Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine

Along Came A Spider
by Kate SeRine
Series: Transplanted Tales #3
Publisher: Kensington 
Publication date: August 1, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase* Barnes and Noble/Amazon

When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help. Although Nicky’s renegade style goes against everything Trish stands for, she’ll do what she must to bring Dracula down. With danger stalking her, Trish knows the only person she can count on is the one man who has the power to leave her breathless. There’s no way she’s letting this spider frighten her away…
I have really been enjoying Kate SeRine’s Transplant Tale series and was excited to finally read Along Came A Spider featuring the tale characters Trish Muffet and Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. This is the third book in the series and I recommend reading them in order since you will lose some of the story and charm. When a spell went wrong some of our favorite fairy tales, characters etc where pulled from their books and ended up in the Here and Now. They live secretly among us; have their own government, rules and task force. Once again SeRine gave me an entertaining, action-packed, sweet ride and I consumed this in a single sitting. Three word review: unique, captivating and fun.  

Trish Muffet, yes that’s right “Little Miss Muffet” complete with cork-screw blood hair is a member of the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. (FMA) when she is attacked at a crime scene she is both surprised and elated when Nicky “Little Boy” Blue comes to her rescue. She hasn’t laid eyes on him since he left two years ago. She is surprised to discover he is the vigilante known as “The Spider” who has been taking out predators in search of Vlad Dracula. Nicky needs Trish’s help and the tale that unfolds is action-packed, laced with a romance straight from one of those black and white noir movies.

Trish Muffet is one touch little cookie wrapped in cuteness. Since she crossed over she has had a thing for Nicky and it was delightful seeing their feelings come to the surface. She is a little snarky, and brave despite some serious fear issues. I loved how she would step in front of her friends to protect them. Nicky is smexy, cocky and I just envisioned him as Neal Caffrey from the hit TV series White Collar. He has ties to the criminal world and it seems everyone owes him a favor. I loved how he called Trish, “Doll” it fit his whole persona. He also carries around a lot of guilt and doesn’t feel he is worthy making him incredibly irresistible. Nate and Red make an appearance as do the rest of the gang. I adored some of the secondary characters such as Gideon with his arching eyebrow. Many story characters make appearances throughout the novel and seeing what they were doing in the Here and Now was cool. The Agency (human enforcement team that know about Tales) and its men are heavily involved and I wanted to smack a few of them in the head making for some intense scenes.

Serine weaved a fascinating tale surrounding Vlad Dracula, the Agency and our couple. It was filled with intense action scenes and creepy mental games. The tender moments between the tales had me sighing. I love that all of the characters are unique and while we recognize them and their tales they have developed in the Here and Now. SeRine’s interpretation of them had me giggling one moment and dropping my jaw the next, it was fantastic!  Nicky and Trish have a history and I loved the back-story. Watching their feelings emerge and experiencing the sexual tension and heat had me searching for my happily-ever-after. They are two strong, slightly damaged characters that draw on each other making the other one better. They made a terrific team investigating the mystery and I quite enjoyed it. There is an epilogue and it wraps things up nicely but I was sad to see this plot ARC come to an end. The author left it open for more possibilities. *fingers-crossed*

Fans of fairy tales, suspense, mystery, and humor wrapped with a side dish of romance will enjoy Along Came A Spider and the entire Transplanted Tales series.

Four cups of coffee out of five from FMA headquarters
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fraterfest Read-a-Thon October 3rd to the 8th

Fraterfest Read-a-Thon #2
October 3rd through the 8th 

Last year's Fraterfest was a an absolute blast and participants wanted it to be longer so I've extended the length. There will be challenges, prizes, a twitter party and we will again be using the hashtag #Fraterfest. 

  • The event kicks of at 12:01 am on October 3rd in your time zone
     and ends at 12:00 midnight on October 8th. 
  • Link up below. You do not need a blog to participate. You can use your Goodreads account, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr etc. 
  • Join for one day or the entire time..it is up to you.  
  • Have fun! 
  • Tweet your progress using #Fraterfest (optional)


  • Daily challenges with a chance to win prizes
  • Twitter Party on Sunday October 6th from 4 pm (EST) to 5 pm (EST) with chances to win prizes and swag.

Main Giveaway (INT) Book of Your Choice

Earn entries by:

  • Linking up
  • Must post either start-up post or wrap-up post to qualify and participate in at least one challenge.  
  • Earn extra entry for each challenge 
  • Earn an extra entry for reading one of the following: a Rhiannon Frater book or one of the following: paranormal, horror, mystery, suspense, zombie,vampire, shapeshifter, witch, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, ghost..you get the picture.
  • Extra entries for sharing, adding button and following challenge hosts

I hope you will join in the fun! If you would like to host a challenge please email ASAP. I will post challenge schedule, rafflecopter for Participant prize on October 2nd at 4pm (EST).  

Grab the button, Link up and Join the Fun! 

Fraterfest 2013

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Demanding Ransom by Megan Squires

Demanding Ransom
by Megan Squires
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Amazon
*purchases through buy links support this blog

Determined to move forward, Maggie embarks on her first year of college, hoping to finally put her past behind her, exactly where it belongs. But that’s hard to do when the present is just as difficult. And even harder when someone like Ran, the gorgeous paramedic that keeps crossing Maggie’s path, challenges her to face things head on, rather than bury them like she always does. Ran hasn’t had a perfect life either. But there’s something different about him, and something different about the way he makes Maggie feel. Maybe meeting Ran is life’s little gift for Maggie—a sort of consolation prize for enduring everything she's had to go through. But things don’t come easy for Maggie. Why should love be the exception? And just when everything starts to settle, it’s all turned on its head once again. If there is one thing Ran has taught Maggie, it’s that you can’t sit on the sidelines of your own existence. When life takes something that’s yours, you have every right to demand it back. Only for Maggie, that is easier said than done.
Going into Demanding Ransom I expected the book to be filled with romantic angst based on the synopsis but Megan Squires delivered a twist I didn’t see coming and a ride I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a wonderful romance, filled with growth, forgiveness and taking chances. Three word review: memorable, heartwarming, tender

Maggie Carson hasn’t had the perfect text book life and in her first year of college she hopes to move forward.  Enter Ran, a drop dead gorgeous paramedic who turns Maggie’s world upside down and teaches her that sometimes you need to face the past to move forward. The tale that unfolded grabbed me from the first page and held me captive.

Things haven’t come easy for Maggie and she carries a pretty big chip on her shoulder. She isn’t always an easy character to embrace but as Squires peels back her layers and reveals things you begin to understand her. She is more courageous then she knows and her love of family, determination and willingness make her believable.  From the start Ran is smexy, snarky and almost too good to be true. Squires gave him depth and like Maggie peeled back his layers showing how his vulnerability and personal growth. The romance built slowly, and I loved the snarky banter these two shared. I was rooting for them and hoping for a happy ending. Cora, Maggie’s boy crazy, high on life roommate was a hoot and Tate a fellow paramedic was a solid friend. While they weren’t as fleshed out, they were good friends and interesting enough that I would not mind their stories. Family is present, and I loved some and loathed others.

Squires’ world immediately sucks you in and is action packed from the beginning. From the way Maggie and Ran meet, to their slow building romance and personal growth I was captivated. At times Maggie annoyed me as she tried to hold up the carefully constructed walls she has placed around her heart. She is fully functional, and uses snark and avoidance when things get too real, but Ran sees right through her and his patience and acceptance were wonderful, making him completely swoon-worthy. The characters were completely fleshed out allowing me to form connections enhancing my experience. The romance builds slowly, is low on angst and develops out of trust making it feel genuine. This was relatively clean for NA but we do get some seriously hot kissing scenes. Just when everything is feeling wonderful and I am giddy, Squires throws in a twist I couldn't even imagine. I was flabbergasted and turned back the pages trying to somehow undo or change what I had just read. *loved it* The event floored me and kept me up reading to see how it would all unfold. The tale focuses on some emotional issues such as forgiveness, acceptance and trust. The flow and easy writing style made this an easy read that held my attention from the first page.

Demanding Ransom was a wonderful love story and while labeled New Adult, there is nothing to keep young adults from enjoying it. I look forward to trying more of Megan Squires’ books.

Four cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light
by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #5
Publisher: St. Martin
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: purchase
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper.  She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire.  However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case.  Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason.  When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma, is the serial killer’s next target Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’ help.  Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.
The Charley Davidson series is one of my absolute favorite series, and as each book releases I greedily devour them as I laugh, sigh and find myself rapidly quoting the book and talking about it to anyone who is unfortunate to be in my general vicinity. I also contemplated changing my wardrobe to strictly t-shirts and joining leagues with the dark side.  Three Four word review: Mind-blowing, smexy, suspenseful and friggin' hilarious.
"Coffee was that place where the sun comes up over the horizon and lights the heavens in a burst of vibrant colors."
So we all know who moved in next store? *faints* Poor Charley has other things to think about right now. She needs to focus and when Reyes slinks around all panther like and smexy no one can think. Oh, we can think but not about the case, instead our thoughts are filled with his smexy smile, his hair, his abs..you get the picture. Charley needs answers: Is Reyes the arsonist in a recent string of fires?  Where did all of the terrified dead woman and children wandering around in her apartment come from?  Is Garret ok after his trip to hell and why does the police chief suddenly have an interests in her success rate?  Charley’s latest case causes all kinds of problems because nothing is ever easy. But forget about all that! Sure those storylines are all fascinating, suspenseful, action-packed and filled with danger, and snark but the best part of the tale that unfolded was Reyes Farrow. If you loved him before you will be signing up to sell your soul to the son of Satan.
“You,” he said, his voice lowering an octave. “I want you, Dutch, body and soul. I want you in my bed every night. I want you there when I wake up in the morning. I want your clothes strung across my apartment and your scent on my skin.”
I absolutely love the characters Jones has created in this series from the main characters to the ones in her latest case.  Charley is a riot and her snarky humor is her way of dealing with life as a Grim Reaper and I would hang out with her anytime. While she still is getting her ass handed to her, she is also developing some pretty wicked skills and learning more about who she is. I just love the things that pop out of her mouth and Jones makes her so three dimensional. Now you have to understand just how deep my love for Charley goes because Reyes only has eyes for her and I haven’t had thoughts of killing her! Now if she happens to cross-over and leave Reyes unattended I would totally take advantage of the situation.  Let’s dish about Reyes shall we? I have always loved him, but admittedly he has been mysterious, standoffish and at times possessive but in Fifth we see so many sides of him and ooh-la-la. I am not just talking about his smexy bod, his mile long eye lashes or his panther like moves and sexual aura. I am also talking about his smile, humor, touchy feeling side. The steps he has taken/takes to protect and care for Charley and how he made post-it notes the sexist thing on the planet. *I should totally hate Charley but I am too busy staring at Reyes to notice.* Cookie is back, and gads the girl is the best side kick ever! Uncle Bob and Charley’s family are present and add to both the suspense and humor of the tale. Garrett is working on something after his little vacation in hell, and holy Toledo this thread is so interesting.
He quirked a brow. “How would you like your eggs? I tried. I really did. But I glanced at his crotch and it came out anyway. “Fertilized?”
In Fifth Grave Past the Light we not only get some great cases and smexy time with Reyes, but we also see plot growth and character development making it one of my favorite in the series thus far. Answers! yes, we finally get some answers about Charley and Reyes concerning  their abilities, destiny and powers. Eep! The overall ARC is getting intense and where it is headed has me shivering in anticipation. We see growth in their relationship and get some downright deliciously hot sexy time too! Let’s just say I will never look at utensils the same again. Jones can spin a tale with elements of dark and light and everything in between making making me laugh, snort, lose track of time, sigh and even shed a tear or two. She is brilliant and left me with just enough of a cliffhanger to have me counting down the days till once again I can lose myself and capture that book high only her blend of awesome can create.  
"Charley, you're putting me in an awkward position." "Then paint polka dots on me and call me Twister, but I think you can sweet-talk your boss."
For fans of the series Fifth Grave Past the Light is a must read and an exciting addition to this amazing-tastic series. If you aren’t stalking Darynda Jones and this series- you should be!  Sixth Grave On the Edge is due out in 2014. My coffee and I are waiting.

Five cups of coffee out of five straight from Charley's Mr. Coffee pot
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

Running Wild
by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Series: The Men from Battle Ridge #1
Publisher: Random House/Ballentine
Publication date: November 27, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
Source: purchase 
*purchase through buy links supports this blog

In book 1 of this steamy new contemporary Western romance series by two blockbuster authors, a cowboy and a woman on the run take a stand and fight for love. Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen. Zeke doesn't challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stay all business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.
One of my favorite genres is romantic suspense and  when you add a smexy, drop dead gorgeous cowboy, this little woman is a happy reader. I read Dani @ Paulette’s Papers  review of Running Wild where she declared she was reading this over and over!  *Naturally I bought it!* Howard and Jones provided me with a suspenseful thriller and a delicious romance. I literally consumed this full size novel in one sitting.

The tale begins when we meet Carlin Reed as she anxiously looks in traffic for signs of a familiar blue car. Carlin is on the run from a bad date turned stalker. When she fears him closing  in she heads north and finds herself in a place called Battle Ride, Wyoming. She ends up becoming a cook and housekeeper to cattle ranch owner Zeke Decker and the tale that unfolds has humor, romance and danger. I became completely swept up in this fast paced tale and its delightful characters.

Carlin Reed is sweet, determined, confident and deathly afraid. Living off the radar, Battle Ridge seems safe at least for a little while. I really admired Carlin, and laughed at some of her escapades.  Zeke is a cowboy trough and through and totally swoon-worthy. He works hard, has a ferocious appetite and is good to his employees. He is not looking for a woman, he’s been there done that! There is only one problem; Carlin. The dance these too waltzed was sweet, hot and endearing. As a couple I felt the spark from their first encounter. I love wicked banter and their chemistry was intoxicating. Zeke’s patience and handling of Carlin stole my heart as did the crew. The folks in Battle Ridge are exactly what you would expect in a small town with all the charming qualities. Kat, the diner owner was a hoot and the cow-hands on the ranch provided humorous and heartwarming moments. A few of the secondary character were developed and I am hoping we get their story. Of course the stalker was creepy and getting inside his head gave me the shivers.

Small town romances always offer such wonderful, colorful characters and I love watching the romance unfold and the humorous side of life in rural America. Running Wild added a suspenseful thriller to the plot and it captivated me as I turned page after page in search of resolution and my HEA. The writing and pacing of the overall arc was well done, and the romantic aspect felt genuine and built slowly. The collaboration was well done, and their voice blended to create a fast paced, entertaining and suspenseful read.

Running Wild will appeal to both readers of suspense and romance. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Four cups of Mountain Brewed Coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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