Tag Archive | Reviews

Pretty Young Things by Ace Gray–Review

Pretty Young Things by Ace Gray is a monster. Ace is a new to me author and I’m so incredibly happy that I got to start my ‘Ace’ experience with this one. There are only a few that I know that could tackle seven different points of view over the span of 20 years. That’s right, 7 POV’s in 20 years. It was exquisitely written that I didn’t realize I was in a time warp while doing spin the bottle to determine the next character. Incredibly flawless.

I had to do a quick high school English refresh when I heard that this was based on The Count of Monte Cristo. For a quick recap of TCoMC, some of the major themes are: revenge, jealousy, manipulation, desire, greed and betrayal. PYT had all these themes in spades. Whether you were the betrayers or the betrayed, everyone is affected by the seven POV’s.

To simplify, I’m going to go through some of the major players. There were four teenage boys who were battling their own demons and for some reason or another felt isolated in this world. This foursome soon became a brotherhood, through the blood pact. They were ‘blood brothers. Now and forever’ and vowed to always have each other’s back. There’s Dante, Diego, Danger and Rousse. Each boy unique in personality and characteristics, but a love of surfing bringing them together. Soon they are adult age and Rousse had the ability to buy the house that they always congregated at. This brotherhood soon became roommates.

Next player is Mercy. She is a twenty-year-old who is incredibly unlucky. She lives in a trailer with a drunk daddy who likes to get a little grabby and a mother that ran away when she was young. There is something that happens in her life changing her unluckiness and allows her to meet Dante. Soon she is living with him and neither have been happier. Life is going right for these perfect partners and Dante had a job promotion. Nothing was ever going to change in this young couples’ life, because now everything seemed to fall into place so easily since they were together. As far as the other POV’s, I’m going to leave that a secret.

All is not what it seems in their young lives. There is a strain in this brotherhood that is starting, because of jealousy, greed and lust. Without knowing it, manipulation and betrayal are at play and if ‘The Brotherhood isn’t careful, vengeance will soon have your name on it.’

Pretty Young Things was nothing like I expected, but everything I wanted and more. Excuse me, Ace Gray, you have gained a lifelong fan. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️

Normally, I have ‘issues’ with time jump stories (especially flashbacks). However, I was so engrossed with every single detail and every single character, that it didn’t bother me. Yes, the book may sound overwhelming, but you get so drawn into their world, as if you were another character, that the next thing you know is that you’re at the end going ‘what did I just read’. For this sentiment alone, I give 5 ‘Have Mercy’ stars. Take a chance on Pretty Young Things and you won’t be disappointed.

‘Promise me forever, Dante Rogue.’

‘On every constellation in the sky.’

 

Drifter by Kristy Marie–Review

For those of you who haven’t hopped on the Commandeer in Brief series yet, don’t worry, Drifter is a great place to start (and then go back and catch Commander in Briefs and Gorgeous). Once again, we find ourselves back in the wonderful little town of Madison at the McCallister Jameson Foundation that was started by Anniston McCallister for Marines. Now that we have the formal stuff out of the way, let me bring your attention to two words. Connor…Hayes! Drifter is about Connor and Bianca.

Connor is not only the hero of Drifter, but also one of the most enigmatic characters in Kristy Marie’s newest release. Connor oozes charm from every pore, darlin. He is the quintessential playboy who also resembles that ‘boy next door’ with dimples, rocking body and full of humor.

Mason: ‘Hayes, I swear if you pull your dick out in my car, I am going to beat your a@@.’

Hayes: ‘Don’t say beat and dick in the same sentence, that’s just teasing me at this point.’

I was pulled in immediately from the opening scene with not only ‘what is going to happen’, but with a boatload humor. Kristy wrote with such passion and vision that I was right along for the ride. I challenge you to read the prologue without laughing. It can’t be done.

Hayes: ‘Dude, I just came in my pants.’

When reading a book, you immediately start to gravitate to one character or the other. Sometimes, it can be both characters. In my personal experience, I am mostly drawn to the hero. Regarding the heroine, it is easy to get behind the heroine that is downtrodden, suffering emotionally, being bullied or is the underdog. However, there are times that there is such a strong, kick butt heroine that I am all about, ‘you go girl’. Now, is it difficult if said heroine also happens to be a criminal? That is what we are faced when reading about Bianca.

On paper from the beginning, it’s easy to typecast Bianca as a thief, a criminal, a person with no feelings or disregard to what she is doing and how that affects other people. Well, Bianca meet Hayes. Let’s see if you feel the same afterwards girl. Bianca has so many layers to her story, that I was full-on on the Bianca bandwagon along with being a staunch Connor Hayes supporter. Bianca was forced to make decisions for two reasons. 1) She was in an extremely disastrous relationship where she felt cornered with no way out. 2) One simple word, her mother. Bianca’s mom is huge driving force in her life and at times, heartbreaking to read about. Despite this, they have a beautiful relationship, which is only more fulfilling to read about when Hayes becomes involved. She portrays herself as a woman with a tough exterior, a true ‘tough nut to crack’, yet in reality, she’s all layers of ooey gooey-ness. What she didn’t realize is that she just needed the one person that will stand by you, make you stronger and build you up. Someone who is proud.

‘A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.’

-Maya Angelou

Drifter is a book about second chances, redeeming yourself from the past, growing and evolving into who you want to be and deserve to be. In reading Drifter, I experienced all four polar opposite emotions; joy-sadness, anger-fear, trust-distrust and surprise-anticipation (you’ll have to read Drifter to how these all fit in). Kristy Marie did an outstanding job with not only her primary characters, Hayes and Bianca, but all the secondary characters as well. Thank you, Kristy, for expanding this wickedly delightful Marine family and bringing them into my life. One last nugget from Drifter…Theo and Aspen are flipping adorable. I want one…of Theo and Aspen in my life, so I can laugh and swoon at this touching relationship.

Readers, do yourselves a favor and pick up this exquisite book. There is no losing when reading about a houseful of Marines, the women that attempt to tame them and a deliciously adorable baby.

5 stars

Boys of Brayshaw by Meagan Brandy–Review

 

Before I talk about the book, I just have to talk about the author for a second. Meagan Brandy, I don’t know you, but I LOVE you. Can we be secret friends and when you come up with anything genius, you send it my way? What have you done to me, girl?? You have magically created a world that I want to be transported to. I WANT to be a Bray girl with the ‘Boys of Brayshaw’. This is my first read from Ms. Brandy and I will happily go back for more!

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Raven (Rae) is a fiery and plucky seventeen-year-old from Stockton, CA. Rae, unfortunately, has been dealt a shit sandwich regarding her home situation and life. Her daddy was nonexistent, and her mom isn’t much better. Her mother has a certain ‘reputation’ around town and by default, Raven has acquired the same rep. Due to an incident at school, she is sent to live in a girls only home for troubled kids about to age out of the system. As with any situation in her life, Rae is sizing up the situation, because there is only one person she can count on, herself. Being moved to this new house means she will be attending a new high school, Brayshaw High. Raven is a loner and she’s ok with this and prefers it. She is feisty, tough, will NOT let anyone speak negatively of her and is ready to throw down. She’s a bada@@ and very perceptive to situations and the brothers, as well. I want to be Raven when I grow up (there’s still time for me to emulate, Ms. Raven).

The brothers…holy heck where do I start with them? Maddoc, Royce and Captain is a unit of brotherhood personified. Trust is something that comes very difficult for these three. They remind me of ‘The Three Musketeers’; ‘One for all and all for one’. To me, the boys were everything. They were rough, tough, distrustful, yet completely endearing. Meagan’s depiction of these boys and personalities was completely thought out and well written. Maddoc (sigh) is the leader of the group, Royce is the comedian and Captain is the silent killer. This brotherhood is fascinating to read about. Despite their rough and tumble exteriors, they really are human beings each longing for something inside.
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Kudos, Meagan Brandy, kudos! The Boys of Brayshaw is an incredible start to the series. In my mind, it’s a cross between Fallen Crest series by Tijan and The Elite Kings Club series by Amo Jones. Not a bad group of authors to be included in. There is more mystery, drama and plot twists than seen on Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Monk and Hart to Hart combined. Sorry, there was a mystery marathon on Hallmark. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ I loved this story and can’t wait for book two.

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Love by Pranks by Sunniva Dee–Review

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Love by Pranks is something completely different for Sunniva Dee. Love by Pranks is a college based romantic comedy, which is more heavily sided to the comedy. It is a hilarious, rip-roaring, gut-busting barrel of laughs.

Kitty is the newest resident to 246 Blossom Field Avenue (aka…Blossoms). The Blossoms is the all-girls house, that is unfortunately across the street from 247 Blossom Field Avenue. 247 is the ‘Dude’s’ house. Kitty is unfortunate/fortunate enough (depending how you look at it) to meet some of the ‘Dude’s’ on her way into her house.

She has no intentions to get involved with any of them. Kitty is a vet student who also volunteers at a local animal shelter. This plan is blown to smithereens when she meets, Lucian. Lucian is the bad boy and semi leader of 247. He is a college student, who happens to be a stripper, to make ends meet while in college.

Prior to Kitty arriving at Blossom Avenue, the Blossoms and the Dudes, have some unwritten rules between them. The biggest one is that a Blossom cannot become involved with a Dude and vice versa. Well, it isn’t long, before this rule is tested. Lucian even finds himself volunteering at the same animal shelter as Kitty. When two lost souls, find comfort in each other, will these rules truly keep them apart or will they rewrite them throwing caution to the wind?

A MAJOR aspect of this book, is the prank war between the Blossoms and Dudes. This prank war has been going on for a while and the last thing Kitty expected to be walking into. Each prank is designed to out due the other, but things like food is off limits. At first, I thought Kitty was going to be a slightly stuck up individual who would keep to herself. This idea is changed when she finds hundreds of ladybugs in here room. The whole house (minus ‘The Verandas’) help her round them up to be placed in a natural habitat. After this, it’s all hands-on deck for pranking. Deep down, Kitty is a little hellion, who likes to have fun (it doesn’t hurt that she has an extremely low alcohol tolerance, especially with pink cocktails and pirate punch involved). Her first prank is to make a mealworm birthday cake, for Guns (one of the idiot and outrageous dudes).

I am a HUGE Sunniva Dee fan and was anxious to read this book. I thought the premise sounding interesting but was unsure as to what I would get. I was used to her slightly taboo, fully emotional, lesson learning deep heartfelt romantic books. Needless to say, Love by Pranks, although a different type of book, did not disappoint. Sunniva wrote a seriously funny book, with a cast of characters that had you entertained from beginning to end. It reminded me of my college years, not saying I participated in a prank or two, or three, four and five. I’m highly anticipating the book on the next couple. I can’t wait to read the story of Gun and Seraphina and wonder how/why they got where they are. Should be a good one!!

4-stars

 

Disorderly by Hazel Grace–Review

Some words to define the word disorderly is disorder, irregular, unruly, turbulent, tumultuous and a breach of peace or public order. Disorderly by Hazel Grace is this and so much more. Wyatt and Nova only know attraction to each other and have no idea the chaos that will soon be coming their way.

As you’ve guessed, Disorderly is about Wyatt and Nova. Nova is a tortured soul, forever on the run, but she has one stable sidekick with her, Paige, her best friend. Nova and Paige have ended up in Tennessee. After working some long hard hours and saving every penny she could, she has finally opened her own bakery. She is expanding her business to include more wedding cakes and is currently working on a cake for a bridezilla when a little ‘snafu’ happens. To escape the wrath of Katherine, she takes off for the stairs in her apartment. Needing a quick distraction, she runs into Wyatt, literally. Being the gentleman that Wyatt is😉he helps her out of a jam.

Wyatt is a complicated, sullen man who has done whatever he needed to do to protect his family. He’s full of resentment, revenge and hate, until he finds one singular ray of light in his dismal world. Immediately, he is intrigued by Nova and the chemistry and lick of attraction that has affected them both. However, each has a complicated backstory and they don’t want to bring anyone into their chaotic life.

I don’t know if I can ever give enough information as to what this book is and how it will affect you. It’s hot, passionate, sad, angsty, dramatic, full of ‘oh no, they didn’t’ moments, rage inducing and just plain shock. There is a cliffhanger which only makes you go, ‘more, I need more now’! Despite all this, I was completely sucked into their world and couldn’t put it down. It was a page turner from beginning to end!!

Hazel has outdone herself with this beauty!! Wyatt is smoking, and Nova is off the charts beautiful person. When these two collide watch out for fireworks and earth shattering lust and desire! Each character individually has a spectacular backstory, but when these two come together…watch out!!

5 ‘Disorderly’ Stars

Baseball Lover by Rose Croft–Review

Let me start this off by saying, I LOVED John in the ‘High School Lover’. He had such an energetic, playful, mischievous, down to earth and flirtatious personality, it was hard not to like him from the beginning. I was secretly praying that John would get his own book and I’m ecstatic that he did.

Depending on where in the timeline of John and Rose’s story, will determine a couple different facets to Rose. Five years previous, Rose was on the top of the world. She was just finishing college and had a prosperous career to look forward to and then, BAM, tragedy strikes. Back in the present, Rose is working as a high school teacher. She has a best friend, Loren, who is dating her high school sweetheart, Andrew, but other than that she’s living her life of solitude. Rose is enigmatic, hurt, afraid to fall in love again and has walls built up high around her. All these personality quirks may come off as slightly bitchy, but she is trying to survive and not lose herself in the process of men, dating and love. She is a lovable woman with a great heart, she just portrays this prickly attitude to protect herself. She knows, however, that there is something different about John.

John and Rose as a couple didn’t happen overnight. It was beautifully written with a magnificent hero who was willing to do anything he could for the woman that he loved. John was truly a saint when it came to pursuing Rose. He is an unpretentious guy with the heart the size of Texas. When they finally were in a relationship, they had a whole different set of issues to work through. The biggest one being distance. John played baseball in Chicago, while Rose taught in Texas. Ms. Croft explores the issues of a long-distance relationship, not to mention when one person is in the limelight. Eventually, they work through their issues. What I love about them is that they were extremely supportive of each other.

Baseball Lover is a sports romance that is so much more than just sports and romance. There are moments of heated passion, emotional up and downs, personal growth, along with ‘oh no she didn’t’ frustration levels. I thoroughly, enjoyed, Baseball Lover. I was captivated from beginning to end.

5 stars

 

Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron and Kate Stewart–Review

Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.‘ –Michelle Rosenthal

Holy macaroni! I honestly don’t know where to start, so I’m going to start with the authors. Heather and Kate are FLIPPING geniuses! I love a good emotional read, but, honestly, I don’t actively go looking for it. Heartbreak Warfare is one that has ALL the feels and then some. I don’t know what rock (or boulder) I’ve been under where I haven’t heard of this dynamic duo, but I think it’s safe to say, they found themselves another permanent reader!!

Despair, elation, fear, love, hate, anger, sadness, joy and anticipation. Those are a lot of emotions placed between the front and back cover. I laughed, I cried, I was enraged and I was hopeful. Heather and Kate were able to pull out of me all these emotions, but I truly felt like I was with Katy and Briggs as they experienced war and the trauma that follows, both internally, externally and emotionally. I was filleted open, rubbed raw and left to try and stitch myself back together! I cannot emphasize enough not only how amazing Heartbreak Warfare is, but how engaging and sucked in you become. I was taken aback the first time I started crying.

Staff Sergeant Katy Scott is married to a Captain in the US Army with a six-year-old boy. Needless to say, deployments haven’t been easy on this family. Katy works in the clinic on base as a nurse/medic with her best friend, Corporal Mullins. The only thing Sergeant Briggs has known is the military. Katy and Mullins volunteer to go on a humanitarian mission along with Briggs and his buddies. Feeling excitement on getting off base and cooped up all the time, the only thing that made Katy uncomfortable was Briggs. Keep in mind, Katy says she is happily married, but there is something about Briggs, that she can’t ignore and sucks her in. While out on this mission, they are ambushed. What ensues is, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and chaotic. Heather and Kate do a phenomenal job with what follows, not only along the storyline, but at making you feel as though you were one with the book. I’m still in awe.

Heartbreak Warfare was about more than Katy and Briggs, it also included Gavin, Katy’s husband. This guy deserves sainthood. What he went through when Katy came home is, unfortunately, something many families go through. He tried desperately to bring Katy back, but unfortunately, there was only one person that would understand what she’s been through and he’s fighting his own battle. Each character was written so well, that it was hard to have a favorite. You know in some books, you are pulling for one character or another? Well this one, I felt like everybody deserved a win at happiness!

I am in awe of Heather, Kate and their glorious book, Heartbreak Warfare. If you are like me and want angst, but usually avoid super emotional reads, don’t pass this book up. You will not be disappointed. In fact, there are many great wonderful lessons throughout. It gave me a greater appreciation for people in the military, past and present, for our freedom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

5 stars

Five ‘Superhero’ Stars PLUS Five ‘Awe-inspiring’ Stars