Thursday, March 21, 2013

88 Keys

Eight-Eight Keys 
Leah is a young woman who is trying to break free from a strict religious background and pursue her dream as a pianist in the world of show business. While trying to find her independence her heart is held captive by Jason Rowe a local basketball star who established an organization to help troubled youth. When Jason is found murdered in his home, Leah is determined to get answers from a closed investigation. During her state of emotional turmoil, Leah finds comfort not only in the melody of her music, but in the arms of a married man named Calvin. With her dreams at her fingertips, Leah is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Despite the fear of learning the truth, Leah has to realize that only the truth can set her free.

A dead lover, with a trail of broken hearts…

A married man, with a double-life…

A dream chaser, with a killer at her heels…

A piano, with eighty-eight keys…


The jarring ring of the telephone pulled Leah back into the present. It took her a couple of rings to find the buried cell
phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, Leah, it’s Quincy. I was just calling to check up on you.”
She settled back into a small section of the couch. “Hi, Quincy. I’m doing okay.”
“You sure?” She could hear the concern in his voice. “You sound a little sad.”
The picture of her and Jason crumpled in her fist. “Well, you know how it is. I’m surrounded by ghosts at every turn.”
Her inner voice urged her to change the subject quickly. “How are you doing?”
“Well, that kind of brings me to the second purpose of this call. Would you mind coming in this afternoon? There is still
so much to do for the gala, and we can use all the help we can get.”
Leah looked at her watch, then at the mess in her living room. “Yep, I can be there in a couple of hours.”
Saying her goodbyes, Leah hung up the phone and made a mental note to pick up, packing boxes along the way.
When her lease was up, she was moving to her neon oasis—Las Vegas. Leah was going to be a pianist.
Running thirty minutes late, Leah pulled into the parking lot of Bright Horizons Youth Group. She didn’t see Mrs.
Turner and Rosa until she almost collided into them.
“Oh, oops, sorry,” Leah said, fumbling with her purse and notebook. “I, um, didn’t see you there.” The look on Rosa’s
face was pure anger.
“Well, we are certainly glad you’re here,” Mrs. Turner said with an airy smile. “There is just so much that needs to be
done, and well, it is your business to know how to do this.”
Leah smiled, situating her purse on her shoulder, and avoided eye contact with Rosa in case one of the thousand
daggers thrown from her eyes would penetrate. “You know, I am just happy to help,” she said to the older woman.
Leah cringed at the overly eager sound of her own voice.
“And we are so glad you are helping, swallowing your pride for the good of Bright Horizons.” Mrs. Turner wore her
Armani dress like it was a second skin, her makeup and hair flawless as always. Her smile was etched, and didn’t quite
spread to the rest of her face.
“I don’t understand why…” Rosa said. Her hostility spoke volumes.
Leah braced herself for a very vocal confrontation.
“No, dear.” Mrs. Turner put a beautifully manicured hand on Rosa’s forearm. “You don’t understand, and you never
will if you don’t check your attitude.”
A car horn caused all three women to look around. “Ah, that’s for me.” Mrs. Turner pulled a sheet of paper from her
book, not acknowledging the impatient student honking.
Leah didn’t want to know why the University’s current basketball star was sitting in Mrs. Turner’s car.
“If you both will excuse me, I have more important mat-ters to attend to.” She handed Leah a long list, “Be a dear and
see if you can crank this out.”
The two women eyed each other warily.
Rosa brushed past Leah. “Don’t you dare screw this up,” she hissed.
“Why would you think that?” Leah usually kept to herself as far as Rosa was concerned, but the implication bothered
Rosa slid on a pair of sunglasses. “Because you screw everything up.”

Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.]
Links: Goodreads Facebook Twitter Catherine Lavender 

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The Guilty Innocent 18+

 5 of 5 stars false 
In this installment, Darian, the gorgeous, charismatic and charming
master vampire of Chicago is framed for a crime he didn't commit, but
why? His lover, Xavier, Natasha and a few others must travel halfway
across the world to find out who and why before time runs out and all
hell breaks loose!
Original, sexy and gritty, the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles will
suck you in and take you for a ride you won't forget! 


****This book was part of a blog tour, I received a copy for my honest review****

This is the second book in the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles; Natasha is trying to get a grasp on her psychic abilities when Darian is accused of murder. Xavier, Natasha and a few others have to prove that Darian is not the killer and they don't have long to do it. I started reading this book and felt a little lost, so I went and read the first book in the series. It helped a lot, I liked Natasha in the first book but I loved her in this one. She is a very strong woman, she is surrounded by alpha males and yet she holds her own and doesn't let herself be pushed around. Elise, an ex of Darians is a complete bitch, I loved to hate her, she had lots of attitude but she had flair. Xavier and Darian were sexy as ever and it was interesting to see them trying to navigate their relationship with Natasha. The change of scenery was nice, the whole group going to Moscow and not killing each other seemed like a big challenge in itself, let alone finding the people who framed Darian. This book was a great sexy, suspenseful read, there were a few scenes that I found humorous but I honestly don't know if that was what the author was going for or if I have a dark sense of humor. I can't wait to get my hand on the next book in the series to find out what my favorite characters are up to.

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The Baby Bargain 18+

The following review is for 18+ readers.
The Baby Bargain
3 of 5 stars false
Seeing Adam Waters is the last thing veterinarian Megan Young expects. Ex-Marine. Ex-boyfriend. And still extremely dangerous territory. But Adam doesn’t know the secret Megan has been keeping from him. The secret that was created three years ago, after their last night together...Adam returns to Raven’s Cove to sell his home in a final break with the town and memories that haunt him. The problem is that his attraction to Megan is as blazing hot as it ever was. But when a vicious smear campaign against Megan turns ugly, Adam learns the truth he never knew—he has a son. Now the only way Megan can protect her child is to strike a bargain with Adam. And it’s a bargain that looks a lot like blackmail...


****I was given an ARC of this book for my honest review****
 Megan is the woman left behind. She dated Adam for two years in College, but he wanted his Military career and nothing was going to stand in his way.Then a few years after being in the Marines he comes home for his parents funeral. Megan is there to comfort him, feeling bad for his suffering... they end up in bed. Next morning, Adam breezes back out of her life again...not knowing that he has left something behind. When Megan finds out she is pregnant she doesn't inform Adam, fears of anger and rejection stop her from. She doesn't want to trap anyone into fatherhood. She wouldn't want anyone to go through what she went through with her father, so she leaves it.
When Adam comes back into town after three years he plans to pack up and then leave for good, but he is drawn to Megan, he can't stay away.
This was a good second chance romance. It was full of tension, both characters had hurt feelings and insecurites to get past. Not to mention the fact that Megan was withholding a huge secret from Adam... their son Cole.
Usually I would feel sorry for the dad missing out on his child, but to start out with Adam came across as a bit of a player. He didn't seem to care that he would be stuffing Megan around again with his love you and leave you attitude. He kept a huge part of himself secret too. His reaction when Megan told him was therefore a little over the top for me. I felt bad for Megan, but then he got his act together and redeemed himself. The trouble that Megan was in was interesting and I admit to being a little misled and not knowing who the bad guy was until close to the end. I like the issues that the couple had to go through to get back together and trust each other. Adam's troubled past was heartbreaking, and I was glad Megan could help him work through it all. It was a good story and I am hoping it will be a series as there were some really interesting secondary characters in there, and who can resist a good marine romantic suspense story? Not me :) 3 .5 stars.
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Love at First Sight

This book has some sexual content, but nothing explicit.
Love at First Sight (Cupid, Texas, #1)
3 of 5 stars false
From the author of the Twilight, Texas books comes the first in a dazzling new Cupid, Texas series. Lori Wilde welcomes us to Cupid, where every wish for love comes true...
Natalie McCleary couldn't believe her eyes-a lean-muscled, darkly tanned, nearly-naked man stood in her path…and then it hit her: love. Everyone always told her it'd hit like a thunderbolt, and she never believed them. But now she knew: practical, sensible Natalie was head over heels in love-with a stranger.
But ex-Navy SEAL Dade Vega wasn't about to be a stranger for long. He'd ridden into Cupid on his motorcycle, vowing to keep a promise he'd made to a military buddy. But a single glimpse at Natalie-soaking wet and unexpectedly tempting-changed his life forever.
But how can he offer her is love, when he can't even promise to stay in one place for longer than a week?


*****I recieved this arc from Edelweiss for my honest review*****
We start off in the town of Cupid in the mind of character Natalie McCleary. Natalie has had a hard life, being witness to her parents deaths, sustaining an injury that has left her with a life long limp and having the burden of her sister's upbringing on her shoulders, has left her as a serious person who very rarely lets her hair down. She has also been brought up in the down of Cupid, a kooky little town, steeped in history, which very much celebrates romance and love. Being 29 and having no prospects has left Natalie perplexed as to how to move forward, and having to answer love letters as part of a town tradition has made her feel clueless. How can you answer questions about love, when you have never experienced it?
Dade Vega is on a mission to find his foster brother, the only family he has. His last known whereabouts was in Cupid, in the very boarding house that Natalie runs. An early life full of abuse has left Dade very suspicious of people and also believing he is will never have a place to belong,or somebody to love.
Each of these characters were totally unprepared for what would happen when they met each other.
I liked this story, I am a sucker for a kooky town and Cupid was definitely a kooky little town. The tradition of the "Dear Cupid" letters was a cute touch and the ancestors of the original Dear Cupid letter writer, Natalie's relatives, were a lively bunch of interfering biddies and I liked them alot. All confident with there belief in love, all willing to dish out advice.
The Mystery of Red's (Dades foster brother) disappearance was a mystery right up to the end. I really had no idea what had happened to him, however I did have my suspicions of a certain person being involved.The romance between Natalie and Dade was a love at first sight story, although Dade did fight it, even though he did feel it. Both characters have some serious self esteem issues but, when things did get moving it was sweet and loving, maybe a bit too sweet for me, but I am sure others will love it. It was well written and well paced.
A good start to a new series.
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