Thursday, December 31, 2015

Release Day Blitz with Excerpt & Giveaway: Crimson Cove by Eden Butler

Title: Crimson Cove
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 31, 2015


Ten years ago Janiver stole a kiss from the meanest boy in school.

He never forgot.

Senior year.

One minute before the tardy bell rang, Bane Illes would slip through the door.

He never smiled.

He never spoke.

Each day, that dark, dangerous boy gave Janiver Benoit a glance. And when she could not take another quiet stare, or the warmth that look sent over her skin, she took from Bane something he’d never give freely—one lingering, soul knocking kiss.

Ten years later, her family needs her, and Janiver will have to face the one person she promised herself she’d never see again.

The dangerous wizard that might make leaving Crimson Cove the last thing she wants to do.

Buy Links - Amazon | Amazon UK

Crimson Cove - Excerpt

A small breeze picked up against the water and I closed my eyes, trying to push back the sensation of longing I felt when Bane’s scent lingered in the air. Did the lines push us together or some other mystical force draw us closer despite the expectations laid at both our feet? I had no clue where that inclination came from, didn’t much care, if I was being honest. But out here under the bright moon, with the lines humming behind us and Bane standing close enough that I could feel the heat of his body, nearly feeling the whisper of his breath on the back of my neck, that closeness felt like a weight I thought I’d dropped years ago.

It never left you, the lines sang, and in my mind I imagined that tone was a bit smug.

Still, it wasn’t wrong. But it was pointless. The truth was useless when reality serves up a generous helping of impossibility. Which made Bane’s closeness and that gravitational pull of him almost impossible to ignore.

At my side, the wizard kept his attention on the sky and, possibly, on that quick, steady buzz of magic pulsing from the lines. Bane closed his eyes, tilting back his head to give his face to the moon as though the beams of light warmed his skin. He was so ruggedly beautiful, so impossible to resist that I had to remind myself we weren’t alone, the others would likely notice if I stood there staring at him helplessly for so long. But before I brought my attention away from those sharp features and the subtle, soft hint of stubble along his jaw, Bane grinned, a slow, amused twitch of his mouth and then he glanced at me as though he found it the height of funny to catch me gawking. 

“Your eyes are telling secrets, Jani.”

“Hardly,” I tried forcing an eye roll I didn’t mean. Bane wasn’t buying it. He didn’t seem overly concerned that the others stood some distance from us or that Cari or her bored brother were likely spying on us. Bane, in fact, somehow stood closer, arms crossed so that his elbow brushed against my bicep.

“It doesn’t mean anything, you know.” 

“What doesn’t?” My question came out too quickly, the words too clipped as he inched closer. He liked to torture me, I knew that, but I’d never seen him enjoy dolling at that torture so openly. 

“The attraction you feel.” Bane shot his thumb over his shoulder. “The lines, the raw feel of them—without the Elam they aren’t buffered and we are all feeling it.” He nodded grinning as two witches snuck off into the forest alone. “It’s in our nature, Jani. The lines unhindered, raw, they just bring it from us.” He’d drank whiskey from a canteen he edged out of his pocket. The rich hint of it came off his breath when he stepped closer. It made my fingers shake. Bane was easily five inches taller than me and as he crowded closer, he used that height to his advantage with his breath fanning over the top of my head and his chest touching my back. “They’ll only get stronger.” It wasn’t anything I hadn’t already guessed, but that claim coming from him, with that air of seduction in his tone, made me realize, finally, what that might mean. Uninhibited magic influencing every magical creature; no voice of reason to temper our behavior should we get too close. God help me, I’d cave, and from how eager Bane was to get close to me, I had a feeling that’s exactly what he wanted. 

“What is it about you, Jani?”

He’d said my name like that once, right after he’d confessed he wasn’t sure what I wanted. But one look, one real, honest examination of my expression and Bane had guessed. I wanted him, and my name falling from his mouth in that throaty, eager whisper was all it had taken to unravel my hesitation. 

My fingers rubbing against my eyelids, another breath against the top of my head and the sweet, warm bourbon scent brought my awareness away from the never-dimming desire to kiss him. He was twisting magic, working me over on purpose. Bane let the lines take him over, just a bit. His control was waning as he moved his fingers through the ends of my hair. 

“You’re more open out here, this close to the lines, aren’t you?” 

“We all are,” I told him, curling my arms around my waist like I could really protect myself from him. 

“They’ll get stronger,” he said, taking one wavy strand of hair off my shoulder to curl around his finger. “They’ll get stronger and you’ll want to lose control.”

Eyes closed tight, I saw what that loss of control would look like. Something erotic and inappropriate involving that large wizard behind me and lots and lots of fallen red maple leaves sticking to our naked skin. 
I blinked, stepped out of his reach to block that imaginary scenario. “That is not going to happen.”

“Why not?” he asked, moving in front of me, keeping me from retreating further away from him.  

I arched an eyebrow and smiled. “Why do you think, Mr. Iles?”

His shoulders fell and the tension crowded around his features again when my small words pushed reality right back into his mind. One low grunt and Bane turned his head, attention back on the crowd in the clearing. “You know how to ruin a moment, don’t you?”

“Was that a moment?” I teased, trying not to laugh when Bane started working his jaw. 

His gaze flashed back at me and some of that irritation lessened the severity of his expression. “Could have been.” 

Sometimes Bane let a little emotion—real emotion that has nothing to do with teasing or trying to bate me into a reaction—pass in his eyes. I saw it just then. It was sincerity, maybe a little longing, but I couldn’t stop and give it much weight. How could I when that would lead to nothing but disappointment? 
I cleared my throat, bringing my eyes down to the ground where I kicked a rock with the tip of my boot. “I don’t think your fianc√© would have appreciated any moments you might have wanted with me.”

“Probably not,” he said and the humor in his voice was forced, as though he’d noticed the real emotion had snuck in for a moment and he needed to tamp it down quickly. Bane put back on that dominant, in-control mask and moved his head, trying to catch my eye. “But that doesn’t mean they won’t happen anyway.”

“That’s a little selfish of you, don’t you think?” When he squinted at me as though he were confused, I clarified. “You engaging with moments not reserved for the witch you’re supposed to marry.”

“Maybe, but you know, Miss Benoit, I’m not married yet.” He stepped even closer, bringing my hair back between his fingers. “And when the right moments come, I generally don’t care who they’re with.” 

It was a lie, one that I saw clearly through his arrogant demeanor. But Bane walked away from me then, looking back only once as though he wanted me to see the promise in his expression with the low glance of his eyes over my body and that thick bottom lips between his teeth. That expression, that promise he gave, was a challenge he wanted me to take. But as he climbed back up the hill and greeted several of members of the Birmingham coven, I knew the challenge would be unmatched. Just like us, it’d be the game I’d refuse to play with him.

Enter the Giveaway

The following goodies are up for grabs and are open internationally!
  • (3) eBook copy of Crimson Cove
  • (1) $20 gift card from Amazon or B&N, winner's choice
About Eden Butler

Eden Butler Pic
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football. She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana. Please send help.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway:Built by Jay Crownover

BUILT - Tour Banner
  We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review/Excerpt Tour for 

BUILT by Jay Crownover! 

BUILT is a Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins
and it is the 1st full-length novel in The Saints of Denver Series,  
a spinoff of her New York Times bestselling Marked Men Series

This amazing book releases on January 5th!   

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

Amazon US ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo

Pre-order now and receive a special bonus scene! 

About BUILT: 

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series, Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior. 

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored. 


As though my intense and swirling thoughts had pulled Zeb into the vortex of self-pity I was struggling in, my phone vibrated in my hand with a message from him as I wandered aimlessly through the empty rooms.
               I shivered at the sight of his name and then silently scolded myself for having such a powerful reaction to only his name on the screen. His message was simple but for some reason it felt full of more meaning and emotion than the three words staring up at me indicated.
               Can you talk?
               I bit my lip and decided how to answer. I didn’t talk to my clients after office hours were done for the day and I was already having a really hard time keeping the professional and personal lines clear where he and this case were concerned. I sighed and tapped out:
               I can. Do you want me to call you?
               I had started this process as his friend first and it wasn’t fair to him that my heart was pulling itself apart because of his situation. He was probably nervous and scared about what was coming next week, and I was the only one who could put some of that at ease.
               There wasn’t a response for a long couple of minutes and I hated that all I could do was stare at my phone and pace back and forth while I waited to see what he was going to say. I was acting like a teenager and it was ridiculous. I snorted at myself and was headed into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine when the phone rang and made me jump. I wasn’t prepared for him to call me right that moment and had a bout of anxiety about answering the call before I told myself to man up and swiped my finger across the screen.
               “Hey. Everything all right?” I heard a car honk its horn wherever he was calling from, and he mumbled something that wasn’t directed at me before answering.
               “Fuck no.”

BUILT - Tour Teaser 2

What I thought about Built

Since this book has not yet been released, I'm going to try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.

I'll be honest and say that I didn't really pay all that much attention to Zeb and Sayer when these characters were introduced in the Marked Men series, so I started Built with no preconceived notions of how I would feel about these characters.

Zeb and Sayer come from two very different backgrounds. Sayer comes from money. She's a lawyer, and she's a master at hiding her emotions. Zeb comes from a different background, and he's got some trouble with the law that will follow him around for the rest of his life. But the physical attraction between these two characters is off the charts, and there's no way they are going to stay away from each other. I fell for Sayer right away when she makes it clear that Zeb's history isn't a deal-breaker for them--underneath her prim and proper exterior is a woman with a huge heart and I loved that about her. I got her.

It takes a while for these two to connect physically, and when they do, there's no going back for Zeb. They both scratch each other's itch in a significant way, and they scorch up the pages when they come together. There's more than just sex between them too, but it's Sayer's past history that could keep her from the happiness she finds when she's with Zeb.

When Zeb gets some shocking news, he needs Sayer's professional help and she's his biggest advocate. Her big heart won't let anything get in the way of Zeb getting what he wants in his life. This wrecks havoc with their relationship in a major way, forcing Zeb to make a difficult decision of his own that could end the wonderful relationship between these two unlikely lovers.

I loved both Zeb and Sayer in a way that left me surprised and happy. Jay Crownover does a great job (as usual) presenting the reader with two very interesting characters. There's excellent and subtle commentary about how hateful words and behaviors can be as devastating as fists and fighting. And Zeb is an incredible hero in this -- his maturity and ability to get to the heart of things just made me fall for him the same way I fell for my favorite Marked Men. He's got some great lines that just ripped my heart out and I loved that.

Built is a great start to this aptly named Saints of Denver series. I loved everything about it -- the characters, the story, and the little bits of the Marked Men that are sprinkled throughout the book and help anchor it to this Denver world Jay Crownover has created. Recommended.

ARC provided for review.  

  BUILT - Tour Teaser 1

BUILT Review & Excerpt Tour
December 28th
Reading is Sexy – Review & Excerpt
RentasticReads – Review & Excerpt
StuckInBooks – Review & Excerpt
Little Red's Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Addicted to Happily Ever After – Review & Excerpt
kimberlyfaye reads – Review & Excerpt
December 29th
Bookcrack – Review
V's Reads – Review & Excerpt
three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt
Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Lili's Books – Review & Excerpt
December 30th
Lustful Literature – Review & Excerpt
Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Biblio Belles – Review & Excerpt
Mustreadbooksordie – Review & Excerpt
Book Freak – Review & Excerpt
A Bookish Escape – Review & Excerpt
December 31st
The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt
She Hearts Books – Review & Excerpt
Lazy Book Lovers – Review
Reese's Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Naughty and nice book blog – Review & Excerpt
January 1st
Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt
Random Book Muses – Review & Excerpt
Under the Covers – Review & Excerpt
Holly's Hot Reads – Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt
January 2nd
Bewitching bibliophile – Review & Excerpt
Much Loved Books – Review & Excerpt
Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt
The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt
Live Read and Breathe – Review & Excerpt
Smokin' Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
January 3rd
People Like Books – Review & Excerpt
The Flare Up – Review & Excerpt
Gemma reads too much – Review & Excerpt
Read Love Blog –Review & Excerpt
KT Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
i love lady porn – Review & Excerpt
January 4th
Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Jenuine Cupcakes – Review
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Never Judge a Book by its Cover – Review & Excerpt
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
January 5th
Echoing Books – Review & Excerpt
oh the book feels – Review & Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy & Kim – Review & Excerpt
TLBC's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
January 6th
Total Book Geek – Review & Excerpt
True Story Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Literati Literature Lovers – Review & Excerpt
January 7th
Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt
BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt
January 8th
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
Book Babes Unite – Review
Renee Entress's Blog – Review & Excerpt
BJ's Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Shelf_Life – Review & Excerpt
Ticket to Anywhere – Review & Excerpt
January 9th
Nuggets from a Book Nerd – Review & Excerpt
Krissy's Book Nook – Review & Excerpt
pbc – Excerpt
From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt
Romance Addict Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

And don’t miss the previous novella in The Saints of Denver Series!

LEVELED - cover


a Rafflecopter giveaway    

About Jay Crownover:
Jay Crownover - author pic
  Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.        

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teaser: The Baller by Vi Keeland


The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No.  The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question.  On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type.  Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it.  It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.

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About the Author

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: Heat Exchange & Controlled Burn (Boston Fire 1&2) by Shannon Stacey


Heat Exchange (Boston Fire #1)

Lydia Kincaid's shipping back to Boston, but she's not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother's a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother's handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He's had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it's her. Aside from being his mentor's daughter, she's his best friend's sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can't uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia's flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter's wife was the hardest thing she's ever done, and she doesn't know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can't imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he'll have to decide who's first in his heart. 

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What I thought about Heat Exchange

Heat Exchange, the first book in the Boston Fire series from Shannon Stacey deals with the unwritten rules of the brotherhood of firemen and just what it means to be married to someone in this profession.  Lydia returns home to support her sister Ashley who is in the middle of a separation from her firefighter husband Danny Walsh.  Lydia has some experience being married (and subsequently divorced) to a firefighter too, and one of the reasons she's been away from home is to leave the whole firefighting lifestyle behind.

But that's before sexy firefighter Aiden Hunt starts making eyes at her, and suddenly, she's involved with her brother's best friend and coworker.  It's clear it's not going to turn out well, and the longer Aiden and Lydia keep telling secrets and lies, the worse it's going to be.

I liked the way Aiden used his smooth seduction on Lydia, and how they move forward with their relationships in spite of what might happen to their relationships at work and at home.  The love scenes between Lydia and Aiden have some heat to them too, and there was a good level of tension keeping the story moving and the pages turning.

There's a very nice side story between Ashley Kincaid and her estranged husband that gave a second little punch of sweetness to the story.  Writing about family relationships is what made Shannon Stacey's Kowalski series a hit for me, and she manages to bring some of that magic into this story. I liked getting to know the Kincaid family in Heat Exchange.

Overall, I liked Heat Exchange and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Controlled Burn (Boston Fire #2)

Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.

Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.

At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.

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What I thought about Controlled Burn

In Controlled Burn, firefighter Rick Gullotti gets involved with his landlord's granddaughter, Jessica Broussard. Their relationship starts out very quietly, and there's a nice build-up of their relationship as they go from friends to lovers.  I think I liked that the most about this story, but I have to be honest and say that Controlled Burn lacked something for me.

Most of the action takes place away from the station house and Rick's firefighting brothers so this installment didn't rely on the the friendships and unwritten rules of the brotherhood of firefighters like Heat Exchange did.  While there were a few firefighting scenes and some serious consequences for one of the firefighters to set up the next book in the series, I didn't feel like the firefighter storyline was strong in this book.

For me, there wasn't much story in Controlled Burn and it lacked a certain excitement.  Jessica meets her grandparents, falls in love with Rick and they have to resolve a long distance relationship. It's a sweet love story, but that's it.  I got to the last page of the book and said to myself..."Is that all?"  The story ends abruptly and without revealing how Jessica and Rick are going to resolve their living arrangements, or any of the other conflicts that arose during the story. Even their love scenes seemed a bit ho-hum to me.

This just didn't have that family feel that I got from the Kincaids in book 1 of this series, and the pacing was a bit slow as well, which is why I am rating this three stars. While Controlled Burn wasn't a bad read, I've come to expect more relationship story from Shannon Stacey.

I am looking forward to the next book in this series which centers around Scotty Kincaid.  He's a solid fixture in this world and I'm eager to see how his story resolves, so I am going to stick with this series.

ARC provided for review.

Order the next book in the series!

Boston Fire, Book 3
Carina Press
February 23, 2016
ISBN-13: 9780373002979
ISBN-10: 0373002971


When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.

About the Author 

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

You can contact Shannon through her website, where she maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter, her Facebook page, or email her at

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in for a quieter life with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce, and when a fire started in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

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 What I thought about Smoke
 On the night arson investigator Elizabeth tells her husband Ben she wants a divorce, their small town is threatened by a forest fire that's spreading toward their home.  They end up evacuating to his parent's house, and the change in location and the stress of the fire help Elizabeth and Ben to unravel some of the issues in their marriage.  I liked how their situation was revealed gradually over the course  of the book, which mirrored how the gradual breakdown in their communication led to the talk of divorce.

But as Elizabeth investigates the fire, she finds that there are connections to her former best friend Mindy.  Mindy is the other narrator of this story and she's got some issues in her life she's dealing with too.  The legacy of an child with a serious health condition and a son that is keeping secrets put Mindy on edge and when the arson investigation points to one of her family, she's got some issues she has to work through asap.

I really like how this story was constructed. Details are revealed gradually through each of the narrators against the backdrop of the impending fire. Elizabeth is a dedicated and knowledgeable firefighter who loved her job and I appreciated that about her. Having Elizabeth in a non-traditional role was a very interesting part of this story. It was really nice to have a female firefighter perspective.

I was intrigued by the synopsis to this story and I'm glad I decided to give it a try.  It was an engaging read that was focused more on the relationships between Elizabeth, Mindy, and Ben rather than the fire.  The writing is good and the pace pulls you toward the end of the story rather nicely.  The ending wrapped up a little quickly for me, and I wanted a little more of Ben and Elizabeth's story, so that's why this wasn't a 5 star read for me.

If you are looking for something that leans more toward relationships than romance, with a touch of action and mystery, Smoke might be for you. I'll be keeping at eye out for this author's new releases.

ARC provided by publisher(Lake Union) for review.

About the Author

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practises law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Slovakian and Czech. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller. She has also published a novella, SPUN, which is a sequel to SPIN.

Her fifth novel, SMOKE, will be published by Lake Union on October 20, 2015. She is currently at work on her sixth novel, which is expected to be published in 2016.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.
Visit her online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @cemckenzie1.

Release Day Review: The Five Year Lie by Sarina Bowen

Bestselling romance author Sarina Bowen’s debut thriller, about one woman’s search for the truth after receiving a text from her deceased ex...