Saturday, 31 March 2018

Fairyloot Unboxing - March 2018 "Memorable Moments"

FairyLoot March Box "Memorable Moments"

So this is the special 2nd anniversary box for FairyLoot which meant I just HAD to order one and I have to say I love the pretty purple boxes! The March box is all about memorable moments from popular series so I was really looking forward to seeing what items would be included.


The first item in this month's box was this really cool cork bunting from Paladone. I haven't had a chance to set this up yet but I think it's going to look fab strung across my bookcase and I'm planning to use it for the many, many bookish badges and other small swag I've collected over the years.


The next item was this exclusive Rune Ceremony scarf from by FictionTea Designs which was inspired by Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters series. The material is so soft and I really like the subtle design, it's a smart looking scarf that can be worn on any occasion so I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it.


The third item was this Goblet of Fire candle from Paper Flames Candle Co and I have no words for how delicious this smells! It's like fresh bread and chocolate and I can't get enough of it so I'm kind of disappointed I can't buy a larger jar from their store because it's an exclusive.


This soap from Geeky Clean was inspired by Bibo's birthday cake and smells of vanilla and strawberries which is lovely. Like I've said before I'm not a huge fan of having this kind of body product in boxes because I have very sensitive skin and often can't use them, I doubt I'll even try this one but it smells lovely and will sit nicely on my bookshelf next to my Hobbit and LotR books.


Then we had a packet of Toast to the Warden of the North hot chocolate from Eponine. I love hot chocolate so I'm hoping this will be delicious, it only includes enough for 2 mugs though so I have a feeling I'm going to be left wanting more LOL.


This month's book was State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury and it's and exclusive hardback edition not available elsewhere which is pretty cool. The cover is gorgeous and I really think I'm going to love this story, I've heard so many fantastic things about the author's Sin Eater's Daughter series that I have very high expectations.


So that's the contents of the March 2nd Anniversary Fairyloot box. I'm pretty happy with it most of the items included, especially the candle, scarf and bunting. Every month there tend to be at least a couple of items I wouldn't buy if given the choice though so I'm not sure how much value that makes the box overall. I'm thinking I'll take a break from buying the boxes for a while and instead I might just pick a different etsy shop each month and pick a few items that I love from favourite fandoms. I do love the surprise of Fairyloot though so I'm sure I'll buy occasional boxes again in the future when they have a theme that I find impossible to resist!

Fairyloot Unboxing - February 2018 "Twisted Tales"

FairyLoot February Box "Twisted Tales"

I realised when I was writing my unboxing for the March FairyLoot box that I'd completely forgotten to post about the February box so I thought I might as well post them both at the same time. I'm a HUGE fairytale fan and I absolutely love retellings so the minute I heard about the theme for this book I just HAD to have it. I'm sure most people have already seen unboxings and know what was included but I'm going to share some pics here anyway.



The first item is this absolutely gorgeous "Grimm Tales" Mug designed by Aunjuli Art. You can never have too many mugs - especially not when they're as pretty as this one and I love that it's been inspired by so many different fairytales.


Then you have this bookish "Hinterland" candle from Wick and Fable that was inspired by this month's book and smells lovely. I can never have too many candles so this was a definite hit for me.


The third item was these "Poisonous Apple" bath salts from Little Heart. The salts smell nice enough but I have to say bath items are my least favourite thing to receive in subscription boxes, I have very sensitive skin so have to be really careful with the products I use and my house doesn't even have a bath tub in it (I only have a shower!) so I couldn't use these even if I wanted to. I'll end up giving this away to a friend because it's useless to me and it doesn't even make a good decoration to stick on my shelves.


These socks are Fairyloot exclusives and have pictures of a gingerbread house and a witches hat on them. You can never have too many socks and these seem fairly good quality ones but I can't say I love the design all that much, it's pretty boring really and not something I'd have chosen myself (I already have an extensive collection of Harry Potter socks so I'll admit my sock standards are pretty high LOL). At least I'll get use out of these though so they're a better option than the bath salts.


The last item before the book was this GORGEOUS wooden bookmark from Ink and Wonder, I have a few of their Woodmarks now and I love them all. They create the prettiest designs and of course this one is based on Little Red Riding Hood.


I had already guessed the book that would be included in this month's box (I only ever buy the boxes if I'm pretty sure I know what the book is and know that it's one I'd like to read) so I was very happy to confirm it was The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. This book sounds fantastic and I'm excited to read it soon. As usual it came with a letter from the author but rather than a bookplate the book itself has actually been signed by the author which is even more exciting.


So that's the contents of the February box, I'm looking forward to reading the book, I love the mug, woodmark and candle plus the socks are useful so most of the items were definitely a hit for me this month.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Review: The Heart Forger - Rin Chupeco

In this dark, engrossing sequel to The Bone Witch, Tea has mastered resurrection—now it’s time for revenge.

Tea, a bone witch who can resurrect the dead, is done with her self-imposed exile. She now possesses all seven bezoars she needs to revive the powerful daeva. With the help of these terrible monsters, she can finally enact her revenge against the royals who wronged her and took the life of her one true love. 

Alliances and allegiances are shifting, and danger lurks in and out of the kingdom. But Tea’s heart is set on vengeance, even if it turns her against her now-estranged brother, who supports her enemies. War is brewing, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

Bone Witch Series:
The Bone Witch
The Heart Forger
The Shadowglass (2019)

Visit Rin Chupeco's website for more information

Review:
I loved The Bone Witch so The Heart Forger was high up on my wish list for 2018 releases and I'm happy to say it surpassed all expectations. It took all the things I loved about the first book and then ramped them up to an even higher level, this book was much faster paced, had far more action, lots of twists and some fantastic monsters. I know some people didn't like the the slower pace of the first book but I thought that Rin Chupeco laid a brilliant foundation and helped to create a fascinating world for us to explore. Now she's used that foundation as a springboard and really kicked off the even more exciting part of her story.

As with the first book the story is told in two parts. You have the present, where Tea is older, wiser and far more jaded, she's been through hell and she's determined to put an end to the threats against the people she cares about. That Tea is telling her story to a Bard who is recording her journey to share it with the world. Then you have the younger version of Tea, the one who is slowly trying to figure out who she can trust. The stakes are getting ever higher for both versions of Tea and you can see how the weight of the world is settling onto her shoulders as she fights against an evil that has been plotting for years.

It's really hard to say much more without giving too much away so I'm going to keep this review short. All I'll tell you is that if you enjoyed the first book I guarantee you'll find this one even more compelling. I loved everything about this book and I'm definitely going to be first in line for a copy of The Shadowglass next year. Rin Chupeco's writing is outstanding and I can't wait to see how Tea's story ends.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback / Kindle:

Blog Tour: The Heart Forger - Rin Chupeco (Excerpt & Giveaway)

I loved Rin Chupeco's novel The Bone Witch when it was released last year so I'm thrilled to be taking part in the spotlight to celebrate the release of the sequel The Heart Forger today. This is such a brilliant series and it's one you don't want to miss so make sure you check back later to read my review of The Heart Forger. In the meantime let me give you a little more information about it:


The Heart Forger
By Rin Chupeco
March 20, 2018; Hardcover, ISBN: 9781492635857

Book Info:
Title: The Heart Forger
Author: Rin Chupeco
ISBN: 9781492635857
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Praise for The Heart Forger

“A dark, engaging fantasy series.” – School Library Journal

“In this spectacular follow-up to the rich The Bone Witch, Tea’s quest draws the reader further in, setting them on a more dangerous yet intriguing adventure.” — Foreword Reviews, STARRED review

“Rin’s beautifully crafted world from The Bone Witch (2017) expands in this sequel, which joins dark asha Tea on her crusade of revenge...Dark and entrancing with a third volume to come.” – Booklist, STARRED review

Summary:

In this dark, engrossing sequel to The Bone Witch, Tea has mastered resurrection—now it’s time for revenge.

Tea, a bone witch who can resurrect the dead, is done with her self-imposed exile. She now possesses all seven bezoars she needs to revive the powerful daeva. With the help of these terrible monsters, she can finally enact her revenge against the royals who wronged her and took the life of her one true love.

Alliances and allegiances are shifting, and danger lurks in and out of the kingdom. But Tea’s heart is set on vengeance, even if it turns her against her now-estranged brother, who supports her enemies. War is brewing, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33918881-the-heart-forger?from_search=true

Buy Links for The Heart Forger:
Amazon-
https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Forger-Bone-Witch/dp/1492635855/?tag=sbnews-20

Barnes & Noble-
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/8520536/type/dlg/fragment/%2F/https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-heart-forger-rin-chupeco/1125526060?ean=9781492635857

BooksAMillion-
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Heart-Forger/Rin-Chupeco/9781492635857?id=6538300475571

!ndigo- 
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-heart-forger/9781492635857-item.html?ikwid=heart+forger&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

Indiebound- 
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781492635857

Other Works by Rin Chupeco:

Book Info:
Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
ISBN: 9781492652786
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary:

When Tea accidentally resurrects her dead brother, she learns she is a different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in her community. But she finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. There Tea learns to wield her magic in the face of dark forces and the deceit of those who would plot against her, including the ruling royals, who are waging their own war for control of the land.

Told from Tea’s perspective while she waits in exile, collecting the strength and force to combat those who killed her one true love, and a visiting Bard’s perspective, this is another magical tale woven by The Girl from the Well author.

Buy Links for The Bone Witch:

Amazon- 
https://www.amazon.com/Bone-Witch-Rin-Chupeco-ebook/dp/B01HN3X3NM/?tag=sbnews-20

Barnes & Noble- 
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/8520536/type/dlg/fragment/%2F/https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-bone-witch-rin-chupeco/1123725845?ean=9781492652786

BooksAMillion- 
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Bone-Witch/Rin-Chupeco/9781492652786?id=6538300475571

!ndigo- 
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-bone-witch/9781492652786-item.html?ikwid=bone+witch&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

Indiebound- 
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781492652786

Book Info:
Title: The Suffering
Author: Rin Chupeco
ISBN: 9781492629849
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary:

After barely escaping the evil spirit that tried to destroy his soul, Tark vows to spend his life protecting the innocent. So when his mentor goes missing on a ghost-hunting expedition, Tark and Okiku join the search. But the Suicide Forest has seduced thousands of people to their deaths over the centuries and is thick with their sorrows.

With time running out and danger at every turn, Tark will either become a hero—or die trying.

Buy Links for The Suffering:

Amazon- 
https://www.amazon.com/Suffering-Rin-Chupeco/dp/1492629847?tag=sbnews-20

Barnes & Noble- 
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/8520536/type/dlg/fragment/%2F/https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-suffering-rin-chupeco/1121010248?ean=9781492629849

BooksAMillion- 
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Suffering/Rin-Chupeco/9781492629849?id=6538300475571

!ndigo- 
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-suffering/9781492629849-item.html?ikwid=the+suffering&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

Indiebound- 
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781492629849

About the Author:

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. Connect with Rin at rinchupeco.com

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.rinchupeco.com/
Twitter: @RinChupeco
Instagram: @rinchupeco








Excerpt from The Heart Forger:

He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.

It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.

The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.

“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”

“Why do I bring you along?”

“Well, a wise philosopher once said—”

“Shut up.” My brother had no need to tell me my quest was hopeless. Numerous Dark asha, all more experienced than me, had made the attempt. But I had to do something.

“You’re in a worse mood than usual. Did Kalen chew you out at practice again?”

“If you don’t like it here, why not find some women in the city to flirt with instead?”

“Not in Oda—” He caught himself. “None of your business. Can we get this over with?”

I turned back to the corpse. “Where are you keeping Mykaela’s heartsglass?”

No answer. The colossi statues guarding the catacombs were likelier to respond than this infernal sod of a king.

“Answer me! What have you done to her heartsglass? Where did you keep it? Why do you hate her so much?” My headache worsened. Somewhere in the back of my head, I was aware of a shadow thrashing about, sensing my anger. I saw a vision of water, green and murky, before it faded out of view.
I took a deep breath and let it out carefully. The ache lightened and the shadow retreated as I recovered my calm.

“This is a waste of time.” Fox folded his arms across his chest. My brother looked to be in peak physical health, though he was no more alive than the royal noble standing before us.

Their similarities ended there; there was barely enough skin and sinew clinging to Vanor to pass for human. That was my doing. The first few times I resurrected him, I had been respectful, taking great pains to restore his body to how it appeared when he was alive.

Now I allowed him only enough muscle and flesh to move his jaw.

“He’s not going to talk, Tea. You know that, I know that, and he definitely knows that.”

“I will make him talk.” Many years ago, my sister-asha had fallen in love with this wretched excuse of a ruler. In exchange for her unwavering devotion, he had taken her heartsglass and hidden it so well that no one had been able to find it.

And now, more than a decade later, Mykaela was dying. She could no longer return to Kion. Her health had deteriorated to the point where she had to remain near her heartsglass, still hidden somewhere within Odalia, here in the city of Kneave. It was hard enough to be a bone witch; that she’d survived for this long was a miracle in itself.

I grabbed what was left of the king’s shoulders, pulling him toward me. He reeked of death and obstinacy. “Answer me!” My voice echoed off the columns. “Didn’t you love her even a little? Or are you so petty that you’d allow her to suffer for the rest of her years? She’s dying. What grudge do you harbor to hate her this much?”

“Tea.”

I froze. So did Fox.

I had told no one else about my weekly excursions to the royal crypts. Not my friend Polaire, who would have boxed my ears if she’d known, nor Mistress Parmina, who would doom me to a life cleaning outhouses. Only Fox was privy to my secret, which he had agreed to keep despite his own misgivings. And Mykaela was the last person I wanted to find out.

She had aged more rapidly during the last few years since she had taken me under her wing. There was more gray in her golden hair, more lines on her face. Her back stooped slightly, like she struggled under a heavy burden. She had taken to using a cane everywhere she went, unsure of her own feet.

“Mykaela,” I stammered, “you’re not supposed to be here.”

“I could say the same for you,” she answered, but her eyes were fixed on King Vanor, her pain obvious. He watched her gravely, without shame or guilt, and my anger rose again. How many raisings had my sister-asha endured, forced to watch while this king refused to speak?

I raised my finger to sketch out the rune that would send Vanor back to the world of the dead, but Mykaela lifted a hand. “Vanor,” she said quietly, “it’s been a while.”

The decaying figure said nothing. His eyes studied her, savage and hungry and ill suited for such an impassive face.

“I apologize for my wayward apprentice. She has been willful and intractable since her admission to my asha-ka and has shown little improvement since. Please return to your rest. Tea, let him go.”

Mykaela’s words were a steel knife through my heart. Stuttering apologies, I completed the spell and watched as King Vanor’s body crumbled back into dust in his open coffin. Even as his features dissolved, King Vanor never once looked away from Mykaela’s face.

“Close the lid and move the stone back in place,” she said. I could detect the anger behind her calm. “I would tell King Telemaine to seal his coffin, but even that might not stop you. Whatever possessed you to let her do this, Fox?”

Fox shrugged, grinning like an abashed schoolboy. “I’m her familiar. It comes with the territory.”

“Being her familiar is no excuse for being an imbecile! And you! What possessed you to summon dead royalty in the middle of the night?”

“I wanted to help.” The excuse sounded weaker when made to Mykaela than to Fox. “I thought that I could control daeva now! You said no Dark asha’s ever done that before! That’s why…why I…”

Mykaela sighed. “And so by that logic, you think you are different from Dark asha of the past? What you have in ability, Tea, you lack in wisdom. You cannot compel the dead if they are not willing. Wasn’t that the first lesson I taught you after you raised Fox from his grave? Arrogance is not a virtue, sister.”

I looked down, blinking back tears. Was I arrogant to want to save her? Unlike Fox, Dark asha and all those with a silver heartsglass cannot be raised from the dead, and that permanence frightened me. “I’m sorry. I want to help. But I feel so powerless.”

I heard her move closer, felt her hand on my head, stroking my hair.

“It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most. Do you understand me, Tea?”

“Yes.” I wept.

“Tea, I’m not dead yet.” A finger nudged at my chin. “I would appreciate it if you stopped acting like I was. I do not give up so easily, but we must adopt other means.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It is only an apology if you mean it. This is the last time you will be summoning anyone in the royal crypts, no matter how noble you think your actions are. Promise me.”

“I promise,” I mumbled.

“The same is true for you too, Fox.”

“I promise, milady.”

“Good. Now help me up the stairs. My legs aren’t what they used to be.”

Fox reached down and scooped Mykaela into his arms. “It’s the fastest way,” he explained. “You’ve expended enough energy yelling at us.”

The older asha chuckled. “Yes, that’s always been rather tiresome now that I think about it. Perhaps you should direct your energies toward more productive tasks so I can tire less.”

“How did you know we were here?” I asked.

“I’ve taken to wandering at night. I looked in on Tea, but her room was empty. I detected a shifting of runes nearby and merely followed it to its source.”

“I didn’t mean to make you worry.” The staircase led back to the Odalian palace gardens. For the past two months, Fox and I had been King Telemaine’s guests, traveling the kingdom and tending to the sickly. Most of the people here fear and dislike bone witches, though with lesser fervor than before. It is not easy to hold a grudge against someone who has nursed you back to health.

At the king’s invitation, Mykaela had taken up residence in the castle indefinitely. But every day finds her weaker, and I feared the palace would serve as her hospice.

“There are many other concerns, Tea. Likh has a new case pending, hasn’t he?”

The asha association had rejected Likh’s appeal to join, but Polaire had dredged up an obscure law that permitted Deathseekers to train in the Willows until they turned fifteen, which was Likh’s current age.
Mykaela glanced over Fox’s shoulder, back at the catacombs, then turned away.

She still loves him, I thought, and fury burned through me like a fever. “I’m really sorry, Mykkie.”

She smiled. “As I said, only if you mean it, Tea. Get some rest. We’ve got a busy day ahead.”

* * *

I listened until my brother’s footsteps faded before sneaking out of my room a second time. I opened the doors of my mind to welcome the hidden shadows; they wrapped around my core, creating a barrier that had for many months prevented Fox from discovering the other sentience I hoarded away, like a sweet vintage I had no intentions of sharing. I couldn’t. Not yet.

Chief waited for me at the stables. A lone woman on a horse caused no outcry, and we rode undisturbed out of the city, into a copse of trees that hid us further from view. I climbed off my stallion, told him to await my return, and moved deeper into the forest, into a small clearing that served as a rendezvous point.

I reached out once more to the moving darkness. The scar on my right thigh was hot to the touch. It burned in the cold air, but I felt no pain.

Despite its size, the beast was made of stealth and shadows. Where there was once nothing, it now stood beside me, as if summoned from the air. Three pairs of hooded eyes gazed down at me, forked tongues dancing. Its wings extended, and twilight rolled over me, soothing and pleasant.

Master? It was a voice but not in the manner we think of voices. Our bond gave us an understanding that went beyond language.

I reached out. Its scaly hide was a combination of coarse bark and rough sandpaper.

Play? It sat, unmoving, as I climbed up its back.

Yes.

In the blink of an eye, we were soaring across the sky, rolling meadows and fields of green passing below us. Turn, I thought, testing the limits of my control, as I have over the last several months. The azi complied, wings curving toward the horizon. I laughed, the sound joyous and free against the wind, and one head dipped briefly to nuzzle at my cheek, purring.

This is not selfishness, I told myself, but a responsibility. Mykaela was partly right; I was arrogant and overconfident, but I was not like other Dark asha. No other Dark asha had been able to tame the azi. And riding with it on quiet nights meant it was not rampaging through cities.

But I also knew I had to keep my companion a secret. Raising a dead king was a far lesser sin than taking a daeva as a familiar. I shall conquer this, I thought and, in doing so, sealed my fate.

Why are we at Daanoris?” I asked again when she paused. “Why won’t you tell me?”

“Because I need you as a witness as well as a storyteller, Bard. You will not remain unbiased for long if I supply you with foresight.”

“You summoned me. I travel with you. My opinions will make little difference.”

“You have a reputation for impartiality, Bard. I trust your judgment and my prudence. And here in Santiang, there is someone I would like you to meet.”

“Who?”

“They call him the Heartforger.” She flashed me a quick mischievous grin. “I find it difficult to believe you will be so eager to rule in my favor after the endless stretch of corpses I summoned in my wake. Or after informing you of my intentions to take Daanoris. It is not easy to mask your repugnance. Why have I come to Daanoris? Perhaps simply because I can. Has that not crossed your mind?”

“Tea,” Kalen admonished, his voice low and amused.

She laughed. “Let me continue my story while we still have the luxury.”

The shadows grew across the trees. The daeva melted slowly into the forest, moving silently despite their sizes. No other sound passed through the woods—no chirping of birds nor chatter of squirrels. There was only the wind whispering through the leaves, the crackling of fire, and the sound of the asha’s voice.

Giveaway:

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Copies of The Heart Forger

Runs March 20 -March 31 (US & Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Review: Obsidio - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Asha Grant came to Kerenza to escape her past. Too bad he just caught up with her.

Asha survived BeiTech’s initial assault and has been working undercover with the hopelessly outmatched resistance ever since. The last thing she expected to worry about was her ex-boyfriend, Rhys Lindstrom who just landed planetside. Is he her way out – or guarantee she never gets off this frozen rock alive?

But Asha’s not the only one with problems. Her cousin Kady’s ragtag band of survivors are headed for Kerenza – without enough oxygen to last the journey. Oh, and there might be an insurrection brewing.

With BeiTech hurrying to repair their damaged jump gate, and a mass extermination planned for the Kerenza civilians, only a miracle could save them now. And everyone knows that miracles are just statistical probabilities…right?

BRIEFING NOTE: From bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – and select journal entries from Marie Lu – comes the heart-stopping, heartbreaking finale in the trilogy that broke the mould and has been called “stylistically mesmerizing” and “out-of-this-world awesome.”

Illuminae Files:
Illuminae
Gemina
Obsidio

Visit Amie Kaufman's website or Jay Kristoff's website for more information

Review:
With the Hemidall Jump Station destroyed the survivors on Hypatia have no way to get back to our Solar System, they're stuck in the far reaches of the galaxy with no hope of help arriving and not enough supplies to last them. Their only chance is to head back to Kerenza to see if there is anything left of the mining colony BeiTech set out to destroy. Meanwhile, on Kerenza, Kady's cousin Asha is one of the survivors of the initial assault and has been secretly working with the resistance ever since. BeiTech has control of the colony but everyone knows that as soon as they've managed to repair their damaged jump ship the Kerenza survivors will be murdered and BeiTech will be free to leave the system with very little chance of ever getting caught for their crimes. Time is running out, the only question is can the miners delay repairs on the jump ship long enough for the Hypatia and Hemidall survivors to reach them?

I fell in love with this series the minute I picked up a copy of Illuminae so it's no surprise that Obsidio was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. This series has been absolutely incredibly from start to finish and I'm very happy to say that it went out on the highest of high notes. If you've read the previous books then you'll have a good idea what to expect from this book, it's in the same clever format full of interviews, emails, instant message conversations, diary entries, video logs and so much more. I still can't get over how creative these books are and how incredibly well the format works for the story. Somehow Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff manage to create such brilliant characters and then put readers through an emotional wringer that is actually pretty exhausting but ridiculously satisfying at the same time.

It won't surprise fans to know that this book is just as fast paced, action packed and full of jaw dropping twists as the previous two. We get to meet some fantastic new characters and I loved seeing what has been happening on Kerenza while we've all been away. It's pretty heartbreaking to see how much of the colony has been destroyed but I loved seeing how clever Asha and the rebels were and the way they are fighting back. At this point they've got nothing to lose and they're determined to take down as many of BieTech's soldiers as they can before they die. We also get to spend plenty of time with our favourite characters from previous books, everything has been so cleverly written that little hints from previous books suddenly make so much more sense here. I decided to reread Illuminae and Gemina before starting Obsidio and I'm so glad I did, not only because they were excellent enough to stand up to a reread, but also because there are so many little things I'd have missed without that refresher.

It's very rare to find a series that I can rate 5 stars from beginning to end but that's what you've got with the Illuminae Files. I'm so sad it's over but I have loved every minute of the journey and it couldn't have had a more perfect and fitting end. I know this is a series I'll be rereading in the future but in the meantime I can't wait to see what else Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff come up with. I already love everything else I've read by them - both written together and separately - so they're definitely auto-buy authors that I can't recommend highly enough.

Source: Received from Rock the Boat in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Review: Ivan - Kit Rocha

As the sheltered princess of Sector One, Maricela’s life is defined by duty: to her people and to her family. Her wealth and influence have allowed her to build a better world, but they come with a price---the responsibility to secure political stability with a practical marriage. Maricela cherishes the idea of marrying for love, but there’s not much romance in the endless line of suitors interested only in prestige and power.

And her handsome, brooding new bodyguard isn’t helping the situation.

Ivan is the perfect, deadly warrior, a man trained from childhood to be the ultimate protector to the Rios family. His focus on keeping her safe is intense--and a little intoxicating. When the threat of danger cracks his icy control, Maricela realizes she’s not the only one fighting against temptation.

Ivan knows that the blood on his hands makes him unworthy of the pure-hearted princess. But from the first kiss, their forbidden affair feels inevitable. He can give her a glimpse of life outside her gilded cage and a lover who wants the woman instead of the crown. The only thing he can never do is promise her forever.

Because spurning her noble suitors to marry her bodyguard wouldn’t just be a scandal. It could set off a political firestorm that would tear Sector One apart.

Beyond Series:
Beyond Shame
Beyond Control
Beyond Denial (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Pain
Beyond Temptation (Novella in the Marked Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Jealousy
Beyond Solitude (Novella in the Alpha's After Dark Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Addiction
Beyond Possession (Novella)
Beyond Innocence
Closed Doors (A Beyond Happily Ever After short story)
Blank Canvas (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Ruin
Beyond Ecstasy
Beyond Surrender
Beyond Doubt (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Beyond Forever (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Creative Incentives (Free short story)
Cravings (Free short story)
Dessert (Free short story)

Gideon's Riders Series:
(Spin off series)
Ashwin
Deacon
Ivan

Visit Kit Rocha's website for more information.

Review:
As a princess of Sector One, Maricela has been sheltered and protected her entire life. Now it's her job to find a suitable husband from the nobility, one who will be able to help her ensure continued stability for the sector. Her sister is determined to help her make the right match but Maricela knows the men she is being introduced to are only interested in the prestige of her close family relationship with the Prophet and she dreams of marrying for love instead.

Ivan is one of Gideon's Riders, he is a fierce protecter of the Rios family and currently Maricela's bodyguard. Ivan's father was sainted for giving up his life to save a member of the family but his uncles ruined their family name by committing treason and Ivan has lived with the guilt of that for his entire life. All Ivan has ever wanted was to make his mother proud and he would never dream of going against Gideon's wishes but watching Maricela give up her own happiness for the sake of the sector is slowly killing him and he wants to give her a taste of the freedom she's always been denied.

Romance doesn't get much more forbidden than a princess and her bodyguard so this story had a perfect amount of longing glances and heartache as Maricela and Ivan both fell head over heels but knew their relationship was doomed before it even had a chance to begin. As a princess who has always been given everything she wanted it would have been easy for Maricela to have become spoilt but she knows just how privileged she has been and works hard to help people who are less fortunate than she is. I love her ideas for helping the refugees that are still arriving in Sector One after the war in Eden and it was nice to see that she was putting her skills to good use.

Maricela is under a lot of pressure amongst the nobility to find a suitable husband though, everyone wants a piece of her and Ivan is the only one who really sees and understands how much of a toll it takes on her. I loved how protective he was but also that he wanted to show her what it was like to be normal. It was so sweet when he would sneak her away just to do simple things like walk around a market where nobody would recognise her and I enjoyed seeing them spending time together away from all the pressures of home. Ivan's backstory was hard to read about, as much as there are a lot of things to like about life in Sector One I'm not a fan of some of the rules there. The way the Riders are expected to give up their chance at a family of their own seems so wrong to me and I'm glad that Gideon and the rest of his family are working so hard to change certain attitudes in that quarter.

This story has a lot of sexual tension between the main couple and it's a long time before they give into it but that just made it all the sweeter. Lots of lingering glances and sneaked touches helped to really ramp up that chemistry until an explosion was inevitable. They're actually a pretty adorable couple and fit together perfectly and I loved the slow build to their romance. We've also had some strong hints over future couples here and I'm definitely looking forward to continuing the series. Kit Rocha never let me down and I'm always excited to spend more time in this world.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Review: Dessert - Kit Rocha

Caution: this story is not meant to stand alone. The Beyond Happily Ever After stories are vignettes and outtakes showing the O'Kanes in their daily lives, in between the adventures and often after their happy endings. These stories were written exclusively for readers and fans of the series, and will probably not make very much sense to anyone not familiar with the characters.

Length: 3600 words
Characters: Hawk & Jeni
Timeline: Set after Beyond Surrender.

Dessert: September 2017 Patreon Reward Story. This story is a short vignette voted on by our Patreon supporters. In it, Hawk & Jeni settle into their domestic routine and decide on a very fun use for their kitchen table. (Note: Patreon stories are exclusive to subscribers for the first six months. After that, they'll be available to download free on our website.)

Now available to read for free on Kit Rocha's website: http://kitrocha.com/book/beyond-happily-ever-after-dessert/

Beyond Series:
Beyond Shame
Beyond Control
Beyond Denial (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Pain
Beyond Temptation (Novella in the Marked Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Jealousy
Beyond Solitude (Novella in the Alpha's After Dark Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Addiction
Beyond Possession (Novella)
Beyond Innocence
Closed Doors (A Beyond Happily Ever After short story)
Blank Canvas (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Ruin
Beyond Ecstasy
Beyond Surrender
Beyond Doubt (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Beyond Forever (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Creative Incentives (Free short story)
Cravings (Free short story)
Dessert (Free short story)

Gideon's Riders Series:
(Spin off series)
Ashwin
Deacon
Ivan

Visit Kit Rocha's website for more information.

Review:
Dessert is a short story that was originally available through Kit Rocha's Patreon page where you can sponsor the author and read a short story every month. After six months these stories become available on Kit Rocha's website so you can now read this one for free.

It's been a while since Jeni and Hawk's story (book 8, Beyond Ecstasy) so it was great to get the chance to catch up with them and see how they're doing as a couple. This is a more spicy short than Cravings was and captures the couple spending some quality time together after a family dinner. If you're a fan of this series then you won't be at all surprised to find out that Dessert doesn't involve food at all LOL.

Source: Read for free on Kit Rocha's website

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Review: Cravings - Kit Rocha

Caution: this story is not meant to stand alone. The Beyond Happily Ever After stories are vignettes and outtakes showing the O'Kanes in their daily lives, in between the adventures and often after their happy endings. These stories were written exclusively for readers and fans of the series, and will probably not make very much sense to anyone not familiar with the characters.

Length: 2,511 words
Characters: Noelle and Jas
Timeline: Set before Beyond Forever.

Cravings: August 2017 Patreon Reward Story. This story is a short vignette voted on by our Patreon supporters. In it, Jas takes care of a very pregnant Noelle as they discuss the future they want for their family--and its legacy. It's short, it's sweet, and it's a lot of fun. (Also, find out what their kid will be named!)

Now available to read for free on Kit Rocha's website: http://kitrocha.com/book/beyond-hea-cravings/

Beyond Series:
Beyond Shame
Beyond Control
Beyond Denial (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Pain
Beyond Temptation (Novella in the Marked Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Jealousy
Beyond Solitude (Novella in the Alpha's After Dark Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Addiction
Beyond Possession (Novella)
Beyond Innocence
Closed Doors (A Beyond Happily Ever After short story)
Blank Canvas (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Ruin
Beyond Ecstasy
Beyond Surrender
Beyond Doubt (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Beyond Forever (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Creative Incentives (Free short story)
Cravings (Free short story)
Dessert (Free short story)

Gideon's Riders Series:
(Spin off series)
Ashwin
Deacon
Ivan

Visit Kit Rocha's website for more information.

Review:
Cravings is a short story that was originally available through Kit Rocha's Patreon page where you can sponsor the author and read a short story every month. After six months these stories become available on Kit Rocha's website so you can now read this one for free.

This story gives us a chance to catch up with the first couple from the series Noelle and Jas, of course we've seen lots of them throughout the series but usually with Lex and Dallas so it was nice to have a story that focuses on just the two of them. Noelle is now heavily pregnant and I loved seeing Jas spoil her and I loved getting to find out the future baby's name too.

Cravings was a sweet story rather than a spicy one but it was a lovely slice of life and it makes me want to go back and start rereading the original books.

Source: Read for free on Kit Rocha's website

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Review: Born of Darkness - Lara Adrian

New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian introduces the first novel in a thrilling new vampire romance series set in the darkly seductive Midnight Breed paranormal story world.

As a former assassin in the Hunter program, Asher is one of a small group of Gen One Breed vampires who survived the horrors of a madman’s laboratory and the cruelty of the training that made him one of the most lethal beings in existence. Now, twenty years after his escape from those hellish origins, Asher is a loner whose heart is as cold as his skills are merciless. But when he thwarts a killing under way in the middle of the desert outside Las Vegas, Asher meets a beautiful woman who draws him into a deadly game against powerful enemies—one that will test both his skills and his tarnished honor.

Naomi Fallon is used to getting out of dicey situations. Orphaned as a child after her mother’s murder, she didn’t survive twenty-six years on the street without using up most of her nine lives. But when her latest caper lands her in the Mojave against a Vegas gangster’s henchman, she’s certain her number is up. Then he appears—immense, brutal, and far from human. Naomi’s never needed anyone’s help, least of all one of the Breed. But after one risk too many, only a man with Asher’s skills can keep her safe. Yet the solitary, seductively handsome vampire has enemies of his own, and a secret that will not only shatter her faith in him but her heart, proving what she’s feared all along—that trust is only an illusion and love may be the sharpest weapon of all.

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness

Visit Lara Adrian's website for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books. Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

Review:
Born of Darkness is the first book in Lara Adrian's new Hunter Legacy series, a spin of set in the same world as her bestselling Midnight Breed books. Each of these stories are going to be standalone paranormal romances so you don't have to be familiar with the original series to enjoy them but longtime fans will appreciate the chance to spend more time in this world and to find out what happened to the many Gen One Breed Hunters bred and trained by Dragos.

It's been 20 years since Asher escaped from his hellish upbringing in the labs and he prefers to live a pretty solitary existence in an isolated home in the middle of the desert. He's never really forgiven himself for the things he was forced to do as a child and he's barely kept in contact with any of his siblings. Naomi lost her family when she was only a child, her mother was murdered and her time in the system ended with her living on the streets fending for herself. She does whatever it takes to survive and help protect the other children she cares about but her latest scheme has left her in more danger than ever before. When Asher comes to her rescue he plans to just drop her at the nearest hospital and be done with her but when he realises she is a Breedmate he is honour bound to protect her until the danger has passed.

This was the perfect blend of romance, action and suspense and a brilliant start to a new series. Both main characters were great they may have had difficult backgrounds but with work they were able to turn their lives around. Asher is a loner who is wary of letting anyone get close because he worries they'll blame him for his past but Naomi is open and warmhearted and does everything she can to help others who are in a similar situation to her. It takes a while for Asher to open up but inside he's just as protective as Naomi and he has brilliant instincts. They're both strong characters who refuse to back down so there are plenty of fireworks between them but I think that just made their romance even more passionate.

I love the Midnight Breed world so it was a joy to dive into this story even though we don't actually see any characters from the main series. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of the Hunters and I hope we'll see more of Asher and Naomi again too, I'd like to see him rebuild his relationship with his brothers a little and I think Naomi is the perfect person to help him do that. I have a feeling we've already met at least one half of the next couple and I'm definitely looking forward to their story too.

Source: I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Monday, 26 March 2018

Review: Danger's Hunt - Amanda Carlson

The hunt is on…

Holly won’t rest until the outskirt is found. The militia who kidnapped him believe they have the upper hand, but they know nothing about what Holly carries in her pocket. With the status reader, Case is as good as found.

But once she arrives, things get dangerous fast. Tillman and his crew are expecting her. There’s nothing left to do but break through the walls before it’s too late. But what Holly finds is beyond shattering.

Once they arrive South, it’s a race to save the outskirt’s life. The scientists have some tricks up their sleeves, but time might run out before danger descends. When it does, they barely have time to make it out alive.

Holly Danger Series:
Danger's Halo
Danger's Vice
Danger's Race
Danger's Cure
Danger's Hunt

Visit Amanda Carlson's website for more information

Review:
Each new book in this series ramps the stakes for Holly and her crew even higher and that's no exception in Danger's Hunt. What starts as a rescue mission when Holly goes after the militia group who captured Case quickly evolves into so much more when the group uncover some huge revelations. This whole series has been fast paced and full of action but this book is another game changer and the more we uncover the more hope we start to feel for the future of humanity.

It's so hard to review the fifth book in a series that's as intertwined as this one because talking about even minor events in this instalment can give major spoilers for previous books. This is one of those series that you have to read the books in the correct order - you'd really be missing out if you started here - but it's been such a joy to read that I'd highly recommend getting hold of Danger's Halo as soon as possible.

Fans of the series will love this latest instalment, I've waited a long time for some of the things that happened in this story and I love how all of the team have their own role to play. Holly is as brilliant as ever, Masie also added plenty of humour and her character had some brilliant developments and Daze stole the show as always. We find out a lot more about Case's background and we get to see all of Holly's original crew members (Bender, Lockland & Darby) working together towards a common goal. The direction the series is heading is a really interesting one and I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the next book!

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Review: Three to Ride - Lexi Blake

Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel's world reeling. Now she's running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It's a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they're both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other...

When Rachel's past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she's found with Max and Rye and the home she's built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It's time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.

Nights in Bliss Series:
(Originally published under the pen name Sophie Oak)
Three to Ride
Two to Love
One to Keep
Lost in Bliss

Visit Lexi Blake's website for more information

Review:
Three to Ride is the first book in Lexi Blake's Nights in Bliss, Colorado series that was originally published under the pen name Sophie Oak. These stories are being updated with additional content and I can't wait to continue reading the series!

Rachel Swift is on the run from the stalker who has done everything in his power to ruin her life since she turned down a second date with him. Luckily for Rachel she had people who were able to help give her a new identity and she escaped but her stalker is a police officer who has already managed to track her down once so she has no doubt he's still hunting for her. When she arrives in Bliss she's practically out of cash and getting desperate but the town welcomes her with open arms and she slowly starts to make friends. The last thing she intended to do was start dating but it's been so long since she last felt attracted to anyone that surely a fling with Max for the short time she's in town couldn't hurt? Of course that all changes when she realises Max's brother Rye is the local sheriff and that the brothers have a reputation of liking to share their women...

I love menage stories so I jumped at the chance to review Three to Ride even though I'm always more sceptical when it's brothers who are involved, I usually prefer my menage stories to involve no relatives but I was actually surprised at how well it works here. Max and Rye are identical twins who are so close they're practically two halves of one person so it's not really that surprising that they want to continue living intertwined lives like that. Their last menage relationship didn't end well though so they agreed that in the future they'll stick to finding their own relationships, they just didn't realise how hard that could be when they both started to fall for the same woman. Rachel has every reason to be wary of men in general and the police in particular after the spectacular ways they failed her when her stalker became obsessed and drove her from her home so it made sense that she was initially wary of Rye and I really enjoyed watching her relationship develop with Max.

Both guys were great characters and it was easy to see why Rachel found it impossible to resist both of them in the long run, my only (very small) complaint is that I would have liked to have seen more of them together as a threesome. For over half the book it's just Rachel and Max together with Rye looking on from the sidelines so although it was completely understandable and worked really well as far as the relationship development went I'm greedy and wanted more of them all happily together.

This is my first Lexi Blake book (and I'm kicking myself because I've had a friend trying to get me to read her books for YEARS!) but it definitely won't be the last. I already can't wait for the rest of this series to be reissued but I'm happy that she's got a huge backlist for me to start working my way through. Three to Ride is erotic romance with a cute small town setting, Bliss is full of fun and eccentric characters and I loved how everyone has their own quirks and nobody judges anyone else for their choices. If only there were more places like this in real life, I have to hope they're out there somewhere but I've never found one!

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Blog Tour: Three to Ride - Lexi Blake (Excerpt)


Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel's world reeling. Now she's running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It's a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they're both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other...

When Rachel's past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she's found with Max and Rye and the home she's built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It's time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.



Excerpt:

Max's hands slid down to cup his girlfriend's perfect cheeks. He pulled her close and didn't try to disguise the erection he was sporting. It had been days since he'd gotten inside her. It was starting to make him crazy.

"Hello, gorgeous," he breathed as he leaned down to slant his mouth across hers.

Rachel softened against him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She didn't protest as his tongue swept in to play with hers. He hauled her up so her feet were dangling. It was the only way to get her pussy where he wanted it. He rubbed himself against her. He knew it made him a caveman, but he wanted to mark her as his. He wanted her to get a tattoo on that perfect ass of hers that read Property of the Harper Brothers.

Max set her down. His brain went there all the time now. He couldn't stop thinking about Rachel between him and Rye. "What's for breakfast?"

"Pancakes and sausage," she replied with a suspicious gleam in her eyes.

He kissed her forehead gently and went to sit down at the kitchen table. He was very careful since she was studying him like she was trying to guess what he would do next. He didn't want her to figure out what he was thinking. He had more than one thing he needed to hide from her today. He schooled his features to express nothing but innocence.

"Oh, God, what are you thinking?" Rachel looked utterly horrified. "Who are you going to kill?"

"What?" Max asked, holding his hands up in confusion.

She rounded the table and leaned over. He couldn't help but notice she wasn't wearing a bra. If he leaned in a bit, he could see the curve of her breasts and the faintest hint of nipple.

"Eyes up, mister," she ordered in what he'd come to think of as her "drill sergeant" voice. His eyes obediently came up. He'd learned when it was in his best interests to obey her immediately. His baby was one tough cookie, and he was man enough to admit he needed her to be that way. He would walk all over her otherwise. That would make for one boring relationship. Rachel kept him on his toes.

"Sorry, baby." He would try to distract her with charm. He had some of that. He smiled and pulled her hand into his. He tugged her down onto his lap. "I can't help it. I get distracted by your breasts. They're pretty. And I'm really, really horny. We haven't had sex in days. It's killing me."

She rolled her eyes and sighed. Her arms went around his neck. "You just had surgery. You haven't even had the stitches out yet. The doctor said we should wait a few days."

"It's been almost a week." He put a little whine in his voice. Maybe if she thought he was simply horny, she would forget her suspicions. It was imperative that she not figure out what he had done after she'd gone to sleep. "I promise I could be super still. I would lie perfectly still, and you could do all the work."

She grinned. It did strange things to his heart. "That sounds tempting. I'll call the doctor today, and I'll see if we can get him to let you off the leash."

She kissed his cheek. She got up and went to the stove, where she poured out pancake batter. Max relaxed.

She rounded on him suddenly. "You're sure you're not planning something terrible?"

She knew him far too well. He grimaced inwardly. This was where Rye would come in handy. Rye could distract her. Rachel was far too much woman for one man. He needed his brother because Max had figured out that a tag team approach was required when Rachel got saucy. But he was all on his own now. He didn't like the feeling.

"Baby, I'm planning on doing some light work around the barn. I'm going to spend some time with Sunflower, and then I'll have Rye drive me into Del Norte for my checkup. That's my plan." It was true. It was part of his plan. He didn't mention the stop he intended to make.

Her eyes narrowed, and he wondered briefly if she could make that spatula into a weapon. He thought she probably could. Max sighed. He could make it into one, too. He could pull her over his lap and shove those boxers off her hips, then spank that pert rear. He wouldn't hurt her. He'd simply get her bottom all pink and pretty. He'd rather use his hand, though.

"You have crazy eyes today, Max. What did you just think?" she asked breathlessly.

Rye stood in the doorway. He had on jeans and a T-shirt. His hair was still wet from his shower. "He was wondering how you would handle it if he pulled you across his lap and spanked you with your spatula. You should use your hand, Max. It would be better."

Rachel's mouth fell open. She looked between the two of them like she was trying to figure out what to say.

Max pointed at Rye. "He said it."

Rye shrugged. "He was thinking it."

"So were you."

Rye's face fell. Max saw him look down at the crotch of his jeans. "Damn it."

Rye turned and walked back down the hall. Max knew exactly where he was going.

"What's wrong with him?" She looked concerned as his brother marched off.

Max smiled broadly. Rye had done his job. She wasn't thinking about his potential plans anymore. She set a plate in front of him.

"I guess he's not hungry," Max lied.

His brother was hungry, all right. He'd been hungry since the minute he laid eyes on Rachel.


About Lexi Blake:

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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