Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.



Free on Amazon!

Lord of the Bears (Wild Ridge Bears Book 1) - Kimber White Sweet Venom (Venin Assassin Book 1) - Gena D. Lutz A Fistful of Honey - Malena Crawford

There are others, but these looked interesting to me.  Downloaded!

Anyone planning on watching this?

Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas) - Charlaine Harris

Premieres on NBC Monday the 24th.

I haven't read, but bought the book.  Anyone interested in a buddy read?

The Dark Wife

The Dark Wife - Sarah Diemer

This is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. But with a twist. In this book, Hades is a woman. 
This was good (or average). I liked that it was different. But, I would have liked Hades to be a little bad-ass. I thought at times she was too perfect and maybe even a little doormat-ish. 
Zeus was the evil asshole in this one. For all the times I was told, "Zeus gets what he wants,"I thought his comeuppance was rushed. For that matter, Persephone's new ability was out of left field.
When all said and done, this is a good, decent addition to all the varies retellings.

I read this for #RippedBodiceBingo for the Queer YA/NA square.

Vampires Gone Wild

Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground) -  Amanda Arista,  Kim Falconer,  Pamela Palmer, Kerrelyn Sparks

V is for VampWoman 2*
Pam wants to try and help fight the Malcontents. In the past, she has been afraid and cowardly. 
Now she wants to change that. Mikhail has secretly admired Pam from afar (but thought she was vain/selfish, etc). 
I used to really like this series. But as it has gone on (and on), I've just lost interest. This series was one of the first paranormals I read, so it will always have a special place in my heart. There are other series that I've liked more. I found myself not really caring. 

A Forever Love 3* 
Elizabeth meet Lucas and they dated. Always seeing him at night, waking up in the morning and he would be gone. Then he just disappears. Fast forward 2 years. She has dated, but no one (of course!!!!) can compare to Lucas. There are people disappearing randomly in the DC area. Elizabeth becomes one of them. 
This was interesting with the alternative DC that parallels the real one. It turns out, this was made for vampires and the magic is failing. This has lead to the vampires who where there being trapped there; when the magic failed, which included Lucas. This is also why random people are disappearing. Not much of the plot is spent elaborating on this. What the fuck is up with that ending?! I deducted for that ending. 

First Dates Are Hell 3.5*
Could tell this one was part of a series (I've read book 1 and decided to not read the other 2). There was definitely a history between Val (Valiance) and Violet. Val meets Esme while buying sheets. It turns out Esme is fae and most people don't see her/overlook her. She doesn't know she is fae and handled it well. Interesting first date, well paced, lots of action. 

Blood and Water 3*
This started out very interesting. Interesting concept- mermen/mermaids, but need blood to be able to walk on land. Takes place in San Francisco, right before the earthquake in 1906. Decent build-up and pacing, but I would have liked more information (Stellan is very interested in the Golden Gate Bridge). It started out well, but I thought it was rushed and thus fizzled at the end.


RippedBodiceBingo:  anthology!

Siren's Secret

Siren's Secret - Debbie Herbert
Mermaid book!!!! I was excited to pick this up and am happy I enjoyed it so much!
Shelly's mother was a mermaid, her dad human. After their deaths, she goes to live with her cousins, Jet and Lily. Jet and Lily are full blooded mermaids. Mating with a human is a no-no and Shelly has some baggage from her parents relationship. Tillman moved back home and took over his dad's position as sheriff when he died. His mother is an alcoholic and his younger brother is severely developmentally disabled. 
Shelly, while out for a swim, unwittingly meets a serial killer. This added some suspense to the plot. There are some things she should have done, but oh well. Tillman's brother, Eddie, adds to the plot and makes him realize when he's being an unfair asshole. 
I love mermaids and there's not many books featuring them. Some more backstory would have been nice. Jet and Lily's stories are coming in books 2 and 3, so maybe I'll get some more. What is here was interesting. I loved all the treasure they have from shipwrecks. And being able to hear/communicate underwater.  And they eat a lot of seafood.  
Some continuity issues- One moment Eddie is with Tillman and then later he's not (it mentions he finally feels asleep. Nothing said about taking him home. I remember this one because of what Tillman does.)

I say this meets for the non-mammal shifter because of this: "Mermen and mermaids gathered in a remote South Pacific island for a week of orgies. Those inclined to produce a litter of merchildren built undersea nests in beds of coral for fertilizing and hatching their newborn." I was hoping for some elaboration, but this was it. Different and interesting.


Dream Lake

Dream Lake (Friday Harbor) - Lisa Kleypas
Alex, the youngest Nolan sibling, is an alcoholic, divorced, and has Baggage. Zoe, raised by her grandmother, has Baggage related to her father (he's an asshole- shocker there, right?). Alex works in construction and is helping his brother restore his house. Zoe works for her cousin at her bed and breakfast as the chef. Alex is the only one who can see Tom. Zoe works magic with food.
I think this was my favorite thus far in this series. I liked the secondary story-line with the ghost, Emma. Alex and Zoe were a wonderful fit. 
I liked Justine and am looking forward to her story. 

RippedBodiceBingo: hint of magic square


The Mating Season

The Mating Season (BookShots Flames) - Laurie Horowitz

Sophie is an ornithologist in Egypt to field a documentary on birds. Rigg is the asshole hired to be her cameraman. He was fired from his last job. Total opposites that attract.
I really liked having the woman be the geeky scientist. There was nothing special about Rigg (he's attractive, cocky). I didn't like him. He leaves the airport with the driver, leaving her with no transportation (Sophie's awesome, she had the foresight to get the local currency and hire her own cab) and is late to work the first day. No explanation, apology, or oops! 
There's Rigg's relationship with Nicola (history of on/off, they lived together for 2 years). He was over her faster than I could blink. I didn't believe the romance, it was very fast.
My last issue with this was the make-over. Of course. He didn't really fall for her until after that. I wold have liked him to fall for her just-as-she-was.
I rated this a little higher than I thought I would have because Rigg did change and that ending. I appreciated someone giving up something they've always thought they wanted for the benefit of the other. The bird facts were also interesting.

Ripped Bodice Bingo: fits for Nerd/Geek elements.

Home to You

Home to You - Robin Kaye

After experiencing life-altering changes, both Jax/Jack and Kendall escape to their small hometown. Neither one want anyone else to know they are there. They knew each other as children, having last seen the other 14 years ago. Both end up at the same cabin. 
This was good. Both have secrets and realize the life they had didn't fit either of them. Jax does omit who he is at the beginning. Kendall didn't recognize him. She gets to know him as Jack. (His name is Jackson, but was always known as Jax). I understood why he did as he did. Both characters were likeable and had good backstories. I also could see how they fell for each other, then giving each other space. I was a little disappointed at few of the secondary character's storylines: Addie and Jaime. There is something there, but was very unresolved.


Also works for Ripped Bodice Bingo:  Baking/Sweets described in delicious detail.  Kendall cooks and she cooks a lot. 

I really look forward to this every month

(Warning- some of the pictures posted sideways and I thought I saw a work around to fixing that; but now I can't find it, so apologies for the sideways pictures.  But I do know how to make them smaller (or larger).  


Just wanted to share this.  I subscribe to this book box every month.  June's theme was Cowboy.  I was telling my husband how well thought out the themes are each month.  

Here is the card that details what is in the book for that month:

There has always been a mix of ebook and paperbacks (ranging from trade to MMP)

Here are the ebooks.  

3 MMPs in this one.  Each comes with a "Dear Reader" letter.  One was autographed!

The bandana is from the Morgan Ranch series (Kate Pearce). 

(Let this one as I accidentally deleted it from desktop).

Love this boot shot glass!

This cactus kit is a cool idea.  One that I might keep for myself, or gift it to someone.  I haven't decided.  Even came with a small spray bottle to mist the cactus once started. Can't forget the chili sucker!

I've subscribed to this since they started and I've enjoyed every box!  

I've subscribed to some of the book boxes (Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss, Lit-Cube), but this is the only one I've kept every month.  Some of the other book boxes are YA. Ever After is not.  

Three authors are behind this box (Jeannie Lin, Shawntelle Madison, and Amanda Berry), I think that makes this box more interesting.  


(Just in case:  I wasn't paid for this review or box.  This box is purchased by yours truly) 

A Royal Mess

A Royal Mess - Jill Shalvis

Her Serene Highness, Natalia, is on her way to a wedding in NM when she gets waylaid. Bumped from 1st to coach, cancelled flight, and then mugged. Tim finds her and offers her a job as a cook. Not believing she is royalty, he thinks she's crazy. Yeah, in this day in age, he could have gone online and looked. But nah, let's think she's crazy.
I *almost* put this in the DNF pile, but continued reading. Starting out, I didn't like Natalia. At all. She was an entitled, spoiled, person who didn't treat people well. Tim was okay. Then, surprise! I'm into the book and want to find out what happens. I liked this more than I thought I would. I thought the reason Natalia is afraid of animals was kinda funny. Nice to see she gets over it. She ends up a better, more likable person at the end. Tim too. I rolled my eyes at the virgin thing (of course she is!).
This works for the ripped Bodice Summer Read Along Bingo too! "Hero has a pet that is not a dog or cat." Tim has a three legged pig, a nearly blind goat, and an old horse.

Sacking the Quarterback

Sacking the Quarterback (BookShots Flames) - Samantha Towle
Melissa, the assistant state attorney, is tasked with throwing the book at Grayson. Grayson is arrested for drug possession. Grayson just happens to be the star player for the NFL. Melissa, the assistant state attorney, and Grayson are just HAWT for each other. Of course they are!
I liked that Melissa, the assistant state attorney, was driven and smart. I didn't like how she was "struck dumb" by the hot guy. I didn't appreciate how willing she was to put her career on the line for a guy she just met. Neither character had much depth. Overall, not as bad as it was when I first started. Nice little plot with the brother, the cartel, and Melissa, the assistant state attorney's, boss. But then, as it usually does in Romance Land, everything works out just fine.
I was nice and rounded up to a 3 for Goodreads. I probably should have rounded down for all the times I was reminded that Melissa was the assistant state attorney. Keeping in theme with the book, I made sure to throw out plenty of reminders! Just in case.



Boise, Idaho has a local, indie bookstore Rediscovered Books.  I got this in my email today.  They are branching out into publishing!  Granted, it's very locally focused, but will see where they go from there.  
Dear Friends,
Our bookshop has embarked on a new adventure.  We are opening a publishing division to produce hyper-local non-fiction books for kids, teens and adults.  We have been working with many local authors and the Boise State's Community Research Series and we know that we can be a strong advocate for local voices in Boise.  Rediscovered Publishing seeks to promote local voices that share the ideas, knowledge and history of what makes Boise this incredible and unique place.  We are planning on publishing 2-3 books each year, and we will be sure to tell you more about these books as they move from the drawing board to the hands of our readers.  Information about how to submit proposals and queries is here.
Laura & Bruce DeLaney


Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts: A Sin City Collectors Novella - Kristen Painter

Claude (Claudette) is a feline shifter and owns a pawn shop. She also happens to be a semi-retired "Collector." The Collectors pick up supes who are misbehaving. Jason is a gargoyle working for a magician. The Queen of Hearts is an elaborate ruby necklace that was stolen by Jason. Claude soon finds out not all is as appears.
This was good. I really adored Claude. She is strong, intelligent, and just plain awesome. Jason wasn't bad either. I liked that he was a gargoyle. I liked giving him a weakness that was then used against him. Very well done novella with the plotting and pacing.

Midnight Angel

Midnight Angel - Lisa Kleypas

If you liked this book.....don't read this. Rant ahead. You have been warned.
Taisa was found guilty of a murder she has no memory of. Sentenced to death, she manages to fake her death and travels to England to take refuge with her cousin and her husband. She finds employment with a friend of theirs as a governess to his 12 year old daughter.
I love LK books. This sounded like my cup of tea. Well, this sucked ass instead and I found myself still reading. It was like that car accident that everyone slows down to look at, because you can't not look at it!
My complaints:
Their ages. I was fine when I thought she was 22 to his 34. Then I find out she's really 18 and her closeness in age to Emma (Luke's daughter) is brought up. A lot. I wasn't crazy about reading about the hero having sex with someone else. I didn't believe in their romance. At about 20% in and they don't like each other to about 40% in and they are in love. Give. Me. A. Break!
I HATED Luke. He is mean, inconsiderate, stupid (there's still a kidnapping!), and overall Alpha-asshole. This is a description of his for Taisa: "She was sly, mysterious, haughty....all the qualities of a car. He hated cats." There's the confrontation with Tasia when he dismisses Nan for getting pregnant- but the baby daddy gets to keep his job. "Luke strode around his desk with a snarl, catching the front of her bodice in his large hand. She gave a whimper of fear. Luke shook her briefly, like a dog with a rat. You obey me without question." It goes on to say how turned on he gets holding Tasia off the ground. "There was a responsive ache in his groin....."
Then there is this before the fall in lust (oops, I mean love). "He had deliberately ignored her. Beneath his cool self-possession there had been something tightly reined and threatening."
Then (yes there's more) the threat of assault and rape: "I'm coming to your room tonight," he said after one particularly heated episode..." "I'll lock the door." I'll break it down." and this towards the end: "I'll tough you whenever and however I want," Luke said harshly. "Don't push me too far, Tasia...or you'll regret it." "He won't beat me," Tasia said, though privately she had her doubts." Luke's a catch don't you think?
The best thing about this book was Emma. I read some reviews for her book and I'm not going to read it since I think I will have similar issues with it. I won't be reading LK's earlier books. This sucked ass.

The Restorer

The Restorer - Amanda Stevens

I read the novella, The Abandoned, and really liked it. This didn't disappoint either! Amelia restores old cemeteries. She can also see ghosts. A body is dumped in a cemetery she is currently working in. This introduces her to detective John Devlin. He is also haunted by 2 ghosts. Amelia gets involved with the investigation.
I was intrigued by this world. In this world, ghosts are parasitic and shouldn't be acknowledged. Amelia was raised to do so. She finds herself breaking these long held rules. She is also drawn to John, and he to her. His ghosts are intriguing. I thought the who-done-it was both interesting, but also a little disappointing and a little anti-climatic.
This definitely is a first in a series book. There is some romance, but not as much as I thought I would get when I started. (Some kissing). Amelia's father has Secrets. I think her mother does too. So, family Secrets. There are MANY unanswered questions (including the Secret Society, and the dark entity she shes- I have questions!). I was glad I read this during the day- creepy!

Taking Charge

Taking Charge - Ruth Cardello
Lucy, introduced earlier in this series, took a loan from someone with a questionable reputation. This individual takes advantage at a time where she is down. David falls in love at first sight. With Lucy and during a period where she was down.
I could have gotten on board with this. Instead, it just pissed me off. I'll start with Lucy. I got tired, so tired of her inner monologue. I really, really didn't see why David fell head over heels. Her self-esteem is so low, with little improvement throughout the book. She also puts up with a liar, who supposedly did all of the "for her own good." Bullshit. And that leads me to David.
I could have gotten behind David, but his behavior at times was stalker-ish. He also lied to Lucy. Repeatedly. When he had an opportunity to come clean, he lied again. He even involved her friend, Sarah. Presumably, "for her own good." And guess what? All is quickly forgiven.


Currently reading

One Summer Night (At the Shore Book 1) by Caridad PiƱeiro
Arm Candy (Real Love) by Jessica Lemmon
Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures Book 1) by Chelle Bliss, Meredith Wild
Defending Hearts (An Atlanta Skyline Novel) by Rebecca Crowley

Professional Reader2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published 80%