Posts Tagged ‘new adult fiction’

StolenDreams_med-193x300I can’t believe this is the last book in the Cassie Scot new adult paranormal mystery series! I really have enjoyed this series a lot.

If you’re new to the series, I advise you to pick up the books in order:

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective  
Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) 
Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

In this the final installment, talented author Christine Amsden brings the infamous Scot vs. Blackwood family feud to a close, but not without filling her story with enough intrigue, mystery, twists and surprises to keep you thinking about the characters for a long time.

And this is, really, the biggest draw in these stories, the characters, especially Cassie and Evan. Cassie has been such a likable protagonist throughout the series, smart and strong and opinionated, yet caring and warm-hearted. Evan –yes, arrogant, condescending and overprotective Evan — has also been the perfect hero. They were school sweethearts…until Evan’s father stole her powers from her and gave them to Evan, thus starting a conflict between them that brought them to the depths of despair, especially for Cassie.

There are many subplots in this book, but the main problem happens when Cassie’s father is killed and she and her family think that Evan’s dad is the one responsible. The primary storyline has to do with finding out if this is true or not and, if not, then who, in fact, is responsible.

There are many surprises in Stolen Dreams, and I enjoyed all of them. Fans of romance will especially enjoy the focus on Cassie and Evan’s relationship. I loved the ending. In sum, this was a wonderful series, and the author delivered a satisfying closure. I wonder what she will come up next? I’m certainly going to be on the lookout for her future books.

My review was previously published in Blogcritics Magazine. 

Read Full Post »


Secrets and Lies is the second installment in the Cassie Scot new adult paranormal mystery series. Though there’s a bit of backstory in this novel, it’s preferable to read the books in order, if only to find out from the beginning who Cassie is, how she got started as a detective and, especially, how her romance with Evan evolved. Also to understand the animosity between their families.

In Secrets and Lies, two girls have gone missing from a summer camp and although the local police have already started investigating, Cassie is hired by a family member of the girls to help in the case. Evan, always wanting to protect Cassie, joins her in the investigation.

Because Evan saved Cassie’s life in book 1, Cassie believes she owes him and finds it difficult to deny him what he wants.  This makes life both frustrating and thrilling for Cassie, who is not only an independent, smart, 21-year old sleuth, but she’s also powerfully attracted to him and prone to succumb to his charms…but who can resist a charismatic, handsome warlock?

As the two begin to investigate, it becomes increasingly obvious that magic is involved, and that the girls might still be alive. At the same time, there seems to be a “ghost” or “invisible person” robbing banks in town. Are the robberies and the girls’ disappearance connected in some way? Adding further tension to the mystery is the ongoing war between Cassie and her parents, who betrayed and disowned her in book 1, as well as the unending feud between Cassie’s and Evan’s families, who totally loath each other. This, of course, puts pressure on the young couple, who are not only in lust but also in love.

As Cassie closes in on the villains, tormenting issues about her mother resurface. On her mother’s deathbed, Cassie must make a decision that could forever distance her from her mother or could possibly reunite them — or at least ease some of the tension in the family and improve their relationship. The book isn’t titled Secrets and Lies for nothing, as there are plenty of these in the story, not to mention enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. First of all, what I love most about Cassie is her voice. She is very likable and sympathetic, with just the right amount of good qualities and flaws. She’s smart, independent, witty, sensitive, and has a good heart. Amsden does an excellent job with her character’s interiority.

The second aspect of this novel I enjoyed the most is the romance between Cassie and Evan. It’s just the right amount, without veering the plot away from the mystery. It also has its fair share of tension, as we never know how it’s going to end up for these two. The author keeps us guessing in this roller-coaster of a love story.

The pace flows fairly quickly, as this author doesn’t use too much exposition or description. Action and dialogue propel the story forward. The paranormal aspect adds fun and spice to the story without getting overwhelming, and I enjoyed all the magic 101.

The ending left me breathless with a mega-revelation that will have a major impact on the relationship between Cassie and Evan. Having read both books in the series, this is my favorite, and I can’t wait to see what Amsden will come up with in her next installment, soon to come out in 2014. Fans of paranormal mysteries will relish this one!

Find out more on Amazon and B&N.

Visit Christine Amsden’s website.

Originally published in Blogcritics

Read Full Post »

Gem City GypsyTitle: Gem City Gypsy
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Author: Kristin Kuhns Alexandre
Publisher: Sisterhood Publications
Pages: 158
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940016029
ISBN-13: 978-1940016023

Purchase at AMAZON

When you read “Gem City Gypsy” you must conceptualize a whole world.



The Wright Brothers.

The KKK.

Industrialization leading to WWI.

So many vivid elements. The story is about a gypsy girl who must leap over bodies to survive the sinking Lusitania and escape murderous Germans who kill her mentor in Ireland. She later returns to her hometown, recreated as a wealthy woman trying to meld into the upper class. Neci Star captures our imagination and heart as she claws her way out of one class and into the abyss of another.

Chapter One

She didn’t like the way he looked at her.

Nineteen-year-old Neci Stans scurried around the small cottage, tidying things that looked out of place, and trying not to make eye contact with Graham Moore. She tried to pretend he didn’t make her nervous or self-conscious, because she knew that was exactly what he was trying to do.

He gave her looks. Those looks. Neci had seen gazes like this before, from men just like Graham Moore. Perhaps she was even used to them. She knew what they meant; what they wanted. But unlike other times in her life, Neci felt safe; protected.

She knew this was because of Lord Pool, and how he treated her. The whole reason she was here, safe, and living in Kinsale, Ireland, was because of Lord Pool. She owed him everything. He’d rescued her from more than death, when they both survived the sinking of the Lusitania after it was torpedoed by a German sub. He’d rescued her from a life she didn’t want to live, teaching her to be a proper young lady, to speak correctly; dress correctly; act correctly.

She’d already been on her way, traveling with the Hubbards–as a maidservant–on the Lusitania to what she was sure was a new life and bigger and better things. Things didn’t end up the way she planned. While at first it was terrifying, the end result was even better than she could have planned. Neci was no longer just a “wild gypsy” girl. She had become a proper lady. It was all she had ever wanted.

Lord Pool lost his family in the horrible event. He watched them die, and was helpless to save them. Then an explosion knocked him overboard and he awoke on a small fishing boat to find Neci caring for him.

Neci knew she’d become a substitute for his lost wife and daughter. But she didn’t mind, or care. She was all he had, and he was there to help her achieve her dreams. She had him and her beloved dog, Theda, and they took the place of her family back in the States.

For the past two years they had lived peacefully in Kinsale, Ireland. Neci had escaped the gypsy camp—a rather dramatic escape, she thought ironically, remember her time floating in the water escaping the sinking Lusitania–and now she had learned the finer things in life from the elegant, refined, and kind-hearted Lord Pool. Graham Moore wasn’t going to change that, even though she was pretty sure he wanted to do just that.

She didn’t care what she had to do. This man she did not trust, with his quick tongue and his fiery eyes, had an agenda. Even though he was ruggedly handsome, despite the horrible war trench scar that ran from his left eye to his chin. It made him look very dangerous, which was appropriate, because Neci knew he was not to be trusted. She could sense it. She had, after all, been born a gypsy girl with a gypsy heart.

“He was in love with my daughter,” Lord Pool had explained one evening soon after Graham arrived, and after he had retired for the evening and Neci was left alone with her mentor. “That is why I allowed him to come visit. He and I have her in common. I never really considered him appropriate for Nelly, as it seemed he was more interested in the family estate and the family money more than my lovely daughter.”

“So why let him stay? And why did he come now?” Neci asked.

“I let him stay because seeing him brings a little bit of her back,” Lord Pool explained gently. “It’s not much, but it’s all I have. And I suppose he thinks he will inherit from me now that I have no family left.”

“But that’s a horrible thing to do,” Neci had proclaimed. “To just show up so he can get in your good graces and inherit your money.” She wanted to cry out, “But you have me,” even though she knew this was not appropriate. She bit her lip to keep from talking.

Lord Pool only laughed. He looked upon Neci as an innocent. She knew this.

“Don’t you worry, Neci. I am a smart man, and I know people. Graham Moore will not be getting any money from me.”

But what could he get–or try to get–from Neci?

She didn’t dare tell Lord Pool about the night before, when Graham had followed her into her bedroom, long after Lord Pool had retired for the evening.

“I beg your pardon,” she said. “What are you doing in here?”

“Just came in for a little visit,” he said, a devilish grin edging up the corners of his sensual mouth.

“This isn’t proper, and you know it. Please leave my quarters.”

“Proper? Let’s be honest, here, Neci,” he said, moving toward her. She backed away until she was trapped by the wall, and could go no further. He continued to advance toward her. “Proper? You’re anything but proper. Underneath that exterior, I sense a hunger in you. A wildness. You’re no lady. You’re a wild girl…no, not a girl. You’re a wild woman.”

He pushed his body up against hers, and she could feel his desire, pressing through his trousers, hard. Strange emotions raced through her. She didn’t like Graham. Not at all. She sensed he was greedy and selfish, but he was a handsome man with a fine physique. Neci didn’t like the way her body reacted. It seemed a betrayal of all she had been through and struggled to learn.

“I know you want it,” he said, bending forward toward her. He reached a hand up to raise her chin, tilting her head backward until her lips were almost perfectly aligned with his, the back of her head against the wall. “I can see the desire in your eyes.”

Neci shivered and tried to push him away. “I am a lady,” she said vehemently. “If I scream, Lord Pool will hear and come throw you out.”

“But you won’t scream, will you Neci? Because I would tell him that you lured me in here. Tried to seduce me. And who would he believe? You? Or me? I think we both know the answer to that.”

He leaned in closer, and his lips grazed hers. All sorts of fireworks went off inside her stomach, and Neci wanted to scream at her body for the betrayal. She did not like Graham. She did not want to react to him.

“I. Will. Scream,” she whispered.

“Yes, of course you will.” He took his right hand off her chin and moved it to her breasts, running his hand across first the right, then the left, then cupping the firmness of the right one, touching her in a place that no man had ever touched.

He tried to push aside the material covering her breasts, and he stepped back. Neci took advantage of the temporary distance between them and raised her knee hard, connecting with his groin.

Graham went to the ground, quickly retreating into a fetal position, groaning in pain, and she quickly moved around him and out the door.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: