturbed mother/son relationship. Until now.

Meet Noah—an A-honor roll student, award-winning swimmer, and small-town star destined for greatness. There weren’t any signs that something was wrong until the day he confesses to molesting little girls during swim team practice. He’s sentenced to eighteen months in a juvenile sexual rehabilitation center.

His mother, Adrianne, refuses to turn her back on him despite his horrific crimes, but her husband won’t allow Noah back into their home. In a series of shocking and shattering revelations, Adrianne is forced to make the hardest decision of her life. Just how far will she go to protect her son?

Saving Noah challenges everything you think you know about teenage sexual offenders. It will keep you up at night long after you’ve read the last page, questioning beliefs you once thought were true.

So like usual, I didn’t read the blurb for this book and I’m glad I didn’t. I’d rather go in surprised and I definitely was.

Lucinda took a very tough subject and wrote it in a way that makes you question. What would you do in this situation? Would you help your child and give them what they want even though you would lose them in the process? Would you still love them even though they did something absolutely horrible and disgusting? It would definitely be a hard pill to swallow.

This book is about a 17 year old who is a pedophile. While his mother still loved him through it all, his father, not so much. We eventually find out why and like most of Lucinda’s books, I wasn’t expecting the twist. But it all makes sense now.

I don’t want to give too much away and like normal, I do suggest going into this book completely blind. It’s about a mother’s love and what she would do to help her child and give them what they want even though it hurts at the same time and would leave a gaping hole in its place.

This story was rough and it’s definitely a tough subject, so if you have triggers, please read with caution. I think the person I felt sorry for the most was Noah’s sister. She was completely innocent in all of this.

Now that I’ve finally caught up and read every Lucinda Berry book, I really can’t wait for her next release.