Diane's Book Blog
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.

3.5 Stars
The Right Fit by Daphne Dubois
The Right Fit - Daphne Dubois

NHL defenseman, Antony Laurent, meets, esthetician, Maxine Nicholls, who is on the rebound after catching her fiancé cheating on her.  This sports romance takes place in Toronto and Florida.  It is suitable for adult audience.


I felt bad for Max.  Her ex-fiancé, Johnny, really messed with her self-confidence.  Anthony is much better for her.  I love that he likes her the way she is.  I like Anthony.  He feels guilty for his brother’s accident.  He’s worried about being sent down to the minors.  He pushes himself hard to take care of his family.  I appreciate that Max and Anthony both have issues they overcome in this novel. 


They have interesting friends and family.  I like Carmine. He gave Max good advice and was a sweet man.  I like how the characters evolved in the story, especially Marc toward the end of the novel. 


It took me a little while to get into this story.  I enjoyed it more as I kept reading it.  I like the nail polish names and their significance throughout the book.  I also thought the name Max considered for her business clever.  I enjoyed the ending.  It made the story feel well concluded.  I would like to see a sequel with Marc and Kayla. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
Low Blow (Shots On Goal #4) by Kristen Hope Mazzola
Low Blow (Shots On Goal Standalone Series Book 4) - Kristen Hope Mazzola

Kristen Hope Mazzola’s LOW BLOW is a heartfelt and inspiring read.  It has been ten years since Griffin Hayes had his heart transplant.  He feels the need to seek out the daughter of his donor, Olive Cooper.  The person that makes him feel whole.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.  It takes place in New York. 


LOW BLOW can be read as a stand-alone, but I appreciated it more because I read the three books preceding it.  I am not into boxers, but I really enjoyed this story. Griffin is the younger brother of NHL star, Gavin Hayes, from book one, HAT TRICK.  I love that the characters from the previous books were part of this story. They provided a network and family for Griffin and Liv.  Kristen Hope Mazzola does a nice job of making you feel invested in the characters of the Shots On Goal series.


I like Griffin.  He needed a heart transplant when he was sixteen years old.  It took courage for him to seek the daughter of his donor out. I appreciated that his actions showed Olive that her Father’s donation saved lives and helped her mourn his loss better.  I love that they have an instant connection. Liv is a great character.  I like her personality and that she is not Griffin’s typical taste in women.  Her reaction to Griffin’s fight is probably exactly how I would have responded. 


As discovered in book one, Griffin’s parents are a bit to deal with.  His mom was in rare form in this story. She really is one of those people that just shouldn’t speak.  I’m glad that Griffin has his brother and his friends for support, especially Myla. I love that he found his soul mate in Liv.  I also like that Shaw and Simon hooked up. 


I really enjoyed LOW BLOW.  I finished it in one sitting.  The plot was genuine.  The characters are likeable.  It had a well concluded ending.  I’m looking forward to the next book in the Shots On Goal series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4 Stars
Snared (Elemental Assassin #16) by Jennifer Estep
Snared (Elemental Assassin) - Jennifer Estep

Gin Blanco continues her quest to discover more about the underworld group called the Circle.  Meanwhile, a girl by the name of Elissa Daniels goes missing, and Gin investigates.  This Urban Fantasy is suitable for adult audiences.


I appreciate the complexity of the characters in this series.  I find it amusing that Gin is so frequently underestimated.  I love Gin’s friend network.  The banter between her and Finn always has me smiling.  She has some amazing people she can rely on.  We discovered some interesting things about Gin’s nemesis, Hugh Tucker, as well as some other people. 


Jennifer Estep created another thrilling story in Elemental Assassin series.  SNARED is full of action and mystery.  Estep does a fantastic job with all the details in this story.  I loved the ending.  I would love to see the Elemental Assassin series on television.  It really would be perfect for TV.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

4.5 Stars
Enforcer (Seattle Sharks #2) by Samantha Whiskey
Enforcer (Seattle Sharks Book 2) - Samantha Whiskey

Seattle Sharks Enforcer, Rory Jackson, strikes a deal with future CEO, Paige Turner.  They enter an exclusive three-month relationship to help clean up his reputation, while she checks off some items on her dirty-girl bucket list.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.


ENFORCER is a fun and entertaining story.  The plot was interesting and expertly laid out.  The characters are very different from one another but compatible.  I love that they both were interested in the other, but that it took this deal for them to do something about getting together. 


I like Rory. He is a bad-boy hockey player.  He had a difficult childhood that contributed to his bad temper that is always getting him in trouble. Despite being one of the best hockey players in the league he feels he is unworthy of Paige.  I love that he treats her differently than every other woman he has been with.


Paige is a noble heroine.  She truly cares about the well-being of others, contribution to charitable efforts.  She is smart and innovating.  She has a big heart.  I appreciate that she stands up to her father.


Rory and Paige have some interesting conflicts to overcome in this story.  Since they are both high profile individuals, they need to worry about media attention.  They both grow and evolve into better people. They bring the best out in each other. 


ENFORCER was skillfully written and felt well concluded.  This is the first novel that I have read by  Samantha Whiskey.  I plan on backtracking and reading book one in the series, GRINDER.  I liked Gage and Baily in this book, so I’m interested in reading their story.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.


5 Stars
Dancing in the Rain by Kelly Jamieson
Dancing in the Rain - Kelly Jamieson

Kelly Jamieson’s DANCING IN THE RAIN is an incredible heartfelt read.  NHL star, Drew Sellers, is forced to retire due to a knee injury.  He discovers he has a twelve-year-old daughter, a result of a one-night-stand in college. Then he reluctantly finds himself attracted to his daughter’s aunt, Payton Watt.   This contemporary romance takes place in Chicago and New York.  


I adored DANCING IN THE RAIN.  The story was genuine and profound.  I love how everyone grew and seems to learn from each other. 


My heart went out to Sara; she was a good mother to Chloe and sister to Payton.  She is a strong heroine with wonderful values. 


Chloe is an amazing girl.  I love that she fights for what she believes in.  My heart broke for her loss.  I was glad Drew came into her life. 


Peyton is a wonderful sister and aunt.  She is a determined business woman who ends up reevaluating her priorities.  She is smart and determined. 


Drew is a great guy.  He has a difficult time with having to retire early and having gone through a divorce.  He understandably goes through an identity crisis.  Sara, Chloe, and Payton seem to come into his life at the right time.  He grows tremendously throughout this story.


Drew and Payton have amazing chemistry.  It is understandable why they are reluctant to get together.  They are an amazing couple.


Kelly Jamieson did an astounding job with DANCING IN THE RAIN.  It had me laughing and crying.  I was invested in the characters.  I enjoyed the plot.  The story dealt with hard issues and had worthy life lessons. The ending was perfect.  I loved this story.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

5 Stars
Glass Faerie (Creepy Hollow #7) by Rachel Morgan
Glass Faerie (Creepy Hollow Book 7) - Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan’s GLASS FAERIE is an imaginative and thrilling addition to the Creepy Hollow series.  Emerson Clarke (Em) discovers that she is not human.  She is a Fae with a powerful Griffin Ability that is making her highly sought after, and not necessarily in a good way.  This contemporary fantasy is suitable for young adults.


I really enjoyed GLASS FAERIE.  Rachel Morgan does a fantastic job of keeping this series fresh and exciting.  I love that Vi, Ryn, Calla, and numerous others are in this story.  They are the perfect allies for Em as she discovers her new life.  She goes through a lot in this story and has no idea who is trustworthy. 


Em is an appealing heroine. Her mother was institutionalized, and she is living with her aunt and cousin.  Her aunt is the typical unpleasant guardian.  She is brave and loyal to her mother.  She has a lot to learn about her new realm.  I found her interaction with Dash amusing and look forward to seeing where their relationship goes.


I love Filigree and Bandit.  I totally want a formattra. 


The glass fairy is an interesting adversary.  Her power is scary. I cannot wait to discover more about her in the next book.


The plot was well-executed.  It was full of mystery and excitement.  I am highly anticipating the next book.  I want to hear more of Emerson’s story.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.