Because you can't judge a book by its cover


Lindsey Hughes is used to dealing with old items, working in the estate sales business its what she does for a living, but even she was surprised and a bit unsure what to do with the 600 year old vampire she finds in a secret room of her latest estate. In Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Sims, Lindsey has one last chance to save the business she and her partner have worked so hard for, they have one month to clear out a hoarders’ dream apartment in Venice. When she finds and saves the life of a vampire, Lindsey has no idea how she is going to deal with the world she suddenly finds herself thrust into nor how to deal with the sexy Rand.

Rand Fitzwulf has been trapped in a coffin for centuries and now finds himself awake in a world he doesn’t understand. Gone are the knights, swords, and castles that he knew and instead he finds himself trying to understand cell phones, motorized vehicles, and plastic money. As if that wasn’t hard enough, his friends have been murdered, someone is trying to kill him (as evidenced by the unwilling sequestering in the coffin), and now those some individuals are going after Lindsey because she helped him. The only way to keep Lindsey safe is to keep the yummy human with him at all times, now if he can just control himself around her.

I really wanted to love Between a Vamp and a Hard Place, I really liked Sims’s Beauty Dates the Beast but I just found it meh. It wasn’t horrible but I didn’t love it, honestly it took me about two weeks to finish because I read some other books in between starting Between a Vamp and a Hard Place and finishing it. I just felt like the only thing Lindsey and Rand had going for them was the sex, Lindsey was kind of annoying with asking Rand to starve himself (by not feeding off of others) and then I just didn’t feel like we really got to know Rand’s character other than he was a violent knight at one point in time. The story was entertaining enough and obviously I liked it enough to finish the novel but at one point in time I almost skipped ahead to just read the last chapter to see what happened. Also, be aware that Gemma (Lindsey’s business partner and sister in arms) has a really foul mouth so there is quite a bit of the “f” word. Like I said, Between a Vamp and a Hard Place  was just kind of meh for me, if you have some free time and are stopping by the library I would read but I didn’t love it.


Read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Between a Vamp and a Hard Place

Author: Jessica Sims

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 374

ISBN: 978-1476753997

Publisher: Pocket Books Romance

Release Date: December 29, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


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

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


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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