Wednesday, December 30, 2020

#ContemporaryRomance #Review ~ Delivered with a Kiss by Marie Harte @MHarte_Author ~ Veteran Movers, Book 4

Will one wrong move

Bring Erin love

With the right guy?

Smith Ramsey knows all about hard knocks. So, when his newest client gets dumped by her boyfriend, he gets her an apartment in his complex. He tries to steer clear of her, having enough troubles of his own. He's got estranged brothers to deal with on top of learning his mother wasn't his mother. But he can't forget pretty Erin Briggs. And soon he's addicted to more than her cookies...

Erin thought she'd been in love, but now independent and looking at life through clear eyes, she realizes what she felt for her ex in no way compares to what she's feeling for the tough ex-Marine who picked her up when she was down.

Actions speak louder than words. Smith's kindness and gentle core lay buried under old hurts. But can he forgive and forget the past to make a future with Erin? And is she making a mistake by trusting in love for the wrong man all over again?

ASIN: B081K72VG4
Publisher: No Box Books
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Print Length: 344 pages
Purchase Link: Amazon
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My Review:

Delivered with a Kiss has a heroine who uproots her life for a man she thought she loved and a hero so down trodden I couldn't help but infuriated on his behalf. Erin moves all the way from Kansas to Washington based on an ultimatum issued from her boyfriend Cody. When she arrives, her entire life shatters on Cody's front lawn, and in front of Smith, the moving company employee. She doesn't expect any kindness or assistance from the burly, scowling Marine standing beside her but then he surprises her.

Smith Ramsey has had a helluva past few weeks and seeing a pretty woman on the verge of collapse tops it right off. While his upbringing wasn't anything to brag about, leaving her alone, defenseless, and with nowhere to live was not in his repertoire. Smith quickly jumps into action and secures Erin with housing in his apartment building and a part-time job assisting the landlady. Pretty soon the duo are dancing around each other while sparks fly and attraction begins to consume them.

There is a large amount of emotion the author poured into this book. Smith's childhood was awful and after returning from his time in the Marine Corp, his life, which he thought couldn't get any worse, actually does get worse. Much, much worse. He learns his mother isn't biologically his and he has brothers. A struggle to stay afloat, Smith hides his feelings from everyone until it just about breaks him. This book tests the bonds between family members and between a man and woman. There is a reason communication is the key to any relationship and there is a serious lack of it throughout a good portion of the book.

Please note Delivered with a Kiss is the first book I've had the chance to read in Marie Harte's Veteran Movers series. I typically read series books in order but wandered off the path for this one. I will be going back to the beginning and reading the rest of the series. That said, having never met the supporting characters from the first three books, I thought maybe I'd have a hard time figuring things out. That is not the case, as the author does a great job bringing the reader up-to-speed without taking away from the present events, couple, and situations. The supporting characters are unique in their own right and I enjoyed getting to know them along with Erin and Smith. I also love the way the author firmly lets the characters know that family isn't just those with the same blood pumping through their veins. Family is anyone you want it to include.

I was provided a copy of this book to read but the thoughts, opinions, and rating are my own.

My Rating:

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Holiday #ContemporaryRomance #Review ~ The Christmas Sneak by Marie Harte @MHarte_Author ~ Hope's Turn Holidays, Book 2

Ex-NFL star Deacon Flashman had the perfect woman in the palm of his hands…and dropped the ball.

Considering Deacon's past performances, that isn’t news. An injury cut short his football career, and then he got taken for millions by a greedy ex-wife. But Deacon’s luck has changed. He’s got a great job, and he’s recently become an uncle again. With the holidays close, he’s getting a second chance. Nora Nielson, the woman who got away, is back. Now he needs to figure out a way to get into her good graces. A relationship with Nora is everything he wants…and everything that scares him. He feels for her what he never felt for anyone else, and he knows she’s got the power to hurt him. Or to bring him the happiness he’s always wanted.

ASIN: B082R7C42Q
Publisher: No Box Books
Publication date: December 13, 2019
Print length: 228 pages
Purchase Link: Amazon
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My Review:

The Christmas Sneak is a cute holiday romance that's not all wrapped up perfectly with a bow. Deacon Flashman and Nora Nielson are two characters with intense attraction to one another but deny it every step of the way. Deacon is gun shy when it comes to women because he's been burned in the past. Nora has issues with Deacon that both of them are going to have to work through. Their love/hate relationship produces some killer chemistry that neither want to acknowledge at first, but as they come together for the birth of a new family member, the denial is almost too much for them to bear. When the bickering stops and they actually talk to each other, wonderful things begin to take shape. 

The author produced two very likable, very flawed characters. Putting their vulnerabilities out in the open created realism, relatability, and a story readers will be able to appreciate and sink themselves into. I was engaged in the story from the beginning, even through some parts that made me cringe. No relationship is perfect and sometimes one person has a hard time talking to the other. It happens and has happened to me. Opening up to another person, no matter how much you know them, are comfortable with them, or want to get to know them, is difficult, in the best of scenarios. When both characters have issues (Deacon's is trust and Nora's is loneliness, and a bit of depression at where her life is currently versus where she thought it would be by her age), working through them is harder. 

I loved Deacon and Nora's story. Sometimes people don't see the spark, the circumstances aren't right, or life takes them in a different direction the first time. Other times, the spark is there burning bright, and one person is scared. The author did a wonderful job bringing Deacon and Nora back together and showing how second chances really can be magical.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Monday, December 28, 2020

#Paranormal Book #Review ~ Cashmere Curses by J.R. Rain and H.P. Mallory ~ Paranormal Women's Fiction ~ Wanda's Witchery, Book 1


A Haven Hollow Novel

Time to walk softly and carry a big stake…

I had it all.

A powerful coven. A charming Victorian mansion. A sexy car. A couture closet. Credit cards up the wazoo, and an endearing familiar.

Actually, scratch that, Hellcat would never be described as ‘endearing’. More like: the bane of my existence.

So, I almost had it all.

Then a vampire came along and ruined it when he turned me into a Blood Witch.

Now, I’ve been kicked out of my coven, kicked out of the mansion, I have no credit to speak of, the Lexus is a thing of the past and, not only am I driving something from the 80s, but it’s also unapologetically yellow. And rusted.

But the biggest kicker of all? I’m still stuck with Hellcat.

Even though my luck has too much in common with a toilet, if Wanda Depraysie is anything… it’s determined. Determined to make a go of things all by myself—determined to start over.

So, I pack up the few items I can actually call my own and I move to the only place that doesn’t fall under coven ownership—a little town in Oregon called Haven Hollow.

Imagine my surprise when I find out a gypsy has already taken up residence in this afterthought of a town. Well, no worries, witch magic trumps gypsy magic and I’ll make short work of her. After all, Haven Hollow is way too small for the two of us.

No, the gypsy won’t be an issue. It’s my new landlord who’s going to be the death of me… possibly quite literally. Why? Because he’s none other than the vampire who turned me into a Blood Witch in the first place, thereby ruining my life.

Lorcan Rowe is the most infuriatingly smug, irritatingly determined and offensively nosy person I’ve ever met and if my magic were functioning correctly, I’d hex him into oblivion.

But, that’s just it—my magic is on the fritz. And that won’t do—especially when I need to open my enchanted clothing store, Wanda’s Witchery, yesterday.

When my fabrics go missing at the same time that my magic stops working, I can only blame one person: Lorcan.

Well, that vampire is about to learn a very valuable lesson—you don’t mess with a witch, blood or otherwise, because when the going gets tough, the tough get a really sharp stake.

Publisher: Rain Press
Publication Date: December 16, 2020
Print Length: 194 pages

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My Review:

Cashmere Curses is the first book in the Wanda's Witchery series and it set in Haven Hollow. Wanda is a blood witch after unknowingly receiving blood from a vampire after an unfortunate accident. Now an outcast, Wanda moves to Haven Hollow in order to escape her controlling mother, and build a new life for herself. When Wanda arrives to her new home, sight unseen, she discovers her new duplex is next to a graveyard. She also learns her neighbor in the other half of the duplex is the vampire who unceremonious destroyed her entire life. Life in her new town doesn't begin as well as she'd hoped. Her magic is on the fritz, her possessions destroyed, and all of her enchanted fabrics missing, Wanda also finds out there is a potion-making gypsy in town. She's going to have to run the gypsy out of town but then events happen that have Wanda confused and things aren't what they seem.

Wanda's character is great. She acts tough and unfeeling but that's not who she really is. It's how she was raised to be but her character learns to relax a little in her new home. Lorcan's character plays a huge and fantastic role in the story. I really enjoyed him, even when he was obsessing over Wanda. Many of the characters from the Poppy's Potions series make an appearance in Cashmere Curses. Of course, it's because both series' are set in the same town of Haven Hollow. I love them in Cashmere Curses as much as I loved them in Gypsy Magic.

Cashmere Curses is a wonderful first book in the Wanda's Witchery series by H.P. Mallory and J.R. Rain. This writing duo brings interesting stories, intriguing characters, and thought-provoking mysteries to life. The character development provides history and growth, and the world-building creates a fantastic world to watch the characters do their thing.

I was provided this book to read.

My Review:

Saturday, December 26, 2020

#Review ~ One With Shadows by H.P. Mallory ~ Epic Fantasy Romance Series ~ Mists of Magic and Mayhem Series, Book 7

This episodic, monthly fantasy romance series will suck you into the world of magic and mayhem—of witches, vampires, fae and lycanthropes.

Episode 7: One With Shadows

After finding out all her schoolmates are possessed with the ghosts of long dead Druids, and narrowly escaping a close call with the Vryloka, Emma is on the run with the only man she trusts—her professor, Stone Draper. What will happen once they find themselves ensconced in a small cabin, out in the middle of nowhere?

Pagan isn’t sure it’s such a great idea to break into the Masked Magistrates with Nyx, in order to steal something—something unknown to him. But, when they get caught, and Pagan narrowly escapes, what will he do when he finds out Nyx never escaped?

Jolie is still haunted by her feelings for Rand, meanwhile her feelings for Morse are becoming more and more difficult to ignore and fight. She can’t help but wonder, though, what Morse is hiding? The more she thinks about him, the more she realizes she really doesn’t know who he is.

And Laucian finds himself more and more taken with the vampire hunter sent to murder him. When he appeals to her to help him defend Rowan, will she take the job?

Publication date : December 13, 2020
Print length : 130 pages

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My Review:

Episode 7 in the Mists of Magic and Mayhem series continues with Stone and Emma escaping the school and Vrylokas. They find themselves holed up in one of Sinjin's cabins. Pagan and Nyx get caught trying to steal the lodestone and only one of them escapes. Nyx appears to be in the clutches of someone much more dastardly than the Masked Magistrates. Jolie, Morse, Bryn, Sinjin, and Odran are still trying to figure a way out of the Abyss, all while Rowan is left alone with a failing Matilda and protectors who don't outnumber the enemy.

The seventh episode in the Mists of Mayhem series is action-packed, fast-paced, and pulls the reader in effortlessly and keeps them engaged. I am excited to be back in this world. Along the way through this fresh, new adventure we get to meet new characters, venture into new settings, and learn new things. The serial is engaging and branches in several directions, but it's done smoothly.

This series is amazing. I love that we are back in the world of Jolie Wilkins and we get to see what they are up to 10 years after the end of the Bryn and Sinjin series. Each book draws you in and the endings keep you wanting more. I’m constantly on edge, waiting for the next book.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Friday, December 25, 2020

Romantic Suspense #Review ~ Escape with the Navy SEAL by Regan Black @ReganBlack ~ The Riley Code, Book 3


Pawns in a madman's vendetta

Can a hostage couple defeat their captor?

Seeing his shy childhood friend transformed into an intoxicating beauty has thrown navy SEAL Mark Riley off balance. So much so that he's caught off guard when a team of kidnappers sweep them into a deadly nightmare. Now he and Charlotte Hanover are hostages to a psychopath wreaking revenge on Mark's father. Facing danger is Mark's business, but with Charlotte's life at stake, he's never had so much to lose.

Publisher : Harlequin Romantic Suspense; Original edition (December 15, 2020)
Language: : English
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1335626832
ISBN-13 : 978-1335626837

Purchase Link: Amazon
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My Review:

During Charlotte Hanover's very first art showing, her childhood crush, Mark Riley shows up to offer his support. During a breather in the alley behind the gallery, Charlotte and Mark reunite. With his guard down, Mark's family's nemesis strikes and kidnaps not only Mark but Charlotte, as well. Not part of the plan, the addition of Charlotte ups the game and increases the torture of Mark. Then the unthinkable happens - Mark and Charlotte become the pawns in a sick game with only one winner. 

Escape with the Navy SEAL wasn't anything I thought it would be. I knew Mark would be a strong fighter. He is, after all, a Navy SEAL. I figured with Mark being kidnapped along with his lifelong crush, Charlotte, the book would be filled with a whining heroine, holding Mark back from planning and executing their escape. Boy, was I incorrect. This book has two equally strong characters in Mark and Charlotte.

I was on the edge of my seat through the entire book. I feared for Mark and Charlotte from the beginning to the end of Escape with the Navy SEAL. At first it was a fear that Charlotte was going to get both of them killed. Then it morphed into a fear that no matter how hard and how good the duo worked together, they still wouldn't make it out. I feared for their relationship to never become realized because neither could jump on the wagon at the same time. 

I enjoyed Escape with the Navy SEAL. The story was full of action, suspense, and romance. There were so many twists and turns, heart-stopping moments, and horrific events. I had a hard time putting the book down, and when I did, all I could think about was getting back to it as soon as possible. 

I was provided a paperback copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Romance #Review ~ Write Before Christmas by Julie Hammerle #Romance #HolidayRomance @EntangledPub


You’ve probably heard of me.
Reclusive fantasy author turned famous when his series got developed into a mega TV hit.
Except now I’m way behind deadline, and the whole world is waiting to see what I’ll write next.
The pressure is getting to me, and I. Can’t. Write.
Cue: small town where people don’t recognize me.
Cue: my assistant insisting on a personal chef to keep me fed and nothing more.
Cue: finding the first bit of inspiration I’ve felt in months whenever she’s around…Am I a walking cliche now, or what?
Dani Cooper seems to have her own hurdles to jump this holiday season. Newly divorced, looking for her next move. She’s the first person who’s seen me for me in way too long. And I see her, too--as way more than just an employee, a divorcee, a cook. She’s becoming my muse…
But when my Christmas deadline hits, will it spell the end of us, too?

Publisher : Entangled: August
Publication date : November 30, 2020
Print length : 201 pages
Purchase Link: Amazon
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Visit the Author's Website 

My Review:

Write Before Christmas is a cute holiday romance between a fantasy author and his new housekeeper/chef. Matt is on a deadline to write the final installment of his fantasy trilogy. He recently commissioned the trilogy for a television show and the producers are chomping at the bit for the last book. He either meets their deadline or they write the show without him. This puts Matt in a bind when he begins suffering from a serious case of writer's block. His assistant Jane recommends a change of scenery and next thing he knows the are in a small Illinois town. 

Dani is recently divorced and had to move herself and her college-age daughter into her parents' home. No job and no place of her own to live, Dani is having a hard time adjusting. Then, her sister-in-law Una mentions a temporary job doing light housekeeping and being a personal chef for a neighbor of her parents. Well, a job's a job and, after much deliberation, she agrees to try it out. 

The chemistry between Dani and Matt is palpable. The author created a romance that arc'd off the pages. I felt the feelings they had for one another through my soul. I'm always amazed when an author can pull that off. I love being able to feel the emotions of the characters and this book did it for me. No good romance fails to include a bit of stress between the couple and the author pulled out all the stops. My heart became just as battered and bruised as the characters' hearts and I may have shed a tear or two. 

The love-over-40 aspect was also a nice feature. In fact, I have enjoyed the sheer number of books that have come out featuring main characters over the age of 40. Everyone deserves to love and be loved. As someone in my mid-40's, I find these new relationships amazing. It's nice to have characters in my age group.

I would totally watch a movie based on this story. It would be even better if the movie kept to the script and didn't wander about with the producer's or showrunner's own interpretations. We know that book-to-movie adaptations don't ever work that way, though.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

#Review: Mine to Keep (NOLA Knights, Book #3) by Rhenna Morgan #Romance @RhennaMorgan


She’s in way over her head.

Bonnie Drummond is from the wrong side of the tracks, raised in a family of liars and criminals. No matter how hard she tries to stay on the straight and narrow, she always finds herself sucked back into the family drama, forced to sacrifice everything she’s earned to protect her family.

But this time they’ve gone too far—crossed the wrong people—and to save them she’ll have to put her life on the line.

Roman Kozlov, enforcer for a New Orleans mafia family, is the poster child for the life Bonnie is struggling to escape. But he’s also as alluring as he is dangerous, and it doesn’t take long for their lives to begin to mesh.

With Roman, Bonnie finds the family she never had.

As their race for answers heats up, so too does the budding romance between them. And with danger nipping at her heels and love threatening her heart, Bonnie must come face-to-face with her past if she wants to have a future.

Publisher : Carina Press; Original edition 
Publication date : December 14, 2020
Print length : 264 pages

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My Review:

Roman's book is an amazing and epic conclusion to the NOLA Knights books. Roman is one of Sergei's men and has a very shady past. Bonnie is a wonderful character with a family and past she'd rather forget. When her father and brother disappear, Bonnie turns to the only friend she has, Cassie Vasilek. When Bonnie contacted Cassie, she doesn’t understand just how much her life is going to change. Drawn into the Mafia and attracted to an enforcer, Bonnie finds herself slowing belonging and wanting what Roman, and his family have to offer. Neither character expected the sparks to fly, but they do. When Roman’s world collides with that of Bonnie and her father and brother, Roman will do anything and everything to keep them safe. Bonnie must now choose to either let Roman protect her or to walk away from the one and only man who cherishes and loves her.

The author constructed a very strong, loyal, and loving heroine in Bonnie. She dealt with a lot over the years while trying to avoid the same lifestyle of her father and brother. Her father and brother still rely on her for money which is why Bonnie works two jobs but doesn't have anything to show for it. After Bonnie's father and brother disappear from their home after a strange encounter where her brother saw fit to hide her, she acknowledges her need for assistance. Roman knows letting Cassie go to Bonnie's location would not sit well with her husband so he goes along as a protector. He can't figure out Bonnie, but has made it his mission to help her, even if all roads continue to lead to a dead end. As their interactions become more frequent, the reader can't help but feel the slow burn romance in the making.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Roman and Bonnie, the slow dance, the crescendo, the heat. The author writes incredible romantic suspense stories. The plot was smooth and the story was perfectly paced. I was never bored or overwhelmed with details. The dialogue between characters is realistic and conversational and I felt like I was there with them in the story. The events and storylines were well thought out and eventually they all came together in an explosive twist at the end. Be prepared to get lost in Mine to Keep.

I was provided a copy of this book to review.

You will also find my review on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub.

My Rating:

Monday, December 21, 2020

#Review ~ A Warrior's Kiss (Cupid Dating Agency, Book 3) by Celia Breslin ~ Paranormal Romance #PNR

A Warrior’s Kiss
The Cupid Dating Agency
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
ISBN: 9781393477938
Number of pages: 116
Word Count: 28K
Purchase Link: Amazon

About the Book:

French teacher turned entrepreneur, Nicolette Durand has one goal in mind when she leaves the big city for a quaint town in the California wine country, and it has nothing to do with men. Intent on converting the antique store she inherited from her aunt into a booming new business with her bestie, Nicky doesn’t care how many dating edicts the cupids send her, she’s simply too busy. Then a hunk of surly angel crashes into her life. Literally.

Ezekiel is less than delighted when the Almighty assigns him and his elite team of warriors to Earth with instructions to help the cupids. Now Heaven’s top soldiers are running two businesses, including a gastropub where speed dating events are a part of their mission. But Zeke may have to rethink his surly position on this earthbound gig after he meets the kind, considerate and curvy biz owner next door.

Nicky is sure she has no time for a relationship, not even with the gorgeous hunk of heaven who rocks her world, but Zeke is determined to convince her otherwise. Too bad a supernatural disaster and thousands of Hell’s minions intent on destruction and mayhem might stand in their way…

My Review:

A Warrior's Kiss is a fantastic paranormal romance featuring a mortal and and immortal. Nicolette uproots her life in the big city to run an antique shop in a small town. When her aunt leaves the building to her, she plans to change the store into something new. Even as the cupids continues to send her dating invitations, Nicky ignores their requests. Apparently cupid and the fates are tired of being ignored since, as she's setting up shop, the tenants next door get a little rowdy and bust through the wall.

Ezekiel is still less than impressed with the edict passed down to him and his warrior team. A life on earth with humans is not where he wanted the team, especially when they are instructed to helps the cupids in their matchmaking quests. On top of that, they are running a couple businesses, including speed dating events. His thoughts about living on earth may end up doing a 180 when he meets the owner of the neighboring business.

A Warrior's Kiss is a fun paranormal romance with likeable characters, a little bit of turmoil, and lots of paranormal beings. I enjoyed the world building as the author described how the paranormal was woven in with the mundane. Nicky and Ezekiel were great main characters with wonderful sidekicks. I devoured this novel. I enjoyed the author's writing style, as it was smooth and conversational. I felt like I was there in the story, as well.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Review:

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

#Review: Grudges (Dungeon Raider, Book 1) by J.R. Rain and H.P. Mallory


The Forge...

It’s not a place that gives anyone the warm and fuzzies.

No, The Forge is a dungeon mine that used to be home to the Deep Mountain Clan of dwarves. Then the orcs took control of it and forced the dwarves out.

Now it’s a death sentence to any who try to voyage into its dark depths.

That’s where I come in.

No, I’m not some sort of soldier or mercenary trying to set things right.

I’m a thief.

And I’ve plundered many dungeons—enough to have earned a reputation for myself.

I’m good at what I do and that’s the exact reason why I’ve been hired by holy knight, Cade, to take him into the bowels of The Forge.

Cade was entrusted by his higher-up to retrieve a holy scroll, located in the belly of The Forge.

The only problem (aside from the territorial orcs, the nightmarish beasts that roam the tunnels and shafts, and the fact that no one has ever reached the final level of The Forge) is…

My ex-boyfriend, Aram.


So, this isn’t one of my prouder moments, but a long time ago, Aram and I were together. Then I stole something precious from him and he’s been after me ever since.

Well, you know what they say about karma…

My karma finally caught up to me when Aram staged a setup and I fell for the bait.

Imagine Aram’s irritation when he finally gets the chance to arrest me, but then Cade shows up with this quest. Even though Aram is a Justiciar, an enforcer of the law, Cade’s rank trumps Aram’s which means Cade’s word goes.

And Cade wants me to lead this expedition.

As I see it, I have two choices: rot inside a jail cell for the rest of my life or take my chances in The Forge, with the potential to earn my freedom.

I choose The Forge.

After all, I’m always up for an adventure.

Publisher: Rain Press
Publication date: December 3, 2020
Print length: 317 pages

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My Review:

Rogue is a dungeon raider and experienced thief. She's also on the run from her ex, Aram. When he finally catches up to her, Aram isn't alone. With Aram is Prator Cade, a Paladin of the First Order Temple of Panthenoeosis. Pator Cade requests her assistance in retrieving something from The Forge, a danger mine dungeon full of murderous Orcs. After setting some terms, Rogue agrees to lead an expedition into The Forge, but getting out may be almost impossible.

As a player of World of Warcraft, this book sung to me.  I loved the adventure, the danger, the methodical ways the group used to wind their way through The Forge. Rogue is a smart and tough heroine. Yes, she got caught in a trap but she was able to talk her way out of jail time, earn money, and do what she does best. She's a natural leader and people are drawn to her. The back and forth between Rogue and Aram brings a spurned romance into the equation, as well.

There was ample world building as Rogue's group entered The Forge and made their way to the bottom to locate the scroll Prator Cade is seeking. There is never a dull moment between the main players and their adversaries. I was rooting for them through the entire book. I can't wait to see where the authors takes this motley crew in the next book.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating: