Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: Lucian Divine by Renee Carlino

luciandivine_03-1-1-1Lucian Divine by Renée Carlino Published – January 9, 2017

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey's life is at a standstill. She's in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It's absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he's a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he's brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he's brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as ----. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God.

Yes, God as in God.

I was looking forward to this book and it's premise. I mean, guardian Angels who fall in love with the person they have to protect? Yes, please. But Lucian Divine fell short for me. 

Evey is trying to enjoy her life in San Francisco. She has a a job that eats away her creativity as a designer, a roomate who make everything about herself and not the best luck with guys. One night, after a bad date, she meets Lucian and her world is put upside down.

Lucian has been a guardian angel for two millenia, but he's not very good on the job. He's on probation with only one soul to care for: Evey. He's been looking after her since she was a baby, he helped her, confort her and interviened in her life as needed to make her into the woman she was now. And while he's been watching her, he fell for her. 

My biggest problems with the story were the insta love and the world building. 
For Lucian, you can see how he fell for Evey through the years. But Evey meets him, finds out he's her guardian angel and bam! she loves him. No sense of I always felt you near, she never notices when he pretends to be someone else in her life, nada. She just loves him. And the most trouble part of this is that Julian tells her she feels that way because he was made perfectly for her, so obviously he's everything she wants. I didn't buy it.

And the world building... this has so much promise! a burocratic like system of guardian angel who are assinged to one or more people to protect. But the thing is, the author didn't developed this at all. Lucian didn't know anything, and so the reather doesn't either. And I'm all for exploring and giving more human characteristics to angels but this beings who were made to protect people seem more interested in hooking up between them and the way they speak about their charges, is more like humans are nothing but a pain. not very protective and caring.

The big confrontation the blurb mentions with God? Not one word of it is put into words. 

Overall, I feel like this book had a lot of potencial, but it just wasn't explored as much as I would have liked.




Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: Kill Without Shame by Alexandra Ivy

Kill Without Shame (ARES Security #2) by Alexandra Ivy
Published: December 27th 2016 
Publisher:  Zebra

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review

Five brave military heroes have survived the hell of a Taliban prison to return home—and take on civilian missions no one else can. They’re the men of ARES Security. Highly skilled, intimidating, invincible, and one by one, tested again and again…

Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.

Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…

“A fantastic blend of romance and suspense…thrilling to the end.” --Mary Burton, USA Today bestselling author on Kill Without Mercy

I really like stories about second chances and military men in security, Kill Without Shame has both aspects and is everything you could possibly want.

Lucas St. Clair had his life planned out for him. His powerfull family expected him to follow in line and get the white house one day, but Lucas' heart is somewhere else. After his time in the military and joining ARES security, he left the St. Claires and their expectations behind. 
When a man from his past is killed near his office and carries a picture of the one woman he ever loved, Lucas will do everything in his power to keep Mia safe.

Mia Ramon has made a life for herself from the ground. She managed to take her father's bussiness to another level and make a name in a man's world. Even more, she repaired her broken heart after Lucas decided to leave her behind. But out of nowhere, he's back in town, in her life and in her personal space.

I loved the chemestry between the two of them. How devoted Lucas was to Mia, even when he wasn't present in her life. Watching Mia strugle with her atraction and her fears was great. Alexandra made a fantastic job portraying her emotons for the reader.

Kill Without Shame will keep you at the edge of your seat trying to figure out who is involved in the mysterious death, who's hidding something and who wants to help. The men of ARES are all something to behold. Reading their interactions and how well they work together is amazing. I loved watching this tough guys go all soft with worry about one of their own or the woman Lucas loves. 

The ARES security series books can be read as a standalone (this is the first book i read) but I'm sure are more enjoyable to read all of them and get to know each member of the team separate.


I'm not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother's knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library. Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on. 

Years later (no, I'm not admitting how many) I'm still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.