Untitled #3046

Untitled #3046
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The Billionaire's Christmas Proposal
A Billionaire for Christmas, #1
Victoria James
Entangled Indulgence, Nov 2015
Kindle, 190 Pages
Also available in paperback
Genre(s) Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Holidays,
Source purchased at current price

Other books in this series
The Billionaire's Christmas Baby #2

My Disclaimer:
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Allie's apartment burned and she, her teenage sister, and her dog, Hook are homeless. The only person she feels she can rely on is Ethan. He's rich and he's a good friend. Ethan welcomes the three refugees with open arms.

In the midst of this personal crisis, the homeless shelter for teens that Allie runs is being sold and the land auctioned off for condos. It seems like they will need a miracle. But it's Christmas, so there's always hope.

Will Allie allow the attraction between she and Ethan to grow? Will Ethan's secrets cause Allie to walk away? Will there be a miracle this year?

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover doesn't quite work for me. First of all, I don't like white backgrounds on a cover. When Ethan wears a suit, he's clean shaven. It's only weekend Ethan that's scruffy with a 5 o'clock shadow, not a beard. And Allie wants to lick him. You don't lick a beard.

The story line is a good one of a woman in a personal and professional crisis who relies on a man who is a friend/more. His secrets cause problems for her professionally until the secrets are spilled. This almost tears the relationship apart, until he performs a complete change of heart and a miracle just for her.

The characters were wonderful. Everyone was a person you got to know and care about and worry about. And sometimes you even got to swat one of them upside the head.

The pace was good. It was brisk, but not too fast to take a moment now and then and think about things.

The tension was a fine thread that attached to your heart on the first page and didn't let go until the end.

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰

This one was really fun inspite of the fact that it starts out by two gals and their disabled dog becoming homeless, deals with a guy who has a completely dysfunctional family and a history of cancer, and the older of the gals has a professional crisis.

When Allie, Dani, and Hook show up at Ethan's place, he opens his home to them and gives Dani his credit card without limitations. This is a generous man. He has never been taken advantage of by someone like what could have happened with that credit card had Dani and Allie been other than they were. Money and the making of it has obviously never been a problem. He comes from a rich family. So he was raised with money. He and a friend got together and started their own company, which has been super successful. So, money hasn't been a problem as an adult. Remember, the title says billionaire. But Dani could still have made a serious dent in his billion had she been a different type of person. The big expense for her sister was a Coach handbag. Not such a huge expense when considered against the possibilities.

Then when Dani went out with her friend and they got separated and Dani ended up in a bad place, she called Ethan for help and a ride home. Rather than staying and partying with the bad boys and stuff, she opted to get out and stay safe. So somewhere along the line she's absorbed what Allie has tried to instill in her.

Oh, I guess you could figure out by now that the mother is not in the picture, or not too much anyway. The mother is an alcoholic and has always had men in and out of her life. When Allie was young, one of Mom's men approached Allie and got too close. Mom believed Allie when she told her what he was trying and Mom threw him out. So Allie has always felt that she owed her mother for believing her over the guy. And Allie has stayed in touch with her mother. But Allie has been Dani's mother. She's the one who's raised Dani and taken care of her since she was old enough to do so. Though she may think Dani is wild and rebellious, at least there are indications that some of the good stuff she's been trying to teach Dani is getting through. And Allie herself is a really good example for Dani.

In all of this there is some fun. There's the eggnog, the wrapping session, the Christmas party, and the surprise. There are also many moments scattered throughout the book that are just sweet and fun between these great characters. Merry Christmas!

Recommended

872 wc
Perilous Trust
Off the Grid: FBI Trilogy, #1
Barbara Freethy
Fog City Publishing, Aug 2017
Ebook, 303 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback
Genre(s) Contemporary Romance, Mystery Thriller
Source Author's buddy

Other books in this series
Reckless Whisper #2, Desperate Play #3

My Disclaimer:
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Sophie Parker's Dad works for the FBI. His voice message told her to run and not trust anyone. It gave her some instructions in a riddle and then it ended abruptly. Now they are telling her he's dead.

Her Dad? Dead? Run! So Sophie is running just like he said...

Damon Wolfe is FBI. Alan Parker just had him transferred from Quantico for a special project. No one knows what it is. But Alan Parker is dead now. And now Sophie is missing. Damon goes out for coffee and doesn't come back to the office. He takes a ride to see if his hunch about Sophie is correct, since he and Sophie have shared history.

Sophie is shocked when Damon shows up at the summer cottage. Can she trust him? With her life?

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover is very eye-catching and does relate to the book. Is this the face of the only man you can trust when your life is on the line?

The storyline is excellent. This one was hard to tell if it was more romance or more thriller/mystery. It was so tightly wrapped I couldn't separate the two. It was totally engaging the whole time. This one was really hard to set down.

The characters are pretty awesome. Under this kind of stress, you get to know people. And these people already knew each other and had been out of touch but still connected through other people for several years. So their relationship was a getting-to-know-you again sort.

The pace was flat out. No breaks. These two people are on the run from the FBI, so that means they're on the run from the world!

The tension? It starts out on a serious moment that is so full of stress you could wring it out and fill a coffee cup and it goes from that to more events of the same high caffeine content.

Writing quality is a foregone conclusion when you are talking about Barbara Freethy. She has a talent for writing books that suck you in on the first line and then spit you out on the last one needing the next book big time! She writes dialogue the way people really speak. She writes action scenes the way people really move. And she gives you enough scene so you know where you are. And don't forget the heat, because she sure doesn't.

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰✰

This was an awesome book to read. It really does suck you in at the very beginning. Here you are with Alan Parker in his car and he suddenly realizes the FBI has caught up with him. You're with him that last few minutes before his car goes over the cliff. While he is making that message to Sophie. She's the last person to hear from him. They are really close and the author sets you up right there at the beginning for the emotion side of this all. This is a guy that everyone liked and respected. They are having a really hard time believing that he was dirty. The feeling of disbelief and betrayal were tough for people to accept and handle. Everyone was off balance and having a difficult time making decisions. Everyone except the bad guys, of course. But in case, it's really hard to tell the bad from the good unless you just go with your feelings. I had a feeling almost at the beginning and it proved to be correct, which was really weird. Part way through the book, I decided I had been wrong, but it ended up being correct.

Sophie had done exactly what her Dad had told her to do. She ran. She stopped at the ATM very close to her apartment and took out as much cash as it allowed for the day and then she got as far away as she could. She went where her father's riddle told her to go. This escape had been set up years ago because the family had vacationed there under another name. The cottage was bought under this other name so that there were no ties to them. So Sophie went there and then got the key that was there and went from there with the clues. But before she left the cottage, she picked up a friend. She was ready when Damon walked in. She had her gun out and was ready for whoever it was that was walking in. She was shocked that it was Damon, but he was probably the only one she could have trusted at that point. The fact that they'd had a relationship before and hadn't seen each other in several years and yet had been connected through her father meant that they still knew what was going on in each other's life. Their relationship was still alive in a very subtle sort of way like an ember in a fireplace. It was just waiting for something to give it some fuel and fan it to life. Once fanned, the feelings went deep and strong. Neither one of them could ignore those feelings. This was not a fun book to read. The feelings were too intense in it for that. But it is a really great read that I hope you will try.

Highly Recommended

999 wc
Sugar Pine Trail
Haven Point, #7
Ray Anne Thayne
HQN, Oct 2017
Kindle, 352 Pages
Also available in hardcover, paperback,
audiobook, audio CD
Genre(s) Very sweet romance, family story, womens lit,
Source purchased at current price

Other books in this series 
Serenity Harbor #1, Snowfall on Haven Point #2, Riverbend Road #3, Evergreen Springs #4, Redemption Bay #5, Snow Angel Cove #6

My Disclaimer:
I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Julia Winston is the head librarian. She's the only child(adopted late in life) of two only children. She doesn't know how to play, but she does know how to dream...

Jamie Caine is a former military pilot now using his flying skills to make lots of money flying family and friends here and there. He has his own business and has just bought a new condo, but it's not finished, yet. So, he's renting the upstairs apartment from Miss Winston...

Clint and Davy are two young boys who need taking care of because their father is dead and their mother has gone missing. They've been going to school and hanging out in the library because it's warm there. Miss Winston calls her friend at Child Protective Services to see what can be done for the boys.

See what happens when one sexy pilot, one shy spinster, three aging cats, and two little boys all move into the house on Sugar Pine Trail just before Christmas.

Technical Tidbits...
The cover is delightful! That lovely blue and the house all sparkling with Christmas lights and sparkling with snow is absolutely wonderful!

The story line is great. There was a twist at the end that I really didn't expect, but it all turned out alright.

The characters were introduced with enough information to get you started and then as things went along, you got to know them much better. You really came to care about what was happening to them.

The pace was perfect. Not too fast, but it moved along.

The tension was less in the beginning but really picked up towards the end!

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰✰
This was the sweetest romance I've read in quite a while. They courted each other across the heads of a 6 and an 8 year old boy. The boys were so cute, because they were pretty savvy about what was going on. Miss Winston was the most innocent one involved. She calls herself a spinster, but that's because that's how she thinks of herself. That's how she dresses. That's how she acts. That's what her parents had made her. They'd adopted her late in life and then kept her by them when they were both ill and then died. So she didn't know anything about being young and carefree.

One thing her parents had taught her apparently is to help people. And Julia does it very cheerfully. She doesn't resent helping people. Julia is constantly baking for other people, especially at Christmas for all her neighbors. And when the boys were in need, she didn't hesitate to do what she thought was the right thing. And when that didn't work out well, she stepped up and took them into her own home. She changed the way she lived to accommodate two little boys. She gave them a home and structure they could rely on and trust. She gave them love that made them feel safe and secure. They gave her their trust and love and taught her how to play like a child.

Jamie Caine had had too many big hurts in his life and was just trying to keep busy and keep people at a distance so he wouldn't get hurt anymore. He felt that living life on his own would do him just fine. Unfortunately for his plans, he couldn't resist his temporary landlady. She was so sweet and innocent. And he liked her lips and her legs and her hips and ... well, you get the idea. The more he looked, the more he found he liked about his oddball landlady. She gave unstintingly to everyone. She was hurt that her mother's cats didn't like her. She loved those two little boys. And she had a crush on him. She doesn't understand jokes. But she does know how to dream.

Aunt Suzi was the twist I hadn't foreseen. That threw me for a loop. That and the aftermath. But it really made all that happiness before seem even better. To bring it all down like that. It seemed like a bit of a strange ending though. But a really great, sweet read up until then.

Highly Recommended

832 wc
The Prophesy of Shadows
The Elementals, #1
Michelle Madow
Dreamscape Publishing, Jan 2016
Kindle, 309 Pages
Also available in paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) YA paranormal fantasy, mythological
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series
The Blood of the Hydra #2, The Head of the Medusa #3, The Portal of Kerberos #4, The Hands of Time #5

My Disclaimer:
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Nicole Cassidy doesn't understand why her whole class list at her new school says "honors" classes. She's never been in honors classes before. And when she walks into her new homeroom, she gets a bit of a jolt.

"We're all witches, as are you. And this is a special studies homeroom--it's for the witches in the school." 

After some class exercises and some experiments on her own, Nicole is finally convinced of at least some of what they've told her and starting to make friends. In fact, she's part of a working circle of five students. Kate, Chris, Blake, and Danielle make up the rest of her circle. They get some interesting results under the night sky at a classroom function at the Professor's house. This leads to each of them learning which element they relate to and to the discovery and assignment of the fifth element.

Can these young and inexperienced witches solve the prophesy and bring home the Shadows?

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover is quite good. The picture is supposed to be Nicole Cassidy, I would say. She is the one who relates to the fifth element, aether.

The story line is interesting. Not all that unusual, a bunch of mismatched students end up getting into something that is a "bit" over their heads. Bonds break, bonds form, maturity, clarity.

The characters were done quite well. By introducing a new student, the author had the chance to also introduce older students to her so that we got to know these characters fairly early on in the story line. We got deeper knowledge of their personalities as events unrolled.

The pace was pretty good. Not super fast, but rolling along so that you had to pay attention so as not to miss things. And there were plenty of things happening.

The tension. Oh yes, there was plenty of tension. Not so noticeable in the quiet times, but during the happening times it was really there.

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰⭒

Going from not even believing in witches to being told she is one and handling energy all in one day is a big step. So, I guess it was not a real surprise that she ended up being so powerful. Possibly no real surprise to any of them that she was a demigod, either. It was a bit of a surprise to me. These things don't just pop up out of nowhere. Though there was some preparation for it, so I have forgiven Ms. Madow.

I really love the way she created the color system for them to use energy! If you follow me, you know I'm really into colors and color systems. So this really appealed to me. It doesn't help me channel energy, but it can help a lousy mood if you think about colors the way they channeled them. Yellow will certainly cheer you up. Blue will make you feel like you can really get going. Green will make you want to do things in nature. Red will make you want to take on challenges or deal with confrontations. White can make things seem all crisp and clean. Refreshed. Orange will make you hungry, sorry. And extra color there!

There is so much build up about how fierce Danielle is in protecting her territory, ie Blake. I was rather surprised at how little she actually did to warn Nicole off. The worst she did was use the gray magic against her in her try-out for the tennis team. When that didn't succeed, she seemed not to really try anything else against her. I really figured that she'd try other things and cause more trouble. Why did she back down? It didn't seem like Blake was talking to her. He was afraid that doing that would make things worse. And it probably would have. She kept claiming her territory physically when they were all together. But she didn't take any steps to warn Nicole off in any other way. Girls that age can be pretty nasty and I'd imagine ones with magic at their disposal could really be dangerous. So why didn't she do anything? I kept waiting for her to do something really nasty early on in the book.

Once they went off on their quest, they worked as a team, they had to. It's fortunate that Danielle's water element was first. It made her dedication to the team more solid. Then Chris had to use his air element. Kate had to use her earth element. Finally, Blake had to use his fire element along with Chris' air element to fight off the enemy. And when Kate was so badly injured, the other three had to trust Nicole not to steal their energy but to channel it to heal Kate. At each turn only the one with that particular element could do the required task. So, only Kate could take the Book of Shadows from its resting place...passing it to Chris to give to the Harpy to save her sister, Becca. But working together again, they defeated the Harpy. Not before the creature gave them one more piece of information. She called Nicole a demigod. So when they were able to get back and discuss things with Darius, the teacher, they decided she must be the child of Apollo. The gold sun charm on the gold chain the appeared on her window sill the next morning sort of clinched that.

This was quite the world the author created. Little witches learning it in school, even though the school doesn't know. Color-based energy. Demigods, gods. This is a series for young adults, but I may have to read more of it to see what else the author brings in.

Recommended
Mistletoe Red
Dracula's Mistletoe, #1
R. Kitt
Self-Pub, Dec 2016
Ebook, 51 Pages
Only available in Digital Format
Genre(s) Paranormal Romance
Source Author


Other books in this series
Mistletoe Black #2


My Disclaimer:
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review


What it's about...
Sunday Merkwood is a Mistletoe. She's been fending off advances from Jamie for two years now.

Jamie Tepes is a Dracula. He's determined that Sunday is going to be his and he's got eternity to be patient.

They play a game of cards. The winner gets things their way. And Jamie has a full house! His choice of prize is a date that includes dinner at Sunday's house and a movie at his house.

History tells us that Draculas used to massacre Mistletoes. Sunday's parents are very traditional Mistletoes. They also have information to reveal to Sunday that will effect her future and Jamie's plans with her.

How will Sunday and Jamie overcome this startling change?

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover I had was this one you see here to the right. The alternate one you see above is the one I actually prefer. It is so much more artistic and actually relates to the story. Unfortunately it has not mistletoe on it. Again, a mistletoe title without the plant. Hhmmm. I hope book two gets a new cover before it gets published! Something more like the one above would be awesome!


The story line was very interesting. I really enjoyed the way the author handled it.


The characters were really great. They had wonderful personalities, even the disagreeable ones were great! Not pleasant, but they were done really well. To the point that you wanted to say something to the yourself about the way they were acting and what they were saying.


The pace was just fine. It was fairly fast but given the 51 page limit, that was needed to get everything in. It worked well with what Ms. Kitt included in this first book of the series.


The tension was right there from beginning to end. Sometimes you could hear it screeching in your ears, like at dinner with the Mistletoes, but it was mostly tolerable.


The writing quality is really up there. Ms. Kitt has had me read and review a couple of her novellas in series recently and I have enjoyed them all. Though her work wasn't at first glance in my genre, I find that her work is really fun and always entertaining. She pulls me in and keeps my attention until the end so that I always want more. So this is what I want next from Ms. Kitt. I want a full novel. I want something that I can curl up and read on a long snowy day.


And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...


The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰✰


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me engaged from cover to cover! The flirting between the two of them at the club where Sunday was waitressing and Jamie was hanging out was fun and led to that game of cards that ended with dinner with Sunday's parents.

Sunday's personality was perfect for a young woman her age. She's still a virgin and rather conservative. Yet, here's this rather hunky young man who's been making advances to her for two years. In a darkened club where it's just the two of them and she can experiment just a bit. So she plays this game of cards with him. She makes things rather suggestive by sitting on the table and putting the cards between her legs, but acts innocent about it. So, when Jamie wins, he gets to make his prize up. Dinner at her house and a movie at his house. She's seems fine with that, but I don't understand why she would be so calm and casual about it. She had to know her mother, and especially her father would be upset about his coming to dinner. And I had to wonder why Jamie would choose such a prize, too. For a first date, he had to know that this would be an awkward situation. Why not do something with less stress for a first date?

And it was stressful. Not only did her parents not approve of his being there, but they had a whopper of a conversation stopper to share with the two young ones. An arranged marriage that has a magical hook is quite the thing to spring on someone, especially that way. In front of someone who's not family. I would think that would be a private thing and one she would have known since she was a child. But this did make a good story addition and, of course, adds greatly to the next book.

Highly Recommended

Mistletoe Black
Dracula's Mistletoe, #2
R. Kitt
Self-Pub, Oct 2017
Ebook, 66 Pages
Only available in Digital Format
Genre(s) Paranormal Romance
Source Author

Other books in this series
Mistletoe Red #1

My Disclaimer:
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it's about...
Sunday Merkwood and Jamie Tepes are breaking tradition by continuing with their relationship against her parents' wishes. Sunday has an arranged marriage bond that has kicked in since her 19th birthday that's causing some complications. Communications sometimes become crossed, so Sunday wants to make things clear between she and Jamie by becoming a Dracula.

Jamie's house locks down at midnight, so there can be no interruptions. What could go wrong? Well, almost everything...

Technical Tidbits...  
The cover is not to my liking. I like that It's Cade's mistletoe. But I don't like all that red. Use the mistletoe, but with something more artistic like the previous cover at the top.

The story line is very good. It's very different given the subject matter and her characters. I really love this little world that R. Kitt has carved out for herself. So unique and entertaining.

The characters were really great. They had wonderful personalities, even the disagreeable ones were great! Not pleasant, but they were done really well. To the point that you wanted to say something to the yourself about the way they were acting and what they were saying.

The pace is a bit choppy in this one. Sometimes it feels like you're going fast-forward and sometimes it's a much slower pace.

The tension is always there, though. When you start out in the bed of a guy who's in an arranged marriage contract with the girlfriend of a Dracula and he has a lovely blonde in his bed...tension anyone?

The writing quality is really up there. Ms. Kitt has had me read and review a couple of her novellas in series recently and I have enjoyed them all. Though her work wasn't at first glance in my genre, I find that her work is really fun and always entertaining. She pulls me in and keeps my attention until the end so that I always want more. So this is what I want next from Ms. Kitt. I want a full novel. I want something that I can curl up and read on a long snowy day.

And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...

The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰

This book was a bit confusing for me. It seemed like there were times that I wasn't really sure who was doing the talking at time or what was happening to who. I find it too easy to lose tract of that name at the beginning of each chapter and who's doing the talking or thinking.

The scene is set with just the two of them in the castle and no on expected back for a full day. They've talked it all out and they are all ready to go. Sunday has all her mental barriers up. They agree they want Sunday to get pregnant as well as go through the change. But the change to a Dracula is painful. You have to bleed out. You have to die.

Then Sunday meets Millan in the Catacomb Prison, one of two Dracula prisons. Sunday tells Millan about waking from her change and killing both of the young men in her life, Radian and Jamie. Radian had sensed her pain and come to her before the house locked down at midnight. Her black "mistletoes were falling to the floor like a funeral". She hadn't told Radian that she was going to let Jamie change her. For once, in these two years, she had been thinking only of Jamie.

Whatever had happened in that blood fest, caused Radian to awaken as a Dracula. And when Jamie finally awoke he would have nothing to do with Sunday. He told Radian he could have her, to get her out of the house. But the plan for a pregnancy didn't go astray. Sunday was a Dracula and a mother of a cute little boy, named Cade. And Cade is drinking blood like any good little Dracula. Finally, on a weekend visit with his Dad, he produces his first mistletoe, with purple berries! And he feeds them to his father. What effect will purple mistletoe berries have on Jamie's poisoned system? Whatever it is, he goes straight for Sunday.

Recommended

1633 wc