Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst

Adult Contemporary Romance

This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart.

The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Trilogy

This book was provided from the author in exchange for honest literary review.

Lily couldn't believe that her seemingly perfect life had crashed down around her. Finding out about Brad's infidelity had crushed her in some ways, but strangely enough had freed her in others. Lily finally had the courage she needed to walk out and find herself. Amazingly enough she has been left an inheritance of her grandmother's home in upstate Washington.
Life in Madrona is far from her lavish life in California. Lily struggles to remember who she is outside of being a man's possession. Her story will prove that love knows no timetable, and sometimes you never really know what you are missing.
I loved the concept of this story. Lily's struggle regain her life is beautifully written. The strength needed to find herself and start again is so true to life. Each of the characters in this little town are so thoughtful and amazing, and leaves you with a "down home" kind of feeling. Lily and Ian's relationship was also done very tastefully. After a controlling relationship it is so hard for a woman to open herself up to romantic feelings again. The plot was very well paced with a bit of suspense and mystery. I did like the fact that everything didn't always go in Lily's favor, yet she kept at it. It is also an easy read which does pull at the readers attention as well as their heart. Editing was very well done. No obvious grammatical or spelling errors to distract the reader. If I had one gripe it would be I felt the incident with her father was foreshadowed to be a big deal, but it was over in a page. I would have like to have seen more of a confrontation, and one where she fought it out. That would have been an epic add to an otherwise amazing story.
This is an adult contemporary romance suitable for mature audiences. I do list this as a recommended read. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that this is the first book of three in the Madrona series. You can't help but fall in love with this quaint little town. Happy reading!!!!

About Andrea Hurst 

When not visiting local farmer’s markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea Hurst is an author and literary agent. Her passion for books drives her to find and write stories that take readers on a journey to another place and leave them with an unforgettable impression. She is a developmental editor for publishers and authors, an instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and a webinar presenter for Writers Digest. She lives with her dachshunds in the Pacific Northwest, on an island much like the fictional Madrona, with all of its natural beauty and small town charm. Her published books include The Lazy Dog’s Guide to Enlightenment and Everybody’s Natural Food Cookbook, and she co-authored A Book of Miracles. To learn more about Andrea and her books, visit or

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Uncharted by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey (Countermeasure:Bytes of Life #1)


In the prequel to COUNTERMEASURE, love is the utmost cardinal emotion and shines brightly as Conor and Maeve Brennan struggle with a life changing decision. In this glimpse into the hearts of the Brennans, you will see the strength of a love unlike any other—a love that transcends right and wrong. A love that remains unchallenged to this day.

Source: Free purchase from Amazon

My Review

I read this prequel to prepare for my audio book read of Countermeasure. It's pretty much a snippet of how Maeve and Conner felt for each other during their marriage. They were married and in love for 20 some odd years and have a son they adore. For some unknown reason, they must pick up and leave without telling anyone where they are going. Countermeasure is the next journey where Trevor looking reasons why his parents disappeared.

I liked the story but I didn't love it. I get that they are in love and they have some kinda hot chemistry even after so many years of marriage. I just don't feel the love. I feel like the story could have been a bit longer, going into more depth of their lives and time together as well as their relationship with Trevor. It is also left unsaid of why they left but I'm guessing that will give away too much of Countermeasures mystery/thriller appeal. I still look forward to reading the first book in the series.

UNCHARTED is a free read available from Amazon, Apple iTunes, Kobo, B&N, Smashwords, Diesel, ARe and other channels. It is the first Byte of Life.
Countermeasure: Bytes of Life is a tie-in series to the Countermeasure Series novels. This new series of shorts gives the readers glimpses into the day-to-day life of the Countermeasure characters. Although the shorts are standalone stories, they are character-driven, NOT plot-driven. Please be advised that ALL shorts in this series contain EROTIC content. They are NOT recommended for younger audience. Some of the events that take place in the short stories might be referenced in the novels and vice-versa.

It is strongly advised that you read the novels and shorts in chronological order.
The reading order is:

0 - Uncharted (Short Story - Published)
1 - Countermeasure (Novel - Published)
1a - Ecstasy by the Sea (Short Story - Published)
1b - Cuffed at Midnight (Short Story - Published)
1c - Passion at Dawn (Short Story - Published)
2 - To Russia With Love (Novel - Published)
2a - Blindsided (Short Story - Published)
2b - Lost to Rapture (Short Story - TBA)
2c - Bound by Love (Short Story - TBA)
3 - Alternate Connection (Novel - Spring 2013)
3a - London by Moonlight (Short Story - TBA)
4 - Locked and Reloaded (Novel - TBA)(less)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review: Unforgivable by James Fuller

Fantasy/Horror Novella

Rising from the ashes of his home in Ever-Dale, Jamus Willms carves a brutal path of vengeance through the lands powerful nobility. His quest for justice seems to defy even death, as hatred fuels his journey - to the ruthless Lord that took everything from him as a simple reminder of the status quo. With the fires of that fateful night still burning in his mind, each step that takes him closer to reclaiming his daughter from the clutches of a psychopath blurs the line between man and monster - Jamus struggles to keep the flames that had disfigured his flesh from twisting his very soul forever.

Source: Reviewer Purchase

My Review

What a great story! As you can tell from the blurb, Jamus sets outs to avenge the deaths of his family and save his daughter from the perverted Lord Carter. I will warn you that it is a bit gruesome. I'm all for guts and gore but this book still got to me. A few words of advice on reading this book: 1) don't read this book in public, ie. the train. People tend to look at you funny when you're wincing while reading. 2) this book has one scene that is hard to swallow and just happens to be towards the beginning. I'll admit, I was close to bawling my eyes out on the train. Can you say embarrassing? Yeah... Anywho... Unforgivable is a heart wrenching, action packed journey of what a father is willing to do for the safety of his daughter. If you are looking for a happy ending, you wont find it here. I definitely recommend this book. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Source: Borrowed audio book from the public library

My Review

Haven Moore has always had visions of a life where she was named Constance, who was in love with a boy named Ethan. Her grandmother has everyone convinced that Haven is crazy and makes her see Doctor Tidmore ( not sure of the spelling since it was an audio book) who also happens to be the preacher at her church. Haven is so sure that this previous life is very real and that Ethan may be in New York. With some new information from her late father, Haven finally has the push she needs to find some answers. She meets Iain Morrow and her world is turned upside down. 

The Eternal One's was a crazy whirlwind and will keep you guessing from beginning to end. You don't know who to trust and who to hate. Haven is so strong and doesn't back down from a challenge. I'm so glad that she goes with her gut and questions things instead of being one of those girls that believes the dude with ever fiber of her being. This made her character extremely believable. Her best friend Beau is awesome and is usually the voice of reason. I likes Iain's character but I wish there was more of him in the book. The book was full of action, suspense and romance that kept me so enthralled that I was bummed whenever I had to press pause. I was midway through when I found out that this was part of a series. I'm very excited with this news. That ending was phenomenal and I will definitely be reading the next one. I'm hoping the next one will be just as exhilarating as this one, if not more. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: Good Ghost Gone Bad by Janiera Eldridge

*This book is not a YA read. It's an 18+ only novella that features sex, strong language and strong violence

Brianna Moreno was an average 22-year-old women who loved shopping, hanging out with her friends and making more career plans....until the night she was brutally and unexpectedly murdered.

Now she finds herself trapped in the ghost world while residing on earth. The problem is, her killer can see all of his ghostly victims and enjoys taunting them as much as he does killing them.Brianna soon finds out that her killer has horrible new plans concerning her family.

Brianna meets up with a few of her killer's past victims to hatch a plan so terrifying, the entire town will never be the same again.
Brianna is a good ghost gone bad; the good girl side is gone forever!

Source: Received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Did not receive any payment for review. 

My Review

Brianna is a young woman that is murdered by a serial killer named Brian. Her spirit does not pass on and she is left to roam the earth as a ghost. She soon finds out that the man that killed her plans to come after her sister next. With the help of Brian's other victims, Brianna will learn some new tricks to kill the man that caused her such pain. >

Let me start off by telling you how I came to review this novella. I posted on my page that I was looking for a book that would scare the crap out of me. One of my readers suggested this one and the author offered to send it to me in exchange for a review. I'm glad she reached out because Good Ghost Gone Bad gave me NIGHTMARES. No lie! I had 2 nightmares this week about being murdered. So not cool!

What I liked: Brianna is a very strong person and she does what she sets out to do. There's a hot ghost guy thrown into the mix and it adds a slight bit of heat to the story. Not much, but it was done right. This book scared the mess out of me. I love my horror books to be somewhat gore-y and Janiera delivered that. You should have seen that look on my face while reading the end of the book. It was truly horrifying. 

What I didn't like: The story was predictable but it didn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I would have wished for a bigger twist and maybe make it a little longer. I don't ever rate a book based on grammatical errors and it could benefit from a look over by an editor. 

I would definitely recommend this book if your are looking for a quick horror read.