The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’m an avid reader, who started writing little notes about the books I read and kept them organized on a spreadsheet to help me remember the stories. Several years ago I started to share this spreadsheet with a yahoo group for Lora Leigh. I was surprised so many folks enjoyed my commentary and encouraged me to continue month after month. Then I found Goodreads, and imported all my reviews and notes there. My profile at Goodreads is https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4169697-tinamarie

I hope you will enjoy my reviews and follow my blog, I suspect from time to time I may post on topics I feel strongly about, but this is mostly all about the stories.

Five star rating system for books.

  • 5 – Loved it, would highly recommend
  • 4 – I liked it, a good read
  • 3 – Okay read
  • 2 – Didn’t care for the story, may have significant editing problems or story issues
  • 1 – Did not like at all

Five star rating system for heat level

  • 5 – Heat level is high, extremely detailed, adults only
  • 4 – Sensual, steamy, some things are left to the imagination
  • 3 – There’s intimacy but the details are glossed over, minimal details
  • 2 – Very little details, there may be intimacy but it’s either not discussed or glossed over
  • 1 – No sexual encounters, or nothing more than light affection

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Devastate by Pam Godwin

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Story 5 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Deliver

Hero – Tate Vades

Heroine – Lucia Dias

TRIGGER WARNING!

Tate’s mother was a whore and when she died the other whore’s raised him. He loved each of them and became a whore himself. At fourteen he was raped and later he was kidnapped and sexually tortured by Van. He’s a sexual dominate and a survivor of abuse.

Tate has loved Camila since she rescued him from the human slavery ring. Knowing Camila is forever out of his reach he is determined to find her lost sister Lucia. When an investigator finds Lucia, Tate is determined to rescue her, even if that means accepting Van as his back up.

Lucia was kidnapped into a slave ring, but after a bus accident was believed dead. In actuality she was taken in by sadistic psychopath who’s business is to kidnap people and ransom them back to their loved ones. She’s forced to participate in the operations until she meets Tate and he gives her hope.

Both of these two have had rough and ugly in their lives, this is another dark tale with rape, torture and abuse, but it also has this amazing love story. What would you do for love? This couple will find out and be taken far beyond what they ever imagined. I don’t often cry for characters but I cried for these two. In addition seeing Van and Tate with all their ugly history together was beyond words. Pam Godwin doesn’t sugar coat life she peels back the glittery to making you see not just the good but also some of the ugly reality and still find humanity.

Bang Switch by Lani Lynn Vale

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Story 3 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Code 11-KPD SWAT

Hero – Lachlan Downy

Heroine – Memphis Tennessee Conner

Downy’s is the SWAT team’s dog handler and negotiator, but his first one went badly and he’s still working through it. He lost his father young and is estranged from his mother. Downy has a lot of charm but he also keeps things tight which causes a lot of problems when he meets Memphis. I found it funny his charm didn’t extend to his dog Mocha.

Memphis seemed to be two different people, at times she was this take no prisons, balls to the walls in charge woman, but mostly she was flighty, and immature. While I loved the former, I struggled with the latter. Memphis grew up in an MC and as a cop’s daughter, she’s seen it all, she was attacked by a dog and recovered from horrific injuries and is determined to escape an over protective father and live life on her terms and NOT have an alpha cop boyfriend. That is until she meets her neighbor who keeps her up all hours of the night with the noise from his sexual exploits.

These two had really great moments but the shut downs and immature behavior and disconnects made the relationship so disjointed that their story didn’t work for me. Maybe if Memphis had had a few years to grow and mature and Downy had more time to work on his issues it would have upped the believability. There is also a lot going on with Downy’s roommates, the dogs, the dognappings, his family drama, her family drama, the SWAT team that normally feel pretty seamless but for some reason in this book felt a little chaotic and some of the events just stretched believability too far.

Double Tap by Lani Lynn Vale

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Story 4.5 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Code 11-KPD SWAT

Hero – Nicolas ‘Nico’ Giuliani Pena

Heroine – Brianne Valentine

From the first moment these two seen each other they had a connection but when they first met she was too young, so they became good friends, sharing their love of soccer, religion and his family. He choose to join the Navy while he waited for her to mature and just when things were starting to align for them tragedy struck.

Georgia grew up with an abusive father, the family kept the abuse hidden from everyone until one deadly night and she leaves town for eight years.

This couple has had to face trauma and hardship, manage PTSD and still go on with their lives. It took them thirteen years from the first day they met to finally have their chance and they didn’t waste it. These two are funny, and unapologetic, I cheered for them, laughed with them and had a teary eye more than once.

But there a couple of way too obvious things that niggled at me. She clearly had a backup support system but that didn’t kick in after her tragedy, she’s feisty as hell and didn’t give Nico nearly enough hell for some of the things he pulled and a few other items, which is the only reason I couldn’t give it a full five stars.

Beneath the Roots by W.K. Greyling, narrated by Krista Nicely

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Story 3 of 5 stars

Heat 1 of 5 stars

Series – The Aure Duology

Hero – Avry

Heroine – Merisande

Listened to audio narrated by Krista Nicely. She reminded me a lot of Caitlin Davies narration of Mari in ‘Tales of a New World’ series.

Merisande is a young woman taking care of her dad and her brother who has special needs. She hunts and gathers and takes care of them all. Their family struggles but they get by. When she’s a young girl she helps a young fae boy who gives a way to summon him if she’s ever needs help.
Avry is a younger son of a neighbor wealthy lord and makes a poor impression on her after she discovers him and his older brother torturing her brother.

Nine years later Merisande and Avry are all grown up and has fallen in love with and she wants nothing to do with him. When his father tries to force her into marriage she uses her fae to escape.
Right up to this point I was really enjoying this story, the scene at the dance was a great launching point for this couple and I was enjoying all the moving parts and was looking forward to where I thought these characters were going, then Merisande turned in to ‘it’s all about me and I don’t care about anyone else or their feelings spoiled young girl.’ Granted she got a very rude awakening but it really was a disappointment for me.

I liked seeing Avry change from the rude, stupid boy to thoughtful knight determined to go after Avry. He wasn’t afraid to be humble or take advice and I appreciated his explanation for his bad behavior.

The cursed wood and the Fae are not what anyone expected and there were aspects that reminded me of another story I’ve read, so I’m wondering if Fae stealing voices is Fae lore other books have used?

It’s an interesting read, with a lot of fantasy elements, that I think a lot of people will enjoy. I have the next book in the duology and will be reading it to see how it all ends.

I voluntarily received this book for an honest review.

Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb, narrated by Susan Erickson

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Story – 4 of 5 stars

Heat – 4 of 5 stars

Series – In Death

Main Characters – Rourke, Eve Dallas

Listened to audio narrated well by Susan Erickson.

During a one of Rourke building renovation projects twelve bodies are found and Eve, the gang, plus a new member of the crew must piece together evidence to solve for murders that happened fifteen years years ago.

The highlights in this book weren’t the investigation but the personal moments with Eve and friends. I love all of these characters and their quirks but this particular investigation came across as vary scattered, and at times it felt like investigation tangents were being used as filler to draw out the story.

I loved the scenes with Myra and her husband and Mavis’ story almost broke my heart, I’m so glad Eve and Mavis found each other. After so many books in the series I love that there’s still layers to be revealed about these wonderful characters.

1001 Dark Nights: Midnight Untamed by Lara Adrian

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Story 5 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Hero – Ettore ‘Savage’ Selvaggio

Heroine – Arabella Genova

Ettore is on a mission to retrieve data and blow the grounds until he discovers the woman he loved and had to walk away from ten years ago inside the mansion he’s about to blow up.

Arabella was betrayed by her brother and sold to a mob Breed male for her ability to scry the future, her compliance assured by threats to her nephew, her rescue and reuniting with Ettore was story book.

This novella takes all the best in second chance romance and condensed it to it’s best parts. I loved their story, I felt their love and their loss and the joy of reuniting. Great quick read, that still managed to introduce new characters!

Cursed by Keri Arthur

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Story 4 of 5

Heat 4 of 5

Series – Kingdoms of Earth & Air

Hero – Donal 0’Raen

Heroine – Nyx Bel-Hannon

Nyx is the rightful heir to the throne but reasons not explained her father and twin bind her in controlling shackles and make everyone believe that her twin pulled the sword from the throne. Her mother is dead, her brother and father have been trying to kill her for twelve years. When her father finally devises a plan to send her to deadly border service.

What her father didn’t plan on was Donal, an honorable highlander taking her side, freeing her from her command bracelets and becoming her partner. Nyx learns to survive, avoid assassination attempts, learn her earth mage gifts and uncover the true danger that threatens them all.

This story often felt like a mash up of several fairytales with a bit of sci-fi. Sword and the Stone, Cinderella and Aladdin to name a few. I often got a sense of déja vu from the previous book scenes and it was interesting how the author blended an old world magic feeling with new world tech. I liked this couple and I enjoyed the majority of their story, there was just some disjointedness in some spots that made the ride a little bumpy for me.