Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Review: Watching Mine by Alex Grayson

Watching Mine
by Alex Grayson

My name is Nathan Reines… and I’m a voyeur. Yes, I like to watch people have sex. Witnessing the desire on their faces as they writhe in ecstasy makes my blood hotter than the hottest flame. There’s nothing more erotic than seeing their bodies tighten and tremble as they balance on the edge of ecstasy. It makes my dick as hard as fucking steel.

I’ve never been tempted to have a lasting relationship with a woman—why get involved when watching from the sidelines is so fucking hot? But from the first time I watched the woman in the apartment across from mine, I knew she was different. She teases me with her soft touches and gentle caresses. She tempts me with her silent moans and sexy whimpers. She excites me, and makes me want more than I ever have before.

For two years, I refused to give in to my curiosity. That is, until fate took things in her own twisted hands. Now that I know what it’s like to experience Emberleigh in the flesh, there’s no damn way I could ever go back to simply watching.

Although this is book 3 in The Consumed Series, Watching Mine may be read and enjoyed as a STANDALONE.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

I just wonder how far on the crazy bus I’m willing to go and if I’ll make it out unscathed at the end of the journey.

… she steals a part of me that I never knew was up for grabs.

You watching me made me feel special in a weird sort of way, like you found me good enough just by looking at me.

My Review:

Sizzle and snap, this book was atomically hot.  Knowing from the synopsis that the main character was a voyeur, I was afraid it was going to be creepy, but somehow it wasn’t.  This was my first experience reading the author and despite it being the third book of a series, the story stood perfectly fine on strong legs. Each book features a different individual from a group of four friends who had met several years prior while attending a sexual addiction therapy class, a class they had quickly decided to discontinue as they supported each other.  Their various preferences seemed to conveniently mesh and dovetail when pinch-hitters were needed, as one liked to watch and several liked to be watched, and I was still waiting for the creep factor.  Somehow this wily author made it all appear perfectly acceptable and it seemed to have worked for them as they had each found their own niche with a loving partner.  Watching Mine was cleverly woven with wanton erotic scenes, public exposure, expletives, and unconventional family structures, endearing flawed characters, and a surprisingly sweet romance.  The storyline was highly sensual, salacious, mesmerizing, and provocatively called forth sharp visuals and the need to frequently sip cool libation - oh my.  You could save on your heating bill by reading this one, possibly even during blizzard conditions.  

Empress DJ

About the Author

Alex Grayson is the bestselling author of heart-pounding, emotionally gripping contemporary romance including the Jaded Series, the Consumed Series, and two standalone novels. Her passion for books was reignited by a gift from her sister-in-law. After spending several years as a devoted reader and blogger, Alex decided to write and independently publish her first novel in 2014 (an endeavor that took a little longer than expected). The rest, as they say, is history.

Originally a southern girl, Alex now lives in Ohio with her husband, two children, two cats and a dog. She loves the color blue, homemade lasagna, casually browsing real estate, and interacting with her readers. Visit her website,, or find her on social medi

Book Review: A Devil of a Date (Supernatural Dating Agency Book 2) by Andie M. Long

A Devil of a Date 
(Supernatural Dating Agency Book 2)
by Andie M. Long

My best friend made a deal with the Devil… 

I now run The Supernatural Dating Agency, a discreet section of Withernsea's finest matchmaking service. Yeah, I'll do all the work while Shelley makes babies with her gorgeous vampire husband.

It's not like I've anything better to do anyway. My ex is now a newly-turned vamp struggling to accept he can no longer admire his own reflection, and I don't care what Ebony 'sees', Kim is not about to date a wolf; he has better hair than I do.

Then Lucy Fir, fresh from the gates of guarding Hell, decides she wants me to find her a boyfriend. He'll need to be a Knight in shining inflammable armour with her temper. Can I find her a date, or is my new career damned before it's even started?

Welcome to Withernsea and the Supernatural Dating Agency, for readers of Michelle Rowen, Gerry Bartlett and Michele Bardsley who like their humour to have bite.

Buy A Devil of a Date if you like your romance…HOT.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

I’d kept up with certain things in Hell. We had computers though the internet was limited to what Satan felt we needed to know… Fashion was easy to keep up with as the new residents came fully dressed and I gained an envied designer wardrobe from the many rich wives who’d killed their cheating husbands. That’s how my love of Louboutins had started.

Well, I thought he couldn’t shock me any more than the day he brutally murdered me, but it seems he’s doing his dang best to try. No one wants to hear their child shouting about how much they love pussy unless there’s a family pet.

I need to see this neighbour if he looks like Jason Momoa. Do we need any sugar?

My Review:

After escaping hell, the transition from demon back to human wasn’t going smoothly for the disgruntled and exasperated Lucy Fir, she still had 2 small horns (hidden by colorful headbands) and was prone to spark flames from her fingertips when riled, which proved hazardous to an annoyingly flatulent roommate. Kim, the supernatural dating specialist wasn’t fairing much better despite having access to and taking creative liberties with, the large dating database. I always enjoy Andie M. Long’s sly humor and creative imagination (naming a demon Lucy Fir – come on - say it aloud if you need to). Yet I was a bit out of sorts with this installment, as I didn’t find the characters as endearing or engaging as I had with Shelly and Theo from the first in the series, although I was warming to them by the end of the tale. Multiple species presented unique concerns and received cameo appearances - angels, demons, vampires, werewolves and werecats, witches, mere people, pixies, fairies, seers, brownies, Satan (of course), and even an incubus, all clearly living among us oblivious humans. I particularly enjoyed Lucy’s spectacular dating failures with my favorite being the new angel who could not fold his wings close enough to fit through a door - smirk - brilliant.

Empress DJ


About The Author 

After twenty+ years of thinking about it, at the age of forty, I decided it was time to finally WRITE THE BOOK or forget about it. I studied two Open University Courses in Creative Writing and finally wrote my first novel. I've now written a ton of novels and have the ideas for so many more!

I live in Sheffield with my son and long-suffering partner. We now have a beautiful fur-baby called Bella. When not being a partner, mother, employee (I also work for the NHS) or writer I can usually be found on Facebook or Pinterest.

Stalk Andie Here:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

The Promise Between Us
by Barbara Claypole White

Paperback Publisher: Lake Union Publishing 
(January 16, 2018)

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

You might have been blinded by love and lust, but Katelyn was always wound tighter than a dollar store watch.

How did this happen? Two PhDs between them, and they couldn’t figure out contraception.

I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers.

Why were these horrid thoughts taking up a whole room in her brain? No, multiple rooms!

Still as predictable as ever. Takes a small pair of balls to intimidate a small woman.

‘’Cause I feel as if I’ve been skinny-dipping with snapping turtles. And oh, Lordy’—he tossed out an expression that reminded her of Robin Williams playing Mrs. Doubtfire—‘you know how much I value my body parts.'

Delaney had once complained that it was impossible to make Patrick jealous, but the look he gave Jake was, surely, reserved for muggers of little old ladies.

My Review:

This book should be required reading for all medical and psychological graduate students and interns.  Written from five viewpoints The Promise Between Us was smartly written and endlessly fascinating, yet surprisingly easy to follow.  I was quickly mesmerized and completely embedded within the craniums of these peculiar and cringe-worthy characters and have yet to fully resurface.  I have a strong suspicion that these singularly unique yet fully formed individuals will be residing with me for quite some time.   The storyline was tragic and heartbreaking while the characters were deeply flawed, fractured, and somewhat repellent, yet oddly compelling and endearing for their efforts.  But the writing, oh the writing, it was stellar, superb, well-crafted, tantalizing, heartrending, poignant, painfully insightful, sharply honed, and exquisitely observant with unexpected yet perfectly pitched twists of levity, primarily from the most under-appreciated characters.  I adore this author and would worship at an altar laden with her works.  I was provided with a review copy of this engrossing book by TLC Book Tours.

Empress DJ

About Barbara Claypole White 

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fun Stuff: Mystery Blogger Award

A despicable and sneaky blogger from Saturday Night Reader had the audacity to nominate 
me for a Mystery Blogger Award. (originally created by Okoto enigmas blog), I'm waving to the huddled masses like a parade queen for being nominated.  Kisses to you all! 

As part of the rules of the Mystery Blogger Award, I was instructed to share 3 things about myself.  Hmm, my spidey sense is tingling... what to say without revealing my alternate Wonder Woman persona, oops - my secret has been revealed... so here is


And then on to #2

Besides being Wonder Woman - I have many other aliases... On Facebook I am DeeJay Sakata as they would not allow me to use my everyday name real-life moniker as it was my initials, on Twitter and Amazon I am Honolulubelle, on Goodreads I am DJ Sakata, and on two blogs I am the fantabulous Empress DJ

 #3 I am a firm believer in hydration, although my adoration and worship of my favorite indulgences come with exorbitant costs - dreaded calories and an empty wallet - so I try to limit my intake, not saying I'm always successful, but I do try...

What are the rules of the Mystery Blogger Award?  RULES!  Arg - I may follow some if I feel like it, but I am a capricious cougar and may just decide I don't wanna

This is what I was told to do, but as my harridan of a mother was fond of screeching - I rarely do what I am told...

Put the award logo/image on your blog - done
List the rules - done
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog - done - kinda sorta anyway
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well - done
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself - done
You have to nominate 10 – 20 people - nope, no can do, just not possible as the skeezy pest who nominated me already used up everyone I know... The nerve!  So the buck stops here, I'm calling it, line in the sand.  

Here were the 5 questions I was asked to answer:

If you could insert yourself as a character into a book, which book and why?  

Just the beloved heroine in every HEA book that ends up with the sexy hero who worships her.  I don't care less whether he rides a desk, a Harley, or a horse.  

What are your Top 5 albums of all time? (I love music and love asking this question of people) 

Hmm, I only listen to classical music these days, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, I can't listen to anything with lyrics while I read, and I'm always reading...   

If you were on Jeopardy what category would you dominate?  

ALL of them, much like Forrest Gump - I am a gauddammed genius!

If you found the spring in Tuck Everlasting what age would you want to stay forever?


Do you have a doppelganger? (What famous person have you been told you look like?)

Someone once told me I had the brains of Albert Einstein and the looks of Loni Anderson... or was it the other way around?  

Share a link to your best post(s)  

Almost all of my posts are golden but the treasure trove of my mad skills and outpouring of my mental treasures were housed on my main blog which was recently destroyed by a pile of human excrement and forever lost.  A pox on all hackers   ;( 

Cover Reveal: After Care by L.B. Dunbar

Contemporary Rom-Com for Gen X


Releasing 1.31.18




Breast cancer survivor Edie Williams is ready to live.

Divorced. Mother of two.

She’s planned the vacation of a lifetime for a reboot,

only to encounter an awakening adventure—Tommy Carrigan.

Manager of the band Collision, Tommy Carrigan has his plate full.

Independent. Carefree.

He’s on an annual holiday with his band family,

when the unexpected happens—Edie Williams.

Love might be just what the doctor prescribed,

but can it survive the world of rock-n-roll?


If you enjoyed The Sex Education of M.E., you’ll love After Care, another romance for the over-forty from L.B. Dunbar. Continue the adventure previously published in Love Notes, the newsletter of L.B. Dunbar.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: Almost Paradise by Christie Ridgway

Almost Paradise 
by Christie Ridgway

Return to beautiful Crescent Cove in the fourth installment in this sexy, tender series…

Photojournalist and die-hard wanderer Gage Lowell plans a little R & R in Crescent Cove, the place of idyllic childhood summers. Beach House No. 9 seems like a great place to relax after his latest harrowing adventure and he plans to surprise old friend and current pen pal, Skye Alexander, who manages the beachside properties. Though the last time they’d met in person they’d been kids, her communications over the years have kept him in touch…and sometimes saved him from his dark demons. But upon arrival, Skye doesn’t seem all that happy to make his re-acquaintance…

Skye knows it’s nuts not to be eager to spend time with the hard-bodied, ultra-sexy Gage. But it’s clear he sees her as just a friend and she might be thinking of him in a little more…uh, intimate terms. And then there’s the subject of secrets. Clearly he’s holding one back and she has them of her own. But the way he smiles at her…then the way he kisses her…can she open herself up to him in order to discover just how close to Paradise the two of them might come?

**This is a previously published STANDALONE romance.

Get the whole series! 
Almost Wonderful 
Almost Always 
Almost Everything 
Almost Paradise 

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

‘I hate that word,’ Polly said, suddenly looking as if she’d swallowed something sour. ‘Cute. I think it’s preventing me from having a fulfilling love life.’ ‘I thought it was the word perky that was to blame. At least that’s what you told me last week.’

And by the way, if you insult Jane in any way, shape or form, I’ll kick your ass. And then she’ll do it all over again, only harder. And with sexier shoes.

He was glad he stopped himself from saying that, too, because she was staring at him as if she was trying to remember where she’d left her favorite butcher knife.

His niece, Rebecca, had apparently left childhood for adolescence like a small-town girl heading for the big city—on speedy transport and with little luggage…

He’s actually Stunning Sex Man… A superhero. A yet-undiscovered one. I may take up writing comic books just to chronicle his greatness for the world’s appreciation.

My Review:

This installment in the ongoing series featured two couples.  One couple consisted of best platonic friends, although one was secretly pining for the other, and the other couple had been childhood friends that spent summers together and later became adult pen pals as he traveled the world as a serious photojournalist and she stayed at her beloved cove tending to tourists and her family business.  All four hid dark and traumatic events/secrets/stressors.  The characters were enticing and the storylines were intriguing and interesting although slowly paced and heavy with angst.  I looked forward to and reveled in the welcomed infusions of humor and gasp-worthy steamy bits as their statuses shifted from friends to lovers territory.  

Empress DJ

About the Author

Goodreads   Amazon

Christie Ridgway is the author of over 60 novels of contemporary romance. All her books are both sexy and emotional and tell about heroes and heroines who learn to believe in the power of love. A USA Today bestseller, Christie is a six-time RITA finalist and has won best contemporary romance of the year and career achievement awards from Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A native of California, Christie now resides in the southern part of the state with her family. Inspired by the beaches, mountains, and cities that surround her, she writes tales of sunny days and steamy nights

Book Review: Saturdays at Sweeney's by Ashley Farley

Saturdays at Sweeney's

(Sweeney Sisters #5)

by Ashley Farley 

Members of the Sweeney family, young and old, chart their courses for the future in this final installment of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series.

When the seafood business Lovie Sweeney established sixty years ago is destroyed by fire, she finds herself at the center of an arson investigation. What really happened that night? Is Lovie responsible for starting the fire or is her family under attack from a sworn enemy?

The loss of their family business leaves the Sweeney clan in flux. Samantha faces the challenges of rebuilding the market while her son, Jamie, on track to graduate from college in six months, must decide whether to make his permanent home in Prospect or move to Charleston where a new special someone resides. At age forty-five, Faith, who has never fully recovered from an abusive marriage, is on a quest to find her true passion? Jackie is distraught when her son, Sean, flunks out of college and struggles to find direction in his life without his twin brother to guide him. A medical diagnosis brings the sisters closer together and threatens to change family dynamics forever.

The Sweeney women remind us that it’s never too late to begin a new endeavor and to never stop chasing your dreams until you draw your last breath.

My Rating:

Favorite Quote:

Did you fail sharing time in kindergarten?

My Review:

I have enjoyed this relevant and engaging series featuring three divergently different Lowcountry sisters and their addled yet feisty mother.  Throughout the series, the sisters have faced a great deal of dispiriting hardships and challenges.  This fifth and final installment of the series was fraught with tension from the beginning as it started with a fire to the family business that brought on a truckload of trouble and opened a channel for either a complete loss or a new opportunity.  Each household, although while also blessed in many ways, was struggling with significant and overwhelming issues as well as the overriding critical element of the swift deterioration their elderly mother’s mental faculties.  This concern was hitting close to home for me there is a rapidly ticking clock, and not an if but a when, until I will be facing this same despicable dilemma.  Ms. Farley’s insightful narrative captured their inner conflict and turmoil with sensitivity and occasional hits of amusing levity which I fully appreciated as I've always found it preferable to laugh than to cry.  I will miss the Sweeney sisters but was more than satisfied with their swan song. 

Empress DJ

About the Author

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you've read the last word, then she's done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.

Visit her website at for more information. Or sign up for her newsletter using this link: