July Non-Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ In Mistletoe by Tammy L Bailey


In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (290 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.

Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!

July Mystery/Suspense Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Uncle Neddy’s Funeral by L.M. Pampuro


Uncle Neddy’s Funeral by L.M. Pampuro
Publisher: Self
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full (450 pgs)
Rated: 4.5 stars
Review by Snapdragon

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Giuseppe Vittorio Vaffanculo, a.k.a. Neddy, is an idiot. Not a bad person, he just holds himself in high praise. Neddy is the perfect target for Rayleigh O’Connor, member of the underworld organization The Shadow and soon to be Ms. Neddy number five. As part of the Vaffanculo-Cuzzuto clan, Neddy is the perfect mark Rayleigh needs to avenge the death of a comrade by killing Victor Cuzzuto.

All Victor Cuzzuto wants to do is finally retire to the beach, spend time with his family, and hand over the reins of his Federal Investigation branch office to his protégée.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey


In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (290 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else’s life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.

Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe’s Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can’t tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.

In Mistletoe captured my heart from the first page. Has this book been made into a Hallmark Christmas movie yet? I won’t be surprised to find out if it has or if it is going to be made into one eventually. I’m ready to celebrate the Christmas season. Too bad it’s the middle of July. This book really put me in the mood to walk under some mistletoe. LOL

I found the writing style made a well written piece of work that flowed effortlessly. At first I thought the plot wasn’t original as I’ve read several “agree to play his girlfriend” stories but this one had its own unique twist to that age old plot thread which was a surprising and pleasantly entertaining read.

Being careful not to give a spoiler, I need to recap the synopsis when it says that Grace is searching for her sister and the trail leads her to Mistletoe and to the town’s most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor. Ayden agrees to help Grace find her sister if she helps him to get his sister to stop meddling in his personal life. I had an issue with the fact that Grace gets so distracted by Ayden that she feels guilty for neglecting to find her sister which is the entire reason that she’s in Mistletoe. All I can say is that I’m glad I was able to look beyond that flaw because it paid off. There is much more to this story than meets the eye.

Grace has several layers to her character. Some layers were annoying but her history justifies those annoyances and I was able to look past them. Same goes for Ayden though his annoying qualities were different than hers and for different reasons. Ayden and Grace were a believable couple because his strengths were her weaknesses. Therefore, as the saying goes, opposites attract. I could feel the tension and chemistry as if I was the character myself.

Having said, I found the hero and heroine to be a bit annoying and that had me finding them completely relatable. They had me cracking up several times with their witty humor. The scene where he finds the particular book that she was reading and the location she had bookmarked had me crying with tears. My husband and I had that exact scene in real life. Hilarious!

I was pleased with the ending of the book. I loved how Grace’s mom was redeemed and Ayden’s parents ended on a positive note. This book was like a Vidalia onion, which by the way is one of my favorite onions. You know, sweet with many layers but still having the ability to make you cry while making everything taste better. This book gave me that feel good feeling on many levels and I’d recommend others to read In Mistletoe without any reservations.

Uncle Neddy’s Funeral by L.M. Pampuro


Uncle Neddy’s Funeral by L.M. Pampuro
Publisher: Self
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full (450 pgs)
Rated: 4.5 stars
Review by Snapdragon

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Giuseppe Vittorio Vaffanculo, a.k.a. Neddy, is an idiot. Not a bad person, he just holds himself in high praise. Neddy is the perfect target for Rayleigh O’Connor, member of the underworld organization The Shadow and soon to be Ms. Neddy number five. As part of the Vaffanculo-Cuzzuto clan, Neddy is the perfect mark Rayleigh needs to avenge the death of a comrade by killing Victor Cuzzuto.

All Victor Cuzzuto wants to do is finally retire to the beach, spend time with his family, and hand over the reins of his Federal Investigation branch office to his protégée.

Uncle Neddy’s Funeral opens into obvious intrigue… where, exactly “Neddy’ is becomes apparent pretty quick, but why…well that is the story.

It’s a family affair from the get-go, and Italian! Oh yes, from gnocchi to the classic big family, Uncle Neddy is part of a stereotypical big-city Italian family, with the all the connections and expectations one imagines. Faithfully reported on by sister Gia, we readers get a good look at ‘relations’ and family history. Yet, pinning down information on the ‘real Neddy’ – not to mention other family members, is hard to achieve. Everyone has a different view…often of each other. There are complaints and lies, and lies about liars, and we readers must wonder what is actually heartfelt.

Wondering what was going on kept me reading.

Clever writing spins out an intrigue that seems a backward one and not at all lacking in humor. Although it’s an odd journey, it is all ‘La Familia.” Who married (or marries) who is all important, as is the families’ opinion. Even more important is the motive for the marriage, and this upcoming Bad Decision might be more about retribution than love.

Fresh and original–okay, perhaps ‘fresh’ given the opening description, is not the best word choice…ahem–unpredictable and zippy, or perhaps it would be better to say ‘downright unusual.’ Uncle Nedddy’s Funeral is not so much just for mystery fans as for those wanting a reading adventure. Expect the unexpected and do add it to your Must Read List.

June Sci-Fi/Fantasy or Mystery/Suspense Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Icarus by David


Icarus by David Hulegaard
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (271 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

It’s the winter of 1947 in Ashley Falls, West Virginia, and a teenage girl has gone missing. Local private detective Miller Brinkman takes the case, quickly uncovering a string of bizarre clues. A hidden diary, cryptic riddles, and buried secrets all pique Miller’s interest, but one key detail gives him pause: the girl’s parents haven’t reported her disappearance to the authorities.

As the case deepens, Miller’s investigation begins to poke holes in the idyllic picture of his beloved hometown. No longer certain whether anyone in his community can be trusted, Miller dives headfirst into a desperate search for the truth that extends far beyond the borders of Ashley Falls. He soon discovers that his missing persons case is not an isolated incident, but part of an otherworldly mystery—one that, if confronted, may threaten the very future of humanity.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!

June Non-Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright


Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West!

SURPRISE BRIDE FOR THE COWBOY by Lauri Robinson

Mary McCary never wanted to be a mail-order bride, but falling off the Oak Grove train into Steve Putnam’s lap changes everything… Could he be the cowboy to tempt her down the aisle?

TAMING THE RUNAWAY BRIDE by Kathryn Albright

Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride. She doesn’t intend to actually marry…until she shares one sensational kiss with Jackson Miller!

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!!!

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright


Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove by Lauri Robinson and Kathryn Albright
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West!

SURPRISE BRIDE FOR THE COWBOY by Lauri Robinson

Mary McCary never wanted to be a mail-order bride, but falling off the Oak Grove train into Steve Putnam’s lap changes everything… Could he be the cowboy to tempt her down the aisle?

TAMING THE RUNAWAY BRIDE by Kathryn Albright

Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride. She doesn’t intend to actually marry…until she shares one sensational kiss with Jackson Miller!

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was awesome! Twin sisters say “I do” in the Wild West. Mary and Maggie each have their own love story to tell in this one book. This is two books in one yet they are connected. The flawless writing style of each book was brilliantly blended for the reader as I got to read the same scene twice, but from the other twin’s perspective. I actually nanny for a family with three year old twin girls. There is something special about twins. They have a bond that can’t be explained and this book captured that.

The first book, “Surprise Bride for the Cowboy” by Lauri Robinson was my ideal romance book. I love when I suffer from a book hangover; the inability to start a new book because I’m still living in the last book’s world. That to me is the sign of a great love story.

The original plots were beautifully written and had me laughing numerous times. Immediately I felt I was hooked and transported into the book’s world and I couldn’t read the pages fast enough.

I fell in love with Steve, the hero and Mary the heroine. Gosh, they were perfect together. I enjoyed the situation in how they met. Mary was a spitfire with determination who does what needs to be done, yet demonstrated compassion and empathy towards others at the appropriate times. I loved how Steve was patient, thankful and forgiving. Of course he was gorgeous, strong and thoughtful. He didn’t possess any unlikable qualities. The perfect book boyfriend. Together their romance was sweet and irresistible. I must add that the description details of Mary’s cooking had my mouth watering. Do NOT read this book while hungry! LOL…

All the characters were well developed in both books and I was able to easily relate to them. The doctor was a plot twist in the end of the first book that just had me grinning like a goober. The author got me on that one. Well done, Lauri Robinson.

The second book was “Taming the Runaway Bride” by Kathryn Albright and was also a lot of fun to read. The entire book was the best reading experience and words won’t do justice to as why I would recommend this book to all my friends and family. I didn’t think the romance story between Steve and Mary in the first book could be matched but not only did the story between Maggie and Jackson in the second book match the first but it surpassed it. I fell in love with Jackson and Maggie and experienced another book hangover!

I could see Jackson and Steve becoming best friends and everyone living happily ever after as one big adventure-filled family. I can only imagine the stories they will have to tell their grandchildren.

I laughed so hard when Maggie entered Jackson’s workshop and, well, you just have to read it. I couldn’t stop re-reading that part because I love laughing so hard that I cry tears of joy and get a cramp in my side.

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove was excellent! I don’t understand how two authors could write a book sharing some of the characters and yet I didn’t feel like I was reading a book written by two authors. I highly recommend this book for a pleasurable entertainment.

Icarus by David Hulegaard


Icarus by David Hulegaard
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (271 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

It’s the winter of 1947 in Ashley Falls, West Virginia, and a teenage girl has gone missing. Local private detective Miller Brinkman takes the case, quickly uncovering a string of bizarre clues. A hidden diary, cryptic riddles, and buried secrets all pique Miller’s interest, but one key detail gives him pause: the girl’s parents haven’t reported her disappearance to the authorities.

As the case deepens, Miller’s investigation begins to poke holes in the idyllic picture of his beloved hometown. No longer certain whether anyone in his community can be trusted, Miller dives headfirst into a desperate search for the truth that extends far beyond the borders of Ashley Falls. He soon discovers that his missing persons case is not an isolated incident, but part of an otherworldly mystery—one that, if confronted, may threaten the very future of humanity.

This is my first book by this author, and it will definitely not be my last. I have already bought the second book of this series, and I can’t wait to read more of it.

Miller Brinkman is a private detective in his small hometown of Ashley Falls, WV, in the late 1940s and is happy staying right where he is—mostly because he suffers from anxiety attacks. His anxiety accounts not only him staying in Ashley Falls, but also explains why he is still single.

He becomes involved in a missing persons case which takes him out of his comfort zone – leading him to Washington DC and Maryland. It also leads him back to his ex-love, who helps him in his investigations.

Icarus is full of adventure, twists, mystery, and thrills – keeping me on the edge of my seat. The tone is definitely “noir”, reminding me of some of the hardboiled detective shows from the same era. It’s hard to tell much about the book without getting into spoilers, but there is a definite shift towards the end of the book, and I’m looking forward to discovering more about the bigger story involved.

The characters are wonderfully drawn—Miller, his ex-love Charissa, a mysterious stranger who leaves Miller clues, and even the “bad guys.” Although Miller has his weaknesses and second-guesses himself, he has a great deal of integrity and wants to do what’s right–not only for Jane, the missing girl, but for other people who have also been affected.

Kudos, Mr. Hulegaard, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

May Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Her Dangerous Mistake by Erin M Leaf


Her Dangerous Mistake by Erin M. Leaf
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Other: M/F, Masturbation
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Moira is on the run—her apartment has been trashed, her bank account hacked, and someone is stalking her. Only one man is dangerous enough to keep her safe … that is, if she can convince him to help her. Neil Deven used to be her father’s best friend until betrayal turned him violent. Neil disappeared, and finding him might be the biggest mistake of her life, but Moira won’t survive alone.

Neil remembers Moira as a sweet little girl caught in the middle of her father’s criminal life. The gorgeous woman who shows up at his door is anything but a child, but he’s already got problems. Dragon shifters are a dying race with no way to change form, yet Neil’s powers keep growing. And Moira stirs long lost instincts—he can’t deny her need. He must protect the woman who will be his mate, or die trying.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

May Non-Erotic Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Summer Dreams by Delia Latham


Summer Dreams by Delia Latham
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (173 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

The Getaway Of A Lifetime…Kinda.

Summer Callihan isn’t in Cambria for the beach or the ocean or the pine-scented air around Paradise Pines Lodge. She’s there as a companion to her flighty cousin, Deah–with the understanding that they will have separate agendas the entire time. Summer just wants to be left alone to dream up the romance novels she writes under a pseudonym.

A Real-life Hero Who Rivals a Romance Novel…Really!

But never in Summer’s wildest writer’s imagination does she dream of being caught in an undertow and almost drowning, only to be rescued by a wealthy artist. And when Logan Bullard proves hard to shake, Summer fears for her heart–especially when Deah sets her sights on Logan.

A Cupid to pull it all together…?

But at Paradise Pines Lodge, what’s meant to be has a way of happening…at the best time and in the best way. Miss Angelina Love–who may or may not own the place–has an “in” with Heaven’s own “department of romance.” And she’s determined to see Summer and Logan together.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!