Book Reviews by Steph

Live, Laugh, Love, Read

A5Title: Apocalypse 5 (Archive of the Fives, #1)

Author Stacey Rourke

Publication Date: February 12th 2019

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


Good luck and have a pleasant apocalypse. 

The end of the world is coming. How or when, scientists can’t agree upon. For decades, Earth’s best line of defense has been a team of young soldiers known as the Apocalypse Five, forced into virtual reality simulations to train for Doom’s Day. But, this is no game. Death on the grid is brutally final and calls up the next in a long line of cadets.

Stationed aboard the AT-1-NS Starship, the A5 are celebrities thrust into the limelight by a calling they didn’t choose. All it takes is one unscheduled mission, showing seventeen-year-old team leader Detroit a harsh and unfathomable reality, to shake the A5’s belief in all they thought they knew. After questioning people with the power to destroy them, the team is framed for a crime they didn’t commit and marked for death. Now, the hunt is on.

Can the Apocalypse Five expose the truth the starship would kill to keep hidden? Or, will their bravery end in a public execution?

Purchase Links: Good Reads|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo

Apocalypse Five Playlist

About the Author

StaceyRONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Connect with Stacey: Webpage|Facebook|Twitter|Good Reads

I absolutely love when I can share a playlist with you all! These songs are fantastic, I hope you think so as well.

Happy Tuesday!


Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

Signed copy of Apocalypse Five


Hi you all, I hope you don’t mind but I would just like to take this post to get real for a minute. I want to tell you about some changes and why they are happening.

#1. I’ve been admitted into some form of psychological care twice within the past month and a half to two months. This has caused me to sit out on tours and give late notice to these tour planners, which I feel is not right to them or the authors counting on this promotion.


#2. So since I’m having personal health issues I have come to the conclusion to sit out of all book tours until I feel I’m 100%. I gave the tour groups a heads up as I’m no longer a reliable poster for the time being.


#3. My reviews may be slow coming even though it’s strictly things I want to focus on because I’m having trouble focusing. I’m also in the process of researching earth-based religions to help me find a center and where I feel I fit in, so that is taking time from my review process.


I want to thank you all for continuing to stand by me through this slump. As soon as I feel comfortable on being able to devote myself to the tours again that will be back. Also when I have sometime while studying I’ll try to get some of my books read to bring you reviews.

Happy Tuesday everyone and happy reading!


PHTitle: Paper Hearts

Author: J.V. Speyer

Publication Date: February 9th 2019

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


A divorce lawyer with a romantic spirit. A cynical television executive who thinks commitment is for fools. They can’t fight their attraction, or their affection. Can they find a way to reconcile their vastly different needs, or will each of them walk away from the best thing they’ve ever had?

Jordan might be a divorce lawyer, but he’s a hopeless romantic. He doesn’t see the two as incompatible, either. He’s never had a relationship last long enough to be with someone on Valentine’s Day, but he’s still hopeful he’ll find the one out there somewhere.

Sam is an executive vice president at a major television network. He spends his days managing programming, much of it centered around romance, and he knows exactly how fake television romances are. His own background of rejection only cements his views on the fleeting nature of affection.

They meet by chance, when Sam’s sister and best friend file for divorce. The divorce is messy, and Sam and Jordan are thrown together often enough to try to make a relationship work. When the winter holidays roll around, the difference in their expectations comes to the fore.

Can Sam overcome his fear of commitment – and rejection? Can Jordan get over his need to define their relationship? Or will they both lose the one thing in their lives that made them happiest?

Purchase Links: Good Reads|Amazon|Barnes and Noble|iBooks|Kobo


“Don’t worry,” Dinesh said, leaning back in his chair. “Legal found a clause in his contract that provided for termination in case of disruptive behavior. He’ll be gone as soon as we can film his death scene. It’ll be messy, too.”

“Good. Glad to hear it. What did my charming sister have to say?”

Dinesh groaned. “That obvious?”

Sam chuckled and sprawled out in one of Dinesh’s visitor chairs. “Call it an educated guess.”

“She’s trying to position things as though she kicked me out, and says she’ll take me back if I go to counseling sessions twice a week with her pastor.” He took two fistfuls of his hair and pulled. “I can’t decide if she’s sincere or if she’s just messing with me, you know?”

Sam scoffed and gently disengaged Dinesh’s hands from his hair. “She’s trying to get more cash out of you. That’s all. What did Jordan have to say about it?” It wouldn’t change his mind about Ida, but he was dying to know Jordan’s take anyway.

Dinesh’s mouth quirked up, just for a second. “Well, he thought the lawyer was being sincere.”

Sam laughed and clapped his hands. “Nice, and perfectly lawyerly. He wasn’t about to trash Ida in front of you, so he had to say it that way. Adorable really.”

“Right?” Dinesh snickered and held his head in his hands. “I definitely picked the right lawyer. Seriously, though. He did tell me he’s seen this gambit work.”

“For real?” Something cold gripped Sam’s stomach. He’d suspected Jordan might be too good to be real.

“Yeah—for couples that were both sincerely religious. He’s never seen it come to anything good in families like ours. Christ, I can’t understand what happened to us. What drove her to find God all of a sudden? What turned her this way? Why are you the only one who got out and stayed normal?”

Sam looked out the window for a moment. “Well for one thing, if everyone else is acting one way and I’m the one who’s different, I’m probably not the normal one. I’m just saying. And let’s face it. None of us has exactly gone down the same road. Mom and Dad were who they were, and all of us kids found our own coping mechanisms to deal with it. The way they were, it leaves a mark on you. For a couple of my brothers—and yeah, I’ve looked into how they’re doing, every time they showed up with their hands out—it was drugs. For another couple of them it was booze. Ida’s tried a few different things now, and an opportunistic charlatan got his claws into her. Me, I found success. Nothing helps you get over your parents’ bullshit as much as being able to buy out the mortgage on their house ten times over.”

Dinesh acknowledged this with a wry grin. “You’re not kidding. I just…for a little while there I was tempted. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could buy some time with that dumb ‘counseling’ session and make her see reason. I love her, and I don’t want to just give up.”

Sam held his breath. “What did Jordan say?”

“I didn’t tell him I was thinking about giving in. He just said he’d never seen something like what she was suggesting work in a case like ours. He definitely left the choice up to me. He didn’t pressure me or anything.” Dinesh picked his head up and gave Sam a long, measuring look. “I think he’s pretty into you.”

Sam knew he was blushing, but he just looked away. “He’s into me now. A week from now, a year from now, who knows? Life is short, Dinesh. Maybe he’ll get religion and decide to go follow some weird pastor.”

“So what, you’re just going to string him along?” Dinesh steepled his fingers together.

Sam stood up and walked to the window. “It’s not stringing him along, Dinesh. If things work out right, we’ll be together for a while. And then when we’re done, we’ll split up. It’s not a big deal if we don’t want it to be.” He rested his forehead against the glass. “And I doubt a divorce lawyer is going to have weird ideas about making a mountain out of a molehill, in terms of our relationship to one another.”

He liked looking out from the windows in the office tower. The network had one of the taller buildings in Manhattan, and Programming was on one of the higher floors. On a day like today, Sam really was among the clouds. He could barely see the people running around down on the ground, going about their lives.

“So many people make these promises, to themselves and each other, and they just can’t do it. They can’t live up to what they’ve promised themselves, and it just winds up being terrible for everyone involved. Look at you and Ida. I thought you guys had staying power. I don’t believe in that stuff, but I figured if anyone had the power to prove me wrong, it would be the two of you.

“No one could have predicted what happened to you. No one could have stopped it either. It’s better to just not fake it, and to enjoy your person while you’re together. Don’t put yourself through all the grief and bitterness that comes with not being able to live up to unreasonable expectations. Enjoy what you’ve got and move on.” He turned away from the window and looked back at Dinesh.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

$25 Amazon gift card

About the Author

JVWant to get cocktail recipes, book updates, and craft beer notes from J. V.? Sign up here

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.

J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game or avoiding direct sunlight. She’s learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.

Connect with J.V. : Webpage|Good Reads|Facebook|Twitter

I’m finding all these new releases so far intriguing, I hope you are as well! Happy joyful reading everyone!




Jake’s Redemption
Jamie Schulz
(The Angel Eyes Series Prequel)
Publication date: February 1st 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

In a broken world, he faced a future full of pain.

Will one daring woman be his last chance for love… Before time runs out…

Jake longs for the life men lived before war destroyed everything and women enslaved them. When fate forces a temporary reprieve from imprisonment, escape becomes his primary objective. Until his new captor sparks hope, and something far more passionate, in his lonely heart.

After giving up on romance, Monica dedicated herself to sheltering unfortunate souls from a harsh new society. But then destiny delivered a desperate man to her doorstep. A man she soon discovers she cannot ignore and would do anything to save.

Will Monica be able to free Jake from the vicious woman who wants to break him? Or will Jake be forced to leave Monica behind to save himself?

Goodreads / Amazon


“Welcome to our home,” she said in a friendly voice.

He flicked another glance in her direction, but only nodded in reply. He was so wound up with dread and anxiety from the drug, he could barely communicate; yet he was not so unnerved or disorientated that he didn’t notice her breathtaking beauty.

He couldn’t work any moisture into his mouth. His throat was too tight and his shaking so bad, he knew he would stutter unintelligibly if he tried to utter a single word.

“Are you cold?” the woman asked.

He shook his head, still unable to speak.

“What’s your name?”

He looked up again and then back at the ground. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Coughing, he tried again.


“Jake. I like that.”

Something in her tone, or maybe it was just his fear of being close to another woman with power over him, sent an icy shiver of dread down Jake’s spine.

“So, you’re not cold,” the woman said, “but you’re trembling like it’s twenty below. Did they give you the drug before you left?”

He nodded again.

She rested a hand on his arm and looked up into his face. He wanted to pull away, but something in her eyes held him immobile.

“You won’t have to suffer that again for as long as you’re here…”


Author Bio:

Jamie Schulz lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family, her husband, and their fur babies. Writing has always been a big a part of her life, and she hopes to one day reach the best sellers lists.

Cowboys, ice cream, and reading almost any kind of romance are among her (not so) secret loves. To her, every one of her stories, no matter how dark, must have a happy ending, and she strives to make them impossible to put down until you get there.

She balances her free time between reading her favorite romance authors–in genres ranging from erotica and dark romance to sweet historicals and contemporary romance–and spending time with her family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Bookbub / Amazon



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stTitle: Scarlet Toys (Violet Circle, #1)

Author: S.M. Shade

Publication Date: November 28th 2017

Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance


Living on Violet Circle, a place that’s less of a neighborhood and more of an insane asylum poured into the street, I thought I was prepared for anything. After you’ve seen a woman strip down at the laundry room to wash the clothes she’s wearing, then saunter across the street naked, you’ve seen it all, right?

How naïve I was.

After the factory closed, leaving me and a good portion of the town unemployed, I took a job managing Scarlet Toys. I knew it wouldn’t be a typical work environment, selling adult toys in a town more uptight than a constipated nun, but some things you just never see coming.

Like the protesters covered in poison ivy, screaming about smut peddlers.

Or a dancing dinosaur named Fappy.

Or the allure of the man standing in the center of all the chaos.

Wyatt Lawson, a six foot, four inch heap of muscle with a quick smile, ignited my interest in more than the available manager position. Like the missionary one. Or the rodeo. Maybe the side rider. What can I say? I’m an overachiever.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t scare easily.

This is the first book in a series of standalone novels.
Please disregard the page count during the pre-order period. This is a full length 60k+ novel.

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Purchase Links: Good Reads|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|iBooks

About the Author

I’m a full time author who is hopelessly addicted to Dr. Pepper, love stories, sunshine, and men with full sexy lips, though not necessarily in that order. A voracious reader since I sounded out my first word, I started writing as a teenager and rediscovered my love of writing as an adult. Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in a small Kentucky town with my college age son.

I love to hear from readers so please feel free to contact me or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$20 Amazon gift card

This book is FREE for all devices!!! I just added it to my kindle when I’m ready to get to it you can count on a review.

I did the author contact links a little different this time, please let me know what you think in the comments.

Happy reading!