Book Reviews

These are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Stolen Life by Charmaine Pauls

Spring is trying to get a foothold here in Pennsylvania, but those cold wintery evenings and early spring frosts are still holding on. I’m getting antsy, waiting to get out and get my vegetable garden planted.

            Things have been hectic here. My manuscript is with the publisher. Hopefully, it will be ready and available to purchase in the next few months. I can’t wait for you all to meet Alex and Natalie.

            Another fun thing that happened is my son, George, and I were featured on a local news station yesterday (Mother’s Day). They did a story on our recent graduation with our master’s degrees from SNHU. It was really fun and a very special memory to share with my son. Check it out:

            On to my book review…

            Stolen Life is Paul’s second book in the Beauty in the Stolen Series. The story picks up right where book one left off—Ian is collecting Cas to bring her back to his safe house in Zimbabwe with him. This move causes all sorts of issues with Ruben and Leon, the other two members of Ian’s gang. They are rightfully distrustful of a newcomer and fear she is working with the police to turn them all in.

            Throughout the story, Ian and Cas dance around their feelings for one another. Neither wants to admit they are falling for the other nor do they want to examine with that means on a more personal level. Cas especially is torn between being the good girl, like she’s always been, or allowing herself to fall in love with a criminal and thus being an accomplice for his criminal acts.

            While she stays at his safe house, which is more like a safe community, she begins to acclimate herself to the region and the people. This, to me, is the most beautiful part of the story. Cas’s acclimation to the community Ian has built is natural and authentic and only adds to her character’s charm.

            Meanwhile, there’s a storm brewing. Not everyone is happy she’s there, and forces are at play to break them up.

            Aside from the characters and the storyline, I was entranced reading such detailed descriptions about the African landscape and the African people. It felt as though I were immersed in their community. Paul’s calls on her knowledge of Africa when writing the book. Her descriptions are life-like. In a time when travel has been halted because of the global pandemic, this book not only brings you into Ian and Cas’s story it also brings the reader right into their world. Africa was never on my travel bucket list, but now I’m left with a yearning to see the African animals in their native habitat and experience Victoria Falls in all their splendor.

            Back to the story….just when you think the plot can’t get any thicker, it does! There’s a twist that blew me away and had me scratching my head, wondering why? What the backstory there might be.

 Do you want to know what that twist is? Then pre-order your copy of Stolen Life from Amazon today. The book is set to release on May 18.

            I’ll be making a Facebook group soon so readers can keep up on my publishing journey with Submitting to Him. I hope you’ll all join me on Facebook. As my release date nears, I’ll be looking for ARC readers. You can also follow me on Twitter @TLConrad1 and Instagram T.L. Conrad. 

Until next time. Happy Reading ~Tara

Book Reviews

These are a Few of my Favorite Things…

Hard Ware by: Misha Bell

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long in between reviews. Things were a bit crazy around the house here. A bathtub leak turned into a full-on bathroom remodel. Being as though we only have one bathroom, it’s been quite an ordeal.

Remember that exciting news I wanted to share with you all? Well, now I can. I signed a publishing contract with Next Chapter Publishing for my book Submitting to Him. I’m so excited that my book will be in your hands in the coming months. I can’t wait for you all to meet Alex and Natalie and share their sexy story.

This week’s book review is Hard Ware by Misha Bell. For those of you that don’t know, Misha Bell is the pen name for the writing team of Anna Zaires and Dima Zales. It’s their second book, and it is fantastic.

There are many romance books out there that are loosely based on fairy tales, but I never read one centered around Frozen until Hard Ware.

This romantic comedy opens with Russian-born Bella walking her Chihuahua, Boner, in Central Park at the same time Ruskovian born Dragomir is out walking Winnie, his Misha breed (bear-sized) dog. There’s an instant attraction for Bella, who’s in the middle of trying out her vibrating Kegel balls. At the same time, there’s an instant attraction for Boner, who gets away from Bella and, unexpectedly and unconventionally, mates with Winnie. (You’ll have to read to find out what happens with the Kegel Balls).

Bella is horrified by her dog’s behavior and her Kegel mishap. Dragomir is angry and insists on a full STD panel from Boner.

Fast forward to the human side of the story. Bella owns a sex toy company and is looking for funding for her next project, a VR suit to connect lovers from a distance. She enters the meeting room and discovers the funding company is owned by none other than Dragomir. Needless to say, complications arise.

Back to the doggie story… it seems little Boner, aka Stud, is going to be a father. This slight complication is just what the pair needs to have as an “ice breaker” to get together. Their attraction. and their competitive nature, is off the charts, but there is more than one complication, the biggest of which—they are both hiding information about themselves.

How does this book parallel Frozen? First of all, it’s Bella’s favorite movie, her go-to in all situations. What she doesn’t realize is it also parallels her story with Dragomir. As they get closer and learn more about each other, the parallels are revealed. Bella learns about herself and accepts and is proud of all the different parts that make up who she is.

When she learns about Dragomir’s hidden Ruskovian past, she’s initially devastated and feels betrayed. After a series of hilarious mishaps and a special event, Bella realizes Dragomir wasn’t lying about his past to deceive her; he wasn’t lying at all. With everything that happened with his family (more you’re going to have to read for yourself), the right time never came up. Also, she never told him about her sex toy company—they both had information they were keeping from each other.

With everything out in the open now, the couple is free to be exactly who they are, no more secrets.

This book is a steamy romance guaranteed to make you laugh and beg for more!

Stay tuned for more information about my upcoming book release. My next review will be for an upcoming release by Charmaine Pauls, Stolen Life.

Happy Reading ~Tara