[Review] FORGIVEN by Geoff Lawson, 4/5

This review first appeared on and was written for OnlineBookClub.org. It has been slightly edited and the rating has been adjusted for a 5-star rating system, which is more common. To read the original version, please click here.

Forgiven by Geoff Lawson introduces us to a brave young man named Richard Wilson, as he fights in the Second Boer War and for the love of his life. Rachel Purdue is the beautiful and equally brave socialite who has captured our protagonist’s heart. They meet once when they were still kids. They see each other again coincidentally around one and a half decades later, and fall in love. The difference in their economic status is already a hurdle in their relationship, given that the setting was in the Victorian era where social standing is very prominent. But then, a lot more things emerge to make their love story even more complicated.

The first half of the book juxtaposes the past and the present, and one must be careful to read the year at the start of every chapter to not be confused. I liked that the story features a handful of strong female characters such as Rachel, Mary, and Lady Sarah. In an outdated social setting where women were only expected to get married at a certain age and make a happy home, they definitely exceeded expectations and have shown strength both inside and out.

Rachel was stubborn. And although that may be seen more as a negative than a positive trait, it helped her grow as a person. That same stubbornness helped her survive and stand out in some scenes. Mary is Richard’s wise and loving mother, and I’m pretty sure Richard won’t be half the great man that he is if not for this heroine. Lady Sarah was one of the royalties that Richard had to escort as a soldier. She seems to be a stuck-up and spoiled bride, but there were scenes in the book that will show you that she is capable of a whole lot of admirable things.

The story’s pace was kind of slow for me, but it was not boring either. I would honestly say that most of the chapters did not move me, and only the last ones had a real impact. I was expecting a different kind of surprise, but the book’s ending is still surprising and dramatic in its own way.

I cannot pinpoint anything that I particularly disliked, so I would say that this is a good book worth recommending. It was well-written, and the author did a good job in his research and in building such great imagery. This book will surely appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance. Trigger warnings include a few mentions of violent acts, gore, and some hints of cheating.

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[Blog Tour + Giveaway] ACADEMY OF THE ELITES by Alexis Calder

About the Book

Title: ACADEMY OF THE ELITES (Untamed Magic #1)
Author: Alexis Calder
Publisher: Alexis Calder
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 139
Find it on: GoodreadsAmazon

Release Dates for Academy of Elites:
Untamed Magic: October 1, 2019
Broken Magic: November 2019
Fated Magic: December 2019

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Blurb

My name is Raven Winters and I’m a mage. Who the hell knew? 

When I somehow summon fire in an act of self defense, I’m given two choices by the magic cops: attend some stuck-up magic school, or go to magic jail. 

Well, shit. There go my plans for the next year. Apparently, I have Untamed Magic, whatever the hell that means. And I’ve got a year to get it under control at this magic academy that’s basically a finishing school for the elite. Everyone here is somebody important. And rich. Except for me. 

Which paints quite the target on my back. Being the token poor kid is bad enough. Throw in that I somehow form a mating bond with four of the school’s most eligible bachelors. Oh yeah, and add in the fact that someone is trying to kill me. FML. 

Academy of the Elites is a reverse harem fantasy series meant for mature readers who want action, magic, and steam.

~~~

Excerpt

Raven

I kissed him harder, my lips swollen, my heart racing. I didn’t want him to stop.

Emboldened by my tempo, Luka slid the fabric of my tunic down my shoulder. Then, he moved to the other side, repeating the motion.

The fabric slid down my chest, practically melting away from skin until it pooled at my waist, held up by the gold belt.

He broke away from the kiss and took a step back from me, staring at me with his gorgeous eyes. I was naked in front of him. Well, half naked and all he did was look at me. His gaze didn’t break from my face and despite the fact that my tits were on full display, he didn’t look down.

There was something in that stare that reached down to my very core. It wasn’t just lust, there was something else there. Some connection that I couldn’t explain.

But then again, this was a dream. Maybe I was searching for a reason to justify how wet I was or how badly I wanted to feel this stranger’s cock inside me.

Heat rushed through me in a rolling sensation that was familiar but difficult to pinpoint. Where had I felt that before? Then, I realized I felt something similar when I’d used my magic. Terrified I was about to burst into flame, I pushed the sensation away, and with it, the moment of connection.

This wasn’t love. This wasn’t personal. This was lust. Pure and simple. It was a dream and I deserved to do what I wanted, right?

Luka

She frowned. “I was trying to open up to you.”

“I know,” I said. “And I’ll leave if you want me to. But have you considered that maybe you need the release? Maybe your body is craving this for a reason?”

Her eyes dropped, and I knew she was looking at the tent in my jeans. There wasn’t any way to hide my arousal from her. Even with my ability to control dreams, I couldn’t control my feelings for her.

“Dreams only,” she said. “Never during the day.”

I was willing to take what I could get, for now. As long as I could have her. “Agree.”

Reaching for her, I cupped the side of her face, rubbing my thumb on her soft cheek, then down her lips.

She held her breath, then she batted my hand away. “Wait a minute, you’re in confinement. You went there for me.”

I shrugged. “It was my fault. I shouldn’t have followed you.”

Her eyebrows knitted together in a look of concern. “Are you okay? They say it’s terrible.”

“It’s not so bad. Especially if you’re someone like me, who can escape in a matter of speaking.” I didn’t want to go into the rumors about reduced magic and lower powers after a trip to confinement. It was too depressing and would definitely ruin the mood. Besides, I was able to get to Raven’s dream. That was all I needed.

Taking a chance, I leaned in, hesitating only a second before I claimed her mouth with mine.

She wrapped her arms around me and I pulled her closer to me. Our lips moved together in ravenous, hungry fashion. Her fingers spread through my hair, tugging the strands as she pulled my head closer to hers.

~~~

About the Author

Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine.

Facebook | Amazon Author Page | BookBub |  Goodreads

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Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card. This is international. Click here to enter.

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Tour Schedule

Week One

Sep 30
BookHounds YA Excerpt
Wonder StruckReview

Oct 1
Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersExcerpt
Lifestyle of MeReview

Oct 2
A Gingerly ReviewReview
Polish & PaperbacksReview

Oct 3
Fire and Ice Review
A Bookish DreamReview

Oct 4
Read. Eat. Love.Review
BookriotReview

Week Two

Oct 7
Smada’s Book SmackReview
book briefsReview

Oct 8
Sophie Reads YAReview
Shelf-RatedReview

Oct 9
Novel NoviceExcerpt
Fyrekatz BlogReview

Oct 10
Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview
EatingbetweenthelinesINCReview

Oct 11
Writer of WrongsReview
Books_AndPoetriiExcerpt 

[Blog Tour + Giveaway] Pushing His Luck by Kira Archer

About the Book

Title: PUSHING HIS LUCK 
Author: Kira Archer
Pub. Date: September 23, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Indulgence)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 150
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleB&NiBooksKobo

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Blurb

Today is the biggest day of my professional career. I’ve got one shot to prove I can play with the big boys and the Lachlan account is my ticket. I’ve never been more prepared for anything in my life. So of course that went up in flames.

In hindsight, stopping to get my chocolate milk fix right before the big meeting might not have been the best decision. Neither was fighting for the last jug with a flirty Thor-lookalike. In my defense, not even a Disney-prince-smolder delivered by a sweaty sex god is a match for an anxiety-fueled chocolate craving.

And had I known before walking into that meeting that my sweaty, sex-god, milk-thief was none other than Christopher Lachlan, the new client on whom my career hung, I’d have definitely skipped my morning stop.

Curse my dumb friggin’ luck. I would be attracted to the one person I can’t have. 

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Excerpt

Charley Claybourne turned into the nearest store and hightailed it to the dairy section. She needed some chocolate milk. STAT.

Well, the lactose-free variety. Her stomach had enough issues dealing with her anxiety over her upcoming meeting without trying to process dairy.

Her phone buzzed, but she ignored it. Someone walked by the cooler and grabbed a quart. There was one left. Only one. And that baby was hers.

She picked up the pace and reached for the last jug on the shelf, her fingers wrapping around the handle just as a larger set of fingers wrapped around the bottom of the jug.

She sucked in a breath and pulled lightly, testing the other person’s determination before she looked up to pin the would-be milk thief with a glare. He didn’t let go.

“Excuse me, but I believe I had that first.”

Her phone buzzed again, and she yanked it out of her pocket, silencing it with a groan. “I believe you’re mistaken,” she said, trying to keep it civil. After all, the poor man on the other end of her jug couldn’t possibly know he was about to ruin her already stressful day. “I clearly had it first.”

Her phone buzzed a third time, and Charley shot the tall, vaguely familiar-looking Thor lookalike a mild glare before glancing at her phone to see who was blowing it up. Izzy. Of course. Because Charley was late, an issue not helped by the sweaty beefcake on the other end of her chocolate milk.

“No, I’m pretty sure I had it first,” he said, his deep, slightly gravelly voice drawing her attention from her phone.

She looked up at him, freezing for a second. He looked a lot like…naw, his hair was too long, and he was more muscley than—

Her phone buzzed again, and she swore under her breath and answered. “Izzy, I’m on my way. I just had to grab something from the store.”

As soon as she dealt with the imminent brawl that was about to break out over the last jug of Choco-Lact-Ish. She wasn’t leaving without her crutch of choice.

She nodded her head at her fingers wrapped around the handle. He returned the gesture, nodding at his own hand with a firm grip on most of the rest of the jug.

She interrupted Izzy’s constant stream of chatter in her ear. “I gotta go, Iz. I’ll be there in fifteen. Just need to pay for my milk.”

She hung up and renewed her grip as the guy at the other end of the jug raised an eyebrow.

“I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the whole your milk thing.”

She gritted her teeth to keep her jaw from dropping open. Was this guy really going to fight her over a jug of chocolate milk?

“Look, not to go all cliché and stereotypic on you, but isn’t chocolate milk a bit too kid-friendly of a drink for…” She looked him over, from the top of his spiked blond hair to his easily size fifteen or more feet. “Someone who’s obviously not a kid?”

“How do you know I’m not buying it for my kid?”

She frowned. She’d never considered herself to be one to take milk from a baby, but dammit, there were special circumstances today.

Are you buying it for your kid?”

He flashed a brilliantly white grin that had her knees shaking. Or maybe that was the hunger. She hadn’t eaten all day.

“Unfortunately, no,” he said. “However, chocolate milk happens to be an amazing post-workout beverage. Helps keep my muscles from seizing up and replenishes faster than other drinks, according to my trainer. I didn’t really pay attention after the words ‘chocolate milk is good.’ That sold me. All I know is it tastes amazing and does a body good.” He ran a hand down abs that were obviously—even through his well-fitting shirt—toned and rock hard and winked at her. She gave him what probably looked like a spooked owl blink in response.

Was this guy for real? To be fair, he wasn’t wrong. It was so doing him good. He must be bathing in the stuff. But still. Focus!

“So, get the regular chocolate milk. Why do you need the lactose free?” she asked.

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Trainer says to get lactose free, so that’s the kind I get.” He tugged a little, but she didn’t let go. “What about you? Do you have a houseful of milk-deprived children waiting at home?”

His brilliant blue eyes sparkled down at her, but she wasn’t going to give in to their power. Power he was obviously used to wielding. Damn, the Disney Prince smolder was strong with this one. Only the thought of something cool, thick, and chocolatey filling her anxiety-ridden and sadly empty tummy could fight those baby blues.

She renewed her grip on the jug. She really didn’t want to get into this with a stranger, especially not an insanely good-looking one she’d normally be trying to impress, but time was short and so was her patience.

“No. I’m buying it for myself because I haven’t eaten all day, I’m stressed out of my ever-lovin’ mind, and I’ve only got about two minutes to cram some sustenance into my face before I have to jet to a really important business meeting.”

“And chocolate milk is the answer to all your ills?” he asked, that disconcerting smile still in place, which was making it really hard to stay mad at him.

“Yes, it will. It’ll fill my stomach, the chocolate will calm my nerves, and I need the lactose-free brand because—”

She stopped short, horrified she had nearly told him all about the ill effects dairy tended to have on her system. Especially when she was anxious.

His smile broadened, obviously grasping her gassy meaning. She gripped the jug so hard her knuckles turned white, wishing on whatever gods happened to be listening that the floor would open up and swallow her. Or, better yet, swallow him. Then she could get her milk and get the hell out of there.

Her phone dinged with a reminder that her meeting started in an hour.

Ugh. Forget it. He could have the damn milk. She’d chug some water and pretend. She didn’t have time for this.

But before she could push the jug toward him, he let go. And since she still had a tighter-than-average grip on it, the sudden absence of resistance sent the jug flying. It crashed to the floor behind her, the plastic making that unmistakable cracking sound followed by the ice-cold whoosh of her chocolate salvation splashing up the back of her clothes and leaking all over the floor.

“Oh wow, I’m so sorry,” he said with a chuckle. “I thought you had a good grip on it.”

Charley closed her eyes and took a deep breath. There was no way her life was this cursed. She’d always had bad luck. She’d pull the one box off the shelf that was missing parts, her luggage always got lost or damaged when she flew, and her tires would find any nail in a ten-mile radius of her car. She once moved her car in a windstorm so the trees she’d been parked under wouldn’t fall on her car only to have her neighbor’s tree fall into her driveway and crush it anyway.

She was used to the ridiculous things that happened to her and let the running inside joke that was her life slide off her back most days.

But the fact that she was standing in the dairy section on the verge of crying over literal spilled milk on the most important day of her professional life had to be some violation of the universe’s cruel and unusual punishment laws. The fact that she was doing so in front of the most drop-dead gorgeous man she’d ever been within eyeshot of was just the icing on top of the world’s most craptastic cake.

“I really do apologize,” he said, though it would’ve sounded much more sincere if he hadn’t been trying to hold back his laughter until he was red in the face. “I was trying to let you have it.”

Yeah, he’d let her have it all right. Lovely. “It’s all right. Totally my fault.”

An irritated employee had already put up a caution cone and slapped a mop into the mess, splattering more dirty milk all over her. She didn’t even complain. She’d have been pissed to have to clean up that mess, too. She apologized profusely, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment and frustration. She was still freakin’ hungry and stressed and… Her phone dinged with another reminder she needed to get her ass moving.

Crap on a cracker. She needed to go. Maybe Izzy would have something in her fridge that wouldn’t kill her stomach. And something in her closet she could change into because milk splattered clothes were not going to make a great impression.

Her milk thief, meanwhile, looked like he was going to try and keep the conversation going. She gave him a weak smile and backed away.

“If you’ll excuse me,” she muttered. She gave him a weird half nod and hightailed it out of there.

If a simple trip to the store for some milk ended in this kind of spectacular disaster, it definitely didn’t bode well for the rest of the day.

Her cousin Izzy’s new penthouse wasn’t too far away. Closer than her own small apartment. She could go there and get cleaned up and still make it to the Lachlan building before her conference with Christopher Lachlan and his board.

She couldn’t screw up this meeting. If she didn’t get this account, her fledgling business would never get off the ground.

Her stomach growled and twisted, and she picked up the pace. That chocolate milk would have gone a long way to make her whole day a lot better. Stupid to hang so much on one chocolatized beverage, but it was what it was. Some people smoked, some drank. She did chocolate milk.

She made it to her cousin’s in record time and pounded on the door. Izzy took one look at her and stepped to the side while Charley made a beeline for the kitchen. She spilled the whole story while raiding the fridge—no chocolate milk but there was grape juice, which would have to do—and plucking at her milk-splattered clothes to hold them away from her now clammy skin. Izzy was, understandably, beside herself with laughter.

“Thanks for the support there, Iz,” Charley said.

“I’m sorry, but seriously…” Her words cut off as she barked out another laugh. “I mean, only you could go to the store for something simple and somehow get in a drag-out fight with some male supermodel over fake chocolate milk and end up covered in it.”

Charley ignored her and started sucking juice right from the pitcher.

The sound of a picture being taken made her look up even though she kept on drinking. Until she saw her brother, who was now chuckling over the picture on his phone.

“Derrick!” Charley shouted.

“Sorry, sis. Couldn’t pass up that opportunity. You look like you’ve been rolling around in a cow pen.”

“You little…get back here!”

“Sorry, can’t hear you!” he said, laughing and hurrying from the room before she could chase him.

She glared at the door but didn’t go after him. That can’t hear you bit always sent a bolt of shame and guilt through her. He meant it as a joke, but she had a hard time taking it that way. It was her fault they’d gotten into that accident in high school. Her fault he’d lost an ear in the process and had problems with retaining information sometimes. He didn’t blame her, but it didn’t matter. She blamed herself and always would. So, she let him get away with murder.

“All right, I’ve got to get out of these clothes,” she said, pulling at her clothes as she put the pitcher back. “I’m soaked.”

She headed down the hall to Izzy’s room and yanked off her top, swearing when she noticed that the milk had soaked through to her bra.

Izzy crinkled her nose. “Good riddance,” she said, nodding to the sports bra Charley wore. “That thing is hideous.”

“It’s also supportive and comfortable.”

“And now it’s ruined, so take it off and you can put this on,” she said, holding up a padded bra that looked like a really expensive, silky soft torture device. But Charley didn’t have time to argue.

She gripped the bottom of her bra and started shimmying it up over her head. Easier said than done. Sports bras were not known for their ease of removal. Add some moisture and…it really didn’t go as well as Charley hoped.

“Damn, I think I’m stuck,” Charley said, twisting her body as if that would somehow remove the tight elastic from its death-hold on her face.

Izzy was nearly peeing herself at this point, and Charley glared at her with the one eye that could peek through the armhole of the bra. “I could use some help!”

“Breathe, Chuck, breathe!” Izzy said when Charley groaned through the material.

She finally ripped the thing off her head and tossed it. “Thanks. I could’ve smothered.”

Izzy laughed again. “Hey, I’m always there for you, Chuck, you know that. You got a body you need buried, just call. But I draw the line at bra removal.”

Charley rolled her eyes and put on the clean bra that Izzy threw to her. “Got an outfit I can borrow?”

Izzy grinned through another laugh. “Sure. Though I think Cass’s stuff would be more your taste. Let’s raid her closet.”

Izzy led Charley back to her roommate’s closet and threw the double doors open wide. “Take your pick.”

Charley blew out an appreciative breath at the bounty before her and stepped inside.

“What was Derrick doing here?” she asked, gently touching the sleeve of one dress before moving on to another.

“I had some tickets for that hockey game he wanted to go to, so he was picking them up.”

“Good. Because if he posts that picture, I need to know where I can find him.”

“Ha! Right. You’ve been trying to keep that boy under control his whole life. Give it up.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Like she needed to be reminded there was one more thing she couldn’t control.

Charley wandered back and forth in Cass’s massive closet, slowly going through the gorgeous clothes.

“Quite the selection,” she said, glancing over her shoulder at her cousin, who shrugged.

“The first few months after we got the money, we had a little more fun than we should’ve at the boutiques.”

The money in question being the lotto Izzy won with Cass and their friend Kiersten. Charley would be lying if she said she wasn’t jealous, though she was thrilled for her cousin. If anyone deserved it, Izzy did. And she’d been very generous with the family. But Charley didn’t like taking handouts. She was going to make her way herself. And that meant she needed to get this damn job, which meant she needed to look fabulous.

She picked something and quickly slipped it on.

“I’m still not sure I feel totally right about this,” she said, turning so Izzy could zip up the form-fitting black sheath dress.

Izzy sighed. “We’ve gone over this. Chris only went with your firm because I recommended you. Nothing has changed.”

“Except that I’m no longer with my firm. Seems like something I should probably mention.”

Izzy shrugged. “I don’t see why. His office called you directly so he could work with you, and he is still working with you. What’s the problem?”

“The problem is that his board was okay with his choice of a junior associate because of the firm behind me. Without that, I’m pretty sure they’d prefer to go with someone else.”

“Well, they’ve already hired you, so I don’t see how it matters. You’ll still do an amazing job, they’ll be happy, and you’ll have a big-name client to get your business off the ground. It’s not your fault your former company was full of misogynistic assholes who’d rather promote anyone with a penis over a woman, no matter how much more qualified she was. I see no reason to deprive Chris of the best person for the job just because your old boss was a shortsighted idiot who refused to give you the promotion you deserved.”

Charley sighed. “I know, but maybe I should’ve sucked it up a few weeks longer. Until I’d finished with Mr. Lachlan’s company. I’d still have gotten the credit, and then I could have gone out on my own without having to resort to this deception to do it.”

Izzy snorted. “Seriously, Chuck, I’m not sure if your naivety is sweet or aggravating. Do you really think they’d have let you keep this account? If I hadn’t given Chris your direct number and sent him through the firm instead, they’d have passed it off to someone else no matter who Chris requested. Probably that guy you spent a year training who they made your boss. They never appreciated you.”

Charley grimaced, but she couldn’t argue with that. Izzy was right. She shoved her feet into a pair of heels a good two inches higher than she normally wore and took a deep breath. “All right. How do I look?”

Izzy looked her over. “The clothes are perfect. Now let’s do something about that,” she said, waving her finger in Charley’s face.

Right. Any bit of makeup she’d been wearing was now smeared all over her discarded bra. She grinned and shook her head but allowed Izzy to lead her to the vanity table filled with high-end beauty products.

Twenty minutes and thirty pounds of makeup later, Charley was ready for the meeting of her life. She just prayed her stomach didn’t revolt. The last thing she needed was to make a total fool of herself in front of Chris Lachlan.

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Kira Archer lives in Pennsylvania with her hubs and two kids. And 3 ridiculous cats. She’s one of those people who laughs at inappropriate moments (especially overly emotional occasions like weddings or funerals), and she has an insanely overactive imagination which is great when she’s writing but not so great when she’s shutting all the lights off at night and then has to go up the stairs. She has a PhD in Procrastination (or would if there was such a thing and there soooo should be because she’s seriously at expert level here). And if she’s not writing, she’s reading, or thinking about reading or writing. And running her kids around because they are busy and she’s the taxi driver. She also writes historical romances as Michelle McLean.

Sign up for Kira’s Newsletter!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

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International Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Click here to enter.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Sep 23 – BookHounds & Two Chicks on Books

Sep 24 – Don’t Judge, Read & Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Sep 25 – Shelf-Rated & books_andpoetrii (This is me and you are currently here :))

Sep 26 – Dena Garson-Real… Hot… Romance & Dazzled by Books

Sep 27 – Reese’s Reviews & Book Briefs

[Review] The Poison Profession by Rachel Wright 3/5

The Poison Profession by Rachel Wright is about Louisa Clayman, an ex-medical student who hides under the monicker, Crail. Louisa has a very successful security systems business which was established by her and her brothers, Jack and Tom. Clayman Security, Ltd. looks like a normal business on the outside, but there’s actually a whole lot more going on inside. They hunt and kill big-time criminals when they get too big for the authorities to handle.

So far, it has been great for the three siblings and everything is going right. That is until Louisa meets Rikard, an online gamer from Geneva who is basically the king of Warpath. They meet only for a brief moment and the next thing they know, they are head over heels for each other. What they don’t know is that, this attraction is what will shake everything up.

What I liked about this book is the author’s attention to detail. The imagery was great and she was able to make every scene alive in the readers’ minds. I also loved how the plot and the characters developed. I liked how Crail seemed to always be organized and perfect in every way, but when she fell for Rikard, she became vulnerable too, like all of us who have been in love. I would also like to commend how the author used her influence to raise awareness for Tikopia in the Solomon Islands.

There were occasional typos and that’s the only thing that I did not like. I highly recommend this to lovers of crime thriller, mystery, and romance. I would also like to give a fair warning to future readers that this book has a lot of erotic scenes and there were a lot of profanities used. Last but not the least, this book deals with drugs and murder.

Many thanks to OnlineBookClub for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can read the more detailed review here.

[Review] One Way or Another by Mary J. Williams 3/5

One Way or Another is the first installment in The Sisters Quartet series by Mary J. Williams. It gives us an overview of the four Benedict sisters who are all strong and living to empower themselves and others, but this book mainly focuses on Calder and how she meets and falls in love with Adam.

Feminist, romantic, and has a cliffhanger ending but overall needs improvement. It was easy-going and slow until the last few chapters. There were several typos and awkward punctuation mark positions so my verdict is 3 out of 5 stars.

I recommend this to lovers of cheesy romance, friendship, and solid sisterhood.

TW: Drugs, rape

Read my full and in-depth review on OnlineBookClub.

[Blog Tour + Giveaway] Temptation by Inara Scott

Review

Temptation by Inara Scott is about the friendship-slash-repressed attraction between Zoe Riva, a bold and smart lawyer who wants her rightful place in a world dominated by men, and Connor Ashton, a tall yet reserved tech guy who is also one of the founders of Livend Capital. This attraction grows into something explosive, and the next thing I know, I was going emotional over this book. Two broken and complicated souls who found themselves in love with each other sound cliche but if you give this one a chance, you definitely won’t regret it.

First of all, I loved that this book is feminist. From Zoe’s headstrong demeanor to the GPG’s (Geriatric Physicist Grannies) strong and caring nature. All of the male characters looked at Zoe as an equal, and they never did once doubt her ideas and skills. There were times when they warned her to not proceed with some endeavors, but not because they did not believe in her. Those warnings were out of concern.

Second, this book had a good mix of light and heavy matters. I wasn’t actually expecting anything from this one other than it being steamy, but it surprised me in a good way. Aside from the sexy scenes, things like running a business, motorcycles, cold fusion, whiskey, forgiving others as well as yourself, were also discussed and I learned a lot.

Lastly, I found it so easy to connect with the main characters. Their back stories made them more relatable and I loved how the plot developed though it did not get exciting until the middle part.

I’m giving it a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. It would have been a 4 if not for the occasional typos. I recommend this book to suckers for romance and a little bit of smut. This is the second installment for the Bad Angels series but it can be read as a standalone.

About the Book

Title: TEMPTATION (Bad Angels #2)
Author: Inara Scott
Pub. Date: August 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 358
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksKobo

Blurb

As close friends and coworkers, attorney Zoe Riva and tech genius Connor Ashton know they can never get involved.

Never.

Ever.

Until a scooter accident lands Zoe in Connor’s arms—and his overnight custody—and she starts to see a man she’s never seen before. With her career and her heart on the line, Zoe can’t afford to take any chances. But when combustible chemistry takes over, even the smartest people in the room can make the biggest of mistakes…

About the Author

Inara Scott grew up on a steady diet of true love, heaving bosoms, and happily ever after. Romance inspired her first (terrible) novel, penned at the age of 14, titled A Wild and Stormy Passion. Today, Inara writes anything and everything, including adult romance and young adult fiction and adult romance. Inara was finalist for the prestigious RITA®  award of the Romance Writers of America for her book Reforming the Playboy. Her novels have won numerous awards, including the IPPY Award (Winter Rain), the Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book (The Talents and The Marked) the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit (Radiant Desire and Rules of Negotiation). When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time wandering around in the woods, paddling around on lakes, and has been known to occasionally dress up her little white dog in princess costumes.

Inara loves to hear from readers, and can often be found avoiding actual work on Twitter (@inarascott) or Facebook.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details

Thank you for reading all the way down here. I’m happy to announce that an international giveaway is also included in this blog tour. 1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Click here to enter.

[Review] The Coordinate by Marc Jacobs 5/5

Marc Jacobs’ The Coordinate surprised me in many ways and I’m more than happy to have read this book. The story revolves around Emma James and Logan West, two senior-high students, who were tasked to do a report about one mysterious chamber in the Copan Temple in Honduras. What seemed to be a simple assignment turns out to be a dangerous yet romantic adventure for our two protagonists.

This book features a story which is timely and therefore, relatable. I suppose a lot of Millennials and Generation Z kids who’ll be reading this will see themselves in either Emma or Logan, especially in how they’ve handled and organized the tasks for their school report. It is also timely in the sense that it reflects how the world is right now or how it has been for the last century. There are talks about weapons and terrorism, advanced science and technology, aliens, and so on.

To be honest, I have never been a fan of ancient history but this book made me want to read more about the Mayans and other remarkable civilizations that lasted for a long time. I like that it has sparked another interest in me, one that I would have never picked up if not for the wonderful story-telling.

Another thing I liked is that this book has a lot of feminist concepts. The main antagonist is a female. One thing won’t lead to another if not for the brilliance of both Emma and Logan, as well as Quimbey and Arenot. No one was above the other. The pairs were projected as equals, each one complementing the other perfectly.

One thing I did not like is that, at some point, I felt that it was not realistic anymore for two teenagers to accomplish what they had no matter how smart they were. But then again, I had to remind myself that this is a sci-fi fantasy book.

I recommend this to everyone looking for a thrilling adventure, those who like secrets within secrets, and those who like deciphering codes and solving puzzles. You will never regret reading this book and I’m sure you’ll have as much fun as I did.

P.S.
I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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See my NetGalley review here.

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[Review] Tithe by Chani Lynn Feener 3/5

The first chapters were slow moving until Chapter 12, where all the action suddenly became fast-paced and revelation after revelation came. I was drawn to this book and I could not put it down. However, I felt like the last few chapters were a bit anti-climactic and confusing, at times.

Arden Archer could have been a great female lead but I felt like she’s always a damsel in distress. Yes, she is brave, not afraid to stand up to anyone, even to the Unseelie, but there is something lacking. In the whole story, she has been nothing but a manipulated human, too oblivious of everything no matter how bold she seemed to be.

Also, I was not comfortable of the fact that everyone, aside from Eskel, was pretty much okay with the possibility of Arden and Cole going to the underworld after being successful in the Tithe. Even when Arden and Cole have been prepared for the challenge, nothing changes the fact that it’s still the underworld and I felt like this matter was taken too lightly for my taste.

If there was one thing that I really liked in this book, it’s the love triangle. It was well-written and not forced. Although I have been for Eskel from the very beginning, there were scenes where Mavek grew on me.

This book is brimming with potential, but there are a lot things that need improvement.

P.S.
I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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[Int’l Giveaway] Crazy Rich Asians

Hello there! I recently received another copy of Crazy Rich Asians so now I have 3 copies of the same book. Well I’m not complaining because books are love but I decided I will just give one away on Instagram and still have two copies. Win-win, eh? ❤

How to enter:
👑 Follow me on Instagram @books_andpoetrii (+1)
👑 Like the photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0U-QERAnx9/ (+1)
👑 Tag 2 bookish friends in one comment (+1)
👑 Like and comment on my past posts (+3)

Extra entries:
👑 Share the photo in your story for 24 hrs and don’t forget to tag me (+2 remember to mention the giveaway or else it won’t be counted; you may share every 24 hrs as long as this giveaway is open)
👑 Tag more bookish friends. You may do this as many times as you like but please DO NOT tag the same friends (+1 for every unique person tagged)

👑 Giveaway ends on Aug 1. Winner will be announced shortly on top of my Instagram post and in my stories
👑 Must be 18 or above
👑 Winner must be willing to give me his/her address and must respond within 48 hrs or else I will choose another winner
👑 This giveaway is not affiliated with anyone or any other entity aside from myself and my book shelf LOL
👑 GOOD LUCK ❤

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[Review] Taking the Lead by Sarah Monk 4/5

Taking the Lead is a great slow-burn romance, perfect for every romantic out there.

This book has a lot of strong female characters which I really loved. From Theo, who found out how happier and better she can be alone than being with someone who doesn’t really complement her, to Blix and Suze who are still rocking their beauty and humor, charming everyone even in their old age.

One more thing I liked about this book is the inclusion of dogs and art. DOGS AND ART. Aside from romance, dogs had been another central theme. I’m sure you will fall in love with Dylan, Tilly, Wilma, Poppy, Eddie, and all the other furry friends mentioned and described in this book.

Art had also been widely discussed because most of the characters have a heart for art; and they are not just spectators, they are artists themselves! Theo is a painter, Jonas is an adept woodworker, Geoffrey was an art history professor and is also a skilled craftsman like Jonas.

You will enjoy the supporting characters as much as the main ones. To be honest, I think I liked the side couples and their character development more than the main pair. Wilko and Clem is such a wonderful match-up. Though I didn’t like the fact that the author paired almost everyone up, at least the relationships didn’t feel forced.

Make sure you have patience when you read this book because as I said, this is a slow-burn romance and the main couple does not meet until the last few chapters. But believe me it’s all worth the wait and will leave you craving for more.

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