I've had heard wonderful things about this series for a few years now. Those who are fans of this series are very serious fans, and I've been told over and over to read this series, that it's a wonderful series and that I would absolutely love it.

Series: In Death, #1
My Rating: 
Genre: Romantic Suspense

And I wanted to read it, but the series is thirty plus books in and well...that's a daunting amount of books to read in one series. So I kinda put it off. After all, I had my retirement years to read this series, right?

But I finally decided I ought at least read the first book in the series and see if I'd even be interested in reading this series. And, wow, am I ever. This was so not what I was expecting. I thought it was paranormal romance, but I didn't know what to expect. And the serial killer suspense romance I got set in the future, a future that had a lot of techy gadgets we would have imagined in the 80s or early 90s, just sucked me in. The first chapter blew my mind in a big way.
Alternate cover 
Eve is a character that has some serious trauma in her past. And you can feel it there at times, but I couldn't help but admire how she could delve into the mind of the killer and figure out his MO. I was impressed by how she handled each situation and character in the novel. Her job was paramount, and no one was getting in the way of that. Even Roarke.

I have no idea what to say about Roarke. He's mysterious, but there's this element about him that really intrigued me. He was compelled by Eve, to comfort her, to help her, even while he tested and challenged her. I liked them together as a couple, but I'm unsure about both of their characters as well. There's layers to them that have yet to be peeled away. Where will this series, these characters go?  I can't wait to find out.

Happy Reading
Jewels
A very few years back, when I first decided that I wanted to be the author of a book blog, I knew I wanted it look WOW. I also knew that I knew nothing about the project I was undertaking. I'm not very techy. But I asked some other helpful bloggers some questions and doggedly set out to create My Devastating Reads. I searched the internet high and low for ways to make the blog look better, and refined the organization of my posts. I had something I could work with.

For a while. I needed to improve. So I did. I've kept refining and polishing the look of my blog, changed widgets and features, spending hours learning simple code for a couple of things I wanted on my blog, and I found a look that worked for me. I think I had pretty much reached the extent of what I could to make my blog polished and readable, but although I really liked the look and feel of my blog, there was this niggle in the back of my mind that it wasn't quite as smooth as I wanted it to be.

What's a blogger to do? I've never been willing to pay someone to create a look for me, and I wasn't about to start. I did, however seek a higher power, someone who knows a heck of a lot more about techy stuff than I do. So we set about trying out some templates we found online. And while the blog looked nice, the organization that I had so carefully set about organizing was now very disorganized and messy. So, on one hand I was gaga about the look, on the other I was all:

Picture is not my own work
Which was not cool. I was prepared do so some editing, but some of it was just going to be the way it was and that meant my cool look had to go. And then, we had a thought. That thought was not my own, but it was brilliant and it did mean that I could have an awesome new look for my blog. The look you currently see is the result of that brilliant idea, and I'm very happy to have had my blog reinvented. I have never settled for a look for my blog, each time I fixed it up, I loved it. And I totally adore this look. It's the kind of blog I wanted, but didn't really think I could ever have. I'm giddy about it and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Happy Reading
Jewels
I am not sure where to even begin with this novel. To stay it is wonderful is probably the understatement of the year, but it is wonderful. So wonderful that even as I read it, I never wanted this book to end. It was just beautiful story telling, moving and every scene was rich with emotion and depth.

Series: Dare River, #1 
My Rating: 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I think it was the depth of this story that caught me so unawares. I was expecting a simple plot where bad ass rock star meets sweet girl and cleans up his lifestyle because of true love. Simple, sweet and straight forward. But Country Heaven delivered so much more than that. It was a story about family, and it was intelligently written. Tory has no living family left in the world. Rye is estranged from his, and when his father falls ill, he is called home again. He brings Tory with him for moral support, and everything that unfolds after that is fraught with love, sadness, and the reality that even when you love someone, you can hurt them. A lot. I was impressed as well as surprised by the depth of the family dynamics, the way the dysfunction had played into not only Rye's lives, but those of his sisters, and how much Rye grew as a character the more the story progressed. He's a real sweetheart, and there were many times he made me all le sigh.
Alternate cover for Country Heaven.

The romance was built slowly, both Tory and Rye came to realize that they were not only attracted to each other, but experiencing genuine emotion. Rye comes to rely on Tory because he feels better around her, and Tory comes to realize that there's more to Rye than meets the eye. I loved that she recognized the conflict in his character, and called him on it. And I hated that he doubted her. But I loved that he had sense enough to finally step up and start making changes in his life. He stepped up in other ways too, but I'll leave out the happily ever after details. You'll have to read this for yourself if you want to exactly what happens in this book. And I recommend you do.

This story swept me away. The characters all rich and brimming with life, the story is one of love and family, and the emotion was so poignant that I was often moved to tears. It's not every day you read a romance this richly woven with emotion, depth and meaning. I'm just itching to read more in this wonderful series. Thank you Ava Miles for a really devastating read!

Happy Reading
Jewels

It's been way too long since I did a Quote It! post. But I recently read a book that really blew me away. I was drawn into the story. I was swept away by it. It wasn't really what I'd been expecting, but it certainly exceeded my expectations. It moved me. That book was Country Heaven by Ava Miles and I cannot wait to share the quotes that made me both laugh and cry with you. If you haven't read this book, you don't know what you're missing. You have read this book, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

 "...I think you're...about as lovely as sunlight kissing the leaves of a birch tree in autumn."

"I told him that so long as there's one person who loves you, it doesn't matter how bad things get. You have to go back."

"Please tell me it's a girl dog," she whispered to Rye. "Nope," he said with the sputter of a laugh. "Poor Barbie  is a boy. Leave it be."

"Tory, I've missed you like you're my last breath."

I've shared a taste with you. Some of these moments brought tears to my eyes. I hope you enjoyed today's Quote It! Stay tuned for my full review.


Happy Reading
 Jewels

Crystal Cove was a little different than the other three novels in the series in that it was more magical, perhaps even paranormal than the others. Justine is a bone fide witch. The hero, Jason, has no soul. There are curses and covens and spells. The story felt different because it was more steeped in the supernatural than the others. The story opens with Justine discovering that a geas or curse has been placed upon so that she'll never find true love. From there this witch who has pretty much rejected her magical background, starts to casts spells to break the curse.


Series: Friday Harbor, #4
My Rating: 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Justine manages to break to the curse, and although she is powerfully attracted to Jason, she's also reluctant to pursue anything with him. He's too different. And I think that she was also afraid because Jason demanded and Justine wasn't used to feeling, or at least feeling what she did with him.

And then came the betrayal. And from then on we find out just how cursed Justine is and how that curse will affect Jason, a man with no soul. And the more each of them tried to protect the other, the more messed up it becomes. And yet, magic saves the day.

Book 1 in the series
 I liked that love and magic made it possible for Justine and Jason to be together. But I was a bit taken aback by how it all happened. I'm still not sure what it means. I've given it some thought, and I've come to the conclusion that they were fated to be, soul mates, but in a very different way than we might except as readers. I actually think that their love story was meant to unfold in precisely the way that it did, as if it was written in the stars. They are not your typical soul mates in short--because how could they be when Jason began this story without a soul?

A lovely tale, rich with emotion and elegantly told. Is it magical? Yes, but not exactly as I'd come to expect from the Friday Harbor series. It's eclectic and much more lyrical, flowing with fantasy and romance.

Happy Reading
Jewels