Saturday, December 21, 2013

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "The Spider" by Jennifer Estep


For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

The Spider is book 10 in the Elemental Assassin series.  Jennifer Estep has taken us to place where we needed to go.  We get to take a more in depth exploration of our beloved assassin's, history.  

This time we are with Gin early in her career as an assassin at a time when she is beginning to make a name for herself.  Like any young adult in their early twenties,  she is full of vim and vigor.  We see Gin at her most vulnerable and her most arrogant.  She has just enough experience to get her into a whole heap of trouble.  Pride and arrogance are common themes in young adult/new adult stories and our gal, Gin, is not immune.  Unfortunately, this is a lesson learned at a very high cost.  

We get to visit more with Fletcher and Flinn.  It is also no small coincidence that Xavier, Rosalyn and Owen end up later in Gin's life.  Sweet. 

Written in the characteristic Jennifer Estep-style, this book is fast-paced and detailed.  Ms. Estep is brilliant at describing suspenseful fight scenes and, at the same time, bringing us close to Gin's heart. And golly, I always finish these books with a craving for Southern comfort food.  I can almost imagine the delectable smells coming off the pages. These are the reasons I'm back for book 10.  

A must-read for fans of the Elemental Assassin series.  Although it is book 10, it is also a prequel and thus, could be read earlier in the series order.  

Thank you to the author, publisher and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 20, 2013

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Off the Edge" by Carolyn Crane

Peter Macmillan Maxwell
Laney Lancaster

For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool fa├žade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They may be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.

Off the Edge is book two in The Associates series by Carolyn Crane.  

Carolyn Crane writes deliciously complicated stories.  They are so smart and clever, it makes me feel smarter after I read them.  In Off the Edge, she uses linguistics as the centerpiece of the story.  Linguistics is a weapon.  I've taken a few linguistic classes in my career and no one has ever made it as fun as Ms. Crane.  I bet if language professors could promote linguistics as a superhero skill, there would be lines of students trying to get into classes.  

There is a certain quality to Carolyn Crane's writing. I can't quite put my finger on it.  All I can say is that when I read her books, I think of movies created in primary colors - like the Dick Tracy movie starring Warren Beatty.  I think it is because  her characters are colorful. They have unique gifts, oftentimes cerebral talents, like this one.  Peter MacMillian is a linguist.  He studies pauses, cadences, sounds, slang, and he can track them to a geographic region.  It is impressive to realize how much one gives away in the the way one talks and the words one chooses.  Yes, it is a language GPS.  

He could see a universe in a single word choice.  He used his expertise to understand people, and by extension humanity itself.  

Yet, there is also ambiguity in this story as well.  It is not always clear who the heroes and villains are.  People you think are heroes don't always act heroically.  Villains are not always who they seem. Like I said, complicated.  

This is also a love story.  Laney is a poet, singer/songwriter running from her abusive past. She is living in Thailand terrified that her ex-husband will find her.  Here she meets Peter, a stranger who shares a similar love for words and poetry.  They connect on a visceral level: "He'd connected.  It made him feel familiar from the inside out.

Laney and Peter both thrive for emotional connection.  Peter is unaware of how essential that is to him until he meets her.  She becomes his moral compass and he is awakened. It's a beautiful story that starts with her lyrics and ends with him saving the world!  Perfect romantic suspense, right? 

Do yourself a favor and pick up this Carolyn Crane book.  It is  unique and stimulating and one of my favorites for this year.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SUNNY: BOOK RELEASE BLITZ "Dragon Awakened" by Jaime Rush

by Jaime Rush
December 17, 2013
Forever Mass Market

Welcome to the Blog Tour celebrating the release of Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush.  Enjoy the review and please make sure enter the fabulous giveaway!


Ruby Salazaar wants answers . . . and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath -  Cyntag - leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.

Ruby changed Cyn's life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn't foresee the danger -  and desires - Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control . . .

I read a lot of paranormal books with shifters, but this is my first one featuring dragons.  Dragons remind me of fairytales and this book has a fairytale quality.  The story is well constructed with complicated elements of science and nature.  It is laid out logically and flows well. If this were a movie, you can tell the shift from each section of a storyboard.  I particularly like the way the author interjects stories of the Hidden into the narrative.  It gives the story an ethereal feel, not everything is grounded in reality.  

My small critique is my inability to connect deeply with the characters.  I like both Ruby and Cyn.  I enjoy their interaction.  Ruby is smart, assertive, and stubborn.  I like her street smarts.  Cyn is dark and dangerous with a vulnerable heart. So why aren't they more unforgettable? I think the characters are slightly underdeveloped.  It's like being plopped down in the middle of a story that has already started.  I especially get this feeling when we are introduced to secondary characters like Kade and Grayson.  We know who they are, but little on what they are about.  

I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read this book.  If you are a fan of dragon shifters, you may enjoy this book.  The story is interesting, if not perfect.  

Thank you to author and publisher, Forever (Grand Central), for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.  

Things that go bump in the night have always fascinated Jaime Rush. Sometimes those things are human; other times, not so much. Now she has twisted them all together in the Hidden, a trilogy about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife's edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty.

Jaime is the author of the Offspring series and also writes under the name Tina Wainscott. She is the bestselling author of eighteen romance novels. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, daughter, and cat.  





DRAGON AWAKENED – 15 winners will receive our Hidden prize pack, featuring a bound flip book of the first two novellas DRAGON MINE and DRAGON AWAKENED, a print copy of DRAGON AWAKENED, advanced copies of the next two books in the series, MAGIC POSSESSED and ANGEL SEDUCED, plus a series bookmark and a special Jaime Rush dog tag!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVEAL BLITZ "Reaver" by Larissa Ione

by Larissa Ione
December 17, 2013 
Grand Central Publishing Mass Market

Thank you for joining us for the book reveal blitz for Reaver by Larissa Ione.  We are excited to be helping to celebrate the release of book 5 in the Lords of Deliverance series.  Enjoy the post and our review and don't forget to sign up for the Giveaway. 

Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood. . .

Reaver is book 5 in the Lords of Deliverance (LOD) series and a continuation of the Demonica series.  I'm still a newbie to Demonica having only read book one,  Pleasure Unbound,  and none from LOD.  I know some of my friends on Goodreads are gasping that I am reading this story out of series order, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.

Therefore, this review is from the perspective of someone who has willing 
"dropped into" the series.  Admittedly, it was a little difficult at first to get into the history.  There are so many names and a lot of background information, but Ms. Ione does a wonderful job of bringing the reader up to speed. The summaries whet my appetite to seek out the other narratives.  

I would imagine it is not easy to create larger-than-life characters and not come off as too cartoonish.  Reaver is a bad-boy, always breaking the rules and thumbing his nose at the archangels.  However, the way he is written makes him fully accessible - the way he is driven by a hidden purpose of which he doesn't fully understand, his courage to face unbelievable odds, his willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, and his commitment to get back the eternal love that he lost.  Yup, he's kinda dreamy.

Harvester is no meek fallen angel.  The descriptions of her torture are pretty gruesome, but the courage to face each demented punishment from Satan is admirable.  I like that she has a lot of spunk and a bit of naughtiness in her.  The evolution of Reaver and Harvester's relationship feels like a culmination (well, they are separated for 5,000 years). 

The story is well conceived and fast paced.  There is no room to get bored.  Larissa Ione has a clearly developed world and her imagination is creative.  You'll find fun, fear, suspense, and romance.  In some ways, it reminds me little of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.  There are big characters with big personalities, lusty stories with humor, and includes a dash of contemporary references (the references of the Horsemen texting and Reaver 2.0 made me smile.)  I loved it.  

I am absolutely thrilled I had the opportunity to read this book. I am dashing to the bookstore (well, actually Amazon) to pick up book 2 and look forward working my way up to this book

Thank you to the author and Grand Central Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.





1 winner will get our grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: 
Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

SUNNY: COVER REVEAL "Objection" Part 1 of Legal Affairs serial by Sawyer Bennett

Part 1 in the Legal Affair Series
by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: January 10, 2014

Legal Affairs is a serial romance with a whole lot of hot and a little bit of funny. It has six volumes that will be released every two weeks, the first one, entitled Objection, on January 10, 2014.

One year ago, I graduated from law school and embarked on a career as a purveyor of high priced legal shenanigans.

Six months ago, my boyfriend dumped me when I thought he might be proposing.

Two weeks ago, I got drunk and joined a secret sex club.

Two days ago, I had a torrid one-night stand with a stranger.

Today? Well, today I’m contemplating having an affair with my boss.

Matt Connover is all kinds of forbidden temptation wrapped up in a deliciously wicked package, and he’s made it clear… he’s only interested in sex.

My name is McKayla Dawson but everyone calls me Mac. I work at the powerhouse firm of Connover & Crown, LLP, where the law has never felt so hot.

But between you and me, I’m afraid my heart won’t survive these Legal Affairs.

Release Schedule:
Legal Affairs – Objection – releasing January 10, 2014
Legal Affairs – Stipulation – releasing January 24, 2014
Legal Affairs – Violation – releasing February 7, 2014
Legal Affairs – Mitigation – releasing February 21, 2014
Legal Affairs – Reparation – releasing March 7, 2014
Legal Affairs – Affirmation – releasing March 21, 2014

About the Author:
USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Author's Social Media Links:


Wednesday, December 11, 2013


2014 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read 10 contemporary romance novels. Books that qualify for this challenge can be young adult, new adult, or adult. Books can be M/F, M/M, or F/F. Books must be a work of fiction (sorry, nonfiction does not qualify for this challenge). Romances with the following elements do not qualify for this reading challenge: paranormal, historical, time-travel, fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/suspense/thriller.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.


I am so excited for this challenge.  This is my favorite genre and last year some of my favorite books were from romantic suspense.  I'm looking to outdo my 59 books from last year. 

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read 10 romantic suspense novels.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed. 
Challenge Books Read:

1. Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun
2. Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun
3. After the Storm by Maya Banks
4. Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda Howard
5. Cry No More by Linda Howard
6. After the Night by Linda Howard
7. Rekindled by Kaylea Cross
8. Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye
9. Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus
10. Prey by Linda Howard
11. Hold On To Me by Elisabeth Naughton
12. Open Season by Linda Howard
13. Withholding Evidence by Rachel Grant

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SUNNY: RELEASE EVENT and GIVEAWAY "Reviving Izabel" by J.A. Redmerski


(In The Company of Killers #2)
By J.A. Redmerski

An Adult Suspense


 If you haven't read the first book, Killing Sarai 
(In the Company of Killers, #1) is on sale for .99 cents for the release of Reviving Izabel!


Determined to live a dark life in the company of the assassin who freed her from bondage, Sarai sets out on her own to settle a score with an evil sadist. Unskilled and untrained in the art of killing, the events that unfold leave her hanging precariously on the edge of death when nothing goes as planned.

Sarai’s reckless choices send her on a path she knows she can never turn back from and so she presents Victor with an ultimatum: help her become more like him and give her a fighting chance, or she’ll do it alone no matter the consequences. Knowing that Sarai cannot become what she wants to be overnight, Victor begins to train her and inevitably their complicated relationship heats up.

As Arthur Hamburg’s right-hand man, Willem Stephens, closes in on his crusade to destroy Sarai, she is left with the crushing realization that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. But Sarai, taking on the new and improved role of Izabel Seyfried, still has a set of deadly skills of her own that will prove to be all she needs to secure her place beside Victor.

But there is one test that Izabel must face that has the potential to destroy everything she is working so hard to achieve. One final test that will not only make her question her decision to want this dangerous life, but will make her question everything she has come to trust about Victor Faust.

About the Author

Born November 25, 1975, J.A. (Jessica Ann) Redmerski is a New York Times,USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Author's Social Media Links:


(3) Signed print copy sets of Killing Sarai and Reviving Izabel  – International

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Sweet Revenge" by Rebecca Zanetti

The One Man She Can't Have

Matt Dean was born to fight…and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he's gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho…and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can't Resist

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She's spent years running from her own past—the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt's strong arms offer her protection, and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she's ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt's past and putting everything—and everyone—he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

Sweet Revenge is book two in the Sins Brothers series.  This book started off kinda rough for me.  I was getting very irritated at the love-at-first-sight-I-have-to-have-her-now syndrome.  On the insta-love scale, this one rates a 9.5.  Fortunately, this is but one aspect of the story and soon the book takes an interesting twist and bam, the narrative takes off.  

We learn more about the history of the brothers we first meet in book one, Forgotten Sins.  The deeper we delve into their background, the more complicated the story gets.  This book does a nice job of balancing the current story between Laney and Matt with the overarching storyline of the brothers.  I'm still a little skeptical at how the relationship develops and how quickly they fall so deep in love.  The characters are constantly expressing that surprise themselves. However, I did enjoy the larger story.   There is a sense of urgency as time is running out for the brother as they must find the person who can help deactivate the doomsday chips they each have embedded in their brain.   The action is fast paced, there are surprising turns, and plenty of suspense.  The ending is a little abrupt but leaves us, the reader, with plenty of anticipation for the next book.  

Despite my minor critique, I thought this was an entertaining read and am excited about continuing the series. I get a sense the series will continue to get better and better and we still have couple of brothers who stories need to be told!

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

SUNNY: COVER REVEAL "Shine" by Dannika Dark

(Mageri Series, Bk #5)
By Dannika Dark


In the short span of a year, Silver has gone from becoming a Mage to discovering the truth about her unique genetics. Logan Cross went from her mortal enemy to her immortal lover, but a threat is fast approaching like an inevitable storm. Attacks are underway against the Mageri and one man is behind it—an elusive foe who is an unstoppable force. Nero is not Silver’s only concern as someone close to her is arrested for treason. In the midst of chaos, Silver discovers she cannot protect everyone from the wrath of fate, including her own Ghuardian.

Justus finally opens his heart, but an unexpected turn of events could darken his soul forever. Secrets are revealed that will leave you reeling from one twist after the next. Would you sacrifice everything for love?

Destiny has set sail and once she alters her course, no one’s life will ever be the same in this explosive conclusion to the Mageri Series.

Release Date:

December 20, 2013

About the Author

This is the segment where you learn a little more about who I am, so here's what I can tell you:  I drink copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to my laptop while writing. These are two healthy habits I have no intention of breaking. I'm a transplant living in the south, but I was born in the 70's to a military dad who moved us around the world.

When I'm not writing (which is all the time), I'm hunting down Indie music, watching movies, reading, eating Tex-Mex, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the Internet. I have a relaxed, easy-going personality and don't like drama. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I'm not sure which).

Throughout my life, I've had insomnia. Counting sheep never worked and eventually I would imagine those sheep were the sole source of food after an apocalyptic battle where only thousands survived. I made up stories in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I got so wrapped up in my "head stories" that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down - creating short stories, and then I discovered my love for poetry.

It's almost embarrassing how many spiral notebooks and stacks of paper I have of poetry and lyrics.

Another passion: digital art. I design all my book covers, marketing, and series art. I'm a very visual person and pursued photography as an avid hobby for many years.

I am not a YA author (I feel like I have to state this only because I've had a few people ask), but I think it's wonderful there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.

I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do: giving my characters a pulse through writing full time. I focus on adult urban fantasy romance, but I don't like labels and I enjoy blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability.

But it's what I love to do.


Find Dannika here: 


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SUNNY: PROMO SPOTLIGHT BLITZ "On the Isles of Mozambique" by Mila A. Ballentine

 On The Isles of Mozambique
by Mila A. Ballentine

Samira McAllister, an aspiring writer working for The Seasoned Traveler magazine is offered an opportunity. She takes advantage of the chance to jump start her career, hoping to make a mark in the writing industry.

Unforeseen hurdles threaten her ability to follow through with her plans, and life as she knows it becomes a memory. From that point onward, every choice she makes will seal her fate.

Available for purchase at


Book Trailer


She heard keys rattling and the front door opened. Samira poked her head out in the hallway.
“Hi.” Amy closed the door, walked to the kitchen, and poured herself a glass of water.
“I was starting to think that I’d be eating dinner alone,” Samira said smiling.
“I went by Eric’s place to get the rest of my things.” Amy left the kitchen and went into the living room.
“How did it go?”
“Not good.” She shrugged. “But I got my stuff. That’s all that matters.” Amy slouched on the sofa, kicked off her heels and folded her feet on the sofa. Samira sat down next to her.
“He seemed nice when I met him.”
Amy huffed. “They’re always nice when you introduce them to your friends and family, but ‘come see me, and come live with me’ are two different things. We could’ve worked it out if he was less attentive, more considerate and polished up on his communication skills.”
Samira snickered, “You know most woman would kill to have a man who’s attentive.”
“Good for them! They can have him. Eric wants to know where I am and who I’m with at all times. I can’t live like that. I had a father who already raised me and I’m not looking for another one.”
Samira chuckled. “I bet you wished that fairytales would have warned you about guys like that.”
“Yes, it would’ve been nice. While you’re in Africa, bring back a tall, tanned, muscle-bound hunk for me.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Amy laughed and hit her with a throw pillow she grabbed from the sofa. “I’m just glad the other person you were going to have as a roommate changed her mind. I needed to get away from him.”
“I’m glad too. The last thing I need is some random person going through my stuff while I’m not around.”
“Dido, if I had to spend another day at Eric’s place, I would’ve lost my mind. He’s too into me.” Amy took a sip of her drink and put it on the accent table beside the sofa.
“You don’t have to worry about me in regards to that. At least here, you’ll get to keep your sanity.” Samira eased back on the sofa.

About the Author

Mila A. Ballentine is a mystery writer who doesn't shy away from writing about things that grasp the core of her imagination. She studied Creative Writing and Communication Arts at a City University of New York. Her writing is an extension of her mind’s eye and there is always an element of truth in each of her books. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling or doing anything that allows her to put her creative energy to use.

Follow Mila here


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