West End Montana, by N. M. McGregor

West End Montana; The Montana Series Book 1

By N. M. McGregor

5 Stars

Literary Fiction. Romantic Fiction. New Adult.

I couldn’t stop reading.

Meet Montana Stanford, a precocious teen with an iron will and a passion for life that affects everyone around her. Living with her brothers in Vancouver’s West End, she seeks love and excitement in everything she does. Of course, life is no bed of roses as she attracts the ire of some easy opponents and makes some enemies who are harder to shake. The first in a series, West End Montana establishes N.M. McGregor as an author of impactful romantic fiction.

Another one off the “I don’t normally read that” shelf. I really need to stop saying that. This story was captivating and riveting and all those words the Times uses to help sell books. But this one really is all those things, and more!

Montana is a character I just adored. Tough-as-nails with a confidence I wish I’d had a quarter of when I was her age, I had to keep reminding myself of her age; to re-ground myself to the story from this perspective. So many things that I never had to deal with -ever- Montana deals with before her sweet sixteen. Listening to her recount her tale was seamless, and I couldn’t stop once I’d started.

So many characters perfectly woven together to create this community of people I loved to hear more about. The brothers. The friends. The friends-of-friends. And all told in a wonderful use of flashbacks not many can pull off. It was this I most enjoyed, the teasing of the tragic now mixed masterfully with the story of how it reached that point.

There wasn’t one page of this book that was unnecessary. Heartstrings pulled on so many levels was a gift I, as a reader, cherished. I feel this is a book I will read again and again.

If you like coming-of-age stories, this is a book for you. If you like well written, smartly paced tales of ordinary peoples lives and their struggles, heartaches, and triumphs, this is for you. If you want to laugh and cry and love, this book is for you, as well.

Happy reading 🙂


Fate of the Ashers, The Petros Chronicles Book 3, by Diana Tyler

Fate of the Ashers: The Petros Chronicles Book 3

By Diana Tyler

Young Adult. Fantasy. Mythology.

3 Stars

Seriously, the best ending EvEr

They thought the war was over, but it was only just beginning…

One month after Chloe’s victory over Mania, everything seems back to normal. Actually, it’s better than normal. For one thing, her parents are alive, tensions between she and her brother Damian have eased, more Ashers exist, and she and Ethan are more than fellow former fugitives –they’re a couple.

But things take a downward spiral when Mount Aetna, a volcano thought to be extinct, erupts in Petros’s capital. Soon, what initially seemed like nothing more than a a natural disaster proves to be a sign of an imminent supernatural threat. The Olympian gods of old, heretofore chained in Tartarus, have been freed by the sea nymph Eione, and will do everything in their limitless power to bring the Ashers down.

Chloe and Damian’s cousin Hector is a dejected high school student who, as an only child, is hopeful his eighteenth birthday will bring him a life-changing doma. When he outruns the track team’s fastest sprinter, he’s certain his days as a benchwarmer are over. Little does he know that Ares, one of the most merciless and bloodthirsty gods, has taken notice of his power, a power Hector has barely tapped into.

Kidnapped and whisked off to Mount Olympus, Hector soon finds that being an Asher isn’t so great after all. Compelled by threats from the entire pantheon, he’s forced to embark upon a mission that will destroy every Asher and ensure the gods regain their former glory.

When Athena, goddess of wisdom, informs Chloe and the others of Zeus’s plan, they plan a daring counterattack: time travel back to heaven, before Petros was created, and thwart the rebels’ revolt against the All-Powerful. It’s two Ashers against an army of ruthless, power-hungry immortals who together possess an endless arsenal of deadly superpowers. How hard can it be?

Full of twists and turns and thrilling surprises, this final book in The Petros Chronicles is a riveting fantasy adventure for lovers of Greek mythology.

As a huge fan of the first two books in this series by Diana Tyler, I was excited to receive an ARC of book three, Fate of the Ashers.

I was so curious to see what was next in store for the world of Petros and Chloe, Damien and Ethan after the “conclusion” of their previous journey. Delightedly, the Greek pantheon was back for more shenanigans, including names and faces rarely talked about like this.

I started out enjoying the difficulty Chloe was having adjusting to her new timeline, fate coverthough I quickly found her issues confusing. She’d come so far with her faith, I was curious by her struggles, especially her struggle with forgiveness. This made the bulk of the book a bit tedious for me.

I found myself wanting more of Damien. His story was the farthest traveled. From his bona-fide boneheadedness in Book One, that he continues to harbor guilt over in this book, I just wanted more of his point-of-view. I wanted to feel his story arc as I did Chloe, and even Hector. As one-half of the Vessel, I was surprised not to get it.

For all my “complaints,” I loved this ending! The best ending ever! This twist was so clever–I was like —Oh! Whoa! This is spectacular!— It made the entire series more real and the book so worth reading!

I’m excited to start reading this series to my niece and nephews.

Happy Reading 🙂

Check out more of my reviews HERE.

Shadows of McComb, by Sarah Squires

Book Review: Shadows of McComb

By Sarah Squires

5 Stars

Literary Fiction. Suspense. Novella.

So Real, I don’t believe it’s not biographical.

How far would you go to save your mother’s life?

Haunted by her father’s suicide, Bern Baylor vowed to keep her mother alive at all costs. When her mother is brutally beaten by the vicious drug dealer Shooter Jennings, Bern offers to work off her mother’s debt.

As she is dragged deeper into Shoot’s dangerous trade, Bern adopts his skill at cunning manipulation and his questionable moral code. If she makes it out alive, will Bern be able to live with the steep cost of saving her mother?

This literary suspense novella with a strong female protagonist will have you holding your breath until the end.

I don’t typically read this type of fiction, and novellas aren’t my thing either, but as the author is a friend of my sisters, I had to give this a shot.

This book was great! On every level, it delivered. Superb dialogue, real characters and a setting that was easily envisioned, I found myself wondering if this wasn’t actually a story told from first-hand accounts.

Love a well paced and perfectly crafted story? This one is for you!


Happy Reading 🙂

More of my Reviews HERE.

Taste the Dark: Elwood Legacy, Book 1, by Nicola Rose

Book Review: Taste the Dark: Elwood Legacy Book 1

By Nicola Rose

4 Stars

Paranormal Romance. Erotica.

I couldn’t help but love the Elwood boys! Can’t wait for more.

One reckless girl and two vampire brothers – battling forces of love over lust, and light over dark…


I killed my parents. I didn’t mean to, I don’t think. I can’t really remember.

I can’t remember much from the years that followed either, other than an endless stream of bad decisions, generally involving alcohol, drugs and bad boys. My new job in a new town signified a turning point – time to sort myself out.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the 6ft package of brooding, inked-up perfection who started stalking me. And don’t even mention the equally hot brother crawling around under my skin…

They radiate danger, it flows around them like a seductive spell; and danger is my favourite word.


I was doing a pretty good job at balancing on the fine line between light and dark, blurring the edges and living in the grey. But then dead vampires started piling up around me and the Bael gave me a ticking countdown to fix it.

Now she’s arrived. Four seconds – the moment I saw her – that’s how long it took to know that she’d simultaneously bring heaven and hell to my door. I don’t even know what she is, but I know I crave her.

Falling for a human girl has left me teetering on the verge of collapse. This could be just the ammo my brother needs to nudge me over the edge and into oblivion.

Taste the Dark is a full-length paranormal romance/urban fantasy, intended for adult audiences. It contains coarse language and explicit steamy scenes. Expect a lot of heat and a little darkness, because romance isn’t always sweet.

Book one in the Elwood Legacy series.

Every aspect of this book, I was a fan. The setting of a secluded spring break town, the firefighter profession of Jess, the dichotomy of the Elwood brothers, and of course, the love-triangle that’s reminiscent of the Vampire Diaries, only with a darker setting that makes it an even greater ride. I even liked that I didn’t like the main character. Her self-destructive tendencies and willful behavior bordering on suicidal was sometimes like watching a train-wreck. I just couldn’t look away, even while my insides cringed.

Steamy and sexy, I was pulled along by the antics of Jess and the reactions of Zac to those img_0202antics. Playing a dangerous game she can’t help but continue, I found the girl infuriating, while also understanding that she was perfect for those who found her so enticing. Whether she would eventually relax or drive them to madness, caused the pages to move in a blur. *wicked grin*

I’m a fan of the “I should, I shouldn’t” pull of characters who know better but can’t help themselves. Taste the Dark gives so much of that I was in heaven. I found myself moving back and forth between what I hoped would happen. The pages couldn’t turn fast enough so I could find out what camp Ms. Rose would leave us in. I wasn’t disappointed, though I couldn’t have been, when any option was one I’d hoped for at some point 😉

So many secondary plots interweaving with the story, this was the perfect “Book One.” There’s so much more to tell. So much more to know. I’m looking forward to Book 2…

Happy Reading 🙂

Find more of my Book Reviews at StealingShade.com and CMMartens.com

Burn the Dark: The Elwood Legacy, Book 2, by Nicola Rose

Burn the Dark: The Elwood Legacy, Book 2, by Nicola Rose

Paranormal Romance.

4 Stars

A Darker, Grittier Continuation of a Dark and Gritty Romance.

One reckless girl and two vampire brothers – battling forces of love over lust, and light over dark.


All the years of therapy and labels, and it turned out the real reason for the chaos in my life was something none of us could have dreamed up.

Destiny and fate have grand plans for me. Apparently I’m supposed to play along, but what if I don’t want to? What if the lines got so blurred that I can no longer tell which way I’m supposed to turn? Whose arms I should fall into? And what if that question doesn’t even seem to matter anymore?

I’ve spent my life chasing down adrenalin-highs, but I didn’t see this coming. Something dark is brewing inside me… and maybe I like it.


She was only supposed to be part of the game.

Yes, I wanted her from the moment I saw her, but not for the right reasons. Not for love. Not for passion. I wanted her for my own agenda – bringing down Zachariah’s carefully erected walls. And maybe, just a little bit, because of the way her presence called out to me like a glimpse of something big, glowing on the horizon.

I should never have let that light grow. I should have squashed it when I had the chance. Now she’s under my skin and it’s all twisted. But this time, I won’t lose focus. I won’t lose her.

This time… I win.

Burn the Dark is a full-length paranormal romance/urban fantasy, intended for adult audiences. It contains coarse language and explicit scenes.

Book Two in the Elwood Legacy series. Book One – Taste the Dark – should be read first.

After a bit of a slow start, this book really delivers!

Jess’ strange talents and what they meant for the path of her life are explained in the beginning pages, and I especially enjoyed the addition of new characters that boost the supernatural world Nicola Rose has built. Along with the new, we get to know characters briefly introduced in book one which only adds to the excitement.

Throughout book one, I wanted to kill Jess. I hated Jess (see my review), but in Book 2, her temperament is easier to swallow which made the ride all the more fun. Verbal repartees with those BTD Coverwho would have others paralyzed in fear had me laughing while the suspense over how it would all play out got me turning pages without stop. And this was all in the first twenty percent of the book.

I love Alex. From Taste the Dark, this love only grew as Burn the Dark continued. His blunt, no-nonsense, I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude, added to his newfound angst made me love this story. Jess continues to fight her attraction which made for the perfect dynamic.

The way Nicola Rose weaves conversations and arguments from Book One into ammunition for Zac and Jess’ drama is superb. Reason that seemed sound for Jess’ actions are suddenly thrown into new light, and we all wonder whether she really is just some crazy bitch with a death wish. Jess’ struggle that finally is figured out when she accepts some things, discards others, and finds that everyone has a place to belong is one of my favorite points about this book.

Did I mention I love Alex? There’s so much more of him in this second book, its reason enough to read it.

I was pleasantly surprised by how everything comes together at the end. All my heart-strings were pulled, as well as getting the perfect dose of blood and carnage.

Book Three is sure to be a wild ride!

Happy Reading 🙂

Check out more of my reviews HERE.