The China Dogs by Sam Masters (Review)

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The China Dog by Sam Master photo ChinaDogs_zps005ae7f5.jpg
Title: The China Dogs
Author: Sam Master
Genre: Thriller
Publish Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Witness Impulse an imprint of HarperCollins



~ Synopsis ~

Man’s best friend is about to become America’s worst enemy…

When a sudden rash of deadly canine attacks hits the greater Miami area, Lieutenant “Ghost” Walton, Special Ops, takes little notice. Blame it on the heat, a rare disease, or the fact that people just don’t know how to take care of their pets.

But when the body count rises, and the perimeter of blood and carnage spreads wider and wider, into the farthest reaches of Miami-Dade county, Ghost has no choice but to pay attention. Doggedly, he tries to uncover the link between these lethal incidents, but he doesn’t count on falling for a sassy out-of-towner with a dark past, nor does he expect to stumble onto a plot that threatens national security.

David’s Review:

This is the first book I have read from author Sam Masters and I anticipate it will not be my last.  China Dog was a thrilling read that was extremely fast paced with its short chapters and multiple POV. The main protagonist is  Police Detective Walton, who is also known as “Ghost”.  Ghost is faced with an increasing number of deaths from dog attacks in the Miami area within a short period of time.

What he doesn’t know is that this is an intricate terrorist attack devised by one of the United States’ most ruthless enemies.  A hostile takeover is the end goal and they are using our most trusted pets to massacre and maim.  But Ghost is stubbornly tenacious. He is resolute in his belief that these are no ordinary dog attacks.  Even if his superiors are not in agreement, he has no qualms about suffering insubordination in order to get to the truth. With minimal support from his department, he accepts the help of an aspiring photojournalist who is new to the Miami area, who is someone that he has become closely involved with.  It does not take long for a relationship to develop between the two characters.  With her spiky black hair and her brash attitude, Zoe Speed seems to be the complete opposite of Miami PD’s Lieutenant Walton, but in many ways, they complement each other as well. Both are broken and gutsy people, and both are afraid to get too close to the other.

The novel also includes a plot involving  two scientists. In another part of the world, a father and a son,  conducts experiments on these feral creatures trying to find a way to contain them. They are being deceived by their leaders and believe the propaganda they are being told.  National leaders meet in closed doors and threats are made. Their countries are unaware of what is going on. The book will take you to several cities and nations, from Miami to New York, to China and Korea and many other places along the way. I doubt the reader will be bored from lingering in one area.

If you, the reader, already have a fear of dogs, then I would not recommend this book.  The author executes the thriller aspect of this novel well and the suspense builds with every chapter.

Young and old. Babies and young children. Men and Women. They are all susceptible to the same fate. The book can be violently gruesome and does not hold back on describing a crime scene. Bodies are mutilated, so be forewarned. But behind the tragedies there is a back drop of political intrigue which was just as absorbing. There are so many characters in the book that is does sometimes get confusing in the beginning, but the further you read the more engrossing these characters become.

I would highly recommend this book to readers that love suspenseful and gruesome thrillers.  It was an engaging book that kept me reading well into the night.

A 5 star review for this thrilling novel, and I am hoping this will become a series! If so, I can’t wait for the next addition!


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Chapter 1

Gobi Desert, Northeastern China

The silver buses drive across the land of endless sand. Onboard are prisoners from China’s notorious Death Row. Rapists, serial murderers, and child abusers.

Twenty men about to be given an extraordinary chance to live.

To wipe the slate clean.

The long vehicles that carry them are equipped with lethal electrocution equipment, state-of-the-art technology designed to deliver on-the-spot executions. The inmates can choose to stay on board and be quickly put to death; their organs harvested there and then and sold to those needing donations.

Or—when the doors swing open—they can run for their lives. Run into one of the largest deserts in the world and take their chances with what lies out there.

Air brakes hiss, sand sprays, and the five buses come to a syn- chronized stop in the blistering heat.

Three army copters hover in the sweltering air. Military bosses watch like circling vultures.

On cue, automated locks clunk and the big doors of the ve- hicles slide open.

Clouds of hot sand rise as the bare feet of desperate men jump and run from the vehicles.

No one remains.

Six miles away—six miles north, south, east, and west—the doors of four armored personnel carriers also open .

General Fu Zhang peers down like God. Watches life and death play out. People reduced to black dots, scattered like dung beetles. He can’t help but think it would be better for the men if they’d stayed on the buses.

Their deaths would be less painful.

The leader of China’s armed forces follows each and every fa- tality on his video monitor.

Nonchalantly, he waves a hand to the pilot to return to base.

He is pleased.

Seldom has he seen such efficient slaughter. Such economic carnage.

Project Nian is nearing completion.


About the Author

SAM MASTERS is a pseudonym for an author who has written seven books, including a bestseller that has sold in more than 30 countries. This is his first novel for Witness.




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Night Honor (Elder Races #7) by Thea Harrison (Review)

18803739Title: Night’s Honor (Elder Races #7)

Author: Thea Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Publish Date:  September 2nd, 2014

Publisher: Berkley



In USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison’s latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past….










~ Karen’s Thoughts ~

First off I love urban fantasy and paranormal book, they are my ‘go-to’ genre of choice.  Second, I adore Thea Harrison’s writing from the Elder Race Series, to the Game of Shadows series.  She has always written books that have kept me riveted.  When Night’s Honor, was popped up on pre-order, I clicked it right away.  There would be no question that I would buy, read and love the book….. so then I read it and it’s a good book, it just isn’t up to the standard I expect of Harrison.  The book centers around Xavier del Torro and his new attendant Tess, and the first half of the book is slow.  I honestly expected to learn more about the Nightkind demesne from this book. I wanted a book that delved into the Nightkind; as her previous books have delved into the Wyr way of life. I got a glimpse into the demesne and some minor Djinn backstory, but I didn’t get the depth I wanted.  Normally Harrison does a brilliant job, and has me feeling connected to all the characters in her books from major to minor ones, but this book left be feeling that besides knowing Xavier and Tess; I still did not know the characters all that well.  I did get a wonder glimpse of Julian, and I can’t wait for more of him.

On another note, Harrison does get high marks for the last twenty five percent of the book.  If I could give just the last quarter of the book stars it would get 4.25 stars; as it was riveting, and sensually charged. Then she throws in the epilogue and I got the Empire Strike Back feeling about this book.  This book is necessary as it is a bridge into the Nightkind demesne, but could it have been better, for me as the reader yes.  Will I read more from Harrison?  There is no question I will continue to be an avid reader of her books  Do I recommend the book?  At $5.99 I would still recommend the book for the last twenty five percent, as it sets the stage for the next book.


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About the Author

Thea HarrisonI write paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and other stuff. I taught myself to read when I was four. That was around the time I tried to ride my tricycle to work. I wasn’t sure where work was, but I knew it had to be interesting if people went there every day. Now I combine my love of books with work, and I don’t have to ride my tricycle to get there. My Elder Races series began May, 2011. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook!


Blog Tour * I WANT IT THAT WAY by Ann Aguirre * Review * Excerpt * GIVEAWAY


I Want It That Way

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s| iTunes

 New Adult/Contemporary Romance

Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Yesi


Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

“A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned.”

—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You


I WANT IT THAT WAY on Goodreads

Read the First Chapter HERE!


I am huge fan of the New Adult genre. I love reading a good college romance that is filled with fun yet also with struggles along the way. If you are like me and enjoy this genre then I WANT IT THAT WAY is a book that you would mostly enjoy. I was sold on the synopsis…new neighbors, a cute kid, strong attraction, etc… Ann Aguirre gives us a great hero and a great heroine, their personalities made me want to be their friend, and they are extremely likeable. She also gives us some really fun secondary characters who have tons going on in their life as college students…studying, partying, adjustments, and even heartbreak. I think I wanted to love this book more than I actually did. While the setup is really good, the story is just a little too slow building at times. No, I am not a fan of the insta-love, jump in bed within in hours of meeting, but I do want spark and excitement.

Ty is a gorgeous single dad, he only has time for his son, his work, and his studies. When Nadia enters his life, he wants her, bad, but knows it is just not the right time. She wants him just as bad and doesn’t know how to proceed. They can’t seem to stay away from each other so they come to an agreement. Does it work out? Maybe, maybe not. What does happen is that hearts get involved and things don’t turn out as one party, Nadia, would hope. And that is totally okay, I love conflict when there is good reason for it. So here is where my rating started dipping a little…too much time is spent on Nadia’s every day life in her apartment, cooking, going out, watching TV, new roommates, etc…and not enough time is spent Ty AND Nadia. He fades away, not from her mind or heart, but from her life and well, from the book. Things do pick up and the last 10% or so had me back to loving them together but I guess I just wanted more, expected more.

Overall it was a quick, easy read and I do recommend this book if you are a fan of the genre. It is a sweet, sexy, heartfelt college romance. It will make you smile, laugh at times, and it will warm your heart. Who knows, you may LOVE it and I sincerely hope that you do!



“Where are you from?”

Ah, an actual question. That means I can ask one back.

“Nebraska, toward the South Dakota and Wyoming side, if that helps.”

“I’ve never met anyone from there.”

Michigan was a long way from home. “I usually get ‘not in Nebraska anymore’ jokes, and then I have to decide if I’m going to remind them that’s Kansas or play along.”

“What do you usually do?”

“Play along.”

“You don’t like conflict, huh?” He sounded normal tonight, as if talking to me wasn’t an unpleasant chore anymore.

That was a relief since I’d come to look forward to these moments with him so much. More, maybe, than I’d like to admit.Right. Friends. I distracted myself by considering his question. “Not if it can be avoided. I’m not what you’d call pugnacious, no. But I like to think I don’t back off important issues. What about you?”

“No.” His voice was bleak and quiet. “I don’t. Even when I should.”

Wow, that took a dark turn.

If I could’ve jumped onto his patio without breaking an ankle or waking Sam, I’d have been down there like a shot. The distance between us seemed intolerable, and from the knot in my throat, I didn’t see how I could live another second without touching him, finding out if his hair was as soft as it looked or what he smelled like. I wanted him in a way I never had before.

In high school, I had a boyfriend who played basketball, and we broke up when I left the state. It was a rational decision, and I didn’t miss him that much once I was gone. My freshman year, I went out with a lot of different guys, one date here, two dates there, but I never clicked with anyone enough to focus on them. Sometimes there were hookups with no strings, no expectations. Classes, friends and work seemed a lot more important. The intensity of this attraction was foreign and frightening, if exhilarating. I might already be backing off if I had the faintest sense that Ty was jerking me around on purpose.

Wish he didn’t make me feel this way. It’d be so much simpler if I could friend-zone him.

I realized I still hadn’t touched his verbal grenade. “We all have things we’d do differently in hindsight.”

“What is it about you?” he asked in a wondering tone.


“You make me…better. Calmer.”

“Like a sedative?” I snickered. It was the least sexy thing a guy had ever said to me, including a junior high squeeze who said my face wasn’t actually that bad.

He laughed, too, a sheepish sound. “I didn’t mean it like that. Just…I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off like ten steps. I can breathe again.”


IWITW Available now


Author PhotoAbout Ann Aguirre:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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Empathy by Ker Dukey

22521314Title: Empathy
Author: Ker Dukey
Genre: Dark Romance Thriller
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
Publish Date: August 27, 2014




I am a brother
I am a police detective
I am a contract killer
I don’t want to love
I don’t want to feel
I don’t want … EMPATHY.

They say some people are born with decreased activity in the front central lobe causing them a deficiency in empathy. Maybe that’s true about me but whether I was born this way or created in a moment of evil, empathy was something I didn’t possess until her green eyes met mine in the mirror and I couldn’t take her life.
I didn’t want to feel, didn’t want this woman in my life complicating how I lived but she was there at every turn. Sent to haunt me for my sins. Her light so bright she provoked a shadow from everyone she touched. When a job turns bad quickly altering my life forever I’m forced to feel. When nothing is making sense I’m forced to face truths I never would recover from. When life drowns you in its cruelty you don’t know which way the current will drag you or who you’ll become once you re-surface.


I was a daughter
I was a student
I was a victim
Did I have his love?
Did I make him feel?
Did I have his empathy?
When the actions of a soulless killer forces sorrow into my veins I never dreamed the man healing my wounds would be the one to leave the worst scar. His love would scar my soul. Scars are permanent; I will never feel the relief from them. Will I learn to live with them, remember why I have them and learn never to let him close enough to inflict more? Will I eventually cover them… like tattoos coating them with new memories, new love and new starts? I didn’t know these answers because the pain was too suffocating, the only thing I knew was they will always be under the surface lingering. He had scars too, from his sins. There is nothing that can cover them, they were too deep, too ugly, too dark and they marked us both forever.



You can ask any of my blog mates and they will tell you I not easily shook by books I read. But this book shook me, to my foundation. There were parts in this book that made me very uncomfortable and it challenged me as a reader, as I am one of those who imagines herself in the book.  Is this book for everyone? NO.  Instead of telling you, you should read this, or it is a must read, or it is an awesome book… I am going to tell you not to read this book if you have a young college age girl just starting her freshman year at any of the number of colleges around the good ole U.S. of A., cause you will never ever sleep again.  Period. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!!!

Now if you love dark, gritty, twisted books that will leave you shaking and wondering what you just read, then this is the book for you.   This book decimates all the other dark romances on the market, as it left me gasping for air, wondering if my brain will ever function like it did prior to this read.  I swear Ker Dukey, who I never read prior to today, is some evil genius rubbing her hands together chuckling an evil little laugh.  Take that my book readers, and try to sleep in you soft little bed, since I have messed with your brain.  I honestly may need therapy after this book.  I know you are wondering what the book is about. Well honestly, even if I told you the framework of the plot, I would ruin this book for you. The book is like an onion with so many layers but you know how those onion skins rip apart so easily, that is what happens to the characters worlds, they freaking rip apart.   This book is filled with so much darkness, that you may wonder why I am recommending it. I am recommending it because it is brilliantly written and it is a book that ripped the fabric of my psyche to shreds.  Dukey has written characters that are not easy to forget and there is a love story that does shine through.  Dukey grabbed me figuratively by the throat and would not let me breathe until I finished the book.  She mesmerized me by the way she weaved the plot of the book and I am stunned by the impact that I felt as I finished it. I kept thinking after I closed the case on my kindle ‘What is the price of love?’ HOLY CRAP!

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About the Author

I have always had a passion for storytelling, whether it be through lyrics or bed time stories with my sisters. I wanted to be an actress growing up so I could live many roles but I learned early on that my mind was too active, I would want to change the script haha! I would watch films and think of ways they could of improved the story if they took another direction.

My mum would always have a book in her hand when I was young and passed on her love for reading, inspiring me to venture into writing my own. I tend to have a darker edge to my writing. Not all love stories are made from light, some are created in darkness but are just as powerful and worth telling too 

When I’m not lost in the world of characters I love spending time with my family. I’m a mum and that comes first in my life but when I do get down time I love attending music concerts with my younger sister, who shares my soul, we are two peas in a pod.


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Book Review: The Illicit Love of a Courtesan by Jane Lark



Title: The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (Marlow Intrigues #1)

Author: Jane Lark

Genre: Historical Romance 18+ Regency Period

Publication Date: October 3, 2013

Publisher: HarperImpulse an imprint of HarperCollins


Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty—a vessel—deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom?Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.


5 Star Review

Ellen Harding was a beautiful woman who was sold into an abusive relationship that she couldn’t escape nor felt she was good enough to try. Edward Marlow was a handsome, strong, and loving man and after seeing her, wanted Ellen for himself.   Edward was her salvation.

After having had a taste of Edward, Ellen felt like she deserved better; she hadn’t felt worthy of anything good in a long time.

She walked away, snapping shut her fan and then holding it to her chest. Her heart thumping, she weaved a path through the tables, twisting and turning, making her way through the crush of drunk and over eager men who watched the games, ignoring the hands that stroked her bottom or grazed her breast.

For a respectable woman they would part like the red sea for Moses. For a harlot, like her, they deliberately blocked her way, and often only a sharp elbow in their ribs or a shove would move them.

Normally she ignored their uncouth leers. She knew what she was, what to expect but tonight she felt vulnerable and violated.

Edward lent his love and strength to Ellen as he couldn’t save her until she wanted to be saved. Just being seen with her would risk shaming his family. But he didn’t care, to him Ellen was worth it. The road to happiness for both of them was a tough one and once again Jane Lark made the journey enjoyable for me as the reader. Her writing makes you feel like you’re a part of their story and struggling to find your happy ending along with them.

The strength and passion that Edward felt towards Ellen’s cause was positively overwhelming. Having read this series out of order (I do recommend that you start with this title first), I felt closer to Ellen than I would have, had I just met her character. Again, this wasn’t planned and I recommend you read the series in order. Already knowing the ending of her story, but not knowing what she and Edward went through to get there, made this one big book of foreshadowing. I couldn’t wait to read about how she met Edward and what they went through to save her. She was forced into it and needed a hero.

He’d called her a work of nature’s art that first night. She was, only it was more than visual, it was physical too. She could ease his soul, reduce his anger and fear and she made his life something precious. He was nothing without her, he knew it. Together they made a whole.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.


The Marlow Intrigues Series by Jane Lark.

Jane Lark Marlow Intrigues Series

Purchase links for book #1 – The Illicit Love of a Courtesan:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

Purchase links for book #2 – The Passionate Love of a Rake:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

Purchase links for book #3 – The Scandalous Love of a Duke:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

Purchase links for book #4 – The Lost Love of a Soldier:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

Purchase links for book #5 – Capturing the Earl’s Love (FREE):

Amazon Barnes & Noble

About the Author

 photo For13_Jane_Lark_Full_Res_zps518c75cf.jpgJane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. ‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’ Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

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