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Friday, February 17, 2017

A New Novella to Add to the Elemental Assassin Series!

Nice Guys Bite
Elemental Assassins series novella #15.5
by Jennifer Estep (GoodReads Author)
ebook, 100 pages
published Dec 12, 2016, Pocket Star
Also available in Kindle and Audible editions

GoodReads Summary:
New York Times bestseller Jennifer Estep continues her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series with a novella starring Silvio Sanchez, the vampire assistant of Gin Blanco, as he goes on a holiday date that turns out to be more deadly than romantic.

Working for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party? Only if he decks the hall with bodies...

My Review:
We finally get to see just what Silvio is made of in this novella. He's on his own and really has to rise to the occasion or he won't make it to the party. And that would make the boss quite unhappy as she's gotten him the best Christmas present he could possibly ask for, especially after the night he's had! She doesn't have a clue about computers or phones, but for Silvio, it couldn't be better or more timely. The hug just makes it a sweet moment. Get your copy if you haven't already, to tide you over between Spider fixes.

The next full-length book in the series,
Snared #16, is due out April 25, 2017, from Pocket Books. It's 400 pages, so it's something to sink your teeth into. So far it's got a four and a half star rating from reviewers, so it's looking pretty good!

This was a BookBub acquisition through Amazon. I give my honest review without compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Three for One! And a New Favorite Author!

A Stranger in the Family
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #1
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 3rd, 248 pages
Published April 3, 2011, (first pub April 1, 1995)

GoodReads Summary:
A sexy, intriguing stranger arrives unexpectedly at her Wyoming ranch, threatening the one thing Cambria protects more fiercely than her heart - her family.

Bodie's discovery that he fathered a son 17 years ago starts a search that leads him to the warm and welcoming Weston family. But his response to one member of the family is far more than he ever expected. The sparks between him and Cambria are real ... and so

My Review:
First response: I think I might have just found a new favorite author. Full review soon.

Yup! I gave this first book in the trilogy a 5-star rating, and then I read the rest of the three books! I really enjoyed the way the books were written. I looked through my Kindle library and discovered that I have a half a dozen or so more books by this author, so I must like the story lines in the summaries for her books. I guess you'll be seeing more reviews of her books. But for now, I'm going to do a review of the trilogy all in one. 

The story takes place in Bardville, WY. That's where the Weston Ranch is with its Guest Quarters. Downtown, Jessa Tarrant owns a store called, Nearly Everything, but people mostly just call it Jessa's place. Near to the Weston Ranch(near is relative in WY) is the Circle CR owned by Dax Randall and his son, Will. There's a sheriff that keeps the peace, named Tom Milano. Sheriff Milano talks out of two sides of his mouth, but he makes sure that people are taken care of and they are safe. Those that need the law, get the law and those that need help, get help. He's just waiting to retire while the new sheriff he's picked gets himself elected. But I can't say more about that 'cause that would be a spoiler.

In the first book, Boone Dorsey "Bodie" Smith comes to Bardville looking for the son he didn't know he'd fathered by his high school girlfriend before he went into the Army. He's not much of a people person, so he steps all over things and makes quite a mess. He wants a reservation at the Guest Quarters a couple weeks before they even open for the season. He wants to stay a month when most people stay a couple of days. And he's driving a shiny, top-of-the-line four-wheel-drive vehicle that he parks next to a ramshackle pickup truck that belongs to the ranch. Ted and Irene Weston's daughter, Cambria, knows he's up to something from the very beginning, but she can't figure out what. So she won't give him an inch, even though the two are having a hard time resisting each other. Well, book one has its HEA for the couple. Bodie just has to learn that he can't have everything his way all the time.

These characters and situations were drawn with such skill, I read this book in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and I don't usually like the "western" or "cowboy" romances. This one was set in a small town and had cowboys on horses, so it definitely was a cowboy romance, but it just had something that made it so readable, I just didn't want to put it down even to stop to eat. Mr. Blue Cat was kind enough to bring me a mug of soup with some crackers so I could keep going. So sweet! Romance lives!

**This was a Book Bub purchase on Amazon. The following two books were purchased on Amazon at full price after reading the first one. I am providing honest reviews, but am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.**

A Stranger to Love
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #2
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 256 pages
Published Nov 9, 2010

GoodReads Summary:
She's been a stranger to love for so long ... Now, because she will not abandon a boy who is both trouble and troubled, she's tied to this intense, stubborn man who arouses her in ways she's never known ... and who could break her completely.

He's everything she doesn't want, especially a former cop who still has law enforcement in his veins. And she told him that once before, so surely he's not interested in a second chance romance. And, yet, there's that undeniable pull... As well as her recognition that he truly wants what's best for his nephew, even as they disagree on how to accomplish that. And she has a feeling that he's very good at his job. Not that she'd ever need protection in peaceful, small-town Bardville, Wyoming ... will she?

It all comes down to can she take the risk of finding a stranger to love?

Finalist for Virginia Romance Writers' HOLT Award

And my take on book #2?
I only gave the second book a 4-star rating. This one didn't flow as well for me. There was too much interference in it. The sheriff was meddling in things a lot trying to get Cully to stay in Bardville and run for sheriff. And I felt like I was always looking into the dark, out on a dark night, into a dark room, up a dark ladder. I felt like I was squinting and needed to turn on a light. But it was a good story. I liked Jessa's defense of Travis, Cully's nephew. Cully saw him as a bad seed and Jessa saw him as a kid who needed a chance.

I think Ms. McLinn allowed us to see into Jessa more than she allowed us to see into Cully. We got his story objectively and from third parties. Cully never really opened up too much. He just wasn't as three-dimensional as the other main characters.

This book definitely had a darker aspect to it than book one did. But the HEA was there where I needed it, so that's just fine. Cambria got to keep her "bestie" close, Boone got to keep his childhood buddy, and the sheriff gets to keep being mysterious.

The Rancher Meets His Match
Bardville, Wyoming Trilogy #3
by Patricia McLinn (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 227 pages
Published Nov 8, 2010

GoodReads Summary:
For his teenage son, Wyoming rancher Dax will do anything - even become a role model in the dating department. Enter the perfect stranger: an Easterner, visiting for just two weeks. But soon Hannah, no longer a stranger, becomes the greatest danger of all to a stubbornly solitary heart.

And book three...
I gave this one a 5-star rating as well. I think this one might have been my favorite of the three books. Somehow, this one seemed the most personal to me. Personal in that I felt closer to the characters. They felt most real to me of all the characters in the story so far. The situations and emotions were family-related to things I could understand and empathize with. There was a warmth to this one, very much like a going home feeling.

Dax Randall and his son Will own the Circle CR out by the Weston Ranch. Dax's sister, June Reamer runs the car rental for the small airport that services Bardville, so she knows who's coming into town before anyone else. She mentions Hannah Chalmers to Dax.

Will has always used his father as his role model, including the way he avoids getting involved with women. But Will is a young teen and should be getting involved, so Dax is going to have to show him how it's done. By doing! Hannah seems the perfect choice because she's a stranger and isn't staying for long. She won't expect forever. Dax and Hannah both get a whole lot more out of her two weeks in WY than either of them anticipate, but he has to drive all the way to North Carolina to bring her back to get their HEA!

This is quite the trilogy. Of the three books, I think that the first and third could be read as standalones, but I think that the middle book is more a series book. All of them will leave you with a good feeling. Give Patricia McLinn's Bardville Trilogy a try and you may get hooked on her style. I strongly recommend her to romance readers who like a good storyline, a hot romance between strong men and women, family life and hometown echoes.

~Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

That's the Perfect Title!

Liberated by the Duke
by Grace Fletcher
Kindle, 70 pages, published August 14, 2016

GoodReads Summary:
Georgina Williams is in dire circumstances. Not only is she mourning the recent loss of her father, but she is also now trapped and mistreated in her own home by her conniving stepmother Edith and her stepsister Laura.

As a temporary reprieve, Georgina goes for long walks in the countryside. One day, quite by accident, she bumps into an old childhood neighbor and friend, John Crampton, the Duke of Stanford.

John can sense all is not right as the disheveled Georgina is not the smiling, happy girl he remembers. The more time he spends with her, the more his feelings towards Georgina grow. As a widower and father, he is expected to find a wife and Georgina, to him, is perfect.

Without any regard for Georgina, Edith comes up with a devious plan to solve her own financial problems and enable her daughter, Laura, to marry.

John learns of these schemes through his family connections. Will he take courage and intervene in the affairs of another household? Even though all is not as it appears, will John listen to his own heart and rescue Georgina before it is too late?

My Review:
First response: A typical little Regency romance. My favorite character is Beatrice! I'm sure I'll have more to say in my full review.

Grace Fletcher has a reputation for writing clean, wholesome Regency romances, and this one certainly fits that description. There is no sex and only a couple of kisses. So if you're looking for hot and steamy, this isn't the author for you. But, if you're looking for those sweet love stories with all the pomp and style that goes with the Regency era, Ms. Fletcher is the perfect author for you.

Georgina is trapped by her stepmother, Edith, and stepsister, Laura, as an abused servant. On her weekly afternoon off, Georgina takes long walks around the estate. On one of her walks, she meets an old childhood friend, John Crampton, Duke of Stanford and his daughter, Beatrice. John is now a widower and raising his three-year-old daughter on his own. 

Edith and Laura are going through Georgina's father's fortune and Georgina's inheritance very fast. The estate and Georgina are suffering. On her walks, Georgina continues to meet John and Beatrice. John can see that something is wrong. And Georgina seems like she would be the perfect wife for him and mother to Beatrice. But John has always followed the rules.

Edith and Laura have plans for Georgina to pay off their rising debts and for Laura to get the Duke. John falls for their stunt and turns away from Georgina. How can you have an HEA if John continues to play by the rules? Will John get there in time to liberate Georgina?

Well, you'll just have to read this sweet little romance to find out how it all works out. I gave it three stars for being just what it is, a nice little Regency love story. For those of you who read them, I recommend this one and this author.

I acquired this ebook short story from Book Bub via Kindle. This is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Other short stories by this author:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Do You Eat It Or Kiss It?

A Honeybun and Coffee
(Honeybun Heat #1)
Sam Cheever (GoodReads Author)
Kindle, 240 pages, published Sep 4, 2013, Electric Prose
Publications (first published Dec 18, 2008)
Four Stars

GoodReads Summary:
“This does sort of taste like chicken,” Angie told him, surprise in her voice. “You’re good.”
Alastair grinned at her. “I have to admit you stretched my abilities with that request. I’m glad you like it.”
Angie nodded. “We need to have a plan you know.”
Alastair swallowed his last bite of fish and wiped his mouth. Standing up he carried their plates into the kitchen. Angie got up to help him.
“Well, the first thing we need to do is call work and tell them we won’t be in for a few days.” He looked at Angie. “That’s going to be a bit more complicated for you I’m afraid.”
Angie frowned and nodded. “I’ll tell Petey to call a few people. I’ll have to promise him a manager’s bonus for covering for me.” Angie looked up and smiled, “He’s very ambitious for a nineteen-year-old.”
Alastair laughed, “A kid after my own heart.”
They worked in silence for a few moments, lost in their own thoughts. Alastair washed and rinsed the dishes and handed them to Angie to dry. She managed to find a spot in the cabinets for each of their dishes.
Angie finally broke the silence. “Have you had any luck remembering what you might have seen that would make the thugs come after you?”
He shook his head. “I’ve gone over it and over it in my head. I can’t come up with anything.”
Angie placed the last glass in the cupboard. “Okay, let’s go over everything you’ve done over the last two weeks. I doubt it happened longer ago than that.”
Alastair nodded and grabbed two more bottles of beer out of the refrigerator. They sat down at the table again, across from each other.
“Okay, weekend before last.”
Alastair thought about it. “I got up on Saturday morning, did a couple of hours of work, then cleaned up and took my car to get the oil changed.”
Angie picked at the label on her beer bottle. “Then what?”
“I grabbed some lunch…”
He looked sheepish. “Actually I met some friends at Hooters.”
“Very classy.”
Alastair shrugged, “They love the place, they force me to go there at least once or twice a month.”
Angie grinned. “They force you?”
He grinned back, “Kicking and screaming.”
“Mmm hmm.”
“No really, I hate the place. Those women don’t turn me on in the least.”
“They don’t?”
He shook his head and the ghost of a smile sat on his lips. “No way. I prefer my women flat chested and ugly.”
She smacked his arm. “Ass.”

My Review:
This was a crazy, fast-paced introduction to a series with EIGHT brothers. The romance was sweet. The crime solving was hectic and absolutely not by the book. But the men are sexy and the women forgive them. Full review coming on the blog.

Yes, eight brothers and they are all sexy and have their own book. So, if you like this one, you have lots more reading to do! This bro is named Alistair, "Stair" for short. He's 6'2" and well muscled with red hair and a dachshund named Jaws. He's tired of the singles scene and doesn't like going to Hooters with the guys.

Angie overhears the threat to his life while accidentally trapped in the men's room of her coffee shop. She's a good doobie and she's trying to warn him his life is in danger. It takes him a while to really accept that she's serious. In the meantime, trouble has arrived. Share the ride from his place to safe house to apartment, family home, and army base before the bad guys finally bite the dust. Each brother gets to step in and lend a hand, too! Angie and Alistair find some time for hot, steamy sex in all of this, as well. Though the scorpion sort of spoils the mood.

This was a really fun read and I look forward to reading the brothers' stories. So why isn't it a five-star review? Well, I wanted to slap Angie for chewing her fingernail all through the book. That's a really nasty habit. Okay for a secondary character, but not for your main female character.  Plus, I got tired of the really corny names - Cinnamon Parker, Bones & Louie, Mr. Bigg, Mr. Bratz and Private Jeeves. But it's a twisty plot of who done it - keep your eye on the relatives! And a really great introduction to the Honeybun family, which seems to go back a generation or so, be full of great looking men, and bake good chocolate cake. Yes, I recommend this book!

A Honeybun and Coffee was a Book Bub offering. This is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Monday, February 13, 2017

Can a Person Be Too Nice?

The Making of Minty Malone
by Isabel Wolff (GoodReads Author)
Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published August 26, 2016, by KPR Publishing
first published January 1, 1999
Also available in paperback

GoodReads Summary:
Minty Malone is terribly nice. But being nice doesn't save her from being jilted at the very altar by her domineering fiancé, Dominic. Ditched rather than Hitched, a shocked Minty takes stock, and on her husbandless honeymoon she vows to become just a little less 'nice'. Joined by her fiery cousin, Amber, whom no-one could describe as sweet-natured, Minty sets out on a quest for the self, in which she will finally learn how to say 'No'. But then she stumbles upon the real reason for Dominic's dreadful defection. Faced with the dreadful truth, Minty prepares to move on, let go, and learn how to say 'Yes' once more. The re-issued second novel from the internationally best-selling author of 'A Vintage Affair'.

My Review:
Poor Minty, people couldn't even get her name correct; and she didn't kick her free-loading cousin out of her apartment, even when she weaseled her into trading bedrooms! This girl had the spine of a gummy bear! Left at the altar, she quietly went on the honeymoon trip to Paris with her maid of honor, Helen, even though she wanted to go to Venice. That's where she meets Joe.

Joe, who's been dumped by a woman who went back to her former husband even though she and Joe were talking marriage. So Joe's not looking for a woman with any baggage. And Minty certainly has baggage! She also has couples all around her who are great examples of what should and should not be happening in a relationship. She can see their problems quite clearly. But she can't figure out what went wrong between Dominic and her.

Then comes the Nice Factor, the class that teaches you how not to be too nice. In other words, how not to get taken advantage of by your friends and coworkers. Remember, if you lie down someone is bound to walk on you. And this course tries to teach you not to lie down by teaching you how to insult people, at least in your head. If you can do it in your head, it changes your attitude and posture and people treat you differently. Eventually, you stop being automatically treated that way by people because you have stopped acting so nice all the time. You're still a nice person, but you're not so easy to take advantage of. Joe is also a student at this course. Joe and Minty have fun with the insults, but Minty still has baggage.

Ms. Wolff has developed these characters, especially Minty, so well, that you feel like they could walk through your own door and be totally 3D. I was a little let down at the end, but that was because it ended. I just wanted it to keep going. So why didn't I give it five stars? I got really tired of Minty's baggage. She just wouldn't let go of trying to figure out what went wrong, and it got old for me. Thank heavens, cousin Amber could put up with her.

The Making of Minty Malone was a Book Bub acquisition from Amazon. This is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Friday, February 10, 2017

The DNA isn't the only thing that's twisty here!

When You Make It Home
by Claire Ashby (GoodReads Author)
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published July 12, 2014, Red Adept Publishing
Also available in hardcover, paperback, ebook

GoodReads Summary:

Meg Michaels, a bookstore owner, has already walked away from two cheating exes. She’s learned her lesson and has her mind set on success—until she gets knocked up. Embarrassed and unwilling to discuss her situation with friends and family, she wears layers to hide the pregnancy.

When Meg gets sick at a party, she’s mortified. Even worse, Theo Taylor, the guest of honor, discovers her secret. Theo, an Army medic wounded in the war, agrees not to reveal her condition, and the two forge a bond of friendship that blossoms into love.

Theo is soon filling all of Meg’s late-night cravings—and not just the pregnancy-induced ones. But can their love overcome all the obstacles that stand between them and creating a happy family?

My Review:
First response: Oh my, this one really made me cry several times as Meg and Theo and the rest of them worked out their issues. But it has such a sweet HEA that it was worth it all. Full review on my blog coming soon.

Twisty? Yah, this one is twisty all right. No one is really who they seem to be. There are so many secrets in these families. Everyone should have their DNA checked! I can't tell you who's who, because that would spoil things. And I don't do that. 

I liked that Ms. Ashby took two "types" and worked them into a fabulous story. Taking a pregnant woman and all the physical and emotional problems that come with that and putting her together with a recently disabled, combat Veteran and all his baggage. It made for a powerful, emotional morass that kept me reading this book in one day. And these two aren't the only ones with secrets. There are enough secrets to go around when you start looking into other members of the family.

This is a debut novel from an author I strongly recommend you keep your eye on!

This was a Book Bub purchase through Amazon. This is an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any type. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Cover Caught My Eye...

The Cryptographer
The Second Sons series #1
by Alice Wallis-Eton (GoodReads Author)
Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published August 11, 2015 by author (first pub Jan 1, 2015)

GoodReads Summary:
Everybody has a secret, but some are harder to decipher...

England, 1813. Aster Tanner is alone in the world and keeps a roof over her head by working the one asset she has - her mind. She needs her job; she does not need a Scotsman underfoot, making her heart flutter with heated glances and impertinent questions.

Iain McIntyre, Captain in the Second Dragoons, has a confidential assignment: find a list rumoured to name traitors working against England. He is looking for anything unusual -- like a woman working as a secretary. He tells himself his fascination with the lass is because she holds a man's position, and nothing to do with his rising desire to know the sharp mind hidden behind her darkened glasses.

When Aster is targeted by those intent on recovering the list, she must decide who to trust. She has seven encrypted names. But whose? Meanwhile, Iain is on the trail of a double agent. Time is running out, and secrets must be decoded before lives and hearts are sacrificed.

My Review:
First response: What a great story! Love the concept of this book. Full review to follow!

The first time I saw the cover of this book, I wanted to read it. I bought it immediately. The artwork on the cover is rich and three dimensional. It drew my eye immediately. The mixed media is wonderful. The dark, threatening clouds used in the background. The handsome young couple on top. Then the torn and worn handwriting. The wonderful fonts used for the title and the author's name. Then the red wax seal with white pen writing on it. Marvelous! But it was the story that held me engaged.

I'm hoping the rest of this series is as well done and that I get an opportunity to read it. This story is based in a series about second sons. Iain McKintyre is a Captain in the Second Dragoons, Scotts Greys. This is a division that has been held back and used for various covert assignments, but are generally laughed at for not being in the battle. Iain's older brother has recently died, so now he is the heir to the Earl of Kinloch, but not very happy about it. 

Aster Tanner, along with her dog Dougal, work in the Records office for Sir John Warrington. He has a reputation for being impossible to work for because of his quirks. He likes everything just so and gets quite irate if things aren't the way he likes them. Sir John has severe OCD. Something which really wasn't recognized at the time. But since Aster has a form of it herself, she understands it and can work with it in Sir John. But it's this OCD that enables them to work the codes as they do. They presently have a coded list that isn't cooperating for Sir John. When Sir John disappears, the list comes to Aster and she doesn't know who to trust until she can get that list decoded. And one of the names could be Iain McKintyre.

Ms. Wallis-Eton has created a really interesting situation inside the intelligence community of the time with fairly well-developed characters. Iain isn't as well-drawn as Aster, I felt. But this is a good solid story line and there are really interesting quirks in the characters. It makes for a good read. I recommend this for those who like the brainy heroines, because this one thinks circles around the guys!

I acquired this book from Amazon and this is an honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Wonderful Regency Romp!

Penelope (Fairweather Sisters #1)
by Anya Wilde (GoodReads Author)
Kindle edition, 302 pages, published January 13, 2013

GoodReads Summary:
Penelope Fairweather from rural Finnshire arrives in London with a hopeful heart. The dowager invites her for a season to catch a husband. Unfortunately, Penelope's rustic finesse is as delicate as a fat bear ripping apart a honeycomb infested with buzzing bees. Fake mustaches, highwaymen, pickpockets, and a devilishly handsome duke follow.

My Review:
First Response: This was a delightful Regency romp! Lighthearted and humorous with lots of laughable bungling by a most heartwarming character. Full review soon.

I don't usually like to do much summarizing of the story, but the summary above really doesn't do the story justice. So here are a few more bits of information.

The Dowager Duchess and Penelope's mother were friends while "at school". The Dowager Duchess promised her friend she would look after her daughter if anything happened, never thinking anything would happen. But Penelope's mother died and the Dowager Duchess kept her promise. She invited Penelope to London for a season to give her a chance to find a husband. She had no idea Penelope was such a country bumpkin when she did so. But she stood by her promise even when Penelope appeared with a pet goat and a story about making friends with a highwayman. And when it was thoroughly apparent she really was not ready for a season with the ton; she and her daughter, Anne, another staunch Penelope supporter, threw themselves into the effort of preparing the girl for the season.

Madame Bellefraunde, the exclusive modiste, became another of Penelope's admirers. She prepared a wardrobe for Penelope like no other and helped out with her training as well. Madame had her own secrets to keep, so she was a natural for Team Penelope. But having secrets and being a keen observer, Penelope notices things others do not. It's not long before she uncovers Madame's deep secrets. Those may not be safe to know.

And who, you might wonder is on the other team? Charles Radclyff, Duke of Blackthorne is the other team. He takes an instant dislike to this disheveled country bumpkin who is taking up his mother's time and causing constant havoc in his home. A goat for a pet? Speaking with criminals? No manners. Her clothes. And her hair! Is there nothing she can do properly? Not if the Duke is about.

Not exactly on the Duke's team, but definitely not on Team Penelope, is Lady Lydia Snowy, fiance to the Duke. She doesn't want Penelope anywhere near him. She sees the little things as things change. As Penelope starts to change from country bumpkin to bright and beautiful young woman. And she sees as the Duke starts to notice these changes and can't help liking what he sees, even though he won't let go of his rigid standards.

It takes a near disaster to get through to Charles, but we do get our HEA in the end. This book stays on my bookshelf to be read again. And I've added the other two books in the series as well, though I haven't had a chance to read them as yet. I highly recommend Penelope to those of you who enjoy Regency romances with an unlikely heroine. A Regency romp!

This was obtained through Book Bub and Amazon. This is an honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sentinel's Kiss
Sentinels of Babylon #2
by Jamie K. Schmidt (GoodReads Author)
ebook, 224 pages
expected publication March 7, 2017,
Only available in ebook at this time

GoodReads Summary:
A fiercely protective bad boy. An innocent reporter in serious trouble. They shouldn’t work, but after he throws her onto his bike, there’s no going back.

If Josh Lehman learned one thing as a Green Beret, it’s patience. Josh founded the Sentinels of Babylon because he was sick and tired of watching scumbags cheat the system—scumbags like the man who murdered his sister. Of course, if Josh’s sniper rifle was linked to the death of his ex-brother-in-law, that might be a problem. The bigger problem is the nosy reporter who’s this close to exposing the club. Josh has to find a way to keep her hot mouth from talking . . . but he’ll be damned if he lets someone take her from him. Not on his watch.

Ashley Carver thought she’d do anything for a scoop. That was before her latest story leads to multiple attempts on her life. Ashley’s been investigating a homicide that has gone unsolved for five years when she uncovers evidence tying the vigilantes of the Sentinels of Babylon to a revenge killing. Now she’s in their crosshairs. But after Josh defies all notions of club loyalty to come to Ashley’s aid, soon they’re burning up the sheets—and taking on the world.

My Review:
If you read Necessary Evil, Sentinels of Babylon #1, which I reviewed on October 28, 2016, then you know about the bad boys of the Sentinels of Babylon. They are bad, but they are on a mission of good. They are cleaning up what the cops and courts miss. Vigilante isn't usually considered a nice word, but they see themselves as doing justice. And they all have related backgrounds, too. These are strong men with an eye to making the world safer for people to live in.

Each has taken a name within the group. Josh has taken the name Sentinel. He's the founder of the group. He's the one who gets the phone call. He's the one who sends the rest of the guys towards the target. Sometimes he's the one who pulls the trigger. Now he's Ashley's target. Will she get her story and put the group on the front page? Or can his kiss make her forget he kills people?

Ms. Schmidt has done it again. She paints all the dark and drama around this group of men and then adds this one woman who can save the heart and soul of one of them. The confrontations can be violent and the sex is hot. Not for the faint of heart. Recommended for women who like bad boy romance. Sentinels of Babylon are a motor cycle group, but it's not a huge issue, just a fact.

I was provided this eARC by Loveswept and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Monday, February 6, 2017

A New Title in Women's Lit Coming April 11th!

And Then There Was Me
by Sadeqa Johnson (GoodReads Author)
ebook, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 11, 2017,
Thomas Dunne Books
Also available in Hardcover and Kindle editions

GoodReads Summary:
Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.

And Then There Was Me is the story of secrets, lies and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.

My Review:
This book was quite good for its genre. Not one I read too often because they don't really seem to have the HEA endings that I like. It's usually more that life goes on. And I know that's how it is, but this is a book and that's what I want from my stories. But, all that aside, it really was good.

Ms. Johnson built her characters quite well so that you got to know them and know what to expect of them. The relationships were well written, too. The author built up the tension smoothly until it all blew up, and there were surprises to be had by all! Things I just hadn't suspected, though there were indications in hindsight. I just didn't want to think that would happen. But it did, and it made for a very intense story with some very raw and realistic moments.

I felt that Ms. Johnson dealt with Beatrice's compulsion very well. With its hold on her and her lack of control under stress. Her hiding the issue from people, even lying to those who knew the truth.

The story was going along just fine and I was settled in with it. She picked up the phone. End of book. Yup. It was all over. So, I have to assume she went forward from there as she planned. Or did she go forward as she was behaving? Because those were two different things, of course. Humph. Not a cliffhanger, just an unsatisfactory ending. One with too many questions. Sadeqa Johnson is a new writer, so perhaps this is because she is new. Or perhaps her 10th book will be this way as well. Maybe I should go back and read her first book, Love in a Carry-on Bag, and see if this is just her style.

I was provided with this eARC by NetGalley and Thomas Dunne Books in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.

Strongly recommended. Look for it April 11, 2017
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review