Wired Courage is the ninth book in Toby Neal‘s Paradise Crime series featuring Sophie Ang, who we first met in the Lei Crime series. Wired Courage picks up soon after Wired Fear, right after Sophie has given birth to her daughter. She, Alika, and Jake are working out the dynamics of their new lives. Unfortunately, their joy is cut short when baby Momi disappears twelve hours after being born. Sophie knows right away who is behind the kidnapping – her mother, Pim Wat. Sophie and Jake, accompanied by Connor and a select team from Security Solutions, go to Thailand to get Momi back and deal with Pim Wat once and for all.
This book was such an emotional rollercoaster from the very first page. And just when you think you know what is going to happen, you really don’t. Nothing is as expected. So much happens in this book, too. Not just action but character growth. In Wired Fear, Sophie was on a journey to learn who she was outside of her job or her past. In this book, she grows even more. She is really coming into her own and I cannot wait to meet the Sophie of book 10.
What I liked: I love Sophie. She was my favorite supporting character in the Lei Crime series and I love these books centered around her. She has so much depth, more than she even knows. I liked so much that I can’t talk about because spoilers! Sophie’s aunt – we’ve heard about her in other books but we finally meet her here. She is fantastic. Sophie’s strength and determination to save her daughter no matter what. I also really liked the ending. It’s exactly where Sophie should be right now and this will be very good for her.
What I didn’t like: Again, a spoiler! But it’s a minor spoiler involving Ginger – who doesn’t die thank goodness, but I don’t like what happened with her at all.
Overall: Get this book. Read this whole series! It’s fantastic. Each book is full of page-turning captivation and watching Sophie change and grow over the years is fascinating.
Cover Design: Andie B.
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Game All Night is the third book in Lauren Helms‘s Gamer Boy series, but all three can be read as standalones. (They’re all definitely worth reading, though, and the first two are available on Kindle Unlimited here and here.)
Link is a member of the gaming team (yes, they are professional gamers and yes that is a real thing!). Ruby is a journalist at a Buzzfeed-type web company and part of their circle of close friends. Ruby and Link have been close for a couple years, making videos for Link’s YouTube channel and having fun hanging out together. At one point in the past they *almost* hooked up, but Ruby stopped it and decided they should stay good friends, not wanting to mess up the group dynamic or their friendship if anything went wrong.
In the first third of the book, both Link and Ruby are involved with other people. Ruby’s boyfriend is a narcissistic sports reporter on the local NBC affiliate station, and treats Ruby horribly. Link is seeing someone basically as a distraction, and because she’s there. On the night of Ruby’s birthday, when her boyfriend doesn’t show up for her party and makes her cry, Link makes a comment that starts Ruby thinking that maybe she was wrong about the two of them just being friends.
Of course, life isn’t always easy or perfect. When Link and Ruby finally get together, it’s beautiful how good they are for each other. When they are faced with a life altering surprise, they handle themselves better than many 20-somethings in these types of books. But then, the book gets surprisingly deep. I was not expecting the events that happened, but I’m so glad Ms Helms wrote the scenes between Link and Ruby, and Ruby and her friends, like she did. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but it’s a subject that happens in that age group more often than you think, and gets brushed aside by well-meaning (or uncertain-feeling) friends and relatives. It’s important that readers can experience how the characters worked through this and recognize that it’s okay to not be okay.
What I liked: Link and Ruby as a couple. So good. Revisiting Dex and Morgan, Simon and Gia, and the other characters were like catching up with friends again. The whole handling of the “big events” as I said earlier.
What I didn’t like: Ruby’s mom should have been there longer!! And real talk, the first 20% of the book was hard for me to get into. I already liked the characters from the first two books, and ended up loving the book, but there was so much internal Ruby monologue that I just couldn’t get engrossed in the book like I usually do. But it picks up quickly.
Overall: Read this book! Get it here
This is the series that made me fall in love with Claudia Burgoa’s writing. I heart the Decker family!
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I’m working my way through the DiMarco Series by Jennifer Hanks. You can find my reviews of #1, Lucy, here and #5, Kate, here.
Sydney is the second book in the DiMarco series and features the DiMarco brother Cameron, twin of Christian from Lucy’s book. Cameron is working a long-term undercover assignment with the FBI trying to take down a local drug kingpin. Sydney is the ex-girlfriend of the target and Cameron is to get close to her to find out what she knows.
Sydney owns a coffee shop with her best friend Maddie. Her parents were killed in a car accident and her only family is her brother Liam. Liam and Maddie had helped her escape her abusive ex-boyfriend and move away to get out of his reach. She hasn’t dated since Danny, but when Matt (Cameron) walks into her coffee shop and asks her out, she can’t deny their connection.
The DiMarco family members have a lot of drama! Cameron hasn’t seen his siblings in two years. They don’t know if he’s dead or alive, until he hears of Jake’s baby being born and lurks outside the hospital to get a bit of news. Luke, because his case as a detective intersects with the FBI investigation, knows what Cameron is doing but must keep the secret as well to protect their large family.
Cam and Sydney have an intense relationship. So far all of their women are strong, fiery women who don’t back down from an argument and the DiMarco brothers all have strong personalities, too. Syd’s reaction to learning Cameron’s true identity is explosive. She doesn’t forgive easily. Especially since the FBI think her beloved brother is involved in Danny’s organization. The investigation comes to a head, and the ending made my jaw drop.
What I liked: Lots going on. There weren’t any slow, draggy parts. Syd and Cam are both good characters. And it’s always good to see more of the DiMarco clan, especially the patriarch.
What I didn’t like: Sydney’s game playing was Not. Cool. She was acting like a high schooler with her “he did this so I will too” justification except her “this” involved an FBI investigation and people’s lives. I get that she wanted to help her brother, but her methods were wrong.
Overall: Good book! And the ending of the epilogue had me starting the next book immediately. Whoa!
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Repercussions is free for Thanksgiving/Black Friday! Get it before it goes back to regular price! ($2.99 to buy, free with Kindle Unlimited)
Nobody just decides to be a hot mess.
I think somewhere along the way it just became who I was and I gracefully accepted the role…
I feel so utterly stuck. Unwanted by anyone I could ever see myself with and alone despite having two “roommates” who constantly hover and meddle in my life.
There are definitely repercussions for not pushing myself to be who I want to be. When I met my new next-door neighbor Wyatt, I didn’t think he would be the one to constantly challenge me. Tear me open and put me back together again in an entirely different way. The one who is dealing with his own repercussions as well…
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“Mommy, why don’t I have a daddy?” My four-year-old daughter asks me.
The dreaded question that no single mother ever wants to hear, that your child is curious about why you are only half of a whole family. I knew the day would come when she would ask about her father, but I still wasn’t prepared.
My daughter will forever be my only choice. However, Bo, the man I kept in the dark about fathering a daughter, is pushing his way back into my – no- our life. Now, I will have to guard both our hearts while I allow him to get to know the daughter that I mistakenly kept him from.
But now I have a question for him.
Will she be his only choice?
About B.L. Olson:
Author B.L. Olson is a land mermaid forever swimming in the constant PNW rain. She drinks endless amounts of water and coffee, eats pizza for every meal, and loves reading books that include a hot alpha male and a kick-ass heroine.
On top of writing the characters that never cease to whisper in her ear, she is also a psychology student pursuing her BS and MS degrees.
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Lucy is book one in the DiMarco series by Jennifer Hanks. (I’ve already reviewed Kate, book 5.)
Lucy is the college best friend of Ben DiMarco. They are inseperable, but totally platonic. They feel more like brother and sister than anything. Ben is going home for his brother’s Memorial Day weekend wedding, and wants to stop his mother from trying to play matchmaker and get him to settle down. He thinks that if Lucy poses as his girlfriend, he will be left alone, no harm done. Lucy finally agrees, against her better judgement.
The one thing Lucy wasn’t counting on, however, was her instant attraction to Christian, one of Ben’s brothers. Christian is attracted to her, too, but thinks she’s with Ben and he won’t try anything with his brother’s girlfriend. Things get even more complicated when Ben fails to tell his family they broke up as planned, and Lucy has to maintain the charade through another holiday.
Lucy ends up getting a job in the DiMarcos’ town and moves there, and she and Christian start a relationship. Then Lucy is attacked. Luke DiMarco, the detective of the brothers, is working a case that ties to her attack. Ben rushes to her immediately. Christian can’t be sure who Lucy really wants, Ben or him. In the end, Christian finds out what happened to make Lucy and Ben so close, but can they make a relationship work after all the drama?
What I liked: The DiMarco family is captivating. I cannot comprehend being a part of such a large family but they are incredible. Lucy is a strong woman and fits in well with the family. I loved the DiMarco father, too. He stole my heart when I read Kate. He’s an idyllic father figure. There is a lot of depth to all of the characters as well. So many layers!
What I didn’t like: Christian’s moodiness got old but like I said, so many layers! More was going on with him than what’s on the surface. It’s infuriating but understandable.
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Without a plan in place and only a hundred dollars to my name, this big city girl born in a small town world headed for the bright lights of city life.
Four years later, I may have more money in my bank account, but somehow I’ve found myself back in another small town trying to build a life. Even though the residents of Fayhill have welcomed me like one of their own, this is only a detour, not a final destination.
Then I met Shane Abbott.
What’s a girl to do when a certain dark-haired dimpled cowboy, who fills out a pair of jeans like it’s his job with a smile that sets my soul on fire, has me considering burning my map?
The bright lights of city life never appealed to me. I like the quiet of small town life, and my hometown of Fayhill fits me to a T.
I never expected to meet Mercy Warner.
Love is the last thing on my mind. These days I work hard and mind my own business. So when a certain honey-haired spitfire blows into town, I take another look.
She may claim small town life isn’t for her, but the way she’s settling in tells me she might be open to the option. Refusing to let this opportunity to pass me by, I take another chance and put my small town heart on the line.
Surely the draw of the big city won’t burn me twice . . .
“Please don’t do this. Please, Gerty.” I sound pathetic—begging my twenty-something-year-old teal hatchback to live. Yes, live. I need my car to get her shit together and get me to Austin. Looking at the gauges, I plead with them to tell me what’s wrong. That’s wishful thinking since they stopped working a year ago and the little arrow things bounce without telling me anything.
“Come on, girl. Look, six miles. You can do it.” My words are encouraging. Okay, they aren’t really encouraging. They’re more like begging with a sprinkling of frustration and the lingering sounds of tears lacing each word.
Six miles and we’ll be in the town of Fayhill. If I’m lucky, Gerty will hold on for at least eight and allow me to get closer to the center of town. I’ve been to this town once before and, while it’s been at least ten years, I’m sure it hasn’t changed much. That’s the brilliance of small Texas towns: they don’t change much. It’s also why I left small-town Texas: they don’t change much.
I won’t cry. This isn’t a big deal. We’ve broken down before. Sure, it was in a town where I knew a lot of people. A town with taxis that could get me home if necessary. Home. I refuse to admit defeat. That “d” word is not in my vocabulary. I glance up in my rearview mirror and don’t see smoke billowing behind me; that’s good. And, because I was obviously a sinner in my past life and am being punished for said unknown sins, a puff of smoke appears in front of me.
Dammit to hell. I’m going to be stranded in Fayhill, Texas. Fayhill, population . . . well, I don’t know what the population is, but I’m sure it’s less than what I’m looking for as I start my new life.
Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper.
An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told.
A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea
can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.
Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs. When she isn’t spending time with her
partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and
enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book,
her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.
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