Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Trouble with Mistletoe Cover
ISBN: 9780062448040
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Source: Marketing Team
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

If she has her way…
Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her…

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.
Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him…

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice…
Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work…

The Trouble with Mistletoe is like a great batch of Christmas cookies: sweet, satisfying, and impossible to resist. Jill Shalvis ups the charm by a thousand in this second Heartbreaker Bay novel. Keane and Willa’s romance is both naughty and nice, has scene-stealing animals, fantastic friendships, and, best of all, Ms. Shalvis’s signature blend of humor and heart.

Willa has a huge heart and loves animals, the troubled “kids” she watches over, and her friends with abandon. She also has been hurt in the past and is worried about letting a man – particularly a man like Keane – break her already bruised heart. It’s easy to adore Willa because she’s likeable, joyful, and exudes warmth. She’s the kind of character you wish were real so you could have her as a friend. As for Keane, he made me melt. He’s one hot builder, but at first glance he looks like a bad bet for Willa. He doesn’t form attachments and doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would ever settle down. But when you peel back the layers of his character, you’re in for a surprise. Keane’s heart is just as big (and bruised) as Willa’s and the more I learned about him the harder I fell. He and Willa are a great match, but their fears, beliefs about themselves, and their visions of how life and love should be threaten to get into their way. It’s easy to get caught up in their story because Willa and Keane are appealing characters with excellent chemistry. Their love story is fast-paced, vibrant, sensual, and fun, making The Trouble with Mistletoe an excellent story to curl up by the fire with.

The Trouble with Mistletoe is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Elle, Archer, Finn, Pru, Spence, and Haley – Willa’s close-knit circle of friends – all play major supporting roles and add a wealth of humor to this book. They bring the world of the story to life and add a lot of spark to the book, but they never take the focus off Willa and Keane, which I appreciated. All in all, I absolutely adored The Trouble with Mistletoe. It’s a feel-good holiday romance that’s sure to entertain all year ’round.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author’s marketing team in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Goal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 4
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance The Goal Cover
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

She’s good at achieving her goals…
College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated
Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

Tucker, a sexy-as-sin college hockey player with a heart of gold, meets his match in the brilliant, determined Sabrina in The Goal. Elle Kennedy is four-for-four in the Off-Campus series. Every single story has been fun, steamy, and utterly engrossing, and this book is no exception.

I defy you to read The Goal and not fall for Tucker. He’s a hero worthy of the name: warm, funny, protective, intelligent, and has a heart as big as Texas. I can’t count the number of times Tucker made me melt over the course of the story. He’s patient and kind and has gentlemanly manners plus a spectacularly dirty side. In other words, he’s the perfect hero, made even more so by the fact that Ms. Kennedy never made him seem like a cardboard picture of perfection. With a hero as endearing as Tucker, you have to have an excellent heroine to match him and Sabrina fits the bill perfectly. I absolutely adored Sabrina because she’s got a sharp mind, works so hard my heart broke for her, and has an unwavering focus on achieving her goals. She’s also flawed, deeply vulnerable, and only a man like Tucker could break down her walls.

Since it’s in the book blurb, it’s no spoiler to say that an unexpected pregnancy changes Tucker and Sabrina’s lives forever. Sabrina grew up in a horrible situation and is single-minded in her focus to reach her goals and find the security and success she craves. Finding herself pregnant threatens to bring everything crumbling down around her. What I loved about The Goal is – even though they’re both mature for their age – Sabrina and Tucker aren’t unrealistic and the choices they make and paths they take aren’t easy. I was cheering for them every step of the way, wanting them to beat the odds. This is a story of change, and it’s an exceptional one.

The Goal has a lot of heart and that’s what really drew me to the story. Of course, I also loved the sizzling heat between Sabrina and Tucker. Nobody writes a wicked hero quite like Elle Kennedy, and you can bet Tucker has a naughty side. He and Sabrina have explosive chemistry and the emotion and eroticism were perfectly balanced in this story.

The Goal is the fourth book in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series, and if you don’t mind major spoilers for the third book, The Score, you can read Tucker and Sabrina’s story as a standalone. That being said, you’re missing out if you skip The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, because Tucker’s roommates and the women who love them are fantastic (and luckily for fans of the series, all play supporting roles in The Goal). I cannot say enough good things about Tucker and Sabrina’s book, and I fear spoiling the story if I go into any more detail. I will say that I was so captivated by this book that I was reading it late into the night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, then finished it first thing when I woke up the next morning – Tucker and Sabrina are just that addictive. The Goal made me smile, sigh, and it definitely touched my heart. I highly recommend this story to any romance lover!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Sci-Fi Romance Blood Red Kiss Cover
ISBN: 9781501142581
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Kresley Cole Reading Order
Larissa Ione Reading Order

Get ready for a collection chock full of vamps, demons, aliens, and plenty of sizzle!

In Kresley Cole’s remastered story "The Warlord Wants Forever," the first in her scorching Immortals After Dark series, vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth will stop at nothing to claim his Bride, the one woman who can make his heart beat again. But can beautiful Myst the Coveted accept an enemy vampire as her own?

Tehya has spent the last twelve years as an accidental wolf, but is truly a vampire at heart. When she gets injured, Lobo sneaks her inside MoonBound’s headquarters and nurses her back to health…with potentially deadly consequences. Desire collides with danger in "Forsaken by Night," a MoonBound Clan novella from Larissa Ione!

In Gena Showalter's Otherworld Assassins novella, Dark Swan, Lilica Swan isn't quite human or otherworlder; she is the best--and worst--of both. She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bond her life to his...effectively wedding him. But without consummation, the bond will fade. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

“The Warlord Wants Forever” (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) by Kresley Cole
Myst the Coveted is the most beautiful of all the Valkyries, the one her enemies have underestimated for centuries. Five years ago vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth made the mistake of doing the same and she left him in agony. Now he’s on the hunt to capture Myst and claim her. For she’s his Bride, and he won’t let the vicious woman who tempts him like no other get away from him again.

I fell in love with “The Warlord Wants Forever” a decade ago, and it remains a favorite of mine to this day! Myst and Wroth’s story is passionate, energetic, and captivating from start to finish. Not only is it the perfect introduction to Kresley Cole’s sizzling Immortals After Dark series, it’s an edgy, exciting paranormal romance all on its own. Myst and Wroth battle in bed and out and their chemistry is simply out of this world. Myst is sassy, fierce, and sometimes vulnerable, and it’s an appealing combination. Wroth is a hardened warrior who is her equal in every way, and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to become the man – vampire – Myst deserves. Their romance is tumultuous and engaging and no matter how many times I read it, I fall in love all over again. Myst and Wroth are a dynamic pair and the world of the Loreans Ms. Cole has created is vibrant and wholly addictive.

Please note: This is a revised edition of “The Warlord Wants Forever,” but none of the changes to the story were substantive.


“Forsaken by Night” (MoonBound Clan Vampires, Book 2.5) by Larissa Ione
Vampire Lobo was exiled from the MoonBound Clan years ago for breaking the rules using his skinwalker abilities. He’s been a loner ever since, his only comfort being his wolf, Tehya, who he found twelve years ago. His not-quite-solitary existence is turned upside down when Tehya is injured. Lobo is willing to break every rule to save her, but what will he do when she transforms and the wolf he adores becomes a gorgeous, tempting vampire?

I can always count on Larissa Ione to deliver a unique story and “Forsaken by Night” definitely fits the bill. I absolutely adored this fantastic romance that has an unusual beginning. Watching Lobo and Tehya’s love go from platonic to romantic warmed my heart. Both of them have suffered and have been shaped by circumstance, but with each other they find love and acceptance. Their love story is one of risk and sacrifice, and when you add in the sizzling heat between the two vampires, a dash of humor, and the utterly fascinating world of Ms. Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampires, and it’s easy to see why I found “Forsaken by Night” so appealing.

Readers new to the MoonBound Clan Vampires series can jump in with “Forsaken by Night” and not get lost. That being said, “Forsaken by Night” does contain spoilers for the first two books, Bound by Night and Chained by Night.


“Dark Swan” (Otherworld Assassin, Book 2.5) by Gena Showalter
Lilica was created and raised in a lab, and all that she has in life, all that she cares about, are her sisters. When she learns that Dallas Gutierrez, an Alien Investigation and Removal agent, is a threat to one of them, Lilica decides that she’ll stop him any way she can. Then something goes wrong – or incredibly right – and Lilica’s life is bonded to the tempting man who should be her enemy…

“Dark Swan” features two complex characters falling in love against their better judgment. Gena Showalter delivers an interesting pair in Lilica and Dallas. He’s an AIR agent who isn’t entirely human, and she’s a mix of numerous species with incredible abilities. Both of them have heartbreaking pasts and neither of them are quite what others believe them to be, so watching them come into their own was fantastic. Their bond is the catalyst for their change, but it also speeds up the process of them falling in love when all the odds are against them. It’s clear Dallas and Lilica are attracted to each other from the start, but throw in their sudden bonding and the sexual tension ratchets up a thousand percent. Add in some high stakes and tons of action with Lilica trying to save her sister and Dallas trying to save the world, and you have one exciting story.

“Dark Swan” is a novella from Ms. Showalter’s Otherworld Assassin series, but from my understanding Dallas is a supporting character who first appeared in her Alien Huntress series. Having not read either series, I can say you won’t feel lost jumping into “Dark Swan,” but at the same time it’s not as easy to become invested in the story when you aren’t really familiar with the world. There are also a couple of relationships outside the main romance that I felt I was missing out on the emotional impact because I wasn’t familiar with the characters. That being said, I did like the detail and was intrigued by what I saw in this story, so I’ll definitely go back to the beginning and start with Awaken Me Darkly, the first Alien Huntress book.



Blood Red Kiss features three passionate romances with wonderfully unique characters. Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter are all powerhouse authors and their talents are on clear display in this anthology. Whether you’re a fan of Mses. Cole, Ione, and Showalter or are simply looking to read some dark, seductive paranormal and otherworldly romances, Blood Red Kiss is sure to please.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Monday, September 19, 2016

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, Book 9
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy Magic Binds Cover
ISBN: 9780425270691
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Ilona Andrews Reading Order

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Battle and bloodshed are nothing new to Kate Daniels, but the stakes have never been as high – or as life-changing – as they are in Magic Binds. Kate and Curran are at their best when facing impossible odds, and that’s definitely the case in this fantastic, game-changing story.

All Kate wants to do is have a low-key wedding to the former Beast Lord she loves, gain control of her rapidly growing powers, and defeat her seemingly invincible father so that she and Curran can live happily ever after, only having to go after the average homicidal shifter or megalomaniac magical being. What she gets is a zealous wedding planner, a battle with her own dark side, and, worst of all, double-edged sword of a prophecy. Faced with two horrifying paths to take that will end in unspeakable losses, Kate does what she does best: aims to forge her own path, destiny be damned.

What I love about Magic Binds is how the story focuses both on the personal moments and the overarching storyline. Kate has to do battle not just with her father’s forces, but against herself and the temptation her growing power offers. Kate’s not perfect, and her flaws are what make her the perfect heroine. I love that it’s a struggle for her to stay herself when her own magic is what’s trying to push her in a different direction. If that wasn’t making her life hard enough, she’s got to change her fate and battle her father to do so. Roland – one of the most interesting, complex villains I’ve read about in a long time – throws a hell of a lot Kate’s way. Loyalties, friendships, and even Kate and Curran’s bond are tested and there’s no such thing as waving a magic wand to make everything better. The consequences of Kate and Roland’s actions are all too real, and I loved that the stakes were high and nothing was a guarantee. It’s difficult to talk much about Magic Binds without spoiling the surprises, because there are a number of fascinating twists in the story and each one is incredibly important to the tale. Suffice it to say that Kate Daniels fans are in for one hell of a ride.

Ilona Andrews really knocks it out of the park when combining action and emotion. But even with numerous heavy threats hanging over Kate’s head, the story never feels anything less than light on its feet. And fear not: Ilona Andrews’ signature brand of humor still gets its chance to shine. Kate’s highly unorthodox wedding planner still brings a smile to my face days after finishing the novel. In this story, the light moments and the dark are huge payoffs for readers invested in this series and I love seeing how everything comes together. My only complaint is that I now have to wait to see what happens next. I don’t know how many books are left in the series, but it’s clear that the countdown to the final battle is on and it promises to be one epic ride!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Playing It Cool by Amy Andrews

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Playing It Cool by Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Playing It Cool Cover
ISBN: 9781633757509
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Score one for the curvy girls.

Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.

Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he’s focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he’d been secretly ogling. What’s a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he’ll get his head back in the game.

But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.

Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…

Amy Andrews turns the heat on high in Playing It Cool! This second Sydney Smoke Rugby book is sexy, heartwarming, and features a hero and heroine who grabbed my heart from the start and didn’t let go.

Dex is a smokin’ hot rugby player who has worked his butt off to make it to the big leagues. He grew up poor and is holding tight to his work so that he’ll never go back. His determination fuels him day and night, which is why he wants to focus solely on rugby. Women are a distraction, but Harper hits all the right buttons for him. She’s a curvaceous Amazon who makes him drool, and when he sees her stepbrother insulting her about her weight, he can’t help but put the jerk in his place by asking Harper out. Harper is the kind of girl who has “commitment” written all over her, but what harm could one date do? Then he learns one date could never be enough, not with his impossible-to-resist attraction to her. I absolutely loved how Dex was head-over-heels in lust with Harper from the start. He appreciates all of her (not just her looks) and loves that he can be a normal person around her, not a sports star. That doesn’t mean Dex is a perfect hero. He screws up – badly – with Harper and puts his foot in his mouth more than once. Even so, I was rooting for him to pull it together, embrace life fully, and be the hero Harper deserved.

And speaking of Harper, she is definitely my favorite thing about Playing It Cool. I have a soft spot for heroines with body images issues, and Ms. Andrews really did a great job of making this part of Harper’s character without it defining her or overwhelming the story. Harper is a strong, talented woman with a big heart and a bit of a nerdy side. She’s got an absolute [insert your preferred curse word here] of a stepbrother and he and his equally wicked mother have been beating Harper down for years. Harper has confidence, but it does take hits, which I found realistic and only had me cheering her on more. I loved watching her come fully into her own over the course of the story. Harper doesn’t let herself be walked on and she’ll never settle for less than she deserves and that made her an absolute kickass heroine to me. And an awesome heroine like Harper deserves an excellent love story, and she and Dex have a red-hot one. The two of them own their sexuality and their chemistry is palpable – truly an excellent combination.

Playing It Cool is the second story in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series, but it can easily be read as a standalone (though you’re missing out on the fun if you skip Playing By Her Rules). I loved seeing more of the team and I can’t wait to watch more of those Sydney Smoke rugby players fall in love. All in all, I absolutely adored Playing It Cool. It’s fast-paced, hot, fun, and touched my heart at unexpected moments.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Governess was Wicked by Julia Kelly

The Governess Was Wicked by Julia Kelly
Series: Governess, Book 1
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Historical Romance The Governess Was Wicked Cover
ISBN: 9781501139338
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Elizabeth Porter is quite happy with her position as the governess for two sneaky-yet-sweet girls when she notices that they have a penchant for falling ill and needing the doctor. As the visits from the dashing and handsome Doctor Edward Fellows become more frequent, Elizabeth quickly sees through the lovesick girls’ ruse. Yet even Elizabeth can’t help but notice Edward’s bewitching bedside manner even as she tries to convince herself that someone of her station would not make a suitable wife for a doctor. But one little kiss won’t hurt…

Elizabeth Porter is a governess to two young girls with indifferent parents. She adores her charges, even though they’ve been acting out and feigning illness ever since their brother, the heir, was born. Of course, their theatrics do bring the handsome Dr. Edward Fellows to their door, and Elizabeth cannot deny the pleasure his company brings. She knows the doctor can never marry someone like her, but that knowledge does nothing to halt her attraction to him. The longer they are around one another, the more Elizabeth wonders what harm there could be in a stolen moment or two…

The Governess Was Wicked is a bit of a difficult book to review. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. Julia Kelly has a breezy writing style that made the story easy to enjoy, but unfortunately this is one of those tales that the longer I thought about it the less satisfying I found it. Elizabeth and Edward are perfectly likeable characters who have a lot of potential but are never truly fleshed out. They have an easy compatibility and it’s clear to see that they would suit each other well. So why doesn’t he ask her to marry him on page one? It’s honestly not too clear (aside from the fact that there would be no story). The difference in Elizabeth and Edward’s stations isn’t a big leap, and the other obstacles in their path are thrown up and knocked down with little rhyme or reason. They don’t always behave with logic or sense, and though that can work in a story, it has to feel organic and it never did. At the end of the day, The Governess Was Wicked wasn’t my cup of tea, but I did like Ms. Kelly’s writing enough that I’m looking forward to reading about Elizabeth’s friends in the next two Governess books.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Because I’m Watching by Christina Dodd
Series: Virtue Falls, Book 3
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense Because Im Watching Cover
ISBN: 9781250028457
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Christina Dodd Reading Order

She had survived, but she is still held captive…
Of her memories, her loneliness, her delusions. But are they truly delusions?


The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover's murder, Madeline Hewitson is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. At night, she works, writing and drawing the monster that slithers through her imagination, and living in fear of those moments when the doors of her mind unhinge and her nightmare lives in the daylight.

A seasoned military veteran, Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, and angry. Every day he lives with the guilt that comes from his own failures and the carnage that followed. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house--and his life--wide open. Forced to view the world outside, Jacob watches Maddie, recognizes a kindred spirit and wonders what she fears more than herself. Has someone caught her in a twisted labyrinth of revenge and compassion, guilt and redemption, murder and madness?

When Maddie's imaginary killer takes form, she fights, screaming her fear and defiance. But will she be strong enough to triumph, or is the killer she fears no more than a shadow, an illusion…that watches?

Because I’m Watching is an evocative suspense that’ll have you turning the pages late into the night. Christina Dodd has truly outdone herself, because this latest Virtue Falls novel is rich, atmospheric, and just a bit twisted.

Maddie and Jacob have been through hell and neither has quite come out. Jacob was a POW who suffered unspeakable mental and physical torture and he’s suicidal at the beginning of the story. Maddie saves him by almost killing him when she crashes her car through his house. She’s the first person who has captured his interest in years, and watching her, getting to know her, slowly brings him back to the world of the living. Maddie too is broken, tormented. She survived a massacre in her dorm, and just as she was beginning to heal her fiancĂ© was murdered. She can’t sleep, hallucinates, and is tortured by nightmares she can’t tell are real or not. It’s no spoiler to say that Maddie isn’t insane, but is being gaslighted. And while there really isn’t a mystery (to the reader) as to who is behind it or why, that doesn’t make Because I’m Watching any less suspenseful. Ms. Dodd makes you wonder how Jacob will come back to the edge and start to recover, how Maddie will survive her torment, and if these two will ever beat back the demons, both internal and external. Every step of the way danger lurks, and I was fascinated by the unfolding events. Even though there’s a love story in this book, it definitely isn’t like Ms. Dodd’s other work (which is not a criticism of this story, merely a note to readers familiar with Ms. Dodd’s older series but not Virtue Falls). Maddie and Jacob are truly interesting characters and I liked watching them come back to life and fall in love. My only small issue was that I wished the character development at the end hadn’t felt quite as rushed. At the same time, I can see that if it had been drawn out in a more realistic manner the climax wouldn’t have been as thrilling or the result as satisfying.

Because I’m Watching is the third full-length Virtue Falls book but it can be read as a standalone. The overarching world of Virtue Falls and the continuing story of Kateri Kwinault continues to be one of my favorite things about the series. Kateri stole the show for me more than once, and her story takes some interesting, unexpected turns, which left me incredibly excited to see what Ms. Dodd has in store for her. I was also left with a few questions about supporting cast members, but I’m hoping those will be answered in future books. All in all, I found Because I’m Watching to be dark, raw, and compelling and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen next in Virtue Falls.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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