#BookReview : Stealing Vengeance by Kaylea Cross
In Norse mythology, valkyrie (/vælˈkɪəri, –ˈkaɪri, vɑːl-, ˈvælkəri/; from Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”) is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. More recently, in the Marvel Universe, we saw them as Asgard’s mighty horde of female warriors. Needless to say, being a female and a feminist to boot, I’ve always been intrigued by this term (of course, the Tom Cruise movie on the Valkyrie protocol on the death of Hitler was another major factor). But FEMALE WARRIORS CHOOSING WHO LIVES AND WHO DIES, what’s not to love!
Thus, when I was approached by Kaylea Cross’s publicists to review her latest offering, Stealing Vengeance, about a top secret government program turning orphan girls into elite spies, very fittingly called the Valkyrie, I was immediately hooked. I put on my reading glasses and dived into a world of government conspiracies, a female force to be reckoned with, bodies dropping like flies, spying and counter spying, bloodthirst, betrayal and of course, righteous vengeance.
My love for Sir Ian Fleming, Dame Agatha Christie, Arthur Hailey, Alistair McLean and their ilk have upped my standards for thrillers, spies and whodunnits. I am pleased to report that Stealing Vengeance checks all the boxes in my strict list of ‘things that will make me read every book in this series’.
Kaylea Cross effortlessly weaves a crisp tale of pain and love interspersed with a deadly hunt where the best laid plans go awry and the best of intentions may be misguided. She makes us love the Valkyrie, despite the nature of their work, and loathe the Government for ‘creating’ them out of innocent children in the most brutal of ways for their self-serving purpose. And once their dirty task was done, the elite became dispensable. Left to fend for themselves, a saga of sisterhood, loyalty and romance is lived by these incredible women. Not to mention, I really like how the women take centre stage here despite the presence of strong, powerful men and how their characters are so beautifully depicted that they are in awe of these women rather than nursing bruised egos or asserting male dominance while saving damsels in distress. All in all, Stealing Vengeance makes me want to read all the previous titles in the main series while awaiting the sequel to come out. Ms. Cross, I urge you to hurry.
I don’t usually give ratings but I would go out on a limb and give this one 4.5/5 as it stands out amongst its genre. However, you don’t just have to take my word for it – here’s a sneak peak into the book for your eyes only!
She’s an expert at getting into places she doesn’t belong.
The government created Megan, transforming her into a Valkyrie—a deadly operative only whispered about in certain circles. They took everything from her and made her into a weapon. Now someone is leaking secret information about her sisters-in-arms, betraying them for money. Loyal Unto Death is the Valkyrie motto. So when Megan is recruited to find who leaked the files, she takes the high-risk assignment. Even if it means working with the man who betrayed her trust long ago. Even if it means giving her life. Because she’ll do whatever it takes to find justice.
But this is one situation she can’t escape from on her own.
Tyler Bergstrom never forgot the resourceful woman who escaped during the toughest phase of SERE school. So when he learns the stunning truth about her and his unwitting part in her past, he volunteers to work alongside Megan for a chance at redemption. Except she doesn’t want a partner. Doesn’t want to let anyone into her life, including him—hell, especially him. Yet whether she likes it or not, for this mission they’re partners. Now it’s a race against the clock to bring down the shadowy figure targeting Valkyries. But the threat goes deeper than they ever imagined. No one is safe. And if they can’t overcome the past and learn to trust each other, they’re both dead.
Today we are celebrating the release of a brand new romantic suspense title from Kaylea Cross. STEALING VENGEANCE is available now, and you will not want to miss this series! Be sure to follow Kaylea for exclusive updates about the book and the brand new Vengeance series.
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Stealing Vengeance (Vengeance Series, #1)
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PREORDER THE NEXT BOOK IN THE VENGEANCE SERIES
Releasing July 30
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.
FIND KAYLEA CROSS:
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A little late but here it goes – Sour #CoverReveal and #Preorder Details
Today we have the cover reveal of SOUR by Jennifer Woodhull! Check it out and grab your copy now!
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 4th
Tall, handsome, and eternally optimistic Noah has dated a string of gorgeous women. His best friend Elle has outlasted them all. Of course, he has no idea she’s been in love with him for years. Why would he? It’s not like she’s going to tell him. After all, she’s short and awkward, and as he’s fond of reminding her, has a sour disposition.
When Elle takes off on her annual ten-day vacation with her family, Noah comes to a startling realization. She’s the woman who is by his side day in and day out, whose office is across the hall, and whose house is around the corner. She has called him on his shit when he gets too cocky, and he has held her in her arms when her heart was broken. Absence must make the heart grow fonder because while she’s in Germany with her parents, he realizes that everything he has ever wanted was right there all along. Now he’s on a mission to make her realize that romance won’t ruin their friendship, but platonic friendship is ruining their relationship.
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I walk down the hall, and turn the corner into my room to find, to my shock and dismay, a wall of dripping wet muscle standing at the foot of my bed, toweling himself off.
I gasp, clutching my palm to the bare spot on my chest between the cups of my bra—thankfully, a t-shirt model that offers at least a little coverage. Hearing me, he turns, holding the towel just so that the most critical information is unavailable.
“Hey, you’re home!”
Noah takes three long strides toward me and leans forward to hug me. I put my palm out and it lands firmly in the middle of his perfect, muscular chest.
“You’re naked! You can’t hug me naked! It’s weird!” I exclaim.
“You’re naked too!” He argues, wrapping the towel around his waist and folding it into a not-very-secure-looking knot at the side.
I silently will the knot to fail and expose the only bit of Noah Adler that I’ve never seen, but sadly I still have not developed telekinetic powers, so nothing happens.
“There, better?” He asks, palms up.
He doesn’t give me a chance to answer and instead wraps thick, muscular forearms and defined biceps around me as he pulls me into his sculpted torso.
“I missed you!” He says, laying his cheek against the top of my head.
I wrap my arms around his midsection and look up as I give him a squeeze, carefully jutting my ass out so my belly doesn’t make contact with what I imagine is a sizable and delicious member beneath the towel he’s barely wearing.
“I missed you too. You should’ve come with us,” I say, closing my eyes as I do a happy dance on the inside because he came to see me after all.
“I’m not a Bailey. No Bailey family adventures for me,” he laughs. “But I am going to need you to tell me every detail, Ariel.”
I squirm away from him. “Well, that didn’t take long. I’m over missing you now.”
About the Author:
We all need moments of escape. With all the demands on us day in and day out, we each need something just for ourselves. Perhaps nothing provides a private moment – a brief respite from every day – like escaping into a great story. When you pick up one of my books I hope you find that place that you can escape to. Explore the streets of Paris with new heroines or fly around the world to reclaim your lost love with a favorite hero. Whether it’s the romance that takes your breath away or those climactic encounters that make your pulse race, I hope you find that solitary moment of enjoyment while lost in one of my stories.
Connect with Jennifer:
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Enter Jennifer’s Giveaway:
There are words
And then there are words
Written to stir souls
Spoken to ignite fires
Resonating with grit
And the force of desires
Some others still
Create lyrical melodies
Their harmonic composition
Curing fearful maladies
And all I can do
Is soak them all in
Read. It’s a good habit, I was told
But I gladly beg to differ here
Do more than read
Feel. Feel the essence of every word
And you’ll be one with the world.
The Girl Who Reads
They say she reads a little too much
Is disconnected from reality
Living in a whole other world
But it’s because she reads a little too much
That she observes a little extra
Thinks a little more
Sees through all pretences
Can even finish your sentences
Every shift in your mood she senses
Breaks every matter down to its basest essences
So, you see
She dances with angels
And tangoes with mankind
She feasts with the devil
And serenades its hellish demons
She brings about some semblance
Of balance and harmony
Because, my dear, she reads.
Wandered through the library
Between rows and rows of wood
Picking out books
Some new and some old
The pages were turned
Just the same
The smell of fresh ink
The musty tang of yellowness
Spines were cracked
Words were caressed
Between sips from a steaming mug
Half covered by the sleeves
Of a much loved, oversized sweater
With rips and run
Adding to it’s character
Glasses that kept sliding off
Were settled back on to the bridge of her nose
Without an ounce of affected annoyance
She sighed in perfect contentment.
Ah, what a blissful weekend it’s been.
Inspired by the quote –
She talked like a woman who knew more books than people.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
Featured image – Pinterest
Cover Reveal: From the Baroness’s Diary by Cristiane Serruya
About FROM THE BARONESS’S DIARY III: THE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS – Available 8/28
I’ve been trying to get away from one man, I didn’t think I’d end up with three.
I flee my abusive husband and travel to Italy to find Salvatore Di Luca, my long-lost love.
But the moment I set foot in Sicily, my life takes an unexpected turn: I meet Enzo, a dominant, broken-
hearted man, and we connect at first sight. I couldn’t have imagined he is Salvatore’s elder brother and
that they have a younger brother, Angelo, who thinks he is damaged for life.
It’s more than a trip. It’s a life-time journey.
All three of them want me and I want to heal their tortured souls and broken hearts. Before I even realize
what is happening, we are entangled. Yet I am still married and the darkness of my past comes crashing
down on us sooner rather than later, threatening more than our happiness.
But I won’t go down without a fight because my journey won’t be
complete until forever belongs to the four of us.
If you are a fan of a romance and drama, you will love this scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly gripping story which involves three alpha Italian knights who will do anything for their
baroness—oops, their Principessa. Buy this quick-blush, perfect bedside read by USA Today bestselling
author Cristiane Serruya now!
Please note that this book might covers sensitive topics to some readers.
FROM THE BARONESS’S DIARY III: THE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS releases 8/28 – preorder now!
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2LjQ3xW
iTunes – https://apple.co/2sWdJMW
Kobo – http://bit.ly/2K7UKKA
Nook – http://bit.ly/2MihzIk
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2KilS92
#ReleaseDay : Renegade Cowboy by Sara Richardson
Today we are celebrating the release of RENEGADE COWBOY by Sara Richardson. This is the third book in her Rocky Mountain Riders series. Don’t miss her ‘Cowboys for Christmas‘ giveaway event taking place all this week. Fantastic prizes are up for grabs!
Continue reading “#ReleaseDay : Renegade Cowboy by Sara Richardson”
#BookReview: Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins – Book Blog Tour December 6th-15th
Hello and welcome to today’s book blog tour stop for the Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins. This book series is a New Adult, post-apocalyptic trilogy with a twist. Very neatly divided into three parts, each having its own, distinct theme, the concluding part of which released on 5th December2017, this trilogy is a beautiful bundle of romance, conflict, intrigue, an unusual war and unlikely heroes (which includes heroines, FYI) tied together in an interesting plot.
Unknown begins quite unassumingly as a narration of teenage angst and unrequited love in a quaintly idyllic town of rural Nevada far from any untoward happenings. Until pandemonium strikes. The entire country is brought to a standstill when multiple bombings disrupt the flow of basic amenities and the government is brought to its knees. However, instead of cowering in fear and disappearing into oblivion, Amber Tate, a nurse, and the bleeding heart of the unrequited love mentioned above, rises to the occasion. Having lived a protected life hitherto, she finds herself right in the middle of the ensuing strife along with her friends and the object of her heart’s desire.
Wendy Higgins’ command over the flow of language and plot buildup ensure a seamless transition from romance to highlighting a strong, feminist protagonist as the heroine of a war-torn, dismantled country. Higgins’ fast-paced narrative is delivered in the first person by the characters itself, making her readers well aware of all the inner turmoil, emotions and conflict challenging the character, relationships and the resultant future of the protagonists. Personally, I found it to be unique from other post-apocalyptic novels due to the care given to setting the scene before chaos ensued. Having gone on this journey from peace to disaster to an unending zeal to survive (spanning a course of three novels), readers can see the growth taking place in every character and how that merges with the increasing complexity of the plot. In that regard, I found it to be a brilliantly penned series. The interplay of platonic romance and what could be, while in the midst of life-changing and world-changing events has been portrayed with a delicate, skilled hand without overdoing either nor favouring one over the other – Wendy Higgins has managed to strike a perfect balance.
Unrest, the second book in the trilogy, makes us delve further into the cause of bombings and a very suspenseful whodunnit as we are taken on a ride as to the true nature of the perpetrators. I would have said more on this issue, but it is very integral to the storyline and I would want this review to remain spoiler free.
The demeanour of the protagonist, Amber, the nurse hell bent on saving the world is reminiscent of Prim Everdeen of The Hunger Games. If she had survived the explosion that killed her, I believe the compassion, loyalty to the cause and sheer grit of Prim would be quite akin to Amber. You cannot help but feel for her and fall in love with her. Like I mentioned before, the first person narrative makes us privy to every character’s inner voice. Those of you who have read my works earlier must be quite aware of my advocacy for feminism. It was very refreshing to read about a female protagonist and discover her strong, undaunted voice through her own thoughts and not just her actions. Same can be said for all other female characters.
In this vein, Unrest can be termed as the most revealing book of the three. Not only does the quest for survival strip every character bare, revealing all their best and worst qualities, the reason behind the world-wide turmoil is also uncovered, so are the perpetrators. You can take it to the bank when I say that it is one of the best plot-twists in this genre. Some might find it unrealistic, but the completely plausible and detailed manner in which it is presented really goes to the quality of the writing therein.
I am extremely glad that I read the entire series in one go where I could overcome by anguish at every cliffhanger by simply picking up the next book. Because, trust me, there will be anguish. I commend those who had had to wait for the release of Undone, with bated breath obviously.
Undone begins like a sort of interlude, seemingly abrupt, like we have bursted into a room in the middle of a process already underway. The setting of this scene is the conflict of emotions inside what was chosen to be instrument of an infiltration into the human race we, and our protagonists, knew it to be. But this task and position of leadership weighs heavy on bahtan who finds the actions of his own kind to be somewhat inhumane, if I may take the liberty of using this word. What was worse was that he might also be guilty of falling in love with, or at the very least, sleeping with the enemy.
Wendy Higgins has continued to deliver with her wonderful mastery of human nature right till the very last instalment of this series. Never slacking, never confusing, yet covering a plethora of issues, plots and sub-plots, Undone makes for a delightful read. It also tests your loyalty to the characters as you can never decide who to root for, which couple to cheer for or who you would absolutely not want to die. Continue reading “#BookReview: Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins – Book Blog Tour December 6th-15th”
#BookReview: Words From an Unlikely Poet by Charlie Hasler
There are some books that make for bedtime reading and then there are those that give you sleepless nights. The good kind. These are the books that you shut every so often, close your eyes, take deep breaths and let the words seep in, commit them to memory and lay in bed pondering over them for hours on end.
Words From an Unlikely Poet is one such book. It is not everyday that one of your favourite bloggers comes out with his own book. Hence, I rushed to get my hands on a copy of it as soon as it came to my knowledge. Needless to say, I was very far from disappointed.
The book, an anthology of poems, is written by an unlikely poet who is anything but unlikely. Charlie Hasler’s way of writing is simple yet profound. He has a way of hitting the hammer straight on the head of the nail, while at the same, hitting a nerve in you. It’s the kind that lends a new perspective every time you go back to read it. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me a week to write this review after I finished reading the book last weekend.
I believe the best gift a writer can give to you is a piece of writing that makes you think. Charlie Hasler has done just that. His book covers it all, from the stark realities of life, to the inner turmoil and conflict each one of us faces, right down to the artificial, painted on, ephemeral nature of the world around us. Bordering on inspirational, some poems will make you rethink your way of life. Others yet, are funny in their own sarcastic, breezy way. Yet, each and every poem carries a message. A message for us to decipher from within multiple layers, or maybe multiple messages. I’m still solving them.
The writing is sublime and crisp. Not a word extra, not a line that doesn’t justify its existence in that exact spot. The book is a shining example of clean writing which easily engages with the reader.
My personal favourites from the beautiful poems contained in this book are ‘The Prison I Create’, ‘Burn On’, ‘The Climb’, ‘Guilt’ and ‘Discount Town’.
Not that I’m anyone to judge, but I rate this book a 5/5.
If you’re looking to get a copy of it for yourself, the links for both kindle and paperback editions are enlisted down below. Remember to let me know your views on it! I’d love to have a discussion.
Thank you for reading!