Saturday, July 9, 2016

Review: Rock with You (Risking It All 0.5)

Rock with You (Risking It All 0.5)

by Rachel Lacey

Blurb:
SWEET AS SUGAR. SEXY AS SIN . . .
Carly Taylor is pretty sure she's dreaming. It's not possible that Sam Weiss - rock star god and sexy hotness personified - is actually in her bakery. This sort of thing never happens in the too-small town of Haven. Or to her. And being stranded in a secluded mountain cabin with the deliciously decadent Sam during an ice storm? This is definitely not Carly's real life . . .
Now there's just the two of them, a roaring fire, lots of food and drink, and a sizzling attraction - one that just might make Carly do the unexpected. For one night, she'll live the fantasy. For one night, nothing else matters. . . not her struggling business, not her lonely life, not Sam's bad-boy reputation. But sometimes one night can turn one crazy, beautiful dream into something real.
Themes:  novella, contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 If you’re looking for a sensual short story about two people from very disparate backgrounds finding one another despite the odds, Rock with You is the perfect way to spend a cold evening. I have only read one other story by this author, but the more I read the more interested I have become in her writing.  This story was a short read but full of passion, sweetness and the unexpected love that can develop in intense situations and last a lifetime.  Carly is the sweetest lady but is the most unprepared for life heroine I have read about in a long time.  I loved seeing her blossom under praise for her baking, but it's obvious she is in over her head with both her business and when she suddenly finds herself faced with the man of her dreams I was surprised to see her throw caution to the wind.  I expected much more reticence on her part, but she jumped right in and brought her passionate man to heel.  Sam is in a slump for sure, but the subtle sexiness that Carly exudes has definitely got his juices and hormones flowing.  When trapped with her during a snowstorm, he refuses to pass up the chance to make her his.  He never imagined just how deep their emotions would become in so quick a time.  I was thrilled to see Carly and Sam find a way to make their winter fling into a lasting romance and I hope they make it a long time in the future.  Maybe we even get to see them again in the coming stories in the series.  I, for one, am looking forward to more along the lines of this one.  Keep the goodness coming, Rachel, and I’ll keep the glowing reviews coming.


*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: Love Thy Enemy (Red Stone Security #13)

Love Thy Enemy (Red Stone Security #13)

by Katie Reus 

Blurb:
She refuses to trust him.
Red Stone Security employee Dominique Castle knows all too well that there are people in this world she just can't trust. After losing both her parents, Dominique keeps her distance from anyone tied to her past—especially the man she's hated for years. And Viktor Ivanov isn't going to change her mind about who he really is—no matter how determined the infuriatingly sexy Russian is.
He's determined to win her over.
She may hate him and not trust him, but Viktor is determined to crack through Dominique's icy exterior one way or another—even if it means taking the game into his own hands. With a past like Viktor's, he's made more than a few enemies along the way—enemies who'll stop at nothing to take him down. When Viktor realizes Dominique's life is in danger because of him, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her—whether she likes it or not. Now it's up to Dominique to trust the one man who's linked to the agony of her past. Can she find a way to love the enemy she always loathed?
Themes: contemporary, novella
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Longtime fans of the Red Stone Security series will find themselves drawn in by this new look into some of the less obvious members of the red stone family.  Dominique is a woman that has dealt with the harsh realities of life by making sure that she keeps the darker side of society away from her everyday life.  She works hard every day to prove herself to her friends and family and to make sure that she keeps herself on the right side of the law.  Viktor on the other hand lives in the shadows and hasn’t seen a shade of gray that he hasn’t had to delve into.  He’s a genuinely good man, but his past and his family have made him have to fight for his position and his ability to keep the darkest of his sides from ever surfacing.  When he meets Dominique he knows he wants her, but when he learns the truth about her past he simply wants to show her that he is nothing like his father and his heart is good in the center.  Dominique finds herself falling for the honorable, though sometimes scary man that seems ready to offer her the world, but the danger that surrounds him warns her away more than the goodness he exudes could ever pull him in.  I enjoyed watching Dominique and Viktor find a way for their love to overcome the enemies out to destroy Viktor and certainly seeing her come to understand that sometimes what needs to be done is not always the most savory of options.  Viktor too learns that sometimes risking all is worth the light and goodness that can be found in the end.  I am looking forward to whoever finds their love next, though I continue to wish for a longer and more detailed story in this series because I think they could be really great with more time to develop.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Review: Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10)

Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10)

by Elizabeth Hoyt 

Blurb:
A MAN OF SIN
Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.
A WOMAN OF HONOR
Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.
A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH
Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .
Themes: historical              
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Wow! That was an interesting way for a man to find himself turned from villain to—well...not hero, but definitely into a human man. Anyone that has read the recent installments of this series well knows the dastardly deeds that Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery, is capable of and there is certainly no denying that the man leads a lifestyle that even in the much freer society we currently live in would be considered disreputable.  This series has evolved through many different paths and taking us down the road of reforming (sort of) this villain into a man worthy of the love of a good woman was going to be a challenge, but Elizabeth certainly meets and possibly even exceeds my  expectations. I loved seeing Bridget sparring with Val as she tried to get around him to meet her goal, but as she starts to see the true man behind the mask of indulgence and insolence and fall in love I fear for her sanity.  Val was the kind of man that always has an endgame in sight, always 12 steps ahead of his opponents, until he finds the strangely compelling Bridget sneaking through his room.  She throws his world upside down and there is no way for him to deny that he wants her.  But the more she denies the connection and possibilities between them the more he wants her.  The question becomes will he be willing to give up on his lifelong goals in order to keep the woman he has inexplicably fallen in love with from being sacrificed for his goals. 
I loved this story, mainly because it really is a story of a man that has gone far off the path of righteousness in order to protect those  in need, while still maintaining a nonchalant and over-the-top way of life, one that is expected from his family name.  Valentine is one of those characters that you love to hate until you just have to love him.  He knows what he wants and though he is willing to work for it, his ways are often not-so-mainstream.  Seeing him interacting with, and seducing, the timid and understated Bridget and knowing that he might not ever be worthy to hold such a treasure leads him to make some very questionable choices.  Bridget on the other hand knows what she is doing is wrong, even as she falls into his arms and into his bed, but resisting him is unbearable to both heart and body.  Seeing them falling in love as they both worked to keep their chess game from imploding was more that fun, it was the game of a lifetime.  I cannot wait to see whose story will be next, though I have my suspicions and if I’m right it could be very interesting.  All in all another Hoyt masterpiece in a series I can see evolving and lasting for a long time more.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Blood Lust (The Sentinels #3)

Blood Lust (The Sentinels #3)

by Alexandra Ivy

Blurb:
Blessed and cursed by their hidden abilities, the Sentinels have no choice but to live, and love, on the edge of humanity…
The Sentinel assassin, Bas, is facing the greatest challenge of his outcast existence. His young daughter, Molly, has been kidnapped. But her disappearance has brought the return of her mother, Myst, whom Bas has never forgotten--or forgiven.
Haunted by a vision that she's destined to create a weapon that will destroy thousands, Myst was never impulsive--until she met the irresistibly handsome Bas. But with the Brotherhood, the enemy of the high-bloods hunting for her, Myst had to stay on the run, to keep her child, and the world, safe. Now, with the most important thing in both their lives at stake, she and Bas must embark on a treacherous journey to save Molly, to confront the truth of Myst's fate--and to face their fierce desire for one another.
Themes: magick, paranormal
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The story of the magickal world hidden within our own continues as the Sentinels find themselves faced with the destruction of their world as they knew it. I have looked forward to learning more about Bas since his last cameo in the series, where admittedly he wasn’t exactly a good guy, but it was obvious he loved his daughter and needed to have a chance to tell his story.  Bas has been living on the fringes of his society and making his fortune with the help of other high-bloods like him that are not cut out to live within the confines of their leadership.  But the one person that he will destroy the world for is his daughter Molly.  But Molly’s mother Myst is right up there on the list as well, especially when she storms back into his life and he refuses to lose her again.  Myst left her daughter, the hardest thing she has ever done, because she feared she would be the one to destroy their world.  But the time is drawing nearer and if she doesn’t find a way to stop it, she will have to stop herself.  Seeing Molly, spending time with her precious daughter, is the only way  Myst wants to spend her last days, but she never imagined that coming face to face with the man that helped make Molly would destroy her heart and bring her defenses crashing down.  Myst was such a sweet woman, loving to those around her and shining with true goodness even as she worked to keep the world from ending because of her.  I love seeing her come into her own as a woman and mother the more time she spends with her little family.  Bas on the other hand is kind of a jerk a lot of the time and arrogant all of the time, but as we get to know the reasons he is the way he is we come to understand that he is a product of his past and only a future built on love can change a man like him. These two were obviously made for and destined for one another and when they both accept the inevitability of that there is nothing that will separate them, not even a deadly plague or the psychotic enemy that is out to destroy their world. I loved this story from beginning to end and cannot wait to find out what happens next in the world of the high-bloods and the sentinels that keep their society safe.  And never let it be said that I neglected to mention the chemistry between the Mave and her Tagos, because that was so off the charts hot that I needed an ice bath and gelato to cool down after their scenes together.  Whatever comes next I promise to be the first seeking a chance to read the story and see what’s coming.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: The Undoing (Call of Crows #2)

Blurb:
No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.
But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.
Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!



Themes:  Paranormal, Norse Mythology
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Ok so for those readers that are into the contemporary and sometimes mundane subgenres of romance, this story might not be your cup of tea, but for those of us that like a little quirk in our reading, Shelly Laurenston is always a perfect opportunity to get that.  Her characters are always odd, sassy, sometimes antisocial, and always confounding in the ways the think, the ways they interact with one another and the ways they fall in love.  This new Crows series is certainly no contradiction to the Laurenston experience.  Jace and Ski are two characters, seemingly too opposite to ever work, but when you get down to the brass tacks they complement each other so perfectly you wonder why it took everyone in their lives so long to see it.  Ski is the perfect Viking warrior, seriously badass, but with a certain intelligence that keeps him from being labeled a “battle dog” like many other Vikings have been. His love for his people and his willingness to deal with all their crap, even if he doesn’t always understand it, makes him the perfect match for Jace.  Jace has been an enigma to her fellow sister-crows since she was reborn and joined their battle.  She is a crazy berserker, with the ability to kill just about anything that gets in her way, but in her downtime her life is devoted to solitude and the pursuit of knowledge—which, let's face it, is NOT typical for a Crow. I really enjoyed getting to know Ski and Jace as they got to know one another and found a balance in their lives that will keep them happy for a long time to come.  Ski was a sweet, loving, and deadly man that would keep his woman safe no matter the challenge, but at the same time knows that she needs to fight her own battles if she is going to really win.  Jace has had some serious shit thrown at her in her life, but when she finally finds her path, with the help of Ski and his brothers, there is no stopping her from being the catalyst to success and the key to preventing global annihilation. Passion always runs hot in a Laurenston novel, but the heat between Jace and Ski, while a strong undercurrent, isn’t as obvious as other stories in the past, mainly because they are both such quiet creatures.  But when that passion is unleashed, whoa boy look out; the world could be burning around them and when they are in each other’s arms their personal fire burns hotter than the eternal flames of the gods.  I cannot wait to find out whose story comes next in this series and I am looking forward to seeing where this battle with the gods goes.  Another crazy, sexy, and downright awesome story, Shelly!

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge #3)

Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge #3)

by Jill Shalvis 

Blurb:
After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.
Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.
Themes:  Contemporary   
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 


Review:
 Is it really over? *tear* Fans of Ms. Shalvis will be sad to know that the Cedar Ridge series has come to an end.  I was so hoping for another story but alas it seems that everything was wrapped up in Sophie and Jacob’s tale of love, acceptance, and forgiveness.  If you have followed this series, as I have, you were anxious to finally meet the missing Kincaid sibling, Jacob, and get to know him as he returns to the family fold.  Jacob has been one of those intriguing characters that we hear about but never get to meet, until this moment.  Jacob has returned from war—a wounded warrior, though his scars seem to be mostly on his heart and soul—and he has to find a way to find acceptance with his family and, most especially within himself. What he never expected was to run into Sophie on almost his first day back in town; she rocks his world and changes him irrevocably from almost that first meeting.  Sophie has been dealing with a lot of disasters lately and just can’t handle anymore drama, but when Jacob walks into her life she is impossibly drawn to this sweet and sexy alpha man.  The more she is forced into his presence the harder it is to resist his draw and soon the fight is over.  I loved seeing Jacob and Sophie work through fears and find a way to have the HEA they each deserved.  While Jacob was obviously in need of serious help with regaining his balance and finding a way to live his life as a civilian, his love for his family, and eventually Sophie, are the pieces of his life he really needed to make himself whole.  His determination, sweetness, and willingness to do whatever it takes for his woman and family make him the perfect hero to me, even though I cried for him every time he was wracked with guilt over his past.  Sophie teaches him that, while having the forgiveness of others is important, the only way he will truly find peace is by forgiving himself for the mistakes in his past. Sophie was a whirlwind, the kind of woman that usually drives me crazy with her neuroses, but she finds her center with Jacob, even as she tries to keep him out of her heart, and becomes a better woman for having him in her life.  Accepting the things she cannot change about herself and deciding to embrace her differences and abilities was the true gift Jacob gave her in their relationship.  These two needed one another to heal their hearts and in one another they find that one person that can love them heart and soul, despite their problems or shortcomings. As always this novel was full of laughter, familial love, and the love of community, though the love between Jacob and Sophie flares hotly in the beginning, it’s when the fire settles to a soft ember that I truly began to fall for these characters.  I was sad to see the end of the series, however, I look forward to seeing whatever project comes next for Jill and will definitely be one of the first in line for whatever is released next. Another masterful series, Jill, and I can’t wait to see where you take us next.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review: The Ghost (Highland Guard #12)

The Ghost (Highland Guard #12)

by Monica McCarty 

Blurb:

Joan Comyn swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce the day she witnessed England’s barbarous king torturing her famous mother, Scot patriot Bella MacDuff. Now the mysterious beauty slips into men’s hearts like a specter and entices England’s most illustrious barons to unwittingly divulge their secrets, then shares them with her king. Known only as the Ghost even among her Highland Guard brethren, Joan has become the most wanted spy in England.
The man determined to uncover her identity poses her biggest threat yet. Alex Seton once stood with Bruce but now fights for the enemy. Though Joan knows she must avoid the handsome warrior or risk discovery, his knightly chivalry touches a place in her long since buried. When his suspicions grow apparent, Joan realizes she must do everything in her power to stop Alex from revealing her mission and convince the powerful fighter to join forces with the Highland Guard once more. But as the ultimate battle in the great war approaches, will Alex chose love or honor?
Themes:  Historical, Scotland, series finale
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The war that shaped a nation and the amazing men that shaped the war have finally come to the final battle, one that will be won or lost because of the love of one woman for her country and the man that she never should have fallen for. I have followed this series since the very beginning, watching men come to terms with their role in an army of marauders, barbarians, and heroes and I have loved every minute of it.  Seeing the end in sight made me delay reading Seton and Joan’s book for as long as I possibly could, but sooner or later I knew I would have to see if Dragon could unmask the Ghost and, when he did, if he would find a way to keep them both alive.  McCarty is an author that puts so much time and effort into her research that you often feel like you are living the lives of historic characters as if it was factual history.  Her skill with character building in an historic setting is one that is impossible to replicate.  So many authors of contemporary and especially paranormal romance get the benefit of being able to create their very own worlds for their characters, but historical authors have that extra requirement of blending their fiction with fact and only the truly great authors—which Monica definitely is—are able to get the job done.  So even though it was sad to see the end of the Highland Guard series I was anxious to see how the war ended and how each of the Guardsmen grew into the leaders they were always meant to be.  And of course I know that whatever Monica does next will be no less exciting and I am looking forward to reading it—though I have no doubt I will be rereading this series at some point in the not too distant future.
Alex “Dragon” Seton has been a crucial character in this series from the beginning, first training with the Highland Guards and then switching sides to join the English in the war, though he never switched sides in his heart.  With his loyalties being questioned by both sides, Alex has had to walk a fine line for years as he worked to bring about a peaceful ending to the war.  When he arrives at the border with the lead charge for the English King who is shortly coming behind him Alex is set on getting the leaders of the English army to convince the king that a truce is the answer instead of direct battle.  Joan “Ghost” Comyn knows that she should stay away from Alex, her identity as the spy for Bruce’s Guardsmen the greatest secret of the war and she cannot give herself away this close to helping her king to win the war.  As the two find themselves circling one another the danger increases exponentially the closer they each come to the truth of their hearts;  Alex falls hard for Joan, but when he finds out her secret their loyalties to opposing sides of the war is destined to come between them, even though Alex is determined he will have her despite that.  In the end it comes down to a single question for these two lovers—can they save a nation and free it from tyranny while still finding a way to preserve their love and their lives?
I LOVED finally seeing Joan all grown up and having come into her own as both a beautiful young lady and as a talented spy for the crown that she serves.  Women are so seldom given such an active role in an historical romance, but as with previous characters in this series, Joan is a take no prisoners type of woman and there is no way she will sit on the sidelines of war that will shape her future as much as any man’s.  Joan was a great characters, even as I worried for this risks she took with her safety and her sanity, and I was rooting for her in every task she undertook.  The trauma of her past has led her to take an active role in shaping her future instead of scaring her into submission like it would so many other women of her time and station.  She’s obviously intelligent, cunning, and courageous but even more she is compassionate, empathetic and loving to those that truly earn her respect and regard.  Seeing her in action as a spy was interesting as I never really gave much thought to how a woman could keep herself safe and uncorrupted while playing the dangerous spy game, especially in a world where women were simple chattel to be traded at the worst and treasures to be shelved and protected as best.  I would love to see other characters like Joan in the future and can definitely say I want to be like her when I grow up.
Alex, oh Alex, what can I say, except that I really missed seeing him on the right side of the war.  Alex, from the beginning, was a man with more honor in a single pinky that most of the English nobility and even royalty that led the charge on subjugating the scots. Even though he switched sides in the fight, his loyalty to Bruce never wavered and seeing him coming to terms with the truth that the English were just as dishonorable in their methods as the Guard was difficult and just a little bit heartbreaking.  It is tough to watch as a man learns that everything he believes in and stands for isn’t to be found in the men he has defended and fought beside, that in fact the Guard is more honorable than any of the English knights that he has always grouped himself with.  Dragon was a character that confused me several times, mainly because I’m not used to the warriors I read about being so intellectual and emotional in their choices.  Alex’s empathy for the people, his desire to keep the innocents from being caught in the power struggle between opposing kings, is what made him such a  great character and what made him change sides in the first place.  Seldom did leaders focus on the little guy being hurt when he would be gaining so much political power and monetary reward.  In the end Seton finds his way back to the side of righteousness and is able to bring about a mostly safe and quick win for the Scots. 
This series certainly ended on a dramatic note; The Ghost was full of emotional drama, the traumas of falling in love in a time of war, and the true connection that two people with the same goals can have.  Seeing Monica end this story by bringing Alex full circle, returning him to the fold of the Guard was enough in itself to make me cry, but add in that Bella’s daughter—all grown up and a master spy—supplies the key to winning the war, had me in tears several times.  Alex is the type of man that every woman wants to find for herself, intelligent, determined, and devoted to honor and love in all facets of his life.  Watching Alex grow and develop into the man he was always meant to be, despite the death threats and danger from his former friends makes me realize that all men (or women) simply need to consider all sides of a problem to know, in their hearts, the best course for their lives.  Joan was a strong female heroine and I enjoyed getting to see her skill as a spy as well as her passion for her king and country and her selflessness as she gives her all, even willing to die, for her beliefs.  Obviously she was the type of woman that could never be broken, even though Alex comes close to accomplishing it a few times.  The heat and fire between these two is undeniable and when they aren’t fighting it the sweetness of their love is one that brought tears to my eyes more than once.  Alex and Joan have both gone through a lot during this series and to finally see them get their HEA bought only one thought to my mind: ABOUT DAMN TIME AND DEFINITELY WELL EARNED!
This series ending is a little bit heartbreaking mainly because as I got to see more of the Guardsmen fall in love I became more and more invested in their lives, almost as if I was living their lives right alongside them.  Monica’s skill and flair for sexy Scottish warriors and passionate Scottish (or sometimes English) women is enough to guarantee that I will enjoy anything she writes, but the Highland Guard series will forever hold a special place in my heart.  Even after Alex and Joan found love, I wondered how so many men, so close to a king that has scraped and clawed his way onto the throne would be able to live long happy lives.  Luckily Monica knows her readers well and gave us a glimpse many years down the line of all the Guard members and the lives they have led.  The peace and freedom from English reign was hard won and sadly historically didn’t last long, but seeing Bruce and his closest warriors all find a little piece of happiness in the middle of death and destruction gives me hope that, even in our present climate of politics and war, there will be one intrinsic fact that continues—love heals all wounds and can make or break a war. If you haven’t enjoyed the Highland Guard series from the very beginning I highly recommend you do so, even though you will be tempted to jump right in with Alex’s story, because if you did you would be missing out on a great adventure with these amazing men and women as they work to change the world. Can’t wait for whatever masterpiece comes next from the heart and mind of Monica McCarty, but I can tell you one thing for sure, whatever it is I want a copy ASAP.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.