Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: Venom (Elemental Assassin, Book 3) by Jennifer Estep

Synopsis Courtesy of Back Cover of Paperback:

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It's hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you.  Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work.  My current mission is personal:  annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family.  Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my power Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.  To the public, I'm Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland's best barbecue joint.  To my friends, I'm the Spider, retired assassin.  I still do favors on the side.  Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversize stalker - Mab's right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists.  At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side.  The man knows too much about me, but I'll take my chances.  Then there's Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland's finest.  Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead.  She probably things the same about me.  Little does she know, I'm a cold-blooded killer...who is about to save her life.

Book Details:

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (September 28, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1439148015
ISBN-13: 978-1439148013
Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches

Kindle File Size: 1664 KB
Print Length: 420 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (September 28, 2010)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

Amazon Purchase Link:

Sapphyria's Review:

Here are links to reviews of previous books in the series:

Warning:  There will be spoilers for Books 1 & 2.

Mab Monroe is on the hunt for whomever murdered Jake McAllister at the high brow party she threw in Web of Lies.  Jonah McAllister, Jake's attorney father and Mab Monroe minion is also out for revenge on his son's killer.  Their first stop is for Gin Blanco, owner of the Pork Pit and person who dared press charges against Jake when he attempted to rob her establishment.  After beating her half to death, Jonah still isn't convinced that Gin is blameless, however, after a verbal warning from Mab, they walk away, leaving a very pissed Spider in their wake.

After the death of her handler, Fletcher Lane, Gin began having nightmares that pulled back into the past when her mother and sisters were killed by a ruthless fire elemental.  Her dreams finally explain exactly what happened the night Gin lost her entire family....not her entire family actually.  As it turns out, Fletcher left a file for Gin (which we learned about already-it's not new to this book) and it contained a photo of none other than her long-thought-dead baby sister, Bria.

And Bria is the detective who comes on scene responding to the call that there was a dead woman on the college campus.  Knowing her sister is alive is one thing, seeing her face-to-face is an entirely different matter.  As hard as stone Gin is, it was a good thing she was swollen and bloody so that Bria couldn't read all of the emotion written across her face.  After convincing Bria that she doesn't need to go the hospital, Gin is taken to her favorite air elemental for a thorough healing job.

Most of the book actually focuses on Roslyn Phillips, vampire and owner of a club downtown.  She has, unfortunately caught the attention of one of Mab's enforcers and is stalking her and threatening her and her family.  The attention all started when Mab questioned Roslyn about the stolen invitation and costume back in Book 2.  Feeling responsible, Gin takes on the case that she hopes will eventually end with her murdering the enforcer.  Of course, things don't always go as planned.

So much happens in this novel that keeps the reader well engaged.  Characters come and go and romantic interests change.  Donovan, Detective and Gin's lover, up and bailed on her at the end of Book 2, unable and unwilling to accept her for who and what she was, regardless of the mutual feelings.  Her loss, so-to-speak, shows a bit of a human side to our favorite elemental assassin and you can't help but feel badly.  I never thought Donovan was good enough for her so, at this stage of the game, I'm glad he's gone.

The exit of Donovan, however, opens the gate to one Owen Grayson.  He has shown interest in her since he was first introduced to Gin and being an elemental himself, I felt he was more suited for her.  We also learn a lot about his life growing up which endeared me to him even more.  Owen is a fantastic male character to Gin's female.

What happens to Roslyn in Venom is not for the weak.  She is abused psychologically by a sexual predator.  Be prepared to want to shove your hand into the book and rip the spine out of Mab's enforcer.  The scenes involved in that part of the story are written so well that you feel Roslyn's terror and disgust.  If she manages to survive the reign of terror, Roslyn, vampire or not, will never, ever be the same again.

Another fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassin series.  The books have pulled me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning.  These are the types of books that have me longing for the next one. They are written with vivid descriptions and genuine feelings, allowing the reader to become totally immersed in this world.  Speaking of world - the world building continues as more from Gin's past develops and is explained.

The only thing about your heroine, Gin, that I dislike is her phrase "get dead."  It was only cute a couple of times and now I feel is very over-used.

This novel contains adult themes.

My review copy was courtesy of my local library, where I take full advantage of our interlibrary loan program.  If my library doesn't have the books I want, they will have them sent from a library in Michigan at absolutely no cost to me.

Sapphyria's Rating:

Spotlight: Crimson Forest (Book One in the Crimson Chronicles) by Christine Gabriel @pandamoonpub @ChristineGabrie

About Crimson Forest:

“Something horrible is happening in the Crimson Forest. I need you to promise me you’ll stay away from it.”

Eighteen-year-old Angelina Adams had every intention of taking that advice. She had no desire to disappear into the trees as so many hunters had done. But when her mother is brutally murdered in their home, and the attacker comes for her, she has no choice but the flee into the blood-red woodland that claimed her father’s life years before.

There she meets Nicolai, a handsome, mysterious stranger who vows to protect her fromt eh dark forces bent on destroying her life. But can he be trusted? Is he who he says he is, or will he simply take what he wants fro, her and move on?

Angelina soon realizes that nothing is as it seems in the Crimson Forest, a place where creatures known only to humans through myth and legend fight for love and survival. It’s a world where fairy tales, thrive, nightmares become reality, and some secrets are better left undiscovered.

About the Author:

Christine Gabriel, a diehard Buckeye fan, grew up in the small farming community of Monroeville, Ohio where she spent much of her time writing imaginative stories. She has spent the last ten years managing a financial institution in Norwalk, Ohio in which she’s learned that compassion and love are her greatest gifts to give to others.

She has a small tribe of children who have become her biggest fans and most honest critics. She’s an avid animal lover and has been known to bring home a stray to cuddle with her while she writes. She’s also deathly afraid of earthworms and will cross the street in order to avoid one on the sidewalk. She loves vanilla coffee and can’t begin her morning without it, even knowing that doing so has consequential effects that could potentially cause a Zombie Apocalypse.

Christine’s most important view is that her readers are able to escape out of their realities and enjoy a little piece of her imagination. She holds each one of her readers close to her heart and loves them as if they were one her dearest friends. She currently resides in Norwalk, Ohio where she’s working on Crimson Moon, Book Two of The Crimson Chronicles series.

Find Christine Online:


Facebook Author: 

Marlene Wynn’s Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen with Bewitching Book Tours

Marlene Wynn embarks on a month long Bewitching Book Tour for her novel, Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen, on September 1, 2014.


September 1, 2014: Marlene Wynn’s Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen is on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. Follow the tour from the comfort of your home. Read interviews, guest blogs, excerpts, and reviews.

For more details and a complete tour schedule visit:

Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen
Marlene Wynn

Book Description:

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman.  But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.  Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue,

Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known.  But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. 

Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?

About the Author: 

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native - fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.

To receive a review copy, arrange an interview, guest blog, or event with the authors please contact Roxanne Rhoads

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: Love Bites (A Sugar City Novella, #1) by Ophelia London

About Love Bites:

Falling in love is like swimming with sharks…

Sharona Blaire is only in Australia for a business audit, but she’s determined to make the most of her one free night. So when she spills her drink on a handsome stranger and they end up flirting, she does something completely out of character—she kisses him. But the prospect of taking it further totally freaks her out…almost as much as discovering the next morning that the man she’s auditing is the sexy, tanned stranger she left with zero explanation.

An audit during his crew’s most important expedition yet is a complication marine biologist Jeff Cruz doesn't need—especially when the auditor is the gorgeous, fascinating woman from the night before. Out at sea with nowhere to run, he’s forced to admit Sharona draws him in like a shark to blood. But Jeff's one passion is his job, and nothing—not even love—will get its hooks in him...

(Photo and synopsis courtesy of

Book Details:

File Size: 962 KB
Print Length: 117 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss (August 18, 2014)
Sold by: Macmillan
Sapphyria's Review:

There's no easy to put this but...Sharona Blaire is a clutz.  On a trip to Australia she not only spilled her drink on someone in the airplane, but also someone in the hotel bar the same night she arrives.  What are the chances that both drinks are spilled on the same person?  Pretty darn good, actually.  Intrigued by the handsome, good-humored man, and thinking she'd never see him again anyway, Sharona steps outside her comfort zone and propositions him....then leaves him standing alone by the elevator after she loses her nerve.

Jeff Cruz is about to head out to the middle of the ocean to work on his most important project and does NOT need to be followed around by an auditor commissioned by the University of Miami.  He knows he's spending their money wisely and anything additional to the budget he's taking care of himself.  When it turns out the auditor is none other than the sexy tease from the night before, he can't decide if that makes things better or worse.

Love Bites is a cute, romantic read that is quick and leaves the reader satisfied.  The chemistry between Sharona and Jeff is undeniable and believable.  There are misunderstandings, feet placed in mouths, and other unfortunate goings-on but that gives the story charm and allows the story to feel more like reality than fantasy.  I was able to read the novella in one sitting, which is a good thing, because I really didn't want to have to put it down.  I recommend this to anyone who loves a cute, quick, romantic story that won't take too long to devour.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

Sapphyria's Rating:

Spotlight: One Day Soon (One Day Series, Book 2) by Edie Hart

One Day Soon
Edie Hart

Genre: Romance

Tour Organizer: N K Author Services

About One Day Soon:

After Lexi witnesses a murder, she becomes a target for a cold-blooded killer. Will Burg, the detective assigned to her case, be able to keep her safe? 

While checking out a house for a showing, realtor Alexandria Edwards stumbles upon a savage slaying. Now witness to a murder, she soon becomes the target of a cold-blooded killer.

Jonathan Burgess,, Lexi’s brother’s best friend, is the detective assigned to protect the sexy blonde. Burg has always thought of Lexi as a little sister, but seeing her all grown up has turned his innocent thoughts into forbidden fantasies. Will Burg be able to keep Lexi safe while also keeping his growing feelings for her in check?

Grab One Bad Day, Book 1 in the Series:

About One Bad Day:

After doing a favor for her boss, Tessa ends up being a mistaken target and falling for the sexy cop determined to keep her safe.

Tessa is having one seriously bad day. After agreeing to dress as a cheesy mascot at a convention for her boss, her clothes get stolen, she gets chased through a sinister parking garage, and her apartment gets broken into and turned upside down. 

Gray, an off-duty police officer, can't resist the sexy legs he sees in costume at a hotel convention. When he catches sight of her running for her life through a dark car lot, he's determined to find out what her story is and ends up promising to keep Tessa safe...even if that means taking her home with him.

About the Author:

Edie Hart was born in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, where she now resides with her husband, two children, dog, and three cats. After spending her childhood making up stories in her head, she finally decided to put them on paper. What came of it was her first novella, One Bad Day. Edie is a die-hard romantic and believes that everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally--both in print and real life.

Edie also admits that "Edie Hart" is a pen name and an alter ego to an otherwise boring wife and mother. Edie is 20 pounds lighter, loves to skydive, travels to foreign places, and is a total sex kitten as compared to the uninteresting other half who is none of those things.

In reality the counterpart of Edie is a lackluster 40-something-year-old, whose main goal is to keep The Big One (The Boy) from torturing The Little One (The Girl). This week he hit her in the head with a 12-pack of Juicy Juice. Last week he left ravioli handprints on the back of her white T-shirt. The week before that he told her she was adopted and she believed him.

To learn more about her, and find out what The Big One and The Little One are up to, visit her via her website