Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Tour with Reviews: The World of Nightwalkers Series (Forbidden, Forever, and Forsaken) by Jacquelyn Frank @TLCBookTours @JacquelynFrank


Title: Forbidden

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #1

ISBN: 9780345517692

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers--an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them.

The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia's savior doesn't turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.

When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden--this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to... not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

When I first heard about the World of the Nightwalkers series tour, I was excited to finally read something by Jacquelyn Frank. I had heard wonderful things from various people in my paranormal romance book club and I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that the series was a spin-off of a 6-book series before that. Upon reading the first few pages, I realized I better read the first series if I had any hope of understand this new world and the characters they may be referencing. So I purchased the books from the previous series and started to read. I was hooked, but came to find out quickly that reading the first series was not a necessity, it was simply recommended. The world of the Bodywalkers is much different and fascinating.

In the world of the Bodywalkers, Egyptian souls have the ability of entering one's body when they are close to death. But only if they receive permission from their host. The host is presented a choice. Go into death knowing everything they wished of their lives was fulfilled or share their body with a Bodywalker and gain powers the likes of which they never would have imagined. Docia, after a traumatic experience, was presented with this same option and with her brother, Jackson, weighing heavily on her mind and the thirst for vengeance to those who harmed her clenching her heart, she agreed to the terms. Of course, afterwards she has no memory of the event. So it is increasingly strange when a golden god of a man comes out of nowhere and declares her his queen.

That is enough to unnerve anyone. Docia is left with yet another decision, leave her home with her brother to learn more about this new voice inside her head and the world the handsome stranger talks about, or run away screaming. One look at Ram and any girl would make the same decision Docia did and go with him.

Ram feels some sort of unbelievable draw to Docia. He is not supposed to feel anything but respect for the vessel of his queen. And yet... Ram finds himself toeing the line of a moral dilemma. Follow his heart to Docia or follow his brain and stick to his loyalty to his king and his people.

But that is, of course, not all there is to this story. Ram and his people are at war with a split group of Bodywalkers called Templars. Templars are Bodywalkers who focus more on magic and religion than the laws and rules of the Bodywalker world as Ram's Politic Bodywalkers. The Templars believe ridding themselves of the heinous Politics would being them closer to their deity and nothing will stop them in that pursuit.

Ram and Docia must struggle not just with their mounting attractions for each other but also contend with the war between their people.

To be quite honest, I don't know how I feel about a love story that kind of involves four people. The two original hosts and the two Bodywalker spirits. That seems like two too many people involved, call me old fashioned. Does the concept upset me so much that I can't enjoy the book? No, not at all. But it does make me grimace from time to time. I am a steadfast monogamist and this just seems a little too free and easy for my liking. However, the overall world of the Bodywalkers is incredibly interesting. It's always fun to learn about new Nightwalker races, as I found in the Nightwalker series.

Forbidden is a book that toes the line between quirky kink and sultry everlasting love.

Available at:
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Title: Forever

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #2

ISBN: 9780345534903

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson's spirit is a powerful one--none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.

While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But when Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes' plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

I got through the first book without too many issues with the four spirits, two bodies dilemma. I have to say, I was a little weary going into the second book, especially with the synopsis talking about having to kill the woman that the original host was in love with in order for her to host the queen counterpart spirit to his king. That just has drama written all over it. Not to mention, I couldn't even imagine how exactly he would come to ask her for such a thing. "Hey baby, you're kind of hot, will you die and host the spirit of my alterego's queen? Pretty please?" I absolutely had to find out more about this story.

Jackson died and came back with a Bodywalker king living contentedly inside him. He was moderately okay with that. What he wasn't okay with was the fact that he would have to give up on his infatuation with the precinct psychiatrist in order to commit his heart and body to Menes' queen whenever she were to appear. He was struggling with the need to get closer to her while also knowing it cannot be anything permanent. He wouldn't ask her to host Hatshepsut's spirit. He would not disrupt her life in such a way. But what his head and his heart are telling him to do, not to mention the commentary from Menes who finds Marissa to be the perfect host for his queen, are completely different.

Marissa has always had a thing for the strong K-9 officer at her work. She couldn't explain why she was having such a hard time resisting him, but resist she must. She is his psychiatrist after he lost his K-9 partner in a tragic event and cannot cross that patient-doctor line. She must keep things professional. A tactic she has learned to use in many an uncomfortable emotional situation. But when faced with the otherworldly power of the spirit inside Jackson and what that spirit is capable of doing, she must wonder if what is professionally ethical is really what is keeping her away from him. Jackson is a frightening man all by himself to Marissa, add to that one royal alpha male and it makes for a very potent combination that makes Marissa question whether distance from Jackson is truly what she wants.

With the reappearance of Menes, the Bodywalker king, the Templars are quick to attempt to send him back to the Ether before his queen can join him, even if that means awakening an evil the likes of which the world has never known.

This book in the series focused a lot more on how Bodywalker sex can be odd. Ultimately the host is not just having sex with the other host, but also the Bodywalker... if sex is between two Bodywalkers, that is a whole lot of different personalities all mixed in there. What happens if one likes it one way and the other another? I couldn't see how any of that could be any more confusing. And I struggled even more with this book that the last, however, the connection between Marissa and Jackson seemed more real (if that's even possible in this sort of situation) than the one between Ram and Docia. I found myself falling in love with Jackson's quick wit as well as Menes's sexual innuendos. I started to (kinda, sorta) grasp how the Bodywalker and the host kind of compliment each other. I found the insight into the Templars that was given to show them in a new light. Not all of them are bloodthirsty zealots bent on world destruction.

Forever is the perfect middle story. It fluffs out the details of the Bodywalker race and couples that with yet another steamy romance.

Available at:
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Title: Forsaken

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #3

ISBN: 9780345534910

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank continues her scorching and sensual new series set in the world of the Nightwalkers, where alluring entities known as Bodywalkers are the vanguards against the raging forces of darkness.

As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot--but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he's ever encountered.

But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature--a Night Angel--to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power--or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

I had only heard about Leo in passing in the first two books. All I knew was that he was a mercenary that went through and incredible ordeal in Forever. I knew after that experience that he would have issues with most of the Bodywalkers due to the actions of one. I couldn't imagine him actually letting himself fall in love with any superhuman creature, but according to the synopsis he does. I had to find out how this came about.

Leo is deep in the self-loathing abyss in which he has resided since his release from a torturous few days. He doesn't know who to trust anymore now that he knows about the Nightwalker world. He doesn't even know if he can trust his best childhood friend, Jackson, and Jackson's baby sister that he helped raise, Docia. Everyone and everything is foreign to him. And foreign equals an enemy and a force to fight. His feelings on Nightwalker creatures starts to change with the appearance of a Dark Angel ironically named Faith. After Jackson is critically wounded it is up to him and Faith to set out on a journey to find a source who may heal the fallen pharaoh and his best friend. Along the way Leo must confront his prejudices about the Bodywalkers and also fight his mounting feelings for the noir skinned beauty beside him.

Faith knows Leo's type. He is too busy passing judgment on others to really get to know them. She has no reason to allow him to get to know her either. Unfortunately, she seems to have as many prejudices about the human race as Leo does about Nightwalkers. She knows the future of the Nightwalkers rests on the shoulders of the wounded Jackson/Menes. What she doesn't know is what her future holds with the hispanic killer she is starting to grow rather fond of.

Can Faith and Leo overcome both of their prejudices and stubbornness to get to the love that could be a possibility between these two unlikely people?

I absolutely love Leo. He is one of my favorite characters. He is comical as well as deadly. He reminds me a lot of Edward from the Anita Blake series. We get to see a different side of him in Forsaken. We get to see a healthy dose of vulnerability in a man you would never think to be that weak. We see Leo come to grips with a world in which the only family he knows is a part of. We also see Leo start to open up and let someone in. A woman who he despised only because of her inhuman-like existence.

Faith was a fun addition to the cast. She was not quirky like Docia and was not overly serious to the point of being stiff like Marissa. She was blunt but also very sweet. I think she's my favorite female character to date.

I thoroughly enjoyed Forsaken for it's psychological attributes carefully woven into the plot of a stellar work of fiction.

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
January 6th: Supernatural Snark
January 7th: A Chick Who Reads
January 10th: Reader Girls
January 13th: Mom in Love with Fiction
January 15th: Books a la Mode (author Q&A)
January 16th: Fiction State of Mind
January 17th: From the TBR Pile
January 20th: Queen of All She Reads
January 21st: Bibliophilia, Please
January 21st: A Night's Dream of Books
January 22nd: Book Marks the Spot
January 23rd: Stuck In Books
January 28th: Sara's Organized Chaos
January 29th: Love, Romance, Passion
January 30th: Booked on a Feeling

About the Author:
Jacquelyn Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of the World of Nightwalkers series (Forbidden, Forever, and Forsaken), the Three Worlds series (Seduce Me in Dreams and Seduce Me in Flames), the Nightwalker series (Adam, Jacob, Gideon, Elijah, Damien, and Noah), the Shadowdwellers novels (Ecstasy, Rapture, and Pleasure), and the Gatherers novels (Hunting Julian and Stealing Katherine). She lives in North Carolina and has been writing romantic fiction ever since she picked up her first teen romance at age thirteen.



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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Adam by Jacquelyn Frank @JacquelynFrank

Title: Adam

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The Nightwalkers #6

Publication date: October 25th, 2011

ISBN: 9781420109863

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
For 400 years he was lost to her, but he is hers tonight...From their first tantalizing touch, Jasmine knows he is different. What other lover could unlock her tight control, flood Vampire senses jaded by a lifetime of decadent self-indulgence? Centuries ago, when he disappeared without a trace, she had given up hope of ever fulfilling the promise of incomparable passion. But here he is, against the very laws of nature, ready to bring down their most vicious enemy, ready to bring her blood to the boiling point...if she will only let him.

Review:
I couldn't, for the life of me, remember who Adam was and how he was significant to those within the Nightwalker series. I wracked my brain but ultimately just came to the conclusion that the only way to find out was to dive into the book. I was sure they would tell me how he was related while also making his story come alive for me. Success, I did finally understand who Adam was and why I hadn't really heard much mention of him in the previous books. I was excited to see how Adam came to play a roll in their world once more.

Adam is the eldest brother of Jacob. He disappeared off the battlefield during the Vampire/Demon war 400 years from present date. He was ripped from his time by a violet-eyed teenager who asked him the critical question, "What would you do to save your brother?" The answer was a resounding "anything". Which led Adam down the path he was on. The path that led to the present. But not before he had a brief encounter with a luscious Vampire that made him question everything his Enforcer instincts dictated of him. It is this same Vampire that comes back into his life, determined to tease and taunt the strong willed Demon into submission... and maybe a little fun along the way.

Jasmine had nothing in her life that really stimulated her. She was involved in the protection of most of the Nightwalker races, she had the ear of the Vampire Prince, Damien, and she was a skilled fighter on the hunt for her adversary, Ruth. She should have been well entertained even by Vampire standards and yet, she did not know why she continued to seek refuge in the ground for long bouts of sleep. The only time she had felt anything but indifferent to her long life was when she encountered a Water Demon who caught her interest immediately 400 years ago. Now, that same Demon is back and it is all Jasmine can do not to try to recapture their first encounter. She is not the girly swooning type. She has one goal above even the enticing draw of Adam... find Ruth and make her pay.

Ruth sees the end to the battle coming soon, as does the rest of the Nightwalkers. Nobody knows, though, how the end will turn out and whether any of them will be alive to see it. Jasmine and Adam must navigate the tumultuous waves of their Imprinting while also seeking a demise to their long fought enemies.

I loved the time travel aspects of this final installment of the Nightwalkers series. I liked that it showed how delicate time can be and how one little change can change the future, sometimes for the better and other times for the worst. I loved watching Leah explore her powers and find a way to save her parents while also bringing a highly skilled warrior into the fight against Ruth. The whole book of Adam was more so about these aspects than the budding romance between Adam and Jasmine. I never much liked Jasmine so this was absolutely fine by me.

Adam was likable but not to the extent that Jacob was. Not by half. Jasmine was everyone's favorite pain in the ass. The romance between these two was very much slapped together. I think Frank may have been more into closing up the battle between Ruth and the Nightwalkers than necessarily staging a romance between two characters. She, of course, had to include that aspect of risk losing all the swoony face fans in the process.

Where Noah was borderline erotica, Adam was borderline urban fantasy instead of paranormal romance.

Available at:
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Noah by Jacquelyn Frank @JacquelynFrank

Title: Noah

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The Nightwalkers #5

Publication date: September 1st, 2008

ISBN: 9780821780695

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The Nightwalkers have lived in the shadows of our world for centuries, gifted with abilities few humans can comprehend. For Noah, duty is all--until he meets the woman who is his destiny...

SHE WILL TAKE HIM BEYOND HIS WILDEST DREAMS.

As Demon King, Noah is dedicated to protecting his kind from their human and Nightwalker enemies. Yet for six months he has struggled with vivid dreams that threaten his very sanity. Every night he's tormented by images of a woman both achingly real and tantalizingly beyond his grasp. And his bone-deep need leaves him no choice but to force her to leave the life she's known and enter a world beyond her imagining...

Every day, Kestra risks her life in perilous missions that veer just shy of the law, but she instinctively knows that the imposingly sensual figure before her is a danger unlike any she's ever faced. Kestra has sworn never to trust or need another man, but Noah's lightest touch scorches her with fevered desire, branding her as his mate, blinding them both to the terrifying truth. For within the ranks of their own people lies an adversary growing in number and power. And nothing and no one will be safe again...

Desire awakens at night...

Review:
Noah was by far the most hefty book in the series. I was completely expecting the fight between the Nightwalkers and the Demon traitor to finally come to fruitition in this book. I was expecting Noah to find is way to his true love and mate, as does everyone in the other books did, and then find his way into defeating the enemies of his people and his allies. I was bouncing in my seat when I dug into the book, but was a bit surprised at what the material actually encompassed.

Noah has been becoming increasingly antsy around all the mated and Imprinted pairs surrounding him. He can't help but wonder what has become of the mate he was promised by destiny. Then the dreams begin. A first woman enters his thoughts and refuses to let him rest fully any longer. Her face is obscured but the body he craves is not. She always begins each dream trying in vain to fight him off, but ultimately their connection and feelings for each other always ends up overwhelming them both before they can't help but touch and be close to each other. It is only after the dreams immediately stop that Noah starts to worry and seeks help from Corrine, the druid mate of Kane who has the ability to track Druid mates for Demonkind. To Noah's shock and dismay, his dream woman who calls herself Kestra, has perished. It is up to Noah and his 2-year old daughter of the Enforcers and Demon of Time to fix this situation before it can even happen.

Kestra likes to make things explode. She likes her life how it is. No complications, no loyalties except to her coworkers, and no difficult relationships... except for the one with the infuriating dream stalker. As a mercenary she is born to be skeptical of the motives of all around her. The mystery man is no exception. To her surprise he comes to her rescue and saves her from what she knows was a very close brush with death. However, now that he is physically within reach she seems to continue to have issues keeping her distance from him. She feels inexplicably drawn to him and can't figure out why.

All the while, Vampire rogues are on the loose and they are a threat to every Nightwalker in existence. They are killing, feasting, and become more powerful every day. Noah knows it's only a matter of time before he comes for him and his reluctant mate. He needs to convince her to believe in this new world she has been brought into as well as in him as her mate. With Kestra's emotional baggage and Noah's fiery temper, will these two ever see eye-to-eye and find peace in their bond?

Out of the entire series that I have read up until this point, this one was the one I least liked. Noah, while a very prominent character throughout the rest of the books, did not come as a character I was anxious to get to know. I know that him being the Demon King should have held appeal over Gideon, the no nonsense medic, but for some reason he didn't. Add to that the fact that Kestra was frustrating, even to me, and it makes for a mediocre book in my eyes. As with any paranormal romance book, there is sex. Whereas in the other books it was kept to a scene or two, Noah's seemed to be riddled with it. That is something I would expect more out of erotica than paranormal romance.

But there were some good points. It was nice to take a little break from the evil that is the Demon traitor for once. Most of the books are all about the great love overcoming all the obstacles that the "big baddy" put in their way. This one has a little off-shoot evil that they had to handle. I liked getting away from Ruth for a bit. Every bad guy needs a vacation or some time to regroup. Nice to see she got it in Noah.

If Noah were not such a prominent fixture in the story line of the Nightwalkers, I would describe the book as a nice, erotica companion novel. Still worth reading, especially if you like lots of sex and lots of fighting.

Available at:
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Rome by Jay Crownover @JayCrownover @TLCBookTours

Title: Rome

Author: Jay Crownover

Series: Marked Men #3

Publication date: January 7th, 2014

ISBN: 9780062302427

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.

Perfect isn't in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever...

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for participation in a blog tour as well as an honest review.

I took part in a blog tour for the first two books in Jay Crownover's esteemed Marked Men series back in November. I fell in love with the men in her stories as well as the New Adult genre in it's entirety. I started reading nothing but New Adult afterwards. Knowing that the sequel to Jet and Rule was set to be released soon I watched all the various blog tour hosts I am subscribed to in hopes of the book being picked up for a tour. I was delighted to find that the same host that featured the first two books, TLC book tours, was also doing a tour for Rome. I e-mailed the host and begged to be let in on the tour to which she accepted. I had heard about Rome in the first two books but knew I wanted to know more about the eldest Archer boy. I knew there was more to him than just being the carefree man who loved his family and the military with all his heart. There had to be more behind the handsome mask.

Rome feels he was born to be in the military. He was made for leadership and he was made to be a warrior for his country. When a terrible accident results in him being discharged from active duty and the military entirely, he has no idea what to do with his life. He comes back to his family and feels they have all moved on in their lives without him. He doesn't know where he fits. He doesn't know how to accept the secrets his dead brother kept hidden from him even after his death. He doesn't know how to forget all the horrible things he saw in the wasteland of a desert he was working out of. Rome is a man with no future and a past that haunts him. His world is darkness and shadows until a bright light, in the form of a smart-mouthed tattooed pixie, comes to his rescue.

Cora has been hurt before. The man she thought was her end all turned out to be nothing but a philandering snake. Her life was in ruins when she came to work at the Marked with Rule and the guys. She slowly, after five years, found her way back to some semblance of a normal life. She had decided that the next guy she gets involved with will be perfect. He is out there somewhere and she is happy to wait as long as it takes to be with him. Rome is anything but perfect. He's damaged physically and emotionally. He would rather drink his troubles away then let anyone help him. Cora will not tolerate Rome or anyone else causing trouble for her family and she sets forth to rid Rome of his demons in any way she can. But as she tries to help him she starts to realize just how attracted to him she truly is. She is having a terrible time fighting off the feelings that keep bombarding her for the scarred soldier.

Rome and Cora are an unlikely pair. Cora is spontaneous and energetic, Rome is strict and consistent in the way he handles things. Neither of them expected to develop feelings for them let alone, nor did Rome bank on finding trouble in the one place he found solidarity with other ex-military. A young biker is unhappy with Rome's appearance in his domain and he will do anything he can to pay Rome back for getting him eighty-sixed out of his gang. Even threaten the woman Rome is starting to fall for.

I thought I loved Rule until I met Jet. Now meeting Rome, I think Jet and Rule have fallen off my radar. Rome is such a strong man with some really horrible demons. Cora is the balm the wounded soldier needs so badly. I love this pairing. Better than Rule and Shaw and even Ayden and Jet. With so many ex-military out there, it's hard not to see how realistic this story is. The struggles of transitioning from soldier to citizen as well as the night terrors and trauma related to simply witnessing death and destruction. I admire Rome and I admire Jay Crownover for creating a character that is so relateable in this day and age.

Rome is a harrowing story of the aftermath of a soldier who has gone to war and how he attempts to find a future and possibly even the love of a good woman.

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
January 8th: Nightly Reading
January 9th: Celestial Reviews
January 14th: Oh! Paper Pages
January 15th: Schmexy Girl Book Blog
January 16th: Ginger-read Reviews
January 20th: From the TBR Pile
January 21st: A Dream Within A Dream
January 22nd: The Bookmark Blog
January 27th: Cupcake's Book Cupboard
January 28th: Into the Hall of Books
January 29th: Book Marks the Spot

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the bestselling author of Rule and Jet. Like the characters in her Marked Men series, 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 that have interesting characters and make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs. 







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