Tell No Lies: Oyster Point, Book 2

Tell No LiesAuthor: Tanya Anne Crosby
Book Name: Tell No Lies
Series: Oyster Point
Order: #2
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Rating:  Okay


Blurb:  New York Times bestselling author Tanya Anne Crosby returns to the teeming marshes and crumbling plantations of Charleston, where a gruesome murder and kidnapping reawaken fears of a serial killer on the loose. . .

Augusta Aldridge believes in Ian Patterson’s innocence, even after he was arrested for killing two young women and mutilating their corpses. Because she was with him the night one of the crimes occurred, hidden in the shadows beneath a beachside pier, locked in a wild, unthinking embrace with the man whose dangerous fascination may have fatally lured the other victims. Now that another body has been found, the police suspect a copycat killer, but Augusta is sure they have the wrong man behind bars. She’s going to risk her reputation, and her life, to prove it. . .

Review:   As the second book in this series, I didn’t see any improvement over issues I ran across in the first book.  There were some problems with character history that ended up being contradictory between book one and book two.  Some were small, but not insignificant, like getting one of the victims last names wrong at one point.

Another was quite a bit bigger and really bugged me.  In book one we have a line about Augusta’s past…

“She’d traded the vice for both her smoking and drinking habits about five years ago, after she’d realized she was turning into her mother – running around permanently anesthetized and sucking on cancer sticks as though she had a death wish.”

Yet early on in book two we get this line…

“In that way, she was a lot like her mother, and if it weren’t for Augusta’s intense dedication to being nothing like Flo, she might have ended up a pill-popping alky like their mother.”

While they do not 100% contradict each other, there is enough there to throw a reader into thinking that they read something wrong.  The fact that there are multiple times in both books where Augusta is shown as drinking in larger than light social amounts either negates the first statement from book one or means that the second statement is more a lie she told herself.  Either way, they don’t add up to a solid background for her character.

As in the first book, I really struggled with the believably of the romance aspect of this story.  Augusta blindly believes in someone (who she doesn’t know jack squat about) who has been suspected of not just child molestation, but been ex-communicated from his church, as a priest no less, and been arrested for murder and the attempted murder of her sister.  Not only that but she manages to totally fall in love with him after only having been in his presence about 3 times over a few weeks.  Instinct and believing in following your gut only takes you so far and this takes me right into not happening land.

The other big issue I seemed to struggle with here, well more than one actually, are the number of times the police not only share important information about the case with public sources but they really jump to conclusions without really investigating and confirming the evidence.  The way the investigation and crime solving aspects of the story have been presented really made this one even harder to like than the first one.

I was also a bit shocked at where and how this ended, not so much the actual resolution, but the fact that we actually got one.  I really thought that this would extend into a third book as there are 3 sisters and we didn’t get anything of Savanah’s story.  There may yet be another book, but since the main part of the suspense line of the story got resolved here, I can say there is probably a good chance I won’t bother because the personal side to both book one and book two were lacking enough that a book three without the suspense/mystery line just won’t be enough to draw me in.

So, yeah, this was just okay, but even that might have been pushing it a bit.


Speak No Evil: Oyster Point, Book 1

Speak No EvilAuthor: Tanya Anne Crosby
Book Name: Speak No Evil
Series: Oyster Point
Order: #1
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Rating:  Good


Blurb:  Lifting the veil of secrecy on a grand Southern family in decline, author Tanya Anne Crosby explores the lives of Caroline, Augusta, and Savannah Aldridge, three sisters who share a dark past and an uncertain future. . .

Caroline Aldridge was surprised by the number of mourners at her mother’s funeral. Evidently the newspaper heiress who had caused her children so much pain was well-loved by everyone else in Charleston. Now she was gone, leaving behind countless secrets–and a few demands: Caroline and her sisters must live together for one year or lose their inheritance. And Caroline must take over The Tribune. But a killer is making headlines, and Caroline may have unwittingly stepped into the crosshairs. . .

A series of kidnappings and murders resurrect the sisters’ memories of their brother’s disappearance as a child–and Caroline fears she may be next. Yet in the midst of her turmoil, she may be rekindling a romance she’d extinguished long ago. With Jack back in her life and the tattered bonds of sisterhood slowly mending, Caroline hopes the family can restore its position in Charleston society–unless a sinister force beyond their control tears them apart forever. . .

Review:   There were things I really enjoyed about this and things that ended up being annoying because they hit on points that are kind of standard irritants for me.

Caroline’s character was flaky, indecisive and yo-yo’d on her feelings towards Jack to the point that it made it incredibly difficult to like her in any way.  Jack’s character didn’t seem all that genuine or believable to me.  He was pretty unprofessional as a police officer and after 10 years apart, he still is absolutely in love with Caroline.  10 years is a long time to be apart and still actually know the person.  People change at least a little bit in 10 years.  You would think that there would need to be time to get to know the person that they’ve become since you last saw or spoke to them.  It is even less believable when there was zero contact between the two of them in that entire time.  Both the wishy washy attitude and the long term distance, but still love the person no matter what issues are things that kind of drive me nuts.  Fortunately the romance aspect of this story wasn’t the main focus.

The rest of the story, the suspense and murder aspects were much better presented.  I had a few issues with what seemed to be a smudgy timeline.  There were points where it appeared that a whole lot more time had taken place between events, then another event would happen that would make that timeline shrink considerably.  I’m not sure if this was an actual error or if it was just written unclearly, but it was enough to pull me out of the story a couple of times to try and figure out what was going on.

While we got a resolution to the murders, there were quite a few details that were left unfinished.  Again, not sure if that was just a messy finish or if it is leaving the door open for book 2 to mess with what we got in this book.  I’m kind of thinking that it is the second option.  Actually, I’m really hoping it is because that would make this as a series a whole heck of a lot more interesting.


Beast Behaving Badly: Pride Series, Book 5

Beast Behaving BadlyAuthor: Shelly Laurenston
Book Name: Beast Behaving Badly
Series: Pride Series
Order: #5
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Rating:  Excellent


Blurb:  Some men just have more to offer. Like Bo Novikov, the hard muscled shape shifter hero of this wildly funny, deeply sexy new novel from Shelly Laurenston, part polar bear, part lion, pure alpha. . .

Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can’t get the smooth talking shifter out of her head. Now he’s shadowing her in New York, all seven plus feet of him, determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is. . .

Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it’s good advice, but he can’t leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness or his hunch that there’s more to this little wolf dog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn’t yet begun to fathom, much as he’d like to. She may insist Bo’s nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she’ll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it’ll be worth the wait. . .

Review:   This was another reread for me.  I seriously needed something I knew I was going to enjoy so this was a perfect choice.  There are quite a few books in this series that I like, but Blayne is probably one of my favorite characters of the series, so I had to pick her book for this reread.

My first time around reading this book when I hit a part that had my hubby looking at me like I’d lost my mind because I busted out laughing, I knew that wouldn’t be the only time I’d read this book.  It is so rare for any book to crack me up like that.  I’m not really sure any other book or series has even come close.  These, I’m snorting and cackling and laughing the whole way through.

Blayne is insane.  Seriously, crazy, but in such a cool way that if you had the chance you would totally be her.  Everyone thinks she is this cute, crazy, but harmless girl and she normally is.  Do not ever piss her off, though, or that crazy turns into something not so cute and very deadly.  I love that she can be an absolute ditz but that isn’t all she is.  Bo is his own brand of crazy.  When paired with Blayne, you’d think that they were completely wrong for each other, but they absolutely work.

In a way, I’d kind of forgotten how much I loved this series.  Every single character is really their own brand of crazy.  I love how this shifter world creates an environment where all the things we wish we could do in the real world, but don’t for societies sake is totally okay for these shifters.  Like that jackass that pissed you off by cutting you off in line?  It is totally okay to shove them on their ass and stomp on them on your way by.  What better way to get out your aggressions than with shifter roller derby or shifter hockey?

I don’t have this series in my personal collection, but after this reminder I think it might just have to go towards the top of my wish list because just one read isn’t going to be enough.


Reaper’s Legacy: Reapers MC, Book 2

Reaper's LegacyAuthor: Joanna Wylde
Book Name: Reaper’s Legacy
Series: Reapers MC
Order: #2
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Didn’t Like


Blurb:  Eight years ago, Sophie gave her heart—and her virginity—to Zach Barrett on a night that couldn’t have been less romantic or more embarrassing. Zach’s step-brother, a steely-muscled, tattooed biker named Ruger, caught them in the act, getting a peep show of Sophie he’s never forgotten.

She may have lost her dignity that fateful night, but Sophie also gained something precious—her son Noah. Unfortunately, Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving Ruger to be Noah’s only male role model. When he discovers Sophie and his nephew living in near poverty, Ruger takes matters into his own hands—with the help of the Reapers Motorcycle Club—to give them a better life.

Living with outlaw bikers wasn’t Sophie’s plan for her son, but Ruger isn’t giving her a choice. He’ll be there for Noah, whether she wants him or not. But Sophie does want him, has always wanted him. Now she’ll learn that taking a biker to bed can get a girl dirty in every way…

Review:   I’m not sure if I’ve just read one too many books where the male character isn’t so much an alpha male but rather a domineering ass, but I just didn’t like this.  If I were to rate soley on writing ability or style, this would have a much higher rating because it is well written.  I just really didn’t like the characters in this at all.

Yes, I have read other Joanna Wylde books and liked them okay, but I think I’ve just had enough.  I’m kind of tired of reading books where the only redeeming factor for the guy is that he is hot and good in bed or where the female loses every last brain cell when sex is involved and cannot manage to think for herself.  I just do not find that attractive or sexy in any way.

I’ve read my share of MC romance novels.  I’ve really enjoyed some of them, but a chunk of them are like this one.  I get that this is probably pretty realistic for the culture, maybe even sugar coated for entertainment.  That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like to see what I consider hugely unhealthy relationships where the guy is essentially a bully and the girl is a doormat.  Sadly, this book falls right into that slot and I just didn’t enjoy it because of that.

In this book in particular, just because Ruger finally agrees to not be a dick and to no longer sleep around (after demanding that Sophie not even look at anything with a dick) that doesn’t change the fact that he believes that it is totally okay to have that kind of a relationship.  He is still a dick, just one willing to keep it in his pants with anyone but Sophie, and she is still a doormat because even though his lifestyle put her life at risk, she is willing to accept that even if that lifestyle also puts her son at risk because he is good in bed and willing to bury the bodies.

If that is the kind of thing you enjoy, then by all means, this is a great book.  It just wasn’t for me.

I will also note that a large part of this book happens at the same time as Devil’s Game (which is marked as #3 in this series), which I have already read.  You don’t need to read either in any particular order, but it will kind of feel like you’ve already read a lot of bits even if they come from different perspectives.  That may have contributed to the not so awesome feelings I had for the book because it did feel like there was a lot of repeat going on.

A Red-Rose Chain: October Daye, Book 9

A Red-Rose ChainAuthor: Seanan McGuire
Book Name: A Red-Rose Chain
Series: October Daye
Order: #9
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Rating:  Excellent


Blurb:  Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Review:   As a series, this has all the pieces need for an excellent fantasy book.  Incredible, richly crafted world, amazing characters with loads of depth on both the good and the bad side, and intricately built stories that keep readers interested from the start and never leave them bored for even a moment.

This addition to the October Daye series is no exception.  I have always loved October’s character as she is totally imperfect but is strong enough to both stand on her own and accept help in the times she needs it.  We continue to see that in this book, especially with her relationship with Tybalt.  He has power and strength of his own, but chooses to use that in support of Toby rather than to make her do what he wants or put her on a lower footing than him.  This is an example of a balanced relationship that you so very rarely see in any genre of story that it puts this into a special category all by itself.

Even though it had been a while since I last read a book in this series, I had no problem dropping right back into the story.  I didn’t even really have too many issues with trying to remember bits of the previous stories, which is another nice aspect to this series and how it is written.

This is one of those stories that I have a somewhat difficult time articulating what I liked about it because I honestly pretty much loved the whole thing.  The only even remotely negative thing I can say is that it ended way before I was ready to leave that world behind.  I just want more.


Covet: Tracey Garvis Graves

CovetAuthor: Tracey Garvis Graves
Book Name: Covet
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Okay


Blurb:  What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.

Review:  When I skipped over this several times in favor of other books on my to read list, I should have taken the hint that this one probably wasn’t really one I was going to like much.  I’m not a fan of books on infidelity, but I’ve read a few that write it in a way that is really interesting and thought provoking.  This wasn’t one of those books.

This had a few things with regards to the secondary characters and a few scenes with them that were really kind of ridiculous and at least one or two that made Claire seem like such a pushover.  Sorry, but no one should ever touch another person without permission in the first place, but to do so and not get a knee to the balls and an in your face confrontation just doesn’t work for me.  Not only did she not do anything, she maintained a friendship with those characters.  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my book.

I’m not one of those types that thinks that once you’ve married someone, you have to stick with it no matter what.  If there are problems, absolutely, work through them.  If you can’t, then you do what you need to do to move on to a healthy relationship.  I absolutely do not agree with becoming involved with another person while you are still married to another person.  If you find that you are drawn to someone, for whatever reason, that isn’t your spouse, then you need to think long and hard about why that is and see what you need to do about it.  Use it as the wake up call that something in your relationship isn’t right.  You do not pursue it until you are free to do so

This book hits a few gray areas in how I feel about that kind of situation and I honestly didn’t like the characters because of that.  It speaks really highly about Claire’s character that she’d get into any kind of relationship, even if it wasn’t ever physical, instead of having the conversation with her husband that needed to be had to attempt to resolve her issues.  It makes her seem shallow and unwilling to do any actual work, she only wanted the easy way.

The issue with Chris’ job and the travel kind of pissed me off as well.  Yes, you absolutely have to do what you have to in order to take care of family, but you still always have choices.  His choices seemed to be more about keeping his social status than actually doing what was best for his family.  Again, this makes the character seem shallow and materialistic.

Daniel doesn’t come across as any better than the rest because he knowingly pursued a woman that was married.  Sorry, no excuse at all.  It would have been different if he didn’t know, but he did.  That and it seemed a bit crazy that the main reason for his attraction was that Claire reminded him of his ex-wife.  That is really kind of twisted.

Even with all of those things that bugged the crap out of me about this story, the rest was just very slow and not all that interesting.  If I could manage to set aside my personal feelings on the subject, I’d say that this was a decent story, but far from great.  As it stands, this was really just kind of a lukewarm story that didn’t have much to make it worth my time.

The Enchantment Emporium: Gale Women, Book 1

The Enchantment EmporiumAuthor: Tanya Huff
Book Name: The Enchantment Emporium
Series: Gale Women
Order: #1
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Rating:  Really Good


Blurb:  Alysha Gale is a member of a family capable of changing the world with the charms they cast. Then she receives word that she’s inherited her grandmother’s junk shop in Calgary, only to discover upon arriving that she’ll be serving the fey community. And when Alysha learns just how much trouble is brewing in Calgary, even calling in the family to help may not be enough to save the day.

Review:  There were a lot more things about this book that I liked than I didn’t, but it was a frustrating read because there is a whole heck of a lot that is left really vague.

Obviously, the Gale family has some form of magic available to them, even a bit of shape shifting for the men, but we never actually know what they are or get a more definitive understanding of what they are capable of so you never really understand why they are a power that is so heavily respected by others.  You see examples of that power, but you are never allowed to actually understand it.  There is a kind of throw away comment made by the bad guy at one point that may hint at a history, but it is done in a way that you can’t exactly take is seriously.

It is also left pretty far open and unclarified, but heavily suggested that there is a level of non-monogamous relationships in the gale family.  Again this is left implied, but vague because there are apparently exceptions to that rule.  Oh and there isn’t an actual sex scene in the book (which seems a little odd for a group of characters that are apparently highly sexual) and that only emphasizes the heavily suggested and implied.  Not only is there a level of open sexuality, but those open sexual relationships appear to exist between cousins as well.  It doesn’t outright say it, but again, heavily implied (which kind of felt way on the ick side to me).  All of that kind of just muddied the waters of what is already a vague set up for the Gale family and their dynamics.

There was a bunch of random jumping from character perspective to character perspective and it wasn’t always something that the reader could even easily determine which character’s perspective they were getting, at least for the first 1/3 of the book or so.  After that, character identity was a bit easier to pick out, but it made it difficult to get into the story early on.

All of that said and once you got past the vagueness to the parts that were clear, I really did love the story and what I could figure out of the main characters.  The world created here is intriguing and I want to know a lot more about it than what I got in this one book.  Same thing with some of the secondary characters.  I’m just hoping that book 2 clears some things up.

Far Gone: Laura Griffin

Far GoneAuthor: Laura Griffin
Book Name: Far Gone
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Rating:  Really Good


Blurb:  Police detective Andrea Finch is a rising star in her department until a split-second decision derails her career. Disgraced and disillusioned, she’s on leave from her job when she gets an urgent call from her younger brother. She’d prefer to ignore his latest plea for cash, but this time instinct tells her something is very wrong. Andrea’s search for answers takes her to a dusty Texas border town where danger lurks in plain sight and nothing is quite what it seems.

FBI agent Jon North is working undercover in west Texas, investigating an unsolved murder that may be linked to a terrorist plot. But when the evidence points to Andrea’s brother, Jon finds that persuading the stubborn cop to help will be harder than cracking his toughest case.

Andrea must find a way to do what’s right while protecting her only sibling. As the clock ticks down, Andrea and Jon race to confront a heartless killer who will stop at nothing to deliver a final, terrifying message.

Review:  There were a couple of places where this stretched the believability factor a bit with some of the scenarios, but this was still a pretty entertaining read.  I got deep enough into the story that those little blips didn’t really pull me out at all so I don’t think they are worth picking over.

This is definitely more suspense than romance and the romantic parts that do pop up notch in pretty well with the rest of the story.  Though the overall timeline here doesn’t take up more than maybe a few weeks, the romance isn’t an insta-love thing.  Attraction, definitely, but not deep, everlasting love in that time frame.

I’d say my least favorite part was that this finished and resolved a little too perfectly clean.  I love it wasn’t a bad guy reveals all in the end, but it was still wrapped up in this nice tidy bow and the main characters both come out totally unscathed.  Heck almost every single character, good or bad, came away pretty clean.  One person got roughed up, that was it.  Something with this intense of a plot really kind of needs to have the people in it get dirtied up a bit.

Thoughts on Author Kristen Ashley

Reading Heaven and Hell, by Kristen Ashly opened my eyes to something that has been bugging me with the last several KA books I’ve read.  It took a while because I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but with this book, I finally figured it out.

While she writes these amazing, badass alpha males, they are all pretty chauvinistic.  It is most often done in such a way that they are still damn hot and sexy, which is one of the things that kept bugging me because I don’t find that kind of behavior sexy.  There are parts of all of these alpha males that I absolutely adore, but a lot of times, that gets pushed to the side because of the attitude.  The female characters also have their own issues that I don’t normally like and how they act and respond to those alpha males really emphasizes that chauvinism.

When taken as a whole, the majority of female characters in KA books, while spunky, quirky and, on the surface, pretty cool, they are also most often the stereotypical heroine that ultimately needs someone to take care of her and rescue her.  They also often seem like they are bordering shallow and flighty.  No matter what strengths she may have, she is rendered weak when put up against these serious alpha males.  They talk over the female characters, are almost always right and have some reasonable, rational, logical response to every concern that the females may raise, making them seem irrational, over reacting, or even bitchy and that makes those thoughts, feelings or concerns seem frivolous.

As a standard (and there are exceptions to every rule), the female characters are the ones to compromise or give in.  Heaven and Hell is a good example of that as really the only compromise the male character allows in the entire story is the biggie in the end.  Sure, it is huge and important, but the smaller, every day compromises are just as important as the biggies.  Again, not always, but so often these books seem to be carried on the solid personality of the alphas, even if they are chauvinistic, and only a bit on the quirky of the females.  There just aren’t that many female characters that come across as truly strong.

This creates a power imbalance in the relationships between the male and female characters.  Not once have I read a KA book where there is a true balancing of that power.  When it comes to the “man’s world” aspects of the relationships it is always the man’s way or the highway with zero room for compromise.  I am not usually a fan of this huge divide between men and women in romance.  I see no reason why you can’t have these amazing, protective alpha males that still balance and support the strengths of the females, making them stronger instead of making them seem weak and unable to stand alone while also not emasculating or lessening the power of that alpha male because she would in turn balance and support him.

So why is it that I have, and still mostly do, love Kristen Ashley?  In a lot of ways, it isn’t the characters, as I’ve seen often enough, there are lots of aspects that I don’t like about her characters, yet I still love them.  It is the way she writes them, infusing them with huge, gut snagging emotions that make them so incredibly real.  The histories she wraps those characters in and the fact that they are so far from perfect they can only be human makes it impossible not to connect with them.

It is because of the realism and beauty that she manages to weave into every story that I keep coming back and why I still love the stories even if I don’t always love the characters or what they represent which kind of makes me hate that I like them in the first place.  There is such a uniqueness to her style and how she writes that just draws you in no matter what.  That is kind of difficult for me to understand.  How can I love a story but not so much the characters, even sometimes when I feel like the story may be missing something?  It doesn’t seem rational or logical, but it just is.

The last several KA books that I’ve read have been really difficult for me to rate and review because there are quite a few things that I love and hate about them so it is incredibly hard to figure out where it falls in the grand scheme of things.  I’d have to say that I’d still rate Kristen Ashley as my favorite romance author because what she writes always hits strong.  I’d even say that a few of her characters are some of my favorites, but I don’t actually like her characters (at least parts of them) most of the time.

It’s kind of crazy, but even with the things that I’m not such a fan of, I’ve yet to find another romance author that I like they way I do Kristen Ashley.  It would be beyond awesome to get the kinds of characters I know I’d love wrapped up in the kinds of stories KA writes, they way she writes, but that is probably expecting something like perfection and not even our favorite authors are capable of that.

Heaven and Hell: Kristen Ashley

Heaven and HellAuthor: Kristen Ashley
Book Name: The Promise
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Really Good


Blurb:  After making a bad decision when she was very young, Kia Clementine finds herself in hell. Then, suddenly, within the time it takes for a shotgun to blast, her hell changes. Completely. Then out-of-the-blue she sees Sampson Cooper, her celebrity crush. A man the whole world knows is decent. A man the world knows is loyal. A man the world knows is good. All of these very unlike her now dead husband.

He’s sitting at a table right next to hers. And she catches his eye.

Terrified of the interest Sam shows in her, Kia finds the courage to go out with him. Not long after, she shares her dark secrets and Sam shares that he’ll stop at nothing to gain her trust.

As Sam leads Kia to heaven, Kia realizes that Sam is living his own hell. But although he gives her beauty and she gives him everything, he withholds his trust.

Even with all the beauty Sam shows her, Kia wants it all. But Sam forces Kia to make a heartbreaking decision and only she can decide. It’s all or nothing.

Review:  I came to some realizations while reading this book, but are a bit too in depth to put into a review, so I’ll be writing up a separate post on that.   As for this…

This is what I’ve decided is classic KA writing with yet another serious alpha male.  I’m not as big of a fan of these characters as I have been in many other KA books, but they are still good.  This definitely had its sweet moments.

I did find the underlying plot in this with regards to the hit put out on Kia to be a bit underwhelming and kind of an afterthought.  I think I would have liked for this to have had a bit more focus and not such an anticlimactic resolution.

In all, though, this was another really good story that brushed the edges of a couple of other series KA has written without being a direct part of any one of them.


Tex: Burnout, Book 2

TexAuthor: Dahlia West
Book Name: Tex
Series: Burnout
Order: #2
Genre: Romance/Erotic
Rating:  Good


Blurb:  Abby Raines is leaving Las Vegas. She’s trading the glitter and excess of her hometown for the rolling hills and lush forests of Rapid City, South Dakota. She’s taken her first real job and she’s determined to succeed on her own.

Mark Marsten traded the Texas range for the Army Rangers years ago and never looked back. Now, he’s settled permanently in Rapid City with the remaining members of his Special Forces unit. He thought he had it all, well almost anyway. Until a sassy redhead with a sharp tongue and body to die for rolled into town.

Mark knows he’s too much for her long-term, but he can’t resist a fling with Rapid City’s newest resident. He thought he knew the game. After all, it’s his game. And always his rules. But more and more it feels like Abby is the one holding all the cards.

Burnout is a series but each novel can stand alone on its own. You do not have to read Tex to enjoy the others. It is the only novel in the series with BDSM. If you don’t like BDSM skip this one. Fair warning: the kink factor is extremely high.

Review:  This was a reread for me, so not a new one.  For hotness/sexy factor, this rates pretty high, but there are parts that push my comfort level beyond something I find sexy and that puts the overall rating down for me.

Both Mark and Abby are pretty decent characters, but don’t have a depth that I’ve found in other books in the same genre.  This is definitely one of those stories that has a whole lot more steam than story, though what story there is is good.

As a second read, I ran across more things that kind of bugged me than I noticed on the first round so I don’t think I liked this as much as the first time I read it.  If you are in the mood for hot and steamy that pushes some serious boundaries on the kinky scale, this would be a good choice.  If your looking for a deep emotional story, might skip this one.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona: Playing the Fool, Book 1

The Two Gentlemen of AltonaAuthor: Lisa Henry & JA Rock
Book Name: The Two Gentlemen of Altona
Series: Playing the Fool
Order: #1
Genre: Romance/LGBT/Suspense
Rating:  Really Good


Blurb:  Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page — the world’s most irritating witness — alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law…though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

Review:  This has a wonderful blend of story and characters, funny and serious with a little bit of dorky and cute and vulnerable.  I really fell in love with both Mac and Henry and am so glad that their stories aren’t done yet even if I was left hanging at the very end.

The different aspects of this story are pretty well balanced out.  The focus isn’t too heavy on just the suspense or the romance.  This was a bit of a surprise for me as that seems to be something of a rarity in this genre, at least as far as I’ve seen.  I’m definitely going to be grabbing the next one in this series.

Edge of Sight: Guardian Angelinos, Book 1

Edge of SightAuthor: Roxanne St. Claire
Book Name: Edge of Sight
Series: Guardian Angelinos
Order: #1
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Okay

Blurb:  The killer she can’t escape . . .
The heartbreak she can’t forget . . .

The one man who can stop them both.

When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won’t provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he’s equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston ‘s darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot…

Review:  There really wasn’t anything about this book to make it stand out.  The story was okay, the characters were decent, but really nothing that made it more than that.  Sorry for the short and sweet on this one, but I just didn’t really feel much about this one way or another.

To Have and To Hold: Nalini Singh

To Have and To HoldAuthor: Nalini Singh
Book Name: To Have and To Hold*
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Good


Blurb:  The pact Jessica Randall makes with wealthy New Zealand rancher Gabe Dumont is simple: in exchange for marriage and an heir, he will save her family property. It’s calculating and completely devoid of any tenderness, just like the man himself. But things soon get very complicated as secrets and mistrust, jealousy and ultimatums take over, threatening Jessica’s ability to maintain her emotional distance. Worst of all, the sizzling attraction between them is suddenly making this marriage of convenience decidedly inconvenient!

A Reader Favorite Story originally published as BOUND BY MARRIAGE.

Review:  This has a very different style when it comes to a Nalini Singh book and I struggled with trying not to hold it up to all the others of hers that I’ve read and loved.  Even knowing the voices she uses in her two fantasy series and her Rock Kiss series are very different from each other, they still have this underlying unity that allows a reader to know it is a Nalini Singh book.  I had a very difficult time picking up that voice in this book.  I actually had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t written by another, lesser liked author as it had some similar tones that I don’t typically like.

Ms. Singh is no stranger to writing amazing dark and broken heroes, but Gabe is on a whole other level and I didn’t like him all that much.  It was hard to tie the scarred and broken Gabe into anything that Jessica could actually love.  Not with what very little she was given to work with.  Jessica was also hard to like as a character because she completely failed to stand up for herself until the very end.  Sorry, but no land or family legacy is worth selling yourself for.

One of the things that I’ve always loved about a Nalini Singh book is that they stand out from a typical romance, both in amazing characters that are full of personality on all kinds of different levels and a stellar story line that, even when I’ve reached the end of the book, I’m not ready to let it go.  This book was lacking in those elements and landed squarely into the standard level for a romance novel with just a decent story and okay characters.

*Please not that apparently this book has been published under two different names.  I’m reviewing under the title I read, but it was also published as Bound by Marriage.

You Dropped a Blonde on Me: Ex-Trophy Wives, Book 1

You Dropped a Blond On MeAuthor: Dakota Cassidy
Book Name: You Dropped a Blonde on Me
Series: Ex-Trophy Wives
Order: #1
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Didn’t Like


Blurb:  She was the perfect party-planning, haute-to-the max trophy wife. Now Maxine Cambridge is broke, unemployable and living with her mother and teenage son in a retirement village, with her self-esteem kicked to the curb.

Until her geeky former classmate Campbell Barker returns, all grown-up- and off-the-scale smokin’ hot. Campbell refuses to believe Max isn’t that smart, funny girl he’s crushed on since high school. The more Max tries to show him he’s wrong, the more she rediscovers her long-retired mojo. Now, she’s ready to throw down some payback on her ex-life and fight for what she deserves…

Review:  If I had paid a bit closer attention to the series name and the blurb on this one, I probably could have avoided what ended up being a pretty annoying read.

The main character Max comes across as this incredibly insecure, whiny, spineless woman that can’t handle the fact that her husband, who she married at 20 and is 20 years older than her cheated with someone half her age and left her and her son penniless after 20 years of marriage.  Oh, yeah, he also did that for their whole marriage.  Yet she is shocked that he turned out to be a slime ball.

It is insanely difficult to feel any sympathy for a person that puts themselves into a position like that and continues to allow it to happen, so connecting with this character is more than hard.  The couple of female friends mentioned were all also married to much older men.  Seriously?  Sure, there were all in it for the love.  Absolutely.

Campbell isn’t a whole lot better.  He is all about understanding her and where she is at, yet pushes her when she says she isn’t ready then insists she get over herself and heal at the pace he deems is the correct one.  Sorry, bud!  She just got away from an ass that demanded she be only what he wanted and needed, when he wanted and needed it only to find another one just like that and that is just as hot and cold as you claim she is.  So not prince charming.

I get I’m a little back and forth on not liking Max and wanting to stand up for her, but that is because I can’t stand characters like her that won’t stand up for themselves.  I didn’t find her all that cute or funny.  In fact I really kind of felt like when she wasn’t being whiny and weak, she just had kind of an ugly personality.  No matter the emotional damage left from her marriage, I didn’t like the personality shifts that character portrayed.

The other thing that just got me irritated and on the not buying it bandwagon with this was Max’s history before her marriage.  This book makes it sound as though she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth rather than having only come into the rich girl life when she married.  She had never been inside a Walmart but her own mother has no problem going there?  What?  Her own mother never once took her shopping while she was growing up?  That just doesn’t fly.  The selfish, snobby underlying attitude she has colors everything she does.  No matter what, she is either way better than others or has it so much worse, the world should pity her.

Obviously, I’m not a fan of spoiled little rich girl stories, even if the rich girl falls flat on her face.  The series name and blurb hint at this, but I didn’t think it was going to be quite so out there with regards to being totally unable to like the main character.  Missed by a huge long shot with this one.


The In-Between Hour: Barbara Claypole White

The In-Between HourAuthor: Barbara Claypole White
Book Name: The In-Between Hour
Series: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Really Good



Bestselling author Will Shepard is caught in the twilight of grief, after his young son dies in a car accident. But when his father’s aging mind erases the memory, Will rewrites the truth. The story he spins brings unexpected relief…until he’s forced to return to rural North Carolina, trapping himself in a lie.

Holistic veterinarian Hannah Linden is a healer who opens her heart to strays but can only watch, powerless, as her grown son struggles with inner demons. When she rents her guest cottage to Will and his dad, she finds solace in trying to mend their broken world, even while her own shatters.

As their lives connect and collide, Will and Hannah become each other’s only hope–if they can find their way into a new story, one that begins with love.

Review: This isn’t a lighthearted read.  It is loaded with heavier emotions that are bracketed by anger and denial, so it is a little hard to say that I liked it because it is so heavy, but it was really good.

Will’s character is great.  It was incredibly easy to feel him and move through the story along his emotions.  Hannah was a bit harder, but I believe that was kind of the point.  Her character falls more into the denial category and tries to only focus on the lighter, more positive emotions which don’t seem to fit what is going on.  It is hard to connect with a character when their emotions don’t match the scenes, but her character is missing connections because of that, which is how she was written.  It worked.

The focus of this is more on the family dynamics and dramas rather than on the romance.  I think the lack of focus on that made that aspect of the story harder to connect with, so it seemed a tiny bit off for me, but overall it was a pretty good story.


Scarred: J. S. Cooper

ScarredAuthor: J. S. Cooper
Book Name: Scarred
Series: *
Genre: Romance/New Adult
Rating:  Garbage


Blurb:  Everyone in Jonesville thought that Bryce Evans had the perfect life in High School: he was the Mayor’s son, the quarterback for the football team, the boyfriend of the head cheerleader and had a 4.1 GPA. His acceptance to Notre Dame came as a surprise to no-one. However when he chose to enlist in the marines instead everyone was shocked.

Lexi Lord was the quiet girl in school and kept to her small group of eccentric friends. She had no connection to any of the popular kids except for one incident on Prom Night when her path crossed with Bryce’s. When Bryce enlisted, Lexi was the only one that wasn’t disappointed and decided to send him anonymous letters as a way to feel connected to him. She stopped after a year because she felt there was nowhere for their relationship to go.

Fast-forward four years and Bryce is back in Jonesville and once again he and Lexi cross paths. Only he’s no longer the seemingly perfect man and Lexi’s no longer the quiet girl. This time their relationship is quite different but both of them have secrets from the past and friends that threaten to ruin their chance at happiness together.

Review: It takes a combination of a lot of factors for me to rate a book this low because it is such a harsh rating and one that I hate to hand out, but it is obviously there for a reason.  Unfortunately, this book hit on all of the reasons why I have this rating as an option.

This isn’t so much a new adult genre book, not because the characters don’t fit the physical age range for that genre, but because they mentally, emotionally and behaviorally are more pre-teen/junior high than people that should be in their 20s.  Lexi comes across as though she has a pop-star crush and is so utterly naive.  Bryce is an arrogant SOB and there is no way, the way this is written, that he comes across as a former Marine.  He is more like a spoiled child than anything else.  Every one of the secondary characters are just as bad, even the parents.

The story was decent and still had potential for about the first 1/3 of the book.  Things started to be less interesting after that but just dropped into ridiculous at about 70% when everything just got totally stupid.  Bryce sleeping with Lexi’s best friend.  The best friend thinking it was okay to do that and that they were suddenly in a relationship.  Bryce thinking it was okay to not share that and still go after and have sex with Lexi.  Lexi being totally okay and still loving Bryce after finding out she had been set up to be raped.  And every single other character with the exception of maybe Luke being horrible people that are just painfully ignorant.  Again, more junior high drama than what you’d expect from adults.  It didn’t help that every single early adult character is still living at home with their parents.  Really?  Even the supposed genius, money making machine Luke.  It makes no plausible, realistic sense.

If this were just about a not so well written story, this wouldn’t have gotten such a low rating.  It was so much more than that.  There were contradictory issues with character histories (Lexi having no clue who her dad was in one chapter and then in another chapter she not only new him but had met him in the past) and way too many serious editing mistakes.  It was bad enough to see some either mistyped words or completely wrong words in places but then there were also quite a few sentences or paragraphs that seemed like there were huge holes and were missing all the important parts.  Conversations would be going on and a character would have a response that made zero sense with regards to the previous sentence or paragraph so it was obvious something got deleted along the way and not fixed.  I’ve seen worse, but this was still pretty bad.

Yes, I did finish this, but that was because this was kind of like watching a train wreck.  You know it is going to be bad but you just can’t look away.  So glad this wasn’t something that I spent money on.

Scratch: Rhonda Helms

ScratchAuthor: Rhonda Helms
Book Name: Scratch
Series: *
Genre: Romance/New Adult
Rating:  Good


Blurb:  The most painful scars are the ones you never see.

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that’s the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she’s reserved, practical–all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she’s put up. Like Casey, he’s a senior. In every other way, he’s her opposite.

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can’t fathom, he’s intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that’s messy and unpredictable. He doesn’t know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach–or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

Review:  Usually I’m a bit iffy on the new adult genre books, especially if it is a new author, but the blurb on this pulled me in.  I did expect this to be a bit darker, but it really fell more on to the sweet side than the dark.

Really, I was enjoying this quite a bit until the last little part when we get what really amounts to an epiphany moment or set of moments and all is mostly good.  After the amount of time and grief involved, you just don’t have a moment and suddenly you let it all go.  It is a process, one that is admittedly different for each person, but still a process.

I think I would have done much better with this if the letting go and opening up and been a gradual release throughout the book.  The letting go isn’t 100% roses and all is good in the world, but it is close enough to have made me like this just a little less than I had before I got to the end.

All in all, this is a sweet story.

The Last Exhale: Julia Blues

The Last ExhaleAuthor: Julia Blues
Book Name: The Last Exhale
Series: *
Genre: Romance
Rating:  Didn’t Like


Blurb:  Marriage isn’t easy—especially without honesty. In this exploration of love, intimacy, guilt, and infidelity, two people learn what happens when their feelings get in the way of the truth.

For Sydney Holmes and Brandon Carter, love is losing its strength. Infidelity is the side effect of both of their broken marriages. Now, struggling to pick up the pieces, each is clinging to the hope that lasting love still waits for them, inside—or outside—of marriage.

Sydney’s not happy. Ever since marrying the wrong man, she’s regretted her decision to marry for the ring—not for her husband. Now, nearly seven years and two kids later, it’s not so easy to walk away. When a man drops into her life who gives her the oomph she’s been missing, she may be on the verge of making another wrong decision.

Brandon’s hurt. The death of his son was painful enough, but now he’s faced with losing the love of his life. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t make his wife love him. But soon the attention of another woman begins to mend his shattered ego. He moves out, and just as his new life grows comfortable, the reason his wife pushed him away surfaces, and Brandon must decide if the love they once shared is worth holding on to.

Love is the muscle of marriage. Both partners have to work to keep it strong and healthy, and without it, a marriage has no chance of survival. In The Last Exhale, Sydney and Brandon uncover the truth of what it really means to love—for better or for worse.

Review:  Ugly is the best word to describe this book.  I’m not talking the writing being bad, but the subject and characters of the story.  This is not a pretty romance with an HEA.  It is about all the ways that love can go wrong.

The reason I didn’t like this wasn’t because it was badly written.  I didn’t like it because there wasn’t a single character that I liked in this book.  Every single character had not one single redeeming quality.  Even in books with darker, uglier story lines I want to be able to connect and find some worth in the characters.  There is nothing here.

Sydney is a spineless doormat that keeps making horrible decisions and throws away her life in the process.  Sure she finally makes a decent one in the end, but there is so much that took so long that it really kind of screams too little too late.  Eric is really kind of a scummy, heartless, hypocritical bastard.  You’d think a woman dying of cancer and who’d lost her son would tug the heartstrings, but she is so incredibly selfish it wipes out any desire to feel compassion.  Brandon came the closest to having something to recommend, but he is just as guilty as being stupid as the rest.  I won’t even get into how utterly terrible the secondary friend characters are.

Everyone makes mistakes, makes bad decisions and has to live with the consequences.  I get it takes time sometimes to realize what needs to be done to make things better in your life and move on from those mistakes.  Some people never get to that point.  But we are talking a book here and when I read, I want to find something positive in it, even in the ugly stuff.

I came so close many times throughout this entire book to just putting it down, but I kept thinking that it had to have a more positive end.  Nope, it ended pretty much just as ugly as it started so I really wish I would have listened to my instincts and put it down the first time I didn’t think it was worth my time.

Emily & Einstein: Linda Francis Lee

Emily and EinsteinAuthor: Linda Francis Lee
Book Name: Emily & Einstein
Series: *
Genre: Romance/Paranormal
Rating:  Okay


Blurb:  He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance. But he needed one…

Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn’t even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.

Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn’t really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein’s seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man?

Review:  Even though my library didn’t have this classified as paranormal or fantasy, I’ve added that label to clarify that this isn’t what you’d expect.  This is another one of those books that wasn’t awful, but just wasn’t my thing.  I was looking for different, and this was definitely that, but not what I was looking for apparently.

There were some things that rubbed me wrong in this.  So many of the characters came across as insufferably arrogant.  That is in part because they absolutely were and in part because the writing seemed pretentious, almost to the point where I struggled not to read many of the voices as having a snobby British accent at times.

I also expected this to be more about an actual romance after loss and betrayal.  Instead it is a somewhat twisted story a dead guy getting a second chance at becoming a better person by becoming, instead of an arrogant man, an arrogant dog.  There is still a romantic aspect to the story, but there is so little of it that it comes across almost as an afterthought.

If this had been more along the lines of what I was wanting, I probably would have enjoyed this more.  Since it wasn’t, it really was just an okay story for me.


Peeves: Lacking Author Websites

Since I make the effort to link back to both the author’s main website and a direct link to the book when I’m writing a review, I see a whole lot of websites and, shockingly, a lot that are just not well designed at all.

As an artist, aesthetics are something that I tend to notice. It may not stick out as much to me if the site is nice and clean (which is really the goal, you want visitors to remember you for your content not the layout or design), but it sticks out like a sore thumb if the design looks bad or is difficult to navigate.  It is also pretty bad in my opinion if the site isn’t kept up to date with the newest releases or, even worse, a website doesn’t exist at all.

There are so many options available to create a decent looking website so I don’t think there is much of an excuse to not have at least something.  You don’t even have to be particularly computer literate to create one, nor does it even really have to cost you as there are tons of free options out there.  I’m not talking Twitter or Facebook either as you don’t have options there to provide easy to access book lists for published works.

Navigation is a huge peeve of mine.  No website should be difficult to find your way around.  Simple, easy to use and find, logical menus should be a priority on any site.  Not one person that goes to an author’s website wants to spend hours clicking every single link on their page to get the information they went there for in the first place.

From a design standpoint, since it is an author website, the focus should be on the author and their works not on flashy eye catching graphics and tons of wild fonts.  That is kind of another peeve of mine anyway, but I feel it is unprofessional and amateurish to have a whole bunch of stuff that is really unrelated and detracts from the focus of the website.  This is a technique that seems to pop up more on what I’d guess were self designed sites where the creative talent needs to remain with the writing rather than the graphics.  Again, with so many options out there, there is no excuse to have a super low quality design that makes the author look fly by night rather than professional and accomplished.  The image you portray with your website reflects on you and your abilities as it is part how you present yourself to the world as an author.  If your website is cheesy then I’m going to question the quality of your writing.

This is a huge point for me.  The majority of the time I visit an author’s website, I want to know what books they have written, if the book I’m looking at reading is part of a series and if so, where it falls in the reading order.  It drives me bat shit crazy when this is missing or worse, not clear.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a book thinking it is the first in the series based on what I’ve seen on the author’s website only to find out it isn’t because they have some whacked out way of listing their books.

There are a couple of simple solutions to a book list and reading order, so I have never been able to understand why this is so difficult.  Easiest is to list the books in reading order first to last, top to bottom or left to right and grouped by series (if there is one) or genre if you write in several areas.  Basic, right?  It should be so basic it doesn’t even warrant a mention, but you’d be amazed.  Another is to simply put the order number somewhere in your listing.  Ideally it would be both a reading order list that has the number listed as sometimes there are novellas in there and noting a .5 or something to the order makes that pretty clear.

I honestly hate it when an author only lists books in published order, especially when they write multiple series.  I don’t want to have to run through two dozen books to find the one book I’m looking for.  It is even harder when they don’t bother even noting the series a book is in when putting that list together.  Sometimes offering up a couple of different lists and orders works best when there are lots of series or interconnected series as different people are looking for different things.

Having a poorly designed, hard to navigate site that isn’t kept up to date can lose an author readers.  I have actually not picked up a book after going to an author site and not been able to determine important information like series order.  The same goes for sites that aren’t kept up to date.  Yes it is a little bit of work, especially if you publish quite a few books, but it is an essential selling tool that is not being utilized if you don’t take that little bit of time.

It doesn’t matter if you have one book or 20 to your name.  Having a website is really important.  Making it comfortable for your readers is just as important since they are the ones that count.