‘The Cat’s Meow’ by Stacey Kennedy

tcm skSTORY: When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. But being a witch gifted by the Goddess won’t protect her from the talented warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen–and he’s sexy as sin. But why he’s even needed for such a simple mission is beyond her.

While having some muscle around can’t hurt her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering she knows he—and their Coven—are hiding something from her. When she turns up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, though, the elusive warlock isn’t the her only concern. She now has a political rebellion on her hands, too. And when the truth about who she really is begins to surface, the only person Libby can trust is herself.

REVIEW: Once in a while I meander off to a genre I hardly read because I like the blurb, or a cover, or both, as is with this story.

I have to say this wasn’t bad, but it left me confused and disappointed by the end of it. Characters lacked in development and the plot was predictable. The pace however had me finishing this in two sittings because it moved the story to its inevitable conclusion.

If you’re in a  fan of paranormal romances, I think you might like it, but be warned. This romance lacks that most important ingredient: chemistry.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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‘Kept’ by Shawntelle Madison

k smSTORY: Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.

Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.

REVIEW: I thought I’d give this author another try so I read this book and was disappointed once more.

I’m not sure it’s all this author’s fault. I’ve thought about it very seriously and I believe it’s possibly me that is to blame at least for not liking the whole story. I thought the writing was somewhat good and the pace was decent, but the story was too juvenile for me. Me thinks I’m too old for this story.

If you’re a teenager, I believe you might like this more than I did. Those that loved Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series might like this series too. I just didn’t so I’ll stop at two.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Jane Austen Project’ by Kathleen A. Flynn

jap kafSTORY: England, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team of time travelers, their mission is the most audacious yet: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common excerpt their extraordinary circumstances. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of 19th century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history as they found it…however heartbreaking that proves.

REVIEW: I honestly didn’t expect that this story would grab my imagination as much as it did. I’m a fan of Jane Austen and her amazing stories and am really glad to have read this mind boggling tale.

There’s so much I loved about this book, from an impeccable research to complexity of the plot and characterization, I thought the author did a magnificent job in catapulting me into Jane Austen world.

If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, SyFy and if you like reads that would make you wonder “what if …” this is a must for you. Highly recommend it!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Long May She Reign’ by Rhiannon Thomas

lmsr-rtSTORY: The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

REVIEW: I’ve never read a YA story before and thought to sample one with this story and author I’ve never read as well.

What I found in it was intriguing, at times entertaining and part of the time slow moving, but all in all, not bad.

I enjoyed the young heroine’s character a lot and most of the characters in the tale, but I also liked the prose as well as the mythical Kingdom, but if you’re looking for complex within the pages of this book, you’ll not find it. But then again, sometimes less complexity within the pages is good. Once in a while, lighthearted stories can give you just as much satisfaction as the complex, heavy stories.

In the end, I do recommended for its mystery and many interesting and entertaining characters.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Beautiful Pretender’ by Melanie Dickerson

tbp mdSTORY: What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

REVIEW: Thornbeck Forest – 1363 – Roman Empire

Reinhart Stolten, Margrave of Thornbeck, is out riding on his vast property chasing away a pack of wolves in an effort to keep everyone in the area safe. Once a powerful knight, he is now reduced to using a cane to walk. When he returns to his castle, he finds he has received a missive from the King requesting that Reinhart get married and suggests the daughters of the Duke of Geithart and the Earl of Plimmwald as possible brides. It happens that the fathers of these men had fueded with the previous Margraves of Thornbeck and the King wants to unite these families and thus ensure peace. While Reinhart would rather ignore the request, his aide, Jorgen, encourages him to comply with the King’s wishes. So, Jorgen and his wife, Odette, begin planning the ball. It is decided that there will be a two-week party and ball at Thornbeck Castle. These two ladies and others will be invited so Reinhart can meet them and decide which one best suits him.

Avelina is a lady’s maid to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Plimmwald. Dorothea is hoping that her father doesn’t find out about her trysts with his Knight, Sir Dietric, and now she is carrying his child. When her father orders her to go to the Margrave’s ball, she runs away with her Knight. Upon learning what she has done, her father decides to send Avelina to attend the party and pretend that she is Dorothea.

Upon arrival at the castle, Avelina feels out of place but is befriended by a lovely woman also attending the party and works hard to keep her true identity secret. It becomes more difficult for her when she realizes that Reinhart seems to be quite taken with her.

But mischief is afoot and someone is trying to get her out of the way. As there has been bad blood between the families before, it looks like more problems may be coming.

This was a good story that stayed well with the time period. I enjoyed it and I know other readers will as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘The Beloved’ by Genevra Thorne

tb gtSTORY: Lord Ashton of Aethyria is enticement, seduction, temptation–born with the power to strip even the most modest woman of her gown, her will, and her virtue. With the glamour of being born a half Daoine Sidhe faerie comes the sad fate that once a woman has gazed into Ash’s eyes, she forever loses the ability to see anything other than his ravishing beauty, and can certainly never glimpse into his soul. Ashton’s allure is so raw and enchanting, in fact, that he has exiled himself from even the human side of his family, lest his own aunts be tempted by him, and lives a life of solitude and fleeting passions. But he is part human as well, and it is his human blood that makes him long for a magic no faerie spell can equal. It is his deep desire for true love that leads him to keep his magnificent face hidden from the woman who captures his heart.

Eden is certain her nightly visitor is as disfigured as she, since he keeps his visage shrouded in shadow when he comes to her room. Scarred by fire, she believes herself ugly until Ashton’s tender kisses and gentle touch begin to teach her that true beauty comes from within. It’s an important lesson, since Ash knows that soon he must reveal himself to her. He prays that she can look beyond his unearthly beauty and see the heart of a man.

REVIEW: This is the second tale in Ms. Thorne’s fantasy series. In the first book we met this heroes father, Gabriel who was enchanted by a Daoine Sidhe faerie, who bore him a son. To meet this little boy, you must read book one, and I promise you, reading it, you’ll get to understand Ash much better.

Ashton is only a part Daoine Sidhe, a faerie whose beauty will forever have you belong to him. With a blessing like this, or a curse in our hero’s opinion, he is lonely and his part that is human, is yearning for true love but cynical of ever having it.

The heroine, Eden, is a very complex character and she will melt your heart. The scars she carries are hidden, and she slowly heals as her love for Ash is exposed.

Talk about “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”!

I highly recommend this fast paced, heartwarming and truly touching tale.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘The Enchanted’ by Genevra Thorne

te gtSTORY: Prince Gabriel of Rhyddon is the reluctant heir to the faerie kingdom of Eilithia. It’s said that there is nothing more beautiful than Eilithia and the Tylwyth Teg faeries that live there. Gabriel would disagree. Since being enchanted by the seductive temptress Aneira, a powerful witch who spoke his name four years ago, he has not seen the beauty in anything. Imprisoned by indifference and oblivious to any power but Aneira’s corrupting passion, Prince Gabriel’s mind may no longer be his own, but he will never give her his heart. That was taken from him long ago, and only glimmers of that joyous pledge keep him sane.

Somewhere across the earthly realm of Wales, Taryn of Hamilhawk dreams of a magical forest with music in its trees and a man who holds her heart in his hands. But she’s afraid of magic and, looking out her lonely tower window, prays each night to forget him. She has no idea that soon she will be his wife and that she will somehow save both him and herself from a force that threatens their future. She would never imagine that her path to passionate love will be filled with faeries, a talking tree, and a shape-changing king … and best it not be revealed until Taryn is free to bring her own magnificence and resilience to bear.

All she knows is that he calls out to her in her dreams. “Save me, Taryn.”

And her heart, no matter how she tries to deny it, must answer.

REVIEW: When you are a fan of an author for a long time, and when that author decides to write a book in another genre and under another pseudonym, you naturally hope to God that you’ll love the book.

I truly released a sigh of relief when I was done with the book. No joke!

Genevra Thorne aka Paula Quinn had impressed me so much with her imagination and creation of this enchanting faerie world. I loved everything in that beautiful and magic filled world.

This story is a sort of a mix of historical, paranormal and faerie tale. The heroine was a girl haunted by a dream of a man who is pleading to be saved by her. In hopes to understand the dream and its meaning, poor thing confides in a chaplain thus sealing her fate by being forced into a loveless marriage to a half fairy, a man that is enchanted with another woman.

Our hero was someone your heart went as soon as you meet him. Feeling of hopelessness surrounds this man who is so unhappy to be an heir, to be caught in the enchantment of a woman, to belong to the realm of fairies. And now to be married to someone that doesn’t understand and is afraid of him.

Both characters were well drawn out and very believable as they are fighting the attraction to each other.

I am not a fan of this genre, but reading this story has opened my horizons and introduced me to the world of magic and I hope you’ll give it a go.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author