Jun 30, 2016

Book Review: Don't Tempt Me




Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.

Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can't seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…


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There are times when I am just looking for a feel good story and DON'T TEMPT ME fills the requirement perfectly. It's set in a small town that is trying to improve its image with all kinds of friendly townsfolk and very hot men.

Honor had NO idea just what she was getting into when she moved to Clearbrook.  She has learned to depend on herself only but next door, there are three guys that are determined to help her out and keep an eye on her.  And it doesn't help her piece of ,mind that they are all incredibly hot.   

Now her best friend Lexie, self proclaimed party girl, knows just what to do with all these hot men which includes having fun with one of them and setting Honor up with another.  After all, there has to be some perks for Honor moving to a small town. 

I really enjoyed DON'T TEMPT ME.  It actually has two stories interwoven; Honor and Jason's tale, and Lexie and Sullivan's.   Even though there are actually four main characters, Ms. Foster has done a fantastic job of character development for each.  Honor especially grows and really opens up in this book.  Lexie doesn't really change but someone finally recognizes her for the gold that she really is.

I do recommend  DON'T TEMPT ME to any of my readers who enjoy contemporary love stories.  It has an enjoyable story line, great characters and a bit of conflict with Honor's not so nice relatives.  There is some sex in this story but nothing extremely graphic.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
 

Art Jewelry Elements Summertime Challenge




Summertime means so many things to so many people.  It has meant a lot of different things to me at different times.  When I was younger, it was an opportunity to sleep in with no school, a time to climb trees and swim in the lakes.



As I got older, it was a time of warmth, to wear shorts and sandals, a time of parties especially around my birthday and to spend time on the beach.



When I was an adult, it was still a time of warmth, long evenings gaming with friends on the porch, BBQs and fresh berries. Now it is a time to relax, to enjoy my body with less pain because of the warmth, to take my vacation from work and recharge my batteries.  In fact, my vacation starts tomorrow.

The one thing that has stayed the same through out my years has been my love of the ocean.  When someone says summer, a beach is the first thing that pops into my mind.  Preferably one with tide-pools and lots of starfish.



When Art Jewelry Elements announced their summertime challenge, that image of a starfish came right to mind and I had the perfect focal sitting on my work table just wanting for the right inspiration.  This chocolate ceramic starfish is from Firefly Design Studio and I have to say that I am really loving her new designs in the chocolate clay.  I just had to add a bit of sari silk as it reminds me of the scarves I used to tie over my swimsuits.



I made up a chain for this little beauty using apatite, a couple of polymer clay beads from Tealwater Designs and brass wire.



I finished it all up with a golden brass clasp with a nautical design.  Still not sure if I am going to keep this one for myself or let her go.

Now are you ready for some more summer eye candy?  Several designers have joined in for the fun on this challenge and I know that I can't wait to see what they have come up with.



Guests
Guests

AJE team
                                                                            Jen Cameron

Jun 28, 2016

Book Review: Seconds to Live





Wildlife biologist Mac Barrett avoided his hometown of Scarlet Falls for years—too many bad memories. But when he receives the news that his father is dying, he rushes home only to discover he’s too late. Shaken, Mac retreats to his remote cabin seeking peace and solace. Instead, he crashes his jeep to narrowly avoid running over the naked body of a woman lying in the road. Even more disturbing, when he regains consciousness, the body is gone.

Police detective Stella Dane wants to believe Mac, even if his story about the vanishing body seems far-fetched. But when Mac’s description matches the missing woman she’s been searching for, it raises a disturbing question: How does a dead body disappear?

Mac and Stella will have to work together to find the answer and catch a psychotic kidnapper—and quickly. The killer has a deadly message to send, and the case is about to become personal.…


* * * * *

I have really enjoyed visiting Scarlett Falls and following the Barrett family as they find love.  Now the Barrett family is rather unusual in the way that they were raised as their father wanted to make sure that they could survive anything up to and including WWW 3,

Mac has always been the loner,  He is the youngest child and abused drugs when he was a teenager.  He cleaned up his act and is now working as a wildlife biologist in the jungle.  He has avoided spending much time his hometown for years but now his father is dying.  Mac arrives home to find that he had just missed telling his father goodbye.

Stella is a good police detective even if there are times that she feels that she is a token female especially when her chief shows her off to the press.  She just wants to be able to do her job which right now includes finding the vanishing naked woman that Mac saw laying on the road.  

Stella and Mac make a really good team as they compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses.  I really want to give Ms. Leigh kudos on her character building skills.  All of her characters are so real that I expect them to get up and walk off the page.  She makes it all to easy to care about what is happening with them.

And let's not forget the story itself.  It has a wonderful sense of tension woven throughout that increases as the tale goes on.  The individual behind the crimes stays hidden until the satisfying conclusion.  SECONDS TO LIVE is well worth reading.  Heck the whole Scarlett Falls saga is worth setting aside a weekend and immersing yourself in.

As you can tell, I do recommend this book and this series to my readers who enjoy romantic suspense.  There is some violence in this book but nothing over the top is pictured and the same with the sex.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


Jun 26, 2016

Book Review: The Body Reader




For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.

After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues’ doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn’t trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he’d rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.


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Let me start off this review with a resounding WOW!  I am not sure just how I have missed Ms. Frazier but now that she's on my radar, I am going to search up some of her backlist.

Jude Fountaine is an incredibly strong woman who was kidnapped and kept in the dark for three years while being tortured.  This experience has honed her skill at reading body language to a fine degree and she intends on using this skill as she goes back to work as a homicide detective.  

Her new partner Uriah Asby isn't quite sure of her sanity or just what to make of Jude especially as she presents a blank slate to the world.  Now they are working on a case where young girls are being murdered.  He needs his partner to be on point 100% of the time and he's just not quite sure that Jude is.

Ms. Frasier goes deep into the psyche of her characters. We can see how conflicted Jude really is and how the torture effected her.  We are along for the ride as she tries to rebuild herself after the torture.  We are able to also see inside of Uriah as he is still recovering from his wife's death.  It is very easy to not necessarily like but to emphasize with both characters.   

The story itself will never give you a dull moment.  There are so many twists and turns that I highly recommend a seat belt.  Just when you think that you have the villain figured out, something will happen and you have to recalculate your data.  

The pacing is tight and full of suspense.  The dialogue is sharp and on point.  And all the characters add much to the story.  I highly recommend THE BODY READER to any of my readers who enjoy police procedurals and suspense stories.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Book Review: The Harder He Falls





Expert whitewater-rafting guide Grady Kelley lives for that rush of adrenaline: at work, as the newest employee of a Portland-based outdoor-adventure sports company, and off the river, where liaisons with anonymous men keep him satisfied. Grady prefers no drama and no strings attached, but when tragedy strikes, fate leads him to Micah Swaine. He’s hot, masculine, distracting—and offers the kind of deeper connection Grady has sworn off, no matter how badly he craves it.

Working at a leather bar, Micah meets a lot of guys, but Grady’s different—and he seems to feel the same way. The trouble is, anything beyond casual sex is too risky for Micah. He’s got secrets he doesn’t know how to share, secrets that would make any relationship a battlefield. No man, even one as compassionate as Grady, would stick around for that kind of trouble. And yet, as physical desire melts the walls they’ve put up, Micah and Grady discover that trusting each other is the most exhilarating adventure of all.


* * * * *

I found THE HARDER HE FALLS to be quite the powerful love story and all about accepting the one you love as they are while helping them to spread their wings to fly.  This is a lesson that everyone needs to learn.

Grady is a runner.  Anytime things got to be too complicated or too tense, he would pack up his things and head out to another job.  Except this time because his cousin is in the hospital and Grady blames himself.  

Micah has some medical issues and while he is content with his life as a bartender, he doesn't foresee a future that contains a steady lover or love at all .  That is until he meets Grady at his cousin's bedside. 

I really enjoyed watching both Micah and Grady grow both into their relationship and their own skins.  Micah starts out as the more mature but he has his own insecurities that have to deal with his medical issues.  Grady needs to learn to trust others and himself.  

As both Micah and Grady are gay, there is a lot of nontraditional sex in this book such as man on man as well as some BSDM.  If that doesn't bother you, I highly recommend this book for its love story.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


Jun 25, 2016

Pine Ridge Treasures Black and White Challenge




First off, I want to apologize for the lateness of this post.  I do my posts up early and I was trying to publish one for this challenge last night when I ended up deleting it instead.  That will teach me to try to work on posts when I am getting a migraine.  Anyways, so I needed to rewrite it today and get it up.  Still dealing with the last of the migraine though so I am just going to put up the pics without a lot of description.

 

I really went for the contrast of black and white in both of these.  On the first one, the only thing that I added was a clasp.  On the second, I used the crystals and the pearls from the wonderful kit that Lisa sent me and added the rest from my stash.

 

Now be sure to check out everyone else's designs.  I am sure that their posts are going to be much more descriptive.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings


Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry

Marde Lowe, Fancimardesigns

Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design

Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans