Review: Substitute Boyfriend by Jade C Jamison


Substitute Boyfriend by Jade C. Jamison

Jade C Jamison is, admittedly, one of my favorite authors.   Her Bullet Rockstar Romance series is one of the best ones out there, not just because it spawned my favorite book boyfriend,  but because of the depths of emotion and the gritty realism I could relate to entirely too well.  Eventually I also read her Nicki Sosebee series, which is romantic suspense, and her standalones,  including Finger Bang, which Substitute Boyfriend is a spinoff of.  It is not necessary to read FB first, but it is a fun and cute read.

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting from Substitute Boyfriend, but I didn’t expect the deep revelations I am still digesting that came to me as I read this one.  I will get to that in a few, but first, I have to say that this was a fantastic quick read on so many levels.  Fun, quirky, SEXY, and actually, incredibly romantic to me.  At first glance, and probably never to some who dwell on fairytale romance, it might not seem that, but once again, Ms. Jamison has snuck up and sucker punched me with a story that hits home.

Beth/Lizzie/Eliza is an English professor at a community college by day, and, unbeknownst to all closest to her, an author of erotic romance by night.  Worried that her ability to write sexy scenes could become repetitive, with alcohol added courage, she has found Ridley,  her pretend boyfriend, to help her work out details – to “test drive” some of the ideas she comes up with for her fictional characters, just to make sure that they could realistically work.  This situation has worked for some time with her bad boy pretend boyfriend, but she begins to wonder if she would ever be able to toss the pretend part of the moniker, though she realizes Ridley has plenty of all too human (as opposed to fantastic book boyfriends) flaws, and very little in common outside of their unconventional relationship.  Though I will vehemently defend that guys and girls can be platonic friends, I will also say that I think it would be nearly impossible to set up a template like Beth has with Ridley and not wonder about more, no matter how different they are.

When Ridley tells her he has plans for a night when she calls last minute, she decides to go out to the bar she first met him in.  She wasn’t completely shocked to see him there with another woman, but it hurt, nonetheless.   This spurs our introduction to her best friend, Roman.  Roman is a pysch professor at the same community college she teaches at, and they have conversations that turn lunches into all afternoon affairs, they are concert buddies, they occasionally even work out together, and generally keep each other sane in their shared workplace insanity.  She has never thought of him as more than a friend, though she admits he is a good looking guy, probably to preserve the best friendship she has ever had.

She runs to Roman after the Ridley humiliation, and finally shares her alter ego with her friend, and the entire pretend boyfriend situation.  He suggests a substitute for the pretend boyfriend, and get your fan ready for a HOT ride to come.  Enjoy every moment of it!  The only possible complaint I could have about this one is that I want more!  This one will definitely be read again; there is simply too much I loved about it.

And sometime down the road we can have a long conversation about where women get the horribly misguided idea that their boyfriends shouldn’t be their friends….

Obviously for a mature audience only for explicit sexual content.


If you need a little mood music to go along with this one, go with one of my all time favorite cover songs, Great White’s Substitute.

Cain: Paradise Found by LB Dunbarŕŕ


Grab this hot MMA fighter today!



“I hate that I love you,” she said. “You left me.”

“I lost you, there’s a difference. Now that I found you, I intend to keep you.”


I’d tasted the sweetest fruit of temptation, and I wanted another bite. I had promised myself before, but once wasn’t enough. The savory flavor of her lingered long after I’d lost her. Contending with the pressure to return to the fight, in order to prove myself to my father and the world, I had to let her go.


It has been a year. Sofie Vincentia and I had played a dangerous game. For one night, we pretended, only to discover our farce was real. I’d lost her, but I hadn’t stopped searching, hoping for her return. I was used to getting what I wanted, so when she didn’t come to me, I had to go after her. This would be the greatest fight of my life.






Start the series now!
Abel is now available!




About the Author:


I’d love to say I’ve written for 10,000 hours, and that makes me a pro. But I can’t say that. What I can say is I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I thought typing it in my computer would be the end of things, but it only led to another story and another. I love reading, so characters in my head isn’t something new. What is new is my creation of them. Hope you enjoy my favorites as much as I do. Happy reading!

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11057920_1042148559132014_7545520316668954402_oReview from LaDonna’s Book Nook

I fell in love with Ms. Dunbar’s style in her spectacularly written and highly engaging Legendary Rock Stars series.  That series is a modernization of the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table legends.  Such a brilliant concept and so well executed.  I can’t deny the author’s assertion that if King Arthur was a product of the 2000’s, he would most definitely be a rock star!  But I digress, this review is about the Cobra, Cain Callahan.  I guess my actual purpose of the introduction reflecting on the reasons Cain and his brother Abel kept getting pushed down my TBR.  My To Be Read list numbers close to the thousands these days – there are simply so many books that catch my interest and make me feel I just have to read them, and sincerely hope to read them all someday, regardless of any physical impossibility of getting to every last one.  and these numbers don’t include the books by the overflowing handful of authors I beta read for, the ones I have signed up to review for other blogs, and those I have agreed to for my own two blogs.  Yes, I am fully aware it is more than a bit of an addiction, but there are many personally fulfilling reasons for me to embrace all things books.  But back to Cain….

Though I absolutely adore LB’s writing style, I wasn’t quite as excited about reading a series about MMA fighters.  I actually used to watch MMA some, mostly with my dear friend I lost a number of years ago to a rare form of cancer.  That actually may have been part of my reluctance.  But after the first chapter or two of Paradise Tempted: The Beginning (which I highly recommend reading first) I was kicking myself for waiting so long.  It was everything one could hope for in a romance, and so much more.

Let’s focus on Cain, as that is the book we are celebrating here, but more than that, I would like to discuss a bit about the man, The Cobra, Cain Callahan himself.  Ms. Dunbar has outdone herself on this character.  There are more sides to the main character, this hero, than there are wrong ways to solve a Rubik’s Cube (I don’t really care how much that remark ages me.  It is an iconic puzzle of pure frustration.  Seems appropriate for our Cain.)  Seldom has a character shown so many different sides of himself, and evrn more seldom has a character drawn out more emotions in me, especially of the motherly kind.  I am a mother, I love being a mother (okay, I have two teenagers, we could make that the large majority of the time.)  But there are a couple of directions I can go from this statement that made those feelings quite surprising and alien to me.  First, I don’t particularly see myself as one of those women who has that motherly instinct on overdrive.  Beyond my two, it is rare.  Just not in my DNA to want to be a surrogate mother to all I come across.  But, if not more importantly, at least more topically, I feel we mothers who read romances do so to escape our real lives.  I don’t particularly want to feel my motherly instincts kick in while I am reading (unless, perhaps, there is a puppy involved.  Then all bets are off for obvious reasons.  Because…puppies.)  I didn’t mind it a bit in Cain’s case though.  Such a big tough guy who felt so broken on the inside – it was nearly impossible not to cheer for him, and convince him of his worth outside of the ring.  I am measuring my words very carefully as I don’t want to tread too closely to spoiler territory, but this man is just such a loveable, complex enigma.  I tend to like my men with a more lithe, runner’s body, but it certainly wasn’t a big stretch to see him as an attractive man.  I would have to say his internal struggles are where his true beauty lies though.  Don’t get me wrong, he could be a spoiled brat with the best of them, and at times he could be as clueles as any man ever to walk the earth in action that his heart was in the right place.  He was a very unique character to me in many ways, and most definitely one I will not forget soon.

And then there is Sofie.  She is also a one of a kind character that I had no trouble falling in love with.  Such a sweet girl, so devoted to the family she has left, and to her studies to eventually become a doctor.  She has a wonderfully romantic side that she keeps well hidden most of the time, and self doubts that also brought out those dreaded motherly instincts.  She could be quite a dichotomy at times as well, but overall I found myself quickly adoring her, and though I may not have always completely agreed with her actions, I could certainly understand them.

Her grandparents’ vineyard and getaway for the rich and famous was almost a character in and of itself, and I found myself longing for it to be a real place that I could add to that bucket list I will one day compose.  It was so well described, especially the area Sofie referred to as Eden.  I think we all could use a little r & r in this version of Eden.  And Sofie’s great grandfather….I simply could not get enough of him!  He was such a, well, character!  I am sure he has plenty of stories from his many years to tell, and I, for one, would fight my way to be at his knee as he shared them.

Cain’s family, on the other hand, with the exception of brother Abel, certainly will not leave you with any warm and fuzzy feelings.  The boys’ father is one of the most vile villians I have come across in the romance genre.  Completely despicable is the nicest thing I can say about that man, but it is still a tribute to Ms. Dunbar’s writing skills to have created a character that brings out such deep emotion in me, even if they are all negative.

I haven’t even mentioned the deliciously steamy scenes.  This is an area I feel Ms. Dunbar has always excelled at, so I will just say that these live up to the high standards she has set in her previous works.  A+ work without a doubt.

My very highest recommendations, obviously.

Book Review: Killing Matt Cooper by John Cassian

Engrossing Explicit Novella

September 2, 2013


Killing Matt Cooper – Amazon Buy Link

First thing I would warn, if the synopsis is not enough, this is a very sexually and violently explicit novella. Definitely for mature audiences only, and for audiences that are not upset by explicit subject matter.

This was a very quick read, but I could not put it down. I can’t honestly say I liked it due to the brutal and disturbing nature, but it was most certainly very engrossing.

I have read several reviews complaining about repetition, but I have to say that didn’t bother me in the slightest during the read. I don’t know how much of that is that it fit with the story and how much of that was just the train wreck quality of the story; you just cannot help but continue to read and watch the carnage unfold.

As with all my favorite thrillers, it left many unanswered questions to the imagination. I would love to know more about Kathleen, and how truly similar to our staring killer she is. There are so many ways this story could go from the unfinished ending we were left with. I know other reviewers have complained about this as well; to me that is one of the things that draws me to psychological thrillers – I honestly do not like them to wrap everything up in a neat little bow in the last couple of paragraphs or pages.

Overall, very well written, very engrossing and leaves much food for thought on many levels.

****** Entering spoiler territory: [ I did not know what to think when “Knight” started dropping names to “Kathleen” – it bothered me with the first one, after I read the back story of Matt Cooper I found myself flipping back to find out just what he had told her about him. I could see that it could still perhaps be salvaged on some level as professional, but there was no way this super sharp FBI profiler is not going to look into that name whether out of personal or professional curiosity. When he drops his LOVES name as well, it seems he is determined for her to figure him out. Another question remaining with me about Kathleen herself – is she also a serial killer hiding behind her profession? This is something I found myself really, really wanting to know. Onto a more negative, I found myself extremely disappointed to find that his LOVE was never really his love, especially after the explicit way that he handles his victims. I guess it makes a deranged kind of sense in the way that any serial killer can make any deranged kind of sense, but I did find it a bit of a letdown. Which may make it brilliant within itself. ]  End spoiler. ******

Final thoughts on this: I will definitely be looking for more from this author when looking for truly dark and twisted reads.

As this is noted as a dark, erotic thriller, it is for mature, 18+ audiences only.  Potential triggers for explicit violence and some sexual situations.

I recieved a gift copy in exchange for an honest review.


Review: Stalked – a Psychological thriller by Lorraine Taylor

******Bear with me, we are going quite a ways back with some of these reviews, and I hope my reviewing skills have come a long way in the years since!  🙂  ******

A Great Psychological Thriller from this First Time Author

July 10, 2013


Stalked – Amazon Buy Link

Without giving spoilers, I have to say this one kept me completely intrigued and I read it in its entirety in two sittings (and it was very tempting to do it all in just one!) In the few moments that aren’t action packed, Danny’s backstory is very interesting to delve into. From the mundane events that start the roller coaster, one simple curiosity leads to an incredible backlash of murder, mystery and general mayhem in the life of a character you can’t help but feel great compassion for and want to know more about.

First person narratives are not always my favorite, but work wonderfully in this tale. Perfect for this genre, the story leaves you with so many unanswered questions – it will certainly stick with me for a while and I can guarantee at least one or two rereads as I want to reexamine some of the lesser characters and their relationships, but knowing some answers will never be there is a thrill for me as well. Too many stories in this category wrap everything up in a neat little arc in the last few pages, which tend to leave me disappointed overall. The best psychological thrillers (be they books or movies) are the ones that do leave you hanging and questioning.

The characters are all very well written, very vividly but not overdone. Just enough to feel you know them and have an emotional attachment to them, but not to the point you feel bored or that the details are needlessly repeated in hopes of making you like or loathe them. I also have to say that Samson is one of my favorite characters and the changes in his relationship with Danny are truly heartwarming. I debated between 4 and 5 stars on this one – it really is a great read and I hope to see more from this new author and I love her style. I will definitely be recommending it to friends who like this style of book.


Best of 2015: Best Romance by a Debut Author

I read so many great books in 2015, and had the pleasure of starting this job and the sister Facebook page and group.  As the year came to the end, and everyone began discussing the best ofs and awards, I decided this blog should take some time to spotlight my favorites.   And thus, I present you with the first of LaDonna’s Book Nook’s Best of 2015 Awards.   I will present one about every day until we get to my choice for book of the year, however long it takes (but I am planning on it being around the end of January.)   I don’t want to just present a list – I want to tell  you about the book, why the award is presented to it, and why it should be on your TBR if it is not already.   The order will be random until we get to the big 3 – Book of the Year, and the two runners up.   So without further review, I present you with the Best Romance by a Debut Author.   And the award goes to……

Miles from Home - Ava Bell

Ava Bell’s Miles from Home –

 ~~ Synopsis ~~

Six months after the death of her mother, twenty-one-year-old Maggie Taylor is just trying to get through each day when she’s offered a coveted spot at a prestigious dance school in New York City. Knowing her father will not approve, she packs her car and sets out on a road trip that will leave her forever changed.
Twenty-one-year-old Sam Austin is tired of being stuck in a small town. Forced to deal with his father’s alcoholism since his mother left eleven years ago. Sam has only ever found solace in music and frequent one-night-stands. When Sam is presented with the opportunity to move to Chicago, he leaps at the chance, and leaves town with only his backpack and guitar.
After Sam and Maggie arrive in the small Midwestern town of Hermann Missouri they are forced to share the only room available. What starts as a simple inconvenience soon turns in to a weekend of passion. A passion that will burn until they are reunited years later by a terrible tragedy.

My Review (as originally posted on Amazon)

5 Stars

Amazing Debut. Poignantly Beautiful, Heartwrenchingly Devastating. February 2, 2015

Fantastic book, but someone had better hurry up and recommend me something that is a truly light fluffy read, maybe even two. These heartwrenching, soul stealing reads are killing me – especially ones like this where it came as a complete surprise. And I don’t cry at books! What is happening to me?! Guess it is time to buy that Kleenex stock we are always joking about.

So last night, I was dealing with a physical illness that came with a nasty headache and an overwhelming foreshadowing that insomnia would be the theme of the night no matter how tired I was. I started flipping through my Kindle library for a light, sweet read, and remembered that I had “met” Ava Bell at a Facebook author event recently, and the cover photo looked like the perfect pick. I was convinced when the innocent but determined Maggie ignored her car’s check engine light, like everyone except my father does, after having her car thoroughly checked before leaving her small town in Texas for a renown ballet school in the Big Apple. Completely adorable Sam had missed getting back on his bus after a stop while traveling from Oklahoma to Chicago to follow his dream of being a singer/songwriter/guitarist in Chicago. Ummm, rockstar? Yes, this was the book I was looking for! He diagnosis her car problem and they are able to get it to a mechanic in the next town, which is where he is heading to catch the next bus. That town happens to be Hermann, Missouri – bonus! A friend of mine got married there last fall. Yup, this story is shaping up perfectly for me. They finally give in to their attraction to each other, and this debut author nails the hot and steamy erotic scenes. Hallelujah, I found exactly what I was looking for. We still have the angst of this adorable couple heading to two different places to follow their dreams, so we are set for the perfect, sweet little romance with an HEA that I was hoping for. The foreshadowing of their overwhelming passion leading them to an unprotected first encounter made the pregnancy announcement no big surprise, other than the fact that I surprisingly didn’t find it annoying, but this was where the predictability ended.

I hate to include spoilers in a review, and will try my best to avoid them, but it will be really hard to completely bypass them and still give this review everything it deserves. At first Maggie is set on putting the baby up for adoption, since she has never heard from Sam even though she cannot stop thinking about him. Okay, so he’s finally going to call with some reasonable excuse as to why he hasn’t, in time to talk her out of it and we’ll have our HEA, right? Um, no.

Years go by. Maggie still thinks of Sam everyday, and cannot move on. Years. We are not getting Sam’s side of the story at all. WTF?!?!

Okay, eventually we do get that, and a tragic accident does allow Maggie to lay eyes on Sam again, after she has finally attempted to move on. Years. Don’t forget the years that have gone by. So now, although a bit stickier situation, we are going to get our HEA, right? Right??? Oh hell no. Lots of actually understandable drama ensues, but we are still hanging, but at least they have contact again, even if there are contentious feelings, we can still have our HEA, right?!?!

Oh no, then s*** truly gets real. I honestly feel like I need someone to talk to about what happens after that. Yes, it hit home because of a dear friend of mine who went through a lot of what Maggie then goes through, but even without that connection, be prepared and have plenty of tissue ready. This one got to me like few have. With a debut like this, I can’t begin to imagine the future she has ahead of her, but I’m sure it will be big, and I plan to be right there to catch each new release.

For mature audiences only for explicit sexual content. Highly recommended as long as you don’t mind shedding a few tears.

Debut - Romance

I will admit this was a really hard category to choose – I had the pleasure of reading and/or getting to know a number of authors in 2015 who released their first books.   And there were many great choices, quite a few I reviewed as 5 stars, and I truly think I debated longer about this than most any other category, but as I looked back over my notes and reviews for the year, this book still sticks out.   As I look over the review and remember how it was so not what I was looking to read when I picked it up, I also think of how deeply it moved me and how glad I was that I had “accidentally” ended up reading it.

So, congratulations Ava!   You are hearby awarded The Best Debut Novel – Romance for 2015 by LaDonna’s Book Nook!

Ava has continued to put out two more books this year, and I hate to admit that I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but they are definitely on my TBR.  I wish Ava much success in her literary career.



Blog Tour: LB Dunbar’s The Quest of Perkins Vale

I am beyond thrilled to have LB Dunbar and Perkins Vale here on the blog today, and even more excited to let you know we have an exclusive interview with Ms. Dunbar.  So enjoy it all, and I will also include my review of Perk’s book at the end, and will revive my reviews of Arturo’s and Lansing’s books as well – this is a series you won’t want to miss a word of!  (And we also have the first chapter of Perkin’s book to share in case you need any additional encouragement! )

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Title: The Quest For Perkins Vale (Legendary Rock Star #3)

Author: L.B. Dunbar

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 22, 2015



I’m not sure I know what to think of the girl I’ve searched for since I was thirteen; she isn’t exactly how I remembered her.

I’m twenty-five, a guy and a virgin. Yep, you read that right; I’m still a virgin. Why you ask? Because I met the woman of my dreams when she was still a girl and I’ve been searching for her ever since we met. I’ve saved myself for her, as I believe she saved herself for me. Why again? Because I will love her, like she will love me, when we finally meet, again. I’d like to think it was that simple, but I don’t really know if she will love me. I only hope she will. If she doesn’t, she won’t be the right girl for me, because like I said, I’ve been saving myself for the woman of my dreams. I just don’t know where she is…but I won’t stop searching until I find her. That is my mission. My quest.

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The Quest of Perkins Vale © 2015 L.B. Dunbar

“We met before. A long time ago in what I believe was your uncle’s home.”

She only nodded, waiting for me to continue. Her hesitancy told me she might not remember me, and I felt a pinch in my heart. I’d been holding onto the memory for so long. I knew it was dangerous to hope she had held the memory, as well.

“My uncle has many homes. Which one was it?”

I paused. She didn’t remember; it was obvious.

“The one near Lake Avalon.”

She only nodded in an I-see sort of way.

“And you know my uncle, how?”

I began to wonder when this became her question and answer time versus mine.

“Arturo’s father was a friend of his.”

“Arturo? Was he the guy on the other bike?”

I stopped flipping the bacon and pinched my eyebrows at her.

“Yes. Arturo King.”

She continued to look at me without recognition.

“You do know who Arturo King is, right?”

“Isn’t he the lead singer of The Nights?”

“Yeah. The band playing last night at The Round Table.”

I continued to stare at her, hesitant in my words, hopeful that she recognized the band.

“And that makes you….?”

I looked at her suddenly aghast.

“You don’t know who I am?”

“Of course, you’re…” She paused.

I couldn’t believe it. She had no idea who I was.

“You don’t know, do you? How could you get on the bike with me, if you had no idea who I was?”

I began to beat the eggs briskly before dumping them into the ready skillet.

“I…” She stopped.

I returned my surprised face to look at hers.

“Do you make it a habit of going home with strangers? Men you don’t know?”

“I…” She looked hurt suddenly, but her face changed instantly to a hard shield. “It’s none of your damn business who I go home with or not. You practically kidnapped me. Once I was on the bike, it’s not like I had a choice. Ride or die.”

“Ride or die?” I choked, a side of my lips curling upward, biting back a laugh.

“Yeah. Ride, or jump off and die.”

I returned to flipping the bacon, thoughtful for a moment.

“I would never hurt you,” I said softly, still looking at the sizzling meat in the pan.

Silence filled the space next to the crackle of frying bacon.

“Will you please tell me who you are?” she finally asked, her voice no more than a whisper. “We won’t be strangers once you tell me your name.”

Sighing, I responded, “I’m Perkins Vale.”

Although I’d heard it before, I hardly expected it from her.

“Alan Vale’s son?”

Yep. For someone who hardly recognized Arturo King, and didn’t recognize me as Perkins Vale, she knew Alan Vale?

You know my father, but not me?” I couldn’t hold it in and laughed without humor.

“Alan Vale was one of the greatest singer-guitarists of all times. His band won Grammys when they were young and old. The Valentines are classic.”

Classic, I thought. Greatest, I almost choked.

“I didn’t know him,” I bit out. Silence filled the air again between us.

Plating eggs and bacon for her, I served her before I did the same for myself. I sat on a stool that made me perpendicular to her, so I could almost face her. She took several small bites of the food as if she was afraid it might poison her, but I devoured the meal, which I hoped prove to her it was safe to eat.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly, “about your dad.”

“It’s nothing.”

I took a final gulp of coffee to steel my courage and ask her questions.

“Why were you in a women’s shelter?”

“You think I…” She stopped. “How do you know my name again?” she interrupted herself, as she squinted at me.

“I know your uncle. Women’s shelter? Why?”

“We’ve met before?”

I had already concluded she didn’t remember our first meeting.

“This is not how this is going to happen, Hollister.” I needed to change the direction of this inquisition. “I have questions, then you can have yours.”

Delicately, she placed her fork on her plate and crossed her arms under her chest, forcing her breasts to rise. It distracted me and my body reacted again to her. I had to divert my eyes from the temptation of wanting to know what it felt like to cup them, tug them with my mouth, bite her nipples to see how hard they could get, and make her scream without hardly touching her.

Her gaze on me narrowed again.

“Are you done yet? I know your reputation.”

I laughed, this time in earnest.

“You don’t know me, but you know of my reputation?”

“Who hasn’t heard of the Hands-Free Lover?”

“What?” I choked, although I had heard that God-awful nickname amongst many others.

“Hands-Free Lover. Known to make a woman scream in ecstasy without even touching her.”

“Wow. That’s powerful stuff.” I smiled.

She still held those narrowed steel eyes on me.

“Want to find out?” I added.

Her red lips opened wide in shock, and I’d gone too far again. I’d always had trouble with that, which is why I didn’t know how to communicate with women. I knew the ways of women: how to please them and make them scream, but I couldn’t talk to them. I always felt I’d say the wrong thing. I always asked too many questions, except for the right question all those years ago. My mind slipped back to my purpose with her.

“Never mind.” I straightened my back. “I need to ask you about your uncle.”

She hesitated for a moment.


The surprise wasn’t hidden on my face.

“Joseph? I thought your uncle was Roy.”

She had a thoughtful, contemplative look for a moment.


Something was off. I didn’t believe her, but I let it go for now. I felt this was going too far, too fast again. I needed her to trust me. I wanted to prove she could trust me.

“I need a shower,” I said. “Give me ten minutes and then I promise to drive you back to the shelter after we talk.”

She relaxed her shoulders and let her crossed arms slide down her stomach to form resting hands in her lap. Hanging her head slightly, she nodded to agree with me. Feeling triumphant, I jumped off of my stool, leaving the dishes, and heading for my room. Entering the bathroom, I saw her clearing the dishes and starting the sink to wash them. I had a strange flash of her doing that action again, and I smiled to myself as I entered the shower.

The trouble was I also thought of her standing in only the Swamp the Crows t-shirt, minus the leggings, minus anything else, in front of that sink; or better yet, completely naked against my kitchen counter. I envisioned me coming up behind her and covering her hands on the edge of the counter, holding her captive, while I rubbed myself against her bare ass. I imagined what she would sound like: a soft moan and a slight whimper. I imagined sliding my knee between her thighs, forcing her to spread her legs and then rubbing my throbbing length against her warmth.

I grabbed myself in the shower, unable to resist the heaviness in my hands. I had to get release to stop thinking of her that way. I needed answers first. I slipped my palm upward, jerking several times as I began to imagine what it would feel like to enter her. How tight. How warm. How wet.

I had to place a hand on the slick tile to hold my large body steady as I jerked one more time and spilled into the warm cascade of water. I could only imagine what she would feel like, because I didn’t know. I hadn’t known any woman like that. Ever. At twenty-five, I was still a virgin.

About The Author


L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction. The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances. A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing. Author of the Sensations Collection, Sound Advice, Taste Test, Fragrance Free, Touch Screen, and the upcoming Sight Words, she is also author of the Legendary Rock Star series, beginning with The Legend of Arturo King. She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and four children.

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Exclusive Author Interview!

I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it many more times, but the way you have brought the Arthurian legends into a modern day storyline is absolutely brilliant.  Sure, I adore rock stars, but it is the perfect setting.  So, I have to ask, how did the idea come about?  Have you been a fan of King Arthur for years, or did it just come to mind and run from there?

I actually have been a fan of King Arthur for years. It all started as a student teaching assignment. My cooperating teacher wanted me to teach the class about Arthur to give background knowledge for a YA novel we were reading. I fell in love. I kept all the material and, in later years, when I had my own classroom, I taught The Legend of King Arthur to my students, relating it to Harry Potter and Star Wars. I jokingly thought if King Arthur lived today, he’d be a rock star. I was driving and had to pull over to start making notes. The story took over from there.

Three books in for us readers, and I know you have at least two more in the works, so I have to ask, do you have a favorite character?  Or book in the series for that matter?

Of course, I love Arturo, but his story was easy to write. It was fun to research and twist the history to modernize it. The story that took me over the most was Tristan. Sigh. I love the take-off tale of “Tristan and Isolde” from the Arthurian original, and so his story is my favorite. I have to admit, however, I’m very proud of how Perkins’ quest turned out. I wasn’t as schooled in the story of Percival and had to do some more research for him. The hardest to write was Lansing’s story. I had to change it, as I wanted him to have a happily ever after, and I kept getting stuck until I thought of Lila.

Obviously the guys are based on King Arthur and his knights, but did you have any real life inspirations for their rock star personas?

Initially, it was Snow Patrol: their music and the lead singer’s looks. After that, it wasn’t so much a band, but music that kept the story going. I love FooFighters, GooGoo Dolls, Arctic Monkeys, Walk the Elephant…but as far as models go, Marlon Texiera (double sigh) is my Arturo King. Perkins is the one most in my head that I still can’t find an image to match.

Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” is mentioned in the book, and has come up in discussions in your Facebook groups.  I am such a music lover, I have to ask if you have a playlist for Perkins?  And since this is my first chance to interview you about the series, do you have playlists for the others as well?

Yes!! There is a playlist in the back of each book as well as the list is on my website ( and youtube ( ).

I guess I probably shouldn’t ask about playlists without asking about dream casts?  Who do you see playing the major roles if the series was made into a movie (or movies?)

Arturo – Marlon Texiera (model) or Kit Harrington (Jon Snow from “Game of Thrones”)
Lansing – yikes…I have no idea
Perkins – David Byers (model) or Charlie Hunnam with dark hair, maybe. He’d also have to shave it down.
Tristan – Jacey Elthalion (model) (sigh)

Can you share expected release dates for Tristan and Guinie’s books?  Will the series continue beyond those two?  (Personally I just can’t get enough.)  I know you recently released the final book in your Sensations series.  You have been amazingly prolific in the last year.  Is there anything else in the works or is it time for a little break?

The Truth of Tristan Lyons comes out July 27th with the final book in the Legendary Rock Star series coming with The Trials of Guinevere DeGrance on September 15th. The Nights are not gone, though, as I will have a companion series with the girls from the 4Gs. Those strings can rock!! Although The Sensations Collection is over, the plan is a story of three friends, Katie Carter grown up, and an MMA with two brothers. Phew…I’m hoping that takes me through 2016.

Though I feel like I could keep asking questions indefinitely, I should probably be wrapping this up for now.   I do love being involved in your Facebook groups.  Would you like to share all your social media and internet links so readers can stalk, er, follow you?

Facebook Author Page:

Amazon Author:






Instagram: lbdunbarwrites

Any upcoming promotional events?

Release day blitz for The Truth of Tristan Lyons: sign-up here —>

Feel free to join my two Facebook groups:
The Nights>

Novel Love Notes>

Thanks so much for joining us today.  It is absolutely my pleasure to take part in the promotion of this series I have come to love so much!

Thank you for participating in the blog tour. Perkins and I are most grateful.

 Excerpt – Chapter 1

The Quest of Perkins Vale  – LB DUNBAR  2015

 The night of the concert…

Arturo King and I rode side by side. The Ducati Monster 1200 screamed under me while Arturo steered Lansing’s red Streetfigher 848. We raced through the dark night down the short, dimly lit avenue outside The Round Table, taking a quick left in unison to be joined by two other bikes. At first, I thought it was Mel Agent or someone who worked for Mel. Not putting it past the asshole, as he had already tried to kidnap Guinevere DeGrance, Arturo’s fiancée, almost a month ago. The adrenaline rushed through my body, vibrating with anger. Mel had slipped a date rape drug into Guinie’s drink and hiked her back to his apartment, in hopes of taking advantage of her.
Firmly pulling down on the throttle, I sensed Mel’s intentions were the same again tonight toward her: the girl on the back of my bike. The girl with her small hands gripping the back of my t-shirt under my leather jacket, refusing to wrap her arms around me, despite the fact her legs were hugging my thick thighs from behind. I would have felt safer for her if she had a better hold on me, securing her arms around me, but it was bad enough I forced her out of The Round Table with me.
Glancing at Arturo to my right, he signaled with his head to turn ahead. We took the next corner quickly, but the bikes behind us kept an even pace. They were close, but not too close. Yet. Arturo King was one of my best friends. He’d befriended me when few others did in those woods around Lake Avalon. He’d been the one to offer me a place in the band. He was the one who never laughed at my awkwardness. He seemed to understand who I was and who I wanted to be. I was indebted to the lead singer and songwriter of our band, The Nights, for many things. Now, I owed him one more.
He’d helped me get away, with the girl.
We cornered a turn again at the third left; not bothering to downshift to slow, and immediately sped through the alley. Arturo hit the throttle, making the engine of Lansing’s bike scream down the narrow space, clipping a trashcan to spill behind us, knowing that the two bikes were truly following us.  The sound of a racing engine and the crash of tin cans on cement made a ruckus in the otherwise quiet area. I sensed Arturo’s plan to outrun our followers, and I kept a steady pace next to my partner. We barely downshifted as we reached the first crossroad off the alley, zipping across the, thankfully, abandoned street, with little more than a glance left or right. The girl finally slid her hands around my abs.  For a brief second, I thought her hands might have lingered as they slipped around me, feeling the hardness of my stomach. Her palms were flat for a moment, and then she gripped my dark t-shirt in her small fists again as we bumped out into another cross street.
“They’re after me,” she yelled over the roar of the fierce engine.
I couldn’t be positive she was right, but I didn’t doubt it either. If these were Mel’s men, they wouldn’t stop until they got what Mel wanted. If he wanted the girl, he would do anything to get her.
“Drop me off,” she yelled.
Fuck no. I wouldn’t lose her again.
In a last minute decision, we turned again with Arturo twisting his neck to look behind us as we raced toward the thoroughfare near Central Park. Giving a quick nod to me, I looked over my shoulder, as well, to see the first biker skitter into the street before correcting himself. We took one more turn and I was convinced we might lose our pursuers. We hit the larger boulevard and collectively cranked our respective throttles, speeding over eighty miles per hour through the steady crowded New York City streets. Within seconds, I heard the sound of the approaching motorcycles.
“They’re gaining on us,” the girl yelled into my ear.
I glance    d at Arturo again, who nodded his head for us to separate. I barely noticed that Arturo slowed slightly as if allowing me time to speed ahead and save the girl.

Continuing through the late night traffic, I downshifted to a more legal speed, as I noticed the other motorcycles followed Arturo. They hadn’t wanted the girl, after all, and were probably paparazzi of some type. Arturo King was good at dodging them, so I had faith in my fellow bandmate that he’d outrun the guys chasing behind. I turned the Ducati off the boulevard around Central Park, moments after our separation from Arturo, and headed toward a less reputable part of the city. The girl behind me had grown quiet after we separated from Arturo. If it weren’t for the solidness of her pressed against my back, I might have thought I was alone.
I sped the large bike down a side street that had the street sign stolen by some kids a week or two ago. On the right were several two-story buildings that housed some type of daytime business; the left side was an expanse of several low buildings, once warehouses, along the river’s dwindling bank. I didn’t bother to know what the business across the street from my building did during the day. Something that required people from nine to five was all I knew. But on my side of the street, one warehouse had been converted into a pet shelter. The other building was vacant. Then, there was my building in between.
I punched in a code to open the service-garage-looking door, with blackened windows, and rode the Ducati into the large industrial space. It was a statement of automotive art inside this garage. Pristine motorcycle parts dangled from the ceiling near a large black Cadillac SUV. A second Ducati Streetfighter, similar to the one Arturo rode that belonged to Lansing Lotte, was parked next to the shiny vehicle. A classic 1950 motorcycle, named The Black Shadow that belonged to my long ago mentor, was the pivotal statement to my love of bikes. This wasn’t an automotive shop or a bike garage; this was the place of honor to house my collection.
I pulled the Ducati Monster next to the red Streetfighter and cut the engine. I paused for a moment as the girl still sat astride behind me. Thinking I needed to help her off the bike before I could swing my large leg over the seat, I twisted slightly to look at her over my shoulder. Her head was moving slowly from side to side, taking in the space around her before her eyes met mine, or what I thought were her eyes meeting mine, as she still had on the helmet.
“I live in the back,” I offered, to assure her that we weren’t staying in a cold garage for the night.
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she snipped, then slid her leg over the seat to stand to the side of the bike. Removing the helmet I’d given her to protect her, midnight black hair tumbled out of its confinement and cascaded over her shoulders. She wore an oversized army issue jacket, which I sensed was two sizes too big for her. Her shapely legs were covered by the length of the coat to her knees, but tight black leggings peeked out underneath. Those legs were strong, despite her average height, and matched my firm thighs as she sat behind me on the bike, clenching occasionally as we flew through the city streets. Black female combat boots that were meant to be stylish were scuffed and worn on her feet.
My eyes travelled back up to her face, and steel gray eyes looked into my dark brown ones.  Nervously, I ran a hand over my nearly shaved head, feeling the soothing sensation of the short-cropped hair. Thinking of her comment, I didn’t respond as I swung my own leg off the bike and pointed in a direction for her to walk. I strolled behind her then reached around her to enter another code and open the solid security door to my living space.
I played the drums and they were the first things she could see as we entered my large open room.  They were the focal point of my life. I’d purchased the warehouse because I couldn’t live anywhere else and practice at my will. An apartment had neighbors too close. A neighborhood wasn’t my thing. I could have built a house further outside the city, but I didn’t want to. I’d grown up in seclusion. I didn’t want to be alone again. The irony was I was alone in my warehouse home.
The drum set was the centerpiece to a room furnished with an oversized couch facing the kit and a large screen television on the wall behind the set. A workout bench, with weights, was slightly hidden behind the dark couch. Two large darkened windows were the only hint to outside. My kitchen was open to this living space with a large island being the only thing separating the two areas. There was no table for dining, but stools stood around two sides of the island. There was only one bedroom off the kitchen, which held a king-size bed and a tall dresser. I lived simply, sparsely, as if I could pack up and move in a matter of hours. But it was more than that. I didn’t need much. I liked life simple, compared to my upbringing.  It was a strange combination of what I had and didn’t have.
“The bathroom’s over there.” I pointed toward a door that had a window of etched glass on the upper half. “If you want to clean up.”
She stood in my living area, still holding the motorcycle helmet against her middle as if a shield, protecting her from me. I knew I frightened her, despite her sharp tongue. My size alone was a lot to take in. I’d lost the baby fat I had as a young adolescent when I eventually went to high school. The taunting words of other children were cruel to a boy too large at a young age, and their insults inspired me to lose weight. Tristan Lyons, the fourth and final member of the band, was also a positive force in motivating me to work out daily. Tristan had the face of a male model and a body to match. He got girls instinctively, while I didn’t understand women at all. My experience with them was severely limited, despite the notoriety of my fellow band members. I had a reputation, though. One I didn’t think I quite deserved.
“So that’s it? I should freshen up, before…” She waved her delicate hand to motion between the two of us.
I was taken aback at her meaning for a moment until realization hit me, my face giving away my own embarrassment.
“You think I brought you here to…” I trailed off like she had, copying her hand gesture between us.
She nodded in response.
“Uhm. No,” I added after my face relaxed, and one side of my lips curled up in a crooked smile.
She was thoughtful for a moment, squinting those powerful gray eyes at me, before she replied,
“Why not?”
Again I was shocked. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with her in that way. Hell, I’d been dreaming of her for years, almost thirteen to be exact. But tonight wasn’t the night for that fantasy to play out.
“Would you like something to eat? Drink?” I asked, shifting the awkward conversation as I brushed passed her to the kitchen area and opened the industrial fridge door. I didn’t have much as I lived alone: a few beers, a couple bottles of water, a sports drink, and some orange juice.
“You’re offering me something to drink?” Her voice displayed her sheer puzzlement at my question.
Agreeing to take a water, I reached for two, unscrewing the cap on hers before handing the cool bottle to her. Her fingers brushed mine when she yanked the bottle from me, rather forcefully. My eyes jumped to her face, which showed no reaction to our physical contact. I, on the other hand, felt an electric spark travel directly to a body part I couldn’t control. I remembered the sensation from being around her before. It was an instantaneous response to her aggressive stance.
“So…what’s going on here?” she said, looking around the sparsely furnished room again.
“I live here…and you’re staying here tonight. To be safe.”
“Safe?!” she choked loudly on the word. “You just kidnapped me.”
“I…I did not,” I stammered, taking in the disgusted look on her face. Had I kidnapped her?  Taken her against her will?
I stood there recalling quickly what had transpired in the bar before I had her on the back of the bike.


The Legend of Arturo King

It’s no secret that I am a complete sucker for a good rockstar romance. I have been hearing about this one for some time, and have “met” the author at a number of Facebook events. I read the synopsis and teasers numerous times and said “That one HAS to go on my to be read list.” Somewhere along the line I got my blog signed up for the cover reveal event for the second book in L B Dunbar’s Legendary Rock Stars series, The Story of Lansing Lotte. That fully caught my attention and I realized I could not wait another day to start reading this one.

In some ways I am glad I put it off, because I can honestly say that I can hardly wait for the release of The Story of Lansing Lotte now that I have finished The Legend of Arturo King. I am completely on edge with the cliff hanger this ends on! It borders on cruel an unusual punishment to have to wait another month! I have plenty of other books waiting to be read, but this story will be haunting me until I can find out what comes next.

The author has done extensive research on King Arthur and the Knights of The Roundtable for this modern day spin on the legend of yore. I am almost embarrassed to admit how little I remember of the classic tales, but in the larger picture it doesn’t matter because this book is devastatingly enchanting.  I do recall enough to agree with her assessment that they would be rockstars in today’s world, and her spin is nothing short of genius.

So, yes, rockstars are my thing, and rockstar romances have become one of my favorite genres in recent years. It seems that there would be a limited number of directions an author could take the concept, which was the attitude I had in the back of my mind as I started reading. Leave any preconceived notions behind before you pick this one up. This one is refreshingly unique. Arthur is most definitely flawed, and honestly Guinie has her share of human flaws as well, but what they build together in this book is so pure it can soften the most jaded of hearts. There are plenty of adversaries and adversities facing them, but the organic heart of their feelings toward each other is portrayed with such intensity that it flows off the pages and into your soul.

The writing is top notch, the story is exciting, action packed, full of twists and turns, and the romance is beautiful. For mature audiences only for rather explicit sex scenes, but very highly recommended.

 The Story of Lansing Lotte

Admittedly, I had been anxiously awaiting the release of this one after being sucked in by The Legend of Arturo King. I very happily signed up for the blog tour to get the ARC even though I had already preordered it – I was that anxious to get to see where the story would go next.

Another 5 star read without a doubt, though I will warn readers that you won’t get all your questions answered from the end of Arturo. I saw the author mention that we will return to Arturo and Guinie in the 5th book of the series, though there are some sightings within this one, and I imagine there will be in Perkins’ and Tristan’s tales. At first this may seem slightly disappointing, put that aside and get lost in Lansing. I think you will find, as I did, that you will find every bit as in love with him as you did with Arturo.

Lansing is known as “The Lady Killer”, and it is easy to see how that happened as we journey into his heart and soul. Maybe all his kindred spirits are simply biding time until “the one” crosses his path. And just maybe “the one” could be someone other that who he has convinced himself was “the one.” Get swept up in his discoveries about himself and the women in his life and all the messes he gets himself into over them.

Again, LB brings the King Arthur story seamlessly into the present. There is so much going on here, and I always try to avoid spoilers, but sink into this one when you don’t have to be up the next morning, I found it impossible to put down and am already greedily awaiting the next release on June 26 (which happens to be my birthday – happy birthday to me!)

Again, for mature audiences only, for sexual situations. If you liked Arturo, you will love Lansing every bit as much.

 The Quest of Perkins Vale

We have established that I am completely in love with LB Dunbar’s Legendary Rockstars series,where she has modernized the King Arthur legends and has portrayed Art and his Knights as rockstars.  This is the third book in the series, and my love has not wavered in the slightest.

Honestly, going into Perkin’s tale, I figured if there was one book in the series that I didn’t love quite as much, it would be this one.  I can’t say the tale of a 25 year old virgin saving himself for some girl he once glimpsed in the woods in childhood sounded all that exciting to me.  I stand corrected.  This book is absolutely fantastic, and not only does justice to the rest of the series, it may push the bar just a little higher for Tristan and Guinie.

There is certainly no lag in action anywhere in this book.  Hollister, the girl Perkins has been dreaming of for years, comes with quite a backstory of her own, and the last thing she wants to do is drag anyone else into her drama.  i found her quite endearing, and perhaps my favorite female character thus far in the series.  And, yes, Perkins himself grew on me in ways I never thought he would.

The points that this book crossover with the first two in the series are extremely well done as well.  Ms. Dunbar is very talented in bringing a completely new point of view to roads already traveled to the point I really had to concentrate a bit to realize exactly when we were crosssing back.

Perhaps my favorite parts were the glimpses we get of Arturo.  We know from Lansing’s book that he is alive and lurking around New York.  I won’t say we get much more than that in this one, but what we do get leaves me even more anxious for Guinie’s book and the answers we have been waiting so long for.

Again, this book gets by highest recommendations, with the caveat that you really should read the other two books first, and with the note that they are all for mature audiences only for explicit sexual content.

Bring on Tristan!


Blog Tour: Dark Angel by Samantha Jacobey

I am pleased to have Samantha Jacobey on the blog again today.  Whew, she is one busy lady!  Yesterday she released Book 2 in her Summer Spirit Series, Dark Angel.  Peruse the promotional  materials and then I will include my reviews of both Summer Angel, and Dark Angel.

Dark Angel, A Summer Spirit Novella

by Samantha Jacobey,

Book 2 in the Summer Spirit Series

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: June 23rd

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Dark Angel – A Summer Spirit Novella… Can your Guardian Angel simply walk away?

Charlie and his girlfriend met last summer, after his awakening from a near death experience. Their love grew while his body healed, and after a few short months, he had come to believe she was the girl of his dreams. But Donna has a secret; one she had never intended to share with the love of her life.

While Charlie’s physical being had lain in a hospital, his spirit had traveled to another dimension – her world – where the forces of light and dark collide. When he had returned to the living side of consciousness, Clarisse stole Donna’s body, claiming it and giving herself a second chance at life and love. Of course, people who die are meant to stay dead, and there will be rough times ahead as Keeper, head of the angels, decides how to put things back in order…

Charlie stared down at their plates, guilt washing over him; “Damn.” He could tell she had put a great deal of effort into the meal, and he had blown it. “So much for overtime,” he muttered, turning to follow her to their bedroom. “Honey, I’m sorry,” he called more loudly.

Stepping into the room, he noted her hunched frame on the foot of the bed. Her face in her hands, her shoulders shook, signaling her silent sobs. Taking a knee before her, he sat back on his haunches while his fingers gently wound around her warm flesh, pulling on her arms to uncover her delicate beauty, “Hey.”

Allowing him to expose her tears, her face looked distorted, causing him to inhale sharply. “Don’t look at me Charlie,” she implored.

“Why?” he breathed the question. “Seriously, baby. What’s happening to you?”

Flicking her moist tongue over her lips, she whined, “You’ll call me crazy if I tell you. Just like you did Grandma Parker.”

“No, I won’t,” he pushed himself up onto his knees, his arms sliding around her waist, “Baby, I love you so much. We’re survivors, remember?” he alluded to their private joke. “There’s nothing you can’t tell me, an’ I promise; I would never call you crazy.”

She stared into his deep brown eyes, feeling as if they would swallow her whole at any moment. “My name isn’t Donna,” she stated flatly, “My name is Clarisse.”

Charlie’s lungs clamped down tight within his chest, as if she had knocked the wind out of him with a single punch. “Clarisse,” he coughed, squinting as he tried to make the connection. Finally, unable to do so, he stroked her long straight locks, “Honey, I’m not following.”

“That’s why she doesn’t know me,” she pulled herself up straight, “Because… I’m not me. And Grandma Parker can see it somehow.”

“I see,” he sank back down, heels to rear, “And how long has this feeling that you’re someone else been going on?”

“I told you!” she screamed, leaping to her feet, “Now you think I’m bat shit psycho!” she whirled around, moving to the window to peer outside, searching the darkness for some unseen

Watching her, he pushed himself up, standing slowly, “I never said that. I don’t understand. That’s all.”

“Of course not, you’re still you,” she quipped.

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Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations any where at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

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My Review of Summer Angel

(Book One of the Summer Spirit Series)

Perfect novella for a Sunday afternoon read!

Over the last several months I have had the pleasure of getting to know this author through her Facebook fan group which I joined after meeting her at an FB author event and winning a swag pack from her for the release of her Avenged, the 7th book in The New Life series. I have purchased the first 3 books in that series, but am almost embarrassed to admit I have not found time to start reading the series yet (but the teasers, synopses and reviews on the series look fantastic! I really am looking forward to learning Tori’s tale.) When Ms. Jacobey announced the upcoming release of Summer Angel, I was thrilled to pick it up on release day as I knew I could find time to squeeze in a novella by this author I have become quite fond of between my other reading obligations much sooner than I can immerse myself in a series.

Yesterday I finally had the time to pick this one up and enjoy thoroughly while my daughter was at symphony practice. Don’t let the short length fool you, Clarisse and Charlie are big characters who will leave a lasting impact in your literary experiences.

Charlie is in the summer after he graduates high school, before he heads off to college. His mom has talked/guilted him into one last summer vacation as a family. As his parents have become more estranged as the years go by, and he reasons that the college he will be attending is not THAT far away, he is not overly excited about the trip to Florida, but a blonde girl in a straw hat he runs into at the airport does intrigue him. Then Fate and Destiny intervene in the most unexpected ways.

As paranormal romances are not my first genre choice, I initially was going to give this a 4 star review, but upon further reflection of my general review criteria, there is no reason it doesn’t deserve a full 5. It is beautifully written with very few grammatical/editorial errors – certainly not enough to take away from the story in any way. The two main characters are extremely well fleshed out, especially when you take into consideration the constraints of writing in a short story/novella format. I have read too many full length novels to count that haven’t left me feeling as connected to the main characters as I do to Charlie and Clarisse, and all done in prosaic fashion. The heart of the story itself revolves around the age old battle of good versus evil. Things can get touchy when this is the core of a book, simply because it has been done so many times, in so many ways. Samantha has managed to master this one in both fantastic presentation and a truly unique spin. The pacing is quite good throughout; it is crucial not to let things lag in this format, but I imagine it is even more difficult to make sure there is not so much going on that motivations are lost. A definite 5 stars in this area as well.

This is a completely clean read, so no need to include any warnings. My highest recommendation to fans of paranormal romance, and those looking for a quick, mostly sweet read. By no means is it all sunshine and roses; it packs plenty of intrigue and the evil part of the good versus evil equation is certainly well represented. I see this one as a great read for a summer day on the beach, though I certainly enjoyed it waiting what seems endlessly for spring to arrive. I will definitely read further additions to this series, and it has left me more anxious than ever to delve into the darker side of the author’s writing style.

My Review of Dark Angel

(Book Two of the Summer Spirit Series)

Since I first read Summer Angel, I have had the chance to catch up on all of Samantha Jacobey’s  catalog, which really makes me appreciate what a different direction  Summer Angel took from her A New Life Series.  Summer Angel was such a light read by comparison!   And, in comparison to ANLS, Dark Angel is a much lighter read as well, but as the title suggests, it is a bit darker to read than Summer Angel was.

I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace though.  We open this book with Charlie and Donna, about a year after Summer Angel ended.   Wait…Donna?  What happened to Clarisse?  And what  about Gous, Destiny, Keeper and Father?

I honestly enjoyed this quick read every bit as much as Summer Angel, possibly a bit more even.  The lines between good and evil are a bit more blurred, as they so truly are in the real world.  This one isn’t quite as clean as Summer Angel, but the sexual situations are still more implied than explicit, making it certainly for a wider audience than the A New Life Series.  As with Summer Angel, this is a novella – pick them both up and enjoy them on a couple of consecutive beach days this summer.  They are absolutely perfect for that for fans of paranormal romance.

Blog Tour: Samantha Jacobey’s Rendered

I am thrilled to present Samantha Jacobey’s Rendered this morning, including my review, of course, and an exclusive interview with the author herself!   I think you will find this first book in a new series really enthralling…and it will make you think about how prepared you are for the end of the world.
Irrevocable Series Book 1
Samantha Jacobey
Genre: New Adult Dystopian, Romantic Suspense
How do you survive, when the only life you’ve ever known disappears in a single night? With more friends than she could count and the daughter of two wealthy attorneys, Bailey Dewitt had a life most kids dream about. A cheerleader, the auburn haired beauty lived in a large house, where she could afford to be and do whatever she wanted. Residing in a smaller community outside of Chicago, she attended high school, getting ready for college and the fabulous career that would one day be hers. And in a single night, she lost it all; the night her parents died. 

Dragged away from the only home she has ever known and forced into the care of her renegade uncle, Bailey must learn to play by a new set of rules. Faced with tough choices, she soon learns that nothing will ever be the same. When she meets Caleb Cross, she realizes her life in Illinois had been a lie. For the first time in her life, she has the chance to be truly happy. That is, if she can earn her place among the people in the tiny prepper community of Lawson… 

Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this story and hope that you will love reading it just as much. And of course, there will be many more adventures to come.
Author Media Links – You can follow Samantha Jacobey at:

Exclusive Author Interview
L:  First of all, I have been a member of Sam’s Fan Club/Street Team on Facebook for several months. It is so fun, and wonderful to interact with an author on such a personal level. Did you start this based on interactions with authors you like?
SJ:  Actually, I started writing on a whim. I have always been a daydreamer, and when Tori’s story became totally plausible to me, due to things I was seeing in the news, I decided to share. As far as interacting with my fans, it has been very rewarding. I know that many authors have street teams, and we do function loosely as that since I ask your help often when I am needing votes or shout outs. But more than that, it is a fan club; I love popping in and hanging out with you guys when I have time.
L:  Your body of work covers such different genres. Do you have a favorite amongst your literary “children”?
SJ:  Tori’s story will probably always be my favorite, since it was my first. I love writing and telling stories, and have so many different ideas. It keeps it interesting for me; fresh and new. I hope that is the same for my readers, and that I will always keep them guessing.
L:  Being a huge music fan, I have to ask if you have a Playlist that goes along with Rendered?
SJ:  Actually, it’s muchly the same as what I listened to when I wrote the New Life Series… I am a metal kind of girl, so I have a huge collection. Inside of that, Alice Cooper, Hey Stoopid… Hurricane Years…. yeah that’s a song that moves me, and I think as you work your way through the series it will be clear as to why.
L:  I’m sure this has come up many times before, but what was your inspiration for Rendered?
SJ:  I can now call myself a RETIRED high school science teacher (WHOOP), so this is a subject close to my heart. There are TONS of crazy stories out there – aliens, zombies, atomic wars… all things that are huge and exciting, and totally not realistic. I wanted an end of the world scenario that was completely plausible, because I believe we are right in the middle of a mass extinction event… the closing of one phase in the history of the world, and the beginning of a new one. Will the human race be on the other side? Only time will tell… I tell people my story will change the way you think about Armageddon, and I believe by the end of book three, that will be absolutely true.
L:  What can we expect next from you?
SJ: Here’s a list of what I have slated…
June 23rd – DARK ANGEL (book 2 of the SUMMER SPIRIT NOVELLAS)
July 14th – RETAINED (book 2 of the IRREVOCABLE SERIES)
August 11th – FORGOTTEN ANGEL (book 3 and this year’s finale of the SUMMER SPIRIT NOVELLAS)
September 1st – RECOMBINED (book 3 and finale of the IRREVOCABLE SERIES)
TBA – TEACH ME TO PREY – a standalone thriller
Oct 2015 – a Halloween thriller
December 2015 – a Christmas thriller
2016 – 2 dragon books, 3 new A New Life Series Books (spin-offs), 3 new Summer Spirit Novellas…
L:  I mentioned your Facebook group. Are there social media links you would like to share here so that people can find out more?
SJ:  You can follow Samantha Jacobey at:

My Review:
This is the first book in a new trilogy by Samantha Jacobey, and a new direction to her writing as well.   Some things that haven’t changed from other Samantha Jacobey books are the story that completely sucks you in, and that you can expect everything to be well presented and excellently edited.
Bailey is the all American girl in her junior year in high school when tragedy strikes and her whole world is turned upside down.   She and her twin brothers, 7 years younger than her, suddenly wind up with an uncle who is virtually a stranger to her and in a town in Texas that doesn’t seem to be on the same planet as the suburban Chicago area she has lived as long as she can remember.  And that is before they head to The Ranch.
As Samantha mentioned in the interview above, this is a realistic look at the end times.  It all rings as highly possible as being the life someone not far away could truly be living.   And then there is the heart and soul of Bailey, which is easy to relate to and will suck you in.   I enjoyed this more than I thought I might when I began seeing teasers for it, and cannot wait for Book 2!

Blog Tour: Annie Hughes’ Breaking Free: Una Familia Segura

Annie Hughes’ debut novel, Breaking Free: Una Familia Segura, was our book club’s Book of the Month in April, and I have been intending to spotlight it ever since.  Sadly it hasn’t happened  yet (though I will include my review and the reviews of some of our other members at the end of this posting) but I was pleased to have the opportunity to host a spot on her blog tour.  Anna, the main character is a teen, with an unexpected strength and maturity gained from an unspeakable childhood.   She is a character you won’t soon forget – and I’m pleased to tell you a sequel is coming soon.  So without further ado, meet Anna and her new found family!


Author: Annie Hughes





Book: Breaking Free: Una Familia Segura (Breaking Free #1)

Book Trailer:


Synopsis – 

Anna Rosa Castillo is unlike most 16 year old girls.

She doesn’t care for clothes or make up, nor does she giggle with her friends about hot guys. Coming from a small town in the North of England, where drugs and criminals are at the top of the food chain, Anna’s life is an impossible mixture of pain and sorrow. Drawing and tattoos are her only way of escaping the tortures that consume her at home. She lives by only one rule – do whatever he says, and she might live long enough to get away.

All that changes when a fatal night lands the monster of her nightmares in a prison cell and herself in a hospital bed, staring into the eyes of a father she has never known.

The addition of a father and family turns Anna’s life upside-down, thrusting her into a world she could never understand. Inner demons and unspeakable memories claw at her as she tries to build a relationship with her new family. But with her past looming over her new life, will she be able to break free?

Buy Links –



Breaking Free: Learning to Fly (book #2)



With the horrific tortures of her past finally behind her it’s time for Anna to move forward and get on with her life.

Her family and her friends by her side, she is suddenly sprung into the life of a normal teenager with normal teenage problems.

But can she really forget about what happened to her?

Can she overcome the deep seeded issues she still has inside?

Can it really all be over?

Buy Link:


Author Bio:

Annie Hughes has been writing since she was a little girl, never leaving the house with a notebook. As a corporate stooge and single mother, she spends all of her free time reading, writing and drinking too much coffee (wine). Annie has a strong passion for the literary world and before writing her book, spent all of her time reviewing others. She also enjoys talking with all that read her book(s), her philosophy being that readers and authors are all part of the same world – a world where they are all enthusiastic about words.

Find me links –

My Review of Breaking Free: Una Familia Segura

This is the second book I’ve read with a fabulous book group, and I cannot give enough praise to the way it adds to my connection with a book. At times it is hard to limit myself to the chapter or two a day, but it is so worth it for the section by section dissection with fellow readers.

Kudos to Annie on a fabulous debut! The emotional roller coaster is intoxicating. This is the story of Anna, anything but your typical teenage girl. There is definitely a Cinderella-esque theme, but few literary characters deserve it as much as this girl. As Anna’s backstory unfolds as she bonds with her new found family, you will definitely find yourself gasping and possibly reaching for a tissue or two. I feel Annie did a fantastic job of portraying Anna in a realistic way for someone who has been through such traumas.

Written for a YA audience, and the sexual and violent content are implied more than explicit, but I will still keep my recommendation to the older and more mature end of the YA spectrum. As a mother of teenagers, I viewed this book from a much different perspective than the target audience, but found it quite moving regardless. As another review has mentioned, I did question some of the parenting choices, which is why I added the older addendum to my recommendation.

Overall a very satisfying debut and I will definitely be watching for more to come from this sure to be up and coming author.



Other Reviews From Our Book Club:


“Breaking Free is a good story for a YA audience. It deals with some very adult issues and puts a bit of a Cinderella spin, with a new family playing the role of Prince Charming, on finding strength and courage in others. When we meet Anna, she is beaten, physically and emotionally and now being carried off by a father she never knew to a home across an ocean. The story follows the following months in her new life and how she deals with the ghosts of her past.

What’s good about this story, again is that it is written for YA’s. Teenagers will be able to relate to Anna and her view on her new life. Money, security, prestige, and love. The life every child wants. The sexual content and violence is mostly inferred and done in memories, but it is there. As I parent, I feel it necessary to also say that the parents views on underage drinking in the novel really bugged me, quite a bit.

But overall, this was a good story with a happy ending.”


“This was such a great read. Annie wrote Anna’s story so beautifully you can’t help but feel the emotions with the characters. The main character, Anna is just 16 years old and yet has had to deal with some adult events in her life. She is a character you just want to hug and protect. This is why I loved David, Mel and Logan, they came into Anna’s life and became her protectors and support system. With Anna’s new family came New found strength within herself. I read this book with a book club and I had such a hard time sticking to the 2 chapters a day schedule. I just didn’t want to put it down, I wanted to know what happened next. Now I can’t wait for Annie’s next book.”


“This novel Annie Hughes created is wonderful! The main character of the story, Anna, is a young 15/16 year old girl, who comes from a very slummy part of London. Doesn’t have enough food to eat, is malnourished, doesn’t have hardly any friends, doesn’t have anyone she can trust. She has some very bad things happen in her short life. She finds out she has an American Dad David, who comes and rescues her. He brings her back to the US, and loves her, gains her trust, feeds her, gives her clothes that are brand new, not hand me downs. She finally lets her guard down, and begins to trust him, and love him and his family.”


“This wonderfully written debut novel took me through a wide range of emotions. Any story that can touch me so deeply, is a story worth reading again and again. Can’t wait to read more from Annie Hughes!”


“It’s easy to forget that really bad things happen to those around us on a regular basis. It’s inspirational reading about a victim who continues to push through. 16-year-old Anna has had to face so much in life and yet, she continues to fight to overcome her demons. This story is touching, fun, encouraging, and Annie Hughes gives you excellent details and buildup. Anna’s interactions with her new surroundings, friends, and family are fun to read and I love the flirty scenarios.

I also extremely enjoyed the taste of culture added. This is not something as many authors do and I really appreciated this in her work. Definitely a good read!”


 Best wishes to Annie!  I think she has a bright future ahead of her!

Blog Tour: The Fairest of Them by Heather Osborne

A warm welcome today, to a new to me author, Heather Osborne,  on release day for her new romantic thriller, The Fairest of Them. Congratulations Heather!  My review is at the end of this post.

Title: The Fairest of Them

Series: Rae Hatting Mystery #2

Author: Heather Osborne

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Crime Thriller

Release Date: June 6, 2015

Once upon a time, there was a murder…

Rae Hatting returns in her first, full-length novel, “The Fairest of Them.”

Detective Luke Thompson is a hero cop, with a string of solved serial killer cases under his belt. He comes to California, thinking he can disappear quietly into the forests, isolated from the rest of the world. His expertise is called upon to help with a mysterious serial killer, dumping bodies dressed like fairy tale characters in the woods outside of Mendocino County. With the help of a profiler, Luke finally gets the break he needs, as well as finding romance for himself. Tragedy strikes, and Luke is left despondent, unable to carry on as a detective. Can a fiery redhead from the FBI help him out of the slump?

Determined to leave the life of solving unsolvable homicides behind, Special Agent Rae Hatting tries to settle into a normal life with her adopted daughter, Grace. However, her reputation precedes her, and Rae finds herself back in the fray, called upon to help solve a series of gruesome fairy tale style murders in California. Her only obstacle is Detective Luke Thompson. Broody, stubborn, and an all-around pain in the ass, the pair must work together before another victim ends up never finding their happily ever after.


The trail led to a clearing surrounded by redwood trees. They provided shade from the harsh afternoon July sun, their shadows dancing on the ground. In the very center of the ring, a woman lay, her hands folded over her abdomen. Blonde ringlets framed her face and her vivid blue eyes were wide open, staring blankly into the abyss. The slender form was draped in a pink dress with lace accents at the sleeves. Over it, she wore a stark white pinafore. Hikers had stumbled on the eerily staged scene in MacKerricher State Park, and called in the authorities.

Yellow crime tape was wound around the statuesque trees. It was as if they were standing guard, tall and silent. Upon closer investigation, a slim book was discovered, poking out of the pocket of the starched pinafore. It was quickly bagged and tagged as evidence before the body, carefully sealed in a black bag, was transported to the coroner’s office. I remember turning my face upwards, gazing at the majestic trees and wishing they could talk. If they could, my job would have been infinitely easier.


I had come to the small town in Mendocino County, California, early in 2003 with no intentions of taking up another job on the force. My legacy was safely tucked away in Dallas, Texas, after I solved a series of prostitute rapes and mutilations. The newspapers lauded me as a hero. The whole situation made me feel completely sick, not good for a detective. We were meant to be impartial and I found myself blaming the working girls I had so often warned about the dangers of streetwalking.

The circumstances leading me to resuming a position as a detective with the sheriff’s department were not something I wished to discuss with anyone. I would simply change the topic when brought up in conversation. I supposed that it was some sort of calling, unable to let me rest until I helped as many people as possible.

I drove back to the station, radio off, the red-taped evidence bag taunting me on the passenger seat. I knew what it contained, but I was reluctant to confirm it. I turned the bag over to the technicians at the lab and returned to my office with an off-hand reminder to let me know what they found. The book would be swabbed, submitted to latent fingerprint testing, and returned to my desk with the same report as last time: no conclusive trace evidence found. As I predicted, it’s what happened. I retrieved the book, setting it down on my desk in the plastic covering.

Snapping on a pair of latex gloves, I ran my hand over the leather cover. It was a first edition, like the rest. I carefully cracked the cover and the black print stood out on the creamy ivory paper: Goldilocks and the Three Bears. 

Beneath it, penned in perfect cursive were the words: She should not have taken what did not belong to her. I slammed the book shut in frustration. The taunts were becoming more and more specific as time went on.

Throwing the gloves in my trashcan, I decided to take a walk and see if Dr. Sabine Lawson had found anything on the body. The glimmer of hope had long since faded that she actually would. The curvy, African-American coroner was meticulous in her reports, so I doubted she would be even down to the woman’s breasts at this point. I had to do something to settle my nerves, though, or I would snap.

The squeak of the metal swinging doors signaled my entry into the disinfectant-scented room. I grinned at the sight of Sabine in her element. She wore her hair in narrow braids, pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail. Her skin was the color of coffee with cream. There were many days I lusted after Sabine, but she made it clear to me from day one she was committed to her job. There was no room for “torrid affairs with wild cowboys,” as she put it.

“Whatcha got for me, Doc?” I went through the motions of putting on another pair of gloves to avoid Sabine’s scowl.

“Nothing yet and you know it. You’re restless, cher.” The drawl of her New Orleans accent came out like liquid silk.

I leaned against the counter and watched her work. “Damn straight. I can’t wrap my head around this guy. He was sticking to the classics and now this jump. Why Goldilocks?”

Sabine was used to listening to my ramblings and offering her interpretations. “Perhaps, she merely fit the profile of that character.”

“He’s not like that though. He plans this all to the letter. Every detail. Stalks these women for weeks!” I jiggled my leg anxiously. The change in the killer’s modus operandi rattled me more than it should.

“Calm yourself.” She began to speak into a microphone positioned above her work station.

“Female victim appears roughly 20 to 25 years of age based on bone development and pelvic placement. She has never given birth. There are signs of sexual trauma, but no ligature marks on her wrists or ankles. A small needle mark indicates that the victim may have been drugged. Sending a sample of blood and urine to the lab for further analysis.”

I interrupted her. “No trace of semen, I take it?”

She frowned at me. “No, like the others.” Sabine carefully made her opening incision in the abdomen of the victim and drew back the flesh. She busied herself with the remainder of her work, and I knew I was dismissed without her saying so. Pinging the gloves into a bin by the door, I walked out.

Heather Osborne was born and raised in California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Victimology, as well as coursework in Early Childhood Education. In 2009, she met her husband and moved to Scotland, very much a dream of hers since she was a small child. Heather has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. She also has written and directed several plays. In her spare time, Heather enjoys reading, writing (of course!), theatre, as well as caring for her young son.


My Review:

I have always appreciated a good thriller, and a good romance as well.  It has only been in recent years that I have come to appreciate the combination of the two.

This book brings plenty of punch with a serial killer with a grotesque way of playing out fairy tales.  The local police and FBI have been trying to unravel this for years without making much progress.  After the initial “Hansel and Gretel” they have not even been able to identify the victims.  With the latest addition to the horrific anthology, a FBI profiler is sent to work with the lead detective on the case.

I will admit that my thoughts as I read the early chapters were mixed as I tried to decide if the focus was more romantic or on the case, and that the romance seemed a little sudden, and perhaps a bit forced.  If you start reading this book and have similar feelings, I encourage you to push on.  The thrills, emotions, and a deeply twisted backstory backstory to the true killer brings plenty of punch and depth to the suspense part, and my initial feelings on the romance were completely rethought with a very unexpected plot twist about 1/3 of the way into the book and things are pretty well non stop from that point on.  The introduction  of Rae brings an interesting cast of characters in the form of her family, in addition to her spunk, and her interesting ties to the case.

I am giving this one a solid 4 stars, and will be looking for more on these characters.