Thursday, August 27, 2015

Caught In Us by Layla Hagen

Contemporary Fiction
Publication.Date  August 3rd 2015
Published By:  Amazon Digital Services
AuthorLayla Hagen

Caught In Us Goodreads
My review copy:From the author in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:,%201

Dani Cohen knows Damon is trouble the second he walks in during senior year. He has bad boy written all over him. . .from his arrogant smirk to his perfectly toned abs. He is arrogant, intense, rebellious. 

Dani has her future all planned out. She’s not the type to fall for a bad boy, no matter how panty-melting his grin is or how shamelessly he flirts. But something about Damon draws her in, awakening a desire she’s never felt. Slowly, she uncovers the secrets Damon hides: underneath his arrogance lies a tortured soul, his flirting smile masks despair. 

Damon arrives in Dani’s life against his will. Carrying the scars of a dark past and facing an uncertain future, he knows he should stay away from her, but can’t. Her innocence consumes him, as does the desire to indulge in the passion igniting deep inside her. 
An all-consuming bond blooms into a reckless love. But when mistakes from the past threaten their already fragile future, can their love survive? 

A steamy and emotional full-length, standalone love story from the USA Today Bestselling author of Withering Hope

Sometimes it takes a healthy fight and a familiar pain to gain a friend.  
There was more to say, but I can't bring myself to, not when she looks at me with wide, fearful eyes, begging me to stop. I kiss her again, and in this kiss, I try to put everything I can't say, because we'll both break.  

Dani and Damon are the two main characters of this romance and the setup is a familiar one: good girl meets bad boy.  While Damon is a bad boy, he isn't a jerk and he treats people, including Dani, with decency. I really liked both these characters! Dani wasn't "too" good to the point where it was annoying and I was able to easily sympathize with her difficult home life. Damon also had a really rough background that made his situation believable. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially James! I think I'd like to have a big brother like him.

This is the fourth book I have read by Layla Hagen and each book seems to get better and better. The technical writing and in story line just flowed so well for me on this book . Her last book, Withering Hope, just about broke me. It was such a tear jerker so I could really appreciate that Caught in Us is a bit lighter in tone but still suspenseful. 

I have to give props to Layla for the steamy scenes in this book. She did it with class, but also with a nice writing style, that told the reader what was going on, but left a few of the real steamy ideas to the readers imagination. 

Caught in Us is the third installment in this amazing series. Each book can be read as a standalone having different couples stories told in each one. To fully enjoy this series, one has to read each book in order. I can honestly say that all are equally amazing and beautifully written. I had a hard time putting them down because I just could not get enough of the story. It was so easy to fall in love with these characters.I also loved that James and Serena's story had an ending in this book so we got to see a bit more of those characters as well.

Layla Hagen's writing style is fast paced and very suspenseful. I usually can't tell what is going to happen next in any of her novels. This one was the same. I suggest this book for the romance and new adult fans out there and I give this a enthusiastic 5 stars. 

About the author:

Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough ; 

Book Review: Rowan by Josephine Angelini

The Woldwalker Trilogy #1.5
Young Adult, Witches, Paranormal, Alternate Universe
Publication.Date:July 14, 2015
Pages:141 (Kindle)
Published By:  Feiwel & Friends
Website:Josephine Angelini 

Rowan on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

What game is she playing?

Rowan hadn't seen Lillian in over a year-not since she broke his heart and killed his father in one fell swoop-so why would she pick today to just show up outside his favorite coffee shop, dressed in outlandish clothes and pretending she doesn't recognize him. Is she turning to Tristan now in some pathetic effort to drive them apart? Why insist her name is Lily? And where is her Willstone? Her wild claims of being from a parallel world are just crazy and pathetic...right?

Get a glimpse of Rowan's side of the story in this thrilling e-short edition to The Worldwalker Trilogy by internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini.


As usual, I dream about people dying. But this time, they aren't getting pulled apart by Woven. This time people are killing each other, and I'm at the center of it. I'm just standing there while a sea of savagery heaves around me. I have no weapon, and no witch inside me. I'm defenseless. That's not what terrifies me though. What pulls me up from sleep is knowing I started it.
I stand there, listening to her smothered cries, wishing I could make them stop. I'm too scared to think it, but three words fly recklessly through my head anyway.

. . . A second change.

This is short. Like short, short. So this is going to be a super short review.

Rowan starts just before Lily shows up in Salem and ends just after he accepts that Lily is not Lillian and she goes to sleep in the tent while still at camp. What I liked about Rowan is that we got a bit more back story into his past and his relationship with Lillian. We also see a bit more of the relationship dynamic between Rowan, Tristan, and Caleb as well.

If you're a fan of Josephine's Woldwalker Trilogy and need something to tide you over before Firewalk comes out (five days!) and love extras download a copy of Rowan and spend a few minutes inside his glorious head.

Side note: I will admit that I am disappointed in how short Rowan is. I initially thought it would be more like a novella, but it's more like a chapter or two. I did enjoy it however, even if it was for a brief time, and it's well written. And in the effort of full disclosure, I am equally disappointed that the preview at the end of the book is for Trial by Fire (chances are if you bought Rowan, you already read Trial by Fire). So while I'm disappointed about the length / format / production, at the end of the day (and in some of those final steps and decisions) I know authors only have so much say so I am not going to fault Josephine or her story for these issues. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Post: Keeper's Reach by Carla Neggers

Title: Keeper's Reach
Author: Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #5
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers returns with this absorbing, twisting tale of suspense, romance and fast-paced action, the latest in her popular Sharpe & Donovan series.

Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, two of the FBI's most valuable agents, are preparing for their next big assignment—their wedding—when Colin's brother Mike alerts them that onetime friends from his military past are on Sharpe and Donovan home turf on the Maine coast. Now private security contractors, they want to meet with Mike. One of them, an FBI agent named Kavanagh, is supposed to be on leave. What is he investigating—or does he have his own agenda?

Mike zeroes in on Naomi MacBride, a freelance civilian intelligence analyst who, aside from a few hot nights, has never brought him anything but trouble. Newly returned from England, Naomi clearly isn't telling Mike everything about why she's snooping around his hometown, but he has no choice but to work with her if he wants to uncover what's really going on.

But the case soon takes a drastic turn—Emma is targeted, and a connection surfaces between Naomi and Kavanagh and a recently solved international art theft case. Not every connection is a conspiracy, but as the tangled web of secrets unravels, Emma and Colin face their greatest danger yet. With everyone they know involved, they must decide who they can trust… or lose everything for good.

Guest Post by Carla Neggers

In Keeper’s Reach, Emma Sharpe is planning her wedding to Colin Donovan, but life is never calm for long for these two FBI agents. An elusive art thief gets in touch with her, swearing another FBI agent is following him. A British mythologist with a tragic past, Oliver is impossible to prosecute, and he won’t admit to anything—but the art he stole is reappearing, intact. Emma doesn’t want anything—or anyone—to interfere with that process. So, who is this FBI agent? What’s he up to? And what do he and Oliver have to do with the private security contractors who want to meet with Colin’s ex-military brother, Mike?

In this excerpt, we see Emma having a moment to herself, just as she’s about to face her greatest danger yet. I hope you enjoy it!

-Carla Neggers

Boston, Massachusetts
Wednesday, 3:00 p.m., EST

Emma Sharpe was in love with her wedding gown. Totally, ab¬solutely in love. It was silky, simple, flattering and exactly what she had envisioned. She took a selfie in the fitting room of the Newbury Street shop and texted it to her mother in London, who responded immediately.

It’s perfect. I’m sorry I’m not there.

Emma didn’t mind. Her father was recovering from his latest procedure to help ease his chronic back pain due to a long-ago fall on the ice, and her mother was at his side. For most of the past year, they had been living and working abroad, away from reminders of the past, and of the future they had once envisioned for themselves. Their hometown of Heron’s Cove, Maine, had become a trigger for emotional and physical pain.

Her parents had promised to return for Emma’s spring wed¬ding. That was enough, she thought as she eased out of the dress. It was pinned for alterations. She smiled at her reflection, her fair hair a bit flyaway from the dress and the dry winter air. From her late teens into her early twenties, she had believed she would never marry. She had been Sister Brigid then.

She thought of Colin, a hardheaded Maine Donovan, an FBI undercover agent and her fiancé since he had proposed on bended knee in early November in a Dublin pub.

She was Sister Brigid no more.

She slipped back into her jeans, sweater and boots and grabbed her three-quarter-length wool coat, hat and gloves as she ex¬ited the dressing room. She’d left work early for the fitting but had stopped at her Boston waterfront apartment to change out of her work clothes. Around the same time her parents had left for London, she had moved to Boston to join HIT, a small FBI team started and led by the senior agent who had recruited her out of the convent. Matt Yankowski had never doubted his con¬viction that Emma wasn’t meant to profess her final vows and become a full-fledged member of the Sisters of the Joyful Heart.

We can use your expertise in art and art crimes, Yank had told her when he had visited her at her Maine convent four years ago. Give it some thought, Emma.

He hadn’t called her Sister Brigid.

Her early expertise in art crimes hadn’t come from her time at the convent. She was the granddaughter of Wendell Sharpe, founder of Sharpe Fine Art Recovery and one of the foremost private art detectives in the world.

As she ducked out onto the Back Bay street, her phone dinged with another text. Although it was from London, it wasn’t from her mother. It was from Oliver York, aka Oliver Fairbairn, a British aristocrat, self-educated mythologist and international serial art thief.

Who is the FBI agent following me?

Emma stared at the screen. There was no FBI agent following Oliver. She would know if there were. She typed a quick response.

I’ll call you in an hour.

Oliver responded immediately.

I’ll be waiting.

About the Author

Carla Neggers has been spinning stories ever since she climbed a tree with pad and pen at age eleven. Now she is the New York Times bestselling author of almost 70 novels, with millions of books sold in over 30 countries. Her popular Sharpe & Donovan romantic suspense series featuring FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan launched with Saint’s Gate in 2011 and has been praised as “a breathtaking reading experience” (Providence Journal) and “gripping and suspenseful” (Nashua Telegraph). In 2012, her Swift River Valley series debuted with Secrets of the Lost Summer, which garnered a starred review from Booklist and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews and shot onto the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.


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