Sunday, August 20, 2017

Review: Maybe This Love (Colorado Ice #2)

Maybe This Love (Colorado Ice #2)

by Jennifer Snow

Blurb:
 THE GAME OF HIS LIFE

Hockey player Ben Westmore has some serious skills---on and off the ice---and he's not above indulging in the many perks of NHL stardom. When a night in Vegas ends in disaster, he realizes two things: 1) it's time to lie low for a while, and 2) he needs a lawyer---fast. But the smoking-hot woman who walks into his office immediately tests all his good intentions.
Olivia Davis doesn't need anyone derailing her career---or her dreams of starting a family---least of all a skirt-chasing player like Ben. But soon he's unleashing a full-court press to convince her that he's the real deal. She's slowly falling for his sweet, rugged charm, but with so much on the line, Olivia has to decide whether Ben can truly change---or if he's just playing the game.
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
I have slowly fallen in love with this series, revolving around about the only sport I enjoy watching, and I am enjoying getting to know each of these couples and their friends and family as well.  Set mostly in the small town of Glenwood Falls, Colorado, this town seems to be filled with hockey royalty, sexy as hell athletes and sensual and loving women that can steal their hearts. We watched Ben’s younger brother Jackson fall in love in the previous novel and now Ben finds himself in the most crucial time of his life and unprepared for the woman that comes into it.  I really enjoyed this story, even if I was a bit standoffish on the premise to begin with, mainly due to the way that Olivia comes to know Ben, but Jennifer handles it so smoothly and with enough honor that I don’t find myself having an issue with it after all.  Ben is a good guy that has had some shitty moments in his past which left him guarded and scared to fall in love.  The pull he feels to Olivia terrifies him, but it’s so strong and rare that he knows he can’t resist it, so when his divorce finally goes through there is nothing to stop him from going after the woman that has clouded his mind and intrigued his heart from the first time he laid eyes on her. Olivia knows what she wants out of life and will go for those things, even if she has to use an unusual method.  Just when she has given up hope of finding a man to truly love her, Ben crashes into her life and there is no way she can deny the pull she feels.  But he is just the type of egocentric player that she has always avoided…except he’s a lot more than just ego and flirt after all.  It was fascinating to see these two circling one another as adversaries and then when they are free finally giving in to the draw between them, making magic and showing one another the true measure of themselves. Ben was definitely an alpha male, but underneath he is everything we all look for in a man—sweet, loving to his family, honorable, strong, brave and willing to fight for what he wants.  I loved getting to see him courting Olivia and showing her that there was more to him than she originally thought.  Olivia is a woman that knows what she wants, and I respect that, even if I don’t truly get the baby craziness.  But, that said, I could see that Olivia was a woman I could be friends with quite easily.   Her intelligence, sass, sweetness, and vulnerability make her the perfect collection of opposites and give her the depth and range that all heroines a good romance should have.  I was thrilled that they finally found a way to overcome their pasts and hang-ups and share their love, but I was kind of disappointed by the ending.  Thankfully I know another book is already out and I look forward to seeing the relationship between Ben and Olivia bloom in the coming stories, as well as seeing Ash  find his love along with anyone else Jennifer throws into the mix.  A fun, sweet, and enjoyable read with the emotional traumas that make our everyday lives such a challenge, Maybe This Love is the type of story that everyone should read at least once so they can learn more about themselves in order to share their lives and love.

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mini Review: The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3)

Blurb:
Stieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…
Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.
With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…
Themes: Paranormal, Norse Mythology
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
So, Laurenston fans have another amazingly crazy group of people to fall in love with in this newest series by Shelly, revolving around the Norse Gods and the modern warriors that are serving them.  While most stories of Vikings and Norse gods are set in the past, Shelly’s refreshing take on these warriors existing in secret in the modern world gives everything a bright shiny newness that makes the series even better.  Those of us that have read any Laurenston novel understand the craziness of her characters and love them just the way they are… whacked out and homicidal though they might be.  For readers of contemporary or even more mainstream paranormal works, Shelly’s writing style and characters might come as a bit of a shock, but the sass, sarcasm, and homicidal tendencies hide the true sweetness and strength of her heroes and heroines.  Erin is about as crazy as they come, bringing to mind that nutso friend in high school that was always the one asking “I wonder what will happen if we do this…” right before they get the whole group into trouble.  But let’s be honest without those fun troublemakers in our lives most of us would become staid and boring as hell.  So I can say that I LOVED Erin and her story of heroism and falling in love with Stieg was wonderfully zany and lighthearted enough to make my evenings after a long day of work enjoyable.  Stieg has his own speed and style for sure, but he handles Erin beautifully, when she’s not driving him to violence.  While their love might not be as obvious or soft as a lot of people like, sometimes that bizarre passion and wild enjoyment of life is enough to bring two people together that we might not think belong.  The story behind the romance led to some interesting battles and sneaking in lots more fun references to Norse mythology as the warriors of the Nine Clans worked together to defeat their enemy and prevent Ragnarök from being set in motion.  I LOVE everything Shelly writes, but being pagan myself and having lots of firsthand knowledge of these myths makes the stories even more fun.  I mean honestly who wouldn’t fall in love with a woman that could write about the Allfather in such an irreverent way?!?  Cannot wait to see what comes next after that ending, too, because no way does she leave us hanging on that craziness.  Keep the outrageous awesomeness coming, Shelly, and I will continue adding recruits to your fan clubs.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: Love, Always and Forever (Sergeant Joe's Boys #3)

Love, Always and Forever (Sergeant Joe's Boys #3)

by Alexis Morgan 

Blurb:
Sergeant Joe's Boys are back! Bestselling author Alexis Morgan delivers a tender and inspiring novel about Mikhail, a battle-scarred firefighter, and the sensitive young woman who slips inside the walls around his heart.
As a child, Mikhail Wanjek couldn't save his drug-addled mother; as a young man, he left a promising military career because he couldn't defend the innocent victims of war. When Mikhail's feeling like a failure, not even the love of his adoptive parents and loyal brothers can console him. But after he volunteers to help his beautiful brunette neighbor install a fence around her yard, Mikhail begins to heal. He wants to shield her pure, unabashed lust for life from the darkness-including his own.
Successful heart surgery has allowed Amy Short to finally set out on her own, apart from her loving but overprotective family. Now she's experiencing new thrills with the chiseled fireman next door, from riding on the back of Mikhail's Harley to late nights full of passion. Still, he refuses to open up emotionally, and with Amy's history, she's not willing to wait around for Mikhail to change. What she needs to do is show him that together they can build something that will last forever.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The last of Sergeant Joe’s boys has finally come home and found the woman to complete his life in this heart wrenching and amazing story by Alexis Morgan. I have to admit that I was reluctant to begin this series when I found it, not because I doubted I would enjoy the story, but simply because I understand the greatness of Alexis’s writing and have been broken-hearted in the past when the series I have fallen in love with ended.  First world problems, I know, but it still made me second guess my choice to request ARCs, for about 15 seconds anyway. That is the magic of Alexis Morgan though and I was unwilling to miss the chance to experience it with her newest project.  This series takes us on the journey of three brothers, not of blood but of the heart, who were adopted in their youth by a hard-nosed but loving military man and his sweet but strict wife, giving three boys who so badly needed it, the love of a mother and father.  In the previous two novels Mikhail’s brothers have found the loves of their lives as well as a way to come to terms with the loss of their beloved adopted father and their experiences in the war, and now Mikhail is faced with a woman he doesn’t understand but cannot for the life of him give up. Awoken early one morning by the obnoxious and unrelenting knocking on his door, Mikhail stumbles sleepily into the path of the one woman he is unable to resist.  Amy is determined to exert her independence and make a home for herself out from under the overbearing protection of her family.  But when she meets her new neighbor, she quickly realizes she is in no way ready to handle him. Mikhail brings out a playful side of her and she knows that they could have something amazing together, if only he would accept that he deserves a chance at love and if he would stop pushing her away.  Amy was fragile in a lot of ways, but deep inside where it counted she was a woman I was more than able to understand and appreciate, with an iron will to live her life without barriers or restrictions.  She has been sheltered by her family so long that when she decides to be on her own, she goes all the way and refuses to let them interfere in her life. There is no denying she has had some issues that could have warranted their protectiveness, but I loved seeing her show them that she has moved past that and doesn’t need such close monitoring anymore.  Mikhail has serious issues still to deal with and there is no denying that he is a work in progress still, but there was no way to resist this sweet, sexy former warrior turned fireman, especially after seeing him with his mother and new sisters-in-law.  While there were certainly moments I wanted to slap some sense into Mikhail, there was never any point I wanted to give up on him and his chance at love.  Passion and heat run rampant in this story, even as innocent of the world as Amy was, because when you put two people so naturally passionate about life together there is no way they won’t kick off explosions in one another.  I am interested in seeing that there might be a fourth novel in the series about the hero's friend, also a former warrior that was injured and is in need of the love of a good woman.  But sadly after that there seems to be another sad ending coming for Morgan fans and new readers alike.  Keep dazzling us, Alexis, and I can guarantee you at least one reader for anything you provide until the end of your time writing.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Wolf Hunt (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #6)

Blurb:
A STORM IS BREWING...
Remy Boudreaux is back in his hometown, New Orleans. He's there with three of his fellow Dallas SWAT officers for a week of training with the NOLA PD. On the eve of a tropical storm, Remy and his buddies prowl the French Quarter. One tantalizing scent captures Remy's senses, forcing him to follow until he is face to face with Triana Bellamy—his beautiful high school crush.
After reconnecting, Remy and Triana are close—very. Remy struggles to keep things casual. Ever since his partner—and first love—was killed on the job, he's kept women at a distance.
But when a mysterious wolf pendant ropes them both into danger, Remy's protective instincts kick in. He may have to reveal his true self...and hope Triana accepts him.
Themes: Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The SWAT guys have hit the road and the steamy passion of New Orleans comes out to play when this sexy wolf finds his mate with a woman he once let get away. Remy and a few of his teammates have come to NOLA on an exchange program to train and train with the SWAT team of the parish, but little do those men know that the Dallas SWAT acronym stands for something a little bit different than it does for them.  These men are all werewolves, using their extra strength, skill, and cunning in order to become the best team in the country.  Remy is on his first night out with the boys when he catches a subtle but teasing scent leading him on a crazy and winding trail through the French Quarter until he comes face to face with the sexiest woman he’s ever seen… a woman he recognizes from his youth and that he is unable to resist. Triana is amazed to find herself face to face with this gorgeous hunk that she crushed on as a girl, but when the passion between them heats up to uncontrollable levels, she decides that maybe having him in her bed would be worth the heartache in the end when he moves on.  But soon they are dealing with a mystery that drags both of them and her mother and late father into a danger that could cost them not only the budding love they are feeling, but also their very lives.  This story was one of my favorite in this series, with just the right amount of drama and danger to make it seem less like a book all about werewolves and more a suspenseful romance where the hero is just that little bit extra special. Remy is beyond hot, but he is also a sweet southern boy (right up my alley, or course) and a man determined to find a way to give Triana the love she deserves.  He was strong, endearing, and loving to her and her mother through the entire story and seeing how sweet he was made me melt like heated sugar.  Triana was perfectly portrayed as a skeptic, but she is a smart woman as well, a woman of science, and once faced with indisputable facts about Remy’s secret she soon learns just how little she really knew about the world around her and even the people she has loved all her life.  The chemistry and connection between Remy and Triana is palpable every moment they are near one another, but more importantly they play off each other’s strengths so well and are better characters for that connection.  I also loved the twists and turns of this story, much more than previous which were mostly about their police cases and the struggles of connecting with their mates. Paige’s series just keeps getting better and better and I cannot wait to see which of the SWAT wolves finds love next and just what type of challenge they will have to work through in order to find their HEA.  A truly masterful work of fiction with all the heart, sensuality, and mystery to make it a top read in any personal library.

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: Home at Last (Sanctuary Island #6)

Blurb:
Home is where the heart is...
Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother's funeral, and he hasn't been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town's sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he's watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can't refuse...even though he knows it's a bad idea.
It's a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own martial problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts...and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
So the story of the bad boy and most loved girl on Sanctuary Island continues… and this bad boy has to prove that he has changed and can give this woman what she wants and what she needs.  Quinn and Marcus began their story as children, being the only two kids on their little corner of the small island, but once he left the island for a whole new life after the death of his mother, Quinn’s life changed forever.  Now Marcus has returned and they have already had a disastrous affair that left them dealing with town nosiness, hurt feelings, and the awkward relationship of two people so obviously meant to be together but unable to find a way to let go of their pasts to achieve that future.  Marcus knew that getting involved with Quinn would cause him heartache, but he never imagined it would leave him ostracized on the island he grew up on and struggling to make his dream of a pub on the island a success.  When Quinn comes to him offering to help the pub’s success become reality, Marcus knows there will be a catch, and oh boy does it turn out to be a big one.  Quinn has grown up, but those around her have never let her forget her flighty ways and her inability to settle in the past.  She needs his help in order to get her parents back to the loving connected couple they were all her life and she is willing to use his need for the pub to succeed against him. Unable to truly deny her anything, Marcus agrees to pose as her fake fiance, but quickly they find themselves again dealing with the all too real passion they bring out of one another and the emotions Marcus hides from.  I loved seeing Marcus find his way, with Quinn’s help, but I was very sad to see that it took almost losing the love of his life in order for him to wake up and understand that his past might have shaped him, but it doesn’t have to control him going forward.  While he obviously loves Quinn he denies that feeling to her and remains determined to keep her out of his life, and that made me almost as sad and angry as it did Quinn.  Quinn is the kind of woman I have never been able to truly understand, having a simple and loving childhood, she has always been able to move through life from one thing to another without having to really face the consequences most of us do, but when she is confronted with a way to grow up and truly help those she loves she jumps on the chance.  I enjoyed seeing her mature and prove to those around her that she is no longer the irresponsible and capricious girl that most still think she is, but my favorite moment of her growth was her realization that the relationship she could build with Marcus would have to be balanced and equal if they ever had a chance to be together long term.  I loved the heat and sexual chemistry between these two, even if they tried so hard to fight it almost every moment.  I cannot wait to see what comes next for the citizens of Sanctuary Island and the mystical wild horses that make the island so magical and such a great location for this series.  Keep up the magical work Lily!

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Finale- Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12)

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12)

by Elizabeth Hoyt 

Blurb:
A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.
A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.
CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?
Themes: historical
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
Holy cow what a way to end a series that has taken us all over Victorian England.  This series has recently taken an interesting turn, bringing in a secret society of evil, power-hungry aristocrats that are taking advantage of those that are “lesser” members of society. I have enjoyed this series from the very beginning and seeing it evolve into something so complex with so many little strings between characters from one story to the next has been a wild ride and one that I would take again in a heartbeat.  While I was sad to hear the series was ending this final tale was amazing enough to keep it from being too upsetting for me and I cannot wait to find out what series Elizabeth will come up with next. Lady Jordan finds herself in a terrifying situation with no hope of ever getting out of this jamb, until a sexy as hell member of the Lords of Chaos demands her for himself and whisks her away to his ancestral home.  When she sees who he really is, the even more terrifying truth comes to light, and Raphael is much more dangerous than society always imagined him to be.  Determined to keep her at a distance Raphael never imagines he will come to depend on her to keep him alive, essentially giving her the only chance at a successful escape.  Iris is faced with an impossible decision between death and marrying a man she is terrified of—not because of his physical presence or even the truth of his past, but because he brings out feelings in her that she never imagined she would feel for a man.  The passion between them soon leads to a marriage that could be something magical, if only Raphael would let go of his quest and find a way to be happy with the life they could build together.  Iris is a woman out of time to be sure, unwilling to submit to the men in her life, instead standing up for herself in all things, even when her fears and common sense tell her to run for her life.  I loved seeing her find a way to convince Raphael that they are meant to be together and becoming the true love of his life, more important than any quest for vengeance or suicide mission.  Raphael on the other hand was a truly damaged man, having lived through a trauma as a child that most of us, even in this time, are unable to understand or handle. His past haunts him every moment, except the time he is in Iris’s arms.  He was obviously a strong man, one that has found a way to live with his past, even if he never lets it go, but there were so many times that I wanted him to let go and allow the love that Iris wants to give him to heal him even the smallest bit.  I was amazed by the depth of these two characters and their story and a little bit surprised it got as heavy as it did here at the end, but the story was no less amazing and wonderful for the darkness woven throughout.  I am still sad to know this series is over and definitely plan to reread it someday, but for now the Maiden Lane family that has comes together throughout these stories will be left behind for another new adventure in the wonderful imagination of Ms. Hoyt and her amazing writing skill.  A series that grabs your soul and gives your heart a hard tug with each new couple falling in love has ended, but the best part of books is that the stories are always there for you to return to.

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review:The Bastard Billionaire (Billionaire Bad Boys #3)

The Bastard Billionaire (Billionaire Bad Boys #3)

by Jessica Lemmon 

Blurb:
Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .
Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They've hired him ten personal assistants-and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.
Isabella Sawyer's employment agency can't afford to lose Eli Crane's business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won't rest until she tames this wicked beast . . .
Themes: Contemporary
Rating:  4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The Bastards strike again.  This story was one that I knew going in would cause me some serious sadness and I was reluctant a long time to bite the bullet and read it, but sooner than later the pull to the Crane boys became irresistible. I picked up this series on a lark when I found it on netgalley because the first story looked like a quick and easy read, but boy was I wrong. Eli Crane returned from the war in the previous novel and was obviously damaged both from before the war and the events that led to his early return. While his brothers have both found love, he doesn’t really believe in love and he surely doesn’t need the sexy Isabelle around him every moment, digging into his secrets, and sharing his day to day activities with his brothers.  He has managed to successfully run off all the other personal assistants sent his way by his meddling family, but Isa just won’t give up and leave him in the peace he swears he needs. Isa has never backed down from a task and she isn’t about to let Eli Crane get in the way of her business becoming a booming success. The heat between these two is not something either of them are prepared for but it is certainly undeniable, and when they finally give in to the passion, they quickly discover that the heat might not be the only thing between them.  But they only have a chance at a future if they can both admit that what they really want can’t be found outside of their relationship, only between the two of them can they truly find happiness everlasting.  Let’s face it, the lifestyles of the rich and famous have always given those of us that are nowhere near millionaires, much less billionaires, a special kind of entertainment and these billionaires have become the new trope all over the world of romance.  That being said, the best way that I can relate to these stories is to understand that having money doesn’t make them better or different than us, just gives them a whole different set of problems to deal with day in and day out. I truly loved seeing Eli begin to come out of his shell and show his family and Isabelle just what kind of man he really is and has always been.  If you are looking for an amazing story of two people changing for the better by coming together and finding love, then The Bastard Billionaire is the perfect story for you.  I am looking forward to whatever comes next for Ms. Lemmon and can’t wait to see where she takes us on our next journey.

p.s. I loved Jessica’s take on the challenges that Eli and Isa faced as a couple with the damage done in the war.  So often stories focus only on the challenges faced by the injured warrior, but it never hurts to remember that these things affect everyone in the warrior’s life including anyone they try to bring into their lives after the fact.  Being a proud military brat and a great supporter of our military men and women, I felt a special kind of warmth in reading this story and seeing that Jessica doesn’t shy away from those issues, instead bringing them into the light and allowing her couple to move past them together.

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mini-Review: Wicked Kiss (Realm Enforcers #4)

Blurb:
Working as an informant for the DEA, Victoria Monzelle is used to living on the edge. But she’s not a big fan of getting kidnapped. And definitely not by a bunch of bad boy witches with fancy-colored fire to shoot at people. So when Adam Dunne shows up and claims to be a witch enforcer, she’s not going to put her life in his hands based on his word, no matter how smooth and smart and beautifully Irish his words sound. But on the run from a tribunal of witches, she isn’t going to make it far . . .
Before she knows it, Adam’s word is all that stands between her and execution. Sophisticated, just-gotta-ruffle-him Adam has vowed to make her his one eternal mate, wild and unpredictable as she is—to save her from a sentence of certain death. But Tori isn’t interested in being anyone’s pity date. And if they think she’s unpredictable now, they should see what’s coming next . . .
Themes: Paranormal, Witches, Demons, Vampires
Rating:  4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
We have been building up to Adam and Tori’s story for a long time now and I was thrilled to see these two come together and find a way to love despite all the drama and differences between them.  Rebecca Zanetti captured my heart and mind a long time ago with the very first story of her Realm and the fantastic and amazing characters she brings to life.  I loved reading Tori and Adam’s adventure across the world and through all the dangers and challenges they were faced with.  Tori has been kidnapped and dragged into a world she never knew existed, but Adam is determined to make sure she comes to no harm, even though he doesn’t understand the intense chemistry between them.  The overall story arc of this series has been slowly building to civil war in the race of the witches, but thankfully the Dunne family is strong and determined enough to make sure that their people are kept safe and that their world doesn’t have another war on their hands—one that the witches as a race just might not survive. Adam is the perfect male, powerful, sensual, sexy, and strong as hell; there is never any doubt when you are around him that he will keep you safe from any dangers around you. But he has never been around a woman like Tori before and that is a challenge he is woefully under-prepared for. Tori has no idea why she has been dragged into this world, but no way will she let anyone defeat her and the danger she is in will not keep her from getting what she wants… and luckily for us –and him—Adam is what she wants.  The two of them together are almost more passion that I can take, but I enjoyed every second of this story and wished it would never end.  The characters are always so realistic and I never doubt that these people could truly exist in the world somewhere that I just don’t know and the plot of this series is amazing.  If you haven’t ever read any of Rebecca’s work then I suggest going out right now and picking up this whole series, there’s nothing like a Zanetti series for a great weekend binge read.  Thanks for the magic and the continued opportunities to join you in your world.  

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mini Review: Hard to Handle (Gargoyles #5)

Hard to Handle (Gargoyles #5)

by Christine Warren

Blurb:
 The only male among four sisters, Michael Drummond is no stranger to women’s strength and formidable will. But when a fierce woman warrior from another realm bursts into his life, bringing with her a battle between good and evil, Michael is overcome by an explosive dose of desire that only this stunningly beautiful woman can inspire.
The first and only of her kind, Ash is a lone female gargoyle, a creature destined to protect mankind from Demons determined to unleash their darkest forces.
But her bone-deep instinct to do battle is turned off-kilter by her untamed attraction to the dangerously handsome human she can’t stay away from. If they manage to keep the world safe, can they turn the passion crackling between them into a love that will withstand the test of time?

Themes:  Paranormal
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 I have never shied away from the long-game types of paranormal series that leads readers down  long and twisting paths against the evils of the world where ultimately only good can prevail.  Christine Warren is a unique voice in any series she writes, but the Gargoyles in this series are beyond unique and going into the sometimes too strange, but that is what makes it such a good read.  This series continues with the story of the first ever female Guardian springing to life to replace a warrior that was lost in the previous story. Ash has no idea when she bursts to life why she is the first and only female of her kind to ever come along, but she never questions her need to achieve her deeply ingrained goal of protecting the world from evildoers.  Michael is the typical alpha Irishman, even going too far sometimes into the obnoxiousness that often makes us hate alpha males. When Michael is thrown into a world he never really believed he belonged in, where magic rules and the evil is undeniably after him, Ash is the only thing that is able to ground him and the passion she brings out in him is sometimes the only thing that feels real in his new experiences. I loved seeing these two circling one another, learning from one another, and proving that sometimes what you need is the one thing you never think you’ll want. Ash was an interesting woman, hard and soft in equal measure and of course able to kick some serious ass. Once Michael begins to understand his own power and the need that Ash brings to life in him, he is unable to deny that being with Ash will make him a better man and there is no way he will lose her to their coming enemies.  This story was a wonderful tale of two individuals that are thrown into new worlds that they don’t truly understand, but they quickly learn that the only way they will survive the world around them and the enemies set to kill them all is if they work together.  I am looking forward to seeing where this story goes next and learning who will be awakened and meeting their mate. Ms. Warren is an amazing author and I love all of her work, but if you haven’t ever had any experience with a story like this, I seriously recommend beginning the series at the beginning, no matter how great this story is, you can really only truly experience and understand it’s greatness if you go back to the very beginning. Long Live the Guardians! :)

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ARC Review: Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

by Roxanne St. Claire

Blurb:
Very few things ruffle K-9 trainer Liam Kilcannon. Stoic and steady, he has the patience and skill to

transform a harmless puppy into a highly protective schutzhund, and the quiet strength to lead his five younger siblings through the storms of life. A former Marine who doesn’t waste words or squander emotions, Liam is also a man who very much wanted to spend his life with one special woman by his side. He found her… and lost her. And Liam won’t ever let himself slide down the Andi Rivers Slippery Slope to Misery again. But when his father tells him Andi’s house has been broken into, he doesn’t hesitate to offer her his beloved protection dog, a decision that will put them in close and constant contact.
Architect and single mom Andi Rivers knows nothing in life is certain, having first-hand experience with unexpected changes and tragedies that upended her world. Determined to protect her deeply shy little boy from another heartache, she’s vowed to stay single and unattached no matter how long and lonely her nights might be. Hesitant to take Liam’s dog at first, she soon changes her mind when an estranged relative launches a campaign to take custody of little Christian. A dog won’t be enough…Andi needs a family to protect her son. When the Kilcannon clan moves into action, the solution they offer is drastic but perfect. Liam and Jag are there to protect Andi’s home and child…but what will protect their hearts from the risk of falling in love – and failing – one last time?
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The Dogfather has managed to bring another pup home to roost with his mate, and Daniel Kilcannon is not the type of guy to quit while he’s ahead. This series is one that holds a special place in my heart seeing as I’m all about the love of a good dog and the more I get to know this amazing family the more and more I wish the family truly existed out there in the world.  Roxanne’s unique ability to bring you fully into the lives of her characters and make you feel like you are right there living their lives with them, is even more pronounced in this series, which revolves around men and women that are down to earth and realistic, where her other series were more unrealistic as very few of us can relate to people that are special operators or first rate bodyguards. The previous two stories in this series were filled with their own troubles and issues to overcome in their relationship, But Andi and Liam truly had the world against them and I wondered if they would overcome all their challenges in order to find peace and love together. But as always Rocki finds a way and these two were able to come together and make a family when they both so badly needed to find that level of connection and love together.
Andi and Liam has a story that goes back many years, but we sadly don’t get to see that piece of their past except through their memories and conversations. Andi is in need of serious assistance and Liam and his family are there to rescue her and save the day for her little two person family.  Liam is reluctant to use the plan that his family seems to be fully behind but he will do anything for the only woman he ever loved or could love.  So while Liam is more than willing to do anything for her, he knows he has to keep a distance between them or she will break his heart into a million pieces...Again. Liam is willing to do anything to keep Andi and her little boy safe, including bringing his amazing dog Jag into their home to protect and love them as he does.  Andi will take any help she can to keep her little boy safe and with her, even follow the scary plan that the Kilcannons have put forth, but she is still determined to keep herself from falling for and depending on Liam.  But when the danger to her family escalates she turned to the man that has grabbed her heart in order to make sure that they all make it out safely and can find a way to their happily ever after. 
I loved this story of two people that have had serious ups and downs in their relationship including a two year separation right when their relationship was starting to truly blossom.  Liam is the kind of strong and staid man that would be the perfect man to have as a husband, but he would also be the kind of lover that takes over your heart and soul. I was sad to see the troubles Liam had to face and the trauma to his heart every time Andi pushed him away or put space between them, even as I understood her fears.  The best thing that Liam offers to Andi is the stability that has been sadly lacking in her life for the last seven or so years.  But the fear that Andi has allowed to color her choices in her relationship status and the way she treats Liam, and their relationship.  I was sad for Andi and understand the fears she carries, but I wished she could see the great guy that Liam was and how much she was tearing his heart out each time she kicked him away.  I was glad to see her finally open up her heart again, but in my opinion it took her way to long to see what was right in front of her.  I did enjoy seeing her interacting with her little man and Liam’s family, and I look forward to seeing them sharing their HEA in the coming novels in the series.
While Liam is definitely the leader of his little pack, even as his family and grandmother are still in charge, and seeing the heartbreak he is dealing with hurts his family enough that they banded together to get him what he needs to be happy in his life makes for a truly loving relationship.  Liam is a sweet, loving, and sexy guy with a heart as big as his family and the strength to lead his little world, whether that means dogs, little boys, and a woman that needs him whether she’s knows it or not. Andi is a woman that has been trying to keep from drowning as she ushers her shy and sweet little boy into the world, but she doesn’t see that adding Liam to that equation is the one piece needed to keep them moving forward.  I loved seeing these two come together, even though their sad moments brought tears to my eyes and made me wonder why Andi doesn’t understand that the best way to make her son happy is to truly be happy herself.  When Andi lets Liam into her life, and her son’s, the three of them can truly become a family and add to the Kilcannon clan and can find their forever happiness in one another. I might not fully understand how a mother’s love can drive a woman to make the types of decisions Andi did, I can understand how a woman might let her fear and past hurts drive her to make a choice that protects her heart. I definitely look forward to the rest of this series and seeing more of the Kilcannon clan as each of the other children finds their mates and Rocki sends them the challenges these brothers have faced. Another adventure in the lives and hearts of a couple that have to work hard to find their HEA and the family that circles them with love even as they have fight for each other.

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

P.s. as always in this series the love shared with the dogs by this family makes the family and the story all the more lovable to me.  I am dying to see what other dogs this family brings into the fold and makes fully accepted family members. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

ARC Review: HOT Valor (Hostile Operations Team #11)

HOT Valor (Hostile Operations Team #11)

by Lynn Raye Harris

 Blurb:
They told him she was dead. They lied...
Colonel John "Viper" Mendez is having the second-worst day of his life. Accused of using the Hostile Operations Team to assassinate a foreign official, he's gone from being a respected military black-ops commander to a fugitive in the space of an hour. On the run, hunted, and stripped of his honor, Mendez has nowhere to go--and few people he can trust.
Russian spy Ekaterina "Kat" Kasharin is a carbon copy of the woman Mendez once loved. Twenty-one years ago, Valentina vanished from his life. Kat claims to be her twin--but Kat's lying. Ordered by her superiors in Russian Intelligence to abandon the man she loved--or watch him die--Kat had no choice but to obey.
But twenty-one years is a long time to love a man from afar, and Kat won't stand by as a traitor plans his death--even if it means risking her heart and her life to save him. She can never reveal her true identity--or the secrets she keeps locked away. Secrets he would hate her for. Working with him is strictly business, and she won't let emotions get in the way. But the attraction between them is smoking hot--and it's not long before they're burning up the sheets.
When the truth comes out, the mission implodes. Everything Mendez thought he knew was a lie. He'll have to pull it together though before a deadly foe succeeds in taking away all he loves. By the time he realizes Kat might be most important of all? It could be too late to save her...
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:

"And he wasn't going to let her make him come first. It wasn't how he was wired.  He was an alpha male, all decisive and macho, and his primary goal in any sexual encounter was to make her melt into a puddle of orgasmic bliss." (HOT Valor)--With that quote, I almost feel I don't need to bother with the review! OMG that man is so hot...I just need to run and grab ice before I share my review. 

The Colonel has finally gotten to share his story with the world and find a chance at the great love that all of his men have had.  Fans of this series have been waiting for a long time to find out who Mendez would end up with and what made him into the strong, brave, and sometimes just a little bit sad man he is.  And boy-oh-boy Mrs. Harris did NOT let us down with this one.  Exotic locations, sensual encounters, and the ultimate happiness of two people that should never have lost the chance to love. The HOT series is one where each story is a stand-alone, but the true greatness of story is only discovered when you experience the entire series.  So if you are just coming to this series, before you read HOT Valor, I highly recommend going back to the start and getting to know Mendez for the great leader he is.  If you are a fan of military Romantic suspense there is no way you will dislike Lynn's writing and this series is one that will keep you interested and you will most likely become an instant loyal fan, like all the others of us who stumbled upon this series.  I am really looking forward to wherever Lynn takes us and takes her HOT men and women, whether they are Army or Navy, all of the members of HOT are deserving of the love and devotion that Mendez and the other married guys have found in their mates.
This story kicks off with Mendez’s entire life being through into chaos when he is alerted to a plot to disgrace his team, remove him from command and ultimately have him arrested and killed.  Knowing there is always someone ready to take him down, Mendez has a backup plan, but he never imagined it would involve the woman he loved 20 years ago and lost to a tragic end.  Mendez runs in order to give himself time and when he arrives in New Orleans to meet this woman who calls herself Kat, but looks so much like the woman he loved, it is a kick in the balls.  He refuses to truly trust her, despite her claims of working to protect him. Kat is thrilled and terrified in equal portions to see Mendez, but she is determined to make sure that his life is not lost to a plot that has been in the making for 21 years.  She has lived through too much tragedy to see this brave and sexy man lose everything and die in disgrace.   Thrown together, though not to happy about it, Kat and Mendez have to get past their traumas and lies in order to trust one another, or their survival will be forfeit.  But when Kat and Mendez's pasts blows up in their faces, the desire and secrets between them, not to mention the passions and anger, have to be set aside in order to complete their mission.
Mendez has been a favorite of mine since the beginning of this series and I have been dying to know more about him--though to be fair any woman that has read this series probably has the same feeling.  He is the glue that keeps his teams together and is the man they all turn to for leadership and guidance, not only in their work but also with their personal lives.  In previous stories in the series Mendez was the one that made the love connections between the couples possible and kept them together. He is the type of alpha male that only gets better with age and it is obvious as he kicks ass and takes names that he has not lost a single bit of his skill or stamina with age.  I loved seeing him in action as an operator and though he fought hard, when he lost his heart, again, to Kat it made him even more sexy and the kind of man I would like to find to grow old with.  Kat is a woman of mystery to Mendez, but luckily Lynn doesn't keep the readers in the dark like she does Mendez, sharing Kat’s secrets and fears with us as Mendez tries to uncover them himself.  Kat has lived a nightmare for two decades, but she has tried to make the most of her circumstances and make a difference in the world and she refuses to allow anyone to take down John Mendez, knowing that a world without him is not the kind of world she wants to live in.  The more we learn about Kat, the sadder her life is but the more we see how much she needs Mendez in her life.  In the end she gets everything she has missed the past twenty years and gets a chance to start her life anew with the man she loves while allowing him to keep his place in the world to allow him to save those in need of his expertise.
HOT Valor is the story so many have been waiting for and with all the passion, suspense, and drama we have come to expect from a Harris novel, the core of this story is about two people that have been lonely and lost for two decades and finally find a way to share their hearts and lives fully.  The messy details of their pasts certainly will continue to affect them, but the love and light they bring to one another shows that Mendez and Kat will find a way to move forward in their lives despite their pasts. Mendez is a sexy, alpha operator to the core, though we have gotten used to seeing him in the role of leader and coordinator, and seeing him in the field as he works to clear his name shows that he hasn’t lost any of the skills that allowed him to be in command of such a volatile group of men and women. I enjoyed finally getting to know the story of Mendez’s past and the tragedies that shaped him into the man he is, but I also mourned with him as he relived those horrors and finally came to terms with everything.  Kat was almost as heartbreaking as she shared her past with Mendez and was forced to relive it all again and again.  Kat is the kind of woman that would not be wrongly described as a willow tree--she bends and bends, but nothing breaks her spirit as long as she knows her Johnny is out there somewhere in the world making it a better place.  While there was certainly the expected suspense and drama, the emotional roller-coasters these two find themselves leading us down will have you in tears, laughing, and wondering how they could ever get past the heartaches they carry.  Their strength and the love that brings them together in the end is undeniable and as bright as a solar flare, making it almost dangerous to look at.  I enjoyed every moment of this story and found myself unable to put it down if only to carry it with me just in case there was a minute to read a few more pages.  I feel like Mendez’s book was a turning point in the HOT world, not an ending just a new beginning, and I cannot wait to see where we go next and who will find their mate.  Lynn's writing, as always, keeps me on the edge of my seat and dying to know what happens next, but the true skill that makes Lynn Raye Harris an author to watch is the way she can lead her couples through some of the most dangerous situations while still building relationships that last forever and allowing her characters to grow and change.  Another masterpiece worthy of a place of honor on any bookshelf, be it digital or print.
*eARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARC Review: Rocky Mountain Home (Six Pack Ranch #11)

Rocky Mountain Home (Six Pack Ranch #11)

by Vivian Arend 

Blurb:
The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.
Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.
Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.
When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.
Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.
But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.
Themes:  Erotica
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
 The final Coleman has finally found his way home and his story brings us around full circle to this amazing family and the small town they have sort of overrun. Having been a fan of this series from the very beginning I was so sad to see the way Jesse began to struggle to find his happiness, pushing his family away, and leaving himself needing to leave them behind in order to find a way to become his own man and find his true place in the world. But it turns out that the love of a good woman is all that he really needed to set him on the straight and narrow, and maybe a little secret that would remind him how crucial having family support really is.  The plot for this story might seem a tried and true trope to some, man meets woman, has a crazy passionate night and then finds her missing the next morning only to find out many months later that she is carrying his child.  But thankfully the magic of Vivian Arend keeps the story from becoming staid and clichéd. I loved the story and was a bit sad to see the end of the Six-Pack Coleman’s stories, but there are a few singles left and I hope to continue to catch glimpses of them in those stories.  The most important thing about this story is that a woman and man have finally found their future together and given each other the love and stability they have been looking for during the many long and lonely nights.
Jess and Dare were especially exciting because they were both such story and passionate individuals and when they come together the sparks fly and are hot enough to cause a full-fledged forest fire.  Dare has been fighting loneliness and wondering where her place in the world really is and having Jesse show up in her life made her wonder if possibly she could have a mate in her life.  Being pregnant wasn’t on her list of things to do, but when she finds out she is carrying Jesse’s child she doesn’t for a single moment doubt that she will be a good mother to her baby.  Dare has the type of strong and dedicated personality that makes her independent streak less about ego and more about her own ability to care for herself.  I was thrilled to get to know her and see how she might be able to find her place in the Coleman Clan, even though watching her struggle with the traumas of her own past and Jesse’s as well was a truly heart wrenching experience.  Jesse himself was breaking my heart every moment of the story that he was revving my engine.  There are so many deep and varied sides to this cowboy that I never expected and when he finally had to share his failures with his family and dare, the only way he could truly heal from those past problems, I was in tears and wishing I was nearby to hug him close.  Though we had watched him grow through the entire series, seeing Jesse become a father and husband was a truly sweet experience. Jesse proved to be the strong and loving man that all his brothers and cousins were, though he of course has his own problems and quirks to get over before he truly became the man he was meant to be.
Rocky Mountain Home is truly a story of a man finding his way home and bringing with him the woman that has been in need of a true home and finally found it with the Colemans.  If you have been a fan of this series then you can understand why this story was so emotional for me, even though I knew his story would tear me up even before the first word was read.  I have loved the Colemans for many years now and watched each member of the family go through their growing pains and finally find their paths and their mates. The truth is that these strong and sweet men and women are what everyone wants to find in their mate, with the added something extra of being the totally sexy and out of this world cowboys and cowgirls. Dare was a woman that embraced her life fully, even as it threw changes at her again and again, showing the ingenuity and bravery that makes a woman willing to give up just about anything for the man she loves.  Jesse finally steps up and becomes the man he was always destined to become, showing us that while he has certainly made some questionable decisions in the recent past, he is a Coleman through and through and will always step up for those that depend on him. Dare and Jesse together made for a fiery and sensual story, even as they came to grips with her pregnancy and the looming truth of parenthood, slowly falling in love as they embrace the lust that brought them together in the first place. I was thrilled to read their story and see them find their place together and in the Coleman clan, though I was sad too that they has some much against them from the beginning, making their journey that much more difficult.  In the end this story might have been one that ripped out my heart, brought me to tears, and reminded me the true value and benefit of a mate in life, not just a hot man to warm my bed at night.  I am thrilled to see where this family might go next and what Vivi will have coming our way in the near future and highly recommend that if you haven’t found a place on your bookshelves for the Coleman family, you run out right now and grab the entire amazing series, because there truly is very little that is more magical than these stories of love, redemption, family, and the ultimate belonging in this world. I was blown away by the love and magic of this story and reminded of why I fell in love with romance novels over almost two decades ago.

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1)

A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1)

by Marie Harte

Blurb:
 Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone's mind...
Can this Bossy Badass Marine...
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating:
Review:

The time has come for the Donnigans to have their very own tales of love and woe.  This series spins off another  favorite Marie Harte series I’m caught up in, and I was sad to discover that the order of them is interwoven, so though they are certainly independent stories, reading them in the proper release order can make a difference to those of us that have a small OCD problem about reading series out of order (and of course assuming you are reading both series).  Landon and Ava spark off one another from the very beginning, their anger, sarcasm and passion are all interconnected and make them a truly fiery couple from the get-go. Ava is the kind of professional woman that thinks her intellect is where she needs the focus of her mate to come from, completely disregarding the role that chemistry plays in as well as the importance of the heart getting its way, but once she begins to understand the importance of that true connection she has to trust in the change that comes over her.  Desire drives Ava as much as anyone else when Landon is around and though she fights it, the draw to Landon is irresistible and will lead her down a crazy path.  Landon has always lived by his gut, which kept him alive in dangerous situations in the military, but he doesn't really understand his draw to the snippy, somewhat snotty and totally sexy Ava, but he’s not one to deny the draw she presents.  As they circle one another and come to terms with the attraction and emotions that develop, Ava and Landon are obviously made for one another and experiencing them learning the true value and purpose of love was fun and exciting.  While I am certainly a fan of any of Marie’s work I find myself becoming invested in the men and women of this small town and all the interlocking relationships and family connections. If you like sexy alpha men with hearts of gold and sassy and sexy women then you will enjoy this series, as well as the Bad Boy Mechanics series, and I can promise that you won’t regret a moment of getting to know this folks.  I am looking forward to the next story in this family and seeing Landon’s brothers find their mates and their very own HEAs.  


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