Because you can't judge a book by its cover


Cara Michal does everything by the book in Filthy Rich by Virna DePaul. After a financial disaster left her family penniless, Cara has stepped up to take care of herself, her special needs brother, and her flighty mother, leaving little to no time for a social life or relationships of any kind.  When Cara hides away at a business party and finds herself woken by a sexy stranger she decides to take a risk and kisses him. Unfortunately the best kiss of her life was give by her new boss and everyone knows mixing business with pleasure can lead to problems.

Branden Duke is surprised to find a sleeping beauty in his private rooms at his mansion during a party to announce his buying a Wall Street company. Drawn to the mysterious beauty he kisses her before learning who she is and is unprepared for the kiss to be as explosive as it is. If Cara were just anyone else it wouldn’t be a problem to hook up with her, but with his real reason for buying the company a necessary secret and an old enemy appearing, pursuing Cara might put her in harms way but how can he stay away?!

I struggled a bit with Filthy Rich, the meeting between Cara and Branden with the explosive first kiss is not my favorite literary device. So the first meeting for me was meh, but I really liked the characters of both Cara and Branden. I loved their devotion to family (if you are a long time reader of Novel Reaction you will notice I really like the family connections) even when those connections weren’t easy for the characters. Cara is a hardworking, dedicated, intelligent woman who isn’t waiting around for Mr. Right to come save her, she is working hard to save herself and I loved that about her! Branden has worked his way up from nothing while taking care of his half-sisters and trying to do the right thing for everyone. Filthy Rich had a bit more sex than I really enjoy but the story was engaging and the characters compelling so I gave it a four star.

Read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Filthy Rich 

Author: Virna DePaul

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 356


Publisher: Penguin Random House

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

I intended to do a guest post having a prior reviewer for Novel Reaction or an author write about their favorite horror books since I don’t read and/or watch horror movies, I am a pansy and don’t like being scared (I watched the first 15 minutes of The Walking Dead and had a nightmare), but I blinked and here it is Halloween already and me without having talked to anyone. So I thought I would share with you the movie trailer of one of the few zombie/horroresc movies I am planning on watching, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I admit I giggled all the way through Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, they fact they couldn’t call them zombies in polite society but called them “unmentionables” (as if they were underwear or some such thing) just tickled me.  So happy Halloween! I will be out with my super cute little Toothless dragon and not home reading like I have in previous years.

Magnus Chase has experienced his fair share of trouble since the night his mother was murdered two years ago. Living on the streets is never easy and Magnus thought he had seen just about everything until he ends up confronting a fire giant on a bridge in Boston and dying. But as with most things, dying is but a beginning. Finding himself in Valhalla, warrior hall of the dead in Norse mythology, Magnus is about to experience a whole new world, hopefully it won’t kill him again.

I picked up Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer on a whim while at Costco. While I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series I had been unable to get into The Kane Chronicles (mostly because I tried to read it while studying for the Arizona Bar, never try anything new while studying for a Bar, FYI) and haven’t really given any of Riordan’s newer books a try since then. The Sword of Summer was a fun read that I devoured it in about two days. It’s a first person narrative so Magnus is telling the reader (and he does address us specifically) about what happened to him. It’s been a while since I have read something this informally written so it took me a chapter or two to get used the writing style, and it is an informal style because it is a teenager telling us the story, not that that is a bad thing it just took me a little bit to get used to reading it.

Riordan’s chapter headers are entertaining like “Gunilla Gets Blowtorched and It’s Not Funny. Okay, It’s a Little Bit Funny” but it is Riordan’s characters that I love. Not only are we dealing with the Norse Gods, and not the pretty Hollywood fancy version but a television addicted Thor who looks like a brawler, which is more I how I image the God of War to look but minor gods and other mythical characters. What really amazed me in the Sword of Summer is the character of Hearth, an elf who is deaf and yet Riordan is able to seamlessly include the elf’s signing into the written word. It’s not that the character is suddenly understood by everyone so we forget that he is signing to communicate but that Riordan is able to make it part of the conversation. Hands down, though, my favorite character is Odin. I’m not going to talk about him because it would ruin it for you but just know I giggled through his appearance. The only thing I wish The Summer Sword had is a pronunciation guide included with the glossary.  I am just not that familiar with the Norse words used and especially don’t know how they should be correctly said. I give The Sword of Summer five stars and highly recommend it!

Read an excerpt here.

Reading Order

The Sword of Summer

The Hammer of Thor (Fall 2016)

Third Book to be Announced 

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Author: Rick Riordan

Format: Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 512


Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


The-Blind-Release-Week-BlitzNovel Reaction is excited to show you a sneak peak of Shelley Coriell’s The Blind. I am currently enjoying this intriguing read and am loving having the main character be a bomb expert. Below you will find an excerpt to give you a taste of this new release.

Coriell_The Blind_MMTHE BLIND by Shelley Coriell (July 28, 2015; Forever Mass Market; The Apostles #3)

As part of the FBI’s elite Apostles team, bomb and weapons specialist Evie Jimenez knows playing it safe is not an option. Especially when tracking a serial killer like the Angel Bomber. He calls himself an artist—using women as his canvas and state-of-the-art explosives as his brush. His art lives and breathes . . . and with the flick of a switch . . . dies.

As the clock ticks down to his next strike, Evie faces an altogether different challenge: billionaire philanthropist and art expert Jack Elliott, who’s made it clear he doesn’t care for Evie’s wild-card tactics.

Jack never imagined the instant heat for the Apostles’ defiant weapons expert would explode his cool and cautious world—and make him long to protect this woman. But as Evie and Jack get closer to the killer’s endgame, they will learn that safety and control are all illusions. For their quarry has set his sight on Evie for his final masterpiece…

The Apostles Reading Order

The Broken

The Buried

The Blind


At the door to the roof stairs, Jack dug into his pants pocket and frowned. He patted his suit coat and shirt pockets.

The frown reached his eyes.

“What is it?” Evie asked.

“I left my key card in my other suit coat.”

“No worries.” She dug into her bag and pulled out her key card. “I got us covered.”

He waved it off. “Visitor badges don’t allow roof access.”

She swiped anyway. The dot remained red.

Jack dug out his phone and jabbed at the face. He barked an order, then disconnected the call with another jab. “Security will have a man here in ten minutes.” He jabbed at the phone again. “Let me call my maintenance team and see if they can get here quicker.” His face now sported a full-fledged scowl.

“It’s not that big a deal, and there are worse places to be stranded.” Evie wandered back toward the garden. Back home in Albuquerque, she had a potted cactus garden one of her nephews had made her for her last birthday, the perfect type of garden for her as it could stand the heat, was small, and didn’t need much tending.

“As you keep reminding me, a clock is ticking.” More than a hint of irritation edged his words.

She laughed and sat on a bench near the copper-sheeted fountain. “This isn’t about a clock, Jack. It’s about you making a mistake.”

As expected, he strode to her side. “Excuse me.”

She propped her boots on the rock surrounding the koi pond. “You’re the type of guy who doesn’t make mistakes, and it ticks you off that you left your key card in your other coat.”

He watched the fish slide in and out of light dappling the waters before shaking his head and sitting next to her. “I take it you know this because you’re not the type of gal who makes mistakes.”

A laugh ripped from her chest. “Hardly.”

“There’s no room for error in the bomb business,” he argued.

“True. I don’t cross wires while at work, but I’m no stranger to messes.”

This time he laughed as he reached out and plucked a leaf from her hair. “So you get a little ruffled.” He held up the leaf.

She plucked it from his fingers. “Oh, no. I make full-on mistakes.”


“I think we’ll need more than ten minutes.”

“Like?” He kept that intense gaze on her, a man who commands attention and answers. But she didn’t have anything to hide.

She cupped her hands behind her head. Where to start? “Like having an egg hunt with my nephews last Easter in my mom and dad’s house and not being able to track down all the eggs. For three months the house stank until my mom unearthed the last of the rotten eggs, which six-year-old Tommy had hidden in a vent in the laundry room.”

“I call that unbridled enthusiasm.”

“And there was the time just last month when my teammate Finn Brannigan asserted his motorcycle was faster than my truck. Of course I had to prove him wrong, and I did until a cop pulled me over just as I got the speedometer past one hundred. Definitely a mistake, and for the record, we both got speeding tickets.”

“And that’s team bonding.”

She could see why Jack Elliott was so successful in business. He could put a twist on anything he wished. She unlaced her hands and let them fall in her lap. Did he even remember kissing her fingers? Did he sense the jolt his lips had sent through her entire body? “And then there’s last night.”

A vertical line striped the center of his forehead. “What mistake did you make last night?”

She grabbed his hand and twined her fingers with his. Last night he’d been vulnerable when he admitted his hope, his bone-deep desire, that his sister was still alive. Looking at him over their clasped hands, she said point-blank, “I should have kissed you back.”

Jack’s eyes sparked, and she knew he remembered the touch of his lips to her fingers. His shoulders, so wide they blocked the rising sun behind him, bounced in a soft laugh.

“You’re fearless.”

“Does that bother you?”

“No, not at all. I like strong, courageous, independent women.”

“Is that the type you take to your bed?”

“I . . .” He tilted his head, not a single wave of hair falling out of place. “Yes, it is.”

“That’s good to know.” Because knowns were always so much easier to work with. She was about to open her mouth, when the roof access door opened, a harried security guard rushing at them and apologizing for not getting there sooner.

For a solid five seconds, Jack stared at their clasped hands before turning to the guard. “No worries,” Jack said as he pulled her to her feet and walked her toward the stairs, their fingers still intertwined.

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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