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The Mastermind by Dylan Allen A 1001 Dark Nights Novella

The Mastermind by Dylan Allen

The Mastermind by Dylan Allen in in the author’s Rivers Wilde World. You can read The Mastermind as a stand alone.

Ok, honestly, Dylan Allen in the best at writing emotional dialogue with mature characters. I love how dialogue is constructed in Dylan Allen’s books. It’s so careful and thoughtfully written and it just takes you right into the story.

Our main characters are Omar and Jules. Omar is a retired professional football (soccer) player turned businessman. He was based in the UK for much of hisfootball career, but moved to LA at the end of his career to play soccer there. He carries quite a bit of responsibility related to his family, mainly his Dad and sister as he bears the burden of supporting them financially. After a falling out with his father, Omar returns to London.

Jules lives in London and is a strong woman. At the beginning of this book, she has completed law school and been called to the Bar and starts her pupillage. She also works as a bartender. She’s a survivor and I won’t share to much of her story here to avoid spoilers.

Omar is a little gruff and grumpy but he’s the connsumate care taker of those he loves. When he meets Jules, he’s immediately tied to her and likewise for Jules. I really love Omar. He’s really good, mature man.

This story is an emotional roller coaster with many beautiful and unexpected highs and lows.

5 stars for this beauty, and I can not wait for what Dylan Allen has for us next!

ARC provided by the author, and this is my honest review.

Finding Mia by PJ Fiala

This was an enjoyable book to listen to. The audio is too notch and the narrators are perfect.

Caiden was forever changed as a teen when his love Mia disappeared after her mother was killed. Believing Mia was dead, Caiden changed his life course, entered the military and joined Raptor as an IT/cyber operative after he was discharged from the military.

Caiden sees Mia, or who he thinks is Mia and they are, cautiously and slowly reunited after an emotional first meeting.

This story has all of the great elements of a classic romantic suspense and I truly enjoyed this story.

Absolutely a 5 stars!

Indies Invade Philly Author Signing

Yesterday I attended Indies Invade Philly! This signing takes place in center city Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Arch Street.

As usual, this signing was amazing and full of all the beautiful goodness, happiness and joyful moments of readers meeting readers, readers meeting authors, and readers meeting narrators. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this signing.

I won’t single out too many moments, but meeting Brynne Asher was wonderful. She was a new to me author and I absolutely consumed her books over a three week period: I fell down the hole and did not wish to climb out!

I met so many more authors and Chelle Sloan, who is TikTok famous was so fun to meet!

The narrators table was utterly beautiful and they were absolutely wonderful humans! I didn’t take any photos, but the experience will be a lifelong memory! ❤️

Tessa Bailey!
I almost passed out! Xio Axelrod is an amazing writer! I’m a forever fan!
Stephanie Rose! I love her and her books! She’s so sweet and a beautiful soul!
Freya Barker…She’s so sweet!
Kandi Steiner! Lovely to meet her in person! I’ve been a fan for a while!
Tia Louise is so sweet and super extroverted! ❤️
My big find for this years signing was Rebecca Yarros’s books. They are 100% my type of books! Loved meeting her!
Megan Quinn! She’s lovely!
Avery Maxwell is a doll and her books are the best!

I met many other authors and enjoyed it so much! All in all a wonderful event! If you ever get a chance to attend, I hope you will. It’s a wonderfully run event and the organizers and volunteers are amazing.

A Touch of Fire by Kathryn Murphy

Loved this different small town romance!

I loved this story! I did not read/listen to book one in this series, but I would like to. Troy is working through a lot in his life. He’s in the military and is pretty scarred as well as having some childhood trauma and losses. Troy’s Dad, who is a salt of the Earth gentleman, suffers a great loss and Troy steps up to help him in his time of need.

Megan is very special. She has abilities that have her wondering what path to pursue in life. She’s a caretaker and works as a fireman. After rescuing Troy’s Dad she steps in to help in a big way.

The attraction between these two is amazing, but they have a bumpy road.

This is a great romance that’s not quite run of the mill. Excellent characterizations and a very solid plot line make this book a 5 star listen. The narrator did an excellent job.

Deck The Headlines by Teagan Hart

Click to be taken to Amazon!

I’m an absolute fall down the rabbit hole reader for holiday books! This is a debut novel by Teagan Hart and I was honored to have an ARC. This book has all the things I love to read about in a rom com, quirky small town, or island in this case, a cast of interesting characters, and lots of story elements that work and entertain the reader.

This book is all about the Hellidays on Hope Island, Ella, a recent journalism graduate who isn’t loving the fact she had no choice but to return to Hope Island and Cal, who is looking for an escape.

There are hijinx in this book and there’s banter and general fun all around! I don’t do spoilers, but I offer my advise to put Deck the Headlines on your holiday TBR!

5 stars: Buy or borrow in KU!

The Shell and The Octopus by Rebecca Stirling

The Shell and the Octopus was unexpected. I went into this book blind because I enjoy memoirs when I know none of the details about the author or the author’s story. I knew the basic premise of The Shell and the Octopus.

The Shell and the Octopus was a story of Rebecca Stirling’s unconventional childhood growing up on her Dad’s boat with her sibling but also during her parents turbulent marriage. Eventually the marriage is over and Rebecca stays with her father on the boat as a first mate of sorts. This book leads us into Rebecca’s adulthood as well.

This memoir has a fluid timeline, so it does move around a bit as you are reading. The story exams a lot of things that include women’s perceived abilities in sailing, Rebecca’s desire for a life away from the water and her eventual return to the water and everything that makes up a life in between.

This is a wonderful memoir and takes you all over the world as well as examining complicated relationships within a family.

I gave this book 4 stars; it’s written well and the story is engrossing.

ARC provided by She Writes Press.

You & Me by Tal Bauer

Click to go to Amazon

To celebrate Pride month, my book club read You & Me by Tal Bauer. This is a story that includes MM, friends to lovers, bi-awakening, single fathers and written in own voices.

This story is told entirely in first person POV and it’s perfect. I will be honest and say that I normally struggle with 1st person POV, but this book is so masterfully written that all if the emotions come through.

Our two main characters are Landon Larson and Luke Hale. The story is told from Luke’s point of view. Landon and Luke meet at a high school football practice as they are fathers to two boys who are stars on the varsity football team.

There are some very real emotions in the story and you get invested in the story. Ultimately, this is as much a story about fathers and sons as it is about finding true love.

Luke is very lonely at the beginning of this story and he’s hurting and a bit stuck. He and his son Emmet are in a bad place. It’s heart wrenching and it got me as the parent of a 15 year old boy; yes, I shed some tears and wished I could give Luke a big hug. Landon is big as life, he’s an amazing guy, very successful in life but has an interesting religious back story.

Overall, this is a story you’ll want to read over and over, it’s a comfort read in so many ways but also a journey of self discovery and starting over. I’ll never be over them, this story is written with so much depth, you’ll be a little sad when it’s over. I am reading this author’s latest release and will be working on his back list all summer.

This is 5 trillion star book, and I give it the highest recommendation; seriously, move Me & You to the top of your TBR!

You & Me is available in KU on Amazon.

Review of Only a Crush by Delancey Stewart

Only a Crush, Book 2 of the Kasper Ridge Series by Delancey Stewart brings the steam with “Monroe” and Mateo. Mateo is a single Dad to an adorable 7 year old girl. He’s part of the contractor team who is working on a ski resort that was left to a pair of siblings by their very eclectic uncle.

This book has a snowed in situation which I love! It takes place in Colorado and Mateo and Monroe hike up to remote cabins on the resort property to assess them, but, a sudden snowstorm happens and they have to buckle down in the cabin for a few days. Sparks fly and they admit their mutual attraction, but once the storm is over and they return to normal life again, will they be able to overcome their pasts? This was a 5 star read for me and I highly recommend this book.

Only a Crush is available on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Google Books and iBooks.

Rival Radio by Kathryn Nolan

  • Rival Radio by Kathryn Nolan
  • Trope: E2L
  • Triggers: left at the alter/childhood emotional abandonment-all mentioned as back stories.

Just buy the book! But seriously, we’ve all been through a lot in the past couple of years and we sometimes need a hug! Rival Radio is that hug! Yes, it’s E2L, yes, Daria and Dr. Theo Chadwick are in two different camps about love but we are all evolving and learning and smudging the edges as we go because we can commit to one another by listening and with understanding comes respect and love. That’s what this story is about.

There are public platforms both Theo and Daria stand and they are different and opposite platforms. They hold assumptions about each other and there is a lot of verbal sparring, but when they are asked to combine their separate radio shows into one, it’s a rough start, but they learn more about each other and there’s undeniable love that stemmed from attraction on DAY 1.

What I can say is this author’s writing is transparent and really beautiful. It throws a little light on social issues as well as including characters you’ll find in any community and it’s written naturally in a very organic way that makes sense for the story.

This was a 5 star read, so grab it and enjoy!

Book Fundraiser for Mental Health Awareness Month

💚¸.•*¨Grab a Great Read to Benefit a Great Cause .•*¨*💚

Welcome the 𝟭𝟬𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗙𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗿 benefiting the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, where for the 10th year, an amazing group of authors have generously agreed to donate a portion of their May sales to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund.

Here’s how you can help raise money and awareness for mental health:

Purchase a book from the amazing books listed here:

https://bit.ly/3FfASOR

We hope you will #1click4charity a number of these amazing books!

Please note that the portion of sales is from any platform: digital, print and audio.

If you have read one of the wonderful stories included, gift a copy to a friend who might love it!

Thank you so much for helping support mental health awareness.

Review of One More Day by Auryn Hadley, narrated by Mercedes Michelle

  • 4 Stars
  • Stand alone
  • First book I’ve read by this author
  • Narration was 4 stars
  • Triggers: Past history and present battle with cancer, parent abandonment, loss of a parent at a young age, history of alcohol abuse (not a factor in the story), a comment by a character that is anti-Semitic.

This book came to me via a recommendation and it was definitely different in both it’s story content and the characters. We meet Ryan our H who has been pining over Mackenzie for the last year. Mackenzie is his “girl in the coffee shop” he hasn’t been able to approach. But one day, she comes into the coffee shop upset after losing her job and getting terrible health news. She cries on his shoulder, he offers her a job at his tattoo shop. And then she meets Colby, Ryan’s employee and friend and he makes remarks about her body, etc.

Both Ryan and Colby put their own lives on hold completely to step in and take care of Mackenzie and it’s quite rough. All are put through the ringer.

I gave this book 4 stars because there was a lot of repetition to the story and the same things kept coming up, Mackenzie just kept repeating that she wasn’t good looking enough, fat, etc to be with Ryan, who was, apparently, out of this world handsome. Ryan was too good to be true. Colby was a good guy, but the interactions between he and Mackenzie bordered on very odd and at one point I thought the story might turn and become a MFM.

There are post treatment sex scenes and one very odd tattooing scene with Ryan then Colby. There is body shaming as well, and then a reference by, I think, Ryan about not wanting to date a holocaust victim, which was extremely inappropriate.

All in all, this book is written well, but there is a lack of spark and I assume the men are much older than Mackenzie, but seem young. Ryan admits to never attending college, but is able to run a business which is interesting.

From what I can see of the author’s other works, this looks like she’s writes mostly PNR, which I’m willing to read.

On a personal note, I’m still in school chipping away and trying to sneak in reading here and there! The semester is almost over, but then it starts up again a week later! Have a wonderful week and I’ll probably post another review in May!