Season Finale Review: Underliner by Ruth Juliano

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As hinted at earlier, Bibliogal is going on a summer hiatus.  I am taking time to regro

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up and revamp the blog. This autumn, there will be changes.  Just as I was about to announce this hiatus; a book fell into my lap (okay not my lap but my kindle) and I couldn’t wait until fall to write about it.

Here’s the official synopsis of the book, as found on Amazon:

Benjamin was raised to only care about people for as long as he needed something from them. He believed that if an issue couldn’t be solved with charm then it could be solved with money.
Frequently underestimated, and tired of being alone, Benjamin returns home after years abroad determined to make his department the crowning jewel of his father’s company.  If there’s one thing he knows, it’s books.
He quickly discovers that a lot of things aren’t what they had seemed while he was away, and has no idea what’s been going on. With the unexpected intervention of a girl from the wrong side of the ‘yawning chasm’ and an unusual chess club, Benjamin’s reality is seen in a whole new light.
Developing sympathy and empathy after so many years can have its downsides, but it can also lead to finding the one thing he really wants. Friends.”

Underliner-Amazon

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This book blew me away.  It’s like a layered cake: each bite reveals more ooey-gooey goodness inside.pusheen-cat-eats-cake-animated-gif  On the surface, it seems like a “rich playboy-meets regular joes and has to figure out what his priorities are” scenario. Benjamin evolves with the story, each time the story progresses and moves forward, so does Ben.  This is a book about a boy becoming a man…and it’s also about righting wrongs, and helping those who can’t help themselves.  All things that I love to read. Sex, Crime, Drama; it all unfolds like a delicious episode of Law and Order and who doesn’t love Law and Order?dgyz4_s-200x150

 

I’m happily giving this book 5 out of 5 Stars and I’m going to spend hiatus reading Juliano’s books.  She has over a dozen!! All of them are coming of age stories about uncomfortable topics, sure to jolt you out of any book slump or burnout you may encounter.

I need to end this by saying THANK YOU to Ruth Juliano.  I was getting disheartened by a few things in the blogging realm.  I was losing sight of my vision and the will to open a book.  I had forgotten what it was like to read for pleasure instead of reading on a tight deadline.  I had also forgotten how much I love reading Crime Dramas….Like REALLY REALLY LIKE them (After Urban Fantasy, they’re my next favorite genre!) Thank you, tenor1Ruth, for making me remember what all this was started for!

I hope everyone checks out Ruth Juliano and finds a book they absolutely love! I also hope you tune in next season for more Bibliogal action!

Happy Reading,

Bibliogal ❤

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Review: Loving You With Teeth and Claws

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Jesus Murphy! This stupid book will plague me forever.  If this blog did awards I would msygive LYWTAC the award for Best Paranormal Romance of the Year…seriously.  Once again, Mcatee has reached out to my jaded soul and soothed it with amazing storytelling and relatable characters.

When I got my copy of LYWTAC, I’m not going to lie.  My fangirl mode was activated and I was giddy. I was unable to do anything but think about this book.  I’m a fan of the Dead Things Series and this prequel has been anticipated for months!! It did not disappoint! 2fa99da0b1b57e7d1d30a92cb9290721

While this is a prequel to Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, it can be read on its own.  WARNING: Once you read it, you will want to read the other books in the series…you’ve been warned.  (You can also check out my reviews for them here and here)

This book has it all.  Snark, a smart heroine, heated encounters, mythology, witches, shifters, fae, reapers, and banshees all come together to create a well-written and addictive novel.  The writing is smart and I never lost interest.  In fact, I didn’t put it down and read the ENTIRE book in a day and trust me, it’s a big one.

I am happily giving this book 5 out of 5 Stars and I’m going to rock back and forth crazily until my addiction is fed with a third Dead Things novel.  I should also note that tumblr_mjxz84yElm1qkfwf2o1_500while the series is YA, this book is Adult Romance, with some smolder but no graphic depictions of intimacy, so I would personally deem it appropriate for older teens. (Disclaimer: My opinion solely, not based on ANY professional recommendations blah blah blah)

I especially loved this book because it’s an origin story of involving everyone’s favorite blended family.  I love how the author depicts the struggles of raising a family, sure, it’s a blended supernatural family of orphans and a college-aged alpha wolf trying to raise largethem, but it works and it’s beautiful. Everyone has a past and everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has to learn how to deal.  I can’t say enough about this book, or the series in general.  This deserves to go on my shelf as an actual paperback and not just an e-copy.

Review: Keeper Of Crows by Casey L. Bond

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Carmen Kennedy is a spoiled brat from Beverly Hills with a chip on her shoulder and a cocaine addiction to match. Using drugs to suppress reality, her life is more than she can stomach most days. All she wants is to disappear, and on one fateful night, her wish is granted.

There is a world that exists just beyond the fabric of our own. When Carmen is dragged there against her will, her hopelessness seems to disappear, replaced by a determination to survive. The Keeper of Crows is charged with guarding Carmen, but is safety a possibility in a world so desolate? Can love blossom when danger lies in wait? Together, they fight like hell, seeming to lose more ground than they gain with each battle against the dark enemy threatening to tear them apart. Can love keep her safe? Can it give her the strength she needs?

When the lines between life and death, reality and dream become blurred, who will save the souls trapped in the spaces between Heaven and Hell? Who will save Carmen’s only love, The Keeper of Crows?

Keeper of Crows is a new paranormal romance duology from the author of The Frenzy Series. The book does contain adult material such as profanity, illicit drug use and sexual situations.

Source: Amazon.com

Keeper of Crows is a dark and gritty Paranormal Romance by Casey L. Bond.  Her main character has a chip on her shoulder that may be more accurately described as the Grand Canyon.  She’s hard to like, but eventually, you get there.  Carmen goes through an epic journey that leads her to do some soul searching (literally haha) and Michael is the paranormal guy who helps guide her through it.  But he’s not just ANY hot paranormal guy…he’s the Keeper of Crows

So this book is unlike any PNR that I’ve read.  The heroine is a spoiled rich girl who ends giphyup in a bad way (okay that’s kind of like some stuff I’ve read before 😉 ). Carmen finds herself on a journey through both our world and the Other Side and she has to grow up quick.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m eager to see how the story plays out. I was surprised with how much I ended up rooting for Carmen and Michael towards the end.  The writing is phenomenal and the situations are very real in some circumstances. It also deals with some heavy subject matter (if you look deeper into the text).  I would recommend this book to just about everyone! It’s YA PNR, but it has some dark moments, drug use, and sex scenes, so reader beware; probably not recommended for middle graders. I’m giving it a

Carmen finds herself on a journey through both our world and the Other Side and she has to grow up quick.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m eager to see how the story plays out. I was surprised with how much I ended up rooting for Carmen and Michael (The Keeper of Crows) towards the end.  The writing is phenomenal and the situations are very real in some circumstances. It also deals with some heavy subject matter like human trafficking, drug addiction, depression, suicide, and emotional abuse (that’s what I took from it, you may see something different). I would recommend this book to just about everyone! It’s YA PNR, but it has some dark moments, drug use, and sex scenes, so reader beware; probably not recommended for middle graders. I’m giving it a 5 out of 5 Stars and keeping it in my “permanent” folder for future rereads.

Final thoughts on Keeper of Crows:

tumblr_mz9hrw1m6V1ricgg0o2_r1_250.gifFor More Information on Casey L. Bond and Keeper of Crows click the highlighted link.

Book Review: Bobbins & Boots by Shanna Hatfield

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“How does an act of kindness result in. . . marriage?

One carefree cowboy is about to find out in this sweet historical romance!

Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined to avoid a life of drudgery with him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and weds her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.”

Blurb from Amazon.com

As much as I adore all things Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Paranormal; Historical Romance is also dear to my heart. This book has everything I crave in a clean read.  Humor, strong relationships, solid backstory for the main character, and a good old-fashioned romantic storyline. Ben is a sweet and gentle hero, while Allie is strong and smart (but not without her flaws).  I also love a good CLEAN read every once in a while and Hatfield’s book is it! I was so focused on the story and what was going to happen next, that I didn’t need any naughty scenes to forward it along (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but they would’ve been out of place here).

I would recommend this to  ALL ages who are interested in Historical Romance, or those who enjoy well-written stories about the American West. This is Book 4 in a series, and can be read as a stand alone. It’s the first book of Shanna Hatfield’s that I’ve read and I will absolutely be reading more in the future. This book left me feeling hopeful and happy and I hope it does the same for you.  I should also mention there are recipes included with each book 😉 Definitely a 5 out of 5 Star Rating!

Happy Reading!

Bibliogal

CHECK OUT THE AMAZING GIVEAWAY BELOW! Thank You to Lady Amber’s Book Reviews & PR and Shanna Hatfield for sponsoring the contest!

Title: Bobbins and Boots

Author: Shanna Hatfield

Genre: Western, Historical Romance

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

How does an act of kindness result in… marriage?

Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined not to marry him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and marries her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, Cowboy Kisses, and Pioneer Hearts.

Author Links:

Buy Links:

Crumpets & Cowpies: http://amzn.to/2n8o3hp

Thimbles & Thistles: http://amzn.to/2neaqyS

Corsets & Cuffs: http://amzn.to/2ne12eF

Bobbins & Boots: http://amzn.to/2neby5x

“Tully suggested the best way to keep Joe from marrying Miss Tillman was for her to already be married, so I did.”

Thane rocked back so hard, he had to scramble to keep from tipping off the chunk of wood. “You did what?”

“I married Miss Tillman. It all happened so fast, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d done until I was partway home. I went to the bank, took money from my account, and left it at the jail for Tully to give Joe. I figured him punching me in the stomach and threatening to shoot me was worth five dollars. Then I got Pastor Eagan and we went to the boardinghouse. He married us. I remember signing a marriage certificate and Hattie and Edwin witnessing the ceremony, but everything else is kind of a blur.”

Thane jumped up and looked around. “Where’s your wife, Ben? What did you do with her?”

As though he finally regained his full mental faculties, Ben stood while a look of panic settled on his face. “I left her at the boardinghouse. I didn’t even think about bringing her home with me.” Ben groaned and sank back down on the stump. “I stepped in it good this time, Thane. What am I gonna do with a wife? I’m too young to be married. I don’t even have a house. I’m no better than Joe Lambery.”

Thane jerked him to his feet and shook a finger in his face. “I don’t want to ever hear you say anything like that again, Benjamin Ross Amick. You’re a good man and you’ll make a fine husband, once you get your head set back on straight. It’s too late to go back to town tonight, but first thing in the morning, you’re going to Baker City and bringing home your bride.”

“But, Thane, what am I gonna do with her? She can’t sleep in the bunkhouse, for gosh sakes.” Ben slapped his hat against his leg. “What was I thinking?”

“That there was someone who needed your help. I’ve never known you to walk away from trouble, Ben, and I’m sure this seemed like the best way to handle the situation at the time.” Thane pointed to the cabin across the ranch yard. “You and Allie can live in the cabin. It probably needs a good cleaning but you’d be welcome to use it.”

“Allie?” Ben gave Thane a confused look. Was that the name of the woman he’d married? The details remained rather unclear.

Thane offered him a pointed look. “Your wife’s name is Allie. You certainly can’t go around calling her Miss Tillman now that she’s Mrs. Amick.”

Ben looked as though he might be sick. Thane chuckled and thumped him on the back. “Come on. Eat supper with us. I don’t think you’re up to the teasing all the men will offer when they find out you’ve wed and forgot to bring home your bride.”

Book Review: Soulbound by Bethany Adams

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“A deathbed promise

Arlyn’s quest is simple: Find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Arlyn had promised her mother she’d go. The problem? Her father’s people are myths and legends, and he doesn’t even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.

A dream long-buried

After five hundred years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbonded. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend’s newfound daughter. Whoops.

A hidden conspiracy sparked to life

Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn’s heart pound, she isn’t sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgment of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.

Arlyn thought she would return to Earth after meeting her father. Now she must fight to save the family she never knew she wanted.”                                                         

Amazon.com

I have a confession.  This book has been patiently waiting in my dean-what-gifkindle for a few months now. I know, I’m ashamed.  My TBR (To Be Read) pile is getting out of hand.  In fact, I’m
only reading backlogged books for reviews until I get a handle on it.
It’s a serious problem.

Now, back to the good bits.  Elves, handsome, wise, magical, fudging elves!  Can you tell, I love those pointy eared nature lovers 😉 tumblr_n8i1a27wwi1sg8qnbo2_500

This is book 1 in the series and it kept me engaged from the moment I started.  I read it in a day and had a book hangover afterward.  Luckily, the second book, Sundered, is out and I’m going to make it mine. The story starts out fast, evens out toward the middle, then picks up again at the end. The cast is large, but not so large that you get your characters confused.  The plot twists are surprising and leave you speechless. I happily and enthusiastically give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a great read for anybody who enjoys action, adventure, fantasy, and a bit of romance.  I would say it’s mid to upper-level YA for a few PG-13 scenes.  All of Adams’ books are available at Amazon and other major online retailers.

You can find out more about Author Bethany Adams and her books on FacebookTwitter, and bethanyadamsbooks.com

Review: Bayou Wolf by Debbie Herbert

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Bayou Wolf is the latest installment of Debbie Herbert’s Bayou Magic Series.  It’s a Harlequin Nocturne publication and full of what I’ve come to expect from Debbie.  The story is about Tallulah, a Choctaw Shadowhunter.  She is the only female in her group that aids in keeping the balance of good and evil in Bayou La Syrena (literally the best town ever…I mean I want to live there soooo bad).  She’s had some really tough breaks in the romance department until she meets Payton.

Payton is a wolf shifter from Montana, just coasting through life by obeying his Alpha and traveling with his job.  He meets Tallulah and sparks fly.  He’s fascinated by her, but lots of obstacles; like murder and disapproval from the pack, stand in their way.

I enjoyed this book immensely.  I’m a huge fan of this series and finished my book in a day (as I have with nearly all of Debbie’s books) I’m gladly (and FREELY) giving this book 5 out of 5 stars! It’s a Harlequin publication so it is definitely 18+ but the intimate scenes, as always, are tastefully written and fit the storyline well. I hope you enjoy Bayou Wolf as much as I did!67942983

Happy Reading!

Bibliogal

Review: Darkness Before Dawn by Kellie Wallace

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Switching gears, because we haven’t done one in a while, today’s review is a Historical Dark Romance by Kellie Wallace.

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Darkness Before Dawn is a World War 2 era romance with a twist.

“In June 1940, Germany bombed the Island of Guernsey, bringing World War II to the Channel Islands. With her home in the midst of war, jazz singer Catherine La Mar must adapt to change. Within days, the island is overun. Resistance cells start to emerge, hindering the German forces. Catherine’s life is inevitably changed when childhood friend Thomas Potter is linked as the ringleader to one of the Island’s biggest cells.

The people she once knew are no longer who they seem to be. But nothing could prepare her for when she meets Nazi officer Captain Max Engel. Her view on the war forever changes when she is given a chance for love and new beginnings. For once in her mundane life she unveils her true self, as Max teaches her how to truly live. Their love puts a strain on Catherine’s family, risking the lives her sisters and friends. As the war intensifies and divides the people on Guernsey, Max and Catherine must decide if their love is really worth risking it all?”

Source: GoodReads

So I always deny that  I like Dark Romance and in a way that’s true. I don’t like the ones that feature domestic violence of any kind (unless the abuser is getting their ass kicked as the victim walks out the door) or sexual assault as a basis for the love story.  Those of course aren’t all Dark Romances.  This particular one involves loving the enemy in a time of war.  The war is dark, the depiction of life on the occupied Channel Islands is dark, and the enemy is cruel. All of these things make for a depressing read, however,I found myself eagerly turning the pages for more.  I found the heroine, Catherine to be a flawed and real character.  She has loyalty to her countrymen, her family, and her friends but her attraction to Max is real, and undeniable.  For the first time in her life, she’s with someone who makes her happy.  They have tons of struggles and seriously you don’t know what’s happening until the very end.  It’s a roller coaster ride of dark deliciousness and has a good dose of Historical fact to drop in your lap as well.  This is the second World War 2 Romance that I’ve read by this author, and I can tell she enjoys writing about the time period and she knows her facts. It also made me realize that maybe I just might like some of the darker written stories (allow The Doctor to convey my reaction to this revelation) pxpr_f-maxage-0 I devoured this book and hope she has more Historicals on the horizon.

I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I recommend it for Adults only as there is serious adult and violent historical content involved.

Kellie Wallace on Amazon, GoodReads