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No Limits

No Limits - Lori Foster

I've written this review twice and both times it got deleted before I can post so here's a summary of the things I wanted to say: 

First, let me start by saying that I was excited to see that we were finally getting a book about Cannon. I was also excited to get MMA fighters back. 
Cannon and Yvette were fun to follow and I really enjoy watching their story unfold. Normally I'm put off a little by the fact that I've already got the conclusion figured out before I'm even half way through the book, but I was so caught up in their story, the minor plot lines of the supporting characters and the few cameos from Love Undercover characters, that I didn't really mind. I will say that I felt like one of the "bad" characters was superfluous and distracted from the overall book. It melded well with the story itself, but in the grand scheme of things it was just extra and took away from opportunities for Forester to develop the main plot line, which would have strengthened the book. 
What Foster did really well in No Limits, was set up the supporting characters for future stories. She got me interested in continuing the series and seeing how their tales unfold. 

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Killer Instinct was so much fun to read. I have had to train myself to put books down by a certain time every night since I now have to be at work before dawn, but I broke my rule with this book. I'm not normally fascinated by serial killers. I honestly think societies fascination with them is sickening and they don't deserve the attention. All that attention just feeds into their egos. Because of this I tend to avoid books about serial killers. That being said, I have read a bit from Barnes before and while some aren't the greatest books in the world, they're generally fun reads so I gave The Naturals a chance.
After receiving an ARC copy, I picked up book one and quickly realized this is by far my favorite series by Barnes. Book two solidified that belief. If it had just been about the killings, I would have found myself indifferent. Instead, I was fascinated by the kids and the way their minds worked. I liked the profiling. It was fun to watch how the naturals manage to unravel the smallest details. I was able to predict one of the plot twists pretty early on from all of the clues, but there was still more twists to come. I had some ideas of possibilities, but I came to be certain around the same time the characters did. I love that Barnes was able to still have some secrets stashed away. It would have still been enjoyable, but that made it better.
I haven't seen any comments about whether there will be more books in this series, but she's certainly left the possibilities open. I hope her publishers allow her to get past book two. Each of her series feel like they needed one or two more books to make them complete, so I'd be happy if this was the series to finally get the green light.

Once Perfect

Once Perfect - Cecy Robson

Once Perfect was a wonderful read. I love that the author took time to build the characters. They didn't meet one day and the next they're practically engaged. This reads more like a real relationship that takes time to progress. Evie and Mateo have had equally troublesome pasts. Despite that, and while they're still vulnerable, they both have an inner strength that's great to see. Evie doesn't have an alpha personality, but she refuses to cower when it's truly important. I think that's a great balance for her. She's not the strongest female character in the world, but she's not someone to walk over either. That's a fine line that authors tend to struggle with when writing about people with traumatic pasts and Robson did a wonderful job. 
While Mateo and Evie are great, the supporting cast of characters are pretty special too. At first I wasn't thrilled with the girls at the club, or the owner, but over time they grew on me. Although, I'm a little terrified of Sam now. TMI! I loved Mateo's sisters and I'm very excited to follow them into future books. I can't wait to read about Sophia.

Burying Water

Burying Water - K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker always manages to provide an interesting plot mixed with something emotionally draining or just uncomfortable enough that your stomach never really settles while reading her stories. I always have to prepare myself mentally before reading one of her books. Burying Water continues in the same line. The main character wakes up a Jane Doe in the middle of a small town hospital. All she knows is that she was brutally beaten and a raped. While she's lucky to have survived, she also must struggle with the knowledge that she knows nothing about who she is, or how she came to be in that condition. 
Burying Water was a nicely paced read that really managed to grab my attention. When it first started I was slightly confused. The story jumps back and forth between the past and the present. I don't think I would have been confused if I were reading it in book form, but since I was reading an early review copy I took a few things for granted. I'm use to a lot of weird formatting and the random word that just doesn't fit. In this case I overlooked the very simple indications of which time frame a chapter was in simply because the word started with a lower case letter. I thought it was a formatting error. After two or three chapters of slight confusion, I figured it out and was able to settle in to the story. 
I really enjoyed the characters and the way Tucker brings everyone together. I even forced myself to stop reading as the climax of the book approached because I wanted to be able to finish it without any distractions or interruptions. I waited until no one was home so I could fully enjoy the story. There's a wonderful blend of hopelessness, resiliency, and strength in the story that I truly appreciated. 


Splintered - A.G. Howard

I tried and tried. This is one of those books that started out so-so, but I was somewhat intrigued. Next thing I know, I've renewed the story with the library until I hit my limit. Each page has been a struggle for me. I'm 60 pages from the end and I'm calling it quits. I kept trying, but there's a certain point when I just have to admit that I'm done. Sorry, but it wasn't for me. 

Not Quite a Wife

Not Quite a Wife - Mary Jo Putney

A lot of historical romance novels tend to reuse the same plots over and over again. I really enjoyed Not Quite a Wife because it mixed a few of the normal events up. Putney's characters were separated years prior to the setting of the story. They weren't separated by when someone was lost at sea, got amnesia, or some other overly dramatic event. Laurel made a conscious decision to leave. That's rare in the historical romance genre. On top of that, the climax of the book isn't caused by a bad guy that's obsessed with Laurel,trying to get back at her husband, gain a title, or land. It's caused by someone who has something else he's after. The climax of the book is pretty predictable if you're paying attention to foreshadowing, but that's okay. Putney brings in all of our favorites from past Lost Lords stories. It was fun to get to experience them all again. The series is definitely worth the read. 

Hard Knocks

Hard Knocks: An Ultimate Novella - Lori Foster

Normally I'm disappointed in short stories since I never feel like they have time to fully develop. Hard Knocks left me feeling like I had a great little read. More importantly, it got me excited for Fosters new series.
The story had a great mix of humor, romance, and sweetness. What made Hard Knocks stand out were the friendships. A bunch of big muscled, fighting men getting interested in their friends personal life. Despite whatever they may have had going on in their pasts, they're a great group of guys that will be interesting to read about.

Up in Flames

Up In Flames: Body HeatCaught in the Act (Hqn) - Lori Foster

This book is a mixed review for me. I adore Lori Foster and I always have a lot of fun reading her books. In a rare turn of events, I struggled through Body Heat (2 stars) . Luckily, Caught in the Act (3.75 stars) was right back to fulfilling my expectations.

Body Heat:
This was your typical stranded on a deserted island story. You can see where Foster tries really hard to make the story unique and interesting, but it was hard to connect to the main characters on more than a superficial level. If it hadn't been written by Lori Foster I would have put the book down. I hate saying that, but I the characters failed to illicit any type of emotion. The brother did spark my interest a little bit, but he was a minor character and it was a case of too little, too late.

Caught in the Act:
This story was SO much better than the first. It felt more like a book from Foster. The romantic connection happens quickly, but for once I didn't really mind. I loved the supporting characters and it was easy to get sucked into the story. My only complaint is that I felt like I was missing out on a previous book. It felt like supporting characters had been apart of a series I've never read. Turns out they were. If I had known before hand I would have read all the books first. It wasn't necessary since Foster provides a little bit of a background, but I'm OCD that way. Dane, Alec and the rest of the cast have managed to add an extra series onto my TBR list.

Games of the Heart (The 'Burg, #4) - Kristen Ashley

Said by a middle school kid to a woman in her 30's:

"'Make sure you get her home at a decent hour.

 This was Kirby, following and being what he was: cute and dorky. I turned to him and asked. 'Am I grounded if I'm not home by midnight?' Kirby's eyebrows shout up and he said, 'Midnight? Your curfew's ten'"

Golden Trail - Kristen Ashley

"Because even one voice in a wilderness of ignorance is a voice that is heard by someone." 


"See, that's the beauty of books. We get to take what we want out of them and it can be different for everyone. You get a good one, you may even find what you need."


"If you're nothing else in this life, be wise, be compassionate and be strong, because those three things are everything."

At Peace - Kristen Ashley

When given a hard time about being a guy and having gone shopping...


"Rulebook says I can shop for furniture and shit with plugs."

For You - Kristen Ashley
""...'What you doin' at the station on your day off?' Kath asked. 'Heard Monica's in lock down so I came to take a picture.' He lifted up a digital camera. 'Wanna put one in the visor of all the cruisers, do my bit to keep morale up.' He turned to me. 'Wanna copy?'"
Shield of Winter - Nalini Singh
""Heroes are often the quietest people in a room, the ones least willing to lay claim to the title...These men and women simply go about doing what needs to be done without any expectation of gratitude or fame. It is in their nature to protect and to shield and to fight against darkness, whatever form it may take.""
Then Came You - Jill Shalvis
""This was the stuff nightmares were made of. Going to school in your Spiderman pj's. Giving a public speech naked. And discovering you'd accidentally slept with your boss."

"'That's because your idea of exercise is reading in bed until your arms hurt from holding up your kindle'..... 'Calories,' Emily said on a sigh. 'The evil tiny creatures that live in my closet and sew my clothes a littler tighter ever night.'""
Be with Me: A Novel (Wait for You) - J. Lynn


 "College was so strange. It was like high school with little to no parental influence. We still had to take classes we didn't want to take, except we actually had to pay for them, which really kind of sucked ass."



The Countess Conspiracy - Courtney Milan
"'Ah, the rule that says that women aren't allowed to be intelligent.' He brushed a kiss against her forehead. 'Burn that one to the ground, Violet, and dance on the ashes. And damn anyone who tells you it's selfish to do so.'"