Title: Ryker’s Justice
Author: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Length : 133 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 3/5 - Blush Worthy
Ryker’s an ATF agent sent undercover to his home in the Ozarks to bust a moonshine ring that’s showing major growth and poisoning (through bad chemicals used in making the moonshine). After being imbedded in the town for a while, he meets guest Nicole, who’s recovering from a divorce with her slimeball of an ex-husband.
The bad: Ryker’s been in town for 6 months. It’s only then (as the story starts) that he conveniently talks to certain people (it’s a small town – how did he avoid talking to her before then, esp. since no one knew he was a cop?). Certain individuals scream out “I’m a moonshiner” and he knows that, but never looks further into it…until the story starts. When connections turn up between the moonshine ring and Nicole’s ex-husband, it’s convenient that the only name she remembers of people her husband might have come to town with is one that turns out to be important. It just smacked too much of convenience, the entire plot.
The good: I liked that we got a feeling of the backwoods/hick-ish environment that one might think exists in the Ozarks. I won’t speak to how true to life it is, but I liked the culture (so to speak) of the small town. Ryker’s casual and ongoing enjoyment of things that I’d never think of eating (squirrel and squirrel stew) gave me a real window into a different way of life. Nicole was sweet in her own way and really deserved to find a good man after her scum of a husband. These two were good for each other.
Thanks to the author for sending this to review!
Author: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Length : 115 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read
Heat: 3/5 - Blush Worthy
Devlin’s a returned veteran has PTSD. Gracie is a hard-working college student trying to better her life.
First,–kudos to Ms. Sontheimer-Murphy for a book about PTSD. I really appreciate the effort she put forward in having a hero with such a debilitating problem that face so many now a days.
I liked both Devlin and Gracie, though I thought at times Gracie was a bit too ‘oh woe is me, I’m poor and have to work…’ and her attitude toward her customers (while probably quite legit for someone in customer service) sucked. Devlin though pulled at the heart-strings every chance he got. I have a soft spot for veterans and really appreciated his trouble adjusting back to life. It was heartbreaking that he felt so adrift and lost after what he’d done on the battlefield that he was considering making a very, VERY bad decision.
Gracie got better as the book went on, thanks to Devlin and her need to be with him outweighing her work-a-holic tendencies. Overall, I was really rooting for these two and was glad to see how they brought it together in the end.
Genre - Romance
Length - Novel (122 pages)
TBR Reviewer - Daniella
As a little girl, Catherine dreamed she'd marry Connor one day and as teenagers, that dream seemed within reach. Until Connor ended their relationship, leaving town and breaking Catherine's heart. Ten years later, far from the old hometown, Catherine reports for work as a nurse one snowy January evening and learns that her new patient is none other than her old love, Connor. When he recognizes her, all the old feelings stir but a few sparks fly, too. As Connor recovers from an accident, Catherine realizes she loves him more than ever and he seems to love her as well. But after he leaves the hospital and convalesces at her home, his real life intrudes into their quiet time together. Then Connor leaves Catherine behind and she stays until a message sends her speeding to Kansa sCity, to Connor's club... On Valentine's Day.
This blurb from the publisher actually summarizes all the main events of the book. This story was well written and a quick, romantic read. Catherine and Connor are really meant for each other. Even though Connor left Catherine when they were young, one can feel the instant connection and love between them when they are reunited. Both characters feel well rounded, especially Connor. He is a tough guy, a picky eater and a whiny patient, and a very tender man with Catherine. Some of the conflict in the story does feel a little forced,
mostly because Catherine seems so level-headed and calm, and therefore it is a little surprising that she overreacts so badly to some situations. Also some things that come up and that would be easily solved were made complicated, to the point were it doesn´t feel realistic.
Still it was a very sweet read about the two reunited lovers and how everything was set right between them.
As the temperature drops, the women in this collection of stories find naughty and delicious ways to warm up for the holidays. A boss with a proposal to make her sweat, a promise from an Italian assistant, a cabin in the middle of nowhere with two men waiting to cater to her every desire, a special surprise for a lonely solider... All of these encounters and more from ten talented authors. Get ready for some holiday loving...Evernight style.
Just because you grow up doesn´t mean Santa is not keeping an eye on you. I enjoyed these 10 Holiday themed stories about men and women who definitely made both the nice
and naughty list.
The proposal by London Saint James
Grace is having one of those days where nothing seems to go right. She oversleeps, her bitch of a boss is in a bad mood and things just seem to tumble downhill as the day goes on. That is until she gets a proposal she just can´t refuse from co-worker Dravin. We have all had those days where everything seems to go wrong. I just wish that my bad days ended as orgasmic as Grace´s. This story feels like such a teaser, setting up a nice and hot mood between Grace and Dravin. At the end I just feel like I want more, more, more.
Chasing Miss Kringle by C.R. Moss
Jack Vorst is not feeling the holiday spirit, and has stopped Believing in his own happiness and love. He spends all his time immersed in his work as a PI. The firm he works for handles not only regular bail jumpers, but paranormal occurrences too. When Jack meets beautiful and mysterious Kristina Cristkindle, the feelings he had long since forgotten resurface. This was a sweet read where Jack finally found the person to make him feel something again and Kristina found someone who liked her for who she is and not just for what she can do. The mystery in the story is of course only a mystery to Jack. The reader definitely knows what is going on from the start. An overall sweet read with some good hot elements.
Snow Angel by Jezebel Jorge
Up and coming romance novelist Minerva Madison has lost her inspiration to write. She has been signed on for two more books and is feeling the pressure from both her publisher and fans. When she lands her car in a pile of snow on Christmas Eve she is rescued by a gorgeous Good Samaritan named Brian Carson. Two strangers meet and have one night together. Still I can feel that connection and tenderness between them. My one complaint about this story is that it was full of spelling mistakes. Take those out and this is a steamy and romantic Holiday story.
Naughty & Nice by Lila Shaw
We all know that Santa has a workshop where toys for kids are made. What few people know though is that the workshop also has a Succubus/Incubus department to cater the needs of the adults on Santa´s nice list. Succubus Chrissy is sent to a remote and isolated island where Captain Marcus Torino and Lieutenant David Ramsey are stationed on a secret spy mission. Chrissy is sent there to deliver a sexy Christmas present to the one of the two men who is on Santa´s nice list. I think this extra department of Santa´s is a fun idea. With a
succubus as a main character one can only expect lots and lots of sex and this story doesn´t fail to deliver that. The twist in the end was interesting, although it made me a little confused
about the characters involved. What I am certain of, being on Santa´s naughty list is not such a bad thing.
Making the naughty list by Seleste Delaney
When Daisy was a teenager she was rescued from a life on the streets and got an employment with Santa himself. A job with many perks including an insane retirement package. She is given a special mission from Santa that sends her to a club in a sparkly cocktail dress, high heels and no underwear. The only thing she knows is that she is looking for Gage Thomas, who needs help getting off the naughty list. When she finds Gage she is entranced by the man, but seems to end up with more questions than answers. I really liked this story. It had just the right mix of good and likeable characters, romance, hot sex and a little mystery. There are some side characters that seem to be important, but never really
make it into the story. It´s not really a big thing and didn´t disturb the story that much, but it still sort of left me hanging.
A very naughty Christmas by Carolyn Rosewood
Nita has had a tough year. Not only did she find out that her husband has been living a double life with another family, she also lost her job. When she gets lost in a snow storm she sees a house where she hopes to find a phone and some directions. Never could she know that she would find so much more. She is invited in by the house´s two residents Alex and Cameron, two very attractive, willing and caring men. Lucky for Nita she doesn´t have to chose between the two, as they come as a two for one package deal. This was one of the more erotic stories of the bunch. Even though the story is mainly focused on sex I still feel the deeper connection between Nita and the guys. The story and the relationship between
the characters are based on some strange coincidences and it walks a very fine line between creepy stalker and sweet devoted guys.
Promises by Xondra Day
Leda James really hates the holiday season. Having no nice childhood memories of the Holidays it is just a stressful time. She just doesn´t do the family thing and declines an invitation to spend Christmas with her very nice and very handsome employee at the bakery, Joey, and his family. She has long tried to ignore her attraction to Joey, but when they are snowed in together, they just can´t resist the temptation of each other. Now it is up to Joey to show Leda that the Christmas Holidays can indeed be a wonderful, happy and sexy
time. This was a decent short story and I am glad that Joey and Leda got caught in the snow storm so they could share some time together.
Santa´s little helper by Kelly Yeakle
Miranda Wilson is a spoiled party girl and her father has had enough. If she wants to keep her trust fund she has to find a job, prove that she can be responsible and make something of herself. However, having no experience at all makes it hard to find a job, especially so
close to the Holidays. Luckily Craig Davis, owner of a department store, takes pity on her and gives her a job as a helper in Santa´s photo booth. When Craig and Miranda give in to their mutual attraction, Miranda has to prove not only that she can be responsible and keep a job, she also needs to show Craig that she can be serious in a relationship and plan for a
future. I liked the building romance between Miranda and Craig. Even though Miranda is pretty spoiled and a little naïve, she isn´t mean or stupid, so she is quite likeable to start with. A light and engaging story that really makes me root for Miranda.
Mistletoe Masquerade by Alaska Angelini
Jeanie is tired of being the shy and insecure girl. An invitation to a Holiday Masquerade party from a secret admirer gives Jeanie just the chance she has been waiting for. With the security of hiding behind a mask she gets a chance to reinvent herself and let go of her inhibitions. It turns out that she has not only one, but two secret admirers, Jared and Edward. The story starts down one path, doesn´t really follow through and then takes a turn and starts down another one. After this rocky start the story gets going and the heat level rises. It ends with sweet and naughty satisfaction.
Letter to Santa by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
It all starts with a Christmas wish and a letter to Santa. Elise doesn´t want to be alone for Christmas and hopes that a letter to Santa will help her. When the door bell rings on Christmas Eve and Elise opens the door to a man resonating with sex appeal she is certain he is her Christmas present. When she invites Nicholas in her house and in her bed she never expected to find a man that she wants to keep for more than just the Holidays. The erotic part of the story took off very quickly. The rest of the story and explanations came later.
This is something that I normally do not like, but the author managed to catch my attention, throw me into the story and I definitely bought it. It is nice to know that a Christmas wish and some good karma can give you what you need.
Mystery, romance - Novel
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
Reid Ramsay is still in love with Caroline Cunningham. As they work together searching for Reid's brother, Reid and Caro finding themselves attempting to rebuild the life they once shared together. But their future remains uncertain. Before they can find the happiness they seek, each must work through the emotional baggage of the past and test the theory they desperately hope rings true.
When you love someone so deeply does that feeling ever really go away? Even when you can’t be with that person when love maybe just isn’t enough, does it still continue to grow and if that person called you out of the blue some years later needing help, would you go? For Caroline the answer is yes because for Reid she’d go through hell it’s self to help him and she might have to.
This book isn’t going to be for everyone because the real beauty of the story is the back plot otherwise this might be too simple for some. While I liked the main plot and thought the author did a good job of holding up the suspense and mystery it didn’t compare to the secondary message that she was pushing. It’s a sweet romance that really goes in-depth about love. It makes you think about, can your first love be the person that’s actually your forever love. Can love really conquer all or is love sometimes just not enough and if it isn’t is there away for someone to learn how to build the blocks to make it so.
Everything about this book pulled me in and kept me interested. The small community and the details put into the town life to these characters even the secondary ones. For those willing to read between the lines this is a romance sure to leave an impression.
Caroline jolted awake when the phone rang, loud and insistent, beside her bed. Telephone calls at night always scared her, too often portents of bad news, illness or death. Hands
shaking, blinking sleep from her eyes, she snatched up the receiver, breathless. “Hello?”
“I need you. Will you come home?”
His voice hit her like a fist in the stomach, sucked the air from her lungs, and caused her heart to beat an erratic rhythm. She thought she should have forgotten the sound of his
voice, the deep, low rumble that streamed into her ears; she'd tried hard enough in the last five years but clearly she'd failed. He didn't identify himself but he didn't need to – she would have known his voice anywhere, anytime, anyplace. At fifteen, she embroidered his name on her heart with blood red stitches. Another woman would search for the courage to hang up or tell him he dialed a wrong number but Caroline wouldn't do that. She couldn’t. She still
loved him and that knowledge destroyed every defense she'd built. It smashed through them all and left her vulnerable. “What’s wrong?”
“Just come, Caroline. If you still love me... “
“I do.” She interrupted him, saying it before he had to ask. Long ago, a wise woman told her that love never dies and it was true. If anything in her life held meaning, it was that.
“Then you’re coming?”
“I’ll come today.”
“I’ll see you then. You know where to go, don’t you?”
“Yes, Reid, I do and I’ll be there.”
He said nothing and she thought he'd hung up the phone but just before she put down the receiver, she heard him whisper. “I love you, Caro.”
His tender words caught her hard and strangled her throat with unshed tears. Her bedside alarm clock read 2:15 in big, green numerals but she knew she wouldn't sleep again so she
got up, made the bed with stiff, neat corners, and fixed coffee. After she drank the first cup, she packed a single suitcase. Online, she bought her plane ticket and before daylight streaked the sky, she called a taxi and rode to the airport. In rapid sequence, she checked her bag and boarded the flight, her mind already back there, with him.
Not accustomed to moving with such swiftness, Caroline felt like she hadn't breathed from the moment she answered the phone until she was in the air, winging eastward back toward Neosho. Her hometown. And his.
Ms. Murphy is giving away an ecopy to one luck winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends December 18th.
Paranormal, Erotica, Anthology - Novel
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
No matter what your fantasy, these sinfully naughty tales are certain to keep you reading
late into the night...
Midnight Seduction is an exclusive collection of erotically charged stories by thirteen talented authors. From dark angels and vampires, to ghosts and kelpies, this anthology is sure to please paranormal romance lovers everywhere. Fulfill your wanton desires and escape into a world where anything is possible.
The creatures that live in the night come out to play but instead of terrifying, their out to seduce. What do you do when a nightmare become fantasy? Thirteen tales sure to give you the shivers but is it out of fear or passion?
Going Berserk by Alexandra O'Hurley
A berserker has waited a long time to find his mate but he has to save her from his enemies before he can have her. As if that isn’t enough, he has to some how convince his human mate that she isn’t going crazy. I loved the plot, when do you ever read about a berserker outside of Norwegian legend that is? Add to the fact that the characters were really in-depth despite this being a short story. The author completely get’s across to you, Jakob’s need for solace and Kara’s compassion and heart. I did feel that the story ended rather abrupt, I waited for the To Be Continued sign but it never came. That aside it was a wickedly, fun read.
Bad Things by Luxie Ryder
What’s a girl to do when she finds herself stranded alone at a Halloween party surrounded by vampires. Find the sexiest vampire and have him protect her of course! I can’t express how much I love Keisha. She’s feisty, a scaredy cat, and just plan fun. She the type of girl you meet and know your going to be instant friends with. Tobias is just plain sex on a stick with a chivalrous alpha attitude. This was a fun read that had me fanning my face and not all of that
was because I was laughing.
The Yearning by Emma Shortt
When you go looking for a vampire on Hollow’s Eve, you might not get what you were expecting but instead you might find yourself in the arms of the wrong monster. This vampire isn’t as gentle as the last one and Sarah quickly realizes that she just might not survive to see another Halloween. The plot was interesting, full of details, and the heat factor was really
hot. I got Sarah, I got why she did something incredibly stupid. I loved how protective Anton is even when it comes to himself. What I didn’t understand was the pull that they had for each other. It’s a small thing that really didn’t take away from the story but left me with some questions. All together I enjoyed this story especially as it stepped away from the normal vampire romance plot.
Trixie's Treats by Kelly Yeakle. Be Warned: f/f interaction
What’s a witch to do when she’s lonely. Cook up a spell of course! But things don’t go as expected when Trixie put’s the spell on the wrong person. Is it a mistake or fate? I really enjoyed the start of the story, it was fun and easy with tons of details. I didn’t necessarily like Trixie at the beginning between her narcissism and selfishness, however I found some redeeming qualities by the end and she was just so in-depth that you completely got her. Trent was a mess of contradictions but he was the underdog you can’t help rooting for. This was really a good story except for one thing, the use of the word Wicca. If the author had just stuck to the word witch than I could have easily just enjoyed the fantasy but as soon as the word Wicca was brought in, I became insulted. Wicca has a strict set of codes that Wiccans adhere to. While there are spells, there isn’t any as described in this story, that still could have been easily overlook. However, what I couldn’t overlook was the disrespect towards a Wiccans belief in threefold. It is essential to the Wicca’s belief as the bible to a Christian. Personally I found the use of this religion in the story without knowledge of the religion rather offensive.
Ghost of a Chance by Carolyn Rosewood
Tess’s aunt has died and left her house to all of them. Tess heads to the house on Halloween to find out once and for all if the house is haunted. If the man in the painting that’s haunted her fantasies for years is more than just her imagination. When Jack shows up, Tess isn’t sure she is as brave as she once thought. The plot is captivating with intricate details of family, betrayal, and spells. I also really enjoyed the characters. Jack is a charming rouge who must redeem himself in order to ever know happiness again. You love him all the more for his imperfections. Tess is a normal girl that longs for the normal life but none of the men she finds can ever hold a candle to the fantasies that have always haunted her, you can easily feel her longing. There was just so much in this story that I was really surprised by the rather choppy ending. Despite the ending, this was an awesome read and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Shadows of Desire by Pepper Anthony
Roderick writes horror but it doesn’t mean he believes in it. When Philippa comes to investigate the haunted house she finds the home owner to be a complete non-believer. However the disbelief quickly changes to belief as the house picks up activity. What could the ghosts be up to by trapping them in the house? I loved Philippa’s character, who has this amazing ability to always look on the bright side. She’s full of spit but it’s well hidden behind the cheerfulness. Roderick starts of full of staunch and all grumpy, he just wants to write his book and be left alone. However, this quickly wanes in the face of Philippa’s charm. While he isn’t instantly smitten, thanks to the ghosts it’s not long before he is ensnared. Besides being an interesting read chalked full of details, it’s also hot. The steam literally rises off the pages. The only thing I hated about the story was that it ended, it was just that good.
Midnight Masquerade by D. F. Krieger
Anya longs for something but it’s just out of her reach despite being a witch. She doesn’t know what it is that’s she is longing for until the masquerade ball. There she meets him, Master. Can she let go over her fear, have faith and embrace her fate. I’m still shivering from this story and it isn’t out of fear. It speaks to all of us who can’t help but believe in fate but are tempered by logic. When do you take a chance instead of treading carefully? Master is domineering without being brutish, there are slight traces of vulnerability that made the story all the more sweeter. Anya is vulnerable and submissive but we find out quickly that doesn’t mean cowardly. Everything about this story was intriguing. I highly recommend to those that like mystery with their paranormal.
Kissing Darkness by Fionn Jameson
What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted and it wasn’t even intentional. Willa has hunted incubuses, they’re ways might be seductive but they are still evil monsters that feed off humans. That’s what she has always believed until she meets Pax. Now she must decide if she really believes all incubus are alike and if so, Pax dies. Willa is a wounded soul and doesn’t really know it. Lonely, jaded, vulnerable, and a complete hard ass. Pax is the opposite of Willa, laid back with a take everything in stride philosophy. The story moved so quickly that if you blinked, you’d miss it. However rather than take away from the story the author played it to her advantage and had me on the edge of my seat with excitement. I really didn’t know whether Pax would live or die. I would have loved for this to be longer but since it wasn’t, I’m really hoping we haven’t heard the end of these characters. I can’t wait to read more.
Crimson Sin by London Saint James
Grace walks this world and the other side. She lives between the two worlds never really feeling complete in either one. The only time she feels complete is in her demon lover’s arms. Many seek to tear them apart. Is there any way for them to survive intact and together? The plot is unique and captivating. It’s darkly disturbing going against what we’ve been taught to believe but that only makes it all the more intriguing. Grace uses her gifts for good, to console the grieving or to find the missing but despite her compassionate loving heart she can’t turn away from her lover, a fallen angel. He is far from good, he is a demon whose turned from God, but his utter devotion and love for Grace makes for a huge redeeming quality to his character. The ending though left me utterly confused and baffled. I re-read
several times but still couldn’t come to a conclusion as to what happened to them.
Soul Reaver by Kastil Eavenshade Be Warned: involves non-consensual sex
Maurizio has no choice but to collect souls for Satan. He doesn’t like it but there is no other alternative for him unless he wants to die. Amanda is the first time that he has touched a soul so pure and it resonates with him but Amanda has secrets of her own that may mean the end of Maurizio. Is there anyway for him to escape from Satan to live a life of his own, with Amanda. Maurizio pulled at my heart strings and continued to do so through out the book. The author did an amazing job of painting a picture of this wounded soul that balanced between good and evil so precariously. I wanted so badly for him to have a happy ending. However his happy ending came at the price of me not liking Amanda. Despite this though, I really enjoyed the story and will read it again because I loved Maurizio that much.
Deal With the Devil by Anna Keraleigh Be Warned: anal sex
Eryn traded her soul to the devil for revenge on her husband that killed her. Now she haunts the graveyard that she died in, with a kiss she steals souls. When Quinn comes along, he is so unlike any man she has ever met and she begins to re-evaluate what she always believed of them but how can a ghost/demon and a human man have a life together. There are so many things that I loved about this story. The characters are anything but perfect and quite frankly, Eryn would be easy to dislike if you didn’t completely understand how she got to where she was. That is good writing when you can’t help but love a character despite themselves. The plot was a combination of dark and fun. The story ended on a bit of a mystery but it’s written really well in that you don’t feel that your missing anything. I simply felt that the author left some mystery and magic for the readers imagination. My only complaint is the anal sex, it just wasn’t accurate. However this is a small complaint really because I absolutely loved this story!
Last Call for Love by Lila Shaw
Penn has loved Joe for two years but there is no chance of them being together. She sold her soul centuries ago to never die and now she is an incubus. Her master is a jealous demon that will never allow her victims to remember that she existed. She can’t let that happen with Joe so instead she must resist. Penn is a catty incubus who doesn’t really like other women but you quickly learn that this is more to do with her not liking herself. Despite or more
because of being an incubus she is not only jaded but withered with no self-esteem. Seeing her blossom with Joe was beautiful. The ending completely took me by surprise though, in a good way. Which I loved because it so rarely happens. The was a sweet, enjoyable read.
Salem by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Amelia knows the instant that she sees him that he will mean something to her. That he will change her life. She just isn’t sure if this life altering connection will be good or bad. She begins to start remembering her past life with him but it’s not fast enough to know if she can trust him in this life. The author packed what amounts to a book into a short story. I still don’t know how she managed to make it seem so long. It felt as though it walked right
off the pages and began to play as though a movie. I became entranced in the world that she created and could easily feel Amelia’s frustration as she waited but she didn’t know what she waited for. I fell in love with Nat right along with Amelia, He is such a contradiction, he exudes large amounts of confidence and yet with Amelia he is heartbreakingly eager. I don’t have one complaint, this was a joy to read.
Excerpt of Deal With The Devil by Anna Keraleigh
Then I died.
My body did. My soul, that was lost. Handed over to the devil. And if that had been the end of Ms. Eryn Derdrum, then I would’ve considered it a righteous conclusion. But the devil is as sly as the stories say.
“You are hereby bound to this cemetery.” He spoke but his lips didn’t move. “You’ll find me more souls. With one kiss, they’ll be doomed to the same fate as you.” He bent at the waist. A redskinned hand with long sharp claws pressed against the gaping wound in my chest. “You’ll give me one thousand souls to earn your freedom.”
“You bastard.” I tried to express my anger but the words were barely a whisper.
“On All Hallows Eve you may revert back to your human form. One day a year, you can roam free, Ms. Derdrum. Until then, you are mine.” The devil laughed and it wasn’t an evil laugh. It was more like a snort, a rumble of sound like distant thunder.
I felt the life returning. My body began to convulse, his words rolled around my mind, and then I jerked off my feet. Color drained from my body, and the white gown I’d loved since
childhood knitted together.
This was the first night of many. My own personal nightmare because of my deal with the devil.
Ms. Keraleigh is giving away a ecopy away to TWO lucky winners! Comment below to enter. Contest ends December 6th.