February #BookReviews @PriscillaBettis @colleenhoover @stacitroilo @RoLuvsSims

I’ve had another entertaining month of reading a wide variety of books from indie to mainstream authors. I only share reviews that garnered 4 stars and up.


PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This book contains two separate short stories, both in the horror genre. The first portrays two friends caught in a perilous situation. Not only are Billy and Frasier hopelessly stranded in the harsh Alaskan Wilderness, but Billy is convinced he is a vampire and must have human blood. The shocking events that take place in the story had me gasping. While parts of it are gruesome, it is a compelling story that drew me in. I had to see what happened, and the resolution, again, left me gasping!


The second story is set in the old west with dark magic, a mysterious train, evil revenge, and heart-stopping raging fires. Henderson has been labeled a coward by his peers but is the one chosen to broker a deal with the wealthy Widow Vandermeer when a wildfire threatens to destroy their small town. They need her train. What happens after that is chilling, even in the midst of an inferno. The author did a great job of writing both of these stories. She has a unique talent for telling a good horror story and sucking the reader right in. I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end of them both. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adrenaline rush.

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MY REVIEW:

This book is such a profound journey based on the life of a Native American known only as Grandfather. His teachings are basic, simple, and powerful. I loved all of the stories and how Grandfather approached teaching, always waiting for the student to be ready to receive. I also love how nature is also such an integral part of the teachings. Grandfather was undoubtedly a shaman of the highest order. The last section of the book is a hands-on teaching tool in which anyone can incorporate the practice of entering the Sacred Silence and beyond. But the success stories that follow the instruction phase of the book brought goosebumps to my arms. Just amazing! I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to deepen their spiritual journey with an open mind and heart. I will be forever changed because of what I learned between the pages of this book.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Jade Parsons is one of those lucky few who has a dream job she loves and a boss who is like a father to her. But now her boss has suffered a heart attack, and the boss’s estranged son, Eric, is at the helm running the company.

They clash right away. Jade knows how to run the modeling agency. Eric doesn’t. Yet, he is constantly demeaning her. Why? She’s good at what she does, and Eric’s father trusts her implicitly. As the story unfolds one delicious layer at a time, the reasons behind Eric’s behavior come to light. And to throw another layer of conflict and tension into the story, Jade’s gambling-addicted brother shows up desperately needing money and bringing danger to her door. She can’t turn her back on her family.

But when she is kidnapped, the stakes are raised. And what a shock that it is Eric who comes to her rescue. There are lots of family dynamics in this story, but the aspect I loved the most is the mortar and pestle that has been passed down to Jade from her grandmother, who is a shaman and healer. There is a scene in which Jade is smudging herself and Eric when she drops the mortar and pestle breaking it into four pieces. It’s exciting when the vessel heals itself. It’s magically restored back to pristine condition. This is a romance, but the plot and storyline outweigh the romance part and I love that. The romance is an added bonus. If you love a good story with mystical magic, you will love this book! It is a quick and easy read, and I highly recommend it.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This story is written in a unique way that I’ve never seen before, and before I start my review of the book, I’d like to commend the author for her creativity in telling this story. It is comprised of twelve vignettes – a story for each month of the year.

Laci and Del had been an item, and a year has passed since their breakup when they reconnect at a New Year’s Eve party. The same attraction and spark are there, but there is no trust. After all, their previous relationship ended suddenly with no explanation, no note, and not even a forwarding address. And now, here they are at the same party and alone outside on the balcony. What starts out as an awkward conversation quickly progresses to soft kisses and the desire to try again.

They move back into the comfortable relationship they remember, but both are carrying secrets and the misunderstandings between them loom large. I found myself rooting for them and, at the same time wanting to give them a swift kick in the pants and make them sit down and be honest about what happened. Then when it almost happens again, there doesn’t seem to be any redemption for this couple. They move through tumultuous times, happy times, laughter, tears, and everything in between as the next year of their lives unfolds. If you love a good romance with characters that will linger with you after you reach the end of the book, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It is a fast read, perfectly paced, and well-written.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

It is no secret that I am a died-in-the-wool fan of Colleen Hoover’s writing. She knows how to bring the reader into the story and be a participant.

With over 200,000 reviews, Verity is one of those books that I will remember years from now. There were so many things I loved about it. First of all, Lowen is an author I could relate to. She’s written a few books and makes a little money, but she’s an introvert and shies away from any public interaction with her readers. Things take a huge turn when her agent calls her about a meeting he insists she attends. And what are the odds that a man would step out in the path of a vehicle and die right in front of her on the way to the meeting? Not only die but splatter blood all over her blouse. She is beyond traumatized when a stranger steers her into a nearby restroom and gives her the shirt off his back so she can still attend her meeting. But then imagine Lowen’s surprise when the stranger is in the same meeting. The stranger’s wife is Verity Crawford, a world-renowned author who is now incapacitated due to a car wreck. They need someone to finish the series Verity was working on before the accident. Jeremy Crawford chose Lowen and insists she is the right one to finish his wife’s work. They make Lowen an offer she can’t refuse. Step in and finish the series and, in return, receive a million dollars.

While everything inside her screams, “No,” she can’t refuse an offer like that. And there is something about Jeremy she can’t say no to. What Lowen finds in Verity’s office is horrifying. Then when she begins to suspect the woman is faking her injuries, the tension mounts. And it doesn’t help that Lowen has now fallen in love with Jeremy. I wish I could express this multi-dimensional story layout in a way you could visualize. Between character interactions and Lowen reading Verity’s autobiography, it’s a gripping tale I could not put down. I couldn’t read it fast enough. The climactic ending left me stunned. I will not leave any spoilers. I’ll just say that if you love a suspense-filled story with strong sexual undertones, you will devour this book as I did!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This story opens with a prologue that portrays a disturbing scene where a four-year-old boy thinks he has witnessed the murder of his mother. Only no one believes him. From there, the story jumps to the present day.


I love the setting of this story. Who wouldn’t love living in a mock old western town? Add in daily entertainment for the tourists, and you have a fabulous place.


But things take a turn for the town’s manager, Cassidy, when she hires West, a mysterious stranger, to be the fix-it man for the town. She is attracted to the soft-spoken man with a chiseled body. He has a dark past, only she doesn’t know what it is, and he isn’t willing to share. But the doctor who gives West his work physical sees the scars the man carries. They tell the tale of the abuse West has suffered.


When dead bodies start to turn up in the town, emotions slip into high gear. This is a family-friendly amusement destination and shouldn’t be a murder scene, but it is. Everyone is a suspect.
As Cass and West grow closer, and he shares his story, she falls in love with this man who has suffered a lifetime of unimaginable abuse at the hand of his influential father.


The entire story unfolds with a few complicated plot twists that keep the reader guessing. My only critique of the story is the head-hopping between characters. But this is the author’s debut novel and my guess is that she will hone her writing skills with more practice. Her background as a registered nurse helped tremendously in making certain events in this story realistic for the reader. If you like a good mystery in a fabulous setting with a sprinkling of romance, you will enjoy this story. I’d like to see a sequel.


That’s it for this month. I hope you found something you’d like to check out! Thank you for visiting!

37 thoughts on “February #BookReviews @PriscillaBettis @colleenhoover @stacitroilo @RoLuvsSims

  1. Well now you’ve done it! I’ve had to add yet more titles to my virtual TBR stack!! Just what I needed. Now if only I could live to at least 125 or so, I might actually get through the whole stack. 😂

    Great reviews, Jan, and I’m definitely gonna be checking these out. Thanks!

    Like

      1. You could be right, Jan, but I was aiming for an age that would be attainable. (Oh, hahaha!)

        Thanks for the great reviews! 😀 ❤

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  2. All wonderful reviews, Jan! This is the second positive review I’ve read about Priscilla’s book this morning, so yes, it’s getting my attention. I really enjoyed the last book I read from Staci, “Haunting of Chatham Hollow,’ and I think the ‘story-a-month’ idea is a interesting. Thanks for spreading the word about these reads.:)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A good list, Jan. Some I’ve read and enjoyed–Secrets in the Blood. Great choice. I’ve also read many Tom Brown Jr. books in my effort to become an armchair naturalist. As you say, he and Grandfather are inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a lot of books for the month, Jan. I’ve tackled just a couple of them – Vampire of the Midnight Sun and Secrets in the Blood. I enjoyed both. You intrigued me with Staci’s story, and I know you’re a huge fan of Colleen’s . Thanks for introducing me to a couple of new authors (to me) too. Here’s to another month of great books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are most welcome, Diana. I love sharing good books, just as you do as well. 🙂 Thanks for adding your recommendation to Priscilla’s and Unity’s books. Staci’s story is told in such a different way. I truly enjoyed it and yes, Colleen Hoover is a go-to author for me. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Balroop. I have to ask, did you think Verity Crawford was evil, or was her explanation at the end legitimate? Just curious, as the author left it up to us to decide. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews Jan. Priscilla’s book is waiting on my Kindle and I’ve had Unity’s book on my radar. It’s been a while since I read Laci and Del – I need to go back and read it again. Of course, I’m drawn to anything Native American.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally think you will enjoy Priscilla’s book and Unity’s as well. It will be interesting to watch Unity grow as a writer. She has potential. I too am drawn to Native American customs, beliefs, and teachings, and this book is different from any I’ve read. Tom Brown Jr. runs what he calls a tracking school where he teaches people how to survive and thrive in nature. His method of teaching comes from Grandfather. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m tickled pink that you read and liked Vampire of the Midnight Sun. Thank you for sharing your review!

    Fabulous reviews, Jan. They span genres, but all of them sound terrific for different reasons. I like Staci Troilo’s stories, but I hadn’t heard of Laci and Del. You’re right, it sounds like a unique way to tell a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my pleasure to share my thoughts on Vampire of the Midnight Sun. As always, I love a variety of genres, and all of these books were really good. I enjoyed Laci and Del and can highly recommend it. Thank you for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re the third person who’s recommended Colleen Hoover in a very short time. I’m going to have to check out her work. Excellent reviews all around, Jan. Thank you for including one of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a fan of her writing, Staci. She can put more twists in her stories in such a different way than any other author I’ve read. Plus, she owns a bookstore in Sulphur Springs, just a short distance from me, and I’ve visited it a couple times. Even met her husband, who declared he’s never read one of her books. 🙂 She’s a fantastic writer, for sure. It was my pleasure to share my thoughts on Laci, and Del. Thank you for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing your great reviews, Jan. One of my recent reads was Vampire of the Midnight Sun, and I loved it. I also enjoyed Troilo’s Laci and Del. Congratulations to each of the writers! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. An excellent collection of books an reviews, Jan. I loved Vampire of the Midnight Sun, and am going to have to reacquaint myself with Laci and Del. The others sound wonderful too. Congratulations to all the authors!

    Liked by 1 person

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