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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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bookreview

Review: Scandalous, by LJ Shen

MY REVIEW:

4 of 5 stars

Talk about hot poetic rage! I absolutely loved this book and I wanted to give it a five star rating so bad, yet I found myself comparing it to the first three books in the series and I just couldn’t quite put it in the same category as the previous Hot Hole stories. *sniffles a slaps forehead* But, in LJ’s defense I don’t think many books, like ever, will compare (especially to Defy – that one’s my fav)!! That said, lets talk about what I did love about Scandalous.

The loathing rage-full chemistry between Trent Rexroth and Edie Van Der Zee is dangerously sexy. Trent is the fourth Hot Hole’s story to be told in the Sinners Of Saint Collection, yet possibly the most complex. He grew up poor unlike his three best friends, which made his romance with money a different sort. They call him The Mute. He’s the strong silent type, but being quiet really only adds to his mystery. Getting inside his head is a f*cking treat! He’s brilliant. Kind when it counts and ruthless where it’s necessary.

Edie is more than ten years his younger, and barely legal. They both know the attraction is wrong, but the irresistible pull to one another is a powerful force that, well, is clearly not to be reckoned with. One thing I love, is that Edie isn’t your average naive rich spoiled teen. This poor sole has been raised by the nastiest wolf in the pack. She’s had to grow some thick skin and deal with some very real tough things in her life. Stuff that would break most adults. Despite carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, she manages to maintain her poise, dignity, and absolutely admirable spitfire attitude. That’s not to mention she’s smart as a whip.

The two start out on rocky ground. They are forced into each other’s lives on less than pleasant terms. But, after the first time Trent witnessed Edie’s kind hearted spirit in an interaction with his daughter (she got the troubled child to smile and that was HUGE! and adorable) He melted a little around the edges, and had to make sure Edie stayed around the office for his kid.

What grew between the two was an emotional roller coaster. Both having fearless and nasty agendas, they wound up completely intertwined with one another. I love the banter!! I love the irresistible emotions! The ending was to die for, a beautiful shocker. And am 100% satisfied with the entire Sinners of Saint set as a whole. Each and every one of the Hot Hole stories is an absolute must read!

BLURB:

NOW A TOP TEN AMAZON BESTSELLER

“Best book of the year” – Angie’s Dreamy Reads.
“Best book I HAVE EVER READ” – Bookalicious Babes Blog.

They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.

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Review: Your Forces And How To Use Them, by Christian D. Larson 3 stars

MY REVIEW:

I’m a firm believer in the Law of Attraction. I’ve been working at it for years and the process is full of ups and downs, of course. I love reading books on the subject. I’ve explored handfulls of such books, always hoping that there is something new that will click that I can soak up and use!

This one in particular I struggled with. I felt like it rambled and at least half the content was repetitive and forced. I also felt like it was poorly put together, almost like it needed a few rounds of revisions before being put out there for readers. It has a lot of potential and some amazing points to learn from, yet its lacking a few rounds of sanding and polish.

I wish I would have read it in paperback with a highlighter. And had I enjoyed it better, rather than feeling like I had to force my way through, then I would have considered buying a paperback copy just so I could get away with marking it up. I found myself wanting to pick it apart and make it better myself. There’d be a sentence or even a paragraph once every five to ten pages that really clicked and stood above. I’d like to highlight those portions so that I could go back through and study them without having to dig around in the rest of the mumbo-jumbo.

I few points I did love, was the elaboration through out on living as “I am”. I also liked the layered concept of subconscious thinking and the way Christian broke it down. I wasn’t a fan of so much talk of detentions. Nor did I buy the man inside stuff. I thought was kind of a weird outlook on the whole concept. Ultimately, because there was the hit and miss stuff that I loved, I think it made up enough to give it a three.

DESCRIPTION:

One often hears about the power of positive thinking, but rarely is a book so practical in teaching the reader how to refine such thought and use it as a foundation for achieving success. With chapters such as “How Man Becomes What He Thinks,” “The Art of Changing for the Better,” and “The Building of a Great Mind,” Larson challenges readers to use thought as a transformational force in order to become “greater and richer and more worthy as individuals.” <br><br>This guide to self-improvement is as timely now as when it was first written a century ago.<br><br><br>American New Thought pioneer CHRISTIAN DAA LARSON (b. 1874) is the author of the well-known Optimist Creed and published several important works of spiritual science, including Mastery of Self, In the Light of the Spirit, and The Great Within.

Review: The Liars Girl, Catherine Ryan Howard

Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Crime-Fiction

My Review:

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t like The Liar’s Girl as much as I hoped I would. It starts out kind of slow, taking a while to build up to the suspense. Once it does pick up it’s very thrilling and the plot is unique. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wouldn’t have had to force myself through the first fifty pages or so. It just didn’t consume me like I thought it would from the description. I struggled to concentrate and found myself having to re-read portions in order to pick it up. I just felt detached. Also, there was a lack of surprising twists. The way it all unfolded seemed predictable.

That said, once it did pick up, it was really good. One thing I loved was the balance it has with past and present! Some books with this tactic struggle on the execution, but with The Liar’s Girl it totally fits, and I felt like there was a flow to the timeline bounce. It all pulled together nicely.

Most of the book is told from Alison’s point of view. I really liked her. While in college she fell completely head over heels with Will, A man who wound up being convicted as a cereal killer. What’s worse, is that her best friend was one of the victims. Alison moves far away from Will as well as everything she ever knew and loved. She started a new life in the Netherlands. Until ten years later, when shocking news pulls her back into her past.

There are new killings involving college girls, just the same as there had been ten years before, yet Will the man supposedly guilty of the previous kills is locked away in a psychiatric home. So who is the current perpetrator? Will refuses to talk to anyone but Alison.

I liked the investigative approach, and I love how much Alison is involved in it. It’s a very unique angle at a cereal killer book. It’s violent, mysterious, and just the right amount of confusing. I’ll definitely be reading more of Catherine’s work.

Description:

Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College—and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his four young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed … and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer—and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands, changed her name, and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess—but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all …

Review: Havanna Heat, Kim Knight 5 stars

My Bloggity Prelude To A Review:

I know what some of you are probably thinking, *wait wait, doesn’t Didi collaborate with Kim, and they’ve even published a short story collection together?  Well then, of course she’s going to give her five stars!*  

Let me just shut that down now, before it even gets started. First off, I write with Kim because she’s a phenomenal writer, and I wouldn’t collaborate otherwise. Second off, if I didn’t enjoy her work, I just wouldn’t review it at all. It’s kind of like an unspoken Indi-Authors code… If you love it, review the crap out of it!  If you don’t like it then just move on without bashing another writers work.

That said, let me just tell you, Havanna Heat is f**king AWESOME!  WOWOWOW can Kim ever write a damn sex scene!!!! Hot lovin’ on the beach?  I think yes! Insanely super extra hot lovin in a secret cove on a Cuban beach? Abso-freaking-lootly!

My Official Review:

This is by far one of the sexiest books I’ve read. Kim really has a way of nailing the intimate scenes, whoa! *heats under the collar*
Melinda is a wedding planer from London, that is invited by one of her brides to attend the wedding event in Havana, Cuba. The setting is to die for. Melinda planned and created the perfect wedding, and the resort chosen nailed her instructions flawlessly. Upon the invite Melinda decided to bring along a few friends to spice up the trip outside of the wedding events. What she didn’t realize is that she didn’t even need them because her trip was destined to be spiced in much different and much more exciting way!
Sebastian, also residing in London books a trip to the same resort at the same time. Although his reasoning behind the vacation is much harder to face. Sebastian’s girlfriend had passed a way a year earlier and he was struggling to cope with the anniversary of her death. He didn’t intend on finding a fling or anything else for that matter, although it was heavily suggested by his friends and therapist to do so. He especially didn’t intend on finding Melinda, but ohhhh did he ever.
The two crash together in whirlwind of fate, charisma, emotion, uncontrollably beach-side lust, and even fire (literally).
I love everything about this book and I can’t wait to read the next in the series! Kim, you’ve delivered an amazing story yet again! I read the entire thing in two sittings, and couldn’t get enough! This is a great start to a romance series!

Amazon Description:

Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradises series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

Book Review: The Slapstyx by Annabelle Franklin 4 of 5 stars

MY REVIEW:

The Slapstyx is very appropriate for its targeted age. I have a nine year old niece that adores to read. Her sister is twelve and she struggles. As soon as I finished this book I told my sister to get off her but and get a copy for both of them to read!

They story is far fetched and extremely magical, yet clearly and intelligently written in a way that pre-teens can actually grasp and relate to. Not only that, but it has a few educational qualities about pollution and moral values. Ultimately it sends a good message.

I wasn’t extremely fond of the twins, Gem and Gorgie. I felt their characters lacking despite their magic. They were clever enough, but sometime seemed to be missing. But, that being said, the goblins and Mr. Zigstack to make up for the personality lack of the girls. I loved them. Wonderfully engaging. Great for kids!

 

 

DESCRIPTION:

What if the dirt and grime that appears in our homes was actually put there by goblins?
What if those goblins filled our homes with dirt that could only be removed with one cleaning product – a detergent that was poisonous to the sea?
Twin sisters Georgie and Gem are the only ones who know about black magician Zachary Zigstack’s evil scheme to make his toxic detergent a world bestseller. Luckily the twins have a magical skill – they can leave their bodies and fly around in spirit form – which means they can spy on Zigstack’s goblin accomplices and find a way to stop them.
But can they do it before all the sea creatures are destroyed? The Slapstyx Goblins are dangerous as well as dirty, and have nasty ways of killing people who cross them…

Review: Taking a Chance, by Maggie McGinnis 4 of 5 stars

MY REVIEW:

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

This heartfelt contemporary western romance is a sweet slow burn. It lasts, the flavor is savored and it leaves a searing impression. Maggie paints a clear wholesome picture in yet another Whisper Creek book. The story blends nicely, intertwining well with the previous stories, yet it also makes a perfect stand alone, just as the rest. I’m not usually a fan of such a slow paced book, but with this one it absolutely works.

Emma Winthrop takes a temporary job as the head of a nursing home in Carefree Montana. The position is spur of the moment and pulls her from Florida, a state that she loves. She’s been trying to move up in the business for sometime, and sees the job as an opportunity that can’t be passed up. What she finds in Carefree is life changing on every level imaginable.

Jasper is fantastic. I love him. Despite his history and extremely emotional baggage (which I wont get into as I really hate spoilers!) he has the kindest heart. His seeming free spirit and giving nature effects everyone in town. He’s fun loving, easy going, and absolutely adorable. Undeniably, the catch of the town. Yet, until Emma comes along he’s remained single by choice for years… And for good reason.

The two have perfect chemistry. I love the way they talk to each other, and the way that despite their quickly formed feelings they try their best to resist the pull. Jasper’s dad is a patient at the nursing home. Being the excellent son that Jasper is, he’s there all the time, which puts him consistently on Emma’s path. Inevitably, they find themselves on their first real date at the Whisper Creek Ranch. The date is perfect and the entire thing winds up escalating them into an emotional whirlwind of a future.

There are a few twists that are completely unexpected along the way, which kept me reading. I cried like a baby more than once. I was also satisfied with the ending, it’s heartfelt and made me more than happy that I picked up the book in the first place. Thanks Maggie McGinnis for bringing tears to my eyes, yet again!

DESCRIPTION:

A rising star in the corporate world, Emma Winthrop enjoys the view from her cubicle in sunny Florida. But when she’s dispatched to a nursing home in Whisper Creek for three months of field experience, she discovers a slice of heaven made of mountains and mayhem—mostly in the form of rugged, drop-dead gorgeous Jasper Stone, who grinds his specialty beans at the town’s best coffee shop in between organizing dodge-ball games and wheelchair races in Emma’s hallways.

When Jasper walks in on this beautiful angel in silky purple underwear trying to rinse out her blouse, it’s a breathtaking view—even for a Montana native. Wreaking havoc here at Shady Acres keeps his dad in good spirits, but getting under Emma’s skin is proving to be even more fun. Jasper knows that he’s falling faster than a man with his past has any right to, but his body and his heart have a mind of their own. And Emma appears to be claiming both.

Maggie McGinnis’s sweetly sensual Whisper Creek novels can be read together or separately:
ACCIDENTAL COWGIRL | A COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS PROMISE | ONCE UPON A COWBOY | UNLUCKY IN LOVE | MEANT TO BE | TAKING A CHANCE

Praise for the Whisper Creek series

“Sexy, charming, and perfectly heartwarming, Once Upon a Cowboy is the ultimate pick-me-up. Everything about this book made me smile. Maggie McGinnis just keeps getting better and better!”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne

“Witty dialogue, a heartwarming story, and a hero I’d like to take home with me combine for a compelling and enjoyable read. Maggie McGinnis has crafted a novel sure to make you want a cowboy of your own!”—New York Times bestselling author Cheyenne McCray, on A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise

“With characters you’ll love and a story that will make you smile, Accidental Cowgirl is a winner from a witty new voice in contemporary romance.”—New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Review: Ruckus, by L.J. Shen. 5 STARS!

MY REVIEW:

WOWOWOW I think this is the first time I’ve ever given every book in a series (that’s out yet. There is still one more hot hole after all) FIVE stars!! I absolutely loved Vicious and Defy, so I really can’t believe its taken me months to read this one too. I wasn’t disappointed, not in the least. I’m actually on the fence trying to decide if its BETTER than the others! I don’t know, because even though I feel like the story line is the best, I can’t abandon my feelings for Jamie from Defy. Jamie is my Hot Hole man crush, and is yet to be replaced as my book boyfriend. So we’ll see what #4 brings!!

Anyhow, back to Ruckus AKA Dean mother effin Cole! He is just as HOT as the rest, if not hotter. He’s a slut. Probably the sluttiest slut that the planet has ever seen, yet none of his one night stands will ever hold a candle to the woman of his dreams, Rosie, who just so happens to be the little sister to the one and only real girlfriend that Dean has ever had. I know, great twist right!

To make things even more complicated, she’s sick. The kind of sick that effects every single aspect of life. And, that’s not to mention makes being around her family hell AND will inevitably shorten her life span at an unexpected rate.

Ruckus is determined to win her over despite her determined-to-avoid-love/HATE feelings toward him. Their “dangerous chemistry” – or so L. J. Shen calls it – is undeniably sexy. My favorite feature of the entire book is their banter. It’s clever, wonderfully raunchy, and extremely witty.

The two are forced into spending a week together as the bridesmaid and groomsman at a wedding (the couple from book 1). The entire week is overflowing with drama. I couldn’t have removed my face from it’s pages with a crowbar had I tried. It’s excellent. A must read!!

Amazon BLURB:

NOW A TOP TWENTY AMAZON BESTSELLER

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.

Ruckus is a complete standalone and a part of the Sinners of Saint series

Review: The Genie Hunt, by M. C. Tuggle 4 of 5 stars

MY REVIEW:

The Genie Hunt by M.C. Tuggle is very clever! M.C. has a smooth easy reading style. It has a quick pace and a comfortable flow. I feel like it’s an excellent story for young readers. It has just enough drama and very little violence. The magic is there yet its practical and believable rather than over whelming. The plot is gripping and very unique.

I really like the main character Buddy. He is so sharp!  Although he’s only a tax attorney, his deep routed friendship with Coot, who has quite the past, has kept him on his toes in the ins and outs of defense representation. He makes an amazing attorney. The details of Coot’s current case are one of a kind and Buddy is able to sniff them out seamlessly.

The magic in this book comes in the form of a Genie. He’s controlled by whoever is in possession of a stone that binds him. He’s creepy, powerful, and very in tune mentally.

Buddy is placed in a situation where he’s forced to outsmart his opponents in law, as well as in crime, and the Genie. Through the struggle he thinks outside the box and the way he is able to mentally navigate the situation at hand is genius. He’s very smart, always a step ahead. Coot is only lucky ex-criminal to have such a friend!

All in all I enjoyed the story, especially the genie, and the ending was every on point. Kudos M.C. Tuggle, I’ll soon be checking out more of your work!

4 or 5 stars

 

DESCRIPTION:

Buddy Vuncannon, an attorney in High Point, North Carolina, and his friend Coot Pickard are heading out of town for a fishing weekend when they’re surrounded by a SWAT team. Three eyewitnesses have identified Coot as the gun man in the latest of a string of robberies. To defend Coot, Buddy must stand up to a bullying district attorney, uncover the identity of the real robbers, and battle a powerful genie who serves the robbers. Buddy’s investigation implicates an old friend, reigniting long-forgotten friction between Buddy and Coot. Old and new loyalties clash, leading Buddy and Coot to a desperate chase that forces them to seek the help of a madman they both fear.

Review: Something In Between, by Melissa de la Cruz

MY REVIEW:

3 of 5 stars

I had some very mixed emotions about this book. Parts of me absolutely loved it, and parts of me felt like it was too juvenile for the subject at hand. In ways that’s okay because it is YA, but in other ways I feel like with touching a topic of such importance maybe it could have done without certain aspects that made it so juvenile. I’m usually a fan of adding a little bit of romance in as a back story, or to sprinkle some spice to the overall content. Even insta-love is more often than not fine with me, but in this case, I felt like it didn’t fit.

Jasmine is coming of age, so she’s experiencing life at a time of personal change as it is. All teens/YA come to a point where they have to pave their own way, in one aspect or another. Jas, is forced to find her way amidst much more serious circumstance than the average American. I love the angle this story brings to the immigration process. It gives a view from the prospective of a second generation immigrant that couldn’t be any more American, or any more deserving to be an American yet she isn’t… Not legally on paper! Living in America is all that her and her brothers know, yet their parents have failed to tell them that they don’t actually have real papers.

The news of her illegal status comes as gut wrenching shock to Jas. She’s worked hard her entire young life and has accomplished more than the majority of teens… Like period! She’s in several extracurricular activities, the captain of cheer, she’s conducting medical studies, and she’s landed herself a very rare and very prestige scholarship. When her parents tell her the reason she can’t accept such a high honor – that she’s worked so hard for – her entire life is turned upside down.

I feel like this is a subject that needed the light this book brought and am SO GLAD it’s a best seller! I think the emotional family angle of love, dedication, struggle, and the persecute of a very well deserved citizenship is needed in today’s society! It’s a big deal, and Melissa gave such struggle the kind of voice it deserves.

Jas ends up handling the situation, and I love the way she is with her family and friends. That’s despite the fact I struggled with her parents almost as much as her out of place insta-love with Royce. I’m not real familiar with the Filipino culture, but they are WAY to strict and for having such a close relationship with Jasmine and the brothers, they sure did have a lot to hide from them! As parent’s they wanted to give their kids a better life, an American life. The simple fact that they were drilling so many morals, hard work and integrity into their kids heads all the while LYING to them their entire lives really rubbed me the wrong way.

Ultimately I couldn’t bring myself to rate it any higher than a three, just because I was so off put by Royce and their childish relationship. YET it’s still a book I’d hands down recommend it to any and everyone with a crappy entitled outlook on immigration (with warning to the cheesiness of her and Royce’s relationship).

DESCRIPTION:

Be the first to read the thought-provoking new novel from Melissa de la Cruz, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Isle of the Lost and Return to the Isle of the Lost.

She had her whole life planned.

She knew who she was and where she was going.

Until the truth changed everything.

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. She’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship to the school of her dreams.

And then everything shatters. Her parents are forced to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

As she’s trying to make sense of who she is in this new reality, her world is turned upside down again by Royce Blakely. He’s funny, caring and spontaneous—basically everything she’s been looking for at the worst possible time—and now he’s something else she may lose.

Jasmine will stop at nothing to protect her relationships, family and future, all while figuring out what it means to be an immigrant in today’s society.

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