Wild Hunger Will Leave Readers Panting For More

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Title:  Wild Hunger
Series:  (Heirs Of Chicagoland Book #1)
Author:  Chloe Neill
Length: 352 pages
Publisher:  Berkley
Rating:  5 Stars
 --- In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever

 Please enjoy this excerpt from

Wild Hunger

PROLOGUE                                                        “Noooooo!” A little girl’s voice echoed through the hallway. The cry was followed by footsteps, more yelling, and a petulant squeal. “It’s mine! You give it back right now, Connor stupid Keene!” The dark-haired boy stuck his tongue out at her—the tiny blonde he relished torturing—then tore down the hallway, holding aloft the plastic sword he’d taken from his enemy. “Victory!” he said. She followed him, Mary Jane shoes padding down the carpeted hallway, but he was nearly a foot taller, and she knew she couldn’t catch him. Not by running. So she called in a reinforcement. “Daddy! Connor stupid Keene won’t give me my sword!” Connor stupid Keene stopped and spun around, then leveled his best glare at Elisa Sullivan. “I’m a prince,” he said, sticking his thumb against his chest. “And I can take your sword if I want!” He was seven, and she only and a half, so he was obviously the more mature of the two of them. She jumped up to grab the sword but couldn’t reach it. “Give it back, you . . . you . . .” “‘You’ what?” he asked with a wily grin, spinning around to keep the toy out of her hands. “What am I?” “You’re . . . you’re . . . you’re a stupid boy—that’s what you are!” “Children.” They froze, then turned back toward the doorway to Elisa’s father’s office and looked warily at the vampire who filled it. “Is there a problem?” he asked. “No, Mr. Sullivan,” said Connor, scowling at his companion. Green-eyed Elisa, just as wily as he was, stuck out her tongue at Connor, then batted her eyelashes at her father. “He took my sword,” she said in a small, soft voice she knew was guaranteed to get her way. “And he won’t give it back.” “Son, did you take her sword?” They turned again, saw a tall man at the other end of the hallway. “No, Dad,” Connor said as his father walked toward him. Connor held out the sword and let Elisa take it back, but scowled when she stuck her tongue out at him. Again. She is so spoiled, he thought.
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My Thoughts

The only natural born vampire, Elisa Sullivan, has found her way back home.
While doing her required service to the French vampiric, House Dumas.
If only one could say that said homecoming was a peaceful one.
But between the meeting of the international vampire delegation.  The murder of one of the delegates in the backyard of Calduggian House.  A.k.a. Her family's estate. And one of her childhood friend's pack mates under suspicion and jailed for said murder. Peaceful is not and will never be part of this visit's equation.
Chloe Neill's first offering in this spin-off to the Chicagoland Vampire series.
Wild Hunger offers readers the same intelligent, well written, action packed, edgy, urban fantasy, that still serves to make its predecessor A hallmark of the genre.

And if the mystery of the dead delegate is not enough.  There are many other questions, both political and personal that plaque Eliza, her family, her childhood friend, Connor Keene, and his pack.

This is a wonderful and perfectly written first offering.  Leading flawlessly into book two.  And the ever deepening bond between Connor and Eliza.

Wild Hunger is the first offering in the interrelated Heirs Of Chicagoland series.
It may be read as a standalone or as part of its intended collection.

About Chloe
Chloe Neill is the New York Times bestselling author of the Heirs of Chicagoland, Chicagoland Vampires Novels, Devil's Isle Novels, and Dark Elite novels. Chloe was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When she's not writing, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys--her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout.

Connect with Chloe at www.chloeneill.com.

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Meaningful Connections And Near Missed Second Chances Make For A Not So Comfortable Stay At "The Forever Farmhouse"

Title:  The Forever Farmhouse
Series:  Hometown Brothers  #1
Author:  Lee Tobin McClain
Length:  384 pages
Publisher:  HQN
Rating:  3 Stars
Expected Date of Publication: Sept. 6, 2022

A Chesapeake island homecoming—and a life-changing discovery

When Ryan Hastings first came to Teaberry Island, he was a troubled teen on his last chance. He’s returning as a renowned scientist, checking in on his widowed foster mother. But one thing hasn’t changed—Ryan’s feelings for the girl next door whom he loved…and left. Mellie Anderson has a son now, and a good life that Ryan believes he’s still too damaged to share. But he knows he can help young Alfie, who’s getting picked on at his new school.

Mellie is grateful her gifted son is getting extra support, and torn about where it’s coming from. Ryan has no idea he’s Alfie’s father. No matter how valid her reasons were, could Ryan ever understand why she didn’t tell him? But in this close-knit community, friendship and forgiveness are always near at hand, and forever love might be waiting just next door.

My Thoughts 

Second chance romance with a very big and very inappropriate secret.

Leading man starring as the youth with a troubled past.
Returned home a hero of sorts. Determined to help the foster mother who saved him. As she is now left to cope with the sudden death of her husband.

Hometown girl reappearing always just a little too close for comfort.
Annoying allusions to secrets too many times to count.
When said secret is as obvious as the plot to a Hallmark movie.

That is what we have here in a nutshell with Ryan and the gang.
This is a likeable read for the most part.
The main plot device of the secret is what proves the biggest downside to the story.
It deviates so much of the story away from romance, bonding, family, and second chances. That by the time that the fallout from said unnecessary secret has been dealt with. The HEA has been religated to a mere afterthought.

Thanks to Netgalley and Mira for providing the review copy upon which this critique was based.
All opinions herein are those of WTF Are You Reading?


About Lee


New York Times bestselling author of emotional, heartwarming romances. Visit http://www.leetobinmcclain.com to join newsletter, get book release details, and find out more.

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Find Out Just How Free The Truth Can Make You "Nothing But The Truth"

Title:  Nothing But The Truth
Author:  Holly James
Format:   Kindle ARC
Length: 304 pages
Publisher:  Dutton
Expected Publication Date:  July 12, 2022
Rating:  4 Stars

In this sparkling, page-turning debut, Lucy Green learns that when you make a wish, you can’t always get what you want…but you might just get what you need.

It’s the eve of Hollywood publicist Lucy Green’s thirtieth birthday, a day she hopes will bring the promotion she deserves and a proposal from her boyfriend. But he stands her up for a date, not for the first time, leaving Lucy alone at the bar—or at least, alone with the handsome bartender on the other side of the counter—so she makes a rueful wish over her cocktail for a perfect birthday. But when Lucy’s wish is granted in the most unexpected way, things go terribly awry, as things often do when wishes come true….

When Lucy wakes up on her big day, she can’t seem to force herself to go through her rigorous fitness and beauty routines—things she usually tells herself she likes. She has no desire to eat only a spoonful of yogurt for breakfast and she simply can’t bear to put on the uncomfortable shapewear needed for the power outfit she had planned for work.

When Lucy arrives at the office, she realizes that not only can she no longer lie to herself, she can’t lie to anyone else, either. Not her clients, not her boyfriend, not her creep of a boss. Now that she can’t hide how she feels, Lucy must confront all the injustices—small and large—she’s faced on a daily basis at work, in her relationship, and in every other aspect of her life...and the truth is going to come out in a big way.

This sharp, bighearted, and magical novel tackles all the lies women are encouraged to tell just to get by in today’s world—in life, in love, and in the workplace—and the liberation that can come from telling nothing but the truth.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Holly James
Nothing But The Truth

Lucy Green stood on a precipice. Really, she sat on a barstool contemplating her drink while she waited for her boyfriend, Caleb, who was working late again. If he didn’t cancel altogether, they’d order another round, talk about their routine days, go back to his place and have mediocre sex, and she’d fall asleep listening to him grind his teeth because he refused to wear a mouth guard. And that would be how she spent the final night of her twenties. But it was fine. She was fine. Everything was fine. “Would you like something different?” the bartender asked her. “Hmm?” She looked up and found a handsome face hovering before her. She’d paid no attention to him when she came in, ordered her drink, and immediately proceeded to check her email, because it had been twenty minutes since she left her office and literally anything could have happened in the world of celebrity publicity. He looked like most bartenders in L.A.: tall, chiseled, probably an actor. Except in place of vain indifference was an interested warmth that made Lucy sit up and pay attention. He wadded a rag in his big hands then pointed to her glass. “Your drink. You don’t seem to be enjoying it. Would you like something else?” She looked down at her martini and saw two olives staring back at her like skewered eyeballs. Her boss, Joanna, favored the drink, and Lucy found herself aspiring to such sophistication. “I like it just fine, thanks.” He snorted a laugh. “That’s a lie. You’ve taken two sips.” He leaned in and whispered like he was telling her a secret. “And I make really good martinis.”

My Thoughts

This book is literally a literary version of Jim Carey's Liar, Liar, With a serious nod to the Me Too Movement. 
The thing that keeps the pages turning during the course of this read?
Seeing the honesty with which Lucy is forced by her inability to lie; to live her life.

Whether its the expectations of her overbearing mother.  Or living up to the perfectly polished image that she is expected to maintain as part of her career as a publicist.
Lucy's honesty causes her to break with convention at every turn.  Resulting in some cases in her not only rocking the proverbial boat.  But in most cases, turning the damn thing completely over.
Which is all well and good.
But when all this occurs on the day when she is expected to collar the biggest client of her career.  After being inappropriately propositioned by the male CEO of her firm.
And ohhh...
I think I may have forgotten to mention the totally Meet Cute romance between Lucy and a certain hunky bartender.
A wrinkle in a seemingly universally orchestrated plan.  Which goes on to make for absolutely heart melting HEA action in later pages.

The standout wow factor that makes reading this book a must...
The bird's eye view that readers are given into the societal expectations that are so flippantly placed upon women.
But to which we are expected to unerringly adhere.

Marriage, baby, career, and home all achieved between the ages of 30 and 40.  ( As Lucy kept being reminded by her mother.)

The dress code of almost fashion week perfection that the  employees of her company seem doggedly bound to.  Even though it is quite clear in most cases.  That they are uncomfortable.  (As is remarked upon ad nauseam when Lucy dare to wear a simple maxi dress to work.)

And most notably.  The ease and assured secrecy with which Lucy's predatory boss approaches her for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion.
(Which speaks to institutionalized abuse.)
While it is true that great strides have and are being made to free woman from the double standards of such abuse and convention.  It is quite clear that the fairer sex still has quite a road ahead before being well and truly out of these most treacherous of woods.

This is a wonderful standalone, David and Goliathesque fight to be happy in her own skin, her life, and ultimately her own world.

Reviewer's Note
WTF Are You Reading would like to thank Netgalley and Dutton for the review copy on which this honest critique is based.

About Holly
Holly James holds a PhD in psychology and spent many years studying stress and physiology in a lab. She has worked in academic and medical settings and currently works in the tech industry. She lives in Southern California.

Reader Hearts Are The Biggest Winners When Playing "The Accidental Newlywed Game"

The Accidental Newlywed Game
Author:  Jaci Burton
Series:  Boots And Bouquets #3
Length:  336 pages
Format:  Kindle ARC
Expected Date Of Publication:  June 28th, 2022
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Rating:  5 Stars

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, when one night out turns into a wedding that neither newlywed can remember, from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.

Wedding planner Honor Bellini is in Las Vegas for a work convention when she runs into her sister's ex-fianc�, Owen Stone, who's also in town for his craft brewery business. They're both glad to see a familiar face from home...until a night of drinking leads to waking up in bed together--and a marriage certificate from a wedding that neither of them can recall.

Horrified, Owen suggests an immediate annulment. Honor agrees, but when they spend the day together, their chemistry is overwhelming. Plus, Honor has a flash of memory of their steamy wedding night, and she definitely likes what she remembers. They decide to wait before cancelling the whole marriage thing, though they both head back to Oklahoma determined not to tell anyone at home what happened in Vegas.

The problem is, Honor and Owen can't seem to stay away from each other--or keep their hands off one another. The longer they keep their secret, the harder it gets to deny how they really feel. Even worse, this huge secret has the potential to hurt someone they both care about. They need to get an annulment before this accidental marriage turns into love.

Please enjoy this exclusive excerpt from 
The Accidental Newlywed Game
Jaci Burton

The Accidental Newlywed Game

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Pub Date 28 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 28 Jul 2022
Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley
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What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, when one night out turns into a wedding that neither newlywed can remember, from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.

Wedding planner Honor Bellini is in Las Vegas for a work convention when she runs into her sister’s ex-fiancé, Owen Stone, who’s also in town for his craft brewery business. They’re both glad to see a familiar face from home…until a night of drinking leads to waking up in bed together—and a marriage certificate from a wedding that neither of them can recall.
Horrified, Owen suggests an immediate annulment. Honor agrees, but when they spend the day together, their chemistry is overwhelming. Plus, Honor has a flash of memory of their steamy wedding night, and she definitely likes what she remembers. They decide to wait before cancelling the whole marriage thing, though they both head back to Oklahoma determined not to tell anyone at home what happened in Vegas.
The problem is, Honor and Owen can’t seem to stay away from each other—or keep their hands off one another. The longer they keep their secret, the harder it gets to deny how they really feel. Even worse, this huge secret has the potential to hurt someone they both care about. They need to get an annulment before this accidental marriage turns into love.

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My Thoughts

 The Accidental Newlywed Game, is a totally enchanting story of two star-crossed lovers. Whose stars just happen to align in a most unexpected way.  After a tequila inspired trip down the wedding isle.  And so much more.  After what amounts to a chance meeting in Vegas.

The problem...

To say that these two have a history would be the understatement of the millennium!
Not  only did they grow up as best friends.
Owen was once the love of her older sister Erin's life.
Check the past tense there.
Can we say hard feelings, disappointment, and regret.

As Honor and Owen's predicament does more to bring them together than to drive them apart.
They must come to terms with the fact that the undeniable chemistry that they feel for each other has the potential to be so much more.
If that is, they are brave enough to bring their relationship out of the shadows and into the light.

This is a beautifully written, emotionally compelling, romantic underdog story. That will have readers turning pages with crossed fingers and full hearts.  As we witness the coming together of not just the lives and hearts of Honor and her leading man.  But the healing of a family in the process.

Another aspect of this read to love is the fact that Owen is a Cancer survivor.  Seeing Honor be there for him.  Even though it was quite clear that the whole ordeal unnerves her.  Really is enough to let you know that even though she may not be ready to admit it.  She is a woman in it for the long hual with this man.
And this, as it turns out. 
Is just one example of many where the proof of love is more than evident in both puddings.
But I digress.
This is a wonderful one-sitting read that once you start, you won't stop reading until the end.
 May I say that this reviewer is chomping at the bit for more!
Next book please ma'am?

Reviewer's Note.
This book may be read as a standalone.  Though it is highly suggested that it be read as part of its intended series.
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Books for the provision of the review copy on which this unbiased critique is based.


About Jaci

 Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 85 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at www.jaciburton.com for excerpts, book information and contests.
See her Socially:  Goodreads  Web  Twitter   Insta
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"Wicked Beauty" Proves The Third Time Is A Sexy Charm...

Title:   Wicked Beauty
Series: Dark Olympus #3
Author: Katee Robert
Length:  400 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Rating: 4 Stars 
Expected Publication Date: June 7, 2022 


She was the face that launched a thousand ships,
The fierce beauty at the heart of Olympus,
And she was never ours to claim.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus that's as sinful as it is sweet.*

In Olympus, you either have the power to rule...or you are ruled. Achilles Kallis may have been born with nothing, but as a child he vowed he would claw his way into the poisonous city's inner circle. Now that a coveted role has opened to anyone with the strength to claim it, he and his partner, Patroclus Fotos, plan to compete and double their odds of winning.

Neither expect infamous beauty Helen Kasios to be part of the prize...or for the complicated fire that burns the moment she looks their way.

Zeus may have decided Helen is his to give to away, but she has her own plans. She enters into the competition as a middle finger to the meddling Thirteen rulers, effectively vying for her own hand in marriage. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather see her dead than lead the city. The only people she can trust are the ones she can't keep her hands off—Achilles and Patroclus. But can she really believe they have her best interests at heart when every stolen kiss is a battlefield?

Please enjoy an excerpt from

Wicked Beauty
Dark Olympus #3
 Katee Robert
“I am so fucking late,”I mutter under my breath. The hallways of Dodona Tower are blessedly empty, but that only makes the clock ticking down inside my head worse. Tonight is the night everything changes. The night when I stop being a pawn in other people’s games and finally gain the agency I’ve craved ever since I was a little girl. And I can’t believe I’m fucking late. I pick up my pace, barely managing to resist the urge to run. Showing up out of breath and flustered to an Olympus party is even worse than showing up late. Appearances matter. It’s been a long time since Olympus experienced anything resembling traditional warfare, but every day, little battles are fought and won using the most mundane things. A carefully designed dress. A sweet word hiding a poisonous sting. A marriage. I duck into the elevator that will take me up to the ballroom floor and barely resist the urge to bounce on my toes with impatience. Normally, I wouldn’t give a damn about any of this. I make petty rebellions an art form. Tonight is different. Tonight, my brother Perseus—Zeus, now—is making an announcement that will change everything. Less than a week ago, Ares passed away. It was hardly unexpected—the man was old as dirt and had been knocking on the doors to the underworld for three months—but it’s opened up an opportunity that’s usually only seen once a generation. Of the Thirteen titles who rule Olympus, Ares alone is open to absolutely anyone. A person’s history, connections, finances don’t matter. You don’t even have to be Olympian. You simply have to win. Three trials, all designed to cull the wheat from the chaff, and the last person standing steps up to become Ares. One of the thirteen people who create the ruling body in Olympus. Each handles a specific part of keeping the city running smoothly, but more importantly to me, no one can compel any of them to take an action they don’t want to. Not even Zeus can force the hand of another member of the Thirteen—or at least that’s the theory. My father never paid attention to those sorts of niceties, and I doubt my brother will now that he’s inherited the title. It doesn’t matter. If I’m Ares, I’m no longer daughter to one Zeus, sister to another, a spoiled princess with no real value beyond her pretty face and family connections. Becoming Ares will set me free. The elevator doors open, and I hurry in the direction of the ballroom. The long hallway has changed since the last party, the dour, dark drapes that hung floor to ceiling on either side of the doors replaced with an airy white fabric that has silver threaded through it. It’s still not welcoming, but it’s significantly less oppressive. I’m curious who made that design call, because Perseus sure as fuck didn’t. Since he stepped up as Zeus after our father’s death, the only thing my oldest brother cares about is running his business and ruling Olympus with an iron fist. Or at least trying to. “Helen.”I stop short, but recognition brings a relieved smile to my face. “Eros. What are you doing out here lurking in the shadows?”He steps forward and holds up a tiny jeweled bag. “Psyche forgot her purse.”He should look ridiculous holding the purse, especially considering the violence those hands have done, but Eros has a habit of moving through life as if he’s untouchable. No one would dare say a word and he knows it. “What a good husband you are.”I take the last few steps and press a quick kiss to each of his cheeks. I haven’t seen him much in the last couple months, but he looks good. Eros is one of the most gorgeous people in Olympus—which is saying something—a white guy with curly blond hair and a face to make painters weep at its perfection. “Marriage suits you.”“More and more every day.”His gaze sharpens. “You’ve pulled out all the stops tonight.”“Do you like the dress?”I smooth my hands down my gown. It’s a custom piece, the golden fabric molded to my body from shoulders to hips before flaring out the slightest bit. It’s heavy with a subtle pattern that’s designed to catch the light with every move. A deep V dips between my breasts, and the shoulders have been shaped into sharp points that give the slightest impression of military bearing. “It’s a showstopper, as my mother would have said.”I ignore the twinge in my chest at the thought, just as I always do when my mind tries to linger on the woman who died far too young. She’s been gone fifteen years, having suffered a mysterious fall when I was fifteen. Mysterious. Right. As if all of Olympus didn’t suspect that my father was behind it. As if I didn’t know it for certain. Pushing this thought away is second nature. It doesn’t matter what sins my father committed. He’s dead and gone, just like my mother. I hope he’s been suffering in the pits of Tartarus since he drew his last breath. When I think of his death, all I feel is relief. He died before he could marry me off to secure some bullshit alliance, before he could cause even more of the pain he seemed to enjoy inflicting so much. No, I don’t miss my father at all. “She’d be proud of you.”“Maybe.”I glance over his shoulder at the doors. “Maybe she’d be furious over what I’m about to do.”Rock the boat? Fuck, I’m about to tip the boat right over. Eros doesn’t miss a beat. His brows rise and he shakes his head, looking rueful. “So it’s Ares for you. I should have known. You’ve been missing a lot of parties lately. Training?”“Yes.”I brace myself for his disbelief. We might be friends, but we’re friends by Olympus standards. I trust Eros not to slide a knife between my ribs. He trusts me not to cause him undue trouble in the press. We hang out on a regular basis at events and parties, and occasionally trade favors. I don’t trust him with my deepest secrets. It’s nothing personal. I don’t trust anyone with that part of me. On the other hand, everyone in Olympus will know my plans very shortly. I square my shoulders. “I’m going to compete to become the next Ares.”“Damn.”He whistles under his breath. “You’ve got your work cut out for you.”He’s not telling me he thinks he can’t do it, but I wilt a little all the same. I didn’t really expect enthusiastic support, but being constantly underestimated never fails to sting. “Yes, well, I’d better get in there.”“Hold on.”He surveys me. “Your hair is a little lopsided.”“What?”I lift my hand and touch my head. I can’t tell without a mirror. Damn it, I’m going to be even later, but it’s still better than walking into that room out of sorts. I start to turn in the direction of the bathroom back toward the elevators, but Eros catches my shoulder. “I got it.”He opens Psyche’s purse and digs around for a few seconds, pulling out an even smaller bag. Inside, there is a bunch of bobby pins. Eros huffs out a laugh at my incredulous expression. “Don’t look so surprised. If you had a purse, you’d have bobby pins stashed, too. Now, hold still and let me fix your shit.”Shock roots me in place as he carefully fixes my hair, securing it with half a dozen bobby pins. He leans back and nods. “Better.”“Eros.”I gently touch my hair again. “Since when do you do hair?”He shrugs. “I can’t do more than damage control, but it saves Psyche some trouble when we’re out if I can help like this.”Gods, he’s so in love it makes me sick. I’m happy for him. Truly, I am. But I can’t help the jealousy that curls through me. It’s not about Eros—he’s more brother to me than anything else—but at the intimacy and trust he shares with his wife. The one time I thought I might have that, it blew up in my face and I still wear the emotional scars from the fallout. I manage a smile, though. “Thanks.”“Knock ’em dead, Helen.”His grin is sharp enough to cut. “I’ll be rooting for you.”I drag in a slow breath and turn for the door. Since I’m late, I might as well make an entrance. I straighten my spine and push both doors open with more force than necessary. People scatter as I step into the room. I pause, letting them look at me, and taking them in at the same time. This room has changed since Perseus inherited the title of Zeus. Oh, the space is still functionally the same. Shining white marble floors that I can barely see beneath the crowd, an arching ceiling that gives the impression of the ballroom being even larger than it is, the massive windows and glass doors that lead out to the balcony on the other side of the room. But it still feels different. The walls used to be cream, but now they’re a cool gray. A subtle change, but it makes a difference. Most notably, the larger-than-life portraits of the Thirteen that line the walls have different frames. Gone are the thick gold frames that my father favored, replace by finely crafted black. I would have to get closer to verify, but each looks like they might be custom, unique to each member of the Thirteen. Perseus didn’t make these changes, either. I’m certain of it. Our father might have been obsessive about his image, but my brother doesn’t give a fuck. Even when he should. I start through the crowd, holding my head high. Normally, I can identify every single person who attends a Dodona Tower party. Information is everything, and I learned from a very young age that it’s the only weapon I’m allowed. Some people meet my gaze, others stare at my body in a way that makes my skin crawl, and still others all but turn their back on me. No surprises the. Being a Kasios in Olympus might have its perks, but it means being born into generations’old grudges and politicking. I grew up learning who could be trusted—no one—and who would actually shove me into traffic if given half a chance—more people than is comforting. But this party isn’t a regular one, and tonight is not a regular night. Nearly half the faces are new to me, people who have arrived from the outskirts around Olympus or been ferried into the city by Poseidon for this special occasion. I don’t stop moving to memorize faces. Not everyone here will be nominating themselves as champions; plenty of them are just like the majority of the people here from Olympus. Hangers-on. They don’t matter. I don’t pick up my pace, moving at a steady stalk that forces people to get out of my way. The crowd parts for me just like I know it will, whispers following in my wake. I’m making a scene, and while half of them love me for it, the rest resent me. Everyone has pulled out all the stops tonight. In one corner, my sister Eris—Aphrodite, as of three months ago—is laughing at something with Hermes and Dionysus. My chest gives a pang. I would like nothing more than to be with them now, just like I am at every other party. My sister and my friends are what makes living in Olympus bearable, but the last few months have driven home the new differences between us. It wasn’t so noticeable when Eris was still Eris, but now that she’s also one
 your stuff here

My Thoughts

It seems that Helen Kasios has had it with her role as the cosseted "it girl" of Olympus's ruling family.
And it seems that the now open position of Aries, is just the ticket to her freedom.  
That is of course, if she can survive the competition for this most coveted of prizes.
Besides that of her hand in marriage to the victor.
As promised by her brother "the new Zeus"
Without her permission.
But better to ask forgiveness than permission?
Enter Achilles Kallis...
Born with nothing...
Servant on Athena's guard and more determined than ever to win his place among the 13.  As the newly crowned Aries.
With the help of his lover...Patroclus
That is...
If his moth can manage to not be drawn to the seeming irresistible flame that is Helen.

Bring on the sexy, duplicitous, girl power, thruple goodness.  Helen is a woman on a mission.
And she is managing to leave the boys astounded and confounded at every turn.
Half the fun of this book is watching Helen best her "nay sayers".
That and the "hot sex that she has with A and P.
And then there is the saving...
Everybody saves everybody in this book!
And the readers win!
This book would have been a 5 star read. But for the fact that the trails that she has to go through to win the position of Aries seem to be more of an aside.
Though there is a level of physicality found in Helen's character.  Her role is always patently more strategic than anything else.
Reviewer's Note:
This book is the third in a series that can be read in whole or in part.
All opinions expressed herein are those of WTF Are You Reading?
And are not influenced by Soursebooks Casabanca, Netgalley, or any other source.  


About Katee

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension." When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Find Her:  GR Web 

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Someone To Cherish Offers A Sweet But Anticlimactic End


Title:  Someone To Cherish
Author:  Mary Balogh
Length:  400 pages
Date Of Publication:  June 29th, 2021
Publisher:  Berkley
Rating:  4 Stars

Is love worth the loss of one's freedom and independence? This is what Mrs. Tavernor must decide in the new novel in the Westcott series from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

When Harry Westcott lost the title Earl of Riverdale after the discovery of his father's bigamy, he shipped off to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, where he was near-fatally wounded. After a harrowing recovery, the once cheery, light-hearted boy has become a reclusive, somber man. Though Harry insists he enjoys the solitude, he does wonder sometimes if he is lonely.

Lydia Tavernor, recently widowed, dreams of taking a lover. Her marriage to Reverend Isaiah Tavernor was one of service and obedience, and she has secretly enjoyed her freedom since his death. She doesn't want to shackle herself to another man in marriage, but sometimes, she wonders if she is lonely.

Both are unwilling to face the truth until they find themselves alone together one night, and Lydia surprises even herself with a simple question: "Are you ever lonely?" Harry's answer leads them down a path neither could ever have imagined...

Praise For Mary Balogh


Praise for Mary Balogh and her novels

Someone to Cherish

“The seamless plotting and enticing characters make this a romance to be savored. Balogh is in fine form, and this may be her best Regency to date.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Someone to Romance

“Pitch-perfect…a riveting, fast-paced narrative…Regency fans will be delighted.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Someone to Remember

“Wistful yet hopeful, the story is a needed addition to a genre that usually celebrates the romances of younger protagonists.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“…A charming novel, slowly paced and sweet, perfectly reflecting the gentle middle-aged woman at its center.”—Shelf Awareness

Someone to Trust

“The balance between sweet and bitter produces a complex and winning love story.”—Publishers Weekly

“The sheer perfection of Balogh’s prose in the fifth superbly written installment in the Westcott series marries her rare gift for crafting realistically nuanced characters to produce another radiant Regency historical romance by one of the genre’s most resplendent writers.”—Booklist, starred review

“With tenderness, humor, and infinite finesse, Balogh turns the classic younger woman/older man pairing on its well-worn ear in another sigh-worthy [novel] that readers are sure to savor.”—Library Journal, starred review

“The quiet, authentic intensity of the characters’ emotions is a hallmark of Balogh’s work, and it is a pleasure to experience each heart-wringing moment in this romance made for warming a winter night.”—BookPage

Someone to Care

“A love story nearly perfect in every way.”—Booklist, starred review

“A story that is searing in its insight, as comforting as a hug, and a brilliant addition to this series. Another gem from a master of the art.”—Library Journal, starred review

Someone to Wed

“With her signature voice and steady pace, Balogh crafts a thoughtful, sweet Regency-era love story to follow Someone to Hold.”—Publishers Weekly

“Balogh’s delightful ugly duckling tale may be the nonpareil Regency romance of the season.”—Booklist, starred review

Put your stuff here

My Thoughts

Lydia...Lydia...Lydia and Harry...Harry...Harry!
It actually took 8 books...
8 whole books for Harry to grow up and become a man.
Well, if one must resort to technicalities.
It took a major disinheriting, war service, several near death experiences, PTSD, becoming the consummate "country gentleman" and bringing the wife of the dearly departed "town saint and martyr" to scandalous ruin.  To bring about Harry's long awaited catharsis.

And now that it has arrived...
The phrase "Still waters run deep."  Comes to mind here.  Because there is nary a splash to be had plot wise; in Harry's neck of the literary pond.
Because all the other plot worthy points in Harry's existence have been so thoroughly interwoven into every other stories in the series.
The only two real talking points left by the time that readers are to hear from the man himself?
Lydia and the fact that he has indeed survived long enough to meet Lydia.
Insert side-eye here...
As for Lydia?
Poor thing!!!
Married to a man who was so married to his work that he wanted her to marry it too.
But then he died.
So then she no longer had to be married to the late vicar or his work.
But now she is expected to be this "paragon of virtue".
It appears that that is the last thing on her mind. 
Or Harry's 
But to what end?

This is the most staid of all the stories of the series.
It strikes one as being more reflective than romantic.
But it is nonetheless very sweet.
After the long wait for this last piece of the grand puzzle that is the Westcott series.
Reviewer's Notes
This book may be read as part pf its intended series.  Or as a standalone.
WTF Are You Reading?  Would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley Books for the review copy on which this unbiased review is based.


About Mary

Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling 'Slightly' sextet and 'Simply' quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

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