Diane's Book Blog
4 Stars
The Sin Bin by Nikky Kaye
The Sin Bin - Nikky Kaye

Nikky Kaye scores with THE SIN BIN.  Former goalie Beckett “Crease” Hallstrom finds his lucky charm in local college student, Lucy Solomon, who is getting her Masters in Library Science.  He just needs to convince her to stick around during the rest of the playoffs.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.   


I like that Beck and Lucy both act out of character when they are around each other.  They have great chemistry.  I found Beck’s cheesiness amusing.  Their relationship moves quickly, but it feels believable.


Being a hockey fan, I appreciate the superstition behind Beck’s and Lucy’s relationship.  I thought that concept was an interesting story line. 


At 130-pages, THE SIN BIN is a quick read.  This is the first book that I have read by Nikky Kaye. The story is skillfully written and flows well.  I wouldn’t mind seeing this book turn into a series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Sexy Motherpucker (Bad Motherpuckers #2) by Lili Valente
Sexy Motherpucker - Lili Valente

Single father and NHL captain, Brendan Daniels, has been getting by since his wife, Maryanne’s death three years ago.  His in-laws are concerned by his lack of dating and female influence for his seven-year-old daughter, Chloe.  He talks Badger’s PR manager, Laura Collins, into pretending she is his girlfriend on a long weekend to their house.  Problem is, she is in love with him, and he has made it clear he is not interested in her as more than a friend.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.


I have been looking forward to reading Brendan’s and Laura’s story since we were introduced to them in book one, HOT AS PUCK.  The two are friends.  They are both attracted to each other, but there are a bunch of misunderstandings that prevent them from becoming a couple.  I like Laura.  She is wonderful with Chloe.  Brendan is a great guy.  He is the Badger’s team captain.  He is hard working and completely devoted to his daughter.


I appreciate Lili Valente’s writing style.  There are a lot of humorous sections in the story.  I love the text messages and journal entries.  The scene with the dog steeling her diaphragm was humorous.  I could relate, when I was fourteen, my dog stole my bra and paraded it around the house during a party.  I was mortified, and I could totally sympathies with that scene.  SEXY MOTHERPUCKER is a fun and heartfelt story.  It was believable and has a great ending.  I am looking forward to Brendan’s sister Diana’s and Tanner Nowicki’s story in the next book of the series, PUCK AHOLIC.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
Goaltending: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey (Game On in Seattle #8) by Jami Davenport
Goaltending: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey - Jami Davenport

Goalie, Martin "Brick" Bricker’s playboy social life comes to a halt when his five-year-old daughter, that he didn’t know he had, is left at his doorstep.  He hires nanny, Amelia Stacey, to help take care of her.  He puts the moves on Amelia, but she’s blocking all his shots.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adults.


At first, I wasn’t crazy about Brick.  I liked him more as the story progressed.  I appreciated that he realized when he was being a jerk.  Deep down, he is a good guy who guards his heart.  I like Amelia.  She is hardworking and great with kids.  I felt bad about the things she went through.  They are both broken and help each other become whole.  Macy is a cute kid.  My heart went out to her and all her loss.  I like how her relationship evolved with Amelia and her dad.


I enjoyed the plot.  It was believable and heartfelt.  There were interesting twists.  The characters grew and overcame pertinent obstacles.  There were many humorous scenes.  One of my favorites was when Brick’s teammate, Rush, was babysitting Macy.  I enjoyed the ending; it felt well resolved.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Falling Hard (The Blackhawk Boys, Book 4) by Lexi Ryan
Falling Hard (The Blackhawk Boys Book 4) - Lexi Ryan

Lexi Ryan is on a winning streak with FALLING HARD, the fourth book in the Blackhawk Boys series.  The boys and their significant others have graduated and head to Las Vegas to celebrate Arrow’s and Mia’s bachelor/bachelorette party.  While there Keegan Keller runs into the girl who broke his heart, former actress Emma Rothschild.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.


Once again, Lexi Ryan does a fantastic job with her character development.  I like Keegan. He was given an opportunity to play in the NFL for the Gulf Gators. He is a good dad to Jasmine (Jazzy).  He also treats Jazzy’s mom, Olivia Crowe, well; especially, considering all the drama she puts him through.   Emma is a compelling character.  She is sweet and self-sacrificing.  Both Keegan and Emma have secrets from their past that are revealed in this story.  The two make each other better people.  They are stronger together and make a captivating pair.


The plot was well-executed.  I love how this series, always has serious issues that are depicted.  FALLING HARD was skillfully written and believable.  I enjoyed all the twists and had no idea where the story would take us.  I love that Keegan and Emma got a second chance.  I appreciated how various individuals changed throughout the novel.  I love how the story ended. I’m looking forward to Mason’s story in the fifth book in the series, IN TOO DEEP.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Twenty-Two (Assassins #11.5) by Toni Aleo
Twenty-Two (Assassins Series Book 12) - Toni Aleo

I adored Toni Aleo’s TWENTY-TWO. We heard Lucas Brooks’ and Fallon Parker’s story in the second book of the Assassins series, TRYING TO SCORE. I love that Toni Aleo revisited Lucas’ life towards the end of his career in book 11.5, TWENTY-TWO. I also appreciated, the glimpse of his son, Aiden’s life, as well as the other Assassin’s and their families. Like the other books in the Assassin’s series, this story takes place in Nashville. It is suitable for adults.


I have always liked Lucas. He is one of my favorite Assassins. I don’t think I am alone in that regard. He is a dynamic character that you cannot help but respect. Lucas faces several issues in this story. He has to make life-altering decisions. I think it is wonderful how Fallon supports him. Those two have come a long way. They truly love each other. They have a terrific family, their own and their extended Assassin’s clan.


I enjoyed the insight into the difficult situations Elli must deal with as the team owner. She is a good friend to the team, but she is still their boss. It is a delicate balance.


I think the progression into Lucas’s son; Aiden’s life was perfect. I love that he is being recruited by Bellevue. That is the perfect transition to the Bellevue Bullies series. I’m hoping we are going to hear his story.


TWENTY-TWO had a perfect ending. Toni Aleo is an amazing writer. She has done a fantastic job keeping this series fresh and relevant. I always look forward to reading her books. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.


5 Stars
Esperance (Heart Lines Series #3) by Heather Hildenbrand
Esperance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance) (Heart Lines Series Book 3) - Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand’s ESPERANCE is a thrilling addition to the Heart Lines Series.  The story takes place following book two, INHERITANCE.  Alex Channing is healed but no longer has feelings.  He leaves Sam. Samantha Knight is trying to learn how to use her powers.  She is troubled by Alex’s change of behavior.  This contemporary urban fantasy takes place in Half Moon.


Heather Hildenbrand continues to do a great job with her character development.  I felt bad about what was happening to Alex.  He was always leery of the price you pay when using magic.  He does pay a price.  I like Sam.  She is becoming more and more like her old self prior to losing her memory.  She is determined to learn her magic and help the werewolves and Alex.  She is a strong and admiral heroine.


We find out some interesting about Breck Winters.  I like the introduction of Koby.  He teaches Sam some important things and helps support her.  Indra is a fascinating antagonist.  She is cunning and powerful. 


The plot was well executed.  A lot of thought-provoking events unfold in this story.  I enjoyed the ending and look forward to the next book in the series, IMBALANCE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
A Change in Tide (Northern Lights #1) by Freya Barker
A Change In Tide (Northern Lights) (Volume 1) - Freya Barker

Freya Barker’s A CHANGE IN TIDE is a heartfelt and wonderful read. After a traumatic experience changes her life, Mia Thompson, moves to a secluded cottage on a lake, isolating herself off from society.  Her life takes a turn when former NHL defenseman, Jared Kesla, moves next door.  This contemporary sports romance takes place in Canada.  It is suitable for adult audiences.


I like Jared and Mia; their first impressions of one another was entertaining.  They end up having a lot in common.  For example, they both lost careers they loved.   Jared is forced into early retirement due to a career-ending injury.  Mia due to her panic attacks.  Prior to Jared moving next door, Mia was existing not living. 


Jared is a good guy.  I love that he looks out for his sister, Jordy, and her son, Ole.  I also appreciate how he is around Mai.  He is observant.  He is protective of those he cares about.  Mia grew throughout the story.  She is a likable individual.  I love when she takes charge helping Jordy. 


I like Mia’s therapist, Rueben Moulin. I love his explanation of “a change in tide."  It really is the perfect title for this story. 


I enjoyed the plot.  It felt like it was fate that Jared and Mia met.  They were meant to connect.  There were some compelling and believable things that happen in the novel that kept the story interesting.  This is the first book that I have read by Freya Barker.  I enjoyed her writing style and would read more books by her in the future.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny (Taking Shots #4) by Cindi Madsen
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny (Taking Shots) - Cindi Madsen

Cindi Madsen’s CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY is a winning addition to the Taking Shots series.  Former puck bunny and school newspaper editor of the Heights, Lindsay Rivera, has sworn off hockey players.  However, persistent defenseman, Ryder "Ox" Maddox, makes it difficult when he becomes her math tutor.  This story takes place at Boston College.  It is suitable for New Adult audiences.


I like Lindsay.  We met her in book two, ANATOMY OF A PLAYER.  She was Whitney’s bitter editor because of being hurt by hockey star, Hudson Decker.  Lindsay used to be a puck bunny, she didn’t like the person she became and swore off hockey players.  She doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps, needing a man to support her. She is determined to become a successful independent woman. 


Ryder is a great guy.  He is a total math nerd and excellent tutor who doesn’t belittle the people he is helping.  He comes off as quiet, but he has a great sense of humor.  He has a lot of pressure being the son of a former NHL star and mother who is a politician. 


I love the witty banter between Lindsay and Ryder.  I like how both characters grow as a result of their relationship, becoming better individuals. 


I enjoyed the plot and Cindi Madsen’s writing style.  I love the confessions throughout the story.  Sadly, Lindsay never really had any friends.  I appreciated that she befriended the girls from the three previous books: Lyla Wilder, Whitney Porter, and Megan Davenport.  The hockey passages were skillfully written.   I love the paintball scenes.  There were numerous unexpected twists that made the story compelling.  The novel had a great ending that felt well resolved.  I look forward to the next story in the Taking Shots series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Score (San Francisco Thunder #1) by Victoria Denault
Score (San Francisco Thunder) - Victoria Denault

Victoria Denault’s SCORE is the perfect start and name to the San Francisco Thunder Series.  Hockey star, Jude Braddock, is given a second chance with his childhood crush, Zoey Quinlin.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.  I love Victoria Denault’s Hometown Players series.  I was thrilled when I discovered she was coming out with another hockey romance series.  I was not disappointed. I loved this book. 


The characters are skillfully developed and likeable.  Jude and Zoey had both crushed on each other in their youth in Maine. Zoey’s family moved, and they lost touch.  She was the one that got away.  Eleven years later, they run into each other on the other side of the country in San Francisco where they both now live.  Zoey is going through a divorce, and Jude is going through women like they are going out of style.  Both characters grow through this story, especially Jude, whose social life majorly transforms. 


My heart went out to Zoey.  Her ex-husband, Adam, was a piece of work.  I love how Jude always defended Zoey around him.  Jude’s situation with his best friend and team captain, Levi, was interesting.  I can understand why things were strained between them.  Different life circumstances altered their dispositions. I appreciated how Zoey and Jude brought back the positive aspect of their personalities.


I love Jude’s relationship with his family.  It cracks me up that he calls his three sisters the sorority.  I love that Zoey babysat his sisters, and that were so defensive of her. 


I enjoyed the plot.  Zoey and Jude have some interesting obstacles to overcome.  The ending was perfect and felt well concluded.  I’m looking forward to Jude’s sister Dixie’s and Eli’s story in the next novel in the series, Slammed.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.


5 Stars
Frosted (Frosted #1) by Taylor Rose
Frosted (Frosted Series Book 1) - Taylor Rose

FROSTED by Taylor Rose is an amazing story that I could not put down.  When NHL center Kieran Kingston and Olympic Figure Skating gold medalist Figueroa Ryan met they immediately feel a connection.  They both have broken souls, but together they are stronger.  This contemporary sports romance takes place in Alaska.  It is suitable for adult audiences.  There are some horrible things that happen to the characters that could cause triggers for some people. 


Taylor Rose did a fantastic job with both her character development and her plot.  Her attention to details is exemplary.  Kieran and Figgy have both suffered abuse.  They both find solace on the ice.  My heart went out to them.  They are amazing individuals who have suffered and endure.  Despite all the negative in their lives, they try to maintain a positive outlook. Kieran and Figgy are soul mates.  They understand one another in a way that others could not possibly comprehend. 


I love Figgy’s sister, Aqua.  She is mature for her age.  I love how she wins over everyone’s heart, especially Kieran and his best friend, Cooper Callahan.  Cooper has a story to tell that I’m hoping Taylor Rose will write about in a future book.  Kieran has some amazing friends/teammates.  I love that they have become his family.  Mitch and Buzz are sick individuals.  They are twisted people that help create a powerful story.


The plot was complex and with unexpected twists.  FROSTED was skillfully written.  There are things that happened in this story, that I am interested in seeing expounded upon in future novels in this series.  This is the first book that I have read by Taylor Rose.  I enjoyed her writing style and look forward to following the Frosted series.  I loved the surprise at the end of this story and look forward to Eight and Noelle’s story in the next book in the series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves by Brenda Peterson
Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) - Brenda Peterson

Wolves are my favorite animal.  So, when I saw this book, I was instantly intrigued.  Brenda Peterson does a nice job with portraying the historic and scientific aspect of saving the wild American wolves.  I am knowledgeable about wolves, yet I learned a lot through this book.   It is well documented, researched, and supported.  WOLF NATION is skillfully written and an informative read.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.


5 Stars
Hidden Depth (Lockhart Brothers #4) by Brenda Rothert
Hidden Depth (Lockhart Brothers Book 4) - Brenda Rothert

Brenda Rothert’s HIDDEN DEPTH is a heartwarming and moving read.  This is the story of the youngest Lockhart brother, Justin, and model, singer and actress, Elle Tyler.  This contemporary romance takes place in St. Louis, Missouri and Lovely, Missouri.


First, my son’s name is Justin.  So, I automatically like Justin Lockhart because of his name.  That being said, I do like his character.  He is protective and kind.  He has good values.  Elle is a sweet character.  I love how she interacts with her fans.  She is a good person, that has had some bad things happen to her.  I appreciate that Justin and Elle like each other for the people they are and not who they are. 


Chloe Michaels is an awesome assistant and friend to Elle.  I love how she looks out for her.  Andre is a faithful bodyguard.  I appreciate that the two truly care about Elle and are more than employees.  They felt horrible and responsible about what happened even though it was not their fault. 


I love that Miss Dee Dee once again makes an appearance in this series.  She is the perfect person for Elle to befriend. 


From a story perspective, I like how Justin and Elle meet.  What happens is horrible but it makes a fantastic plot.  Her situation with Gary Beasley was traumatic and chilling.  Justin faces some interesting situations in the story.  I like how he handles them.  I adore how the story ended.  It fell welt concluded.  Once again, Brenda Rothert did an amazing job with this series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen
Pipe Dreams (A Brooklyn Bruisers Novel) - Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen scores a hat trick with the third book from the Brooklyn Bruisers series, PIPE DREAMS.  I love this series.  PIPE DREAMS is goalie, Mike Beacon’s and Lauren Williams’ story.  This contemporary sports romance takes place in New York.  It is suitable for adult audiences.


The beginning of the novel overlaps with the previous book.  Lauren is with her boss/team owner, Nate Kattenberger, in his private box watching the Bruisers in the play-offs.  I loved hearing this story from her point of view.  In the previous stories, Lauren comes off as cold.  We find out why.  It is totally understandable and nothing like her actual personality. 


Sarina Bowen does a fabulous job with her character development.  Lauren is a strong and astonishing heroine.  She is hard working and determined.  Her heart was broken by Mike, and she is uncomfortable when being forced to work for the team.  Mike is an amazing guy and dad.  He is caring, persistent, and protective.  He could have handled his break-up with Lauren better, but under the circumstances, why he did it was admirable.  I love that these two get a second chance.  They clearly never got over one another.  They are good together.  He is a spontaneous action kind of guy to her analytical planning.


The plot was realistic and believable.  I like how the story flashed back and forth in time.  I like that Lauren gets to know the other females in the series better.  There are many interesting things that happen in this story that keep it exciting.  This is one of those books that is hard to put down.  I read it in one day. 


Nate seems to like to get involved with his staff and players’ personal lives.  I love that Lauren, doesn’t let Nate intimidate her and does the same to him.  I’m really looking forward to Becca’s and Nate’s story in the next book.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13) by Chloe Neill
Blade Bound - Chloe Neill

BLADE BOUND was a thrilling conclusion to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series.  The story starts out with Merit’s and Ethan’s wedding.  After an attack, Merit, Ethan, and friends once again help to save the city from a sinister supernatural onslaught.  This contemporary urban fantasy is suitable for adult audiences. 


I love Merit’s character.  She grew tremendously throughout this series.  She is an admirable character that makes an amazing Sentinel for Cadogan House and protector for Chicago.  She and Ethan make an astonishing couple that support one another. 


I love that Mallory played an important role in this story.  The series began with her and Merit as roommates.  I think it is appropriate that she played a pivotal part of the final story in the series.  I love Merit’s network of friends.  They are all unique and have an instrumental function in Merit’s life and adventures.


The plot was exciting and full of unexpected and creative twists.  I enjoyed this story from start to finish.  Being a Chicagoan, I have always appreciated the hometown references that Chloe Neill includes in her stories.  It makes me feel a bit nostalgic. 


Chloe Neill did a remarkable job with the Chicagoland Vampires series.  Her character development and writing style are noteworthy.  I’m really hoping that there is going to be a spin off series with Elisa, Lulu, and Connor. I am going to miss this series, and am sad that it is ending.  I will be re-reading it.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Sin With Me (Bad Habit #3) by J.T. Geissinger
Sin With Me (Bad Habit) - J.T. Geissinger

J.T. Geissinger prevails with SIN WITH ME the third book in the Bad Habit series.  After losing her memory and family, Grace Stanton, is apprehensive of relationships.  Bad Habit’s lead guitarist, Brody Scott, hides a guilty secrete from his youth.  Their chemistry is undeniable.  Fate has interesting things in store for the couple.  This contemporary Rockstar romance is suitable for adult audiences.  It takes place in California.


Grace and Brody are a fun couple.  I love how they are always quoting movie lines to each other, and that they call each other out on the verbatim of the words.  I found it amusing, how they would playfully tell the other one things like they were ugly or had big uneven feet.  I like that they are both adrenalin junkies.  I love Brody’s church. 


I found it appropriate that they both had scars from their past that caused nightmares and phobias.  Fate played an interesting roll in this story.  They both had a lot to deal with in this story and came out the better for it. 


I savored that the characters from the previous books played an important part of this novel.  Starting with the birth of Chloe and A.J.’s baby (from book two MAKE ME SIN).  The characters in this novel are amazing friends who are like a family to each other. 


I loved this story!  It helped that I already liked the main characters from the previous books in the series, but we learn so much more about both Brody and Grace in SIN WITH ME.  J.T. Geissinger does an incredible job with her character development and plot.  She is a skilled writer who creates power stories.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Fractured Silence (Talon Pack #5) by Carrie Ann Ryan
Fractured Silence (Talon Pack Book 5) (Volume 5) - Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan’s FRACTURED SILENCE, is an amazing addition to the Talon Pack Series.  Parker Jamenson is the son of three Packs and part of a prophecy; Brandon Brentwood is the Talon Pack Omega, and Avery Montag is the daughter of a traitor.  The triad needs each other in more ways than one.  This contemporary PNR is suitable for adult audiences.


Parker, Brandon, and Avery are likeable characters.  Parker was goddess-touched and became the voice of the wolves.  He is from the line of the first hunter.  He is dying and needs to find his mate.  Brandon has been struggling with being Omega and is also in need of a mate.  Avery is a noble character.  She is nothing like her father.  She is a good person that wants to make up for her father’s treachery.  She is brave and nurturing.  She goes through a lot of changes in this story and handles it with grace.  The three characters have wonderful chemistry and complement each other well.  They are stronger and better together. 


Once again, Carrie Ann Ryan does an amazing job with her plot.  McMaster continues to be an interesting threat.  He is a deceptive opponent that should not be underestimated.  The prophecy was well integrated into the novel.  There are some tragedies that the packs face that made my heart break for the characters.  FRACTURED SILENCE is full of details and surprises.  The story is skillfully written and hard to put down.  I love this series and cannot wait for Carrie Ann Ryan’s next book, DESTINY DISGRACED.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.