Summer Break: A Joe Football Novella by Autumn Sand – Review by Maura Harper

Summer Break: A Joe Football NovellaSummer Break: A Joe Football Novella by Autumn Sand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a super short novella that further explores the friendships formed in JOE FOOTBALL. This is a stand-alone because whenever a past event is explored, we are given enough background information to understand.

This book bridges to the next in the series and I think it does a great job building the anticipation.

Tags: KU, novella, series bridge

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Loving Jake (Almost Perfect Series Book 1) by Lisa Lanay – Review by Maura Harper

Loving JakeLoving Jake by Lisa Lanay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LOVING JAKE is a book in the “Almost Perfect” series and for me it was more than almost perfect.

This book is totally in my wheelhouse. It is a lighter romance and while there is angst, it is done in such a way that I was cheering both the H/h on. There is humor and family and a few open door sex scenes. There is also an amazing dog named Daisy (because “calling a St Bernard Lily would be silly”).

The story was detailed and easy to follow. There was a very strong beginning, middle, and end.

There are a few characters (Carly and Damien) who have a very involved backstory and I wonder if their book has already been written. As this is the first book I’ve read by this author, I will be checking out her other books.

I absolutely recommend this romcom.

review by @mauraharper

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Knight Watch (An Alliance Agency Novel Book 1) by Maddie Wade & India Kells – Review by Maura Harper

Knight Watch (An Alliance Agency Novel #1)Knight Watch by India Kells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

KNIGHT WATCH is the first book in a brand new series called “Alliance Agency”. The Alliance Agency is a spinoff series from 2 previous series written by these authors. It can absolutely be read as a stand-alone as the first chapter fully explains who everyone is and where they come from. If you don’t catch on in the first few pages, it’s ok – stick with the story because it’s really, really good.

I read this story in one sitting and devoured every word. There is only 1 open door sex scene (ummm maybe there are 2) and little to no curse words. The story is quick and generally full of action. While I guessed some of the outcome, I did not guess the entire plot which kept me on my toes.

There is great world building with setting and secondary characters and while it is all being set up, it never took away from the main story line. The writing was detailed and didn’t have any filler in it. It was co-written seamlessly.

I look forward to continuing with this series and seeing how everyone else’s story fleshes out.

Review by @mauraharper

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Love & Omens (Crescent City Ghost Tours Book 2) by Carrie Pulkinen – Review by Maura Harper

Love & Omens (Crescent City Ghost Tours, #2)Love & Omens by Carrie Pulkinen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

LOVE & OMENS is the second book in the “Crescent City Ghost Tours Series” and I think it would be beneficial to read book 1 (LOVE AND GHOSTS) first. There are characters that play a role in book 2 that we met in book 1.

Set in New Orleans, LOVE & OMENS tells the story of a woman who can see the future and a man who can see the past. They have a pull to each other that cannot be explained and yet cannot be avoided. There are a couple of different stories swirling around all at the same time.

The writing is detailed, the story flows well from beginning to end and at times I was grateful I wasn’t alone in my house. I’ve been on a ghost tours before as I live near Salem MA and I would absolutely go to Crescent City and take a tour.

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Revive (Rewind Book 3) by Rowan Shaw – Review by Maura Harper

Revive (Rewind #3)Revive by Rowan Shaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

REVIVE is the 3rd book in the “Rewind” series and can be read as a stand-alone, but I would really recommend reading REWIND first because there is a common thread to both stories. Also, it will help you to develop reading in a French accent (seriously, am I the only one that does this?)

REVIVE has a warning that there is a some “bi-phobia” in the book and I was surprised the direction where that phobia came from. It was an interesting twist I thought. This is a developed story with strong characters. Sometimes I didn’t care for the characters and kind of wanted them to go away but it kept me on my toes.

Told in Dual POV and with wonderful secondary characters, the story was an “enjoyable” read. As always, I appreciate the interactive guide the author provides.

A four star recommendation from me ****

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Jax Marlin – To Catch A Marlin by T.K. Toppin – Review by Maura Harper

Jax Marlin - To Catch A MarlinJax Marlin – To Catch A Marlin by T.K. Toppin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know how “they” say not to judge a book by its cover? Well JAX MARLIN – TO CATCH A MARLIN would be a very difficult book to do that with. The graphic gives no hint as to what the story could be about and the blurb gives only a little hint as to what is found between the covers of this story.

What IS between the covers is a well developed story with great world building and a fully thought out story. It is a story of suspense and intrigue and futuristic developments. A vigilante, a detective and lots of moving parts keep a great this book interesting from beginning to end.

This is the first time I’ve read this author and I look forward to reading more.

Review by @mauraharper

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Not a Good Death (Agents of Dart Series Book 2) by Naomi Bellina – Review by Maura Harper

Not a Good Death: Agents of Dart Series Book Two (Romantic Suspense)Not a Good Death: Agents of Dart Series Book Two by Naomi Bellina
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NOT A GOOD DEATH is book 2 in the “Agents of Death” series. I did not read book 1 and will admit to going back to read a few of those “let me recap the entire story instead of actually reviewing the book” reviews to make sure I knew what was going on as I cracked the binding on this one. I really think if I hadn’t done that, I would have been lost.

I rated this book a 3.5* because I found the story frustrating at times. The main protagonists are well educated and trained to work well under pressure and yet they were both just a little too whiny and unprofessional for me to actually embrace them. Their bickering was NOT cute.

The story is told from multiple points of view in different locations which kept the pace of the story moving. This is a romantic suspense and it took a while to build up to the how/what/who/why of the suspense part. Once I was able to understand it all, the story flew and took twists and turns that kept me interested in the plot. This is a story that I did skim so I could get to the end and see how everything resolved itself.

While the story line is quick, the writing is very detailed and it is obvious that the author puts a lot of hard work into her craft. I always admire a writer who is able to follow a thought through and actually publish a book.

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Fire & Ice (Spicetopia #3) by Phoebe Alexander – Review by Maura Harper

Fire & Ice (Spicetopia #3)Fire & Ice by Phoebe Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Can’t a big guy have interests and scholarly pursuits?”

FIRE & ICE is the 3rd book in the “Spicetopia” series and as long as you know that Spicetopia is an adult theme park (“and by adults, I mean ADULTS”), you should be able to follow along with no problem. Each book in the series surrounds a different couple and each story is fully actualized and doesn’t heavily rely on the previous story (well until it does, but at that point you should be familiar with the whose who of the theme park).

Book 3 stars Neve and Enya, they are as opposite as – well fire and ice. He is “The Iceman” and she is fiery. That’s how it looks on the outside anyway. While Neve “wasn’t a partier and didn’t really like people” he is more than willing to do his job and keep his people safe. Enya is the Director of PR, is half Neve’s size and talks as much as he is silent. They are both huge assets to business.

The banter and comedic dynamic that this couple exhibits was fun to read. This book is full of action and suspense and there is a sense of togetherness that just naturally seems to come to the H and h. There were times that I just wasn’t sure were the next turn of events would lead us. There was never a dull moment and the story turned pages on its own.

As with all of this author’s books, this was a fast and satisfying read which I absolutely recommend.

side note: There is a paragraph that contains a discussion about the male lead’s name. I went to the internet to see if I was pronouncing it right and went down a rabbit hole of videos showing how to pronounce MY OWN NAME. Trust me, don’t do it, just trust that you are pronouncing everything correctly… hahaha


Tags: Kindle Unlimited, Series, Stand-alone, 5 stars, Spicetopia

Review by @mauraharper

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Stars Fall From the Sky (Reigning Hearts Book Two) by KG Fletcher – Review by Maura Harper

Stars Fall From the Sky (Reigning Hearts #2)Stars Fall From the Sky by K.G. Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

STARS FALL FROM THE SKY is the second book in the “Reigning Hearts” series but can be read as a stand-alone.

If I may make a suggestion before I begin this review, read with a box of tissues handy. Emotions abound in parts of this moving story.

As with other books by this author, the story has a terrific flow from beginning to end, the characters are well developed, little drama (besides the obvious) and some swoon worthy scenes for sure. This is one of those books that can be read in one sitting and a feeling of contentment should be felt after THE END.

This is a visually written story which, at times, was breathtakingly painful. I can only image how hard it is to write an emotional tale and think this author handled the intricacies well.

I would absolutely recommend this book and this author.
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Ricochet by Kathryn Berla – Review by Maura Harper

RicochetRicochet by Kathryn Berla
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

RICOCHET is an intriguing premise and was an interesting story to read. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m going to be super vague and factual in this review:

Fact: Told in multi POV
Fact: Told in past and present time
Fact: Told in different geographic areas
Fact: Each character is extremely diverse in personality while similar in name
Fact: Told in a visually appealing way once I was able to understand the cadence of the story
Fact: I have always enjoyed this author’s storytelling
Fact: I recommend this book

Review by @mauraharper

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