The Genome Project by Aaron Hodges // Review

April 11, 2021

The Genome Project by Aaron Hodges book review image

If the Chead came out of its trance, no one wanted to be caught in the open. While the creatures looked human, they possessed a terrifying speed, and had the strength to tear full-grown men limb from limb.


The Genome Project by Aaron Hodges book cover

The Genome Project (once known as Rebirth) by Aaron Hodges


The Evolution Gene #1 (once known as Praegressus Project #1)
Release - March 27, 2017/second edition April 25, 2019
Genre - SciFi Dystopian Fiction
Multiple POV - 3rd person/Chris, Liz, Dr. Fallow
Heat Level - 1 out of 5/kisses
Format/Source - Kindle Amazon purchase
Length - 320 pages
Publisher - The National Library of New Zealand

In 2051, the Western Allies States have risen as the new power in North America. But a terrifying plague is sweeping through the nation. Its victims do not die—they change. People call them the Chead, and where they walk, destruction follows.

Runaway teenager Liz wants nothing more than an ordinary life. But when she’s abducted off the streets, Liz learns her government has other plans. In a future ruled by a ruthless dictator, there’s no place for the weak, and she’s spirited away to a facility deep in the Californian mountains. There, Liz wakes in an iron cage – and she’s not alone.

Beside her, eighteen-year-old Chris stands wrongfully accused of treason. The two are now volunteers in the Genome Project – an experimental program to enhance the human race and fight the Chead. Stripped of their rights, they will soon learn the true depths of human cruelty. The two must work together to survive, but even then, their chances are slim. Of course, only the lucky get to die.

Find your copy of The Genome Project on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Rsaa0P
It's FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


I don't know if it's because my mind was in the right place or if I was in the mood to be wowed, but this story, The Genome Project, it hit the right spot for me. It was intriguing and mysterious and horrific and wonderful!

So here's what it's about:
πŸ’‰ it's the year 2051, the United States is no more, and the characters live in the Western Allied States.
πŸ’‰ the world seems to be overrun by creatures known as Chead, who seem to be altered humans. I'm sure more information about them will come as the series progresses. All I know so far is that they're extremely terrifying.
πŸ’‰ right from the start, Chris became a leading star of this story. My heart broke for this character and the many obstacles he had to face. What is the government doing with his mom and all of the other moms out there???
πŸ’‰ in the beginning, Liz didn't come across as a sympathetic character. She grinned and smiled and smirked at the pain of others who happened to be in the same boat she was. Who does that??? However, by the end, she found an ally in me.
πŸ’‰ the children of so-called traitors are 'saved from death' by being forced to act as lab rats. They are injected with an experimental serum and it seems that they will be used as weapons against the cheads.
πŸ’‰ the kids are pitted against each other in a bid to see the strongest survive. I'm talking some seriously traumatic happenings here, people!
πŸ’‰ and so much more!

I enjoyed the introduction to this series so much. In fact, I'll be reading book two in just a minute. The author's writing kept me engaged, the story was fast-paced, and the characters have begun to chip away at my heart. What happened to Sam and Ashley? What truths will the next book reveal? And is there a real romance brewing between Liz and Chris or was that just isolation talking and doing? So yeah, book two in my hands is a must!

The government had extended curfews across the entire country and increased military patrols, but the measures had done little to slow the spread of attacks. Last year, in 2050, the first Chead sighting had been reported in Los Angeles, and was quickly followed by attacks in Portland and Seattle. Fortunately, they had yet to reach the streets of San Francisco. Even so, a perpetual State of Emergency had been put into effect.

On the television, the SWAT team had reached the grocery store and were now gathering outside, their rifles trained on the entrance. One lowered his rifle and stepped towards it, the others covering him from behind. Reaching the door, he stretched out an arm and began to pull it open.

The Chead did not make a sound as it tore through the store windows and barrelled into the man. A screech came through the old television speakers as the men scattered before the Chead’s ferocity. With one hand, it grabbed its victim by the throat and hurled him across the street. The thud as he struck the ground was audible over the reporter’s microphone.

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn't looked back since.

For more details, check out Aaron Hodges' website: https://www.aaronhodges.co.nz/

Blood to Dust by L.J. Shen // Review + Excerpt

April 10, 2021

Blood to Dust by L.J. Shen review image

I used to be a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend and a friend. A poet, a dreamer and an honor student. But now... now I'm alone, left to fend for myself, with no one to look out for me.


Blood to Dust by L.J. Shen book cover

Blood to Dust by L.J. Shen


Standalone
Release - July 17, 2016
Genre - Dark Romance
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5/several scenes
Format/Source - Kindle Amazon purchase
Length - 266 pages
Publisher - Indie

His name is Beat, and I should hate him.

Bound, blindfolded and bruised, I'm tied in his basement, waiting for the men who stripped me from clothes and humanity to collect his debt to them. Me.

His name is Nate and I should hate him, but I don't.

I'm not supposed to know his real name, even worse, I'm not supposed to care. He is nothing to me but means to an end. The plan is simple: break free, collect the pieces of my broken soul, kill the bastards and run away.

His name is Nathaniel Thomas Vela, and I've never seen his face, though I hear that it's beautiful.

Behind the rugged and handsome exterior, there's a quiet murderer, a killer who thinks guns are for pussies and ends people with his bare hands.

His name doesn't matter, neither does his face, but what does matter is my heart. And right now, sadly, it's his.

Blood to Dust is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

Find your copy of Blood to Dust on Amazon
FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


I love her like a slave, I kneel in front of her like a subject, I crawl back to her at night like a drunk and I worship her like a believer.

While it wasn't as dark as I thought it was going to be, considering the blurb, Blood to Dust was full of the off-the-wall craziness I've come to look for in my dark reads. Prescott was a puzzle that I still haven't been able to solve. She was a woman burdened by pain, betrayal and secrets. The life of horrors that she had to live was not for the feint of heart. Good thing this girl was a survivor.

Broken people do things better; we learned how to make it in life without the missing parts other people have. Because when you're in the dark, you appreciate everything that shines. - Nate

Nate had never had it easy. He suffered through childhood, finally freed himself only to be tried and judged as a criminal. Never really fitting anywhere, this too-pretty-for-his-own-good man carved his own path. When his boss tasked him with holding onto Prescott, keeping her prisoner until his son could 'fetch' her, Nate planned to do just that. Only Prescott had other plans. And when he heard her story, when he found out why she was such a hot commodity, he realized how truly alike they were. His heart, that organ of his that knows the difference between right and wrong, switched sides.

Prescott Burlington-Smyth is everything I want to be. A storm smoving out of a shit situation at the speed of light, not looking back to spare a glance at the casualties of her actions.

And then it was utter chaos. Granted, what Prescott and Nate did defied imagination. None of it was realistic, but it was still tons of fun to read. She got her own brand of justice and through blood and more pain, these two kindred spirits found their own happily ever after.

“You don’t get a say in this shit,” Ink announces with borrowed authority. I can hear the uncertainty leaking from him. He’s what I call an easy job. If it were just him watching over me, I would have been dancing in Iowan cornfields far away from here by now, Sebastian and Godfrey’s heads tucked in that Nike bag.

“You make me uncomfortable.” I yank my arm away.

“What, and the other guy makes you warm and fuzzy?” He sounds genuinely offended.

Beat inches closer behind me, and I feel the heat of his body drifting into mine. He’s close. Hot-jock-leaning-against-your-locker close. It’s going to be hard to bypass someone his size.

“You think I’m nice?” His breath moves through the plastic of his mask, tickling my ear. I shudder down to my toes. His mouth smells like peach. How bad can a guy who smells like a peach be?

“Nice-r.” I clear my throat, my eyes still trained on Ink in front of me. Ink shakes his head, indicating that I’m dead wrong. The air becomes chilly. Why hadn’t I noticed it’s so chilly?

Because it’s not. It’s August in California, and I’m cold because I’m frightened.

“Let’s test your theory. I’m going to touch you now. Move without permission, and I’m breaking your arm.”

My busted lower lip splits open again as I scowl at his threat. He definitely looks like a guy who makes good on his threats.

“Okay.” I lick my blood, my voice tender.

Beat kicks my legs open and brings my arms up, patting me down dryly, like airport security. His rough fingers stroke the curves of my shoulders as he moves down from my skull to my outer breasts, circling them lazily. Down to my stomach…lower to my tensed inner thighs, pushing the fabric of my mini dress away to make room for his warm paws.

Every muscle in my body is ready to plow forward, to run away, to try and hurt him; the memory of every experience I’ve had that started this way demands for me to take action. But this…it doesn’t feel like a violation. The sour taste of bile has yet to explode in my mouth.

His hands move down my legs, stroking my ankles…then he stops.

“Got something inside?” He squats down, hooking one of his thumbs into my ankle boot. His masked face is eye level with my pelvis, and warmth spreads along my bones like hot wax.

“No,” I lie. There’s still a slight chance he won’t check.

But he checks.

Beat jerks my boot out and a Swiss army knife falls with a clank on the concrete pavement. I let out a sigh and drop my head. Shit.

Happy thoughts.

Frozen yoghurt with Preston down the local mall.

Curling up on the egg-swing with a Mia Sheridan book.

Water lilies blooming over the artificial pond in the Burlington-Smyth’s garden.

A genuine smile from a stranger.

Beat stands up slowly, his gleeful mask zeroing on my face. It all looks like a scene from a horror movie.

And I’m the victim.

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Find all of her details on her website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

BOOK DEALS (FREEBIES & SALES) - 4/09/2021

April 09, 2021


Happy Weekend! It's been a while since I've scoured through Amazon looking for deals to share. I hope something here makes your reading soul smile :) All books are under $2 (at the time of this post). For more sales & freebies (because they might still be on sale or free), CLICK HERE and Happy Hunting!

Vampire by Rebecca Zanetti // ARC Book Review

Vampire by Rebecca Zanetti book review

"I watched you for four months and fell head over heels. You're perfect, and I can die knowing I found love, even if it was short. Thank you for that."


Vampire by Rebecca Zanetti book cover

Vampire by Rebecca Zanetti


Standalone - Dark Protectors #12.5
Release - April 13, 2021
Genre - Paranormal Romance
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 3 out of 5/it's there but not frequent or terribly descriptive - it's a novella so...
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author through InkSlinger PR
Length - 108 pages
Publisher - 1001 Dark Nights Press

Dr. Mariana Lopez has finally stopped bailing friends out of difficult situations. Well, except for substituting as the leader for another anger management group, pitching in as a campaign strategist for a prospective sheriff, and babysitting three dogs. Even with such a full life, she can feel the danger around her—a sense that something isn’t right. Nightmares harass her, until the real thing comes to life, and only the dark and sexy male sitting in her group can save her. However, with safety comes a price she might not be willing to pay.

Raine Maxwell is one of the Maxwells out of Montana, which means he's not only one of the most deadly vampires alive, but his path is set and his mate has been chosen for him. To save him—to continue his line. Unfortunately, his mate is an enhanced human female who has no idea of her abilities, of his species, or of her future. He’d like to lead her gently into this new world, but his people aren’t the only ones who’ve found her, which puts her into more danger than she can imagine. Plus, in order to follow his laws, he only has one week to convince her that immortality with him is what she wants—and needs.

Find your copy of Vampire here:
Amazon CA * Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon AU


Vampire by Rebecca Zanetti quote teaser

Any time I can get my hands on a book from the Dark Protectors series, I'm here for it. After the glimpse I got in Vixen of what would be the story of Raine and Mariana, I knew I needed to know more.

Raine Maxwell is from a long line of cursed males. After centuries, if they don't find their mate, they die. Raine has found his mate and while it's love at first sight for him, he's not mating her. He knows he's dying, but he's honorable and doesn't want to drag an innocent female, no matter that she's enhanced, into the dangers of his world. So what happens when those dangers make their way to her despite his noble intentions?

Raine was ΓΌber Alpha and a bit old fashioned and quickly won me over. I was invested in his mission to keep Mariana safe and silently pushed him to save his own life! I kept wanting to push him closer to her, to get him to accept his destiny, however, I also respected the author's reasons for him being hesitant to mate. Zanetti sure knows how to create amazing heroes.

I made a list of things I enjoyed about this story, such as:
πŸ§› Raine of course. For most of the story, I found Mariana to be rude and ignorant, incredibly abrasive, and not worth my time. However, Raine made every moment something I needed to experience, so her nonsense didn't bother me as much as it could have. Raine was just that awesome!
πŸ§› Tabi and Evan were there! I was so glad to see the spunky demoness and her sweet lover. It was fun to see him getting used to his new powers and that Raine considered him a friend.
πŸ§› BENNY!!! I freaking love this male and getting some of him here, knowing that his story is soooo close to my fingertips... such a great bonus. Oh yeah, there's also peeks from Faith and Mercy :D

The Dark Protectors series is one of my absolute favorite PNR stories of all time and I can always be counted on to buy and review. How can anyone resist hot alphas, fierce heroines, intriguing plots and twists, the danger element, the familial dynamics, the love... the everything??? If you're a fan of the series, this a neat treat to hold us over until the next book. If you're new to this series, what an amazing introduction!

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

A Battle of Blood and Stone by Sawyer Bennett // ARC Review

April 08, 2021

A Battle of Blood and Stone by Sawyer Bennett

We don't exchange words of love. The way we look at each other often speaks louder.

A Battle of Blood and Stone by Sawyer Bennett

A Battle of Blood and Stone by Sawyer Bennett


Book 4 - Chronicles of the Stone Veil
Release - April 13, 2021
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Dual POV - Finley/1st and Carrick/3rd
Heat Level - 2.5/spoken about but not descriptive
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 239 pages
Publisher - Big Dog Books, LLC

Another day, another step closer to Hell on Earth being unleashed.

With every piece that falls into place for the queen of the Underworld, Kymaris gains strength and power that will make it more difficult to defeat her when the time comes. It feels as if we’re in a desperate race to get just one step ahead of her, but my demise feels closer than it ever has before with still so much to do.

The first order of business is to unlock the angelic powers with which I was gifted at birth, and Carrick insists on getting help from my archnemesis to do so. Yes, I have to save the world, but my priority has now become rescuing my sister from the Underworld. While there are many questions still to be answered about my long-lost twin, I know I will not win this battle without her by my side.

In the midst of all the doom and gloom, Carrick has become my beacon of shining light. Our connection unimaginable, my heart recognizes his as the other half of its whole. Inexplicable and deeper than one could ever imagine, the love I hold for him is forged by destiny, however ill-fated it may turn out to be.

And those are the feelings I must hold close…to keep me going. Because a painful lesson is on the horizon—betrayal never comes from your enemies.

Find your copy of A Battle of Blood and Stone here:
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3t1HZDF
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39Taz2z
iBooks: http://apple.co/3oSs3Ro
Nook: https://bit.ly/3pSgGud
Kobo: http://bit.ly/3iWcPtr


Saying that this book was full of surprises would be a gross understatement. At the end of The Evolution of Fae and Gods, I was left at a loss. What was Carrick's fate? After his information dump, I expected him and Finley to grow closer. I wanted them to. I wished for them to. Did I get all that I had hoped for?

Well, when this was said...

I can't help but sound petulant. "He has time to reach out to his businesses but not to me?"

"It's not like that, Finley," Zaid chastises. "If Carrick hasn't reached out to us, it's for a good reason. Trust me on that."

"Trust you on that?" I ask, incredulously.

"I know Carrick, so —"

"See, that's just it," I snap harshly, throwing my hands out to the side in frustration. "I don't know him. Apparently, I've fallen in love with him over and over again throughout history, yet I don't know a damn thing about him. You might trust him, but don't ask me to."


I honestly didn't think I was going to get what I was looking for. How could I when Finley was once again being so annoying? I felt like I was back to the beginning. Where was the growth? Where was the girl I was starting to care for? And then it all changed and I was caught up in a story that was more than I could ask for.

A Battle of Blood and Stone has magic, murky alliances, family, love, hope, and a surprising betrayal, all of which make it such an enchanting read. I'm in love with the epic romance that is steadily building between Carrick and Finley. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a hopeless romantic or if I just can't get enough of the demigod. With one powerful, intense, unreal mindboggling cliffhanger, I'm left on edge until I can get The Rise of Fortune and Fury in my hands. Will Finley finally truly connect with her twin? Will there be a trip to the Underworld in my future? And will Finley actually survive the prophecy, Rune's curse, and get a happy ending with Carrick? I'm telling you now... Carrick better get everything he deserves. The male has been put through enough and needs to be freaking happy!!

Check out my reviews of the previous books of the series:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Sawyer Bennett uses real life experience to create relatable stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From contemporary romance, fantasy romance, and both women’s and general fiction, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

A former trial lawyer from North Carolina, when she is not bringing fiction to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to her very adorable daughter, as well as full-time servant to her wonderfully naughty dogs.

If you’d like to receive a notification when Sawyer releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter (sawyerbennett.com/signup).

For more information about this author and her books, check out her website: https://sawyerbennett.com

JAILBAIT by Lani Lynn Vale // Release Blitz

April 06, 2021


Jailbait (Souls Chapel Revenants MC Book 3) by Lani Lynn Vale is LIVE!!


The first time I saw her was across the room at a bar. I had no idea at the time that she was only sixteen. All I knew was that she was beautiful, she was sending me do-me vibes from across the room, and I was fresh off a deployment where there’d been nobody but men for nine of the longest months of my life.


The second time that I saw her was at a court hearing that would decide how long I’d be sent to prison for. She was a cute little curly-haired blonde with wide, expressive eyes, a banging body, and the reason that I’d gone to prison in the first place.


The third time I saw her was through a glass divider of the prison visitation room as she waited for her stepfather, my lawyer, to tell me how sorry he was that he lost my case. Especially when I’d been the one to kill the man that was about to kill his daughter.


The last time, the time that I decided enough was enough, was when I saw her at my bar eight weeks after I’d been set free.


Unlucky for her, I’d stopped being a good guy about two seconds after those bars closed behind me twelve years ago. Now all that was left was a shell of a man that didn’t see the good in anything. Anything except for her.


Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gRSe8t
Apple: http://apple.co/3oYGILj
Nook: http://bit.ly/3gRloEC
Kobo: http://bit.ly/3npzH63

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2IUQi2p



My Two Cents

Find my review HERE:



About the Author
Lani Lynn Vale is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.
Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.

Website: http://www.lanilynnvale.com/
Facebook: https://bit.ly/LLV-fb
Instagram: https://bit.ly/LLV-IG
Twitter: https://bit.ly/LLV-twitter
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/LLVgoodreads
BookBub: http://bit.ly/LLVbb

Unspoken by Ari Reavis // Book Tour + Giveaway

April 05, 2021

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

Unspoken

by Ari Reavis
Publication Date: April 12, 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Standalone

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

Preorder: Amazon US | Amazon INTL


The Unspoken One has been banished for many years, his very existence erased. Ameera must find his true name and summon him if she has any hope of saving her kingdom from war, and herself from marriage to a ruthless king. The Kingdom of Nur has been suffering for years under Ameera’s father’s rule. She’s bid her time, carefully keeping her secret hidden and waiting to become queen so she can repair what her father has broken. Then an unwanted marriage to the brutal king of Nur’s enemy threatens everything she’s worked towards. With her wedding drawing near and the future of her kingdom in peril, she finds the forbidden name. She knows The Unspoken One is her last chance to save Nur, but she risks much in summoning him. His magic is not understood, the crime he was banished for is unknown, and speaking his name carries an unbearable punishment. For Nur, for herself, she must risk it all. Or lose everything she holds dear. She speaks the name too many have paid a painful price for uttering. Nothing, not the kingdom, their lives, or her heart, will ever be the same.

 
Find my 5-star review here:

Unspoken by Ari Reavis


About Ari Reavis

Ari Reavis is a wife and mother of six. Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, she enjoys staying in, devouring books and watching movies. Her kids are running around, her husband is trying to show her martial arts moves, and she’s trying to write. Her day in a nutshell.