A Road Paved in Copper by Angela Christina Archer

A historical western romance that sets the glimmering city of San Francisco against the harsh desert of Nevada.

What’s it About?


Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that’s what her peers have called her. The woman in a man’s world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it’s this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903. Of course, it also makes her a target.

Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava blazes the trail from the dirt and grime of her mines to the fanciest hotel rooms, enjoying the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men. Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.

A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he’s happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold. Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.

First Impressions

This female lead is a bad ass! LOVE her!! Ava has distinguished herself in the male dominated world of mining. She’s more successful than her male counterparts, and not afraid to stand up for herself. Unlike most historical romances, Ava admits very early on in our tale that she’s no virgin. Although she works in the dirt and grime of Nevada’s desert mines, Ava also delights in her trips to San Francisco, where she can indulge in the company of a new man every time. No attachments, no expectations. However, upon first meeting Craig she immediately recognizes that there’s something different about him. He’s no one night stand. Rather than treat him as such, they actually refrain from intercourse for quite some time, even though they are both brimming with sexual need. Talk about willpower!


From Harsh Desert to Glimmering City

A particular feature of this novel which was rather clever was that it managed to twist your initial assumptions and expectations of both the main character, and even the setting of the book itself. Ava embodies this perfectly, as she herself appears to be a contradiction in terms. She is one of the only women in this small mining Nevada town who can hold her own, and is in no way a damsel in distress. She can shoot a gun and kick a man where it counts, so you sort of have this initial impression that she’ll be kind of a tomboy.


However, that all changes when she leaves the harsh desert of Nevada behind for the bright lights and busy streets of San Francisco. While she loves getting her hands dirty in Nevada, she loves to indulge herself in luxuries and feminine clothing when in the city. It almost seems like we are dealing with two different personalities in one woman, but we find that she manages to maintain her moxie whether surrounded by the elegance of the city or the ruffians of the mining town. The ability of the author to provide us a glimpse into two such distinct worlds is truly commendable.


The Allure of the Land

Certain passages within this book were utterly poetic. One section which particularly resonated was when Craig describes both the allure and dangers of mining. How the earth holds such wondrous secrets and wealth, but it’s just out of reach from those who are searching for it. The bounty of the land can dry up at any time. At one point, the mines are even compared to a woman who makes you work for her pleasures; playing a teasing game with her suitor before giving up her secrets. Phenomenal metaphor!! It really made me wish part of the story could have been told from Craig’s point of view, so that we could better understand the intricacies of his own character.


Another eloquent passage presents us with Ava as she contemplates whether or not to reveal the secret details of her troubled past to Craig. On the one hand, she wishes to keep some of her foolish girlhood decisions a secret from this man she has come to love. Senseless choices which she realizes she would never commit now as an informed adult. On the other hand, the grown woman in her wants to tell him, to admit the mistakes of her past and move on. Unfortunately Ava’s built up so many walls around herself in the attempt to keep herself safe, and ensure that only she will know the errors of her ways. This is probably a debate which many of us have faced at some point in our lives, and makes her character even more relatable.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: I would actually love to read some kind of short story or sequel to this one, but it looks like a stand-alone.

Should you read it? This book definitely starts with a bang! Ava’s enemies are trying to steal her land claims through force, and she finds herself in the cross hairs of a wild west shootout. After that initial drama the middle section was pretty mellow. If the suspense had carried more throughout the entirety of the book it could have made a positive difference. It all comes together though for an unbelievably intense ending that left me a mess of tears.

Smut Level: Craig has an appetite for this headstrong woman, so he enjoys her on the kitchen table. Hint hint, wink wink. Nothing too explicit or detailed as far as smut.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Long Valley Press. 238 Pages.

The Rest of Forever by Carrie Pulkinen

What to do when you start to fall in love with your guardian angel? Well, if he’s as deliciously fine as Damian, I’d take him back to my place!

What’s it About?

rest of forever.jpg

A guardian angel who’d rather die than fall for a human must come to terms with his tragic past when he learns his Charge is more than she seems. April Carter is a high school history teacher who dreams of finding the perfect man to whisk her away from her small-town life. She wants it all—the husband, the house, the kids, the car. But her dreams of living the perfect life are shattered during a school shooting. Now she must learn to accept her fate if she’s ever going to find the life she loves.

Damian Perkins is April’s Guardian Angel, though no one would guess that based on his attitude. A tragic event in his past has left him bitter and resentful, and he won’t let anyone get close enough to care about him. He’s tried to make April hate him, but she sees through his abrasive exterior and awakens a part of his soul he thought had burned out long ago. Damian must let go of his past and accept his responsibilities or he’ll spend the rest of his existence alone and miserable.

First Impressions

This romance is about a woman who falls in love with an angel, and even though said angel tries his damnedest, he can’t help but fall for her as well. Not gonna lie, when I first started reading this book I had one immediate thought in mind, and that would be Mr. Nicholas Cage. Kind of frightening. Although the plot of this novel is initially reminiscent of City of Angels, it quickly becomes more elaborate as Damian aims to protect his charge, April, in the face of a school shooting.


Forever Changing

When it comes to the main characters of this novel, I must say they were unbelievably dynamic. I felt like one minute I could find them both to be quite frustrating in their stubbornness and naivete, but then in the next they were both quite admirable as they faced the realities of their lives together following immense hardship.


Let’s start with April. At the start of the book, she was incredibly materialistic, and wanted nothing more than to move out of her small Texan town for a larger city. She was even willing to marry someone who treated her like crap, and who everyone else hated with a passion if it meant she could get a ring on her finger and the wedding of her dreams. But as the novel progresses, we also see her character start to evolve. She learns to speak for herself and act according to what she thinks is right. Sure, sometimes there are unforeseen consequences to those actions, but at least she starts to live life her way.


Then there’s Damian, a guardian angel intent on keeping his distance from the one woman he’s meant to protect, mainly because another woman broke his heart 600+ years ago. That’s right, 600 years! Talk about not being able to move on in life. But when he starts spending more time with April, he realizes she is someone worth changing his rules for. In a way, they are kindred spirits in that neither truly plays by the rules. Once Damian admits to himself that he does in fact feel something for April, he can finally start to move on from his past and live in the present with someone he truly cares for.

Crying Wolf

Bringing these two characters together was sometimes like trying to mix oil and water, especially when they refused to be open and honest with each other. They were also interrupted from sharing their true feelings one too many times for my taste, as it got pretty frustrating after a while for their romantic coupling to be continuously delayed. However, once they do finally come together in a tangle of limbs, it was oh so worth the wait.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? Definitely an interesting story, and one that I’ve never truly encountered before. The story pulls you in at the beginning and has an exciting end. There were a few times in the middle which were a bit stagnant as Damian and April’s stubborn sides are at war with each other. I would have enjoyed some more scenes of Damian explaining to April what it’s like to be an angel, and some more detail of the powers involved, but it’s definitely a unique read.

Smut Level: Sex with an angel has its benefits. Mainly that he can make your clothes dissolve away with just a thought. So convenient!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services, LLC. 235 Pages.



A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith

This book is sort of like Indiana Jones meets Jason Bourne, meets…Jacques Cousteau?

What’s it About?


What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico? Rocked by her husband’s tragic death, Kendall Jackson strives to put her life back together. But Ryder, her nineteen-year-old stepson, is bitter and wants nothing to do with her. And she can’t keep the grief at bay. Sometimes, it’s so strong, she wonders if life is worth living.

A call from a cave diver in Mexico gives her hope of mending the relationship with her stepson. Before his death, her husband arranged a diving expedition as a birthday gift for his son. Kendall persuades Ryder to honor his father’s last wish.

From the campus of Western Maryland College to the woods of Camp David and the caves of the Yucatán, Kendall and Ryder take a journey to discover what her husband worked so hard to hide, and to protect his treasured secrets from falling into the wrong hands. The choices they make will decide their fate and the future of others. Will they risk everything for the truth?

First Impressions

This novel really focuses on exploring cenotes, which translates into “a deep thing”. Pretty appropriate title, all things considered! While most of the characters in this book look upon these deep pools of water as mysteriously beautiful holes of a multitude of gloriously blue colors, I like to think of them as endless dark depths which could contain any plethora of deadly sharp-toothed and fanged creatures who could kill you in one fell swoop.


Who is to Blame?

To be fair, there is one person to blame for this fear of the dark blue cenotes, and that would be Jeremy Wade, host of River Monsters. One of his episodes from this last season featured treacherous cenote-dwelling octopuses who can pull unsuspecting swimmers into the endless cave systems deep below, ne’er to be seen or heard from again. Sorry to say, it freaked me out just a smidge. Every time our characters would willingly go diving I would just think to myself, “No good can come of this. Swim away!!”



A Little Bit of Everything

A mix of adventure, government cover-ups, and moving on after the death of a loved one. A lot is going on in this novel, yet for the most part I felt like this book was sort of out of my wheelhouse, as there wasn’t a whole ton of romance involved. At the start of the novel, Kendall is still reeling from the death  of her husband, Tim, in a tragic cenote diving accident. See, nothing good comes from those places!


As the novel progresses, we find out there was more to Tim’s death than we originally thought, and in more ways than one. Kendall proceeds to join her stepson on a diving expedition Tim planned before his untimely death. It’s when they return from this trip that a government conspiracy and historical/mystical legends come to the forefront.

Draw You In

I will say, I thought it took too long for the story to really get going. I understand that the goal was to make it appear as though Tim’s life was nothing like it seemed, but there was almost too much build-up and a lot of focus on the initial dive trip between Kendall and her stepson, Ryder. I would have liked more to happen earlier on to really draw you into the mystery. As it stands it almost felt like a cenote travel guide at the beginning.


Once the intrigue did come into play, the story went in two different directions. One was with the government connection that I felt didn’t completely come full circle. Then there was the historical aspect tied into that story as well, but that didn’t come into play until the very last chapter of the book. Everything sort of builds to one huge twist that I thought seemed kind of rushed, and therefore almost out of place because there was so much focus on the government side of things beforehand.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? Definitely an interesting twist at the end, but I think it almost took too long to come about. The entire novel sort of takes place in three major sections: the initial dive trip, the government hoopla, and the big twist. I wish things would have flowed a bit more smoothly between them all. The last part of the novel could have used more focus and attention in my opinion.

Smut Level: Kendall is experiencing a lot of difficulty after the death of her husband, so there’s not really any sex or smut. More focus is placed on the adventurous side of the plot.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 278 Pages.


Wrapped Up in You by Erin Bevan

Nothing like a little romance at the North Pole to get you in the holiday spirit!

What’s it About?


Princess Jenny Claus has thirty suitors to choose from to take on the role of Santa and her husband, and only three weeks to do it. When an outsider crashes into and destroys the toy factory, her Gala and the prospect of Christmas for children everywhere are ruined.

Logan Moss awakens from his plane crash, suffering from partial amnesia. Surrounded by a world he always considered make believe, he has a hard time accepting his new surroundings. Except for one snow princess who he’s deeply fascinated with. And when Logan realizes she only has three weeks to pick a husband, he begins to feel compelled to be that man. Problem is, he can’t remember if he has a wife. With Christmas getting closer, Jenny has to make the hardest decision of her life…duty or love.

First Impressions

Before reading this novel, all I had to go on in considering the possible content was the title, and the cover. No synopsis to speak of was available at the time! I figured I’d be dealing with some kind of light-hearted romance à la Hallmark channel. Well, you can imagine my utter surprise when I cracked open the cover of my Kindle to discover we were dealing with a romance between Santa Claus’s daughter and a pilot who crash landed in the North Pole. To say I was surprised is the understatement of the entire holiday season! We’ve got a competition for who will be Head Elf, a magical peppermint potion, Dasher’s sassy reindeer wife Marcy, and just a tad of amnesia thrown into the mix. I gotta say though, I absolutely fell in love with this story!


A Magical Christmas Romance

I love a good Christmas romance, and this one is about as magical and cheesy as you can get. I mean, we’re in the North Pole for crying out loud! I think it’s important to go into this novel with as carefree and as open a mind as possible. After all, it is the holidays. Try to just relax, have some fun, and not worry about taking things too seriously!


In hindsight I’m absolutely thrilled I hadn’t read the synopsis beforehand, as I went in with zero expectations, and just let the story take me where it wanted to go. Yes, it’s a pretty silly premise, but underneath all the holiday cookies and sprinkles it’s actually a very sweet read that will make your cheeks rosy, and your toes curl in delight. I felt the ending did lay on the X-mas magic a bit too thick, but overall it’s a unique holiday romance unlike any other.


Some Drama Mixed with the Magic

It’s clear pretty early on that Jenny and Logan have chemistry, but his inability to remember the details of his life (specifically whether or not he has a wife and children back home) prevent them from taking things too far in the romantic sense. Their hesitancy surrounding the mystery of Logan’s past creates just the right amount of fabulous tension to the story. It provided an interesting mix of drama and romance that I simply wasn’t expecting, but ultimately really enjoyed. There’s also the slight mishap over the fact that Logan’s plane crash-landed into the toy factory one month before Christmas, and Princess Jenny must choose a husband who will become the new Santa in that same amount of time. Things are extra busy at the North Pole this year!


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: One and done

Should you read it? I was drawn into this story right from the get-go, and thought it was a fun and unique read. I understand it might not be for everyone, and you kind of have to prepare yourself for some silliness. That being said, beneath the tinsel and ice sculptures lies a tale about love at first sight, family, honor and the delights of Christmas magic.

Smut Level: No sex I’m afraid, but that doesn’t mean these two don’t get up to some crazy antics in the toy storeroom.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 234 Pages.

Dance with Me by Hazel Hughes

For the love of the Bolshoi, why can’t the ballerinas of the world just get along?!

What’s it About?


When reporter Sherry Wilson-Wong wakes up in bed with ballet bad-boy Alexi Davydenko, she knows she’s crossed the line. But the dancer with the body of Apollo and the panty-removing stare wasn’t talking, so what choice did she have? Playing his little drinking game – a shot and a kiss for every answer – seemed like the perfect way to loosen his sexy lips. She gets her story, he gets his fun, win-win. But his answers only lead to more questions. And Alexi wants more than fun.

Investigating into the ballet company’s shadowy secrets, Sherry learns that the beauty on stage masks ugly dealings, some of which seem to bear Alexi’s signature. But the more truths she exposes, the more lies she is forced to tell herself. That digging up dirt on a company with ties to the Russian mob isn’t dangerous. That licking every inch of Alexi’s naked body while hunting down evidence of his guilt isn’t a conflict of interest. That with each touch, each kiss, she isn’t falling deeper in love with the very man who could destroy her.

First Impressions

Seriously, if I ever came across a professional ballerina in real life, I’d probably pull them aside and conspiratorially whisper, “Alright, who did you have to deceive, maim, or kill to get where you are today? I won’t tell anyone, promise! Just my own curiosity.” I know sometimes you’ve gotta do what you gotta do to succeed, but goodness, these artists can really take it to the extreme. Maybe it’s from the unfortunate lack of calories.

Joy Womack, a 17-year-old dancer who is to become the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, takes part in a lesson at the academy buildings in Moscow


Sexy Meet Cute

This book has a lot going for it, from a sexy male lead, to some journalistic intrigue, and even a few interesting family dynamics thrown in as well. My favorite part of the novel though would have to be how our two love-birds first meet. She’s interviewing him for an article, and he’s always close-lipped when it comes to talking with the press. To mix things up a bit, Alexi suggests a rather adult version of 20 questions.


Basically, nothing is off limits, it includes a bottle of vodka, and Alexi gets a kiss for every question asked. Needless to say, things escalate pretty quickly. My only complaint is that we aren’t witness to all the drunken revelries throughout the evening, just the expected hangover the morning after. Don’t let that fool you though, these two are smoking hot in the bedroom. And hallway. And alleyway behind a bar.

Drama at the Ballet

The mystery and intrigue in this novel was also pretty unique. I must say it’s the first novel I’ve read that deals with possible criminal activities at the ballet which don’t involve two ballerinas trying to kill each other over a lead role.


It was compelling to see the development of what was initially a puff piece written by Sherry evolve into something more dangerous. That being said, I really think this aspect of the story could have been taken one step further as it progressed. In my opinion, the criminal mastermind was kind of predictable, and I kept hoping for one final twist to the story which would throw off all your preconceived assumptions.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nope

Should you read it? A sexy read to be sure! I did feel there was more focus on our couple in the bedroom rather than an in-depth exploration of the ballet conundrum. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of the journalistic side of things as well!

Smut Level: Alexi’s mother tongue might not be English, but that doesn’t mean the man doesn’t know how to talk dirty. Let’s say he’s rather obsessed with Sherry’s “petals”.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Evernight Publishing. 175 Pages.


Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre

Gott im Himmel! I felt like this book was one continual rolling ball of anxiety. You never really got a chance to breathe until the last page. And even then you think back on everything that just happened, and you feel an overwhelming need for a glass of wine and a bubble bath.

What’s it About?


His Life Changed in a Heartbeat
Disinherited as a teen, Devon Ashby returns home twelve years later as a ruthless CEO, brilliant at negotiating deals, but emotionally stunted. In an instant all he’s struggled to build implodes. Amid the turmoil of saving his company from a hostile takeover, his engagement to a business partner’s high-society daughter hits the rocks. Compounding his troubles, he encounters his high school sweetheart, whose heart he smashed. The vulnerability she awakens leaves him at greater risk than all the crises he faces.

Her Dream Job May Get Her Killed
While restoring art in a billionaire’s private gallery, Hannah Moore is unwittingly drawn into the dysfunctional family’s confidences. When she discovers the rich developer behind her and her sick aunt’s eviction is the family’s black-sheep son—the lover she’s never gotten over—her desire turns to fury. Always one to avoid conflict, Hannah must stand up to Devon and the growing menace of someone who thinks she knows too much.

A Decades-Old Secret Turns Deadly
When a family member is murdered, Devon and Hannah become ensnared in sibling greed, festering jealousy, and a tragic secret that’s divided the family. Amid their reigniting passion they race to expose the killer before they become the next victims in this cat-and-mouse game of survival.

First Impressions

In a word, this book was intense. There’s a ton of intrigue, from start to finish, and a whole hell of a lot happening in between. Devon is on the verge of losing his business to his father via hostile takeover, he’s about to get married, and he just ran into his high school sweetheart. Oh, and then there’s the matter of his mother’s apparent suicide years beforehand which he assumes was murder, not to mention a new murder which takes place on his family’s estate, and he just happens to be a suspect. And that’s just what’s going on with Devon! I haven’t even gotten around to all the drama that’s happening with Hannah!


Squirming Ball of Nerves

Now, I know this is going to sound really really weird, but sometimes books like this almost make me too anxious and fidgety. Something about the fact that everything which could possibly go wrong does go wrong makes it seem like the entire world is crashing down on our characters. That being said, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a weirdo. Although this kind of plot turns me into a squirming ball of nerves, I realize that most normal people out there like when a book is jam packed full of this many twists and turns.


It Comes Together Nicely!

Although the build-up pretty much had me rocking back and forth in the fetal position, the ending was fantasmically awesome! It really plays out like a movie, with every scene described in such vivid detail that you could really picture everything playing out with absolute clarity. Another unique feather of this ending is that although it ends happily, it in no way ends perfectly.


Stuff goes down! Not every character meets a happy end, and not every plot twist is wrapped up in a nice, neat little bow. Normally, I’m not a huge fan when this happens, but in this case I think it actually worked! The aspects which aren’t resolved tie into the overall moral of the story of identifying what truly matters in life. If it’s not important, there’s no need to focus so much attention on resolving it now. Focus on what really counts instead.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Dramatic stand-alone to bring to the beach.

Should you read it? This one will certainly keep you on your toes, and bouncing in your chair until the very end. Even I was surprised by how it ended! Usually I can guess our “who done it” pretty early on, but this one threw me for a loop. At times, I felt it was a tad too heavy on the business side of the plot dealing with stakeholders, shareholders, SEC stuff, trusts, and other jargon I’m not going to pretend to understand.

Smut Level: There is only one sex scene in this book, and you definitely have to wait around for it, but good God is it a good one! It’s got everything I love: a thunderstorm, a library, and some delightful dirty talk. Yummmmmy.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Beach Reads Publishing. 297 Pages.



Renegade Heart by Nina Barrett

The rodeo is headed to Sin City! Sounds like a lethal combination, no?

What’s it About? 


As if Vegas didn’t have excitement enough, December brings the National Finals Rodeo to the city. Heading the Imperial Hotel’s participation as a host hotel, Kerstin Hennepin is rushing to a meeting when a fall sends her tumbling into a stranger’s arms and he’s in no hurry to let her go.

Jake Aaron is a troubleshooter for the rodeo Or maybe he’s just plain trouble. Their attraction is instant and one close encounter leads to another, but Jake comes with plenty of questions. True he’s busy handing the offstage antics of rowdy rodeo contestants, but does his job also include romancing a young barrel rider and carrying a concealed weapon? With the finale of the Finals approaching, Kerstin needs answers. But when her search for the truth reveals more is going on behind the scenes than on the arena floor, she and Jake are squarely in someone’s cross hairs.

First Impressions

Yes, this novel definitely had a romantic aspect to it. However, I felt like it could also almost be categorized as a “How To” book. Basically, how to run a large scale event at a hotel, and how to manage rodeo activities. There was so much detail included on both subjects! I’m sure a lot of it was spot on accurate, as it seemed like there was a lot of research involved to make it as realistic as possible. Unfortunately, I felt like this resulted in our characters being pushed aside in order to focus more on logistics of event planning. Definitely unfortunate, as I love me some rodeo cowboy.


Heroine vs. Hero

We definitely focus more attention on Kerstin’s character rather than Jake’s. Her relationship with the rest of her family back East, not to mention her ex-boyfriend who is suddenly back in the picture, meant that it was much easier to connect to her personality. As for Jake on the other hand, I felt like we never really had the opportunity to get to know him completely.


I think his character was meant to remain a bit mysterious and distant. However, he always seemed off in the background, without much meaningful interaction between him and Kerstin. When they were together they were delightfully flirtatious, and I guess I was intrigued enough that I wanted them to spend more time together! At the very end we do find out a crucial hidden detail about Jake, but it was only brushed upon briefly, and I wish I had learned more about his background. Basically, gimme more!

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? There were some slight rumblings of illegal activities happening behind the scenes, but I think the story would have benefited much more if the suspenseful story line had been focused on more than the details of how to host a holiday hoedown for rodeo guests.

Smut Level: Overall this is a fairly clean read. One sexy make out session that is cut short, and a little something more at the very end of the book. I must say though, I’m not sure they are a forever couple.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 170 Pages.