Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review: Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough


Media Type: Physical Book
Title: Cross Her Heart
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: Hardcover; 341
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Source: Publisher / TLC Book Tours
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Genre: Thriller / Mystery

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy slow burn thrillers with excellently executed twists.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go. Then her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see. Lisa's world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened. Not knowing whom she can trust, it's up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear.
Oh, this book. Where to start? I honestly did not expect to be so addicted Cross Her Heart. My original plan was to start this, and then read it in between other books that I'm working on at the same time. Since, normally, Thriller/Mystery books take a little time to really get going. Well, scratch that idea. Sarah Pinborough's book is a slow burn sure, but one that just keeps you on your toes as every single turn. She expertly pulls you one way, then the other, never really allowing you to settle in. In short, I flew through this book. I'm really pleased about that.

It's going to be rough to say a lot about this story, because I absolutely don't want to give anything away. The joy of discovery is half of the fun of reading this book. What I can say, is that Lisa's character is perfection. Both her and her daughter are fully fleshed out people who you'll slowly finding yourself falling in step with. Even Ava's teenage petulance made me smile. There's something wonderful about reading a story like this and feeling like the characters could be your next door neighbors. In the case of a story like this, there's always something vaguely ominous about it too.

When I say that twists abound, I'm really not kidding. Cross Her Heart has a steady pace that just grabs you by the hand and tugs you along, never letting go. Even when you stop in your tracks because of what's around the next corner, it just pulls you along. I so appreciated the fact that nothing in this story felt forced. Every action, every plot point, felt expertly laid out. I felt like I was being told a real story which, like I mentioned above, added to the unease I felt while reading this book. I thought I knew where Sarah Pinborough was taking me. I was so wrong.

If you're looking for a very well written, very quick moving Thriller this is your next read.




FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie


Three Mages and a Margarita
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.
It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?
I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?
It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.
So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Add it: Goodreads / Amazon

When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?” She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”
“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”
“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”
“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”
I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”
Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”
“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”
“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”
“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”
Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?” “Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last
night, did you see anything?”
“Huh?”
“Did you see anything … unusual?”
“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”
“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”
His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.
“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!” He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”
“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”
He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”
“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”
“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”
I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?
“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”
Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone. Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.” “Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”
“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”
The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.
“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?” “Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.





Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.


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