Tagged: Book Review

Forbidden by Destiny

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

About the Book

Forbidden by Destiny, Negeen Paphen

Adult, Multicultural Romance , 282 Pages

Publisher City Owl Press (February 19, 2019)

Leyla had never known what it felt like to fall in love. Not until her best friend Sara broke Ben’s heart. 

After the devastating break up, Leyla reluctantly agreed to pick up Sara’s things from Ben’s home. Leyla thought she was being a good friend, but when she finds Ben completely shattered, her loyalties are tested. He had been her friend too. An afternoon of an innocent lunch and a walk on the beach to cheer him up turns into fireworks when Leyla can’t get Ben out of her head. 

Pushed to her limits, fighting for a love she’s always dreamed of, and against a demon she never knew existed, Leyla must ultimately make a choice. Her decision will come down to loyalty to her best friend, the expectations of her family, or the desires of her wanting heart. Is love worth taking the risk? 

About the Author

Negeen Papehn was born and raised in southern California, where she currently lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. She wasn’t always a writer. A graduate of USC dental school, Negeen spends half of her week with patients and the other half in front of her laptop. In the little time she finds in between, she loves to play with her boys, go wine tasting with her friends, throw parties, and relax with her family.

Jenn’s Review

Negeen Papehn brings back the fantastic cast of her first book, Forbidden by Faith, to continue the story of Ben (the almost-hero of book 1) and Leyla, best friend of Sara, the heroine of book 1, in her second release, Forbidden by Destiny.

After Sara and Ben end their relationship for good, best friend Leyla is tasked with collecting Sara’s things from the apartment the couple was moving into. Leyla liked Ben – they were friends while he and Sara were dating, but she’s been friends with Sara since they were in diapers. So when Leyla realizes she’s attracted to her best friend’s ex, and that she’s deeply bothered by how Sara ended the relationship, Leyla finds herself in the worst possible situation – she’s in love with her best friend’s ex.

Ben understands Leyla’s predicament, but after two years of experience with Sara’s Iranian family, their culture, and their judgment based on his heritage, he’s not up for a repeat – and he pushes Leyla to stop hiding their love.

Turns out that doing so creates an avalanche of events that threaten to tear Leyla’s world apart, distancing her from friends, family, and ultimately, Ben himself. And just as she’s finding her feet again, her world is turned upside down by a single trauma that will alter her life forever.

I enjoyed book 1, and I was just tickled pink to see how much Ms. Papehn has grown as an author in book 2. The writing and plot are tighter. The narrative doesn’t ramble at all. The emotional impact of this second book is so much deeper, that I found myself crying on more than one occasion, and I hadn’t even gotten to the black moment!

Forbidden by Destiny can be read as a standalone, easily. Any necessary backstory is handled efficiently and doesn’t leave the reader lost. With that said, however, reading book 1, Forbidden by Faith, will deepen the emotional impact of Layla and Ben’s story. And… Spoiler alert: I am so happy that Ben got his happy ending – he’s the kind of guy that mother’s hope their daughters (and maybe sons) find to spend their lives with.

A full, easy four-star romance worth sitting down to.

Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny - contemporary romance, interracial romance, Iranian-American fiction, OwnVoices, Diverse Fiction
Jenn revisits the Forbidden Love series by Negeen Papehn with book 2, Forbidden by Destiny

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:

Other Books in the series:

Forbidden by Faith (Book 1 – Sara and Maziar’s story)

Forbidden by Time (Book 3 – coming soon)

By the Assassin’s Side

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

About the book:

By the Assassin’s Side by Katherine Hastings

Historical Fiction/ 242 Pages

Flyte Publishing – February 6, 2019

Gold may not be the only treasure they find. 

As they race to find the treasure, Simon and Vivian must fight the men hunting her down… and the feelings for each other growing each step of the way.

With part of a stolen treasure map in her possession and mercenaries hot on her trail, Vivien runs to the one person she knows will keep her safe. Captain Viktor. But when she arrives at his ship, it isn’t her oldest friend commanding it, a new man has taken his place. Captain Simon Blackmore. Though reluctant to work with this imposter, his skills both as a pirate and an assassin are exactly what she needs to find this treasure… and stay ahead of the men who want their map back.

Half the treasure as payment for protecting the fiery courtesan convinces Simon to escort her and help uncover Captain Avery’s lost loot. Danger nips at their heels every step of the way, and her obstinate personality makes the already monumental task even more difficult. But soon they are fighting for more than just staying alive… they are fighting the feelings for each other that are even more dangerous than the men hunting her down.

Can they work together to find the treasure that could change both their fates, or will they discover that the greatest treasure was there all along?

Jenn’s Review:

Katherine Hastings is back with a third installment of the Daggers of Desire series, rounding the series out with the story of Vivian and Simon.

Simon inherited the pirate vessel, Dark Shark, from his good friend and longtime partner, Viktor, when Viktor retired. While in port, waiting for the crew’s next adventure, a stubborn, determined woman demands to see the captain – only she’s quite distressed to discover Simon now carries the title.

Vivian’s found herself in a bad situation, the worst she’s ever faced. And when the tall, imposing Simon insists that Viktor has retired, Viv is at a loss. Her long-time friend and occasional lover, Viktor, is the only one she trusts to get her through her dilemma – a stolen half of a pirate treasure map.

Simon keeps his word and delivers Viv to Viktor’s doorstep, and true to the new Captain’s word, Viktor confirms his retirement and helps the pair plan their perilous journey to find Captain Avery’s lost pirate treasure.

Nothing in their journey is straight forward, and the pair repeatedly make their predicaments worse through their stubbornness. A common background is the only thing that eases the tension between them to quiet the constant sniping at each other.

This is a fun swashbuckling romance, with a quick pace and quick wit sprinkled throughout. While it is the third book in the series, it can easily be read on its own.


Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

We interviewed Katherine back in July, 2018. You can read more here.

Buy the book:

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

About the Book

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch, 
Katherine Hastings

Adult, Historical Romance, 201 Pages

Flyte Publishing, January 23, 2019

Sometimes the safest place is in the arms of the most dangerous man.

As Viktor fights to save Nora from assassins hot on her trail, it turns out they’re up against an even bigger battle… the feelings for each other they can no longer deny.

When Viktor envisioned pulling the beautiful Baroness into his arms, he was thinking he wanted a quick roll in the hay… a one-night stand like he’d had with a lengthy list of ladies before her. Tossing her over his shoulder to escape her would-be assassins wasn’t what he had in mind, yet that’s exactly how she ended up in his arms the night they met. Now Viktor is stuck protecting the willful woman until they can solve the mystery of who would want her dead. He must use all his skills, as both pirate and assassin, to save her… and all his willpower to resist the growing feelings that threaten to pull him under.

Baroness Nora Aberdeen finds herself ripped from a life of luxury, dependent on the infuriating assassin to keep her alive. Unsure who to trust, she can’t deny the safety she feels when she’s by his side. Dragged through England to places she never imagined, Nora struggles to survive while also struggling to battle the feelings the roguish pirate awakens within her.

Can they fight their feelings while they fight for their lives? Will he be able to save her, and in doing so save himself… or will pride and duty tear them apart?

About the Author

 
Katherine Hastings loves love. It’s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not on an adventure with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the world’s naughtiest cat. Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days… going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures… that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.

Jenn’s Review

Katherine Hastings is back with book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series, Beneath the Assassin’s Touch. In book 1, we briefly met the pirate, Viktor, and he’s back with his over-the-top wit and salacious, playful antics to rescue the endangered damsel, keep her out of harm’s way, and find his own happily ever after.

Viktor hides a damaged, painful past behind his mask of daring escapades, quick sense of humor, and bawdy bosom buddies. Never one to settle down for long, he agrees to take a short stint away from his pirate ship, Dark Shark, to help John and Charlie prevent an assassination. The only catch is, they don’t know exactly who’s at risk, only that the intended victim will be at a ball at a nearby estate. He’s growing weary of the pirate’s life, even if he is a captain with his own ship.

Never one to let a little work get in the way of a flirtation, Viktor trails a beautiful baroness out onto a balcony for a bit of fresh air.

Nora doesn’t exactly like the plush life she’s carved out for herself, but the cost of turning back is too high for her to pay – so she plays her part and grits her teeth. The dashing, well-dressed man that follows her around her husband’s party is more than an annoyance, his continued affections could jeopardize all those she holds dear. But when armed men attack her in the dark, she has no choice but to flee in the handsome stranger’s arms.

Nora is all prickles and defenses, continually demanding that Viktor returns her to her home, refusing to believe that she’s in any danger. Her ongoing denial and fight for her independence could cost her her life. And Viktor refuses to let the beautiful, strong Nora out of his grasp – she’s possibly his best chance at healing old wounds and finding the happiness he never thought could be his.

Ms. Hastings has tackled yet another historical romance with a flair for witty banter, sexy tensions, and action-packed adventure. BENEATH THE ASSASSIN’S TOUCH is the second book in the series, and characters and situations from book 1 are referenced, met, and take part in some of the action, but this book can be read as a standalone in its own right. A nice break from the typical adult historical romance.

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

We interviewed Katherine back in July 2018. You can read the article here.

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

About the Book

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,  Charles Duhigg

Adult, Business and Money

Random House (February 28, 2012)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.
 
“With the days of pulling all-nighters and eating pizza at 2 a.m. (hopefully) behind your new grad, there’s no time like the present to get into a good routine.”—Real Simple
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporterCharles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

About the Author

My name is Charles Duhigg, and I’m a reporter for The New York Times. I’m also the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation, as well as Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business (which is available for sale on Amazon on March 8, 2016!)

I’ve worked at the Times since 2006. In 2013, I was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for a series about Apple named “The iEconomy”. Before that, I contributed to NYT series about the 2008 financial crisis, how companies take advantage of the elderly and national violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (For those series, I won the National Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Medal, the National Academies’ reporting award and other recognitions.)

But let’s be honest, you aren’t visiting this page so I can brag about series and awards. (Unless you’re my mom. Hi mom!)

I’m also a native of New Mexico. I studied history at Yale and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. I now live in Brooklyn with my wife and two children and, before becoming a journalist, was a bike messenger in San Francisco for one terrifying day.

I would love to hear from you. I’m at charles@charlesduhigg.com.

Jenn’s Review

Ever wonder why some habits are easier to change than others? Ever pondered what makes us tick? Why is it so hard to quit smoking or stick to a diet? Check out Charles Duhigg’s THE POWER OF HABIT.

Through engaging, real life examples drawn from personal lives and history alike, Duhigg shines a light on the psychology and neuroscience behind the things we do automatically. He explores the science behind AA, business successes and failures, and the psychology behind the Montgomery bus boycott, and why it became the catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.

Between story illustration, science, and practical tactics, the reader has a down-to-earth explanation of the habits and how to change them.

This is a priceless book for the person looking to make lasting change in their lives, and a critical insight into why some businesses fail while others succeed.

For the layperson who wants to get healthier to the seasoned boardroom professional, I would recommend this book to just about everyone. I’ve been able to use the knowledge in this book to make positive changes in my own life, and used the information to help my teenager break some of her unwanted habits early on.

This is NOT a quick fix book to help you loose weight, loose your ex, make a ton of money, etc. This IS a valuable resource for understanding habits and developing a strong game plan to make lasting change in your life.

Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg's THE POWER OF HABIT  - nonfiction - personal development - productivity - psychology
Jenn reviews Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, Hardcover, paperback, and Audio CD editions. [affiliate link]

Highland Retribution – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

About the Book

Highland Retribution,  Keira Montclair, The Band of Cousins Volume 3

Adult, Historical Romance

Keira Montclair (June 17, 2018)

They stole everything from her. With his help, she’ll finally get it back. Braden Grant is haunted by the death of his friend Ronan, who took his own life. No one knows why the warrior resorted to such desperate measures, but Braden blames himself. He won’t feel settled until he’s atoned for failing to save his friend, and when he meets Cairstine Muir, he wonders if he’s finally found his chance. Held against her will by the very man who killed her family, the lass is a prisoner in her own keep. Her beauty and quiet strength call to him as much as her situation urges him to fight. Though life has taught her harsh lessons, Cairstine still has an ember of hope in her heart. She longs to escape her captors and exact vengeance on them, but nothing is more important to her than her wee son’s safety. Though she failed to save her family, she pledges she will always save him, come what may. When a strong, handsome defender steps into her life, promising to help her exact vengeance on her captors, she sees the opportunity she’s waited for…but is the possibility of a new life worth the risk to her son?

About the Author

Keira Montclair is the pen name of an author who lives in Florida with her husband. She loves to write fast-paced, emotional romance, especially with children as secondary characters in her stories. 
She has worked as a registered nurse in pediatrics and recovery room nursing. Teaching is another of her loves, as she has taught both high school mathematics and practical nursing.

Now she loves to spend her time writing, but there isn’t enough time to write everything she wants! Her Highlander Clan Grant Series is a reader favorite is a series of eight stand-alone novels. The Summerhill Series is a contemporary romance series set in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in Western New York. Her third series, The Highland Clan, is set twenty years after the Clan Grant Series and will focus on the Grant/Ramsay descendants. Her newest series is The Soulmate Chronicles, historical romance with a touch of paranormal. 

You may contact her through her website at www.keiramontclair.com. She also has a Facebook account and a twitter account through Keira Montclair. If you send her an email through her website, she promises to respond.

Jenn’s Review

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a romance I knew I could finish in an afternoon. Highland Retribution was on my TBR pile, and I figured I’d breeze through it during one of our family reading nights.

Highland Retribution is aahistorical romance set in 1280’s Scotland, and features Braden Grant and Caistine Muir – two young people with vastly different upbringings.

Braden has a quick and violent temper, but he’s been raised to do the right thing, to never hit those more vulnerable than himself, and to protect women and children. He’s recently lost his closet friend to apparent suicide, and the brief encounter with a beautiful young stranger seems to have had a powerful impact on him. Every instinct inside Braden drives him to seek her out and learn more about her situation – little does he know that learning about her will draw him and his cousins into danger and deeper into an on going mystery surrounding apparent child trafficking.

Cairstine is in a bad situation – the man who killed her entire clan has been holding her hostage for 6 years, their child is the shackles he uses to control her. When she encounters the handsome stranger at a wedding feast that she and her captor were not invited to, her heart begs the heavens to send him to help her. But first, she needs to make sure her son is safe, and her journey out of captivity is a rollercoaster of emotions and danger.

This is a quick read. Not the best romance I’ve read lately, but certainly a satisfying read. The characters don’t always have distinct voices, which was a disappointment – this is the third book in a series, and I would expect that at this point, the author would have sufficiently developed her characters and their voices. Aside from that, if you enjoy hunky Scotsmen, action, and mystery, snag this book for a quiet evening reading.

Jenn reviews Keira Montclair's historical romance novel, Highland Retribution
Jenn reviews Keira Montclair’s historical romance novel, Highland Retribution

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Off the Map – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

About the Book

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society, Desdemona Wren

Adult, NA Paranormal, 339 Pages

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

About the Author

Desdemona Wren is a novelist who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and actual plots. She’s from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says ‘brah’, ‘bruh’, ‘bro’ or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they’ve been everywhere. For more information on future books, visit her website at http://desdemonawren.com

Jenn’s Review

New Adult fiction isn’t something I generally jump at, but I made an exception for this review request, from author Desdemona Wren, because I love paranormal fiction, and wanted to try something a little different.

Marjorie’s last semester of college isn’t off to a great start when she gets partnered with sarcastic, flirtatious Patrick on their first day of Senior Seminar for their senior project. She thought she knew everyone in her major, and Patrick seems to know her, but Marjorie has no recollection of seeing this man in any of her classes.

To complicate things further, his flirtatious behavior is followed up by a hallway make-out session. Marjorie walks out of class to be confronted by Patrick and his very beautiful girlfriend kissing.

Aside from the storyline, this book was an adventure for me – an asexual protagonist in a romance, millennial voice, and a driving plotline. Ms. Wren’s storytelling feels a tad awkward at times, with scattered dialogue that didn’t seem to drive the plot and lagging character development that picks up once it’s finally established.

That said, however, the author took the time to give each character a unique voice in the book, and to some degree, I would attribute some of the awkward narratives to the protagonist’s personality, more than the author’s writing skill (Marjorie has some deep-seated issues – she’s not glamorous by any means). Hooray for a deeply flawed heroine that isn’t swooning over every cute guy she meets!

This is definitely not a young adult read and is geared towards the New Adult level. With an asexual heroine, the book is free of any graphic sexual content, however, the language is rough enough that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under 16. Millennial fans of paranormal and diverse books – this one is for you.

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

Motivation Manifesto

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s Motivation Manifesto

About the Book

Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard

Adult, Personal Development, 256 Pages

Publisher: Hay House Inc.; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)

“The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. It’s a triumphant work that transcends the title, lifting the reader from mere motivation into a soaringly purposeful and meaningful life. I love this book.” — Paulo Coelho

The Motivation Manifesto is a pulsing, articulate, ferocious call to claim our personal power. World-renowned high-performance trainer Brendon Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice—time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear.

The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won. Recalling the revolutionist voices of the past that chose freedom over tyranny, Burchard—at times poetic yet always fierce—motivates us to free ourselves from fear and take back our lives once and for all.

About the Author

 
BRENDON BURCHARD is one of the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers in the world. He is a global Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and he’s often referred to as “one of the most successful online trainers in history” (Oprah.com). A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 USA Today bestselling author, his books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger, and Life’s Golden Ticket. He is the star and executive producer of the #1 self-help show on YouTube, and his podcast, The Charged Life, debuted at #1 on iTunes. Over 50,000,000 people watched his videos in the last 12 months, more than 30,000,000 see his posts every week across the web, and 1,000,000-plus students have completed his online courses or video series. SUCCESS Magazine named Brendon as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement, along with Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Joel Osteen, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Oz, Wayne Dyer, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. Learn more at Brendon.com

Jenn’s Review

I’m a personal development junkie (for those who don’t already know this). I stumbled upon Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto while looking for something else on his website. At the time, I was mired in overwhelm, health issues, and depression, and as I was already somewhat familiar with Brendon’s work, I jumped on what appeared to be a lovely volume of literature.

I was not disappointed.

This is a slender volume, for sure, coming in at under 250 pages. Contents aside, the time and care Mr. Burchard put into designing the book is clear – this could easily be an heirloom work of philosophical rhetoric from centuries ago.

The content is what sets this book apart, though. Borrowing from the great philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, Burchard stylizes and lays out a challenge to 21st Century dwellers to live more fully, open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, and raise our standards.

If you would prefer not to take a hard look at how you’re currently living your life, to be challenged to hold yourself accountable for your words, behavior, and impact on the world, this is not the book for you. If you are not ready to flip your life upside down and change how you think and how you live, this book is not for you.

If, however, you’re looking for motivation to improve your life, start with this volume. If you want to find those elements that seem to be missing from your life, depriving you of a life fully lived – this is your book.

Slender though it is, The Motivation Manifesto is not a book to be rushed through. Take your time. Ponder each section and every declaration. Do the exercises in the accompanying workbook (free to download). Share a copy or two with someone you love.

Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard's MOTIVATION MANIFESTO - nonfiction - personal development - self-help
Jenn reviews Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover and Audio CD formats here:

Shark Bait

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

About the Book

Shark Bait, Nancy E. Miller 

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 308 Pages

Gypsy Willow Press (May 18, 2017)

Mental health counselor Kate Ainsworth received the call from Det. Rayder summoning her to the beach. Never did she guess that the trip involved a client’s head washed up on shore. Murder and mayhem ensue with Kate in the crosshairs. Ben Rayder is set to protect the woman he loves and track down the murderer, hoping it is her pesky ex-husband just so he can arrest the rich bum. Can he convince her to give love a second chance after devastating betrayal? But first, he must protect her from becoming shark bait.

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

I’ve read Nancy E. Miller’s two other suspense/romance novels, and by far, Shark Bait was my absolute favorite and falls firmly in the Romantic Suspense category.

Kate Ainsworth is a mental health counselor. She mostly enjoys her job, though her boss is a chronic headache. Unfortunately for Kate, one of her clients has washed up on the beach. In pieces. With two dead sharks. Enter Det. Ben Rayder, who is in the unfortunate position of having to call Kate to identify her client’s remains.

The situation grows more and more complicated as Ben and Kate reconnect and the danger to Kate becomes increasingly apparent. The pair has a history that didn’t end well, and Kate’s ex-husband is on the prowl to seemingly get himself back into her good graces. Can Ben keep her safe when more than her heart is on the line?

As I mentioned, this book falls squarely in the romantic suspense category, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I read the entire book in two sittings and had to rearrange my calendar just so that I could sit and enjoy this fast-paced adventure.

Ms. Miller’s characters are well developed and multi-faceted. It was difficult to hit the end of this book because I really wanted to continue following their journey. Her world-building in this novel was superb. I think only one or two moments gave me pause enough to pull me out of the story for more than a moment. Plot twists were mostly surprises, though one or two were visible from a long way off.

Considering the plot of the book, I also give props to Ms. Miller for her deft handling of what could be very disturbing and graphic moments in the story. She’s handled potential triggers with a deft hand and dialed down the “gross”.

In short, if you only read one of Miller’s novels this year, start here. By far the best indie-published romantic suspense I’ve read in a long time.

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business – Review

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

About the Book

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business: Make Great Money. Work the Way You Like. Have the Life You Want.,  Elaine Pofeldt 

Adult, Small Business

Lorena Jones Books (January 2, 2018)

The indispensable guide to earning a six-figure take-home income on your own terms, from Forbes.com contributing writer Elaine Pofeldt.

The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. In The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it. She explains how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate $1 million in revenue–something only larger small companies have done in the past. Both inspirational and practical, this book will appeal to all who seek a great worklife and a great lifestyle.

About the Author

Biography

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specializes in small business, entrepreneurship and careers. She is the author of “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business,” a look at how entrepreneurs are hitting seven-figure revenue in businesses where they are the only employees (Random House, Jan. 2, 2018). Her work has appeared in FORTUNE, Money, CNBC, Inc., Forbes, Crain’s New York Business and many other business publications and she is a contributor to the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

As a senior editor at FORTUNE Small Business, where she worked for eight years, Elaine was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her features and ran the magazine’s annual business plan completion. During her time at FSB, she ran the magazine’s website, fsb.com, for four years, building its traffic to two to five million page views a month. 

Elaine graduated from Yale University with a BA in English. She lives in in New Jersey with her husband and their four children and in her free time enjoys taekwondo, yoga and running.

Jenn’s Review

As the owner of not one, but two online businesses, I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to bootstrap to success. The Million Dollar One-Person Business proves that running lean all the way to huge profits is possible.

Through case-studies and in-depth analysis, the author dissects what makes some lean start ups succeed while others fizzle out.

This is one of my top five recommended reads for someone considering starting their on business. Running a business, especially a bootstrapped start up, is hard work, and the author doesn’t sugar coat this aspect of entrepreneurship.

I came away from this reading with more ideas for our own businesses and how to group them with little to no borrowing.

If you’re tired of the grind and want an honest look at lean start ups, start with this book. I’ll be coming back to this book and it’s various worksheets frequently.

Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt's THE ONE-MILLION DOLLAR, ONE-PERSON BUSINESS on the Thrice Read Books Blog. Nonfiction, Business Books, Business Development
Jenn reviews Elaine Pofeldt’s The Million-Dollar One-Person Business on the Thrice Read Books Blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, audiobook, and Hardcover editions. [affiliate link]