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ASSASSIN X : Episode Two (Review)

ASSASSIN X: Episode Two

What the author/publisher say:
As she contemplates her chances for survival in space, Three looks back on her life as an Assassin. The years have been full of privilege, but nothing good comes for free. Her life hasn’t been the flashy display of luxury and glamour that she would have the public believe. Faced with mounting evidence that space equates to certain death for all Assassins, Three begins to regret the path she chose. Thirty-five years ago, she was offered a safe and gentle life as a village healer, but she turned it down. Her yearning for violence was voracious even then. Three’s natural preference for chaos has made her a useful asset to the Assassin’s X organization. The question is: will she be able to keep her humanity in space?

What I say:
This is not my normal ‘go to’  genre for reading. Typically I am not a big science fiction reader but there is something that keeps me coming back. Previously the assassin we know as Three is introduced to us. I found her someone that I would easily learn to avoid at all cost. Episode Two gives us a glimpse into Three’s early life and an idea as to why she has become what she has become. You see how her personality molds her into the person she has developed into from the small girl she once was. The leader off all,  known simply as X, determines that Three would be perfect for a mission into space to save Assassin One. Three wonders if this is less of a rescue for One and more of a way tto get rid of Three. Everyone know a mission to space is a mission of destroying and agent.

For a subject that I don’t much care for I will say that the story and plotline were fantastic.  Seeing where Three came from made her.more reachable as a character. My only qualm would be that the story seems like it would make a better graphic novel (comic book).  This episode boasts 17 pages and the end sort of cuts off without much transition.  All in all, I am curious to find out what happens next.

ASSASSIN X: Episode Two by Charity [add in last name and hyperlink]

Publisher: Ampersand Editions

Publish Date:May 8, 2012

Price point: $.99 on Amazon.

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The Marriage Bargain (review)

The Marriage Bargain

What the publisher/author says:

Camille Chandler is a tabloid journalist whose career is right on track–until her boss sees a curious ad in the L.A. Trades. Wanted: Single actress for an extended gig abroad. France’s mega-rich playboy Julian de Laurent is up to something and Camille’s boss expects her to find out what. Who knew the eccentric gazillionaire was looking to hire a temporary wife? When Camille refuses to accept Julian’s proposal–and secretly write a juicy tell-all about the de Laurent family–she’s fired and left financially destitute, forcing her to entertain Julian’s proposal for real. 

But what’ll happen at the end of the contract period, after Camille has spent six months as the wife of a man she learns is capable of stealing her heart? 

**This is a re-release of The Marriage Bargain, originally published in August, 2010. This version has an ALL NEW ending.**  Approximately 60,000 words. About 236 pages.

What I say:

This is a great story with a ton of potential.  It starts off with a reporter, Camille, going on an interview to find out what a rich Frenchman, Julian, is doing trying to hire an actress.  Finding out that he needs a wife to hold off the intentions of his father to marry him off to Madeleine, Camille is given the ultimatum from her boss… write the story or she would not only be out of a job, but also would never work in that industry again.  Sweet Camille quits her job, refusing to take Julian up on his proposal under her boss’ terms of writing the story, just to find herself taking the job anyways.  The story really had me by the choke-hold. There’s a wedding and a slighted ex-girlfriend still holding on to the hopes that she (Madeleine) will score the spot of wife in Julian’s life. Honestly, the pace was spot on and exciting.  Until the last two chapters (well, last chapter and the epilogue).  The conflict of Julian finding out Camille’s profession and the subsequent backlash was fine, but it’s the stuff that happened after that kind of had me thinking that there was so much more that the author could have written.  I loved the story, don’t get me wrong but it seemed liked the author woke up one day and decided that she’d wrap everything up in a neat little package, and in one chapter or less.  Up until that part, it felt plausible.  I wanted to BE Camille… not that the ending wasn’t nice, it just seemed too ‘lets finish this story’.  I guess I like a bit more angst and delayed gratification in my romance stories.  All in all, this was a great story and look forward to possibly reading more of this author’s works again.

The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards

Publisher: Sandra Edwards 

Publish Date: Originally, August 2010; Tweaked and Republished March 11, 2012

Price Point: $2.99 on Amazon

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The Kindness of Strangers (review)

The Kindness of Strangers

What the publisher/author says:

Stuck in a job he no longer found fulfilling, journalist Mike McIntyre felt his life was quickly passing him by. So one day he hit the road to trek from one end of the country to the other with little more than the clothes on his back and without a single penny in his pocket. Through his travels, he found varying degrees of kindness in strangers from all walks of life–and discovered more about people and values and life on the road in America than he’d ever thought possible. The gifts of food and shelter he received along the way were outweighed only by the touching gifts of the heart–the willingness of many he met to welcome a lonely stranger into their homes…and the discovery that sometimes those who give the most are the ones with the least to spare.

What I say:

Honestly, I’m not a fan of reading non-fiction. I typically find it quite boring (like a text book, or the mundane news about random stuff I couldn’t care less about), but I found this book calling me. I figured that I would try it and well, the worst thing that could happen would be that I would be out the time it took me to read.  I typically read at night after everyone else is asleep and I am gripped by insomnia.  I figured non-fiction would probably put me to sleep, at least a little.

What I didn’t expect was to find myself wanting to be right there beside the author, a journalist turned hitch-hiker on a spiritual journey to find not only himself, but a renewed sense of being.  He wrote so as the reader was right there with him, hauling a heavy pack and card board sign, relying on the kindness of strangers while hoping that the next ride wouldn’t be the last.

It, for a brief moment, made me want to pick up a back pack and leave… until I remembered that I don’t have the guts to hike it across the state, much less the country.  I look forward to reading his other works, certain that I will feel like I’m along for the ride.

The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre

Publisher: Not listed

Publish Date: August 27, 2010

Price Point: $4.95 on Amazon

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Savage Cinderella (review)

Savage Cinderella

What the publisher/author says:

Eighteen year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived alone in an abandoned cabin in the High Country of North Georgia since she was a child. If her life is lonely and less than complete, at least she is safe from the man who kidnapped her, held her captive, and left her for dead in a shallow grave in the mountains. She believes that her parents are dead, the police are her enemy, and that if she returns to the world, her tormentor will find her. With the help of some unlikely friends, she has what she needs to survive, but is surviving enough?

Life takes a turn when a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer—in pursuit of the fabled Wild Child—captures her on film. While chasing the story of a lifetime, Justin is injured and Brinn comes to his rescue. The two build a tentative friendship, but with his own violent past, an abusive alcoholic father, and a mother he couldn’t protect, he must decide if proving himself is worth betraying the trust of the girl he has vowed to help. 

Trust is a commodity that Brinn has been unable to afford. Can the kindness and gentle touch of a stranger break through the wall she has built around her heart? After half a lifetime of living in isolation and fear, Brinn must decide if leaving the safety of her remote cabin is worth the hope—and danger—that may await her.

What I say:

I wasn’t sure what I would expect from this story, to be honest. I downloaded it during the promo time just to see what it was (after all, if it was bad, free isn’t a bad price to pay).  I truly found myself captivated by the story line. Basically, a kidnapped and raped child is left for dead by her attacker, and years pass until a photo-journalist is traipsing through the North Georgia mountains. He pursues here, and she evades, until he falls and hurts himself pretty badly. Once he’s mended enough to return to civilization, he thinks he’ll likely never see her again until she shows up in a night club he’s at.

While I did find that part of the story a tad bit odd, it flowed well and was the bridge that the story needed to continue it to it’s ultimate conclusion (when the kidnapper comes back to finish what he’s started).  It was truly a story I could not put down.  It held my attention to the very end.

Savage Cinderella by PJ Sharon

Publisher: (unknown, possibly self-published)

Publish Date: March 12, 2012

Price Point: $3.99 on Amazon for digital, $9.35 on Amazon for paperback (CreateSpace, publisher)

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Accidental Love (Hot Bods Series #3) (review)

Accidental Love (Hot Bods Series #3)

What the publisher/author says: 

Has Jane accidentally fallen for the decoy?

Sometimes there is only one thing to do when you get dumped—make the ex jealous with someone new. Which is exactly what Jane plans to do with Ben, an older, handsome man who has agreed to act as her new love interest. When Ben meets Toby, Jane’s unruly dog, he offers to help her train him. But as Ben helps Jane gain control of her dog, he realizes he’s lost control of his feelings, and he’s beginning to fall for the much younger woman. Suddenly, Jane can’t seem to remember what she ever saw in her ex. All she can focus on is the way Ben makes her feel each time he kisses her. But now the ex has decided he wants her back, and he’s willing to play dirty to make it happen.

What I say:

Younger woman, older man. The receptionist of the Hod Bods (health club/gym) has been screwing around with her boss. When she wants more, he cuts her off. In a ploy to make him jealous, Jane the receptionist agrees to pretend date Ben, a man nearly as old as her parents. When the plan works, Jane starts to wonder if what she wanted before is what she wants now.

This is a part of a hopefully long running series centered around Hod Bods.  It doesn’t hurt that the characters seem pretty hot themselves. While I do think that certain relationships do progress a little quick, that’s a personal quirk of mine. I tend to torture my characters to the point where you want to scream at them to shit or get off the pot.  The likable characters were easy to relate with, while the ‘villain’ was easy to despise.  I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors, and the story had natural flow.  The language wasn’t too dirty or raunchy.

Accidental Love (Hot Bods Series #3) by Lacey Wolfe (will come back later to link when published)

Publisher: Benchwalk Press

Publish Date: June 18, 2012

Price Point: $3.99 (per Benchwalk Press website)

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Power Plays (review)

Power Plays

What the publisher/author says:

Power Plays includes three salacious stories that are sure to get you in the mood. “His & Hers” is a twist on the classic librarian fantasy–there is some switching going on (and even a M/F/M BDSM menage à trois). In “Fun & Games,” a M/F couple gets off on spanking with a little cuckolding and humiliation thrown in for good measure. And in “Undercover,” a lesbian undercover cop gets a run for her money when the tables are suddenly turned by a mysterious woman. These are three of the sexiest, steamiest stories you will find in any anthology. If you like graphic sex with real characters and a good story line, Power Plays is for you.

What I say:

A librarian, a detective, and a piece of rented tail weave tales of sex and spankings in this trilogy crafted from the things that make you go “oh” in the night.

These three short stories are well written to the point you can feel the heat given off by the very words. I couldn’t say which of the three lead women I wanted to be more… the librarian having the chance to try her hand at the dom side of the fun… the detective who was willing to follow her desire… or the rented tail that knows where her love loyalty lies, while still having fun.

The imagery in all three are vividly and leave you clutching your sheets and wondering where one goes to buy such things… besides the Internet. A real fire starter in the bedroom, certain to not disappoint. It will quickly be your go-to trilogy for some virtual mindplay.

Power Plays by Ily Goyanes

Publisher: Ampersand Editions

Publish Date: April 25, 2012

Price Point: Free on Amazon.com (as of May 16, 2012), regularly $2.99

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Finding Home (review)

Finding Home

What the publisher/author says:

An unexpected pregnancy brings Julie Miller home to Brookfield, Wyoming to get guidance from her mother. But when she returns to the home she grew up in, her mother isn’t there. Instead Julie finds Mark Thomas, who is renting the house while her mom travels the country. If that isn’t bad enough, a blizzard hits the town, keeping her locked in with the hunk who happens to have a secret of his own, which Julie just has to know.

What I say:

After moving in with her boyfriend, Julie finds herself in a pregnant predicament. After her now exboyfriend’s ultimatum sends her to her childhood home and to her mother’s tenant, Julie must decide if Mark is the man set to make all her dreams and aspirations cone true.

I enjoyed this sweet story. It was easy to read with sweet coupling and safe sex. Unlike Ms. Wolfe’s other stories it leaves a lot to the imagination and is perfect for readers who may be okay with sex but might find graphic writing a tad too much. This gives enough away while not giving it all. The characters were likeable (except for Sarah, but the readers aren’t meant to like or relate to her). Without giving away the ending, you will walk away from this story satisfied.

Finding Home by Lacey Wolfe

Publisher: Southern Girl Press, 2nd Ed.

Publish Date: August 7th, 2012

Price Point: $2.99 on Amazon.com

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