Review: Emerald

EmeraldEmerald by Elle Casey
My Rating: 2-Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: available now
Formats: Kindle Unlimited, eBook ($4), Paperback ($10)

Emerald Collins is a small-town, hippie-esque girl from a community farm, where she lives with her three “moms” and one of her sisters, Rose. Her other sister, Amber, left for NYC and invites Emerald to come visit. On day one of the visit, Sam Stanz—the brother of Amber’s boyfriend, Ty—shows up unannounced, and Amber is pulled away from NYC on business, leaving Emerald and Sam alone.

Along with all that, there’s a ridiculous amount of exposition you need to suffer through at the onset, peppered with Emerald’s childish language and obnoxious musings.

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Review: The Hellion

The HellionThe Hellion by Christi Caldwell
My Rating: 4-Stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: available now
Formats: Kindle Unlimited, eBook ($5), Paperback ($10)

The Hellion is book #1 in the Wicked Wallflowers series. While it’s a nice introduction to the Killoran family, it should have been the final installation in its predecessor series, Sinful Brides. For that reason alone, I detracted a star from an otherwise excellent story.

Cleopatra Killoran will give up everything if it means protecting her sisters. When their older brother arranges one of the ladies to be sponsored for the London Season by their former gaming hell rivals, Cleo steps into a world she detests. The timing couldn’t be worse: the Hell and Sin Club was just destroyed in a fire, and suspicions are high regarding her family’s involvement.

Adair Thorne could do nothing to save his family’s gaming hell. In one night, the Hell and Sin Club, along with his home and his future, was consumed in a blaze. Now residing at his brother’s home, he tasked with keeping watch on Cleopatra, and ensuring that she isn’t doing anything devious. This puts the two in constant contact and at constant odds, and soon the couple discover that there’s much more behind the roughened street image they each possess.

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Review: Beg, Borrow or Steal

Beg, Borrow or StealBeg, Borrow or Steal by Susie Tate
My Rating: 3.5-Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: available now
Formats: Kindle Unlimited, eBook ($3)

Libby Penny is a single mom trying to get through med school while also paying the bills. Jamie Grantham is an accomplished anesthetist and the Medical Education Director, who is aghast when one of his students falls asleep during a lecture. Jamie meets Libby, and sparks fly.

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A Month of Reading: May Book Reviews

This month I was out of town for ten days and, as a result, didn’t spend much time with my nose in a book. During long car rides I caught up on the spring issue of Dunes Review; on the side I tackled another Netgalley ARC, read Ruby Dixon’s latest release, was thoroughly amused by KFC’s Mother’s Day “gift” to the literary world, and finished the Wager of Hearts series.

Yes, you read correctly above—this is where I review KFC’s novella, Tender Wings of Desire. Reviews are in order of date read. (My star ratings are explained here.)

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Dunes Review Volume 21 Issue 1 (Spring 2017)  4.5-Stars

Michigan Writers literary journal, Dunes Review, released its first issue for 2017 in late April. I attended the reading and was quite impressed by the variety and quality of various works inside. After reading through the entire issue on vacation, here are my favorites:

  • Duet by Joanna White: This was the first poem presented at the reading, and I think the beauty of it spoken made me appreciate it much more. The author and her husband are both musicians, but were unable to attend the reading, so a male and female presenter stood in. The male presenter read the left stanza, the female presenter the right, then they re-read both stanzas by alternating turns for each line. I love the ingenuity and beauty of it all.
  • To the Story Girl by Joanna White: This one resonated with me because I am a fan of the short story that the poem is a response to: The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams.

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Review: Pieces of Me

Pieces of Me Book CoverPieces of Me by Shiloh Walker
My Rating: 2.5-Stars
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle Unlimited, Kindle (~$3), Paperback ($12.99)

Pieces of Me is the story of Shadow Harper, starting with her uneasy life in South Carolina several years following her divorce to her horribly abusive and 15-years-older ex-husband, Stefan. He was never convicted due to his high-powered connections, and so Shadow lives a life of fear, distrust, and isolation. She is constantly watched by a neighbor paid to report back to Stefan, and has only two friends and her sketching to keep her company.

“I ran away from him once, but he just found another way to torment me. That fear of him still haunts me, controls me.”

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