Review: “What Janie Wants” by Rhenna Morgan

What Janie Wants by Rhenna MorganA review by Julie.

I would first like to thank the author, Rhenna Morgan, for allowing me to read and review her book What Janie Wants.

Janie McAlllister is ready to go right back home after finding out that the vacation her sister sent her on involves clothing optional beaches. She is still getting over a really bad marriage and the last thing she needs is a resort that is a throwback to the 1970’s with their nude beaches. She is definitely not ready for that. She isn’t ready for young Zade Painel’s advances towards her either.

Zade was at Riviera Maya for rest and relaxation and to save his photography business. Never did he think that 43 year old Janie would have the answer to his business problem or cause so much pain to his private areas. Janie has a way of fixing problems. Zade’s going to help her see that and hopefully, see how they were meant to be together.

This book was a lot of fun to read. Zade was incredibly sexy and very convincing. I fell for him by the second chapter. I could definitely relate to Janie and her relationship woes, and how she was feeling throughout the book. She was very likeable and easy to empathize with. Zade romances her and helps her see that she has a strong future ahead, although she feels he is too young for her to take seriously. They both have a lot of decisions to make.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Jesse’s Girl” by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse's Girl by Miranda KenneallyA review by Maria.

I’d like to thank author Miranda Kenneally for allowing me to read and review her book Jesse’s Girl, a novel in the Hundred Oaks series.

Maya needs to shadow someone for a day for her high school career project. She never expected that she’d be following bad boy and nationally popular country singer, Jesse Scott. Even though she just received every girl’s dream, she’s far from thrilled. She loves 80’s rock and plays it with the band she started. She’s more tomboy than girly girl and hates that Jesse thought she was just  another groupie. Both of them never imagined one day of shadowing could change their lives forever and even make their dreams come true.

Maya was a hard character for me to like. She came off as closed off and opinionated and it was actually all the people around her that allowed me to see another side and begin to like this character. She had a wonderful, caring family, and through them I learned she had money problems and big dreams but little hope of achieving them. Through her gay best friend I learned more about her humiliating experiences in trying to sing and perform in public. Breaking through the walls of Maya’s character really began to endear her to me.

Jesse was pretty much sexiness on a stick. As a country star and a national bad boy, all the girls wanted him, and he knew it. The first time he’s alone with Maya he asked if she wants to have sex. But Jesse had walls up too. He planned to mentor Maya for a day, even offer something physical to shock her, but surprised himself by opening up to her. A great relationship develops in just one day. But Jesse also has huge trust issues after being used for his fame before and leaves Maya frustrated when he can’t figure out what he wants.

This was full of hidden delights such as references to 80’s music, music reality television, movies such as Ferris Bueller’s day off, and lots of talk about cars. It was a pretty fast read and I only found it to drag a little toward the middle. Characters from past books in the series appear in this novel as well, so that was another added bonus. I’m eager to go back and read more of author Kenneally’s past stories, especially about Maya’s brother Sam.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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Book & Author details:
Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
(Hundred Oaks)
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

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 Miranda KenneallyAUTHOR BIO:
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Darkhaven” by A.F.E. Smith

Darkhaven by A.F.E. SmithA review by Vanessa.

First I would like to thank the author A.E. Smith for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to read this book.

The Changers of Darkhaven have ruled over the country of Mirrorvale for centuries. Their family’s rare ability to change their form into an elemental creature has secured their reign. But despite that, Florentyne Nightshade has run into a problem. His two grown up children aren’t fit to rule. Myrren, his pureblood son, has never shown any signs of having the gift. Ayla, his half-blood daughter, can change but being a half-blood isn’t her only flaw… her creature form is not one of the five pure elemental forms. But Changer blood is Changer blood, and Florentyne wants Ayla to rule.

Ayla Nightshade has never wanted to rule over Darkhaven. She loves her older brother. Myrren is the only one who never looked down on her for being a half-blood. But her father is ruthless in pursuing want he wants, even if it means locking her up until she agrees to his demands. Myrren Nightshade cares for his little sister. He knows what an utter disappointment he is to his father; he will not fail Ayla. But when he helps her escape, that same night his father is murdered by a Changer. The only one left is Ayla. Ayla knows that she must find a way to prove her innocence, to prove that there must be another Changer among them. But she just might find herself looking for help in the most unlikely of places…..

By far my favorite aspect about this book is the full contingent of rich characters. This book shines with all of the best facets of a great ensemble cast of characters, which can sometimes be difficult to achieve. Each character has their own background and motivations but the fullness and depth of the ensemble is not at all overwhelming. Readers will get a bad guy they will love to hate; Ayla is a heroine who is strong and likeable but still flawed; there is an antihero who doesn’t realize he is actually a hero; the most legendary warrior around is a woman; and Myrren is a reluctant leader who does not know his own worth.

All of this is set against the backdrop of the city of Arkannen, at the center of which resides the Darkhaven stronghold. The city is almost a character in itself. It is described as six concentric rings, each within the next, surrounding the center castle. Each ring is described in detail and carries it’s own personality and attributes that would make for a very fascinating place to visit surely. The reader cannot help but be drawn in by such an amazing world in which the characters wander. The city runs on symbolism and ritual. Each person has a place, and each place has a meaning. The backdrop is beautiful, the characters are engaging, and although you might see the third act twist coming, Smith still provides plenty of surprises and intrigue to leave me eagerly waiting for what’s next.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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DARKHAVEN by A.F.E. Smith

Basic information

Book title: DARKHAVEN
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)

Publisher’s blurb

Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.

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Author biography

A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.

What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.

Author photo

A.F.E. Smith

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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Sleepless” by Michael Omer

Sleepless by Michael OmerA review by Amanda.

Only in Narrowdale, will a recurring nightmare lead ninth grader Amy to an unsolved mystery. Moving to the quiet suburb of Narrowdale right before starting high school has made Amy miserable. She misses her friends and the hustle of life in L.A. Plus Narrowdale is weird. All of the houses on her street are identical, the homeless guy who hangs out at the mall knows things that he shouldn’t, and worst of all, the air conditioning at home refuses to work right and the heat is unbearable.

Things don’t improve once school starts. Everything that can go wrong, does from day one. To make matters worse, a recurring nightmare keeps Amy from sleeping and she thinks she might be going insane. She keeps hearing someone whistling, both in the dream and in real life. When she finally discovers that she isn’t the only one who can hear it, relief hits, along with a determination to figure out why she keeps having the same dream every night.

Sleepless is an intriguing and slightly disturbing story. The town of Narrowdale is almost a character of its own, absolutely eccentric. Amy’s experience is only the tip of the iceberg. The author does an excellent job of leading the reader through the mystery alongside the characters. Amy herself appears to be a stereotypical teenager,complete with an occasional attitude problem, stubborn and self-centered. As an adult, some of her behavior made me cringe and remember my own teenage years, but it didn’t detract from the story. One aspect of the ebook that stands out is an actual clickable link to Amy’s blog, placed sporadically throughout. The blog is one of the ways Amy keeps in touch with her friends back in L.A. and provides some additional insight into her character. The only real issue that I had with this story is that the mystery of Amy’s nightmares concludes rather anticlimactically, especially with all of the strangeness hinted at about the town. Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the sequel, Moth to a Flame, due out in July.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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Book & Author details:
Sleepless by Michael Omer
(Narrowdale #1)
Publication date: January 10th 201
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.

At the beginning of her freshman year of high school, Amy can think of nothing worse than moving to the boring, suburban town of Narrowdale. And that’s before she starts having the same nightmare over and over again, waking up every night to a creepy whistle outside her window and being haunted by a mysterious, menacing presence. Getting used to the new school becomes the least of her problems.

As she delves deeper to uncover the truth, she unknowingly edges closer to mortal danger. Terrible events that took place years ago threaten to happen again, but now Amy’s life is on the balance. Unfortunately, the one guy who is supposed to protect her, nineteen year old Peter, doesn’t believe her.

Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets hide beneath the surface…

As she confronts the mysteries of Narrowdale, Amy documents her experiences in her blog. The book contains live links to this blog.

Purchase:
Michael Omer
AUTHOR BIO:
My name is Michael Omer, and I’m a writer, journalist and game designer. I wrote and published my first novel when I was sixteen, and figured I’d keep at it. Since then, I have published two more novels, and wrote… who can even count how many? I’m happily married to a woman who keeps pushing me to write more, and have three kids who insist I should stop writing and come play with them. I also have two dogs.
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BOOK TOUR: Review: “Change Rein” by Anne Jolin

Change Rein by Anne JolinA review by Maria.

I would like to thank author Anne Jolin for giving me the opportunity to read and review her novel, Change Rein.

London Daniels was injured on her horse on national television while competing for the gold in the Summer Olympics. Depressed and out of commission due to her injury, she becomes snarky and rude during an interview and becomes a national disgrace when the article is published. She seeks solace in her family and home at Willow Bay stables. But her father is having trouble keeping the stables afloat and the family needs money for it to survive, and fast. Luckily the wealthy tycoon Branson Tucker needs a somewhere to board his horses after they were displaced by a fire on his property

London is likeable, driven, snarky and spunky. She is realistically disheartened after her injury and public failure at the Olympics. She has walls and can protect herself from all the naysayers even though she has a protective brother and sister. Her love for her family is as equally strong and compelling as her love for her horses.

Branson is driven, smart, rich, and just a bit spoiled and sure of himself. Strangely, he’s still a very attractive and interesting character despite his flaws. He also has a huge crush on London ever since he first saw her compete. While boarding his horses at her stables, he plans to make her his, and his alone. He plans to make her his wife.

This was a very short novel to read. It was very romantic; but I liked how the romance wasn’t rushed and slower to begin on a physical level. It made the book that much more romantic for me as the reader.

I am eager to read more in this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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Change Rein banner

CHANGE REIN

Author: Anne Jolin

Series: Willow Bay Stables #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance & Sports Equestrian Romance

~ SYNOPSIS ~

London Daniels is returning home to Willow Bay, Alberta, on the heels of a televised loss. She blew her shot at the Summer Olympics and cost Canada the gold medal in dressage.

During her years of training abroad, her family’s stable has fallen on hard times, and thus, they’ve accepted an offer to board the racehorses of Branson Tucker, the infamous tycoon, for the winter.

London lacks conviction after her ill-fated fall. And as if returning to her hometown to watch her epic failure replay on everyone’s big screen isn’t torture enough, she’s expected to cater to a man with an ego bigger than her hundred-acre farm just to earn a dime.

Is London saddling up for another ride that will leave both her heart and her ass in the dirt? Or could the handsome, unwanted guest at Willow Bay Stables be her second chance to go for gold?

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~ PLAYLIST ~

If It Ain’t Too Much To Ask – Jackson Young

Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton

My Heart Skips a Beat – Dwight Yoakam

Angels Fall Sometimes – Josh Turner

Love on Me – Brent Cobb

Ride (feat. Macy Maloy) – Chase Rice

Cowboys and Angels – Dustin Lynch

A Soft Place to Fall – Allison Moorer

Sober Me Up – Frankie Ballard

How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls – George Straight

Real Good Man – Tim McGraw

Why God Made Love Songs – Joel Crouse

On to Something Good – Ashley Monroe

Kiss by Kiss – Brett Young

Smoke – A Thousand Horses

Georgia Rain – Trisha Yearwood

Cowgirl – Tyler Farr

Shut Me Up – Old Dominion

Little Bitty Dreams – Will Hoge

She’s Got This Thing About Her – Chris Young

Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

~ EXCERPT ~

After helping her up onto the tailgate, I grab the wine and two glasses. When I join her in the bed of the truck, I pour us each a cup and then lift my glass up to hers for a toast.

“Here’s to first dates.”

After clinking her cup with mine, she takes a delicate sip, and the rumble in my chest comes unexpectedly as she swallows the wine.

As if on cue, the radio changes, and the first twangs of Jackson Young’s “If It Ain’t Too Much To Ask” drift out across the lake.

After we set our cups down on the edge of the truck bed, her arms wrap around my neck. My palm splays over her lower back as I tuck the sweetness of her body against mine.

“You makin’ it a habit of wooing me with your dancin’ skills, cowboy?” She laughs, and the way it mixes with the song has to be the most heavenly thing I’ve ever heard.

My cheek brushes hers as we dance closer. “That depends.”

“On?” Her breath whispers against my ear.

“If it’s working or not.”

She laughs again, and with God as my witness, I’m a lucky bastard to be holding her right now. “It might be,” she teases.

Her body was made for mine. Pressed together, we’re even more perfect. Strawberry wine dousing our inhibitions in wild desire.

The chorus to the song is coming up, and knowing I don’t suck at least half as much as she does, I sing softly into her ear, albeit still out of tune. She joins me, singing adorably off tune into my ear. “I know it ain’t an easy life, people can tell you that”—She hums along, folding her body closer around mine—“but to ask for a little bit, just a little bit back, If it ain’t too much to ask..”

“If it ain’t too much to ask,” her voice sings adorably off tune into my ear.

I chuckle, and she reaches down to elbow me in the side before her eyes find mine once again.

“If it ain’t too much to ask, cowboy…I could really go for that kiss right about now.” She tries to sing along with the song, but by adding her own words, she fails miserably.

But it’s the thought that counts.

Do I hate that she felt she had to ask for it? Bet your ass I do. Will it stop me from giving her what she wants? Not a chance in hell.

Tipping my invisible cowboy hat towards her with one hand, I put the other in the hair at the base of her neck. “Nothing you ask will ever be too much, London.” With that, I give in to the greatest temptation I’ve ever had and every desire I’ve ever dreamed of.

It’s only with unique restraint that I’m able to keep my lips from fully crashing down onto hers. Instead, I take her softly, certain I’ve died and gone to heaven at the first taste of her. When she whimpers, the greed in me takes the opportunity to slip my tongue into her mouth, claiming all she’ll give me. Her hands pull at the base of my neck, desperate to have me closer as the heat in our kiss grows deeper as the song comes to a close.

After breaking apart, I rest my forehead on hers, running my thumb across her bottom lip. Then I sing the very last line, holding her close.

I kissed the prettiest girl I’ve every laid eyes on while dancing on the tailgate of my truck in the middle of nowhere, and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Guaranteed.

~ BOOK TRAILER ~

Book Trailer

~ TEASERS ~

Change Rein teaser 7 Change Rein Teaser 6 Change Rein Teaser 5 Change Rein Teaser 4 Change Rein Teaser 3 Change Rein Teaser 2 Change Rein Teaser 1

~ OTHER BOOKS BY ANNE JOLIN ~

Rock Falls Series

Chasing Rhodes, Book 1

BBreaking Bennett, Book 3

Keeping King, Book #4

Anne Jolin

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ANNE JOLIN ~

Hey y’all,

I was born and raised in Ladner, a small farm town just outside Vancouver, Canada. I grew up riding horses, shooting guns, and driving in trucks.

I never expected to be an author. A massage therapist? Yes. Take over the family construction company? Yes. But an author? No. Writing was something that snuck up on me and rooted itself into my life. It was beautiful to discover that love, and I’m truly grateful to say I’ve found my passion.

Since I’ve always been a creative person, it feels amazing to harness all of that energy and use it to tell a story I love. I enjoy incorporating bits of my real life into the stories I write. What parts are true? Hah. I’ll never tell—what would be the fun in that?

If I could leave y’all with one thing, it’s that life’s far too short to not live it out loud. Drown in your passions, hold on tight to the things that inspire you, and chase your dreams relentlessly. I can promise you without a doubt that you won’t regret it. I know I don’t.

Mad love,

Anne Jolin

xx

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