Ten Fingers Touching by Ellen A. Roth #Review

Ten Fingers Touching by Ellen A. Roth #Review

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Ten Fingers Touching by Ellen A. Roth #Review

Ten Fingers Touching by Ellen A Roth

two-half-stars
Published by: Inc. on December 10, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
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PJV Quickie: Ten Fingers Touching is a beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations on several pages that bring the story to life.  Unfortunately, the pictures were my favorite part of the book; the story was nice but didn’t keep my attention and I ended up putting this book down several times before I finished.

Review:
The story begins with Good and Evil making a bet that would end with Evil’s banishment from the Kingdom:

 

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If virtue exists, then nothing can come between two virgin lovers’ desire for one another on their wedding night,” he declared.  “Their passion will be all consuming and they will reach for each other above all else.”

 

 

Evil tricked the couple into reaching for a bewitched globe, more beautiful than anything they had seen before.  But there was still a chance for Good to triumph – if the couple had children, as long as neither child touched the globe before the second child turned 8, Good would prevail.

The story then moves to the lives of some of the residents in the Kingdom:  Princess Rosy, daughter of the King and Queen, Marianna, a maiden from the village who takes care of Princess Ruby, and Martak, who was raised in the woods near Marianna’s village.  What follows is a love story, an adventure, and a battle against Evil.

~~~~~

TFT 1When I received Ten Fingers Touching in the mail for review, I was excited – it’s beautiful! The artwork is stunning and gives the story a real ‘fairy tale’ feel, reminiscent of when your parents would read them to you as a child.  I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, Ten Fingers Touching was not a good fit for me.

The story is a novella, written in fairy tale form, and I think that’s what doesn’t work for me.  If it wasn’t for the references to ‘lovers’ and an attempted rape scene, this book would have been perfect for a child.  There’s not enough artwork for it to fall into the graphic novel category, and the story was not very in-depth because it was short, so it didn’t have enough pull to make me want more.  Also, while much of the mystery was revealed, I felt like there was a big ??? as to the fate of the original lovers when the story was over.

Recommendations:
If you enjoy historical fantasies with a touch of mythical good vs evil, you might enjoy Ten Fingers Touching.  I’d also recommend it if you like unusual or visually interesting books, it would be a beautiful conversation piece in any library.

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The Deal by Elle Kennedy #Review and Giveaway

The Deal by Elle Kennedy #Review and Giveaway

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The Deal by Elle Kennedy #Review and Giveaway
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: 2015 has been a kind year for me reading-wise; I’ve really been lucky in the selection of books I’ve read so far and have stumbled upon some really excellent reads. The Deal is sitting high on that list – I didn’t want to put it down and when I finished reading I sat there with a goofy grin on my face, replaying the story in my head.

Review:
Hannah Wells is a Fine Arts major at Briar University.  She’s shy and quiet; she has friends but doesn’t really go out or date – her focus is on school and work and the showcase she’s performing in as part of her major. When a hockey jock from her Philosophical Ethics (PhilEth) class starts bugging her to tutor him, she steadfastedly tells him she doesn’t have any extra time. Even though that’s true, it hasn’t stopped her from developing a crush on Justin Kohl, a football player who’s in her PhilEth class, but he doesn’t know she exists. It’s been a while since she’s had these kinds of feelings, though, and she’d kind of like for him to know she DOES exist – she could probably make some time for that.

Garrett Graham plays hockey at Briar University and signed up for a PhilEth class because it’s a notoriously easy course. The professor died right before the term started and the new professor is a hard-case who’s failing most of the class. Garrett needs to keep his grades up to play hockey and when he notices that she got an “A” on the exam, he decides he needs Hannah to tutor him. She’s immune to his charm and popularity, though, until he stumbles onto the fact that she’s got a crush on a football player in their class. Garrett’s solution: Hannah will tutor him in exchange for Garrett’s help getting Justin to notice her.

As they spend time together studying for the class, they start to realize that there might actually be a friendship growing between them, and maybe, something more…

(Trigger warning: There are some references to rape and domestic abuse that take place off-page)

~~~~~

I loved everything about this book, it was funny and sweet and sad and wonderful.  How do I love The Deal? Let me count the ways:

  • Swoony, smart-ass hockey player hero (I adore hockey-themed romance)
  • A smart heroine who has a talent for music (instead of the hero!)
  • New Adult (if you normally hate NA, don’t let that deter you here)
  • Frenemies to Lovers (yesssss!)
  • Angsty but not over-the-top (I love me some angst, but not when it’s ridiculous)
  • Sigh-worthy ending (oh yes, I sighed)

When was the last time you got lost in a book? The Deal is the kind of book where you just fall in right from the first page and the next time you look up hours have passed. It’s a book full of sweet sighs and bursts of laughter and a little bit of sadness, and when you close the book, you realize you’ve momentarily forgotten where you are. The phrase “lost in a book” was coined for books exactly like The Deal: you are so deep into the story that it takes you a minute to find your way back to reality.

Ms. Kennedy’s writing is excellent and she writes the relationship to slowly grow and change through the story; it has a natural feel with some surprises (and good and bad).  I was in from page one.  Reading along as Hannah and Garrett’s relationship grows and changes is like having a secret that no one else knows, and the anticipation of waiting for everyone else to be in on that secret is palpable. These two are so right for each other and the overall flow of the story is slow and sweet.

It’s not all about Hannah and Garrett’s relationship, they’ve got other stuff going on independent of each other and their characters are distinct from one another.  You wouldn’t think it would work, but it does.   As far as the secondary characters, there are so many characters that I want to get their own stories!  I love that “Wellsy” (he calls her “Wellsy” and it’s so adorable!) has a good support system; she has her fine arts crew that she hangs around with and he has his teammates, and they blend pretty well.

Before you think this book is all happiness and sunshine, there are some tough topics the author tackles – Hannah was raped as a teenager (not a spoiler as you learn this very early in), and there is also some domestic abuse happening in the story.

I should close this review with a warning: I haven’t been able to get into a book since I finished The Deal. I’m ruined!!!

Recommendations:
First off, I’m going to recommend The Deal to anyone who reads Romance; it’s that good.  If you liked  The Hook-Up by Kristen Callihan, or Allison Parr’s New York Leopards series, you’ll like this.

 

 

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The Giveaway:

If you missed your chance during our Flash Giveaway earlier this week, you might be in luck because Ms. Kennedy’s publicist has generously offered another e-copy of The Deal by Elle Kennedy for giveaway.  Enter via rafflecopter below:

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Flash Giveaway:  The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Flash Giveaway: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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Hey, hey, hey y’all!  Patti here…  I know it’s not the weekend but I have a special treat for you today:  a FLASH giveaway of an e-copy of Elle Kennedy’s new release: The Deal.  This book has been getting glowing reviews and I can tell you they’re well-deserved; I read The Deal in one sitting last weekend and loved it!  I’ll be posting my review this weekend, but today I have an e-copy to give away to one lucky winner!

The Blurb:

The DealShe’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

 

Sounds so good, right? And that cover – rawr! How about an Excerpt:

Thirty minutes before my shift ends, I find Garrett Graham in one of my booths.

Seriously.

Does this guy ever give up?

I have no desire to go over there and serve him, but I don’t have much of a choice. Lisa, the other waitress on duty, is busy tending to a group of faculty members at a table across the room, and my boss Della is behind the baby-blue Formica counter dishing out slices of pecan pie to three freshman girls sitting on the tall swivel stools.

I set my jaw and march up to Garrett, making my displeasure obvious as I meet his twinkling gray eyes. He runs a hand through his cropped dark hair and flashes a lopsided grin.

“Hey there, Hannah. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Yeah, fancy,” I mutter, yanking my order pad out of my apron pocket. “What can I get you?”

“A tutor.”

“Sorry, that’s not on the menu.” I smile sweetly. “We serve really good pecan pie, though.”

“You know what I did last night?” he says without acknowledging the sarcasm.

“Yep. You were text stalking me.”

He rolls his eyes. “Before that, I mean.”

I pretend to think it over. “Um…you hooked up with a cheerleader? No, you hooked up with the girls’ hockey team. No, wait, they’re probably not ditzy enough for you. I stick with my original guess—cheerleader.”

“Sorority sister, actually,” he says smugly. “But I’m talking about what I did before that.” He raises one dark eyebrow. “But I’m very intrigued by your interest in my sex life. I can give you details about that another time if you want.”

“I don’t.”

“Another time,” he echoes in a dismissive tone, folding his hands on the blue-and-white-checkered tablecloth.

He’s got big hands with long fingers, short nails, and knuckles that are slightly red and cracked. I wonder if he’s been in a fight recently, but then I realize the busted-up knuckles are probably a hockey player thing.

“I was at study group yesterday,” he informs me. “There were eight other people there, and you know what the highest mark in the group was?” He blurts out the answer before I can hazard a guess. “C-plus. And our combined average was a D. How am I supposed to pass this makeup if I’m studying with people who are as dumb as I am? I need you, Wellsy.”

Wellsy? Is that a nickname? And how on earth does he know that my last name is Wells? I never told—argh. Damn sign-up sheet.

Garrett notices my surprised look and cocks his brows again. “I learned a lot about you in study group. Got your number, your full name, even found out where you work.”

“Congratulations, you really are a stalker.”

“Nope, just thorough. I like to know what I’m up against.”

“Jesus Harold Christ! I’m not tutoring you, okay? Go bug somebody else.” I point at the menu in front of him. “Are you ordering? Because if not, then please go away and let me do my job in peace.”

“Jesus Harold Christ?” Garrett snickers before picking up the laminated menu and giving it a cursory glance. “I’ll have a turkey club.” He sets the menu down, then reaches for it again.  “And a bacon double cheeseburger. Just the burger, no fries. Actually, I changed my mind—yes to the fries. Oh, and a side order of onion rings.”

My jaw almost hits the floor. “You’re seriously going to eat all that?”

He grins. “Of course. I’m a growing boy.”

Boy? Nuh-uh. I’m only noticing it now—probably because I’ve been too distracted by how insufferable he is—but Garrett Graham is all man. There’s nothing boyish about him, not his chiseled good looks or his tall frame or that ripped chest of his, which suddenly flashes to mind as I remember the picture he sent me.

“I’ll also take a slice of that pecan pie and a Dr. Pepper to drink. Oh, and some tutoring.”

“Not on the menu,” I say cheerfully. “But the rest is coming right up.”

Before he can argue, I abandon his booth and head to the back counter to place his order with Julio, our night cook. A nanosecond later, Lisa rushes over and addresses me in a hushed voice.

“Oh my God. You know who that is, right?”

“Yep.”

“It’s Garrett Graham.”

“I know,” I answer dryly. “That’s why I said yep.”

Lisa looks outraged. “What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you freaking out right now? Garrett Graham is sitting in your booth. He talked to you.”

“Holy shit, he did? I mean, his lips were moving, but I didn’t realize he was talking.”

I roll my eyes and walk over to the drink station to pour Garrett’s drink. I don’t look his way, but I can feel those smoky gray eyes following my every movement. He’s probably sending ​t​elepathic orders for me to tutor him. Well, too bad for him. There’s no way I’m wasting the little spare time I have on a college hockey player who thinks he’s a rock star.

Lisa trails after me, oblivious to my sarcasm and still gushing about Graham. “He’s so gorgeous. Like unbelievably gorgeous.” Her voice lowers to a whisper. “And I hear he’s amazing in bed.”

I snort. “He probably started that rumor himself.”

“No, Samantha Richardson told me. She hooked up with him last year at the Theta kegger. Said it was the best sex of her life.”

I have no response, because I couldn’t care less about the sex life of some girl I don’t even know. Instead, I shrug and hold out the Dr. Pepper. “You know what? Why don’t you take his booth?”

The way Lisa gasps, you’d think I just handed her a check for five million dollars. “Are you sure?”

“Yep. He’s all yours.”

“Oh my God.” She takes a step forward as if she’s going to hug me, but then her gaze darts to Garrett and she appears to have second thoughts about broadcasting her terribly unwarranted joy. “I owe you so big for this, Han.”

I want to tell her that she’s actually doing me the favor, but she’s already dashing toward the booth to wait on her prince. I watch in amusement as Garrett’s expression clouds over at Lisa’s approach. He picks up the glass she sets in front of him, then meets my gaze and slants his head.

As if to say, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.

Buy Links:
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About Elle:
A USA Today bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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The Giveaway:

I have one e-copy of The Deal by Elle Kennedy courtesy of the author.  Enter via rafflecopter below:

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The Master by Kresley Cole #Review

The Master by Kresley Cole #Review

The Master by Kresley Cole #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
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The Master by Kresley Cole #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Kresley Cole has a gift for storytelling – whether it’s young adult fantasy, paranormal or historical romance, or an erotic contemporary romance featuring Russian Mafia heroes, you know it’s going to be good. And The Master is good. Really good. As soon as I finished the last page of The Professional I have been waiting for The Master – Kresley Cole has rewarded my patience.

Review:
Catarina “Cat” Marin is a woman who is running from her past. She’s got a list of six rules to live by that keep her safe. The most important rule: Stay in one place no longer than six months. Her six months in Miami is almost up and she doesn’t have enough cash to leave, so in desperation she agrees to fill in for her sick friend – as an escort – one night only and then she’ll have enough money to leave.

Maksimilian “Maksim” Sevastyan is a politician in his home country of Russia who also has ties with the Russian mob. (His brother is Aleksandr from the first book in the series, The Professional) He’s in Miami on business and has hired an escort for the evening – he’s requested the same type he always asks for: tall, blonde, submissive. What he gets is a fiery Latina who challenges him at every turn and surprises him when he realizes he wants to see her again.

When Maksim makes Cat an offer she (literally) can’t refuse, she knows it’s going to force her to break more than one of her rules, but he makes her feel safe and that’s something she hasn’t felt in a long time. Maksim wants to know her secrets, but keeping her secrets is what’s kept her alive…

~~~~~

Let me start off by saying that The Master should be sold as a ‘combo pack’: a copy of the book and an insulated cup to ensure you have a cold beverage nearby while you’re reading. (Seriously, Gallery Books, design a cool ‘Game Makers’ cup and I’ll buy it) Kresley Cole’s Game Maker series is, for me, pure escapist reading. I know I shouldn’t be lusting over mafia killers, but I just can’t help it – Maksim is so male, so alpha, so sexy! He’s the ice to Cat’s fire and when they get together I’m the one who melts.

Be forewarned, there is a LOT of sex in The Master. But believe it or not it moves the plot forward: these two spend a lot of time together and the intimacies they show slowly bring their characters closer together. That
being said, there’s more to it than just sex: throughout the story we get glimpses into Cat’s past and that kept me wondering what was going to happen to her and how she was going to get out of her situation and maybe stop running, because I knew there was no way she and Maksim could have a HEA with all those threads left dangling…and these two NEED an HEA together.

If you haven’t read the first book, The Professional, then you’ll be surprised by Maksim’s childhood; once you read about his childhood you will immediately see him as a more sympathetic character instead of an ice-cold killer. We also learn a bit about the third brother, Dimitri, who is the most damaged of the three brothers. I cannot wait to read his story!!!

Something else I liked about Maksim and Cat was that they both had different native languages and when they were carried away with passion (whether it be angry, frustrated, or sexual) they would blurt out things in their native language. And there is a LOT of passion between them. Every time she calls him “Ruso” (“Russian”) and he calls her “Katya”, I can hear it in their sexy accents and I melt.

Recommendations:
If you like erotica and romance, or elements of suspense, kidnapping, and a hint of mafia life, I would definitely recommend The Master. If you’ve read and enjoyed other books by Kresley Cole but want something with a little more ‘fire’, hit the 1-click button now, you won’t regret it!

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The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

five-stars
Published by: Self-Published on February 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
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The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

five-stars
Published by: Self-Published on February 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: More books like this please!  I was nervous when Penny Reid said “don’t expect this to be like my usual stuff” but I should not have doubted.  A nice blend of humor and intensity, The Hooker and the Hermit will be on my list of favorite reads this year.  (Also, once you’ve read the first chapter you’ll think the cover is awesome!)

Review:
Ronan Fitzpatrick is Rugby’s fastest rising star – a phenomenal hooker, maybe the best ever, but since punching out one of his teammates he’s also earned the title of ‘bad-boy’.  He doesn’t care about his image and he knows why he beat up his teammate – and would do it again – until he stumbles across Annie at the PR firm and wants to get to know her better. He hates social media but says he’ll work on his image…if she’s the one to help him do it.

Annie Catrel is a shy, borderline anti-social woman who works for a top PR firm and does her job well.  Annie loves her job because she can usually work from home, but she’s also got an ironic secret: she’s The Socialmedialite, a popular internet blogger who comments on the rich and famous.  When her firm puts her on the case of cleaning up the image of Rugby’s latest bad-boy – a Colin Firth look-alike with a gorgeous Irish accent – she can’t say no, and not just because her boss insists.

When they accidentally fall into a fake relationship, that’s when things start getting real…

~~~~~

Short version:  I loved this!

Long version:  The Hooker and the Hermit was hard to put down.  As a shy person myself, I could easily relate to Annie: her desire not to be noticed, being shy around even her co-workers, all of it. And then she has Ronan practically thrown at her (or she was thrown at him) – he’s famous and outgoing and all the things she’s not.  But somehow they work.  I thought there was nice character growth for Annie, thankfully not with a ‘magic penis’ cure-all.  Lest you think I’m having an All-Annie-Love-Fest, I loved Ronan too!  He was cynical and blunt and is surprised when he realizes that he genuinely likes Annie; I liked his character growth too and thought the two of them nicely complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  There were secondary characters that were supportive but not scene-stealing, and I liked that even though the set-up was external, the basic conflict was between Ronan and Annie themselves.

I should also mention that the sexy stuff was hot – even when there wasn’t any sex happening. <–Yes, you read that right.  Good stuff, I’m telling you!

One thing that I didn’t get was the little blurbs at the beginning of each chapter, they were supposed to be different ways to catch a celebrity on camera, but they kind of seemed all the same to me. Maybe I missed how they related to each chapter?  I don’t know…but it didn’t pull me away from the book so *shrugs*

I was already a huge fan of Penny Reid, and while I own a few books by L.H. Cosway, I haven’t read any of them yet. After reading The Hooker and the Hermit, I will definitely be going back and reading them!

Also, I really, really hope this one comes out in audiobook format, because I cannot wait to hear Ronan’s sexy Irish accent!

Recommendations:
Fans of sports romance, contemporary romance, sexy Irish heroes, socially awkward heroines and plain old good storytelling should enjoy ‘The Hooker and the Hermit’.

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