REVIEW: Wicked Intentions by J.T. Geissinger

Wicked Games Book Three; Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar. Their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.

But when Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door, he realizes their meeting wasn’t accidental and becomes determined to find her.

A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora has one final job to complete before she’s free from the oath that bound her to a life of crime, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.

When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Ryan’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.

♦3.5-STAR REVIEW♦

With a mercenary and master thief, Wicked Intentions brought together two complete opposites in both legality and profession in this lusty, action-packed tale. It was a fast-paced story, one in which their connection was instant and believable, and in turn that activated the fun cat and mouse game between the two–her to escape, and him to locate the one who got away.

Ryan’s military background mixed in with Mariana’s sleuthing skills created a combustible and smart romance in which their minds were just as capable as their bodies. It was nice to see two main characters go toe-to-toe like that, especially when the heroine could and did outsmart the hero at almost every turn. There were many times, unfortunately, with Ryan that it felt as if his alpha demeanor wasn’t completely authentic, as if his actions and responses were overplayed rather than letting the character come through naturally, which pulled me from the story when it occurred. Having never experienced this issue with this author before, I pushed through it because I was loving everything else about this story and where it was headed. I’m glad I did because through him flickering in and out, Mariana ended up being what I kept going for. Geissinger brilliantly wrote a strong, capable heroine that was wickedly smart as much as she was dangerous. She stole the show in both her abilities and her honest self-doubts. Learning of her and experiencing her life through her, I was automatically endeared to a woman who’d suffered so much, but continued to push through. She was a joy to inhabit.

With many twists and turns, Wicked Intentions was much more than it originally appeared to be. A kickass heroine was half of the fun and it lead to an enjoyable battle of smarts. I may be the only one who has these issues with the hero and how he was written, and that’s okay because aside from all of that it was a witty and sexy story with an on-your-toes momentum that kept me turning the pages.

♦SERIES♦

Each book is an interconnected standalone

12 - Wicked Beautiful

Wicked Games Book One

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19 - Wicked SexyWicked Games Book Two

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

JT Geissinger

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

 

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REVIEW: Fuel For Fire by Julie Ann Walker

Black Knights Inc. Book 10; Interconnected standalone

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♦BLURB♦

A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker’s red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering…what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Fuel For Fire had the perfect mixture of suspense and romance, creating a fiery love story in the middle of a deadly mission. Walker fabulously pulls off, yet again, writing the intricacies of a special team of mercenaries, government protocol, and the mystery behind it all with page-turning suspense and sexiness.

Chelsea and Dagan, whose relationship is anything but cordial and is riddled with unspoken, deeply rooted feelings, are finally on a mission together and Dagan is anything but happy about it. Their constant wit and banter created a great connection between them, pushing the emotions and sexual tension higher the more they ignored their attraction. But through their mission, Dagan’s backstory finally came to light, and, most surprisingly, Chelsea’s connection to it as well. It was filled with pain, suffering, and guilt, written with care and sensitivity.

I adore the BKI men and the family its grown into, and how Walker continually excites and thrills with new stories. Fuel For Fire showcased a great opponent with twists and turns, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and it complemented nicely with the love story. I’m greatly looking forward to the next one.

 

♦SERIES♦


My Review

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find Julie on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

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BOOK REVIEW & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Young Adult

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♦BLURB♦

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

Peter lies.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Wildly imaginative and wonderfully inventive, Lost Boy twisted the long-standing characters of Pan and Hook from the classic tale to give a new origin story, one of how two friends became the life-long enemies they’re famously known as. With skill and finesse, Henry’s storytelling easily transported me to a wild island where boys never aged, one where they could never leave, and where the true side of the boy that led them all shone through.

Henry brilliantly wove a tale with an underlying of darkness, expertly showing the slow progression of insanity that was Peter Pan and the depravities of the island. With rich detail and vivid characters, there was no fear in showing the unbridled side to boys when left to their own devices and how susceptible they were to attention. It was poignantly bloodied, but incredibly moving and emotional. Every moment of the story carried with it a deeper meaning, crossing reality with make believe and jealousy with love. And Jamie, before he took to his famous moniker, was at the center of it all as Pan’s favorite token from the Other Land, the longest on the island. His character was deeply rooted and clearly written, flickering between his devotion to the Lost Boys and his love for the boy who brought him there. It became impossible to not be wrapped up in him.

Lost Boy was darkly clever, intricate in every way, and so different from any version before it, but brilliant nonetheless. Words cannot express how much I adored this version, how easily it fit into the character we’ve always  known, and how its effect alludes explanation. If you’re looking to be thrilled and charmed and twisted, I can not recommend this tale enough.

“Was this, I wondered, what it felt like to be a grown-up? Did you always feel the weight of things on you, your cares pressing you down like a burden you could never shake? No wonder Peter could fly. He had no worries to weight him to the earth.”

 

♦INTERVIEW♦

I had the pleasure of asking Christina Henry a few questions, check them out below!

Book Reader Chronicles: What inspired you to write this particular re-telling of Captain Hook and Peter Pan?

Christina Henry: I wanted to know why Captain Hook hated Peter Pan so much. It always seemed strange to me that this adult, this pirate, hung around Neverland plotting against a kid when he ought to be off doing pirate-y things. So I wrote this book to answer the question for myself.

BRC: Was there any particular scene or part of the book that gave you trouble when writing it?

CH: I write chronologically and by hand, so I don’t really think of the book in terms of individual scenes but rather as a long spool unfurling.  I don’t have difficulty writing individual scenes but I will admit that editing is not my favorite thing.

BRC: What endeared you to Hook, enough to make you turn the story to put him in a better light?

CH: I have a deep, highly romanticized affection for pirates born of too many readings of TREASURE ISLAND.  I also had a feeling that such intense hatred of Peter Pan could only have come about if they were friends once – only love can become so corrosive when it dies.

BRC: What’s your favorite part about fairytales?

CH: That they can be endlessly interpreted and re-interpreted through a variety of lenses. There’s always another way to tell a story.

BRC: What’s your favorite fairytale of all time and why?

CH: I’ve always been very fond of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and in particular Robin McKinley’s retelling of this story. Her retelling gives layers and lushness to the original.

BRC: Favorite Lost Boy aside from Hook?

CH: In my own book I love Nod and Fog, the wild twins. I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to have a twin.

BRC: What are you tackling next?

CH: My next book, which will be out in the summer of 2018, is THE MERMAID. It’s the story of P.T. Barnum and the Feejee Mermaid, except in my book the mermaid is real instead of a hoax. It’s also a story of loss and grief, and about feeling alien in a human world. It’s pretty different from anything else I’ve ever written.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

CHRISTINA HENRY  is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.

ALICE was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2015. It was also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee in Horror and one of Barnes & Noble’s Bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2015.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Raw Need by Cherrie Lynn

Larson Brothers Book Two; Interconnected Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

Zane Larson has done everything he set out to do: conquered past demons, saved lives through his music, and toured the world as the frontman for one of the most popular rock bands in the world. This life—and an escape through music—was supposed to be everything he’s ever wanted, but after meeting Rowan, Zane’s no longer sure…

Soon after her husband’s death, Rowan Dugas learned she was pregnant. With grief and uncertainty her only companions, Rowan was only able to find an escape through music; specifically Zane Larson’s hypnotic voice. But after meeting the sexy lead singer of her favorite band, Rowan can hardly believe he’s interested in her. But Zane also has a painful connection to her unborn child – Zane’s brother is responsible for her husband’s death.

Torn between the only family she has left, and a life with Zane unlike anything she’s dared to dream about, Rowan’s decision will change her fate forever.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

In the second book in a series about forbidden romances, Raw Need takes us into the very taboo romance of two people with everything possible pushing them apart.  With a pregnant widow and the man of the brother who killed her husband, Lynn set up the story with as much angst and tension working against them as possible, but tempered it with the perfect amount of emotional care.

Rowan was difficult to grasp as a reader; at times it was easy to connect with her and become one with her, but other times she was quick to act out-of-character or without thought. Her position and predicament probably had a lot to do with that, one where she could not win no matter what she did, and I carried that frustration with me throughout the book. The animosity surrounding her in-laws became really difficult to read, but I felt it as I were her, wanting to fight through her and become her champion if she wouldn’t be her own. Difficult as it was, it was easy to understand how well Lynn wrote the dynamic between a grieving family, all tied together because of one lost soul. Rowan’s battle of grief warred with her needs and I craved that resolution, but the battle was half the fun (I mean, Zane <heart eyes>).

The connection between Zane and Rowan, though, was rife with delicious sexual tension. His gentlemanly ways lent well to his wild sex god demeanor. His sweet, caring nature made him a stand-out male character, one that you can easily swoon and pine over. His kind of affection can tear up the inside of your chest easily, and I adored him and his want of her.

Lynn always writes fantastically sexy books with great, well-developed characters and this was no different. Raw Need lived up to its name, building a great resistance and inner struggle with two people whose raw attraction to each other overpowered all logical thought. While there were random moments throughout the book that felt off or a bit cliche, almost as if Lynn was trying a bit too hard at certain angles, I still loved this unique love story and thoroughly enjoyed the stomach-dipping need that surrounded these two. It was a truly beautiful and inspirational love story with a connection that defied the odds against them.

 

♦SERIES♦

24-raw-deal

Larson Brothers Book One; Interconnected Standalone

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Cherrie

Cherrie Lynn has been a CPS caseworker and a juvenile probation officer, but now that she has come to her senses, she writes contemporary and paranormal romance on the steamy side. It’s *much* more fun. She’s also an unabashed rock music enthusiast, and loves letting her passion for romance and metal collide on the page.

When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, listening to music or playing with her favorite gadget of the moment. She’s also fond of hitting the road with her husband to catch their favorite bands live.

Cherrie lives in East Texas with said husband and their two kids, all of whom are the source of much merriment, mischief and mayhem.

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