Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Darkest Night and The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments... and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love...
Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful..."

My Thoughts:

Be still my paranormal loving heart!  A few years back (six to be exact) I read this book and I remember enjoying it.  Sadly this is about all I remembered when I tried to think back on it.  I do know that I also meant to continue on with this series but that never happened (along with writing up my thoughts on this one. Go figure!).  When I was given the chance to read a book in this series I was eager to reread this one because I remembered so little of it.  Now I am wondering how in the heck I ever forgot this one because this book was HOT!  Don't mind me over here just fanning myself.  LOL!  Seriously though, this is such a great and unique beginning to this paranormal romance series!  Fallen warriors with actual demons living inside them?  Gods and curses along with other hints of the supernatural?  I found myself instantly sucked into this complex and dark world where falling in love is the last thing that any of the warriors thought could ever happen to them.  Sigh!

I learned very early on that I remembered next to nothing about this book.  This worked out really well for me as I was sucked into this book and the world that the author had created once again.  I loved every minute of it!  It is one of those books that you just cannot set down and read as fast as you possibly can.  The chemistry between Maddox and Ashlyn is so scorchingly hot that it also made me want to read even faster.  Basically I devoured this book and that is all you really need to know.  It is funny considering that this was a reread so you would think that it would have been less suspenseful for me.  That wasn't the case in the slightest, and I had forgotten how this author isn't afraid of putting her characters through the wringer which just adds to the tension more.  The world that Showalter has created  is both dark and intense which is such a great combination.  Add to it these fallen warriors trying to keep the demons living inside them under control and you have a winning read in my opinion.  I couldn't help but want to see Maddox find his happy ever after with Ashlyn.  I loved them together almost instantly because she brought out a different side to him that I just adored.  Plus the chemistry between them was both electrifying and such fun to read about!  The ending of this book was even more intense than I remembered which left me frantically reading when I got to the last fifty pages or so.  It was worth it and I finished this one totally satisfied!  Overall, this was a really great reread and left me really pumped to continue on with this series!

Bottom Line:  I adored this book and know that I will end up rereading it again at some point.  So good!

Summary from Goodreads:

"Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of Anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death--a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining..."

My Thoughts:

These books!  I just can't seem to get enough of these books and these fallen warriors!  After finishing The Darkest Night I was super pumped to read this one and I wasn't disappointed.  Basically when I go to read book three I need to make sure that I have nothing planned because I am completely useless while reading these.  I spent an entire Saturday afternoon curled up in a chair finishing this book- it was completely worth it!  This book was just as readable as the first book and just as hard to put down.  I find myself so completely sucked into these books from the very beginning page.  The author is just that good!  

What I loved about this second book is that we are learning more about the world that these warriors used to be a part of.  A world filled with gods and goddesses and artifacts with magical properties.  It is all so unique and interesting and fun to read about.  Plus, it is all very dark and intriguing as well which is something that I am just a sucker for in world building.  Anya and Lucien's relationship was just as hot as I had hoped that it would be which makes it all the more fun to read about.  With this book, Anya has a curse that really affected her ability to have a relationship with a man (I don't want to say more and spoil it so I will leave it at that).  This curse was something that Lucien and Anya were forced to deal with but I really loved the way that it was handled.  I also enjoyed that we learned more about some of the other warriors and the demons that they are dealing with.  The bonus scenes in this book were when we got to see Ashlyn and Maddox a bit more although the focus wasn't on them at all.  I just loved their happy ever after so it was great to see it continue on in this book.  My only complaint with this book was the ending.  After all that build up for the first 3/4ths of the book I felt like the ending didn't quite live up to my expectations.  It just wasn't as intense as I expected it to be.  It was good and I wasn't upset with it by any means but it just felt a bit flat in comparison to the rest of the book.  If that is my only complaint though....well, I can live with that!

Overall, I have become a huge fan of this series thanks to these two books.  I am so eager to continue on with this series and get my hands on book three.  I'm thinking though that I will need books three and four nearby though so I can continue on this paranormal romance binge.  These books are so steamy and such page turners.  I can't emphasize that enough!  I am loving my time in this world and am so very excited to continue on.  Highly recommended to romance and paranormal romance fans!

Bottom Line:  Another great read that left me pining for more!  I love this series!

Disclosure:  I received both of these books thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Filling My Kindle (E-Book Addict)

I always tell you about all of the amazing books that I add to my kindle thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss but I usually neglect to share about all of the other books that I add.  Let's be real here, you have probably guessed that if I have no control on those sites then I probably have no self control when it comes to books in general.  WRONG!  (Ha ha....just kidding!)  You would actually be right and it is so very true that I add new books to my kindle at an alarming rate.  It isn't my fault that I can't resist when a book is priced at such a great rate and has been on my TBR list just calling to me.  Don't ask my husband though if he agrees with me on this either.  LOL!  Here are some of the freebies and books that I have bought for myself recently thanks to my inability to say no:

Sigh!  How could I possibly resist any of these?  Just having them on my kindle makes me happy so obviously I made some good decisions.  But which of these to read first?  That is the real question.  Tell me:  do you add books to your e-reader with as much ease as I seem to?  What books have you gotten recently?  Do share!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD's top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl's heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he'll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . ."

My Thoughts: 

One of the things that I love so much about the blogging world is the fact that I find all of these new authors thanks to blogger recommendations.  I've had this author on my radar now thanks to a blogging friend who I trust when it comes to romance recommendations (thanks Lisa!) so I jumped at the opportunity to read this one.  Verdict on this author and book?  I loved her voice, enjoyed this book, and am left really excited to read more of the books in this series!  All very good things if I do say so myself!  This was one of those books that I found myself unable to put down which meant that I read it in a matter of days.  The chemistry and tension between the two main characters was so good and it just meant that I couldn't stop reading.  What is funny about this book (and my reading experience) is that this is the second romance I've read this year where one of the main characters in a serious relationship with someone else.  I totally would have said before now that I wouldn't have enjoyed this kind of story line but both of these authors have managed to make it work.  And actually work quite well despite my misgivings early on.  I found myself eagerly reading trying to figure out how Vin and Jill were going to find their happy ever after when there were so many complications in front of them.  I loved every minute of it!

I also really enjoyed that with this book there was also a mystery story line present.  Vincent and Jill are both detectives and also partners that were investigating the death of a famous actress.  The question of who killed the famous leading lady gave this book a layer of suspense that I wasn't actually expecting.  Basically I was reading for two different things.  One, for Vincent to finally realize that Jill was the best thing that ever happened to them so they could fall in love.  Two, I was reading to see who the killer was and how these two were going to figure it all out.  As I'm a mystery lover as well, this book basically was hitting all of my sweet spots which is one of the reasons why I just couldn't stop reading.  I loved the ending of this book so much although I won't say more than that.  I finished this book with a smile on my face and was left very excited to the other books in this series.  I have to see what I've missed with these other brothers and how they fell in love!! 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am thrilled that I had the chance to read it!  I found myself reading this one during ALL of my free time and even when I shouldn't have been reading (like when I was supposed to be helping the oldest child with math).  The chemistry between the two main characters was exactly how I like it to be with my romance reads:  steamy and hot but also filled with obstacles that need to be overcome.  I am a sucker for a book where the main characters have to fight to be together in some way rather than the insta-love that sometimes happens.  This is easily a book that I would recommend to other romance readers!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that I found myself swept away in!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley as part of a Tasty Book Tour. 

 Here is just a taste of this book but is the perfect one to make you want to read it (at least it sure worked for me!):


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Meyers (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte is busy baking her green chile soufflés and chocolate flans for Cinco de Mayo. If only her friend Linda, the daughter of Rita’s octogenarian boss Flori, could get into the festive spirit. Linda’s cart, Tia Tamales, is losing business to Crepe Empire, the hottest food cart in Santa Fe. Napoleon, Crepe Empire’s owner, is a pompous, celebrity chef who wants to squeeze out the competition. But when Linda gets into a heated argument with Napoleon and his corpse is later found stabbed and pinned beneath the wheels of her tamale cart, she becomes the number one suspect.

Determined to prove Linda’s innocence, Rita investigates. From Napoleon’s disgruntled former employees to a shady health inspector, the list of suspects is longer than Flori’s strings of dried chili peppers. And when another corpse surfaces, Rita must scramble to find an elusive killer with an appetite for murder…"

My Thoughts:

This is such a fun series and one that I am really coming to adore!  Last year I read and absolutely loved Bread of the Dead which is the first book in this cozy series.  I knew after finishing book one that this was a series that I wanted to continue on with.  I'm sure that you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was approved to read this book early on Edelweiss (it took all my self control to wait closer to the release date to read it).  Cinco de Mayhem was just as good as I hoped that it would be and left me wishing for book three.  I have enjoyed these two books so much that this author has now jumped on to my must read list where I will anxiously await all books that she writes.  

One of the things that makes this series stand out for me are the characters.  Oh but how I adore the characters in these books!  Rita is a single mom dealing with a teenage daughter that is slightly rebellious and working as a chef in Tres Amigas Cafe.  I talked about this in my review of book one but she is just so easy to relate to in my opinion.  There are so many women out there dealing with many of the same issues that Rita is dealing with and I love her character because of it.  She isn't perfect and doesn't pretend to have everything under control either.  The character that steals the show (for me anyways) is Flori.  Flori and her wacky ways are such fun to read about it.  If I found myself laughing while reading this book, it was because of something Flori was up to.  She is always causing mischief of some kind and it is so fun to read about.  This book actually wasn't as humorous in comparison to book one but I did find myself giggling here and there still.  I just wanted a bit more of Flori's hi-jinks because they are so fun to read about (my one and only complaint with this book).  I'm also really starting to become a fan of Addie who is a secondary character and played a more important role in this book.  She also makes me laugh with her attempts to be more like the famous singer Adele.  Basically I love all of the characters so it is no wonder that this series works so well for me!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am left wishing that I had the third book in my hands now.  I believe that this is the exact same thing that I said after finishing book one.  LOL! The mystery portion of this book was done quite well and had me guessing until the very end.  I suspected the killer at certain points of the book but the author did a really great job of making me doubt myself so the ending was still a surprise.  I read this book entirely too fast and was sad to see it end.  A mark of a truly great series is when you wish that the characters were actually people that you could be friends with.  I would love to have someone like Flori in my life- it would be a hoot!  I can definitely recommend this series but I do think that you should read Bread of the Dead first!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A wonderful addition to one of my favorite cozy mystery series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss.

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 16th)

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!"

It has been way too long since I have participated in this meme!  Work has been extremely busy (currently we are in mandatory overtime until the end of the month) and I've been using up all of pre-scheduled posts because of it.  I am so thankful that I work from home now though as it makes the long hours that much more manageable.  We have had spring weather this week as well (sunshine and rain - two of my favorite things) which makes everything better!  Not much else to report though as life is just busy, busy.  I was thinking about doing a reading update that would catch me up since my last update but that is too overwhelming to think about.  Here, instead, is what I finished last week:

Such a great week of reading!  This is basically what happens when I am stressed with life- I throw myself into the books that I am reading.  This is what relaxes me like nothing else so a busy work week meant lots of reading time in the evenings (or whenever I could fit it in).  My thoughts will be posted on Cinco de Mayhem later this week and reviews for other two will be coming in the near future.  All three were great in their own ways and I can easily recommend!

I am currently reading the following books:

I don't usually read two books but I've decided to try it.  One nonfiction to meet my goal of actually reading some of the nonfiction on my TBR list.  This is off of my own shelves thanks to my sister.  Rage Against the Dying is a library book that I've been meaning to try for some time now.  Last year Fear the Darkness (the second book in this series) was on my top reads of the year list so it is time to finally read book one.  I have very high hopes and am excited to begin reading it.  I actually haven't started either of these books quite yet.

New Arrivals:

Let's just ignore my lack of self control (yet again) and enjoy those beautiful covers, shall we?  I won't apologize for wanting to read all of these because they all sound SO good!  I have lots of great reading ahead of me and that is all that matters!

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

“Killing me won’t kill the beast” are the last words of rapist-murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell, written four days before his execution. But they can’t explain how medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds Waddell’s fingerprints on another crime scene—after she’d performed his autopsy. If this is some sort of game, Scarpetta seems to be the target. And if the next victim is someone she knows, the punishment will be cruel and unusual..."

My Thoughts:

How does she do it?!?  How does Patricia Cornwell take me on breathless and heart pounding rides with each of her books?  I read her books at a frantic pace trying my best to figure out what is going to happen next.  Even when I think that I have figured it out...usually I am completely wrong and am left blown away by the ending.  I pulled this own off of my own shelves as I was craving some Scarpetta adventures and this book didn't disappoint.  Last year I managed to read three books in this series (out of order on two of them) and I'm hoping on reading many more this year.  How could I not want to after enjoying each of the books in this series so much?  

In this book Scarpetta does the autopsy for Ronnie Joe Waddell who was a death row inmate and recently executed.  From the very beginning things seem off with both Scarpetta's findings and everything relating to Ronnie's recent demise.  Before long Scarpetta is drawn deep into an investigation where there are more secrets than answers.  Sigh!  This book just about threw me into a bookish hangover.  If every book was as good as this one I would get nothing done ever and my house would be in shambles.  That is the plain and simple truth!  I did nothing while reading this book other than read it.  I had a three day weekend and while usually I would have worked around the house....you know, accomplished stuff but instead I sat curled up with this book all day long.  It was completely worth it though!  If you want fast-paced intense read then you should really give this series a try!

One of the things that I liked most about this book was how this author took what seemed to be an impossible scenario and really made me believe it.  I spent the majority of my time trying to figure out what the heck was going on while reading this one.  It was so crazy and every time that I thought maybe I had some of it figured out, the author managed to turn the tables around on me so that I was lost once again.  Kay gets wrapped up in these cases and especially with this book it felt like there was a target on her head.  It added another layer of tension that made me want to read even faster.  I love how we are getting to know these characters more and more in each book.  What surprised me was how much Lucy had changed and grown from the earlier three books.  I also really found it interesting as I have read the most recent two books in this series to see how elements in regards to her character were now coming to play in this one.  I love how authors do things like that!  The ending of this book was the only thing that made me slightly frustrated.  I guess I just expected more (trying not to spoil anything here) and didn't quite get what I was looking for.  Overall though I found this to be yet another amazing addition to this series!

Final thoughts are basically this in a nutshell:  read this series!  Patricia Cornwell has basically cemented herself and this series on to my favorite must read list.  I will read all of the books in this series and the sooner the better in my opinion.  I have nothing but good things to say about this series and this book.  A very intense ride but so completely worth it!  I would recommend these books (I do think you should read them in order if I'm being honest to enjoy the characters and their relationships more) to mystery and thriller fans alike.  Highly, highly recommend!

Bottom Line:  Yet another amazing addition to this mystery series!  I need more!

Disclosure:  I purchased my copy of this book at my local used bookstore. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…"

My Thoughts:

What a book this was!  I went into this one expecting a thriller and a page turner.  While this book was definitely a page turner, it was one of those rare suspenseful reads that is meant more to be savored and read both slowly and carefully.  It was a book of questions and one that kept me entranced throughout.  Sometimes the slow books that take their time building up are the ones that stay with you the longest.  I can tell you that the more I think about this book, the more I realize just how much I enjoyed it.  Don't get me wrong, I knew when I finished that this was a book that I wouldn't forget anytime soon but what I didn't realize is how much this book would stick with me.  Haunting is a great (although a bit overused) way to describe it.  There was this overall feeling of darkness that was present throughout the book.  As the reader I instinctively knew that bad things were going to happen- I could just feel it as I read.  The author made the questions build up slowly and surely in such a way that added to the layers of suspense already present.  What had happened on that fateful day when a little girl disappeared?  Is Jean someone you can trust and what has she been hiding all of this time?  

The questions of Jean and her character were yet another thing that added to the tension of the story.  I couldn't help but wonder what she was going to reveal next and her motivations behind it all.  Could we trust her?  You should know by now that I am a sucker for any book with a possibly unreliable narrator.  It is like reading catnip....I just cannot resist!  The story goes along told in three different parts: one from Jean herself, one from the eyes of a reporter, and the final part from the lead detective that was involved in the arrest of Jean's husband.  The author interweaves these three stories in such a compelling way that I just couldn't stop reading.  I needed to know what had happened so long ago and it was that reason that kept me reading late into the night.  This book wasn't at all what I expected but that was why it worked so well for me!  The ending itself was well done and completely unexpected.  This was one of those rare books where you think that you have it all figured out only to realize that you were completely wrong.  I loved the way this book ended and won't say any more than that.  I've said this already but I will say it one more time:  this is a book that sticks with you and just begs for you to think about days later.

Overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience with this book.  It was different than I expected but it turns out that is exactly what I needed/wanted without knowing it.  I loved the slow building layers of tension and suspense that were present throughout this book.  I am glad that I took my time with this book as I feel like it really added to reading experience.  If you are looking for a quieter yet still thrilling read, this is the book to check out.  Just be warned that you will be thinking about it long after.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that I still cannot stop thinking about!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Drive by Sidney Bristol (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Aiden DeHart has a history—and secrets. His classic car garage is a front for an FBI operation. His current mission: get some evidence from a drug dealer’s ex-wife, then get out. Madison Haughton sending his engine into overdrive isn’t part of the plan, though, especially considering she might not be as innocent as Aiden thought…

Since her divorce from her sleazeball ex, Madison has sworn off bad boys, gotten some sweet tattoos, and become a star of Miami’s roller derby scene. But however fast she skates, her ex is always on her tail. When the sexy guy in the muscle car offers to help, he could be her ticket to safety—or a detour down a deadly road…"

My Thoughts:

I've been on a bit of a romance kick as of late and the summary of this one was just too good to pass up.  Also this sounded like romantic suspense which I can never resist.  It was a pretty good choice on my part as I enjoyed this one.  Last weekend we took the kiddos for a quick weekend getaway to an indoor water park and while the kiddos swam I sat poolside and devoured this book.  It was the perfect read for a weekend like this as I was able to set it down and pick it back up with ease, jumping right back in where I had left off.  It was fast paced enough to keep my attention and had me intrigued throughout the entire book.  You can't ask for more than that!  

What I really enjoyed about this book though was the chemistry and developing relationship between Aiden and Madison.  These two were so different from each other but I couldn't help but love them together!  One of the things that I loved about Madison was her drive and motivation.  She used her divorce from a truly bad individual to better herself and really develop her own identity.  I loved that she was in roller derby which isn't something that I know much about.  Heck, the entire book could have focused on her roller derby experiences and I bet I would have loved it.  It was so unique and fun, and I definitely wanted to read more about it.  I also really liked Aiden's character and was pulled in by his back story.  There is definitely more that the author hasn't shared in regards to Aiden and his partner Julian.  Actually all of the secondary characters or Aiden's "group" that he worked with left me excited as I'm eager to read their books.  The relationship between Aiden and Madison though was definitely what I wanted to read the most about and I really enjoyed watching this relationship develop.  The ending of this book was definitely the most intense part for me!  I found myself unable to put the book down by that point (no worries we were home by then).  I liked the way it ended but am curious to see what happens next.  Because you kind of know that everything can't possibly be over...not yet anyways.  Bring on the next book!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a fun read!  The characters were really great and left me especially eager to learn more about some of those secondary characters that we got glimpses of.  I loved the racing and car themes that were present throughout the book.  And I especially adored the parts that focused on roller derby.  This book was a solid read and if I still did ratings would probably be an easy 3.5 stars.  I found it a perfect way to spend the weekend and can't wait to see what this author comes up with next.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A fun and suspenseful read that I enjoyed.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a Tasty book tour.

Thanks to the publisher I also have an excerpt from the book to share with all of you.  To get a taste of this book read on below:

"There was a good way to start a week, and there was a bad one. Aiden
DeHart figured the jury was still out on this one.
DeHart, microphones are live. Keep Ross near the car.”
“It’s a Chevelle, Kathy,” he replied to the disembodied woman’s voice only he
could hear. He hated this, working with the FBI, but they had him by the balls.
“Yeah, whatever. Keep him near the Chevelle.” Kathy chuckled.
Aiden tapped the steering wheel of his Chevrolet Chevelle and rolled his eyes
at the FBI agent chirping more reminders in his ear. Kathy was a good agent, a little
too motherly for his tastes, but a good woman.
He tuned her out and cleared his mind, inhaling the scent of the beach. The
simple truth was that every word he said needed to be carefully chosen.
Microphones were all over the damn car, which irritated the hell out of him that his
classic restore was getting adhesive all over the leather. He wouldn’t normally allow
it, but if this job led to taking down Michael Evers, it was worth it. The son of a bitch
had murdered Aiden’s sister and her cop husband to make a point to the Miami-
Dade PD. His brother-in-law had been a good cop. A bit too
good, unfortunately, and it had gotten both him and Andrea killed.
DeHart, we’re in place.” CJ’s voice echoed in Aiden’s ear. Great, he had not
one, but two Feds in his head.
CJ and his wife, Kathy, were FBI agents undercover in Aiden’s garage, and
often worked support for him and his crew. He hadn’t known FBI agents could be
married to another agent in the Qeld, but he had the proof under his roof. Hell, there
was likely some extensive study with all sorts of data to justify the work/wed
arrangement. He could imagine CJ spouting said data as he got down on one knee.
Kathy and CJ were a . . .unique couple. He overlooked their uniqueness because
they knew their shit.
“Try not to break too many laws,” CJ warned. They might be FBI, but the deep
cover operation had them bending and breaking laws. Which was why it was Aiden
doing this gig instead of his co-owner and best friend, Julian. While Julian was a full-
Oedged undercover FBI agent, Aiden was a contracted employee, or asset. He could
break rules Julian couldn’t, though that line had begun to blur as of late.
“No promises there. Going silent.” Aiden sucked in a deep breath and blew it
It was time.
He emptied his mind of the two people on the other end of the radio, of all
the little things he needed to do today and simply—let go. The road stretched out
ahead of him, a path to anywhere.
He hit the accelerator and shifted gears. The old muscle car roared to life. He
blazed down the well-kept street, mansions sprawling on either side of him. His
awareness narrowed to the bend in the road ahead and the gate leading to their
target’s home.
The humid Miami air rushed through the windows, beating him in the face
and carrying with it the cry of seagulls. The scents of freshly cut grass, salt water,
and Oowers drifted on the wind. Here, there was no Latino hip-hop music breaking
up the pristine silence. It was all opulence and wealth.
The gate yawned open to his right. He grabbed the hand brake, turned the
wheel, and let the Chevelle drift sideways through the space. The whole car
vibrated, tires squealing with the maneuver. A security guard in the gatehouse
dropped a magazine out of the window and yelled something, but Aiden was already
through and accelerating up the drive. Palm trees lined the quarter mile to the two-
story mansion. The drive circled around a fountain. Several sleek sports cars were
parked around the bend, like some fancy magazine spread. Those cars might have
the Oash, but his Chevelle had double the horsepower.
Aiden brought the car around the fountain, breaking and letting the tail end
swing around. It made for a jarring, Oashy stop.
Flash was what he was going for.
Fuck, Aiden. Did you have to burn so much rubber?” CJ whispered in his ear.
The agent was a stickler for following the rules, and one of their biggest ones
was: stay under the radar. The Feds didn’t want to have to cover up their shit if
Aiden got in trouble, which was bound to happen on occasion. CJ had proven to be
an invaluable member of their team. Between his experience in the Qeld and his
wife’s quick thinking, they’d saved Aiden’s ass more than a few times.
He snorted and climbed out of the car. A trio of men in suits stood on the
stairs leading to the grand double doors. It might have been impressive, except the
whole community was one mansion trying to outdo its neighbors. At least a half
dozen guys in suits hung around, hands poised on their barely concealed weapons.
The whole setup was a little pretentious, but then again, men like Dustin Ross
weren’t exactly classy folk.
Two years ago, Dustin barely registered on the lowlevel crime scale. He’d
climbed the ladder fast thanks to his greed, and he liked to show it o/, unlike his
boss, Michael Evers. What Dustin probably didn’t know was that Evers ran through
guys like Dustin every two years, using them up and spitting them out to save his
own ass.
Dustin was just the latest in a string of dummies stupid enough to get into bed with
the Evers operation.
Aiden pushed his sunglasses up on his head and leaned against his car.
Aiden DeHart.” Dustin shook the hand of one of the men he was standing
with before heading down the stairs toward him. “Wasn’t expecting you so soon.”
“I drive fast. You said you wanted to see me?”
“Yeah, why don’t you show me what this baby can do?” Dustin didn’t wait for
permission. He climbed in the passenger side and settled in.
Well, that was easy.
“Sure. Whatever you say, boss.” Aiden sank into the driver’s seat while CJ
snickered in his ear.
Aiden didn’t punch it hard out of the driveway. He did want to hear what the other
man had to say, after all.
And they needed a clean recording. Dustin suggesting they leave his property—
without security—confirmed Aiden’s suspicions. Whatever this job was, Dustin didn’t
want his boss to know about it.
In the grand scheme of things, Michael Evers was the real target. Dustin was
just a stepping-stone to taking down the criminal mastermind. Jobs like this should
never be personal, and yet here he was. Driving an asshole around one of the
ritziest areas of Miami, neither speaking. Which was Qne with him. Conversation
Dustin was about as stimulating as watching oil drip out of a car. He took his time,
winding through the houses, around the properties and eventually out onto the
How fast does she go?” Dustin asked.
One-eighty if I’ve got the distance.” The Chevelle wasn’t a race car, though
he liked its speed. It could perform, but he didn’t like to push the car too much. It
was a classic that deserved the respect of the road. He had a few newer, American
muscle cars tricked out and outfitted for racing.
“Nice.” He cleared his throat. “I really appreciate that job you did for me. The
guys were right when they said you were the person to go to if I wanted something
done quiet—and right.” Dustin peered at him through tinted glasses. For someone
with so much money, he still seemed sleazy. Maybe it was the o/-the-rack suit with
Rolex watch and store-bought tan.
Glad I could be of assistance,” Aiden drawled. Thanks to a few dings on his
record, the FBI had been able to embellish the truth a little. Between their additions
and what came naturally due to racing, he had plenty of street cred and the
experience to back it up. He doubted old Uncle Sam had intended him to put the
skills he’d learned in the service to use chopping cars and pretending to be one of
the bad guys.
“That street gang, they don’t want to mess with us.” Dustin acted like he
were the one who’d chopped six cars of the rival gang.
“They’re punks. Kids. They don’t have any business playing with the big boys.
Just let them drive their toy cars in circles.”
 Dustin approaching Aiden out of the blue like that had shocked him and sent
their entire operation into chaos. While they’d had their heads shoved up Evers’s
ass, Dustin had begun a little war with one of the street gangs. One Aiden knew all
too well because he raced against them regularly."

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March Reading Plans (2016 Edition)

March already??  Kind of crazy to think about if I'm being honest but as we are one month closer to spring I am not going to complain.  February was not my best month of reading so I am really hoping that March will be much better!  I am going to focus on reading more and wasting time on the internet less.  I'm also hoping that this month will bring about the kind of weather that will allow me to start running outside.  Because let's be honest here:  I am horrendous when it comes to running on the treadmill.  Actually working out in general has been nonexistent thanks to long hours at work but hopefully I can change that more in March.  I always have such great plans at the beginning of the month :)  On to the books that I am hoping to read this month:

  • Leave The Grave Green by Deborah Crombie - Off of my own shelves.  Honestly, it is a bit ridiculous that I am just now getting to this one as I enjoyed the first two books in this series so much.  It sounds really great and I'm excited to dive back into this series!
  • Frozen by Kate Watterson -  A thriller featuring the cold?  Definitely need to read this one before the weather really starts to change.  This is another one off of my own shelves and one that has been on my TBR list for way too long.  I really love the cover for this one as well!
  • The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter - Review copy for TLC book tour.  A few years back I read this one (honestly I remember little about it) and then never continued on with this series.  I'm participating in an upcoming blog tour and will be rereading this book for it.
  • The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter - Review copy for the same tour.  I will be sharing my thoughts on both of these books (this is the 2nd in the series).  I can't wait!!
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth - Yes, I am just now finally planning on reading this one!  I loved Divergent when I read that (also a few years back now) but then never picked up this book DESPITE it sitting on my shelves.  Now we have this movie on the DVR just waiting to be watched but I need to read the book first.  Me and my quirks- LOL! 
  • Gone Again by James Grippando - Review copy thanks to publisher.  I've only read one book by this author but I really, really enjoyed it so I'm super excited for this one.  Plus, you already know how much I love a good thriller!  Can't wait!
  • The Drafter by Kim Harrison - Review copy also from publisher.  I was so excited to read this book when I got it but life got crazy and I never read it.  Time to change that and finally give this book a try!  I have very high hopes and am looking forward to it.
These are the print copies I have on my March reading list but you all know that I can't forget my e-reads!  I seriously, seriously considered only including e-books on this pile this month just because there are SO many that I want to read right now!  I need more reading time in my life!!!  Isn't that always the case when you are an avid reader?  I'm including a ridiculous number of books on this pile but I don't care.  I still want to read them all :)


  • Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Myers - Edelweiss review copy.  I adored the first book in this cozy series so I cannot wait to read this one!
  • Drive by Sidney Bristol - NetGalley review copy for a Tasty book tour.  Romantic suspense is a genre I just don't read enough of so I can't wait to read this one!
  • Cuff Me by Lauren Layne- Also for a Tasty book tour.  Lisa's love for this author is the reason I couldn't pass this one by.  
  • She's Not There by Joy Fielding - NetGalley copy....sigh...I have no self control with that site!  This is a thriller that sounds right up my alley so I can't be too upset about that lack of self control.  I've enjoyed this author's books previously so I have high hopes!
  • An Improper Arrangement by Kasey Michaels - This is for an upcoming TLC book tour that I am participating in.  I love a good historical romance and this is yet another author that I've been meaning to try!
  • What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin - NetGalley copy and a thriller.  That is basically all that I know about this one and that is enough.  I can't wait to see what it is all about!
  • Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson - Another author that I've been meaning to try!  The summary of this one made me want to read this one RIGHT NOW!  Can't wait!
  • The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey - I've been meaning to read this book for ages but seeing Trish tweeting about it moved it on to my March reading pile. (I'm so easily influenced by all of you!)
  • The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston - Because I need some paranormal in my life!  A series that I have been meaning to start for awhile now.
  • Evil Games by Angela Marsons - Last year I LOVED Silent Scream by this author so it is time to finally continue on with this series.  So excited!!
 I sense a theme here where each month my pile of possible reads gets bigger and bigger.  I'm shaking my head at myself here.  Ha!  Still excited about each and every one of these books though!  Also included in this ridiculous pile are books from previous month's piles including:
  • Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Sims
  • Swerve by Vicki Pettersson
  • Steal Me by Lauren Layne
  • The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
  • The Lie and the Lady by Kate Noble
  • Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge
  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  • Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
  • Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti
  • Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
  • Boiling Point by Tessa Bailey
  • The Girls in the Woods by Helen Phifer
Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have listed all of these.  I didn't realize there were so many still unread.  EEK!  Oh well, I will just have plenty of books to choose from in March!  Clearly I have no self control and am also way too optimistic on my reading capabilities.  Some might call this delusional.  LOL!  I will just go with positive thinking.  Since my head will be stuck in a book all month long, tell me which books you are hoping to read in March!  Have you read any of the above that you think I should read first?

Happy Reading!