Mask of Fire by Michel Prince

fire

Abigail Stone is going to be attending what is known as the Harvesters Gala. The women get to choose which man in the middle of the room they want to take to a room to have sex with. The thought behind this is that if a man can satisfy the woman, then they are made for each other. The men and women wear masks to hide the eyes as a lot can be learned from someone’s eyes.

Barton Nuril is a crown prince who is forced to go to this every year and can’t return home until he has been claimed. A group of women gather around him and begins to fight over who gets him first. When Abigail lays eyes on him, she decides that she will be getting him. She forces her way to him and forcefully takes him after confronting the other women. A cleric gets them a room and they go to it.

While taking a break after the first act, and not wanting to let the man go yet, Abigail goes out onto the balcony. She makes a statement about fireworks coming from the north. With Barton being a crown prince and a soldier, he knows they aren’t fireworks. He gives her a candleabra to hold to use should anyone decide to come into the room besides him. He opens the door to find a cleric waiting and asking if there is a doctor. Abigail is a doctor and Barton has some field training.

They go down to the basement of the castle where other clerics are running around tending to those who have sores and high fevers. The sores manifest on the thighs of men and on the spines of women. An explosion rocks the castle and Barton pulls Abigail into a corner where the structure is more secure. He decides that he needs to get to the castle and help protect his family. Abigail stakes her claim to him. Normally, they would be married within the hour and sequestered away somewhere for a week. But things aren’t normal at the moment.

Barton leaves the island and makes it to the mainland where Abigail eventually catches up to him and they make it into the castle together. But what happens inside and who makes it out alive?

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This book was a good read. I enjoyed reading it. I was rooting for Barton and Abigail from the beginning. It was rather surprising on who all ended up sick and who didn’t. Definitely will be keeping this on my Kindle.

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105 pages

Amazon Kindle: $0.99

Amazon Paperback: $6.99

Price I Paid: Gift as I won it during a giveaway

Alicia (Blackbird #5) by Dahlia Donovan

alicia

Alicia is the fifth book in the Blackbird series by Dahlia Donovan. The reviews for Ivy, Natasha, Masquerade and Twelve Days can all be found on my blog as well.

The fifth book follows Alicia, Ivy’s best friend. Starts out with Alicia planning Ivy’s wedding. On the day of the wedding things go horribly wrong. After the vows, everyone is standing around talking. Alicia is yelling at Jezza because he already has two glasses of champagne in his hands and looks like he’s about to get sloshed. All of a sudden she finds herself on her back on the lawn being covered by Josh, the resident panther shifter of Blackbird. She processes that she heard a gunshot and then sees Jezza dead.

Blackbird gets Ivy, Dane, Alicia and the others out of there safely without anyone else being hurt. They go to the main house where they all change from their wedding clothes into something more comfortable. After that, everyone is whisked away to different parts. Alim, Alicia’s uncle, takes Alicia and Josh to his estate. Alim gives Josh his blessing to date Alicia only because he’s saved her life and made her smile for the first time in a long time. Alim takes them to Morocco where they can be more protected since they are friends of the most powerful family there.

Things start to come to light after Alicia realizes that her step-sister Fawn is being a few nasty presents being left on her doorstep back in London. Things start to go really bad when she realizes that some of her more traditional family members are lurking around the hotel and waiting on a chance to kidnap her. Alim distracts Fawn and Josh gets Alicia out of there without any trouble.

Alicia and Josh are now on the run because someone is chasing them and wants them dead. The threats aren’t only coming from Alicia’s family’s enemies but from recent threats to Ivy and Blackbird themselves.

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This book was a good one to read. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. I really liked reading Josh and Alicia’s story, especially after Twelve Days. I was really wondering how it was going to play out with them. I love Dahlia’s characters and her style of writing.

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120 pages

$2.99 on Amazon

I paid 99 cents on promo

Twelve Days (Blackbird #4) by Dahlia Donovan

twelve

Twelve Days is the fourth book in the Blackbird series. The first three book reviews can be found: Ivy Natasha Masquerade.

In Twelve Days, we start off on a sad note. We are in Alec’s POV. For those that don’t know, Alec is Ivy’s now deceased first husband who died of pancreatic cancer. The cancer treatments weren’t working. Jezza, Dane and Alicia all know Alec as well. They are celebrating Christmas in October because Alec wants Ivy to be happy and to not give up on life. Dane shaves Alec’s head and decides to shave his own head so he wasn’t alone.

Fast forward to three years later. Ivy is throwing a Christmas party for all of Blackbird Security. Either Steve or Gareth sends out an “invitation” although it’s not really an invitation since they all “have to bloody attend.”

The situation with Rafael was still there and still a threat. Although, with the deaths of his two former associates, he had quieted down some and was biding his time and they all knew it. The question was, when was he going to show his hand and make his next move. With it being the holidays, no one expected him to make a move but then again, Rafael was all about surprises and making a move during the holiday really would surprise them. That’s why someone was always monitoring him so they knew.

Josh is pining for Alicia, Ivy’s best friend. He has left her a couple presents so far and Ivy busts him when he leaves the third one. She does the not so subtle thing of threatening him with death and being buried in Moroccan sands and then lets him know that his presents have cheered up Alicia. When Josh leaves, he goes home and busts Alicia leaving him a note on his door. Through her Uncle Alim, she knew who was leaving the presents for her. Josh takes her inside and reveals to her that he is a panther shifter. Alicia decides she needs time to think about it and leaves in a hasty retreat and Josh lets her go.

New couples are popping up all over the place. Or at least the start of some new couples: Elaine and Alim, Carl and Judy, Dane and Tabatha? This all happens in the first few days of the Twelve Days before Christmas!

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Dahlia Donovan was a new to me author when I found Ivy. I liked it and went on to read Natasha and Masquerade. I then purchased Twelve Days and also have the fifth book, Alicia, which will be reviewed tomorrow. I have enjoyed reading each of her books and I don’t see that changing. The characters, aside from some being shifters, are as diverse and normal as everyday people which I like. These are some good books and I would recommend them to fellow readers.

Happy Birthday to Dahlia. Hope you’re having a great day today.

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86 pages

Amazon Price: Normally 99 cents but free today and tomorrow

Price I Paid: Free

The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Dining

gluten

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. It came in the actual paperback edition instead of Kindle.

I’m glad I came across this book. We’ve been trying to go gluten-free for a while now because we think gluten is what is causing some of my daughter’s health issues. Gluten is becoming one of the most common things to cause illness. I have a few friends who have Celiac disease and I know it is hard on them when something is marked gluten-free and it actually isn’t.

I was kinda skeptical when I signed up to review this book thinking it was going to be cheesy and it really wasn’t going to help at all. I figured, yeah the cover says 52,000 products but were there really going to be that many listed and is it going have the stores that I shop at in there? The answer to both of these questions was yes. I loved this book from the moment I started looking at it, realizing it was better than I thought it was going to be and a lot more helpful than I realized.

I love the way this book is set up. It is broken down into eleven different sections. Each section then is broken down further and each store lists the brand (whether it be store brand or name brand) and specific product that is gluten free. There are 52 THOUSAND products listed in this book. I couldn’t imagine going to the store and looking at multiple packages of items that are labeled as gluten-free when they really aren’t.

This book will DEFINITELY be staying around and will be making each shopping trip to the store with us. I would HIGHLY recommend getting this book. It might be an expensive book at $6 for Kindle or $24/$25 for paperback but I assure you, this book IS WORTH every penny.

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533 pages

Amazon Kindle: $5.99

Amazon Paperback: $23.95

Publisher’s site: $24.95

Deadly Dating Games by Joanie Chevalier

deadly

I received this book free in PDF format in exchange for my honest review.

I usually judge a book by it’s cover. If it appeals to me then the book surely will as well, right? Right. I love the cover of this book and it fits it in so many ways.

Julianna joins a book club in order to make more friends. While there, she meets Bess and they become friends. Traci, the leader of the free group, on the other hand doesn’t seem to be about making friends. She’s a schemer and a troublemaker right from the start. If only Bess and Julianna and the others had been smart enough to RUN as fast as they could the opposite direction!

Their first book is a dating book. At the second meeting, Traci splits everyone up into smaller groups and wants them to brainstorm. She, Julianna and Bess are in a group together. She suggests that they “video” and “critique” a date from each person that way they can help each other out. Since Julianna is scheduled for a date already, she becomes the first guinea pig. Bess and Traci ride the ferry that she and Aaron are on. Traci being Traci causes a little bit of mischief as she bumps into Aaron a time or two. Julianna tells her off.

Bess is the first one to fall though. Bess goes out on a date with a man. Traci ends up drugging the man and Bess both. Julianna shows up where she was told too and sees Bess and the man going at it. Traci instructs her to take pictures and she joins in the fun as well. This is where things start to get REALLY interesting in the book and I don’t want to give any of that away.

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I really liked reading this book. Julianna and Bess are both characters that you could imagine being your neighbors or friends. Traci, is like a few people I know in real life by always scheming and causing problems. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to readers. It will keep you interested from cover to cover and all the pages in between. It will have you glued to your seat not wanting to move until it’s finished and I absolutely LOVE those kinds of books.

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182 pages

$1.99 on Kindle

I paid nothing as I received it free in exchange for an honest review.

Link to purchase Deadly Dating Games

Toy Review: Shopkins

shopkins

 

 

These little guys and gals are called Shopkins. My daughter absolutely loves them. She came across them one day while she was watching HobbyKidsTV on YouTube.

I went in search of finding some and I found them at one of our local Walmarts. They come in a cute little shopping basket that is pink with purple handles. There are 2 items in each little basket. They are available for $2.88 at Walmart.

I went in search of these on Amazon as well. I found them there but it is a LOT cheaper to purchase them on Walmart’s website. The cheapest I found on Amazon for one basket was $8.

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They come with a list of available figures in each basket. There are 142 characters total for this particular series. Items range from food to shoes to kitchen appliances, cleaning supplies and baby.

The twelve pictured above (in order) are: Carrie Carrot Cake, Prommy, Carrie Carrot Cake, Bree Freshener, Fifi Fruit Tart, Fasta Pasta, Yummy Gum, Silly Chilli, Cheery Churro, Poppy Corn, Ice-Cream Dream and Corny Cob.

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These items are small, no bigger than a quarter, so not suitable for anyone under the age of 3 at least. My daughter played with them from the time we opened them til the time she went to bed and then was right back to playing with them after she got up. A great entertainment source, especially if you buy multiple packs. I will be buying her more in the future hoping to complete the collection one of these days.

Resisting the Biker (The Biker #1) by Cassie Alexandra

biker

“Resisting the Biker” is the first book in “The Biker” series by Cassie Alexandra.

We start out by reading a horrible act that is done to Jessica. She is raped by a guy in a motorcycle club. She doesn’t recognize the patches but she is able to describe them to the police and her mother who in turn tells her boyfriend who is the president of a local motorcycle club.

From there, we follow Adriana. Adriana is twenty-one years old and her best friend, Krystal is just turning twenty-one. They stop by the motorcycle clubs main house before they hit up the clubs. Everyone there knows that Krystal is off limits as she belongs to the president of the Gold Viper’s son. Adriana, however, isn’t patched or claimed by anyone. Breaker, a guy from a different motorcycle club who is visiting, takes it upon himself to try and get into Adriana’s pants. This isn’t a good idea because it only pisses off Tank (the president’s son) and his best friend, Raptor.

Raptor acts like she is his to keep her safe and to make Breaker back off. She catches on quickly and acts like they are together. Raptor carries Adriana into the back of the clubhouse and then sets her down. Krystal and Tank go into another room and they listen to them having sex. Raptor likes the flush of Adriana’s cheeks when he embarrassing her so he keeps making her blush. Before she and Krystal leave to go clubbing, he programs his name and number into her phone.

She thinks that she won’t ever need it, but she does. That night. And she’s thankful she could call someone. He goes and picks her up from the rest stop she was abandoned at and takes her back to his house. She spends the night and then he takes her home the next morning. Adriana likes him but she knows that he’s nothing but trouble and so is the motorcycle club he’s with.

Things go from bad to worse. Breaker starts following Adriana and scares the hell out of her, which pisses Raptor off more than what he already was. Krystal ends up missing and while Adriana and Raptor are at the police station, a tip comes in that Krystal was found. Dead. The motor cycle club knows who killed Krystal and they run the offending motorcycle club out of town.

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This book is a good read. I started reading it and didn’t quit until after 4 am. I read this book straight through and enjoyed all of it. This book will  make you think you are actually there while reading it. You can visualize the story happening while reading it. I highly recommend this book to other readers.

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316 pages

Amazon Price: Free

Price I Paid: Free

The Forsaken (The Children of Cain #1) by R.J. Craddock

the forsaken

 

This book had me intrigued just by the front cover. That is how I come across almost ALL of my books. Usually, if the title draws me in, I can read the book and will at least like it. I LOVED this book.

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When the book starts, a young girl of fiveish is alone and walking through the snow. She is barefoot and doesn’t feel the pain from her feet anymore. A man starts chasing her and she runs into a road. A car stops and the man and wife take her to the hospital. The thing is, the girl doesn’t speak English and no one knows what language she is speaking. Her feet are frostbitten and it looks like she is going to lose them. But she sings a song her mother used to sing to her and they heal.

The doctors, nurses and other patients hail her a miracle. Except Doctor Renee Thompson. She thinks hte girl is magical or there is some other reason for her tremendous recovery. After she is better, she is taken to the local orphanage at St Pauls church. No one understands her when she says that here name is Gwenevere but goes by Gwen so they name her Marianne January. No one knows when her birthday is so they gave her the birthday in the same month that she came to them, in January.

Marianne is different from all the other children. They don’t want to get to know her or want to be around her. There is one boy who stays away from the others. When he and Marianne/Gwen talk, they realize they are speaking the same language and can communicate without any issues. This forms a special bond between them. Eventually, Gwen gives him the name of Raven, which he likes so much better than Adam.

One night, after Gwen causes a serious uproar in the church (exposing one of the nuns of molesting other children in the orphanage), she and Raven leave. They get out of there and start to hitchhike after they make it to the highway. This is when the first strange occurrence happens. Raven gets mad at hte man that picked him up because he was going to take them back to the orphanage. But, that never comes to light. Raven shifts into a wolf! Gwen is able to talk him back into his human form and things are okay for a while after that.

Gwen learns that she has some special powers, that she had known about for a while but she learns to use them better. They live for a while in peace before things get seriously bad. I’m not going to tell what happens because I think it’s a MAJOR part of the book.

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This book was a great read. I started reading it last night and just finished it a little bit ago. If the cover doesn’t draw you in, the story will. I firmly believe that. If you read this book, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

The book can be bought for $15.89 on Amazon in paperback or for $0.99 on Amazon on Kindle.

Careful by Randy Anderson

careful

 

Book Description:

For two decades Tyler Gibbons has been keeping a secret from his family. At the tender age of sixteen, Tyler embarks on a student exchange program. Sent to the Andean city of Ambato, Ecuador, he finds daily adventure as he tries to fit in at school, connect with his host family, and navigate through a world of beaches, volcanoes, and jungles. But tucked deep inside this year are events so profound, so unexpected, they forever shape the man he will become.

Now, 25 years later, his mother pulls these soaring tales from her son, exposing, for the first time, the source of a deep unhappiness. While these memories contain the wounds of an unresolved past, they also possess the power to heal his painful present.

Thoughtfully crafted and boldly told, Tyler’s journey takes the reader on a wild South American adventure, while illuminating a mother’s unyielding power to heal her child.

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The book starts out with Tyler getting to the hospital when he learns his mother is there. They won’t tell him what is wrong or anything. They just tell him to get there. Tyler arrives at the hospital and his mother wants to hear what happened when he went on a student exchange program when he was 16. He ended up going to Ecuador and she wanted to know what really happened and not the cryptic stuff that he kept telling her.

Tyler begins regailing her with his tale of what happened in Ecuador. She sees through his bullshit almost immediately and tells him to tell her the real story and not to make himself look like a hero. So the tale begins. Tyler was sixteen and was glad to be going somewhere else. But he didn’t think he’d feel as out of place as he did there. He didn’t speak any Spanish. Luckily, there were other students going to Ecuador with him and they were all close to each other.

Tyler and the others are mischievous and it shows in his tales of what happened. I had to laugh at some of the ways the author had Tyler trying to talk in Spanish.

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This was a good book! I honestly liked it. Reading the description, I wasn’t too sure but when I started reading it, it changed my mind. I read this book in a few sittings. I would have preferred to have read it in one but when you have a boisterous 4 year old in the house, that rarely happens unless I read late at night. 🙂 I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming of age novels.

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On Amazon: $2.99