Friday, December 2, 2016

Great READ My Guardian Gryphon by Krystal Shannan

Sportochick's Musings ~ "Wow a remarkable read that is unlike any other paranormal romance book I have read."

My Guardian Gryphon
(Sanctuary, Texas #5)
by Krystal Shannan

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Categories ~ Paranormal Shifter Romance


A beauty and her beast... 

Gretchen has been falling for the Gryphon of Sanctuary a little more each hour she spends in the Castle library. He reads to her, he tells her stories of the real history he lived, and surely he notices her growing affection. Only he hasn't. Or won't. But every moment she doesn't confess her love brings her closer to the doom she fears: the Sisters of the House of Lamidae need her to have a human's baby. And Alek is anything but human... 

Alek looks forward to finding Gretchen in the Castle library. Her smile calms his inner beast. Her happiness reminds him there is beauty in a world out to destroy his kind--Others. Supernaturals waiting for a way to leave Earth and return to their world. But Gretchen makes him want to stay. 

But Gretchen is off-limits. The House of Lamidae has a present destiny, and his duty is to protect them. Not fall in love.


Well I can honestly say, "Wow a remarkable read that is unlike any other paranormal romance book I have read". Seriously this was so interesting and exciting to read. Her plot was intricately woven and so full of description that I dissolved into the pages and felt like I was actually present as the characters moved through the book.

Gretchen's character was an oxymoron. Mostly she seemed young and naive but then she would all of sudden seem very wise and mature for her age. But her brain and how she perceived things was at times childlike then all of sudden adult like. I know it sounds weird what I just described but the author finessed it so well that Gretchen is a believable character.

Alek was much more intense and deeper for the reader then Gretchen. Gretchen had no real idea of who or what he was but as a reader I caught on to his depth of character instantly. I liked that he struggled with his feelings and I loved that he jumped outside the box the world put him in to take a stand for what he felt was right for his personal well being.

This is filled with intrigue, unusual twists to the plot and yes it is filled with a love story but you will have to read the book to see how the author takes such an unlikely match and creates a love story worth reading.

I give it 5 STARS for being so different and interesting to read.


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. 



Krystal Shannan, also known as Emma Roman, lives in a sprawling ranch style home with her husband, daughter, and a pack of rescue Basset Hounds. She is an advocate for Autism Awareness and shares the experiences and adventures she’s been through with her daughter whenever she can.

Needless to say, life is never boring when you have an elementary-aged special needs child you are homeschooling and half a dozen 4-legged friends roaming the house. They keep her and her husband busy, smiling, and laughing.

Krystal writes magick and Emma doesn’t. If you are looking for leisurely-paced sweet romance, her books are probably not for you. However, for those looking for a story filled with adventure, passion, and just enough humor to make you laugh out loud. 

Welcome home! 

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

NEW Indie Author REVIEW: Must Love Lions by Alma Black

Sportochick's Musings ~ Outstanding job on this first book by Indie author Alma Black. I couldn't put it down.

Shifter Date: Must Love Lions
(A Shifter Date Paranormal Romance)
by Alma Black



Find This Book At ~ Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Publisher ~ Alma Black
Categories ~ paranormal shifter romance


Alexis Parrish is very single. Sassy and smart, she's great at her job as a journalist, but it's never given her the time to find the right man--specifically, a human. So when she gets assigned to interview Max, a lion shifter, about the new dating app he's created, she can't believe her intense attraction to him. After all, humans and shifters don't date.

Max is used to causing trouble. He broke tradition by creating the dating app, Shifter, which humans and shifters alike can use to answer the call of the wild. 

When Max challenges Alexis to give him a chance, she can't say no. A human like her has no business with this handsome alpha lion, but she can't resist his magnetism. Their chemistry is primal, their connection positively animalistic. After all, once you go shifter, you never go back.

But when a rogue shifter group against interspecies dating targets Alexis, Max will stop at nothing to protect her. It's more than his pride on the line; it's his mate.

Warning: If sassy, sexy, and carnal reads aren't your thing, this book isn't for you. It contains lots of dirty sex, violence, and witty banter.


Outstanding job on this first book by Indie author Alma Black. This is a light read and I know the readers will enjoy it. She incorporates humor, minor violence, prejudice, hate, and love. The dating concept which is always an intriguing event for anyone who is single added to the story.

Her characters are written with flair and drew me in to see how they would solve the dating situation between humans and shifters. Max has just the right amount of Alpha to make your heart flutter and his pursuit of Alexis is fun and enduring. Alexis's negativity about his dating app is the perfect foil to Max's relentless pursuit of her.

I give it 5 STARS for being so well done for a new author. Will you give her a try? I know I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

And just for fun check out her Shifter Date - Paranormal Dating App.





Alma Black loves to write, and write and write. She is especially fond of sexy, paranormal stories where the hero has a penchant for growling and the sassy heroine doesn’t put up with any bark. These stories are fast reads and are funny, sexy, and very naughty.

Alma lives in Los Angeles, and wishes with all her heart that there was paranormal dating app that had eligible mates in Southern California. Until then she uses regular dating sites to bring you these stories, inspired by her actual dating life.


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Monday, November 28, 2016

#USofBooks REVIEW A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton



For more information on the United States of Books (click here for details).

The United States of Books the State of Wisconsin

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Reviewer ~ Teri at Sportochick's Musings


~ Synopsis ~
One unremarkable June morning, Alice Goodwin is, as usual, trying to keep in check both her temper and her tendency to blame herself for her family's shortcomings. When the Goodwins took over the last dairy farm in the small Midwestern town of Prairie Center, they envisioned their home a self-made paradise. But these days, as Alice is all too aware, her elder daughter Emma is prone to inexplicable fits of rage, her husband Howard distrusts her maternal competence, and Prairie Center's tight-knit suburban community shows no signs of warming to "those hippies who think they can run a farm." 

A loner by nature, Alice is torn between a yearning for solitude coupled with a deep need to be at the center of a perfect family. On this particular day, Emma has started the morning with a violent tantrum, her little sister Claire is eating pennies, and it is Alice's turn to watch her neighbor's two small girls as well as her own. She absentmindedly steals a minute alone that quickly becomes ten: time enough for a devastating accident to occur. Her neighbor's daughter Lizzy drowns in the farm's pond, and Alice - whose own volatility and unmasked directness keep her on the outskirts of acceptance - becomes the perfect scapegoat. At the same time, a seemingly trivial incident from Alice's past resurfaces and takes on gigantic proportions, leading the Goodwins far from Lizzy's death into a maze of guilt and doubt culminating in a harrowing court trial and the family's shattering downfall.

~ Review ~
An outstanding depiction of dairy farm life in Wisconsin. I am from the state of Wisconsin and was curious of how this book could represent our fine dairy state. I can say that the descriptions and the feel of Howard's daily farm life run true for dairy farmers. I was raised on a dairy farm and slipped back into my childhood where I milked cows by hand. I could smell the farm smells she was describing and I felt nostalgic for a time in the past that many people will never know or understand. To this day I have friends who are farmers who feel like Howard. Who yearn to smell the dirt, till the soil and have mannerisms much like him.

In my experience there is also a small mindedness in small towns as well and this story shows how this can effect and destroy families. During the course of this book the story brought up old feelings from the past and it was a hard read for me. I will say that it is well written and speaks truth of subjects most don't talk about. It shows how some people who have been wronged have a huge capacity of forgiveness and that some can't or never will forgive themselves or others.

This book is about being afraid to say the truth or not wanting to hear the truth. Even more it's about standing behind someone even if you don't know the truth. It shows that love can be taken for granted, felt but never shared and it can be renewed over time through the fires of life. That sometimes the people you fear the most are the ones with the saddest story. 

Though there were times I felt it got a tad slow the overall book is very emotional and in the end I was still wondering "is this considered a happy ending" because all I could do was cry for Howard, Alice and Theresa.
I give this 4 STARS and recommend it for all readers of fiction.


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#USofBooks Guest Reviewer Geek Love by Katherine Dunn


Entertainment Weekly chose Geek Love for Oregon. The magazine said, "A twisted couple populate their freak show with their own children in this modern classic. It's weird, carnivalesque, and unnerving: not unlike Portland on a given night. Need more? Kurt Cobain was a fan."


Source: Audible 
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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, narrated by Christina Moore, is a family saga of love, obsession, and revenge among the freaks at the Binewski traveling show. In many ways this novel reminded me of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Al and Lil populate the show with their own children, those they have disfigured by ensuring Lil drinks and subjects herself to all manner of poisons, insecticides, and other torturous devices. Their efforts to save the traveling carnival from bankruptcy requires more than traditional dwarfs and extraordinarily tall men and women. The Binewskis have concluded that the rise of basketball and other entertainments have made these traditional freak show participants obsolete. Much of this is narrated by Oly, an albino hunchback, as she recalls the past and her brother Arturo the Aquaboy, who became so consumed with jealousy, that he would do anything to be on top and take over the carnival from his father. Oly, despite being a hunchback, is on the outside of the clan, and she's treated more as a servant than a family member, even by the brother she loves beyond all reason. While her relatives seek to get by under Arturo's reign or escape it, Oly seeks to bind herself to him in the only way she knows. Dunn's novel examines the love inside an family of freaks, but it really could apply to any family, especially if jealousies are allowed free reign and grow out of control. What's interesting is how much Oly is unlike her family in that she sees the "norms" as not something to be despised, but as something that could be loved. Her transformation and distance from her family is complete later on in the novel when she gives birth. Christina Moore does an admirable job with the narration, and it is easy to follow each character. However, the setting in Oregon is not front-and-center and many times, readers will forget that the carnival is even in the state, particularly when other cities in other states are more frequently mentioned like Spokane. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, narrated by Christina Moore, takes a while to get used to, and there is some very strong language and sexual content that some readers would not prefer. Overall, the novel was just plain odd.

RATING: Tercet


About the Author: Katherine Dunn is best known for her beloved novel "Geek Love," which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1989. She is also the author of the novels "Attic" (1970) and "Truck" (1971). A fourth novel, entitled "The Cut Man," has been in-progress for decades and was purportedly scheduled for a September 2008 release. Dunn is also known as a prolific sports journalist in the field of boxing, and has written several articles on the subject.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Review Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sportochick's Musings ~ I love, love, love ALF. I always have throughout this series when she appears. But this book it is amazing and a very hot, hot read.

Duke of Pleasure
(Maiden Lane #11)
by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Publisher ~ Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Categories ~ historical romance



IN THE ARMS OF DANGER

Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.

IN THE HEAT OF DESIRE

Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.

ONE KISS WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER

When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?


I love, love, love Alf. I always have throughout this series when she appears. But this book it is amazing and a very hot, hot read. Her character is so different from every female main character. She's tough, fearless, decisive, quirky, and a survivor strong beyond belief. The authors portrayal of her as a boy was handled with delicate precision drawing the reader into her life on the streets.

Hugh is a very interesting man who shows up in several of the earlier books to this series and has always intrigued me with the question of what makes him tick. This book explains the mystery behind the man and expands on who he is as a man and father.

Unorthodox is what I think of when I match Alf and Hugh. For so many reasons they should not work together as a couple but the author spins a beautiful web and draws the reader into their lives where we must make a decision. Can this work?

For me the character that stuck out the most beside the two main characters is Iris, Lady Jordan. Now this lady has tons of admirable traits and her interaction with Alf was just so unique and so unheard of that it will warm the readers heart. The interchange between Iris and Raphael is the perfect setup for the next book to this series and I am really looking forward to reading that book when it comes out.

This book is about surviving against all odds, death, healing, forgiveness, overlooking the obvious and making the right decisions based on oneself and not society.

I give it 5 STARS for adding twists to the storyline that are unexpected.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. 

~ My Reviews of the series ~
Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) ~ My Review
Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2) Review to Follow
Clever John (Maiden Lane #2.5) Review to Follow
Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3) Review to Follow
Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) Review to Follow
Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5) Review to Follow
Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6) ~ Review to Follow
A Maiden Lane Christmas Special (Maiden Lane, #6.5) Review to Follow
Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7) Review to Follow
Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, #8) Review to Follow
Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9) Review to Follow
Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10) ~ My Review
Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane, #10.5) ~ My Review
Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11) ~ My Review
Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #11.5) ~ expected publication date 2016
Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12) ~ expected publication date 2017


Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.


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REVIEW Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran

Sportochick's Musings ~ A quick romantic read during the bustle of the holidays this Christmas Novella centered around the mistletoe, a country party, stolen documents and an old lost love is just want the romantic needs to take away the stress. 


Sweetest Regret
by Meredith Duran

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Publisher ~ gallery books
Categories ~ historical romance, christmas


The spirit of the season is festive—and clouding even the sharpest of judgments—in this Victorian era romance, perfect for fans of Jude Deveraux and Sabrina Jeffries.

At a house party in the countryside, the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.



A quick romantic read during the bustle of the holidays this Christmas Novella centered around the mistletoe, a country party, stolen documents and an old lost love is just want the romantic needs to take away the stress. There are a lot of examples of Christmas traditions woven into this book that makes the story an enjoyable and instructive read. 

Speaking of Christmas traditions one has to chuckle at how Lucas uses the mistletoe to get his way with Georgina. It was also entertaining to see how Georgina outsmarts Lucas regarding his taking advantage of this mistletoe custom. 

Having no idea about the true mistletoe custom I looked it up. According to Slate "It wasn't until the 18th or 19th centuries, though, that the British started hanging mistletoe as part of Christmas celebrations. Charles Dickens paints a scene of mass sub-mistletoe kissing: Young women "screamed and struggled, and ran into corners, and did everything but leave the room, until … they all at once found it useless to resist any longer and submitted to be kissed with a good grace." In this context, mistletoe was supposed to bring luck to two people who kissed underneath it and bad luck to those who didn't. Some say proper etiquette is to pick a berry off for every kiss and stop when all the berries are gone."

Lucas's character is romantic and though he is hurt by their past he moves forward with his life to become higher up in the government. I truly enjoyed his relentless pursuit of Georgina and the truth that they finally uncovered but if you want to know if they have an HEA you will have to read the book.

The reader will enjoy this read because it deals with tradition, lost love, lies, redemption and forgiveness. 

I give it 4 STARS for being delightful to read.

 Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.



MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein’s portrait of Anne Boleyn. Now she is happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not studying, doing fieldwork in India, or working on her next novel, Meredith can be found in the library, browsing through travelogues written by intrepid Englishwomen of the nineteenth century.
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