Diane's Book Blog
Review
5 Stars
Lucas (Cold Fury Hockey, #8) by Sawyer Bennett
Lucas: A Cold Fury Hockey Novel (Carolina Cold Fury Hockey) - Sawyer Bennett

Sawyer Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey series is on a winning streak with book eight, LUCAS.  Luc is the younger brother of Cold Fury Hockey goalie, Max Fournier (book six).  Luc was recently traded to the Fury.  He meets museum curator, Stephanie Frazier, at a gala and has a one-night stand with her, but unexpected circumstances bring them back together.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.  The story takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

I love that Lucas was traded to the Cold Fury and that Max and Luc could play professional hockey together.  Max is a great character, so I enjoyed reading more about him and getting to know Luc and their sister, Simone.  The Fournier’s are a wonderful family, the opposite of Stephanie’s family.  Her parents are something else.  It’s amazing she is well adjusted as she is.  I’m glad she had Hilda when she was growing up.  Her past causes a lot of emotional issues for her.

 

Sawyer Bennett does a fantastic job with her character development.  Lucas is a remarkable guy.  He is insightful and thoughtful (most of the time).  He is good at expressing himself.  Family is important to him. He grows up faster than he was intending.  Stephanie is smart and fun.  She has always relied on herself and finds it difficult to open-up to others.  She doesn’t have any close friends.  She has always felt unworthy.  She doesn’t know what it is like to have a true family.  Lucas and Stephy are good for each other.  They make each other better people.  They have amazing chemistry.  They face multiple obstacles and become stronger for it.  

 

I enjoyed the plot.  LUCAS was skillfully written and believable.  The story was interesting from start to finish.  I loved the characters and didn’t want their story to end.  Fortunately, we get to her Lucas’ sister Simone and his roommate, Van Turner story next.  I cannot wait for book nine, VAN, expected to be released on November 28, 2017.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Complications on Ice (Boys of Winter #3) by S.R. Grey
Complications on Ice (Boys of Winter Book 3) - S.R. Grey
  1. R. Grey scores a hat trick with the third book in the Boys of Winter series, COMPLICATIONS ON ICE.

NHL star, Benjamin “Benny” Perry, decides to get back at his coach by dating his daughter, Eliza Townsend.  He doesn’t plan on falling for her and the complications that come along with it.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.  It primarily takes place in Las Vegas.

 

We met Eliza in the previous book.  I was looking forward to her story, and I was not disappointed.  I like how the novels overlap. A lot of stuff was going on with Eliza that we had no clue about.  She went through a lot.  She grows up tremendously in a short amount of time.  I like Benny.  He is a former substance abuser.  He matures throughout the story.  He is a sweet guy.  I didn’t really like that they both wanted to get to know each other before having met each other, but I like the way that the story played out. 

 

The plot was clever and believable.   There were numerous obstacles and twists that kept the story interesting.  I like how Drew Chidders was incorporated into the book.  I wouldn’t mind hearing his story down the line.  The baby food diet was amusing.  COMPLICATIONS ON ICE was skillfully written and flowed well.  I had a hard time putting down this book.  I’m looking forward to Dylan’s story, CAUTION ON ICE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Tropical Ice by Kat Mizera
Barefoot Bay: Tropical Ice (Kindle Worlds Novella) - Kat Mizera

 

Kat Mizera wins with TROPICAL ICE.  NHL bad boy, Garrett “Hawk” Hawkins, saves Madison Teller from being shot.  The two end-up spending their vacation together in Mimosa Key, Florida; not realizing their live intertwine.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult audiences.

 

TROPICAL ICE is part Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay Kindle Word series, which I admit I have never read.  However, I could tell which characters were part of the original world the Barefoot Bay series takes place in.  I thought it was clever how, Kat Mizera, incorporated her characters into this setting. 

 

I enjoyed the characters and plot.  I thought it was creative how Garrett and Madison ended up in Florida, met each other, and how their lives intermingle.  A lot of interesting things happen.  The story was well executed and believable.   Madison and Garrett are both likeable characters.  Garrett is in a difficult situation.  The two bond over this vacation and really get to know each other, helping each other grow in a short time. 

 

I really like Madison’s brother, Jamie.  Reading this book made me want to hear his story, so I’ll be picking up TEMPTATION'S INFERNO (Inferno #2).  He’s a good guy.  I like how he handled the situation between Garrett and Madison.   I love how the story ended.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
In Too Deep (The Blackhawk Boys, #5) by Lexi Ryan
In Too Deep (The Blackhawk Boys) (Volume 5) - Lexi Ryan

Lexi Ryan scores with IN TOO DEEP the fifth book in the Blackhawk Boys Series.  I couldn’t wait to read this story.  Mason Dahl and Bailey Green have been involved since the first book to the series.  Their relationship is complicated, and there was so much more going on than what you gathered from the previous books.  Mason and Baily got married in Las Vegas while at the bachelor/bachelorette party in book four, FALLING HARD.  Now Mason has devised a plan to try to win Baily over for good, but he’s on a short timetable to convince her.  This contemporary football romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.

Lexi Ryan did an amazing job with her character development.  Mason and Baily come from different means.  Regardless they have many similarities and make a fantastic couple.  They care about each other deeply.  Mason and Baily try to protect each other in their own way.  They both are very human and make mistakes.  They have difficult obstacles to overcome and become stronger for it.  

The plot was clever and believable.  Mason’s relationship with Gulf Gators NFL franchise owner, Bill McCombs, puts an interesting spin on the story.  Mason’s ex-girlfriend, Lindy, also creates some compelling turbulence. It amazed me what a great guy Mason turned out to be with Christian Dahl as his father.  It must have been his mother’s influence.  We discover multiple life-changing secrets that both Mason and Baily have been keeping.  I like that the story spans over four years, flashing back and forth in time.

I love this series.  Each book is extremely powerful. After reading every novel, I think there is no way that Lexi Ryan can match or top the previous story.  She has amazing done so.  If you follow the Blackhawk Boys series, you won’t want to miss this story.  If you haven’t read this series, you could probably read this book as a standalone, but I think you would enjoy it more if you read the series in order.  Every book is skillfully written and a worthwhile read.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Defiance (Heart Lines Series Book 5) by Heather Hildenbrand
Defiance (Heart Lines Series Book 5) - Heather Hildenbrand

DEFIANCE by Heather Hildenbrand is an exciting addition to the Heart Lines Series. Sam’s story continues where book 4, IMBALANCE left off.  Sam discovered who Ea’s vessel is.  She is fighting over control of Hina and needs to prepare for the equinox.  Meanwhile, we discover what Alex’s role is in these events.  This contemporary urban fantasy is suitable for new adults.

 

DEFIANCE is thrilling and full of twists.  Alex and Sam have numerous trials and tribulations to overcome.  They discover interesting facts.  They learn things about themselves.  They face more than anyone should have to.   They are strong characters that you cannot help but like and admire. 

 

Heather Hildenbrand does an amazing job keeping this series fresh, exciting and believable.  She is a creative story teller and skilled writer.  I am highly anticipating book six, EMERGENCE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld #13) by Gena Showalter
The Darkest Promise - Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter’s THE DARKEST PROMISE is an excellent addition to the Lords of the Underworld series. Immortal, Cameo, is possessed by the demon of Misery.  Any time she acquires a joyful memory the demon steals it away.  Everyone who is around her feels dread, except for, Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual.  Lazarus wants Misery, but if she allows herself to be happy, she’ll end up forgetting.  This contemporary PNR is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

Gena Showalter continues to do a fabulous job with her character development.  I’ve always felt bad for Misery.  I feel that her and Torin has two of the worst demons.  Not that being possessed by any demon would be pleasant.  I like that Lazarus is persistent and unaffected by Cameo’s demon.  His gift for reading minds is a plus.  I like that Misery’s godchildren, Urban and Ever, were in this story.  I also, appreciate Viola, keeper of Narcissism, presence.  She is good for a laugh. 

 

The plot was clever and well executed.  There was a lot of action and interesting twists.  The Lords of the Underworld series continues to be thrilling and feel original.  After thirteen books, I still can’t get enough of this series and look forward to continuing following it.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
In the Crease (Assassins #12) by Toni Aleo
In the Crease (Assassins Book 12) - Toni Aleo

Toni Aleo scores with IN THE CREASE, the twelfth book in the Assassins series.  NHL goalie, Jensen Monroe, has been in love with his best friend’s little sister, Wren Lemiere, since they were kids.  So, when she asks him to be her fake husband in order to get her inheritance, he jumps at the opportunity with the hopes of making it permanent.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.

 

I adore Jensen.  He has become one of my favorite male characters.  He is an amazing individual.  He has some understandable insecurities.  He is a wonderful guy who is patient and loyal.  He and Wren are adorable together.  Her self-esteem has been messed with, and she has a lot of obstacles that she faces in this story.  They both grow tremendously and make a cute couple. 

 

I enjoyed the plot and sub-plot.  I love that Wren’s brother, Vaughn Johansson, and Brie play a major role in this novel.  They definitely added to the entertainment value.  The boys and Wren have known each other forever, so they have a fun relationship.  I love both Wren and Jensen’s families.  My father went through some of the same diabetes issues that Jensen’s dad did.  Therefore, my heart went out to Jensen and his family. 

 

Toni Aleo continues to do an astonishing job with her character development.  She is a talented and skillful writer whom I can always count on for an amazing read.  I loved the last chapter and epilogue. It was the perfect ending.   I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Sacked in Seattle: Game On in Seattle Rookies (Men of Tyee # 1) by Jami Davenport
Sacked in Seattle: Game On in Seattle Rookies (Men of Tyee Book 1) - Jami Davenport

Jami Davenport’s SACKED IN SEATTLE is a hit.  I adored this book.  I fell in love with Riley Black in book 2 of the Game On in Seattle series, CRASHING THE NET.  I enjoyed hearing Riley’s and Tiffani Vernon’s story.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.

 

Riley is a wonderful character.  He had a horrible childhood.  He was fortunate enough to be taken in by his uncle, Cooper in book 2, CRASHING NET.  He subsequently was held hostage along with Tiffani in high school shooting his freshman year.  This book takes place seven years later, during their senior year of college at Tyee University on Lake Union in Seattle. 

 

Both Riley and Tiffani have many scares from their past.  Riley keeps his childhood a secrete, and it comes back to haunt him.  He has gone through more than any person should have to.  Despite everything he has been through, he is a wonderful individual who is stronger for his trials and tribulations.  He and Tiffani have a complicated relationship.  Both grow tremendously throughout the novel. 

 

Jami Davenport is an exceptional writer.  I love her work and writing style.  I’m excited about this new spin-off series, Man of Tyee, and cannot wait for the next book.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Irresistible You (Chicago Rebels #1) by Kate Meader
Irresistible You (The Chicago Rebels Series Book 1) - Kate Meader

Kate Meader’s IRRESISTIBLE YOU is an excellent start to the Chicago Rebels series.  I have been anxiously awaiting reading this book ever since I read IN SKATES TROUBLE (Chicago Rebels #.5) in the HOT ON ICE hockey anthology.  I was not disappointed.  I loved this book. 

 

Three half-sisters are left a hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels.  The team is in second to last place. The sisters need to turn the Rebels around.  The first book focuses on the oldest daughter, Harper Chase.  She has been groomed to take over the team and is disappointed when her father’s will stipulated that all three sisters are left the team and have a year to make the playoffs or lose the franchise.  I love the plot.  It was interesting and full of obstacles.  

 

I already liked Harper’s character in the prequel, IN SKATES TROUBLE.  I was excited to hear her story.  She is a strong character that is meant to run the Rebels.  She is an excellent leader and knows her hockey.  She brings in veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre to motivate the team.  Understandably, DuPre was not happy to be traded to a team that was in second to last place.  The two butt heads but can’t deny that they are attracted to each other. Of course, Harper being Remy’s boss complicates matters.  They have great chemistry and are an interesting couple.

 

I enjoy Kate Meader’s writing style.  The story flowed well.  I was not able to put down the book.  There were some good life lessons in the story.  I loved the scene where Remy and Harper played video games against each other.  IRRESISTIBLE YOU had a great ending.  I look forward to reading middle sister, Isobel Chase’s story in the next book, SO OVER YOU.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
OMEGA (Mackenzie Grey #4) by Karina Espinosa
OMEGA: A New Adult Urban Fantasy (Mackenzie Grey Book 4) - Karina Espinosa

Karina Espinosa’s OMEGA was an amazing conclusion to the Mackenzie Grey series.  Mackenzie Grey is investigating a serial killing in New York for the Supernatural Investigative Unit (SIU).  Meanwhile, she is still suffering from the events the transpired with her pack and the Lunas.  This contemporary urban fantasy is suitable for adult audiences.

 

I loved this book.  Karina Espinosa continues to do an exceptional job with her plot and character development.   Mackenzie is understandably struggling with the aftermath from the Luna rebellion.  She has sequestered herself from other wolves.  She is suffering mentally and physically.   She is punishing herself.  She goes through more than any one person should have to endure.  She is strong and smart.  She is an exceptional leader.  She transforms a lot throughout this story. 

 

I love that so many characters from the previous books were brought back in this novel.  The story has valuable lessons and good observations.  It had me feeling just about every emotion. I cry toward the ending.  OMEGA was well concluded.  I am sad the series ended.  I would love to see a spin off series.  I also think the Mackenzie Grey series would make an excellent movie or television series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Something So Perfect (Something So #2) by Natasha Madison
Something So Perfect - Natasha Madison

I adored Natasha Madison’s SOMETHING SO PERFECT.  This is the story of NHL bad boy, Matthew Grant, and the NEW York Stingers’ team owner’s daughter, Karrie Cooney.  After screwing up his NHL career, Matthew is given a second chance with the stipulation that he is assigned a chaperone 24/7 (Karrie).  We heard Mathew’s mom and step-dad’s story in book one, SOMETHING SO RIGHT.  I appreciate that Natasha Madison followed up with Mathew’s story and that Cooper and Parker play a role in the tale.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

I love the chemistry between Matthew and Karrie.  Their verbal sparring is amusing.  Mathew is the epidemy of alpha male.  He is persistent and a bit over the top when it comes to Karrie.  Karrie is sassy and smart.  Having to spend so much time together, the two get to know each other well.   They truly appreciate each other for who they are.  They have interesting obstacles and drama to overcome.   

 

I enjoy Natasha Madison’s writing style.  It flows well and has a great pace.  The plot was creative and skillfully executed.  I love how SOMETHING SO PERFECT ended and cannot wait for the next book, SOMETHING SO IRRESISTIBLE, to read what happens.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Wildfire -  Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews’ WILDFIRE is a thrilling addition to the Hidden Legacy series.  The story takes place following book two, WHITE HOT.  Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan investigates the kidnapping of Rynda Sherwood’s husband.  Rynda is Connor’s ex-fiancé so needless to say there are some interesting things that transpire.  Simultaneously, Nevada and her family are applying to become a house in order to avoid having to join her evil grandmother’s family.  This urban fantasy is suitable for adult audiences.  

 

I love this series.  It is refreshing and exhilarating.  Ilona Andrews does a fantastic job with the plot and character development.  I love Nevada.  Her magic and personality are growing.  She is becoming more powerful by the day.  She loves her family and will do anything for the people she cares about.  She is brave and intelligent.  She is the perfect person for Connor.  Unlike most people, she is not afraid to stand up to him.  

 

The story is skillfully written.  It felt like a quick read despite being 384-pages long.  The novel was full of mystery, action, romance, humor, and suspense.  I highly recommend this story for anyone that enjoys investigative urban fantasies.  I cannot wait for book four. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Ilona Andrews’ WILDFIRE is a thrilling addition to the Hidden Legacy series.  The story takes place following book two, WHITE HOT.  Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan investigates the kidnapping of Rynda Sherwood’s husband.  Rynda is Connor’s ex-fiancé so needless to say there are some interesting things that transpire.  Simultaneously, Nevada and her family are applying to become a house in order to avoid having to join her evil grandmother’s family.  This urban fantasy is suitable for adult audiences.  

 

I love this series.  It is refreshing and exhilarating.  Ilona Andrews does a fantastic job with the plot and character development.  I love Nevada.  Her magic and personality are growing.  She is becoming more powerful by the day.  She loves her family and will do anything for the people she cares about.  She is brave and intelligent.  She is the perfect person for Connor.  Unlike most people, she is not afraid to stand up to him.  

 

The story is skillfully written.  It felt like a quick read despite being 384-pages long.  The novel was full of mystery, action, romance, humor, and suspense.  I highly recommend this story for anyone that enjoys investigative urban fantasies.  I cannot wait for book four. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Illumination (Penton Legacy #5) by Susannah Sandlin
Illumination: The Penton Vampire Legacy - Susannah Sandlin

Susannah Sandlin’s ILLUMINATION is an exciting conclusion to the Penton Legacy series. Human, Nik Dimitrou, moved to Penton because his psychic abilities were not triggered by vampires.  He is confronted by his past when his ex-girlfriend, Shay Underwood, is kidnapped by the tribunal and needs to be rescued. This contemporary PNR takes place in New Orleans and Penton, Alabama.  It is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

Susannah Sandlin continues to do an admirable job with her plot and character development.  Nik is an intriguing character.  He has psychic abilities that cultivate in the story.  His character faces many obstacles and transforms throughout the novel.  He has an interesting past with Shay that ties in well with the plot.  I like Shay.  She is noble and intelligent.  She looks at the war between Penton and the Vampire Tribunal in a new light.  I appreciated that the characters from the previous books also played a vital role in ILLUMINATION.

 

I started following this series in 2013.  I loved the concept of the plot.  Illumination was a satisfying conclusion to the Penton Legacy.  Susannah Sandlin did a nice job tying in characters and situations from the previous books into this story.  The entire series is skillfully-written and executed.  The characters are likeable and convincing.  I am sad to see the series end.  I would love to see it as a movie or television series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Mister Hockey (Hellions Angels #1) by Lia Riley
Mister Hockey: Hellions Angels - Lia Riley

Librarian, Breezy Angel, is stunned when the man of her dreams (and literally in her dreams) walks in as a guest reader at her event. Denver Hellions team captain, Jed West, is the hottest player in the NHL.  One thing lead to another and they have an amazing kiss.  The only problem is, Jed doesn’t date fans. This story is suitable for adult audiences.

 

Mister Hockey is an entertaining start to the Hellions Angels series.  There are realistic obstacles and occurrences. The plot was witty and believable. 

 

Lia Riley character development was noteworthy.  Jed is an interesting individual.  He is getting older and understandably concerned about a recent injury that he received in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.  He has a complicated relationship with his family.  I appreciate that he wants to be in a relationship with someone who treats him like a regular person. 

 

Breezy is a likable character.  She is funny and sweet.  Her visuals are amusing.  She feels like she has lived I her sister Neve’s shadow, but still has a good relationship with her.  I appreciated Breezy’s insights on her relationship with Jed.  It was interesting how she went from fan girl to girlfriend.  I could totally understand why she would be embarrassed to admit that she had a crush on Jed.  I liked the realization that he is a person like everyone else.

 

I like how Breezy and Jed met.  I also, love that helps her at her house.  They are compatible in many thought-provoking ways. 

 

MISTER HOCKEY is a well-written and fun read.  The story flows well and is easy to follow.  This is the first book that I have read by Lia Riley.  I enjoyed her writing style.  I plan on following this series.  I’m looking forward to Nave Angel’s and Coach Tor’s story next in HEAD COACH expected to be released in November 2017.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Maybe This Summer (Colorado Ice, #2.5) by Jennifer Snow
Maybe This Summer - Jennifer Snow

Maybe This Summer by Jennifer Snow is a heartfelt and wonderful read.  After a horrible assault, Paige Adams’ life changed.  She began a new life working for the Burn Treatment Center at the Colorado Hospital.  Colorado Avalanche's team mascot, Owen McConnell, is used to be ignored when he is with his NHL buddies.   However, after meeting Paige, he is determined to get her attention.  This contemporary romance is suitable for adult audiences.

 

Jennifer Snow does an admirable job with her character development.  Owen is a noble character.  He is a former NHL star.  Later, he was injured after serving his country in the Marines.  He is no longer able to work in either profession.  He is currently the PR manager and mascot for the Colorado Avalanche.  He is a good guy, with a big heart.  I like that he is persistent and hard working.   

 

Paige is an amazing character.  She was left scared both physically and mentally after a horrible attack.  She began a new life helping burn victims.  I know someone who had over 80% of his body burned at the Pentagon on 9-11, so this story captured my attention and felt relevant.  I love that Paige decided to help others that have suffered like her. 

 

I enjoyed the plot.  I appreciate that these two come into each other’s lives.  They are both strong and have a lot in common.  They both know what it is like to have your life altered after an injury.  MAYBE THIS SUMMER is genuine and sweet read.  The story is well-written and entertaining.  The characters face some interesting challenges that enable them to grow throughout the novel.  I like how the story ended.  It was a fun and well concluded. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Rock Star (Bad Boy Homecoming, #5) by Stacey Kennedy
Rock Star - Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy’s ROCK STAR is an entertaining second chance romance.  The last person Veterinarian, Rae Evans, expects to bump into at her ten-year high school reunion is her now-famous rock star ex-boyfriend, Travis Walker.  This contemporary romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

Stacey Kennedy does a wonderful job with her character development.  Travis and Rae are both likeable characters.  They are both driven.  Travis thinks with his heart, whereas Rae, is more practical.  The couple never stopped loving each other, despite the years apart.  They are both likeable and believable individuals.  They are stronger when they are together. 

 

ROCK STAR was skillfully written.  I like how the story started out with the prologue.  Travis and Rae parted on good terms, having dreams that took them into different directions. I love that Travis returns to Catfish Creek to seek Rae out.  ROCK STAR is a thought-provoking and enjoyable read.  There were some interesting obstacles and situation the couple faced.  I love the ending.  It felt well concluded.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.