Sunday, June 30, 2013

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review, 10s List & Giveaway: For Love or Money by Cathy Perkins

Today I welcome Cathy Perkins author of For Love or Money, a fun and intense romantic suspense book.  Cathy's here today with a 10s list of the Top Ten Vacation Destinations and then I have my review of this wonderful book.  Then if that isn't enough there is a tour-wide giveaway for you to enter as well.  So for now, please grab your favorite cuppa and sit and enjoy Cathy's Top Ten Vacation Destinations.  

Top ten favorite vacation destinations

Exotic or a retreat, everyone needs time away—from the job, the routine, maybe the kids :)

These are my favorite places to get away with a few for the “bucket list.”

1.      Our cabin in the Cascades – so peaceful and close enough to visit often

2.      Scottsdale – art and sunshine, two of my favorite things

3.      Any South Carolina Beach – 'nuf said

4.      Hvar, Croatia – gorgeous dramatic scenery, people proud of their heritage, and it hasn't been turned into a tourist trap

5.      Madrid – love the mix of old & new (when they say “old” in Spain, they mean Roman!) and the energy of the city; plus the Spanish raised eating to an art form

6.      Washington DC – museums, monuments and restaurants

7.      Santa Fe – another art and sunshine mecca with Anasazi artifacts for additional interest

Three on my bucket list:

8.      Great Barrier Reef – I learned to scuba in the freeze-your-butt-off Puget Sound for this one!

9.      China – the terra cotta soldiers of Xi'an

10.  Greek islands – love the visual of the water, the white buildings, mountains – and the food!

What are your favorite places to get away – or your dream destination?

To follow the tour, click on the banner at the top of the post or go here.

My Review:
If you are looking for a great romantic suspense, heavy on the suspense, look no further than For Love or Money.  I found it to be a thrill-ride that I could not get off of.

Holly, I loved Holly, she is so every woman.  She's leery of men with good reason.  She's home to help her mother with the business and she's longing to get back to her high-stakes job in Seattle, or is she?  She's also curious as to what happened to her friend and becomes very embroiled in the case that her ex-fiance, JC is lead detective on.  Of course this leads to sparks of the very interesting kind.  JC isn't as developed as Holly, but I liked his wit.  He's also very determined to solve this case and keep Holly out of it, but finally realizes she won't stay out of it.  The real fun is in their back and forth.  The dialog between them had me laughing and fanning myself as the sparks flew.

The plot drives this one and that's why I say it's heavy on the suspense.  There is romance, but I think the book is mainly about what happened to Holly's friend.  And this isn't one of those books where the lead character bumbles into everything.  Holly genuinely sets out to learn from the various people that surrounded her friend and learns more than JC does sometimes.  I never felt her being involved was far-fetched and I liked how she went about trying to solve things while the whole time she is also facing her demons and learning more about herself.

For Love or Money is a great romantic suspense read.  I had a hard time putting it down and I look forward to reading more by Cathy Perkins.  And also I would like to say how great the new Entangled Suspense imprint it.  This is the second book I've read in the imprint this week and both have been stellar.  If you want to add some suspense to your summer I highly suggest this book!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the book:

Title: For Love or Money
Author: Cathy Perkins
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 367 pages
Release Date: May 2013
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-62266-097-1
Imprint: Suspense

When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body while hiking, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. The verdict is murder—and Holly is the prime suspect.

Of course, the fact that the infinitely sexy—and very pissed off—cop threatening to arrest her is JC Dimitrak, who just happens to be Holly’s jilted ex-fiancé, doesn’t help matters.

To protect her future, her business...and her heart...the intrepid forensic accountant must use all her considerable investigative skills to follow the money through an intricate web of shadow companies, while staying one step ahead of her ex-fiancé. She better solve the case before the real killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass...and the next dead body found beside the river is Holly’s.

About the Author:

Cathy Perkins is a member of the Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters' lives. Her suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflaged, hide in plain sight, skills employed by her villains.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the setting of FOR LOVE OR MONEY, with her work-a-holic husband, a 75-pound Lab who thinks she’s still a lap-puppy and a Wirehair puppy’s who’s intent on digging her way to China. You can learn more about Cathy on her website

Author Website

Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway

Cathy Perkins is offering a Kindle Paperwhite to one lucky winner as part of the For Love of Money Blog Tour celebration! Simply fill out the rafflecopter form provided below for your chance to be entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: Unseen by Karin Slaughter

Unseen by Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Hardcover, 400 pages
Fiction, Suspense, Romantic Elements
 ISBN: 9780345539472
Will Trent #7

My Review:
I will admit I have been away from Karin Slaughter for awhile just because I haven't kept up with her series.  But I was intrigued by the blurb of this book and decided to heck with series order and picked this one up for review.  I don't regret my decision one bit, but I will be going back and starting with the second book in the Will Trent series and also going back to read the Grant County series.

Character Development:
I was familiar with Will Trent going into this book having read Triptych when it came out.  But somehow after that I think my reviewing life got in my way and I haven't read the series since.  I like Will, he's not perfect but he's trying to do the right thing.  I was really interested in his undercover work in this book and also in his love life with Sara (who I was not at all familiar with since I haven't read the Grant County series).  Will makes a great character.  Sara is also interesting and a little bit of a contrast to Will.  I liked getting to know her in this book and look forward to getting to know her more by reading the other series.  Lena was also interesting.  Somehow even though I don't think you are supposed to like her, I liked her.  I wanted justice and for her to prove that the crime in this book wasn't her fault.  I also can't wait to get to know her more from the earlier books.

The plot was interesting and fast moving.  There is romance between Will and Sara.  There is history between Sara and Lena.  And there are secrets between Will and Sara.  And of course there are crimes that need solving.  The dynamics between the characters were great to watch, a lot of animosity that really comes off the page is present in the book.  The crimes that need solving are also fascinating and I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.  I honestly could not figure out the ending until it happened.  To me that was the mark of a great suspense novel and why I enjoyed Triptych years ago.

Final Thoughts:
If you enjoy great suspense with romantic elements than Unseen is a great read for you.  Don't fear if you are  not caught up in the Will Trent or Grant County series, the book can read as a stand alone.  There is definite history but it's explained in a way that I don't think previous books will be ruined if you go back and read like I am going to do.  I loved Unseen and it reminded me why I loved Karin Slaughter years ago.  I won't get behind again!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is actually a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton—the woman he loves, who cannot be told of the risk Will is taking.

Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s attack is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their live.

Books in Will Trent series:

About the Author (from 
Karin Slaughter (born 1971), is a US author who debuted with her novel Blindsighted in 2001. It became an international success, made the Dagger Award shortlist for "Best Thriller Debut" of 2001, and has been published in 23 countries.

Slaughter was born in a small southern Georgia community, and now resides in Atlanta. She is widely credited with first coining the term "investigoogling" in 2006.


***I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review & 10s list: Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey

Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: Brazen
Publish Date: June 10, 2013
eBook, 250 pages
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
 ISBN: 9781622662197

Today I welcome Tessa Bailey as part of the Officer Off Limits blog tour.  She'll be sharing with us a special 10s list.  Then check out my review!

Ten Things that make Forbidden Romance HOT

Hi Crystal, thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited for my latest release, OFFICER OFF LIMITS. Below, I list the ten reasons forbidden romance is so hot, but I want to clarify that I’m not talking about cheating! LOL. In my book, Story is the daughter of Daniel’s mentor who has forbidden him from pursuing her. That kind of forbidden romance is what I’m referring to J

1.      Stolen Moments – They’re passionate and rushed because you never know how long you have together. The lack of opportunity increases the appeal and the intensity.
2.      Being Bad – We all like to rebel a little once in a while, break from our normal routine. Maybe even surprise ourselves. Forbidden love is definitely a rebellion and the threat of getting into trouble is incredibly sexy.
3.      Loosened Inhibitions – You’re already doing something considered wrong, so why not take the extra step and try new things? In Officer Off Limits, Daniel and Story have a penchant for public lovin’. They’re forbidden to be together, so why not break a few laws while they’re at it?
4.      You’ve got a Secret – There’s something about keeping a secret to yourself that no one else knows. It makes everything more interesting when you’ve got something delicious bubbling inside you but don’t share it with anyone.
5.      Naughty Phone Calls – You know the ones. Where you say the things over the phone that you’re too shy to say face to face. They make you desperate for your next time together.
6.      Risk – It’s sexy. The risk of being caught. The risk of being hurt. Just risk.
7.      Anticipation – The pulse-pounding lead-up to your next meeting, where you imagine how the other person will feel, smell, look. What you’ll do together. How long you’ll be able to hold out.
8.      Makes you feel Sexy – Knowing someone else wants you bad enough to take the risk with you definitely increases your self-confidence and makes you feel desirable.
9.      You Might Surprise Yourself – When we step outside our comfort zone, we tend to learn new things about ourselves. How far we’re willing to go to get what we want. Or who we want.
10.  It’s Worth It – If you and someone else are willing to go to all this trouble just to catch a few moments together, there’s a reason. They’re worth the trouble and they feel the same about you.

My Review:
Can I just say this book is scorching!  Forget 50 Shades, this book is real and hot.  I'll just say that Tessa definitely has chemistry down to a science in this book and move onto my thoughts on characters and plot.

Let's start with Story, Story comes to NYC from a broken engagement and she's trying to make sense of life on her own and she runs into Daniel, who is sex-on-a-stick.  The chemistry is immediate for both her and Daniel and she can't get him out of her head especially after that chemistry explodes between them.  I like Story, she's very relatable.  She's a teacher off work for the summer so it explains why she can drop everything to go see her father. She's sarcastic and she doesn't want to be ruled by a man.  Yet she comes to understand love very slowly and starts to understand what a man truly caring for her means.  In the meantime she is having quite a bit of fun with Daniel and again this is scorching!

Then there is Daniel, Daniel has secrets and scars.  He's the ultimate bad boy with more notches on his bedpost than Story can even think about.  Yet he's perfect for Story.  He starts to fall for her and realizes that he doesn't want to be a mindless romp for women or even Story any more.  He wants more meaning and he wants it with Story.  Watching him fall for story and understand his life and himself better was nothing short of amazing.  I am pretty positive any woman reading this will want a Daniel after this (I have to admit I have one, though he's not a scarred bad boy).  And the sex, again did I mention scorching?  Daniel, ahem, has such a way with words . . .

The forbidden love plot works great in this book.  Daniel isn't supposed to be around Story as declared by her Dad and his mentor, but somehow he can't help the attraction.  Story can't help the attraction either though she feels she should really be on her feet more after her broken engagement before entering a relationship.  I loved watching these two fall for each other slowly (at least slowly in the course of the book).  And I loved the heat they generated, yet you could really tell they were falling for each other and it wasn't purely physical.  I somewhat saw the ending (not the happy-ever-after, that's a given) but there were still elements that surprised me.  So I was thrilled with how the plot ran from beginning to end. 

Officer Off Duty moves fast, holds your interest and has you cheering for Story and Daniel from their first encounter at the snack machine.  I loved the characters and I loved how the plotline unfolded.  If you haven't read Tessa I suggest you give her a try and have a fan nearby. :)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
Story Brooks’ fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn't bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it’s too late.

Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She’s the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.

Despite her father’s warnings and Daniel’s troubled past, Daniel and Story can’t resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé’s abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel's already forbidden relationship survive?

About the Author: 
Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Join Bailey's Babes, Tessa's street team, to receive ARC's and sneak peeks of upcoming releases!

Follow Tessa on Twitter @mstessabailey

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***