Diane's Book Blog
Review
5 Stars
Playoff Beard by Kristen Hope Mazzola
Playoff Beard (Shots On Goal Standalone Series Book 5) - Kristen Hope Mazzola

Kristen Hope Mazzola’s PLAYOFF BEARD is a wonderful addition to the Shots On Goal series.  NHL goalie, Will Crosby, and bartender, Jordan Bates finally get together after ten years.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

I like Will.  I felt bad for what happened between him and his ex-wife Mindie.  That being said, Jordan is a much better fit for him.  Will is a good guy.  He is a dedicated athlete and friend.   Jordan is a fun heroine.  I’ve enjoyed her in the previous books and was excited to hear her story.  She has a great personality.  I liked getting to know her family. 

 

I love that Jordan and Will started out as friends.  They are both attracted to the other but afraid to ruin their friendship.  Everyone knows they are perfect for one another.  I love when Will went to Sunday dinner with Jordan’s family.  I respect their nerdy vocabulary side.  I also, appreciated that there were things they did not know about each other, and they discover just how compatible they are together. 

 

I love how PLAYOFF BEARD’s timeline overlapped with LOW BLOW.  PLAYOFF BEARD had a nice flow and was a fast read.  It works well with the other books in the Shots On Goal series.   I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Scales and Legends (The Merworld Trilogy, #3) by B. Kristin McMichael
Scales and Legends (The Merworld Trilogy Book 3) - B. Kristin McMichael
  1. Kristin McMichael’s SCALES AND LEGENDS is an amazing conclusion to The Merworld Trilogy. The story takes place following book two, SONGS AND FINS. The sirens are on the brink of war.  However, Whitney Mallory, may be the key to saving the sirens.  This contemporary urban fantasy is suitable for young adults. 

 

I adored this story.  I am continually amazed by B. Kristin McMichael’s creativity.  We discover some interesting things about Whitney in this novel.  She undergoes some attention-grabbing challenges.  Whitney’s character has grown tremendously since the Skinwalkers Witchling series.  She is a wonderful character that is brave and selfless.

 

I love that characters from the Blue Eyes Trilogy, the Day Human Trilogy, and Skinwalkers Witchling made appearances in SCALES AND LEGENDS.  The connections are clever.  That being said, you can follow the story without reading those series.  However, I highly suggest them as well.

 

 SCALES AND LEGENDS was exciting from start to finish.  I read this book in one sitting.  The details were carefully thought out.  The Epilogue was well concluded.  I’m looking forward to the next spin-off of Jaxton Kristian's story in the NIGHT HUMAN HUNTER.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Hard Stick (Breakaway #1) by L.P. Dover
Hard Stick: A Breakaway Novel - L.P. Dover

 

  1. P. Dover scores with HARD STICK the first book in the Breakaway series. Charlotte Strikers’ enforcer, Kellan Carter, falls for bartender, Kristen Robinson. Kristen is reluctant to get involved with Kellan due to her daunting past.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences.  It takes place in Boston and North Carolina.

 

HARD STICK was amazing.  The plot had a little of everything: mystery, drama, conspiracy, romance, hockey, tragedy, humor, and hope. 

 

The characters are well-developed and believable.  Kristen was a compelling heroine who had a misfortunate past.  She is strong and brave.  My heart went out to her.  She has some loyal and amazing friends.  I love Kellan.  He is the captain of the Charlotte Striker NHL team.  He is hardworking and determined.  He is protective and reliable.   He is creative when setting up his dates with Kristen.  The two have wonderful chemistry and make an outstanding couple.

 

Mitchell Blackwell makes a fascinating advisory.  He is power hungry and controlling.  He is a dangerous man who cannot be trusted. 

 

I enjoyed the story line.  It had a lot of substance and felt meaningful.  There were excellent twists.  HARD STICK is skillfully written.  It had a great pace that is tough to put down.  I enjoyed the epilogue.  It felt well concluded.  I am looking forward to Dallas Easton’s story in the next book in the series, BLOCKED.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
It's Our Time (Carolina Rebels #3) by Lindsay Paige
It's Our Time (Carolina Rebels Book 4) - Lindsay Paige

Lindsay Paige scores with IT’S OUR TIME, the third book of the Carolina Rebels series.  Since he was a teenager, NHL defenseman, Ian Rhett, has only wanted one woman, Sydney Jarvis.  Mistakes were made, and secrets were kept. Ian’s goal is to convince Sydney to give their relationship another shot.  This contemporary sports romance takes place in North Carolina.  It is suitable for adult audiences.

 

Lindsay Paige does a great job with her character development.  Ian and Sydney are believable and likeable.  They have faults and grow through the story.  They have known each other for six-years; however, they still have a lot to learn about each other.  They have wonderful chemistry.  They are two people you want to see work things out.  Savannah is cute.  I love the things that came out of her mouth.

 

The plot was well laid out and convincing.  I like how the previous characters in the series were utilized throughout this book.  There was a lot of family drama that caused complications.  I enjoy Lindsay Paige’s writing style.  Her stories are genuine and heartfelt.  I am looking forward to Scott and Sylvia Boyd’s story the next book in the series, AN UNEXPECTED LIFE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

 

Review
5 Stars
White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews
White Hot - Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews’ WHITE HOT is an amazing addition to the Hidden Legacy Series.  Nevada Baylor’s latest case brings her back in contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.  This Urban Fantasy Romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

Ilona Andrews continues to do a great job with her character development.  Nevada’s powers and personality grow in this story.  She is discovering that she will do anything to protect her family and the people she cares about.  I appreciate that she has a rare talent that she wants to keep hidden. 

 

I like Connor.  We learn numerous details about his past that explains the way he acts.  He had a traumatic experience that turned him into the person he is.  His communication skills are not always the best.  He is powerful and looks out for those in his ranks. I enjoyed his persistence where Nevada is concerned. 

 

Nevada and Connor have great chemistry.  I’m interested in seeing where their relationship goes in future books. 

 

I enjoyed the plot.  It was mysterious with lots of action and conspiracy.  The different types of mages are fascination.  If I was a mage, I would want Cornelius Harrison’s power as an animal mage.  I have two ferrets; I loved the scene with ferrets and ferret-badger.  The introduction of Victoria Tremaine was compelling.  I look forward to learning more about her in the next book in the series, WILDFIRE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
5 Stars
Imbalance (Heart Lines Series Book 4) by Heather Hildenbrand
Imbalance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance) (Heart Lines Series Book 4) - Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand’s IMBALANCE is another amazing addition to the Heart Lines Series.  Book four starts where book three left off.  Alex and Mason are being held by CHAS, and Sam wants them released.  The equinox is coming closer, and they are running out of time to stop the clash between Ea and Hina.  This contemporary PNR is suitable for new adult audiences.  It takes place in San Francisco and Half Moon, California.  It is told from Alex’s and Sam’s point of views. 

 

My heart went out to Alex.  He punishes himself for things that he was not in control of but feels guilty about.  After so much time being numb due to Indra taking away his feelings, he is now in emotional overload.  I liked seeing him start to become his old self again.  Although, he will never be the same.  I was happy he opened up to Sam and his friends. 

 

I love that Sam doesn’t give up on Alex.  She is loyal and brave.  She has a lot to deal with in this story.  Hina is growing stronger in her.  I love that she stands up for herself and those she calls friends. 

 

There were a lot of interesting and unexpected things that happened in IMBALANCE.  The story was full of excitement and had a great pace.  IMBALANCE was skillfully written.  I enjoyed the ending.  I cannot wait for the fifth book in the series to discover what happens next.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4 Stars
Possessed by a Vampire (Immortal Hearts of San Francisco #4) by Susan Griscom
Possessed by a Vampire (Immortal Hearts of San Francisco) (Volume 4) - Susan Griscom

Susan Griscom’s POSSESSED BY A VAMPIRE is an exciting and worthwhile read.  Becoming a vampire changed Preston (Elvis) Knight’s life for the better.  Lily Grey’s life has become hell since becoming a vampire.  This contemporary PNR is suitable for adult audiences.  It is told from Preston’s and Lily’s point of views.

 

Susan Griscom does a great job with her character development.  I like Lily.  She has some compelling secrets.  She is a great sister that will do anything to protect her brother, Julian.  Preston is a worthy hero.  He had a horrible life as a human.  He is uncomfortable with others knowing his past.  He is protective and determined.  Preston and Lily have fantastic chemistry.  There are a lot of things going on that make it difficult for the two to get together.  Preston and Lily are both complex characters that have evolved tremendously through their lifetimes. 

 

Preston has a great group of friends.  They are loyal and would do anything for one another.  I love the name of their band. 

 

Dorian is an interesting character.  He is complicated and you are not always sure how he is going to react.  He adds interest to the story. 

 

The plot was original and well executed. I like how the character’s lives intertwine.  POSSESSED BY A VAMPIRE is skillfully written and has great twists.  This was the first book that I have read in the Immortal Hearts of San Francisco series.  I am interested in reading both the earlier and future books in this series.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

 

Review
4 Stars
Vegas Baby (Lady Sinners Series, #1) by Katie Kenyhercz
Vegas Baby: Lady Sinners Book 1 (Lady Sinners Series) - Katie Kenyhercz

Katie Kenyhercz scores with VEGAS BABY, the first book of the Lady Sinners Series.  Las Vegas Sinners dance team captain and PR assistant, Miranda Evans, wants to give her squad more credibility.  She comes up with an idea to have the girls play in an intermural hockey league to prove that they are more than pretty faces.   However, to get the go-ahead to proceed, she needs to convince former Sinners Center, Ben Collier, who was paralyzed after an accident on the ice, to become their new coach.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

I like Miranda and Ben.  They have great chemistry.  They are opposites that balance each other out.  However, they also have a lot in common.  For example, they are both hard working and loyal. 

 

I like Miranda’s character.  She is someone I would want to be friends with.  She is positive and genuine.  She leads by example.  She’s a fighter.  Ben is a complicated and interesting guy.  Hockey was his life, and it was taken away after a horrible injury left him paralyzed.  He is as determined with his therapy as he was with hockey.  He doesn’t want to be pitied. He’s on the anti-social side but a good friend to those he lets in.  

 

I enjoyed the plot.  It was skillfully executed and believable.  The story line was original and captivating. It contained some valuable life lessons.   VEGAS BABY is the perfect spin-off from the Las Vegas Sinners series to the Lady Sinners series.  I look forward to the next book.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
4.5 Stars
Maybe This Love (Colorado Ice #2) by Jennifer Snow
Maybe This Love - Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow’s MAYBE THIS LOVE is an excellent addition to the Colorado Ice series.  Colorado Avalanche Captain, Ben Westmore, ends up needing a lawyer after a weekend in Vegas. He finds himself attracted to the opposing counsel, Olivia Davis.  This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult audiences. 

 

We met both Ben and Olivia in book one, MAYBE THIS TIME.  Ben is Jackson’s brother, and Olivia was Abby’s lawyer.  I found how the two met amusing.  They both were hurt in previous relationships and are leery of commitment.

 

I like Ben.  I felt bad for what happened to him with Janelle.  I can see how it would have messed with him to make the stupid mistake that he made.  It doesn’t help that all this happens when his team is making a run for the cup, and he has been criticized for choking in previous playoffs.  There is a lot of pressure of him.  He has an amazing family.  Olivia is a great character.  She is a successful lawyer, but she lacks confidence socially.  Her parents died when she was young, and she longs for a family. 

 

I enjoyed the plot.  The story was believable and well laid out.  I like how Ben was adaptable on their dates.  He is very creative and thoughtful.  I also, appreciated how Ben handles things with Brandon.  I love that Olivia gets along great with Ben’s family.  There are a lot of funny scenes.  I especially found the episode with the police officer amusing.  MAYBE THIS LOVE had a great ending.  I’m looking forward to Owen’s story in the next book of the series, MAYBE THIS SUMMER.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Review
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.

Review
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.

Review
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.

Review
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.

Review
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.

 

Review
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.

Review
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.