In the Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling

Nicole Stiling’s latest novel gives us vampires. What is it about vampires that draws us in so much. Paranormal isn’t usually one of my go-to’s but this was a fun and well-written change of pace.

Megan Denham is in the wrong place at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. The 30-something realtor stops by a local gas station and walks right into an armed robbery. I won’t give away all the details but know, all hope was lost for Megan until something stepped in and saved her.

Our other main character is Angeline. Angeline is definitely not what she seems. The gorgeous veterinarian has secrets that she has kept for a very long time. She is drawn to Megan in a way she has not been drawn to another woman in ages. As the book progresses you learn of Angeline’s story, often through flashbacks. Stiling does a great job of giving you the history of this enigmatic character and how she become who she is today.

There is romance, there is a lot of action, history and well, vampires. It is a well-written book, my only hang-up is that at times it felt too rushed. There is a lot of detail coming at you in regard to Angeline’s character and her past life. That took away from the romance in my opinion. I would have liked more emotion between our leading ladies. It felt superficial in the love department. Lust, yes, I got that, true love, I needed more.

Overall, this was an engaging story that was a fun and exciting change of pace. If this book continues into a series, which I felt like that was the direction the ending gave us, I am totally here for it. Stiling is a great writer and I am so interested to see what direction she takes us next. Give this book a chance if you love vamps, history or you just need to switch things up from your regular les-fic.

3 out of 5 stars

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Cash and the Sorority Girl by Ashley Bartlett (Cash Braddock | Book 3)

This is the third book in the Cash Braddock series. I live for this series. Live. For. It! I love the paradox that is Cash. This amazing human being with her genuine spirit just pulls to me. On the flip side, she’s a drug dealer so there is there conundrum you find yourself as the reader in. It’s glorious. Totally love Cash, you get it.

In this one, Cash is still a CI for the Sacramento PD, and her handler Laurel, the detective she is head over heels in love with. Cash’s cash flow is stagnant, she wants to get back at the rival dealer that has snaked all her old clients, she has no idea what her future outside of dealing hold yet she is drawn to helping Laurel and her colleagues track down a fresh batch of bad guys. Ketamine is being used at the local university to drug and rape young women specifically at frat parties. It really hits the fan with Laurel’s younger sister, Lane is raped.

If I can say one thing about this book is that Cash and Lane’s friendship and their time together is breathtakingly beautiful and totally awesome. You really feel that bond come right off the page. Cash is there for Lane in a way not many people can understand. Of course, Cash and Laurel are amazing too. Their chemistry just pulls at you. These two have so much baggage and issues yet they get each other. Laurel is having hell with this case, her feelings of how to cope with what happened to Lane. It’s a lot but it is a great read. I desperately need the next one. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I am absolutely addicted to this series.

5 out of 5 stars

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Playing the Spy by Maggie Brown

Lies and deception is never a good way to start a relationship. It is a damn good way to start a romance novel though. Add in chemistry and a whole lot of sexiness and you have a book by Maggie Brown you just won’t want to put down.

Eleanor Godwin is a mega-star in Hollywood and beloved by many. As a household name, Eleanor has very little privacy and the small amounts she does have she guards fiercely. After wrapping up a punishing role, Eleanor is exhausted and ill from the toll she reeked on her body to get into character. She decides to return to her birth country of Australia for some much needed rest out of the public’s eye.

Our other main character is a journalist on the political beat. Sophie Marsh is forced by her editor to take an undercover role, as a housekeeper/cook to infiltrate the life of Eleanor Godwin. Sophie has no interest in Hollywood or reporting on entertainment news. Her sexist boss forces her to take the role or hit the unemployment line. The young journalist reluctantly agrees knowing that this is so wrong on so many levels and decides upon arrival at the private island she will not do harm to Eleanor Godwin’s reputation no matter what.

This adorable and sweet relationship blossoms from a reluctant friendship to an all-out burning love affair. The two main characters are delightful and you love them for their kindness and strength as well as the many missteps they make on their journey to happily ever after. You root for their success all the way through. A fantastic read!

4 out of 5 stars

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