Book Blitz: The Touch (The Cotiere Chronicals Book 2) – Michelle Bolanger

Alexander Koch lives a life most men would kill for. As the sole heir to his family’s enormous wealth, he enjoys the finer things in life despite the crippling pain that increases with every passing day. Until he meets the one he’s intended for. The one whose slightest touch makes the pain vanish. But after a chance meeting at the first Gathering of their kind, the girl runs from him in terror. Now he’s willing to spend every last cent to find her.

Jessalyn Vogt escaped her father’s controlling ways and has settled into a simple life, caring for her horses and brewing coffee for her customers. Until Alexander Koch tracks her down. She wants nothing to do with his arrogance, his money, or the undeniable attraction drawing her to him. But she knows she is the only one who can relieve him of the horrible pain racking his body.

The Cotiere has been reunited, but that was the easy part. Greed and old traditions threaten to tear it apart again. Trust has been compromised and hidden agendas are destroying the fragile truce between parents and children. It’s in the hands of the new counsel to keep it together, even if it means some must be willing to lose everything.

Exerpt:

       Fighting to keep the echo of confusion out of her voice, she replied as coldly as she could. “I’ll have your pour over right up, Alex, but I have work to do.”
   

     Alexander stiffened, and she flinched harder this time, sure he would raise his voice. His expression grew puzzled. “If you don’t mind please, it’s Alexander, and I can wait until you have the time.” His tone never changed, but there was doubt in his face. He slid a fifty-dollar bill across the counter, his stance softening when she didn’t immediately take the offered money. “Keep the change, Jessi.”

     Frustrated by her body’s response to him, and angry at his ridiculous tip, she gritted her teeth. She swiped the bill off the counter, slapped it into the register, and slid his full change back. Hurt flickered on his face before she turned away and let her echo punctuate her frustration. “I can’t be bought.” Instead of the anger she expected, she was hit with his confusion. Her own doubt was followed by regret, but she reminded herself who he was. He’s just not used to anyone telling him no. He’ll get over it.

     Her eyes involuntarily rose to the mirror as she reached for a mug and pour over vessel. Peter was leaning against the far wall with his left foot planted beside the opposite knee. His arms were crossed while he watched them. Peter lifted his chin toward her as a satisfied quirk curled his lip. Unfolding his arms and kicking away from the wall, he took a seat across from Alexander at a table near the counter. Sitting together, they looked like two lions prepared to wait for their next meal. A cold shiver raked Jessi’s back at the thought.

My Review:
The Touch is Michelle’s 2nd book, and her writing has just gotten better! I knew from the moment I started hearing about Alexander and Jessi that I was going to love them, and I was 110% correct! This book brought so many goofy grins to my face, and then there were moments where I just had to put the book down and walk away because of the emotional roller coaster.

What I Loved: I’ve already mentioned that I knew I would love Alexandar and Jessi, but really I loved their individual personalities and how different they were. I really enjoyed their banter and emotional dance. The tension between the two was spot on, and leaves you either wanting to throw a bucket of ice on them or screaming “get on with it already.” Both of Alexander and Jessi have uneasy backgrounds, but at this point in their lives they are primed to be ready to move forward and move past their past…but how? Especially when the past wants to come back and bite them.

The back stories in The Touch really made this book interesting. We met Alexander in The Kiss, but to know more about where he comes from, and some of what he’s gone through within The Cotiere really helps to build the backbone of this book. Then you’ve got Jessi’s story, and together it’s all a bit of a mess.

Not So Much:
There never seems to be enough book. There’s not really anything I can say here, honestly. I knew I was going to love Alexander and Jess!

The Verdict:

 I wish I could get more people to take a chance on Michelle’s books – they are awesome stories! I would consider these to be clean New Adult books, with a slight paranormal/fantasy aspect – and I highly recommend them.

Author Bio:

Michelle Bolanger has been an avid reader all her life. In 2014 and with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to take the leap and publish her own books. The Kiss is her first full length novel and the beginning of what is to be a four book series titled The Cotiere Chronicles. Michelle is also a talented vocalist and amateur photographer. She enjoys going on cruises, cheering for her favorite professional hockey team, and falling asleep to the sound of auto racing on TV. Michelle lives in Ohio with her husband and two dogs.
Website: http://www.michellebolanger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellebolangerauthor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MBolangerAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mbolangerauthor/

Book Review: There are No Vampires in This Book – Megan Bailey

Title: There are No Vampires in This Book
Author: Megan Bailey
Genre: NA – Fiction

Synopsis:  
TARYN HAD NEVER BEEN NORMAL.She wasn’t like other girls- not after that night, that thing, took her parents from her. She made it through hospitals, doctors, and therapy by playing by their rules and saying all the things they wanted to hear. But, inside, she held on to the truth.
She knew what she saw.

SHE SPENT HER TEEN YEARS PREPARING IN SECRET
With her two closest friends at her side, she dedicated herself to a mission. She would train and she would hunt. When the time came, she would be ready. No one she loved would be hurt by one of those monsters ever again

But with high school behind them, new found freedom comes with new responsibilities and new problems. Instead of weapons and self defense classes, she now has jobs and bills. The relation-ship with her best friend was suddenly shifting into new, scary territories. How could she take down bad guys if she couldn’t get her own life in order?

AND THEN THERE WAS HIM.
A mysterious stranger who pops up in suspicious places and throws off all sorts of bad vibes. His face now starred in her regular nightmares and plagued her thoughts in the day. Was she overre-acting? Or, was this finally the monster she had been waiting for? As the scars of Taryn’s past rise up to haunt her, she begins to question herself. With her mission faltering and her friendship off kilter, would life ever be the same again?
Would she ever be the same?

My Review:  

This is a book that was recommended by another blogger, and that was chosen by a group of us lovely blogger-people to read together. (You can find their reviews linked at the bottom!) I loved the idea of reading a book together and all posting a review. It’s even better when the book that is picked out is a good one!

What I Loved: I loved that this book wasn’t exactly predictable. I’ve been reading so many books lately that are lovely and wonderful but from the beginning you kind of know where it is going to go. It’s not that books like that are bad. In fact, I find sanctuary in those easy read kind of books at times, but I love it when one jumps out at you and keeps you guessing. I enjoy that it keeps my mind active, ‘what’s going to happen – perhaps this or that.’ This was true all the way up until the last chapters of the book, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen – and still yet there was that lingering thought that the author could throw me for a loop.

I loved the friendship bond in this book, and let me tell you it was quite a bond. The three of them were actually quite different people, but their dynamic worked so well. I loved the idea of just hanging out at home eating pizza and being goofy – is that even acceptable anymore? It seems like people always have to be doing something!

Not So Much: At first I had a hard time switching from first person journal entries to third person story – I got over it pretty quickly, but it sometimes had me thinking, ‘wait what?” or “why is she referring to herself…oh that’s right…” While I DID get over it – there is a part of me that wishes that it would have been told in first person, because there were questions regarding her parent’s death that I wanted answered as a third person perspective that in first person perspective would have been easier for me to let go.

The Verdict:   
I really, really enjoyed this book. There was sufficient action, and mystery. There was the internal battle without having the sullen or moody vibe about it. I loved Taryn and her desire to do what she thought was right, as well as facing her fears. At the end of the book she said something about how the new her faced her fears, but I felt like she was doing that all along. This book is clean, and I’m not 100% sure if it’s because I was engrossed in the story and forgot to pay attention, or because there just wasn’t any – but I don’t even recall there being any cussing. There is alcohol – but the book is NA, and I recommend it for such. I do look forward to reading more from author Megan Bailey, as I enjoyed the adventure she took me on.

About the Author:
Megan Bailey is a novelist and short story author. When not writing, she loves playing video games for way too many hours and reading everything she can get her hands on. Megan is married to her own wise-cracking, romantic hero. They live in Central Illinois with their two devious/darling daughters and three furbabies: Minna the boxer dog, Logan the black cat, and Gimli the dwarf bunny.

Book Review: Crane – The Legends Saga #1 – Stacey Rourke

Title: Crane (The Legends Saga #1)

Author: Stacey Rourke
Synopsis: 
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?


My Review:
Crane (or this entire series really,) is one of those books that I picked up mainly because of the amazing cover.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that regardless of how I feel at the end of all of them, I’m going to want hard copies of all of these books.  The covers are dark, and beautiful.  I love them!  This series is one of those I really, really want to judge by its cover.
I have read a few books by Stacey Rourke and I really enjoy her work.  Her characters are fun and just make me want to continue reading, couple that with the fact that on her birthday she gave us all of her books for $.99 each….it was a steal, so I got the entire series.

***Please know – there is minor spoilery type content below…***

 What I Loved:  I am a huge fan of retellings.  I love it when authors take a famous story line and carve their own path into it.  There are many retellings that I actually like better than the originals.  This book is a great retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, and it includes several ‘characters’ you will recognize.  I really liked this version of Ichabod;  instead of the scared wimp you get in some of the cartoon versions of this story – you have this handsome, socially inept hero.  There is something sweet about a strong man who is also shy.

 In Crane, Rourke took a fun method of taking us back and forth between timelines, blending the original story with a modern-day take.  I don’t always like it when books jump back and forth like that, however it really worked for this book.  It was never confusing, but I’m sure that had a lot to do with the fact that the “voices” of the two POV’s were very different – even if the stories were parallel(ish). 

 Not So Much:  I had a hard time connecting with our modern-day main character, Ireland.  I loved her voice, she was funny, sarcastic and all the things that I like in a character, but I don’t really feel like I got to know her all that well.  I also had a very difficult time with the Ireland/Noah relationship – probably for the same reasons.  Noah, quite honestly, wasn’t really IN the story as much as you would like him to be.  He seemed like a great guy, but again I couldn’t really tell.  Then the two of them together – well, they were just playing at the edges of ‘together’ in this book…I imagine that is rectified in the future installments,  however the fact that they were truly together by the end of the story (sorry minor spoiler) – I just wasn’t ready for it yet.

And if I’m going to pick on the relationships, I did kind of feel the rush of Icabod and Katrina’s relationship as well.  Perhaps my problem is I like to see people’s feelings unfold rather than having this insta-attraction turn into love.  Life rarely works that way – so I think I enjoy books where the characters have to work at it a bit, too.  Spend some quality time together, you know.
 Finally, there is the parallel of the legend; in the old version you have a reason the horseman showed up and the events transpired, but in modern-day it I believe the reason it was happening again was because all the right people in all the right place.  That felt flimsy as a story-line, in my opinion.  WHY did it happen again when all of the people were in the right place?  Just because it was foretold, and that’s it?  

 The Verdict:  I really, really wanted to love Crane.  I was looking forward to reading it, and felt this was (is) the perfect season to read it in; however while I liked it, I didn’t love it.  I have been told by mega-fans to keep reading.  I do have Raven and Steam on my iPad, and I will likely continue with the series.  Perhaps by the end this will be one of those series I re-read over and over again and discover all the things I missed in this first book and how they relate to the following – who knows.
 I do think it’s worth your time, especially if you’re like me and enjoy a good retelling.  Give it a chance, because you know – my opinions are my own, and there are many who loved this book!

Rated: 3 Stars
Rating: PG-13 – some sexual content, mild cussing

Book Review: Song of David – Amy Harmon

Title: Song of David

Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Adult Romance Fiction – Age-wise this seems like it would be New Adult, but this does NOT fall easily into that category. It especially does not fall into what most people expect out of a New Adult Book.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): This is David ‘Tag’ Taggert’s book, a supporting character introduced in The Law of Moses. This is a stand-alone story, but it is highly recommended that The Law of Moses be read first to avoid spoilers.

She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.

I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.

For me, heaven was the octagon.

Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?

If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.

My Review:
Amy Harmon makes it difficult to write a normal review, because I’m afraid if I share any littlest detail from the book I’m bound to give something away. The teasers that were put out for the book were intimate scenes, and yet were probably the safest words to put out to the world in order to entice without giving things away. I had this same trouble with Law of Moses, and I wasn’t 100 percent happy with my review because I still felt like I was leaking information from seams I’d prefer to keep shut so that the reader can find out the information themselves. I’m just like that – I hate spoilers, and I hate to spoil, too.

I will say that Song of David is another emotional roller coaster brought to you by Ms Amy Harmon; this seems to be her forte. While the overall feel of the book was bittersweet, woven in the details of Tag and Millie’s story is joy, love, laughter, fun, happiness, frustration, confusion, and anger fueled by love. Every single emotion is out there for you to latch on to and experience yourself within the pages of this book as you fall into this dance with Tag and Millie.

What I Loved: David (Tag) and Amelie (Millie). I loved their story front, center and end. I loved Millie’s brother, Henry, and his way of communication – sometimes he was the most profound character in the chapter. I loved still “seeing” Moses and Georgia and their baby! I love how Amy chose to tell this story (yet another secret that you must find out on your own). I loved that Tag is both the nice guy, and the bad guy; and yet he’s the perfect guy!

Not So Much: I’m not big on ambiguous – I’ll say that and leave it alone.

Rated: PG-13 – some cussing, and this book has sensuality, and a black out scene.
Rating: 5 Stars – Stellar writing, Awesome story.

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ilo2re-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1502830825&asins=1502830825&linkId=U5PJZYDY5VNX2CIX&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ilo2re-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1502830825&asins=1502830825&linkId=3K6HIHEL3UJQJSV2&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ilo2re-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1499535392&asins=1499535392&linkId=UL4W2DPI5D6RU35G&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ilo2re-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1492976423&asins=1492976423&linkId=7ZI6ZPWFQGC7NHXR&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

Book Review: The Kiss – The Cotiere Chronicles #1 – Michelle Bolanger

Genre: New Adult – Romance

Synopsis: Best friends since birth, Leisel Gottschalk and Baden Dietrich are months away from the ceremony that will unite them forever, until Baden learns that everything they’ve been told about their arranged union is based on lies. He knows he has to let her go, but getting her away from their families will cost them everything.

Koen Lockton is determined to make the most of his life. He’s just signed a recording and tour contract that will jump start his music career. With one year of school left before he hits the road, his life changes in a way he never would have dreamed when he hears Leisel Gottschalk’s laugh. But when she fails to recognize him for what he is, he knows something is terribly wrong.
Driven into hiding and divided by an ancient wrong, a forgotten race of people are nearing extinction. Old traditions and long held grudges will be exposed and challenged when one man risks it all to right the wrong he caused and three young lives are caught in the middle. Will they be strong enough to change the future and unite a broken people? All it will take is a single kiss, but are they willing to break her family’s rules?
My Review: As friend of the author I have watched The Kiss blossom from the seed of an idea into this beautiful love story of family ties, past hurts, prejudices, loyalty and true love. I have seen this book morph from a very rough outline into what it is today. In some ways I feel like this may disqualify me from being able to write a trustworthy review in the eyes of some people, but I do know a good book when I read one.  While talking to my husband one day over the last year I said, “Michelle is writing a book…and it is REALLY good,” Justin just raised eyebrows in surprise, because he knows how honest I can be when it comes to reading and books. My opinion has been solid from the very beginning, and not because I’m her friend and I love her dearly, but because The Kiss captured my attention from the start and begged me to read it. (Unfortunately, most of the time Michelle just wasn’t writing fast enough).
Michelle’s writing style is beautifully descriptive; she can take you into a scene and make you feel as if you were a bystander watching these characters fall for each other; she can take you into the heat of the moment and cause your heart to race, and best of all – she writes moments that will make you laugh out loud. These things are amazing qualities to find in a book – and to find them within the pages of a “first” book is even more unique and exciting. The Kiss is a great foundation for this series. Michelle feeds you all the nitty gritty and background information bit-by-bit throughout the story instead of in some introductory paragraph. You will experience twist and turns that will surprise you, all laced with a set of characters you either love, or love to hate.
I will say that while I love Leis and Koen; I am so very excited for the next book to come out. Read The Kiss– get to know the world, fall in love with Leis and Koen and their friends, and then hang on because I truly believe that the best is still yet to come!
Rated:  PG-13 – for Sensuality, this is a “clean” book
Rating: 5 Stars

Buy Here:

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=ilo2re-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B010FZF19E&asins=B010FZF19E&linkId=EKEQFZGL62UTPONL&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

About Michelle Bolanger:

Michelle Bolanger has been an avid reader all her life. In 2014 and with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to take the leap and publish her own books. The Kiss is her first full length novel and the beginning of what is to be a four book series titled The Cotiere Chronicles. Michelle is also a talented vocalist and amateur photographer. She enjoys going on cruises, cheering for her favorite professional hockey team, and falling asleep to the sound of auto racing on TV. Michelle lives in Ohio with her husband and two dogs.

Contact:

Book Review: The Law of Moses – Amy Harmon

Author: Amy Harmon
Synopsis from Goodreads:   

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.


Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.


It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.


And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.


And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story. 


My Review:
I’m a fan of paranormal books, although I usually like to know when I’m reading one, The Law of Moses took me by surprise in that area, however the way that it is lightly paranormal mixed with real life written so well makes this book exceptionally awesome. Additionally Moses and Georgia’s relationship unfolding scene by scene made this book very difficult to put down.  At first I thought the book was going to take the well worn story line of bad boy, trouble maker chasing after and ultimately winning over the nice, ‘perfect,’ innocent town girl; so I was happy when the story started down a different road all together and was filled with love, heartache,  mystery and suspense.  In this story it was Georgia doing all the initiating, making all the first moves and practically throwing herself at Moses, to which he eventually relents.  The “bad boy” persona of Moses is all drummed up gossip while he’s truly a stand-up guy who just wants to protect those people he actually cares for, and this makes him all the more appealing. Though, what I absolutely loved were the words forming the sentences making the book; this book was like reading one of the paintings Moses was plastering to the wall – very lyrical and colorful, one of those books that is very easy to picture in your imagination.

Rated:  Pg-13; some sensuality a bit of cussing I think…the rest of the book was so entrancing I can’t remember much cussing.  Any and all scenes of intimacy are spoken of emotionally rather than descriptions of the act.
Genre: New Adult 
Rating: 5 Stars – Beautifully Written