Diane's Book Blog
Review
5 Stars
Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl #6) by Aileen Erin
Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl Book 6) - Aileen Erin

Aileen Erin’s SHATTERED PACK is a wonderful addition to the Alpha Girl series.  The story takes place after the fight with witch, Luciana, and her demons.  St. Ailbe has been closed.  Meredith Molloney returned to her home in Colorado, with the Wayfarer Pack.  Meanwhile, her mate, Council of Seven Alpha, Donovan Murry, is at a meeting with the supernatural community dealing with the fallout of the battle exposing them to the humans.  Since that is enough to undertake, Donovan needs to return to Ireland because of a murder in his pack.  Of course, Meredith will not let her mate leave without her, even though she has been warned that the trip will be dangerous for her.  This contemporary paranormal fantasy is suitable for young adults.

 

As always, Aileen Erin, does a fantastic job with her plot and character development.  Having recently gained access to her wolf, and knowing she would need to change packs, Meredith grew a great deal in this story.  I like Donovan.  He is one of the strongest werewolves.  Meredith and Donovan are discovering how their actions affect each other being true mates.  I love how comfortable they are around each other, and that Meredith will challenge Donovan. I enjoyed the plot. The dynamics of Donovan’s pack was interesting.  The story flowed well.  There was a lot going on that kept the novel thought-provoking.  There were mystery and twists.  I’m looking forward to the next book from the series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Altercation (Playmaker Duet #1) by Mignon Mykel
Altercation: Playmaker Duet (Prescott Family Book 4) - Mignon Mykel, Jenn Wood

Mignon Mykel’s ALTERCATION is an emotional and amazing read.  ALTERCATION starts out where Porter and Asher met in BREAKAWAY (Playmaker Duet, #0.6; Prescott Family, #3) but is told from Porter’s point of view.  The story continues with the couple’s lives, fluctuating between both viewpoints.  I adored this story.

 

Mignon Mykel did a wonderful job developing the characters.  Asher and Porter both grew tremendously throughout this novel, having several obstacles and issues to overcome.  Asher is scarred by her past growing up in foster care. She finally feels like she belongs somewhere with the Prescott family.  She is terrified of losing them, and haunted by her past.  Porter is a great guy.  He is perceptive, patient, and protective with Asher.  Asher and Porter have powerful chemistry. 

 

The plot was well written with interesting twists.  I love how Avery is always getting involved with Asher’s and Porter’s relationship.  I love the explanation to why all the Prescott siblings had eleven tattooed on themselves.  My heart broke for the things the family went through in this story.  Everything that happens is believable and well executed.  ALTERCATION ends in a cliff hanger.  I cannot wait to read the next story, HOLDING, to find out what happens.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Delayed Call (Assassins #11) by Toni Aleo
Delayed Call (Assassins Book 11) - Toni Aleo

Toni Aleo is on a winning streak with DELAYED CALL, the eleventh book in the Assassins series.  NHL star, Vaughn Johansson and Assassins' staff reporter, Brie Soledad, would both agree that they are each other’s nemesis, but situations arise that cause them to have to play nice.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.  It takes place in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

I have been looking forward to hearing Vaughn’s and Brie’s story since the previous book.  I love the banter of their interviews.  I enjoyed that they start out as enemies.  Both characters have a lot of depth.  They have great chemistry.   Vaughn and Brie are both amazing characters with big hearts.  They misjudge each other and end up having a lot in common. 

 

I love that Vaughn adopted Tricksie and how he came up with her name.  I like the introduction of Jensen Monroe.  He is a terrific friend and roommate.   

 

Brie’s brother, Rodney, is a wonderful character.  He understandably wants to be treated as an adult.  Having Down syndrome and some health issues prevents him from being able to be left on his own.  I love the concept of NateWay.  I have a few friends who work for Misericordia in Chicago.  NateWay reminded me of that on a smaller and more specialized scale.  Both are wonderful organizations.  I was impressed by everything that Vaughn did.  He really is an amazing guy.

 

Toni Aleo did an incredible job with the plot.  DELAYED CALL flowed well. It was heartfelt with interesting twists.  I loved the ending; it was sweet and well resolved.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology
Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology - Misty D. Waters, Andie J. Christopher, Susan Scott Shelley, Xio Axelrod, Katie Kenyhercz, Kate Meader, Kimberly Kincaid, Angi Morgan, Lena Hart, Kim Golden, Robin Covington, Avery Flynn, Nana Malone, Virginia Nelson, Christi Barth, Heather Long, Robin Kaye, Desiree Holt

I am a hockey romance addict, so when I saw this anthology I had to have it.  I have read a lot of anthologies, what I liked the most about this one is that it had a common theme.  Each novella was about a different NHL player on the recent Stanley Cup Championship team the New Orleans Cajun Rage.  The stories were about the individual player’s day with the Cup and a legend about them finding their true love on their day.  I love how all the books were clearly coordinated. Players were mentioned in each other’s books, and Edwin Motz, the Keeper of the Cup, made an appearance in the stories.  Even though each tale had a common theme, every story was amazingly different, enjoyable, and exciting.  I like that some of the authors tied their books to existing series.  I love that 20% of the royalties earned goes to the Homes For Our Troops charity, a nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free, specially modified homes for severely injured veterans. 

 

HOT ON ICE consists of eighteen stories:

 

DEEP CHECK (Station Seventeen #1.5) by Kimberly Kincaid.  After a fight, hockey Center, Finnegan Donnelly couldn’t leave his hometown of Remington and his two best friends behind fast enough. Seven years later, he finds himself taking the Cup home to visit his ex-best friend Asher’s grave.  While there he is reunited with January Sinclair, the other person, he left behind.  DEEP CHECK is a sweet second chance hockey/firefighter romance. 

 

BEAR NAKED by Katie Kenyhercz.  After nine years, NHL Defensman, Bear Thompson, returns home to Bear Mountain Reserve in Canada.  He wants to get permission to allow a television crew and outsiders onto the reserve for his day with the Cup in hopes of giving his people some good publicity.  However, he needs to convince the Chief/his ex-girlfriend, Aria Paul, that it is in the Mi’Kmaq’s best interest.  BEAR NAKED is a charming second chance romance. I loved the cultural aspects of this story.

 

BODY CHECK by Desiree Holt.  NHL Defenseman, Matt Vorchak, is coping with a career-ending injury.  He returns home to San Antonio for his day with the Cup, to do some apologizing, and soul searching.  He seeks out Lizzie St. John, the girl he walked away from.  BODY CHECK is a thought-provoking second chance romance.

 

BREAKAWAY BROOKE by Angi Morgan.  Left winger, Deacon “Tripp” Sanders heads to McKinney, TX for his day with the Cup.  Coming from a prestigious family, his life has been threatened.  Unbeknownst to him, his family hires bodyguard, Brooke Henderson, to keep an eye on him. BREAKAWAY BROOKE has a bit of a supernatural feel.  It is full of action and twists.

 

UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN by Kim Golden.  NHL Center, Jonas Magnusson, is recovering from a concussion.  He goes home to Stockholm for his day with the Cup; while there he is reunited Mariam Kidane. 

 

IN SKATES TROUBLE (Chicago Rebels, #0.5) by Kate Meader.  NHL right winger star, Ford Callaghan, takes the Cup home to Chicago; while there he meets the woman of his dreams, Addison Williams.  Unfortunately, she is also the ex-wife of his team’s owner.  I adored this story.  I will definitely be following the new Chicago Rebels series.

 

CHECKING YES by Misty D. Waters.  Left winger, Cooper Banks, left Dove Harbor, Georgia, after discovering a secret, leaving behind Savannah Jane Scott, the love of his life.  Three years later, he returns home for his day with the Cup.  CHECKING YES is a delightful second chance romance with many exciting twists.

 

PENALTY BOX BLUES (a Wild Thing novella) by Robin Kaye.  Defenseman, Stryker Gyllenhal, pays off a debt to a friend by taking the Cup back home to Boise, Idaho; while there he is assigned a handler, his ex-tutor and childhood friend, Trish Reynolds.  However, he doesn’t recognize her now that she is no longer hiding behind frumpy clothes. PENALTY BOX BLUES is a heartfelt read with a lot of insight and thought-provoking content.  This was an adorable story that made me want to check out the Wild Thing Series. 

 

FREE AGENT by Robin Covington.  Jamie “DC” Washington has had an eventful year; he just won the Stanley Cup; he is a free agent, and he announced at a press conference that he was gay.  While heading to Washington DC, for his day with the Cup, he bumps into his PT Etienne, whom he has been lusting after.

 

BLADE (B-Squad #2.5) by Avery Flynn.  Goaltender, Flynn Kazakov spends his day with the Cup in Snow Bay, The Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Thief, Gillie Pike, tries to warn him that someone is attempting to frame him.  BLADE is full of action and twists.

 

MAKING HIS MOVE by Susan Scott Shelley.  Backup Goalie, Rod Fraser heads to New York.  He bumps into his sister Kelsey’s best friend, Arielle Charton, who he has had a crush on.  He tries to convince her to go on a date with him.

 

CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth.  Center, Kurt Lundquist, dying little brother Jasper, request that he win the Cup.  Ten months later, he won the Cup but Jasper wasn’t around to see it.  Kurt runs into Jasper’ nurse Lissette, whom his is attracted to but feels is off limits. 

 

BLOCKED by Heather Long.  Bad-boy right winger, Archer Durham needs to clean up his reputation.  He becomes involved with pop star Hoshi Sato.

 

FULL CONTACT by Andie J. Christopher.  Left winger, Anders Sorenson goes to Thunderbay Cove in Northern Minnesota.  His teammates put a $150,000 bounty on his virginity.

 

COURAGE by Lena Hart.  Coach Mason “The Rage” Courage fights to keep his marriage.

 

RANSOM by Nana Malone.  Right Wing, Ransom Cox is stranded in a cabin in Hope, NY, with his high school crush, Lexa Carlisle. RANSOM is a fun romance.

 

CAGED by Virginia Nelson.  Right Winger, Oliver “Ollie” Tremblay felt obligated to spend his day with the Cup in his hometown.  Having bad memories, he left the town as soon as he could.  He is reunited with his childhood crush, Maisie Miller.  I like how the story flashed back and forth between the past and present.

 

THE WARM UP by Xio Axelrod.  Defenseman, Constantine Zimin just won the Cup, but it is bittersweet because he has no one to celebrate it with.  His twin sister died ten years ago; his parents couldn’t make it, and his best friend / teammate Jonas was in the hospital with a concussion.  He heads home to Philly where he meets nurse, Sujarta Meriwether.

 

HOT ON ICE is an amazing read.  Fourteen of the authors were new to me.  The authors I was familiar with were: Katie Kenyhercz, Susan Scott Shelley, Desiree Holt, and Heather Long.  I highly recommend this anthology to anyone that enjoys sports romances.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

I am a hockey romance addict, so when I saw this anthology I had to have it.  I have read a lot of anthologies, what I liked the most about this one is that it had a common theme.  Each novella was about a different NHL player on the recent Stanley Cup Championship team the New Orleans Cajun Rage.  The stories were about the individual player’s day with the Cup and a legend about them finding their true love on their day.  I love how all the books were clearly coordinated. Players were mentioned in each other’s books, and Edwin Motz, the Keeper of the Cup, made an appearance in the stories.  Even though each tale had a common theme, every story was amazingly different, enjoyable, and exciting.  I like that some of the authors tied their books to existing series.  I love that 20% of the royalties earned goes to the Homes For Our Troops charity, a nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free, specially modified homes for severely injured veterans. 

 

HOT ON ICE consists of eighteen stories:

 

DEEP CHECK (Station Seventeen #1.5) by Kimberly Kincaid.  After a fight, hockey Center, Finnegan Donnelly couldn’t leave his hometown of Remington and his two best friends behind fast enough. Seven years later, he finds himself taking the Cup home to visit his ex-best friend Asher’s grave.  While there he is reunited with January Sinclair, the other person, he left behind.  DEEP CHECK is a sweet second chance hockey/firefighter romance. 

 

BEAR NAKED by Katie Kenyhercz.  After nine years, NHL Defensman, Bear Thompson, returns home to Bear Mountain Reserve in Canada.  He wants to get permission to allow a television crew and outsiders onto the reserve for his day with the Cup in hopes of giving his people some good publicity.  However, he needs to convince the Chief/his ex-girlfriend, Aria Paul, that it is in the Mi’Kmaq’s best interest.  BEAR NAKED is a charming second chance romance. I loved the cultural aspects of this story.

 

BODY CHECK by Desiree Holt.  NHL Defenseman, Matt Vorchak, is coping with a career-ending injury.  He returns home to San Antonio for his day with the Cup, to do some apologizing, and soul searching.  He seeks out Lizzie St. John, the girl he walked away from.  BODY CHECK is a thought-provoking second chance romance.

 

BREAKAWAY BROOKE by Angi Morgan.  Left winger, Deacon “Tripp” Sanders heads to McKinney, TX for his day with the Cup.  Coming from a prestigious family, his life has been threatened.  Unbeknownst to him, his family hires bodyguard, Brooke Henderson, to keep an eye on him. BREAKAWAY BROOKE has a bit of a supernatural feel.  It is full of action and twists.

 

UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN by Kim Golden.  NHL Center, Jonas Magnusson, is recovering from a concussion.  He goes home to Stockholm for his day with the Cup; while there he is reunited Mariam Kidane. 

 

IN SKATES TROUBLE (Chicago Rebels, #0.5) by Kate Meader.  NHL right winger star, Ford Callaghan, takes the Cup home to Chicago; while there he meets the woman of his dreams, Addison Williams.  Unfortunately, she is also the ex-wife of his team’s owner.  I adored this story.  I will definitely be following the new Chicago Rebels series.

 

CHECKING YES by Misty D. Waters.  Left winger, Cooper Banks, left Dove Harbor, Georgia, after discovering a secret, leaving behind Savannah Jane Scott, the love of his life.  Three years later, he returns home for his day with the Cup.  CHECKING YES is a delightful second chance romance with many exciting twists.

 

PENALTY BOX BLUES (a Wild Thing novella) by Robin Kaye.  Defenseman, Stryker Gyllenhal, pays off a debt to a friend by taking the Cup back home to Boise, Idaho; while there he is assigned a handler, his ex-tutor and childhood friend, Trish Reynolds.  However, he doesn’t recognize her now that she is no longer hiding behind frumpy clothes. PENALTY BOX BLUES is a heartfelt read with a lot of insight and thought-provoking content.  This was an adorable story that made me want to check out the Wild Thing Series. 

 

FREE AGENT by Robin Covington.  Jamie “DC” Washington has had an eventful year; he just won the Stanley Cup; he is a free agent, and he announced at a press conference that he was gay.  While heading to Washington DC, for his day with the Cup, he bumps into his PT Etienne, whom he has been lusting after.

 

BLADE (B-Squad #2.5) by Avery Flynn.  Goaltender, Flynn Kazakov spends his day with the Cup in Snow Bay, The Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Thief, Gillie Pike, tries to warn him that someone is attempting to frame him.  BLADE is full of action and twists.

 

MAKING HIS MOVE by Susan Scott Shelley.  Backup Goalie, Rod Fraser heads to New York.  He bumps into his sister Kelsey’s best friend, Arielle Charton, who he has had a crush on.  He tries to convince her to go on a date with him.

 

CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth.  Center, Kurt Lundquist, dying little brother Jasper, request that he win the Cup.  Ten months later, he won the Cup but Jasper wasn’t around to see it.  Kurt runs into Jasper’ nurse Lissette, whom his is attracted to but feels is off limits. 

 

BLOCKED by Heather Long.  Bad-boy right winger, Archer Durham needs to clean up his reputation.  He becomes involved with pop star Hoshi Sato.

 

FULL CONTACT by Andie J. Christopher.  Left winger, Anders Sorenson goes to Thunderbay Cove in Northern Minnesota.  His teammates put a $150,000 bounty on his virginity.

 

COURAGE by Lena Hart.  Coach Mason “The Rage” Courage fights to keep his marriage.

 

RANSOM by Nana Malone.  Right Wing, Ransom Cox is stranded in a cabin in Hope, NY, with his high school crush, Lexa Carlisle. RANSOM is a fun romance.

 

CAGED by Virginia Nelson.  Right Winger, Oliver “Ollie” Tremblay felt obligated to spend his day with the Cup in his hometown.  Having bad memories, he left the town as soon as he could.  He is reunited with his childhood crush, Maisie Miller.  I like how the story flashed back and forth between the past and present.

 

THE WARM UP by Xio Axelrod.  Defenseman, Constantine Zimin just won the Cup, but it is bittersweet because he has no one to celebrate it with.  His twin sister died ten years ago; his parents couldn’t make it, and his best friend / teammate Jonas was in the hospital with a concussion.  He heads home to Philly where he meets nurse, Sujarta Meriwether.

 

HOT ON ICE is an amazing read.  Fourteen of the authors were new to me.  The authors I was familiar with were: Katie Kenyhercz, Susan Scott Shelley, Desiree Holt, and Heather Long.  I highly recommend this anthology to anyone that enjoys sports romances.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Cherry Picked (Shots on Goal #3) by Kristen Hope Mazzola
Sex, Vows & Babies: Cherry Picked (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Shots On Goal Book 3) - Kristen Hope Mazzola

Kristen Hope Mazzola’s CHERRY PICKED is sweet addition to the Shots on Goal Series.  NHL Rookie, Chase Harding, gets a spot on his favorite team, relocating to New York.  Nikki Jennings moves from her small town to chase her dream of becoming a ballerina. The two meet as they both set out to start their news lives in a new city.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for New Adult and Adult audiences.

 

I loved this story.  Chase and Nikki are adorable.  They both leave their small towns to pursue their dream careers. They are both talented and grateful for a shot at their revered profession.  They are likeable characters with great values.  I love how they meet.  The couple has a lot in common and seems destined for one another. 

 

I appreciated that Gavin Hayes and Brayden Cox from the first two books from the series were in this story.  I loved that Chase was a fanboy of the two and that Cox was his favorite player.  I loved hearing the perspective of a rookie first experiencing the NHL.  It was insightful and thought-provoking. 

 

Every book that I have read by Kristen Hope Mazzola keeps getting better. The story flowed well.  The characters were skillfully developed.  I enjoyed the plot.  CHERRY PICKED is a heartwarming and captivating story that I truly enjoyed.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
The Coach and the Secret (New Hampshire Bears #5) by Mary Smith
The Coach and the Secret (New Hampshire Bears Book 5) - Mary Smith, Kathy Krick

Mary Smith’s THE COACH AND THE SECRET was a heartbreaking and touching story.  The fact that it is based off a true story about a man whom Mary Smith met while working at a domestic violence shelter is even more compelling.  I love that the proceeds from this book are going into a trust fund for his daughter.  THE COACH AND THE SECRET had me crying and emotionally spent.  My heart completely went out to the characters.  This was an amazing book that is well worth the read.

 

Mary Smith did an incredible job with this story.  It was believable and well executed.  I fell in love with Coach Taden Long.  My heart went out to him and what he experienced.  He was a good man, with a big heart.  He was hard on himself. He was messed with both physically and emotionally. I appreciate that he gets a second chance with Macy. I love Coach’s daughter Janan and his niece Nova.  They are incredible girls who went through a lot.

 

THE COACH AND THE SECRET is the perfect example of how anyone could be subjected to abuse.  It shows that people can change for better or worse.  It also demonstrates how people have different coping-methods. This by far is my favorite story written by Mary Smith.  It is a story that was meant to be told, and she did the story justice.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Remembrance (Heart Lines #1) by Heather Hildenbrand
Remembrance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance) (Heart Lines Series Book 1) - Heather Hildenbrand

Remembrance by Heather Hildenbrand is a unique and entertaining start to the Heart Lines series.  Two years before the story began; Samantha Knight underwent a trauma that caused her to lose her memory.  She is no longer the outgoing individual she used to be.  Instead, she is paranoid and scared.  Supernatural hunter, Alex Channing, is slowly dying after being bitten by a werewolf.  His sole hope is for a cure that only Samantha could give him, if she could remember.  This contemporary PNR takes place in California.  It is suitable for New Adults.

 

Heather Hildenbrand did a wonderful job writing this book.  The character development was skillfully crafted.  I could sense Sam’s frustration at not remembering what happened to her.  You felt her confusion.  She discovers significant things about herself and what transpired to her throughout the story.  Alex has a secret and is harboring a lot of guilt.  He is a worthy hero who is brave, determined, and protective.  I enjoyed both main characters; they are multi-dimensional and complex. 

 

REMEMBRANCE was mysterious and full of twists.  The plot was well-executed.  REMEMBRANCE moves quickly and is thought-provoking.  There are occurrences in the story that are eye-opening.  The ending left me anxiously awaiting the next book from the series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Fanning The Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4) by Chris Cannon
Fanning the Flames - Chris Cannon

Chris Cannon’s FANNING THE FLAMES, is an amazing addition as the fourth book to the Going Down in Flames series. The story takes place following book three, TRIAL BY FIRE.  Red/blue-hybrid dragon shifter, Bryn McKenna, is finally feeling like she is starting to fit in. Things are going well with her knight/boyfriend, Valmont Fonzoli.  However, she is waiting to find out if her arranged marriage to, Jaxon Westgate, will be approved.  Meanwhile, the Directorate is on the hunt for Rebel sympathizers.  Bryn and Jaxon are assigned as student liaisons, thus involved in the controversy.  This Contemporary paranormal fantasy is suitable for young adults.

 

The characters continue to grow and become more dynamic.  Bryn has come a long way since the first book.  She is starting to think of herself as a dragon, instead of a human.  She is smart and good at figuring out plots/conspiracies.  Valmont has some understandable issues he faces in this story.   His life has completely changed since he became Bryn’s knight and he misses his family.  Jaxon is still very much a blue dragon, but we see glimpses of open mindedness that makes him more appealing.  

 

The plot was exceptional.  Chris Cannon did a great job recapping the previous books.  There were many unexpected twists and compelling conflicts.  The story was full of mystery and drama.  My heart both broke and rejoiced for some of the things that happened in this story.  The ending was thrilling and mixed with emotion.   I cannot wait for book five to read where Chris Cannon takes the next story.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Parker (Face-Off #1) by Jillian Quinn
Parker - Jillian Quinn

Jillian Quinn scores with PARKER, the first book from the Face-Off series.  NHL defenseman, Alex Parker, is traded to the Philadelphia Flyers due to bad behavior.  His agent, Mick Donoghue, asks his toughest employee, Charlotte Coachman (Coach), to get him out of the penalty box.  Their encounters are a constant Face-Off.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.

 

Jillian Quinn does an admirable job with her character development.  They are believable and well developed.  I like Alex.  He is having a difficult time dealing with his father’s death.  He’s drinking too much and getting in trouble.   He has a good heart.  I love how he is with kids.  He is persistent and needs some guidance.  Charlie is an impressive heroine.  She had a difficult childhood.  She was an impressive college basketball player, planning on going pro, until her dreams were crushed by an injury. She becomes a successful senior sports agent, with a stellar reputation.  I like that she tells it how it is.  I love that she coaches youth basketball.  I also appreciated her work ethic.  Alex and Charlotte have great chemistry and make an intriguing couple that need each other.

 

I enjoyed the plot.  There were a lot of complicated issues and dynamics that made the story thought-provoking.  Jillian Quinn does an amazing job describing the sport scenes.  It is obvious she is knowledgeable. I enjoyed the ending.  It was clever and well-resolved.  This is the first book that I read by Jillian Quinn.  I enjoyed her writing style.  The story was well laid out and entertaining throughout.  I plan to continue following this series and am looking forward to the next book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Heir (Howl #3) by D.S. Wrights & Lilith Dark
HEIR (HOWL Book 3) - D. S. Wrights, Lilith Dark

D.S. Wrights and Lilith Dark did an amazing job with the third book to the HOWL series, HEIR.  HEIR takes place where book two, HUNT leaves off.  Liala and Rick are on the run from the hunters and making their way to the werewolf estate.  This contemporary paranormal/horror/erotica story is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

I like that the characters are complex.  Liala grows tremendously throughout this series, in a short amount on time.  I love that she embraces her situation and goes with it.  I appreciate that she is open minded.  We discover a lot about Rick. He has an interesting past and heritage.  Nate is a thought-provoking wildcard that you are not certain how will play out.  Each character is very different and dynamic.

 

Once again, I enjoyed the plot.  HEIR was not as dark as the previous books.  There were multiple twists.  The conflicts were well-resolved.  The story was fast paced.  The epilogue was skillfully written, feeling well concluded.  At 98-pages, it was a quick read that I easily finished the same day.  D.S. Wrights and Lilith Dark make a great writing duo.  I would read additional books by them in the future.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Iced: An Atlantic City Hustlers Boxset by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley
Iced: An Atlantic City Hustlers Boxset - Veronica Forand,  Susan Scott Shelley

This is a great box set and fun read.

 

FLIRTING ON ICE (ATLANTIC CITY HUSTLERS #1)

 

Flirting on Ice by Veronica Forand and Susan S. Shelley is an incredible start to the Atlantic City Hustlers Series.  Professional hockey player Zac Elliott career is at a high as he is entering a contract negotiation.  The last thing he should do is jeopardize it pursuing a relationship with the team owner's daughter, Heather Ryan.  This 100-page novella is an exciting and fast paced read that I finished in one sitting.

 

I really enjoyed Flirting on Ice.  I like how the story starts out with the characters bumping into each other outside the work environment.  Both Zac and Heather are likable characters.  They undergo some interesting obstacles in this story.  The plot is very realistic and convincing.  The story had a nice Christmas ending. 

 

SIMMERING ICE (ATLANTIC CITY HUSTLERS #2)

 

Hockey player Alec O'Meara has not been interested in dating years after the death of his wife. That is until physical therapist, Annie Davidson, catches his eye.

 

I like Annie. She is smart and athletic. She is self-sacrificing, living in less than optimal conditions to help out her older landlord. She is a bit insecure, but who isn’t at some point or another. Considering the lack of support she gets from her mother, she turned out to be a wonderful person.  My heart went out to Alec for losing his wife. He is a good guy and leader. He is a likeable character. He has great friends.

 

I like how his team mates get involved in helping match-make, especially Mikael. I swear they are worse than a bunch of girls.  Simmering Ice is well-written and has a delightful plot. There were some unexpected twists, and the entire book was interesting. I could not put this book down.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Breakaway (Playmaker Duet 0.5) by Mignon Mykel
Breakaway: A Playmaker Duet Prequel (Prescott Family Book 3) - Mignon Mykel, Jenn Wood

Mignon Mykel did a wonderful job with BREAKAWAY, the first book in the Playmaker Duet. My heart completely went out to Asher.  What happens to her at the beginning to this story was difficult to read.  I wanted to be able to protect her and felt helpless reading the events unfolded.  This story could have some triggering effects for some people.  Asher is an amazing individual.  I love the meaning behind her tattoos.  Her life seems to be one giant obstacle to overcome.

 

I appreciated that Asher became such good friends with Carter Douglas. I thought it was great what Carter’s brother, Hunter, does for Asher.  I was trying to figure out if Mignon Mykel had another series about Carter and her family. I couldn’t find anything.  I could easily see a Douglas series. 

 

I thought it was clever how Asher meets Avery Prescott and is introduced to the Prescott family.  I love how insistent they can be.  I also, love that The Douglas’ and Prescott’s instantly adopt Asher. After everything she has been through, I could understand her being skeptical. 

 

BREAKAWAY is a short story and fast read.  I didn’t want the novella to end when it did.  I cannot wait to hear Porter Prescott’s and Asher’s story.  I was happy that the first chapter to the next book; ALTERCATION was included to tide me over.  I cannot wait to see how things pan out.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross
Off the Ice (Juniper Falls) - Julie Cross

Julie Cross is victorious with OFF THE ICE, the first book in the Juniper Falls series.  Claire O’Connor comes home to help run the family business while her father is recovering.  The last thing she needs to do is get involved with her best friend’s younger brother, hockey goalie, Tate Tanley. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult audiences.  It takes pace in Juniper Falls, Minnesota.

 

Claire is a noble heroine.  She worked hard to go away to college, but comes home when her father becomes ill to help the family business.  She witnessed a dark secret about Tate that she keeps private.  I enjoyed her reaction to Tate maturing.  I like Tate. He has had a crush on Claire for a long time.  They were good friends always hanging out with one another.  He does not have a pleasurable relationship with his father.  He has secrets and a lot of stress in his life.  Tate and Claire make a cute couple with great chemistry.

 

I enjoyed the lot.  Julie Cross does a nice job depicting life in a small town and the different pressures it has, especially for its athletes.  I enjoyed the hockey scenes.  It was engaging hearing Tate’s perspective on going from a backup to starting goalie.   There were many engaging twists and drama.  The story held me captivated from start to finish.   This is the first book that I have read by Julie Cross.  I will continue to follow this series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Game Changer: Seattle Steelheads Football (Game On in Seattle #7) by Jami Davenport
Game Changer: Seattle Steelheads Football - Jami Davenport

Jami Davenport is “in the money” with GAME CHANGER, the seventh book in the Game On Seattle Series.  In the previous books, Seattle Steelhead's tight end, Hunter McCoy, talked a group of his friends into investing in a race horse. He finds himself intrigued with Kate Vanderhof, the owner of his horse’s biggest competition.  Simultaneously, he is being an overprotective younger brother to his blind sister, Lilli.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.

 

I like Hunter.  He is proud of being a Native American, and he is a good role model.  I wasn’t sure what to make of him in the previous books, and I loved hearing his story.  At first, Kate seems like an unlikely match for Hunter. The more they learn about each other the more compatible they discover they are.  They come from different backgrounds but have similar values.  Both love horses.  They both want to do good for others. 

 

I love Lilli.  She has an amazing personality and outlook on life.  Instead of being bitter about becoming blind, she lives her life to the fullest and does not let her condition hold her back.  She has numerous degrees, is an accomplished professional, and skilled equestrian.  I have known people that have had various disabilities and overcome them.  They are so confident that you forget about their condition.  It is an admiral quality. 

 

I really enjoyed the plot.  It was unique, and it had a lot going on.  I like that the characters from the previous book in the series, are investors in the horse and are included in this novel.  I enjoyed the horse-racing aspect to the story.  The football scenes were well described.  There were interesting conflict and resolutions.  The ending was perfect.  GAME CHANGER was an amazing addition to the Game On in Seattle series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

 

Review
4 Stars
Cross Checked by Kristen Hope Mazzola
Cross Checked (Shots On Goal Standalone Series Book 2) - Kristen Hope Mazzola

Kristen Hope Mazzola’s CROSS CHECKED is a fantastic follow up to HAT TRICK.  This was Brayden Cox' and Karla McAdams' story.  After a horrible car accident, Brandon was left to raise his sister Myla, whose story was told in HAT TRICK, along with Brayden’s teammate, Gavin Hayes. Karla was Myla’s ICU nurse after the car accident.  Both stories take place around the same timeframe.  CROSS CHECKED is told from both Brayden and Karla’s point of view.

 

Mazzola does a great job with her character development.  They are believable and very human.  I like Karla.  She had a horrible childhood and went through a difficult time with her previous boyfriend.  She is a strong and compassionate individual.  I enjoyed hearing Brayden’s side to the story and finding out what was going on with him.  He is protective and caring of those he loves.  I love how Karla and Brayden reconnect at the dog rescue event, especially since they adopt a husky.  I am a husky owner and very partial to the breed.  Karla and Brayden have great chemistry.  I love how they interact with each other.

 

The plot was exciting and carefully thought out.  There were some interesting connections throughout the story.  There was some overlap with HAT TRICK, but it was fun seeing the story from a different perspective.  The hockey scenes are well done.  There were some unexpected twists.  I enjoyed the ending. The story was well resolved.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

 

 

Review
5 Stars
Pucked Off (Pucked #5) by Helena Hunting
Pucked Off - Helena Hunting

Helena Hunting is on a winning streak with PUCKED OFF, the fifth book from the Pucked series.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I’ve been dying to know more about what was going on between Lance Romero and Tash; finding out his side of the story shocked me.  I love that he reconnects with Poppy in this story.  This contemporary sports romance primarily takes place in Chicago.  It is told from both Lance’s and Poppy’s point of view.

 

I love Lance’s character.  He is complex and unexpected.  He has a dark past.  He is good at hiding his issues.  My heart really went out to him.  I’m so glad he crossed paths with Poppy again.  She is the perfect person to heal him, physically and mentally.  I thought it was clever how Lance and Poppy met as kids.  Poppy is about as sweet as they come.  I appreciated that she ends up becoming Lance’s massage therapist. 

 

Tash surprised me.  I liked her in the earlier books.  I would have never guessed the issues going on with her.  It goes to show to show how different a person’s true nature can be.

 

I love how tight Lance is with his teammates and their girlfriends/wife.  They are his family and look out for him.  I love how the girls got involved with Poppy.  

 

Helena Hunting did an amazing job with this story.  The characters are skillfully developed and believable.  The plot was unique and intriguing.  I LOVED the ending; it was very clever.  This series just keeps getting better.  I become more invested in the characters with every new book.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.