Monthly Archives: February 2016

BLACKOUT by M.J. Schiller (Book Review)

Max. The consummate ladies’ man.

He’s good looking, but not an absolute knockout. With Max’s charm though, he could have any woman he wants. Once he meets Faith, he doesn’t want anyone else.

Eli. He is a knockout.

But a dark past shadows him and holds him captive. Drinking dulls the pain, but meeting Faith makes him want to change all that.

Faith. She loves them both.

When a blackout brings her together with Eli, she’s happier than she’s ever been before. When another blackout tears them apart, Max is there to pick up the pieces. But can she forget the man who first made her whole?



(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
I learned something new while reading this book. I had no clue construction workers were ever actually propositioned to do a little work privately, if you know what I mean. *winks* 
I can see the appeal though. Their work attire does scream, “Hammer me.” *smiling*
Ok, silliness aside, lets get to the nitty-gritty of this tale. 

BLACKOUT is practically depicting every reason why you should never drink and drive, consume too much alcohol, or think a single drink is a good idea when you’re an alcoholic. 

Eli’s drinking caused Faith emotional, physical and psychological pain. Despite every pain he caused her, direct and indirectly, she kept forgiving him. She’s a poster-child for being an enabler. 

I realize through the glimpses into the future everyone got their happy ending but in my opinion she chose the wrong man. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤



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Never Give Up by Heidi Lis (Book Review)


Micah Taylor My first love. My first time. My first heartbreak. Letting him in was easy. Forgetting him was damn near impossible. Five years have now passed…never forgetting. Five long years that couldn’t erase…his memories…my regrets. Now he’s back! What happens when the heartbreak of the past discovers your most guarded secret? IT’S THE MOMENT THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Lies are told, secrets are exposed, and the heartache of the past force me to reveal the most sacred part of my soul. The day I feared the most was now upon me. How can I survive this yet again? Losing him once was bad enough…losing him a second time would destroy me. I do the only thing I can… I’m Elsa Winters, and this is my story.

PURCHASE LINKS: Paperback – Kindle
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
I can empathize with losing a first love and the emotional toll it causes by finding each other again. It might cause an individual(s) to act out of character. However, I believe Micah and Elsa’s actions were hurtful to the ones they supposedly cared about. 
1.) Micah asked to speak to Elsa alone (in her room) while his GF (Elsa’s roomie Liza) and her man, Nick, stay in the kitchen in shock at the revelation Ace is really Micah, Elsa’s one and true love. Nick is furious at them being alone together because Elsa is finally moving forward with him. Liza trusts Elsa so she says its ok. They need closure. This is where the pain really begins for Liza and Nick. Micah and Liza kiss and not a sweet peck either. He states he will leave Liza for her if given the chance; even though, he claimed to be developing deep feelings for Liza. Sorry but that’s FUBAR!!
2.) Later that same night, Micah leaves a drunken, upset, sleeping Liza to come back to Elsa where they have sex together. He didn’t break up with Liza until the following day. Again, WTBH!! 
3.) When Liza returns to their apartment, Elsa asks how could she be with Micah and not hurt her (Liza). Shouldn’t she have thought about that, oh say, before she shagged Micah? No, she didn’t put Liza or Nick’s feelings into the equation until after the fact.  I will say Liza handled the situation better than most people. As for Micah and Elsa, I for one am ashamed they couldn’t have date nights at his place so Liza had time to deal with the awkward turn of events. Nope, they again didn’t think of her feelings at all. Pity.
With all that said, I want to briefly touch base on the plot surrounding the child, Michael. Without going into much detail so I don’t ruin it for others, I will only say I have mixed feelings on this. Again, no one comes out of this unscathed. 
I want to end this review on a happy note and the reason why I gave this book a score of 2 instead of 1.  Liza and Nick will get their HEA and Matt, well, is a big ball of hunky sunshine. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤

Heidi grew up in the Midwest, but currently resides with her husband and four children in the Pacific Northwest. Heidi most enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Between raising her children and obsessing over her favorite reads, she has let the storyteller within herself come to life.
With the love and support of her family, she is following her dream while teaching her children how important it is to follow theirs. She prides herself in believing that anything is possible, the first step is believing in yourself.
Heidi’s passionate and loving style in which she lives her life comes through in her writing. Her heart has led her down the genre path of a contemporary and suspense romance writer, but she has plans to extend her vision into other genres as well

Amazon Author Page / Facebook / Goodreads


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Smooched & Scrumptious by Carol Rose (2 Book Reviews)

(Blue Collar Boys, Bk 1)

When Case Thompson’s oldest brother and his wife die in a car accident, Case is stunned to learn that they had chosen him as the guardian for their 8 year old daughter Kaylie. Never much of a family guy, Case soon finds himself packing school lunches and helping with homework. In addition to Kaylie, his brother left him in charge of Scruffy Boys Architectural Salvage, the family business. Just as Case is getting the hang of dealing with accounts during the day and PTA meeting at night, Merritt Morgan, his deceased sister-in-law’s twin rolls into town determined to take an active roll in Kaylie’s life.

Dr. Merritt Morgan regrets the gulf she allowed to grow between her and her twin sister Annie after their mother’s death. While she can’t fix past mistakes, she is determined to change things with Kaylie. But first she needs to overcome Case’s skepticism that she deserves a place in Kaylie’s life. Easier said than done when it comes to Case Thompson who is both stubborn and steaming hot and makes her feel things that no other man has ever made her feel.

Against her father’s wishes, she takes a leave of absence from her medical residency to grow closer to her twin’s daughter. But she’s unprepared for the way the handsome Case makes her feel and the memories of her sister. Can they overcome the past? Will Case learn to trust Merritt with his dead brother’s child?

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
My heart went out to Kaylie. Losing one parent is hard enough but losing both, at the same time, poor little girl. Thank goodness she had uncles and grandparents who were there to her help. She also had an estranged aunt who suddenly appeared in her life. 
Merritt took a month long break from her residency to get to know her niece and in that time she got to know one particular uncle real well — Case. He didn’t trust Merritt at first. Heck, throughout the story he questioned her intentions. He lost his brother and feared Merritt and her father planned to take his niece away as well. I don’t blame him. I’d been leery too. 
But when he let his guard down, they were so cute together. I particularly liked her sneaking out of his house the day after they first had sex when his brother came a knocking.  They were behaving like teenagers. Of course, I completely understand the need to keep their extracurricular activities below the radar. 
Another memorable moment was when she fainted at the sight of her own blood. Other people bleed — no problem. She bleeds a bit and TIMBER!! Too funny. 
One last thing I want to mention before I wrap this review up — the treehouse. It had everything a kid could want and more including: dorm fridge, swinging bridge, veranda, bed, sconces, and a freaking microwave. Oh, and a freaking chandelier. 
Forget Barbie’s Dream House, I want myself a treehouse. 🙂
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5
Score: ❤❤❤❤

(Blue Collar Boys, Bk 2)

Natalie Trafalger’s ailing grandmother is determined to sue for land that was swindled from her in order to have a legacy to leave her granddaughter, Natalie faces a dilemma. She doesn’t doesn’t need the land, which now is now owned by a thriving salvage company, but she doesn’t want to disappoint her grandmother either. After much soul searching she finally hits on what she believes is the perfect solution.

Noah Thompson is shocked when his lawyer tells him that that Natalie has a good case against him and his family’s salvage company, Scruffy Boys Salvage. He stunned when Natalie come to him with her solution. If he will pretend to be her finance, her grandmother will believe that she will get the land after their marriage and no lawsuit will be necessary.

Unfortunately, he and his brothers have just taken out a loan to finance a new building, and there is no extra money for an expensive lawsuit. If he wants to avoid a lawsuit, he will have to agree to Natalie’s crazy plan. He will pretend to her fiancé as long as her dying grandmother is still alive. Given how sick Natalie’s grandmother is, how long could the charade possibly go on for?

But almost immediately he realizes that he has made tremendous mistake. While Noah will do almost anything he can to help the family business, he’s unprepared for how Natalie makes him feel. And he soon realizes that he doesn’t want the fake engagement to end, ever.



(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Natalie was such a high-spirited woman, how could you not adore her. She brought joy to Noah’s world when she wasn’t being a pain in his ass. His words. 🙂 
Below, I’d like highlight my favorite two favorite moments. 
1.) His reaction when she was holding the snake. Noah will never live down his unmanly squeal or scrambling away from the evil reptile. 
2.) The paint play fight was a hoot and probably reenacted by many couples around the world. I know I’m guilty of such act. 
They sound like a cute couple, right? Oh, they were. But they weren’t always sweet. Of course, you know there was some lovin’ going on as well.
I did, however, have one WTF moment with this book. Do doctors really stop and view Youtube medical videos for step-by-step instructions on how to perform procedures that are tricky or they don’t have experience handling? Man, I hope not. That bugs me. I think no matter what the emergency, the doctor handling my case should know what the hell he or she is doing. Don’t you? Call me silly but I don’t want to see my doctor raise a finger and tell me to “hold on” while he/she peruses the site looking for instructions on how to fix me.  
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤


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The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé by Diane Burton (Book Showcase)

A PI mystery
She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti?
I picked up the pen before looking at Nora Finley. Even though I was in the middle of a major case, I never turned down a prospective client. At least, not right away. I’d hear her out and then decide.
“What can I do for you?”
Her expression completely changed. The high-powered exec disappeared. In its place, caution and . . . vulnerability. “Ellen VanderVeen said I could trust you.”
I smiled. Ellen and I had been friends since college. That girl had more fashion sense in her baby finger than I did in my entire body.
“Yes, I know Ellen.”
“She said you helped her investigate her fiancé.”
I nodded.
She hesitated and appeared to rethink what she was doing in a private investigator’s office. Quickly, she came to a conclusion. “I’d like you to do the same.”
“You want me to vet your fiancé?”
“He’s not my fiancé. Yet.”
She didn’t explain any further, so I asked, “Why? Do you suspect something?”
“No. Oh, goodness, no.” She pursed her lips before continuing. “My father left me a prosperous financial firm plus a sizeable inheritance. I am not saying that to brag but to explain my concerns. In my younger days, I was, uhm, taken advantage of. I need to be sure this man truly loves me—me, not my money.”
Although nobody would ever mistake me for an heiress, I understood her caution.
“I am almost forty years old,” she said. “I want to have children before I’m too old.”
Again, I understood. I’d recently passed a landmark birthday. The big Three-Oh. Rather than worry about kids, though, I devoted myself to my business. After a rocky start, I was on a pretty even keel. Plenty of work. Not enough time. But I did have plenty of time before settling down with kids. And a husband, of course. I’m kind of old-fashioned like that. I’d thought Nick might— Don’t go there.
“Ma’am, if you’d called for an appointment, I could have saved you a trip. I do not have time to devote to your case.”
A crestfallen Nora Finley stared at me, her mouth slightly open. I guess nobody ever turned her down. While hers might be interesting, I didn’t have a good feeling about this case. A client might want the lowdown on a prospective mate—as I’d discovered before—but they often resented the bearer of bad news. Of course, the client could be grateful if the news was good, like my friend Ellen.
“I will double your usual retainer.”
“It isn’t a matter of money—” Although money never hurt. “—I’m in the middle of a large case that is taking up all of my time.”
“How soon will you finish?” No longer disappointed, she looked calculating.
God save me from rich people who think everyone should drop what they’re doing to attend to them.
“Three weeks, minimum.”
“Good. I will be out of the country for the next four weeks. You may finish your present case then check into Clyde Wilson.”
Well, shit. I mean, shoot. I was trying to break my bad habit of swearing. I had misgivings about this woman. Demanding, she was going to be difficult to work with. She exuded the power that came from old money. Power that expected everyone to drop everything and do her bidding.
But then I’d had difficult clients before and managed them. I could probably wrap up the fraud investigation in a couple of weeks. I’d given myself a cushion when I’d told her three.
Were my misgivings about her enough to turn down double my retainer?
I drew the pad closer to me. “Tell me about this man. Clyde Wilson?”
That better not be a smug look on her face.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
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