Book Reviews, New Releases

ARC REVIEW: By the Light of Embers

Release date: May 9, 2019 (In just two weeks!)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Review: Thank you to NetGalley, Shaylin Gandhi and Briar Rose Publishing for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

By the Light of Embers is an alluring historical novel about a young woman who is beyond her time . The heroine, Lucia Lafleur is faced with the choice of following her dreams of being a medical doctor or losing her finance forever. While contemplating her decision, Lucia spends the summer of 1954 in her home state of Louisiana with her family and her best friend, Gretchen. As she forbiddingly falls in love with an old acquaintance, Nicholas, Lucia realizes just how much hatred runs through her childhood town, a realization that could cost them both their lives.

What I love about this novel is that it is such an an empowering tale for woman everywhere. Lucia fights for her dreams. She fights against racism and social injustices. She stands up for herself and her wants and her needs. And within ALL the conflict, Lucia stays true to herself. What better lesson for women out there then to be true to oneself?

I want to preface by saying that I really enjoyed this story. It was well written with great character development and wonderful descriptions. However, there are one too many subplots occurring throughout the novel that makes it a bit too soapy for historical fiction. This novel, in my opinion, borders the romance genre. BUT, although there are so many subplots, I did appreciate how each subplot ties nicely into the ending. And that ending? Oh my. That’s all I can say….Oh my.

Recommendation: It’s a solid book with a good plot that shine lights on issues we still face today. Take that as you will….

All The Stars, Book Reviews, New Releases

Book Review / Blog Tour / Excerpt: The Rules Of Burken

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Genre: Psychological Thriller

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“I see you, Little Spider…..”

Review: First, I must thank Social Butterfly PR and Traci Finlay for supplying me the ARC for this book. Second, Traci Finlay – please keep writing. Do not stop. This book was simply amazing! I want more…..

Now, Reader – because I was granted the ARC, I agreed to not give away any spoilers but to be honest, I DON’T WANT TO. I absolutely positively do not want to give away any spoilers. All I can say is that this is a must read!

The Rules of Burken is a wickedly delightful page turner. I could not put it down. I squeal of delight every time I think about the book, even now that I have finished. I want to do a re-read just to absorb all the little details I might have missed.

This thriller is a wildly entertaining, villainously clever and original tale which involves around a crazy intense version of hide and seek between a brother and sister. There are rules. There are rounds. There is even a creepy script. YET, the reasons behind the game, behind WHY they play the game is soooooo twisted. The plot takes place over years and years flashing between the present and future that all leads to the most astonishing, creative climax I’ve read it a long while.

Side Note: I would not mind seeing this made into a movie. I’m a proponent for #thebookisbetter. I’m in the club 99.9% of the time. However, this would be so entertaining to watch. So, so entertaining.

Recommendation: Read it. Read it. Read it. Don’t skip to the end. Don’t focus on the questions that will go through your head. Most get answered at the end. And once you read it, let me know. I NEED TO DISCUSS THIS WITH SOMEONE.


“This book captured me from the start! The Rules of Burken reveals the chilling secrets behind a childhood game, and I’ve never been more disturbed by what the human mind can do.”

–Colleen Hoover, New York Times bestselling author

The Rules of Burken, an all-new thriller packed with secrets, lies and a dangerous game from Traci Finlay, is available now!

The Rules of Burken_ebook

Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?


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“Nope, the game’s not over,” he says and suddenly releases my hands before standing.

“What?” I say to his knees.

“It’s not over,” he repeats harshly, like I’m not the co-creator of this game.

I sit up on my elbows and pull a twig from the pesky strand of hair that’s cupping my face again. “What do you mean? Of course it’s over, that was the third round. Have you forgotten how to—”

He reaches down and grasps my upper arm, heaving me up. “Listen very carefully,” he whispers, as if the trees might be listening. “I’m giving you one more chance. I’m even going to give you a head start. But I’m warning you.” His grip on my arm tightens, and he pulls me closer until his breath hits my ear. “Don’t let me catch you. Because if I catch you, I will kill you.”

Okay, that was never in the script.

“And, for the record, if I get back to the house and you’re there, I will murder you. Do you understand?”

I finally look at him, scanning his eyes for a twinkle, any sign that this is just a huge prank and at any moment he’ll burst out laughing, pointing and saying stupid things like, “You should’ve seen your face!” or, “You thought I was serious?” But his eyes dart back and forth between mine with threats I haven’t seen since we were at the barn with Trevor during The Night That Never Happened.

I mean, I’ve never seen his eyes like that.

He digs his nails into my arm. “Do you?”

“You’re going to kill me… Is this a joke?”

“It’s not a joke,” he whispers. “Do you understand?”

I absolutely have to break eye contact. “I—I’m really confused.”

His hand goes to my throat, and his fingers slide in the blood he’d dripped on it. But it doesn’t hinder him from pressing against my jugular, my windpipe, and now I’m officially and rightfully scared, and eye contact, it is.

“I said, do you understand?” he says a lot more calmly than his hand at my throat says.

I nod.

“Good. Now listen carefully. I’m going to let you go. And you have ten seconds before I hunt you down. This is round four, got it? This is a bonus round, wherein the loser dies. And don’t—”his voice lowers to a diabolic decibel. “Don’t let me find you at the house.” At that, he releases me.

I should’ve just eaten my orange. Shouldn’t have done this.


I should feel indifferent. Every milestone in my life has been haunted by some form of loss and betrayal—if it wasn’t our mom leaving, then it was the death of my best friend and the incarceration of our father.


But this is Ian, the only person I have left. This is shock in its purest form, and I’m no longer tempted to laugh at him. I stare instead. I blink twice. Take a step backward. Another.


Then I’m gone. I don’t know where I’m going, but as those ten seconds dwindle down, a sinking awareness that Ian is dead serious swarms like a nest of bees in my gut.

Ian is chasing me now, I know it.

I knew I shouldn’t have played.

About Traci Finlay

Traci Finlay grew up in the Midwest and transplanted to Florida for college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with a minor in English, met and married the love of her life and moved to Miami, where she currently lives with her husband, two sons, and two smart-mouthed dogs.

Growing up, she loved reading books, but had a particular passion for mysteries. Throughout her adulthood, she’s taken many writing courses and written three psychological thrillers she plans to publish soon.

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All The Stars, Book Reviews

A Court Of Mist And Fury: Oh My Hotness

Genre: Fantasy / YA

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“To the people who look at the stars and wish……To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

Recap per Goodreads**: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Review: This book is a’s long…there is a lot of information to process. However, this novel is SO SO good thanks to the brilliance of Sarah J Maas. Out of the four books published so far, this one is my absolute favorite. It has all the feels and I mean ALL the feels. There is mystery and action and adventure and romance. The plot is unique and not predictable. I didn’t see half of it coming. Yes, I’m sure, Reader, that you will have a premonition at the start of many scenes where you think…..Oh this cannot end well……and your premonition is going to be right …but what your premonition doesn’t know is HOW it all goes to hell. And the HOW is the best part.

For those who have read ACOWAR, please continue reading. If you have not, go, read it and come back! This is novel is hard for me to discuss without giving away spoilers. You need to experience this on your own first!


❤ I am a sucker for a slow burn. I am a sucker for a love triangle. I am also a sucker for a book with a lot of angst. So the slow burn relationship that is Feyre and Rhysand is by far the greatest I’ve read in a while. Holy Hell. And when it comes to a head, it is extremely hotttttt (that’s what she said).

❤ Rhysand is everything you want in a hero. He is the most self sacrificing, loyal High Lord you can find. There is always a noble motive behind his actions. Most see it as being arrogant or evil but it is really Rhysand playing the role of a dark prick to help the greater good. It is really just Rhy being smarter than the other courts. And his actions are down completely out of love…for his people, for his friends, for his mate. It also doesn’t hurt that Rhy has the body of a God with the bonus of wings.

❤ I love every private scene that Feyre and Rhysand had. Every single one. Some are sweet. Some are intense. Some are romantic. Some are dramatic. Some are hot as hell.

❌ Tamlin is a worthless sack of manure. He’s selfish, lazy, weak. He has crazy anger issues. And most importantly he lets Feyre whither away right in front of him. In the beginning of the novel, I thought maybe the cause of his character change was his own PTSD. I once thought he was noble and good…but the truth is Tamlin has been a worthless sack the entire time…Book 1 included. When he locks Feyre into a dungeon of his own making, I nearly lost my shit. OK, it isn’t exactly a dungeon since it is the entire palace but the girl just spent 3 months locked in a cell. How can he EVER think this is OK? And then the end of the book? Fork you, Tamlin. Fork you. (Isn’t it ironic that Tamlin is giving me anger issues?)

Recommendation: This is a must read. I don’t care if you don’t even read the first novel (A Court of Thorn and Roses), read this one.

**Note: I decided to use the recap from GR which is not my norm because I don’t want to accidentally give away too many spoilers by recapping the book or run the risk of not giving enough information that you decide not to read it.

Book Reviews

One Night with her Roommate: A Novella

Genre: Romance Novella

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (when comparing to other novellas)

Review: Sometimes when I am: a) in a reading rut / in a major book hangover, b) want a quick romantic story, c) want a super cute, not so emotional read (say after reading Colleen Hoover..Love her!), or d) don’t have time for a full fledged novel but need to keep feeding my READING ADDICTION, I turn to Noelle Adams.

Noelle Adams has a writing style that speaks to me. She tells a great story with in a small amount of pages (71 in this particular novella). I’ve always appreciated writers who can do that. Not all novels can be 350 pages. Do I like long novels? Yes. Love them. Need them. Can’t live my life without them. However, it is nice to have a change every once in awhile too.

One Night with Her Roommate is book #5 in the One Night Series. It follows the story of Meg and East. Meg has a good job with hopes and dreams. She’s also a little neurotic. East is the quintessential slacker with no job. He’s a hot mess both physically and mentally. Their story starts right in the middle with Meg fighting her feelings for East. The two end up spending one hot and steamy night together after a tragic situation brings them closer. The morning after, Meg has a breakdown over what happened causing a right between them. And like a perfect romantic novella, the conflict is quickly resolved. HEA! (Side note: there is more to the story but there will be no spoilers this time).

Recommendation: Read for a short, happy read. The One Night Series is like a Hallmark movie……the stories end happily tied up in a nice little bow. Instant gratification.

Book Recommendations

Weekend Reads!!!

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Why read it? It’s super cute and very sweet. A bit unrealistic yet altogether charming.
  • Side Note: 99% of books by Christina Lauren are pretty great.
  • Random fact: For those who don’t know, Christina Lauren is two writers in one.

  • Genre: New Adult / Romance
  • Why read it? This is the kind of book you will either love or hate. It pushes the limits because there is a SIGNIFICANT age gap that will make some cringe (BUT NO underage sex!). It’s a hard NO for some. If you are looking to get you out of your comfort zone, this is it.
  • I’ve read but not rated but GR is showing a rating as 4.26 stars.
Book Reviews, New Releases

ARC Review: A Palm Beach Wife

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Rating: 🌟🌟

Many thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC of in exchange honest review

Synopsis: In Palm Beach, image is everything and no one knows this more than Faith. Having moved to Palm Beach at a young age, Faith has built a life around becoming a perfect member of high society and the perfect wife and mother. But what happens when the life she built is suddenly flipped upside down? Will she do what is best for her family or what is best for her image?

Review: Here’s what I liked about this story: When you take away all the glitz and glamour, Faith is a strong woman. She survived plenty of heartbreak when she was quite young. She is the owner of a successful business. And even though she has an addict husband who makes the life she built a living hell throughout the plot, she walks with grace and with her head held high. She takes the punches as they come and instead of pointing blame or running away, Faith attempts to fix her issues. I also love how she is the protector of her family.

With all that said, the story itself was too much. There was too much glitz and glamour. There was too much name dropping. Most of the characters are quite shallow and/or hard to find personable. But most of that could probably be overlooked except for the fact that the ending falls so flat….so so flat. For Faith to go through and do everything to make life for her and her family great again…….for Faith to get that kind of ending, it feels as if she and the reader were robbed. There needs to be some type of epilogue or maybe just more to the ending than what was given.

Recommendation: I do not recommend this book. It has so much potential and ends up disappointing. Take that as you may…as always, it is up to you.

Cover Reveal

Staci Hart’s Red Lipstick Coalition Series


Well Suited, the final standalone in the Red Lipstick Coalition Series from Staci Hart, is coming May 2nd and we have the beautiful cover for you!


Chemistry is my love language.

I’ve always been able to separate feelings from chemosignals. A shot of dopamine, a dash of serotonin, and a sprinkle of oxytocin—and bam. You’re in love.

And when egg meets sperm, you’re pregnant.

I couldn’t even be surprised as I stared down at the little blue plus sign, because I knew exactly when and how, and with whom it happened.

When: approximately five weeks ago.

Who: one night stand.

How: prophylactic malfunction.

The upside? I don’t have to go looking for a suitable mate.

Genetically, he’s the cream of the crop. His musculature is a study in symmetry and strength, his height imposing and dominant. He is a man who thrives on control and command, a man who survives on intelligence and resourcefulness. A perfect male specimen.

And the whole package is wrapped up in a flawlessly tailored suit.

I’m having this baby, and he insists we’re well-suited to have it together. And what’s worse? He wants more, in the way of love and marriage.

But love isn’t real. It’s just a product of chemistry.

And if he changes my mind about that, we’re both in trouble.


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About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.


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