Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
5 EPIC stars for Pomegranate
O-M-G, for real though. Talk about a god-send-- Pun intended. This book has all the makings of an incredible book (and movie if I’m being blatantly honest.) Pomegranate is brilliantly written. It’s a gloriously epic twist on one of the most favorite and well known myths in history... and it’s executed perfectly.
With that being said, be sure to grab your copy on Kindle Unlimited (or buy it for that matter because you will NOT be disappointed!) then sit back and let me tell you how much you are going to LOVE this book.
Ok, so we’ve all been told the legend of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, right? Now...what if we were to change things up a little bit? The story isn’t quite like what we thought it was in this new take.
Proud Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods, is facing a big dilemma. He’s in love with a beautiful redhead (man, those redheads I tell ya--wink wink) but she’s not a god, albeit an immortal of Olympus, and she’s not the one whom he’s promised to. Zeus knows he must appease his fellow gods and do his duty to the realm and prevent another war, thus he does the one thing he can do-- He gives up his beautiful immortal woman for Hera, his queen.
Not only does he do this, he also (in typical man fashion) allows his new wife to force his hand, in seeking to banish her. So he must do something bold, something brazen, something that hasn’t ever been done before... Hera, wishes for the girl to be gone, gone from Olympus, gone from her sight- as she will not be embarrassed to see her new husband parading around with his mistress. Zeus again has no choice, for Hera has threatened to kill the woman he loves-- and in the worst possible way imaginable.
So, his lover is brought before the council and bestowed a gift, a gift unlike any other. She will be an ambassador to the unchecked Underworld, a new god to join their ranks, the keeper of Hell. She is Hades, god of darkness.
Now, as we all know, Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned…And scorn this magnificent god does, and oh so well I might add. What follows is the incredible journey of a woman turned deity, whose rise to power was something she never asked for, and yet she yields it so eloquently. Hades is admirable, merciful, fierce, fair, and even in her tantrums, simply stunning. Hades shines brightly in her dark and dismal prison in the most amazing ways possible as Nicole introduces you to all the Greek gods, creatures, and places we all know and love in the classic mythology.
This book is powerful and exciting, tear-jerking, heart-pounding and fist-clenching. It’s a story of humility, love, power, determination and sacrifice. It captivates you from the very first page to the very last, leaving you wanting more. Like, I legit don’t know how I’m gonna wait for the sequel… This is as bad as having to wait a year and a half for the conclusion of Game of Thrones. (Insert foot-stomping, pouting face GIF) I didn’t want it to end, but I couldn’t stop reading either. This is one of those books, so be prepared to do nothing until you finish it. Good luck. I’m gonna hit the channel guide and find Clash of the Titans now and eat a pomegranate.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills and warms her heart...and takes her to Mt. Olympus, the Underworld, Tartarus and Elysium like this one did ;-)
I met the amazingly talented Ashley Lane back when I did my first promotion on Book Funnel in February. Once I saw the premise of her book in the blurb, I knew I was gonna snatch that baby up and be sucked right up into the pages. So I pre-ordered my copy, and when her book came out last month, I dug in. I was blown away by the sheer imagination and uniqueness that was this book. Ashley did a fabulous job bringing her characters to life--and we all know how much I love dynamic characters that I can relate to. Upon reading Washed in Blood, (you can read my five star review of it here) I simply had to know what inspired her to write this gripping and beautifully written novel.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Ashley, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Ashley: Well, I’m a Georgia Peach born and raised. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, and though we went to the same school, we actually ‘met’ on facebook when I commented on his status out of the blue. We started dating the summer before my senior year and were the stereotypical “football star and band geek couple”. We celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary this past May and we have two boys aged 9 and almost 2, three cats, a dog and a hamster.
As far as knowing when I was going to be a writer… it’s a long bumpy road but I’ve never been one to shy away from telling my story in its entirety so here it is. I’ve always been a person that doesn’t really fit any type of mold. In high school I was unapologetically outgoing. I was bright and loud and wore confidence like a second skin. I was never one of those that knew what I wanted to be, because so many things interested me. Back then, the thought of having to pick one and settle made me sick to my stomach- but all of that changed after my first son was born.
I struggled with severe postpartum depression which was eventually re-diagnosed as treatment resistant major depressive disorder. It took doctors four years and over forty antidepressants to discover that after about three months, my body built up a tolerance to the drugs I was taking. In 2015 I had a device implanted into my chest called a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. The device works by shocking the vagus nerve which causes my brain to naturally create more serotonin and dopamine. I’ve been antidepressant free for four years now but the journey through battling major depression and anxiety gave me a complete internal makeover. My social anxiety is crippling. I struggle heavily with eye contact and being hugged or touched. All of these things combined made working in the ‘real world’ hard on me so I became the best stay at home wife and mom that I could be. Still, despite all of the cards stacked against me, I’ve always felt like I was made for something more.
And one day it just clicked. To help deal with my depression my husband had purchased me a Kindle, Christmas 2014. Reading became my escape. For just a little while, I was able to live a life where there was no depression or anxiety. Or if there was, I was able to battle it with them and see there was hope for coming out on the other side. So I thought to myself… what if I could write something that could also give someone that escape? And I realized I’d never wanted to do anything more in my life.
Me: Wow, I’m so sorry that happened to you. What a story. Georgia girls- we rock ;-) Maybe I’m just biased though LOL! So, what inspired you to write Washed in Blood?
Ashley: Honestly? I tried to write a rom-com first. My husband and I have one of those almost cheesy- blissfully fun and happy marriages. Arguments are far and few between and I figured, hey- I’m living this shit, how hard could it be to write?
HA! Any humor I have in real life most definitely does not translate onto paper for me. I also noticed no matter how hard I tried to make things light and fluffy, they kept turning dark and twisted. Finally I stopped fighting it and went with the flow.
Me: Well, I’m glad you did because it was A-MAY-zing. Now, how many books will be in the series?
Ashley: There will be 5 in the series. Each ‘brother’: Priest, Patch, Bullet, Angel and Demon- will be getting their own book.
Me: And I can’t wait for each one of them! Squeee. Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Ashley: Gah, that feels like such an impossible question. As cliche as this is going to sound, Priest started everything for me. So many pieces of myself are woven into his and Willow’s story. I’ll always have a deep connection with them that I don’t know if I’ll be able to replicate with any of the others.
Me: Well, what’s not to love about him. He is super H-O-T. Swoony, strong...I’ll stop… Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Priest? Willow? Vince?
Ashley: Those particular characters? No. Demon’s sister’s name is Sara, and I do have a bestie in real life named Sara that the character payed homage to. She’s not a crack whore, but she did have an ex, Tony- that was a real douche in real life as well so I had great pleasure writing his demise in the book.
Me: What are you working on now?
Ashley: Right now I’m working on Patch’s story. My goal is to have Silenced By Sin ready to release mid-September. But- I’m also the queen of procrastination and I’ve also been sworn off by my editor/best friend of putting up a pre-order until at least my first draft is finished.
Me: LOL!! Woot, woot! Loved him too! Now, tell us a little about your writing process?
Ashley: Um… if you throw a cat in a bathtub, it’s probably less chaotic than my writing process. No joke. I changed the complete story line for WIB two weeks before I released. I think it was the only time I was thankful that my editor lives in Australia because if it were any closer, she surely would have come and strangled me.
Me: Baaahhhhaaa! Cat in a bathtub. You’re hilarious! Well, it totally worked, so I’m glad you did what you did :-D So, I gotta ask, what drew you to the motorcycle romance genre?
Ashley: Motorcycle Romance’s have alpha men unlike any other that I’ve read. I love how fiercely unapologetic they are about loving and protecting their women. I knew at least for my first series that’s what I wanted to break me into the writing world.
I also cuss like a sailor so, it was basically a perfect fit.
Me: Well, you nailed the freakin’ nail on the head. It was my first and I absolutely loved it...it definitely won’t be my last. (I also cuss like a sailor too :-S) Who are your favorite authors/books?
Ashley: How much time do I have? Let’s see, right off the top of my head Lani Lynn Vale, Cambria Hebert, Kristen Ashley, and Kennedy Fox are a few of my one clicks. Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley is my number one re-read book.
Me: LOL! Right. Nice, I got some of those in my TBR too. So, what do you personally love about writing?
Ashley: I love the freedom you have. Sitting down at a blank word document is what I would imagine an artist feels like sitting down at a blank canvas, or a musician sitting down to blank sheet music. The possibilities are endless. My anxiety may keep me from traveling the world but if I want to visit the Sistine Chapel, it’s at the tips of my fingers to do so.
Me: Yes. It’s amazing to be able to create a masterpiece on a blank sheet of paper. Soo mind-blowing! What are you looking forward to this year?
Ashley: My youngest son turns two September first, so these are the months where everything with him is an exciting adventure. My husband, older son and I are each equally excited about seeing and experiencing his reaction to Halloween and Christmas this year.
Me: Awww, how sweet. That’s such a fun age. Well, thank you so much for spending time with me tonight, Ash. I wish you all the best in your writing career and your upcoming books. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this crew of sexy and swoony bikers of yours ;-)
You can grab Ashley Lane's debut biker romance novel, now available on Amazon.
Being the boy mom of a 9 and 2 year old, means Ashley Lane lives off Goldfish crumbs and Diet Coke. When her life isn't being ruled by her tiny minions and their endless activities, you can typically find her parked on the couch, Kindle within reach, catching up on the previous weeks episode of Grey's Anatomy or Hell's Kitchen.
Shanna Swenson, author of Abundance series
Shanna enjoys good books that thrills, chill and warm her heart...she also supports her fellow indies like this kick-a$$ author friend of hers, Ashley Lane
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and talented Evelyn Montgomery on Instagram among many of the indie romance authors in that supportive writing/reading community. We connected easily and as soon as I read the blurb for her book Indecision, I knew it was going to be right up my alley- Firefighter southern gent and a strong Cali girl writer, what’s not to love about that? After I read it, I had to know what inspired her to write it.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Evelyn, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Evelyn: I’m a Southern California girl, who grew up in Northern California before moving to Central Kentucky almost three years ago. I knew at a very young age I wanted to be a writer. To be honest, it has always been with me before I could even write words. I would scribble down what I thought was a book on several pieces of paper and staple them together, very proud of what I created. I was probably about 4 years old.
Me: Aww, how cute is that! I love it! So, what inspired you to write Indecision?
Evelyn: Indecision is sort of an autobiography in some ways. In a lot of ways it is not, but there are very similar mirrored situations in the book that took place in real life. I am a journalist. I was born in Orange County. My family still lives in Huntington Beach and I always wanted to move back there.
A lot of the characters have traits from friends I call family in my life, but for the most part are made up. I wanted to tell the struggle of a woman having to give up her dreams for something she did not expect. I guess in a lot of ways like I feel I gave up mine.
Don’t get me wrong though, I am happy here in Central Kentucky. But Cali will always be home.
Me: Awww, it’s such a beautiful location for this book, I’ve always wanted to go there. Why did you choose this setting for your book?
Evelyn: I grew up there for 34 years. It was all I knew before moving to the South. I wanted to write about what I knew. The great places I have visited and the places I called home.
Me: I love it!! Now, how many books are in the Kismet series?
Evelyn: Three. The fourth is in production. ;)
Me: Awesome! I’m excited to read Reckless soon. So, which character in the collection is your favorite? Why?
Evelyn: Before I started writing my current work in progress, I would say Rex. He is the man candy in book 3. But now, I am falling in love with Jolene and Troy in book 4 and can’t wait for others to fall in love with them too.
Me: Aww, yaayyy. From the teasers I’ve seen I can understand that ;-)
Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Noah? Evelyn? Rex? Gwen?
Evelyn: Noah is completely made up. Not one person inspired him. I wanted to create my own version of a southern dream, and so he was created. Lol Evelyn takes part of my personality, but she is A LOT her own too. Gwen is me mixed with a lot of my longtime best girlfriends. Rex, lol, he’s everyone's favorite guy friend and the man most women drool over but know they can never tame. I created him with that mindset, and that is for sure how he turned out.
Me: Haha, yes! Understood! So, what are you working on now?
Evelyn: Deliverance - A military romance due out this fall. I am hoping early October if not sooner. It is the story of Jolene, Noah’s sister, and Troy Young.
Me: I can’t wait!!! Tell us a little about your writing process?
Evelyn: For Indecision and Devotion - I did not plan. I just wrote as the story flowed out of me. For Reckless, I plan and plotted for the first time. I can honestly say I think that made the book take longer to write. For Deliverance, I am going back to the way I naturally am - realizing I am not a planner or plotter. So far the story is flowing well and i don’t feel trapped in a plotted box like I did with book 3.
Me: LOL! Yeah, I’m not much of a plotter myself so I completely understand that!
What drew you to the romance genre?
Evelyn: I am a woman who loves a good love story. Enough said. ;)
Me: Haha! I’ll drink to that ;-) Who are your favorite authors/books?
Evelyn: My all time favorite is F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby. Some Contemporary Romance authors I like are: K. Broomberg, Adrianna Locke, Corrine Michaels, Britney Cherry and Melanie Harlow.
Me: I guessed as much when I read about Gatsbys ;-) Now, what do you personally love about writing?
Evelyn: Creating worlds. I love the feeling I get from starting and not knowing what is going to come out, and later standing back and thinking- Oh my, did I write that? The feedback from readers is amazing too. I have met some amazing faithful readers and some awesome author friends since starting my indie author journey.
Me: Agreed 100%. So, what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Evelyn: My first book signing. Finishing Deliverance. Making new author friends and talking with readers who enjoy what I have written.
Me: The signing is going to be awesome! I can’t wait!! I wish you all the best, Eve. And I look forward to meeting you face to face in October. It’s so amazing to be on this great writing journey and have so many supportive and awesome women by my side.
Grab Evelyn’s Kismet series, now available on Amazon.
Evelyn Montgomery is a Southern California girl now embracing her southern roots in Central Kentucky. She is the author if The Kismet Series, available on Amazon. Her novels take you from the West Coast to the deep South. When she is not writing, she works as a journalist and editor of a community newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three children - Ava, Sophia and Logan - and her husband, Jason.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys good books that thrill, chill and warm her heart...and supporting her fellow indie authors, like Evelyn Montgomery
5 Dazzling Stars for Devotion
Ah, love… It never fails to endure and in this book it simply did, again and again and again!
This was the sweet and satisfying conclusion to Book 1, Indecision, in Evelyn Montgomery’s Kismet series. It picked up right where Indecision left off.
Noah, upon hearing Eve and Gwen talking on his way into the hospital room, is devastated to know that Eve’s feelings for him are unrequited. He leaves in a mad dash to escape both his breaking heart and to run from the stain his past has marked him with, no matter the attempts to break away from it.
Eve is left alone to recover without the man she loves, not understanding that he had even attempted to come see her at the hospital let alone misinterpreted her words. She’s left with nothing but a note of encouragement as Noah heads home to Kentucky--Jack’s (my male MC in Abundance) home state btw, how could I not be intrigued?--freeing her to live the life she’s always dreamed...without him. But being without him, even if that’s what he seems to want, is killing her.
Gwen is the one to suggest they go to Kentucky after him as she has an idea of why he might have hightailed it out of Dodge.
What follows is beautiful scenery, a makeup made in Heaven, and the beginning of a new life for Evelyn Monroe as she finally stops to smell the literal roses and embraces where her life is taking her.
But just as Noah and Evelyn’s fate seems to have ultimately turned around and their paths are headed where they were destined to go, that awful past Noah thought was behind him has just threw a major sucker punch to his gut and that happily ever after he was hoping for with the beautiful woman of his dreams may never be.
A determined woman, a broken man torn by heartbreak, and a devotion so strong it can withstand miles and months and leagues apart. That is what you’ll find in this beautifully written story of Evelyn Montgomery’s. We should all be lucky enough to meet a man like Noah Stewart with his southern charm and big heart, to be a woman with the backbone, strength, and spirit of Evelyn Monroe, and to have a relentless fortified love that bonds these two lovers to each other forever.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills and warms her heart...and showcases the power of love like this one did ;-)
5 one of a kind stars for Washed in Blood
“In our world, you pay for your sins in blood.”- Priest, Washed in Blood by Ashley Lane
I honestly don’t even know where to start! This book! Holy moly! Ok, so, usually I take a little time after I’ve read a book to process how I want to review it- a day, a few hours…but I simply have to write this review NOW! LOL! I literally just finished this book minutes ago.
Yes, it’s seriously that good! I’m not just saying it! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is Ashley Lane’s debut novel and boy, does she get your blood pumping on this one!
**On a personal note- I’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy. And this is my first MC (motorcycle club) romance novel…Peeps! It definitely won’t be my last Ashley’s Lane novel or my last MC at that.**
With that being said, this book is HEAVY! There is violence, mentions of rape, drugs, beatings, cartel, sex-trafficking, etc. so if those are triggers for you then reader discretion is advised, but in this day and age of shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc. it’s not quite as intense as all that, in my opinion.
Trust me when I tell you this book is SO worth the read!!!
Anyway, for the review:
So, Kingston Blake, aka “Priest” was literally killed along with the woman he loved when they were merely sixteen years of age. Only…Priest didn’t stay dead. He got a second chance at life for sacrificing himself to save an innocent life. He was sent to meet the Angel of Death who explained to him that it wasn’t his time to go and that God had a plan for him.
Fast forward twenty years, Priest is now the President of the Heaven’s Guardians Motorcycle Club. A club he’s built with blood, his own as well as his four brothers, who have histories as skewed as his own. This MC is unlike others in that they save innocents like the one Priest did all those years ago and punish the wicked who prey upon them. As the Prez and “Priest” of the group, King is judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.
Enter Willow, one of those sweet lost souls, who literally stumbles onto the grounds of the clubhouse, seeking refuge from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s got a secret she’s keeping, the reason she’s running, and she’ll do everything in her power to keep it protected. She ends up in a rotting tree in the snow for three days before she’s found and the minute Priest rescues her and holds her against him, he knows he’s found his own personal salvation.
His draw to Willow is possessive, protective, and so endearing. He’s so swoony with his knight-in-a-dark-cape super hero vibe and takes his guard over Willow very seriously.
But there are many forces at play here that will literally alter the paths of both of their lives. Priest and Willow have lost so much over the years, what more can they bear to lose and will it end up being one another in this dangerous game they find themselves caught up in? Will Priest’s past continue to play over and over again like a time continuum he’s helplessly caught up in? Or is Willow the angel he’s waited on his entire life to absolve his sins?
You’ll simply have to read it to find out!!! Sorry, I don’t like spoilers, so that’s all you’re gonna get from me. Just know that this book is intense in its emotions and action. It was super suspenseful and I got super sucked into it right away within the first page with the whole premise. I cried, I laughed, I swooned, but mostly I cried. This is one of those diamonds in the rough, and you’re gonna love the plot, the characters and the twists, twists, twists.
So, if you’re looking for something different to read that breaks the mold and draws you in, then get Washed in Blood and prepare to read all day because that’s what I did!
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...especially ones with swoony bad-a$$es like Priest ;-)
I met the inspiring and talented Trisha Harley McCarthy on Instagram last year and we connected instantly. Being both a fellow believer in the paranormal and writer of cowboys, I knew I would enjoy her work. When she released her newest book in May, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. It revolved around the existence of Big Foot, so when I finished it, I simply had to ask her what inspired her to write it.
Here's what she had to say:
Me: Hi Trisha, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Trisha: When I was in high school, my creative writing teacher told me I had talent. At that point in my life, the thought of writing wasn’t on my radar. Around 2006, I became hooked on fan fiction and wrote (poorly I might add) a continuing story of Bridget Jones’s Diary. After I began to receive positive reviews it was then that I began to entertain the thought I could write my own book. I began in 2007 and published my first book, Just As He Is in 2012. The rest is history. Since then, I’ve published 9 books with 3 more in progress.
Me: That’s great! What inspired you to write Eye Shine?
Trisha: As a kid my family used to go camping in remote locations. Late one winter night, we were parked in our camper at a secluded campground in the Sierra Nevada’s near Lake Tahoe, CA. Something woke me up in the middle of the night. I could hear large footsteps outside. I remained still listening intently. I was so scared and the hairs on the back of my neck raised during the entire episode. The next morning, I saw large footprints in the snow. Since then the subject of cryptids also known as Sasquatch or more commonly known as Bigfoot has fascinated me. I love to write unique stories involving the paranormal.
Me: How cool! Scary, but a great story..and it inspired you to write a book! Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Macy? Carson? Colton?
Trisha: There may be a little of me in the Macy character. Carson and Colton are purely fictional hunky characters conjured up through my imagination!
Me: Nice! Love it! Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Trisha: I personally love the Colton character. He is the dapper, sweet and rationale character of the book. I love his alpha mentality towards his love interest, Macy.
Me: Yes, he was my fave too! What are you working on now?
Trisha: I am working on three projects at the moment. On Ice, A Hockey romance due out by fall. It is my first sports romance inspired by the San Jose Sharks, my team. Taboo is a contemporary romance featuring very sophisticated characters who face the challenge of heartache and coming to terms with being unable to conceive a child. The third project is The Staircase in the Woods. A suspense thriller romance with a supernatural element woven into the storyline.
Me: How intriguing!! Sounds awesome! Tell us a little about your writing process?
Trisha: I think all writers have their quirks. Mine is I do my best writing around four pm in the afternoon and write for several hours. I listen to loud rock and roll featuring my favorite band Nickelback. It allows my creativity to flow.
Me: LOL! Yes, we do!! Nice- I love Nickelback!! What drew you to the paranormal romance genre?
Trisha: I am a paranormal investigator. So, the subject matter is near and dear to my heart. They say write what you know, and I have. I’ve written about aliens in my book Dimensions, and now Bigfoot with Eye Shine. I binge watch all the various paranormal shows on cable.
Me: LOL! Likewise! I am completely fascinated with the paranormal! So, who are your favorite authors/books?
Trisha: I love Helen Fielding who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary. She is my real inspiration for my very first book. Other favorite authors are Maria Luis, Carian Cole, Ella Fields, Louise Bay and of course you, Shanna. Suddenly Forbidden is an all-time favorite of mine by Ella Fields.
Me: Aww, wow, thank you so much! I’m so glad I rank up there among your faves (Blushes ten shades of red) I’ve never read Bridget Jones’s Diary but I loved the movie, it was hysterical! What do you personally love about writing?
Trisha: I love when people tell me my writing has helped them in some way. A recent reader told me she was going through chemo and my books helped her during a difficult time. Another reader emailed me and told me how after an accident when she reads my stories it allows her to escape the daily pain she endures. I am humbled at the way my writing has helped others in some small way. I love being of service to others. If my writing brings some measure of comfort, then I am elated.
Me: Aww, that’s so awesome! How wonderful! Yes, touching hearts is definitely a perk of our work for sure. Now, what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Trisha: Being a better version of me in all ways and maybe striving for a best seller!
Me: Aww, I love that! We can all improve ourselves in various facets. Love the perseverance and dedication. You’re a true inspiration, Trisha. Thank you so much for being my guest tonight! I wish you all the best in all you do and look forward to reading more of your work!!
You can follow Trisha on Amazon and read her various romantic and paranormal works. Be sure to grab your copy of the thrilling tale, Eye Shine.
Trisha Harley McCarthy is a certified Life Coach and prolific romance author specializing in fantasy, paranormal and contemporary genres. All her books are available through Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys hearing stories about the paranormal and all things unexplained. She also enjoys supporting her fellow indie authors...like Trisha :-D
5 stars for this California dream
I just loved this book. I’ve always wanted to go to Cali and I got to go there in this debut book in the Kismet series. Evelyn Monroe is that warrior goddess in all of us; the one who has all these big hopes and dreams and isn’t gonna let any one, especially a man, stand in her way of them...that is until sexy, too good to be true, southern gentleman, Noah Stewart literally charges into her life.
Firefighter hottie alert, ladies, this man is smokkkkiin’. (Yes, that’s a word!)
These two meet at a bar as Noah pulls Eve from one danger, right into another- his tempting arms. And man, is his aloofness to how gorgeous he is SUCH a turn-on, damn...
Noah is a dreamboat with his good looks and irresistible charm, but as quickly as he took her world by storm, Eve’s best friend, Gwen (who is a total cock-block at times) just as suddenly pulls her out of La-La land and back to reality as she literally drags her out of the bar, WITHOUT Noah’s number… OMG! UGHH!! NO….See, Gwen has a habit of being kinda self-absorbed at times, and tends to rain on Eve’s parade. Buuuttt, Gwen’s been through hell--losing her sister--and she’s kinda hard when it comes to Noah and Eve. She doesn’t trust Noah and wants Eve to pursue her dreams and not let some smooth-talking Mr. Right (who’s probably Mr. Wrong) deter her BFF from reaching her goals. She’s all eyes on the prize…and I respected her for wanting the best for her friend, even if she sometimes makes wrong decisions herself.
Anyway, back to Eve and Noah… So, as fate would have it, Noah and Eve get a second chance to meet up. Who’s BFFs with Eve’s brother’s BFF and co-worker, Rex? Ding ding ding! Noah!! They have no idea they are in the same place, Eve’s parents house for a dinner party, until boom, they see each other again the next day. All thanks to the love gods and goddesses above- Ahhh, romance.
Noah and Eve’s magnetism is undeniable to everyone, including them, and both waste no time indulging in what the heavens have sanctified as “All systems go.”
There’s just one problem- Noah is from Kentucky and was on his way back there until he met Evelyn. But he’s chosen to stay- for her. Now the only question that remains is- Is she willing to do the same for him? Will she risk her dreams for true love?
Evelyn was a lovable MC with real world problems. She was level-head, goal-oriented, sweet and funny and her family and their antics were endearing too.
Noah is so sweet and swoony, I loved him right away, especially when he shows up with three roses on her doorstep for “each day he hasn’t been able to be with her.” Oh my heart! He’s such a romantic.
Rex was funny and suave and Gwen was a good BFF despite her own flaws.
I loved the realism here. A love story with angst and indecision. Thus, the title. It begs the question- why do we have to choose between love and dreams? But as you ladies know, most times, we can’t have both- or can we?
If you enjoy a good story with a twist (and cliffhanger type) ending then give this one a try. Let Evelyn Monroe’s characters sweep you off your feet, anger you and then break your heart. It’s worth it, I promise ;-)
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...this one did ;-)