Friday, February 15, 2019

Book Beginnings on Friday #24

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.



I didn’t want to go. “Please, Mama, can we go tomorrow?” 

My mama didn’t answer for a minute, pushing her blonde hair away from her face and wiping at the sweat that dotted her forehead and upper lip. Her cheeks were bright red with fever again, and her green eyes looked dull and shiny at the same time, like the surface of the puddles in the parking lot at our apartment complex after it rained. “We have to go, Ellie. I feel well enough today, and I don’t know if I will tomorrow.” 

- Most of All You by Mia Sheridan


A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there's an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .<

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #263

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
Publication Date: March 1st, 2019


In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Teaser Tuesday #101

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

"And so the love that tied us then, 
Vanished with the midnight wind."

-Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken by Azzurra Nox

Goodreads Summary: 

This is how you draw a broken heart:
Dip your fingers in blood and don't
Hesitate to botch the final project.

This is a book about love and the wounds that it can bring. It explores the exhilaration of first love, the damage of unrequited love, and the distress of abandonment. The poems are little memories that come alive, a journey between reality and fantasy, often mingling as one. Fragments of life depicted in words. This is a collection of poems both cruel and sweet. The poems depict the difference between how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. But most of all, this is a kaleidoscope of emotions that are multiplied and amplified as the reader looks into the window of a young woman's heart.

What teaser have you shared this Tuesday? 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review- Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy


Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive.

Release date: June 2nd, 2015
Published by: Signet
Page numbers: 368


Midnight Captive is the sixth book in Elle Kennedy's Killer Instincts series. I have been really enjoying myself in this world full of assassins and mercenaries and each story is very unique and can be read as a stand alone. I have to say that for me, Midnight Captive was a weaker addition as compared to the rest of the series. It may be because I didn't care much for Bailey and Sean but for me, this was an okay read.

Let's start with Bailey. Bailey is an assassin in Noelle's group. Now that Noelle and Jim Morgan are married they have combined their forces. But back to Bailey, I don't know why but I just couldn't relate to her much. She was a good person but her reasons for keeping Sean at a distance were difficult to understand and it got repetitive after a while.

The book starts off with Sean robbing a bank. That makes you completely doubt where his head is at but you do see and understand his reasons after that. Sean's twin, Oliver is being held by someone and Sean has to get his brother back under any circumstances, even if it means joining the group himself. I liked Sean but he also had a bunch of insecurities. I liked his possessive and protective side though.

The first time Sean and Bailey sleep together Sean lies to her saying he's his identical twin Oliver. That is why from the start Sean and Bailey don't get along. When Bailey decides to help Sean to get Oliver back they are both riddled with misunderstandings underneath all the passion and chemsitry. I found Sean and Bailey to be a good couple but again, nothing special.

The most exciting part for me during the book was what was going on between Sully and Liam. I SO want to see where and how their story progresses. We also get a new addition to the group, Ash. All in all, with Elle Kennedy's fantastic writing Midnight Captive was a good read. Just not my favorite.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Book Beginnings on Friday #23

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


It was the mask engaged your mind, 
And after set your heart to beat. 
—W.B. Yeats 

London, November 1878 

The knowledge that Archer would soon end the life of another cut at his soul with every step he took. 

- Firelight by Kristen Callihan


Once the flames are ignited . . . 

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Mixtape- A Love Song Anthology

What if you could live inside your favorite love song?

MIXTAPE: A Love Song Anthology is 99¢ for a short time!

What’s more romantic than a love song? A mixtape full of them.

Twelve bestselling and award-winning authors have curated an anthology of brand-new, standalone stories inspired by love songs, featuring a foreword written by NYT bestselling author Laurelin Paige. Press PLAY on this limited-edition collection that’s guaranteed to make you swoon. 


Elle Kennedy: “Always On My Mind” - Willie Nelson 
KL Kreig: “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” - Andy Gibb 
Leslie McAdam: “Think I’m in Love” - Beck 
Lynda Aicher: “Kiss Me” - Ed Sheeran 
Mara White: “All I Want To Do” - Heart 
Marni Mann: “S+M” - Rihanna 
Nikki Sloane: “Say It First” - Sam Smith 
Rebecca Shea: “Thinking Out Loud” - Ed Sheeran 
Saffron A. Kent: “Guys My Age” - Hey Violet 
Sierra Simone: “Hallelujah” - Jeff Buckley 
Veronica Larsen: “Say You Won't Let Go" - James Arthur 
Xio Axelrod: “Toothpaste Kisses” - The Maccabees

♪ Amazon  ⇢
♪ Apple  ⇢
♪ B&N  ⇢
♪ Kobo  ⇢
♪ Google Play  ⇢


Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #262

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Hold On by Samantha Young
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Young… 

Autumn O’Dea has always tried to see the best in people while her big brother, Killian, has always tried to protect her from the worst. While their lonely upbringing made Killian a cynic, it isn’t in Autumn’s nature to be anything but warm and open. However, after a series of relationship disasters and the unsettling realization that she’s drifting aimlessly through life, Autumn wonders if she’s left herself too vulnerable to the world. Deciding some distance from the security blanket of her brother and an unmotivated life in Glasgow is exactly what she needs to find herself, Autumn takes up her friend’s offer to stay at a ski resort in the snowy hills of Montana. Some guy-free alone time on Whitetail Mountain sounds just the thing to get to know herself better. 

However, she wasn’t counting on colliding into sexy Grayson King on the slopes. Autumn has never met anyone like Gray. Confident, smart, with a wicked sense of humor, he makes the men she dated seem like boys. Her attraction to him immediately puts her on the defense because being open-hearted in the past has only gotten it broken. Yet it becomes increasingly difficult to resist a man who is not only determined to seduce her, but adamant about helping her find her purpose in life and embrace the person she is. Autumn knows she shouldn’t fall for Gray. It can only end badly. After all their lives are divided by an ocean and their inevitable separation is just another heart break away… 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Book Promo- Growing Flowers by Tani Hanes

Growing Flowers (Flower Series Collection)
by Tani Hanes
Genre: NA Romance
Release date: January 2019


When they meet, Pete is a student who needs a place to live, Daisy is a young woman in a family bind who needs a husband. She’s a bred and born New Yorker, he’s from the vineyards of Tuscany, but when they meet, sparks fly, as though they were meant to be. Follow our intrepid young couple as they navigate the treacherous waters of being newlyweds, new parents, and a vulnerable family unit trying to protect themselves and their children from the threats of an indifferent and sometimes cruel world.

Through four novels and numerous bonus chapters, our favorite couple and children learn to cope with an old flame, a stalker, wrenching loss, and simply growing up. Ten years pass from beginning to end, but the time flies by as everyone gets older and, hopefully, a little wiser in this loving and rollicking family unit.

Buy on Amazon! 


"Uh, could I talk to mommy? Alone?" she asked hesitantly.
She looked at Pete to see the effect of her words. Pete blinked in surprise, leaning back a little. Clio had never asked such a thing before.

"I'm sorry," she apologized to Pete. She looked overwrought, as though she might burst into tears. "No, of course, it's okay," Pete told her, nodding for emphasis. He took the baby from his wife, seeing the love and sympathy in her eyes as he did.

When they were alone, Daisy leaned forward to stroke Clio's hair, pushing it away from her face. "What's going on, love?" she asked, smiling.

"Well," Clio began, taking a deep breath. "I was sitting in class today? Just listening?"
Daisy nodded, smiling encouragingly.

"And I just realized, right in the middle of Ms. Nina talking, that a bunch of the kids in my class are, uh, boys." Clio pretty much whispered the last word as though she were imparting a secret.

Daisy looked at her, trying to figure out what Clio meant. "Yes, they're boys, they're your classmates, they have been since kindergarten, right?" Daisy asked, confused. Clio shook her head impatiently. "No. I mean yeah, but-- you know how daddy has a--a penis?" Again, the last word was whispered.

Daisy smothered a smile and nodded.

"And so does Finn, you know?" Clio went on, looking intently at her mother.
"So, well, I was just sitting in class, like I always do, and I just realized, like out of nowhere, that all the boys in my class must have penises too!" Clio covered her mouth with both hands as she looked at her mother with horrified eyes.

Daisy again smothered a smile, ruthlessly clamping down on the huge laugh that she could feel bubbling up inside her.

"I mean, mommy, every boy in there must have one, right? Just hanging there, between their legs, while we listen to Ms. Nina?" Clio sounded like she was describing some awful nightmare.

Daisy swallowed, hard, trying so hard not just burst out laughing.
"So after that I just felt, you know, weird," Clio finished with another shrug. "I mean, I couldn't concentrate on anything, you know?" She looked at her mother for agreement and understanding. "I don't even get how all those boys could just sit there in class and act normal with that thing just, hanging there--"

"But Clio, surely you knew before today that all boys have them?" Daisy queried. "I mean, we've always been a pretty 'nakey' family, right? You've seen your daddy, and now baby Finn?" She pulled Clio to her in a lovely, scented hug.

But Clio was shaking her head. "I knew about it, mommy, but I never thought about it until now," she explained.
Now that she'd explained, Clio relaxed, and she and her mother held each other for a moment, just enjoying being close.

"Is that what they use?" Clio asked, her voice muffled from being pressed into Daisy's front. "Use?" Daisy asked.
"Yeah, when they, uh, help us get pregnant?" Clio looked up at her mother. "And when we bleed? Is it from that? Do they, you know, poke us or something?"

Daisy stroked Clio's hair as she shook her head.

"It's so easy for us to forget sometimes how young you are," she said, more to herself than to Clio. "You're so clever, so insightful and smart, but you're still only nine, you know?"

Clio nodded, grasping her mother firmly.

"Okay, Clio, my darling, my love," Daisy said. "When we bleed, it's because our bodies were preparing for a baby. It's called menstruating, or having a period. Every month or so, our bodies get all ready for an embryo, but usually there isn't one, so then we have to get rid of all that preparation, you see? Then we prepare again, and if there's no baby the next month, we get rid of it all over again."

She stroked Clio's hair and looked at her beautiful girl, with the brown eyes like jewels, and once again thanked the stars that she'd stupidly used no protection when she'd spent the night with Richard Hawkins all those years ago. Clio was nodding. "Yeah, I get it," she said. "That was the part I couldn't figure out, you know? About why sometimes
there's a baby and sometimes there isn't?" Her brows
unfurrowed, and the line between them disappeared.

"So the bleeding thing, having a period, that's going to

happen to me someday?" she asked. Daisy could detect

no fear in her daughter's voice, only curiosity. "And Francie

and Brina and Lottie?"

Daisy nodded.

"Um, when?"

"Well, it's different for different girls," Daisy answered honestly. "I think most girls mimic their mothers in that respect, but exercise and diet can play a part, too."

"When did you start?" Clio released her mother and sat back.
"I was thirteen," Daisy told her. "But you are way more active than I was, with all the swimming you do, so you might be even later."

Clio looked at her mother, and Daisy knew there was something more. She sat back and waited.
"You know, sometimes I like to be around them," Clio confessed. "Boys, I mean." And again, she put her hands up to her mouth.

Daisy smiled. "Yeah, that's going to happen, love." "Sometimes when Zeke Steiner holds my hand during dodgeball, I like it," Clio added, again using the funny whisper.

Daisy's smile grew. "Oh, Clio, I love you so much," she said, leaning forward to kiss her daughter's shining forehead.
"Do you think daddy's sad?" Clio asked. She looked worried. "I just felt funny to talk about this stuff to him, you know?"

"I know, love, and don't worry, he'll be okay," Daisy told her.
Clio got out of bed and followed her mother into the master bedroom, where Pete was already in bed, sitting with his laptop on his knees. He set it aside when he saw them.

"Finn's asleep," he told his wife, who nodded as she got in next to him.
Clio climbed over her mother to sit next to her father.

"I'm sorry," she apologized again.

Pete shook his head as he cuddled his daughter, dropping a kiss on the crown of her head. "It's perfectly okay, topolina," he assured her. "It's nice that you have two parents, I think, so you can talk to one or the other, you know?" He looked down at her. "Did you get it all taken care of? Everything okay now?"

Clio nodded and leaned up to kiss him one last time. "I love you," she told her father, smiling and making her dimple pop, melting his heart.

"I love you too, little mouse," he responded. "Now get some sleep, okay?"
Clio got out of their bed and ran lightly to the door.

"Good night," Pete called.

Clio turned, her hand on the doorknob. "Good night, dad."

Individual Books in the Series:


About the Author

My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I'm from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!

Author Links: