Release Day Blitz & Review: Redemptive by Jay McLean



Title: Redemptive (Combative Trilogy #2)

Author: Jay McLean

Release Day: March 8, 2016

Redemptive E-book


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Redemptive Wrap


It’s said that your life flashes before your eyes when you die.
It must only happen to those whose lives were worthy.
Clearly, mine was not.
The only thing that happened to me was a repeat of what I thought was my death.
The blast of the gun as it went off.
The loss of my breath as two hundred pounds of dead weight dropped on top of me.
And then darkness.
This replayed over and over.
When the guy squatted down next to me and asked if I was hurt, the only thing I could see, feel,
hear, were those few seconds.
Even now, as I sat in the back of a blacked out van—it was the only thing that ran through my mind.
Gunshot, breath, darkness.






5 / 5 Stars

Holy crap. 

That’s how I’d sum up Redemptive in two words.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed Jay McLean’s Combative. (You can find my review here.) It ended with one of those cliffhangers that had me pounding my fists demanding the next book. I needed more. There were so many unanswered questions.

While I still feel like I’m in the dark on most things, what I did learn BLEW MY MIND. It completely changed everything I thought I knew from Combative. I wanted to know more about Nate DeLuca. Jay McLean answered.

Nate wasn’t who I thought he was. Well he was, but he wasn’t. I can’t even begin to explain it to you. I was wary of the Nate I met in Combative. I just knew he was going to cause problems. The Nate I met in Redemptive was someone I adored. It confused the heck out of me! I didn’t know what to do with the two versions of him in my head.

And Bailey. I don’t even know what to say about Bailey. I felt for the poor girl.

Jay McLean has done an amazing job of messing with my head with this series. And I’m not complaining at all. I LOVED it. I can’t wait for the third book. I can’t even imagine what’s in store for everyone next.

**I received an ARC of Redemptive in exchange for an honest review.




Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.


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Review: Combative by Jay McLean

20894361Title: Combative

Series: Combative, #1

Author: Jay McLean

Publication Date: February 5, 2015

Publisher: CreateSpace

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Romantic Suspense

Goodreads Synopsis:

We all play victims to our pasts; to the choices we make and the lives we create.
They define who we are.
And sometimes if we’re lucky enough, the past stays where it belongs: in the past.
I’m not one of the lucky ones.
I never have been.
Because now the past is knocking on my door, offering deals I have no choice but to take… deals that will help bring justice—not just for me, but for my brothers.

The problem?
The deal is a ticking time bomb.
One I didn’t know existed.


4.5 / 5 Stars

Jay McLean shocked me with this intense story. I knew the writing was going to be great, it is Jay McLean after all. I just didn’t realize how different it was going to be from what I’ve read from her before.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but Combative is a story told from two different view points. The first is Ky. He’s just returned from four tours of duty and feels unworthy of still being alive. It’s gotten him into some trouble with the law, and now he’s stuck helping out the police to save himself from prison.

The second point of view is Madison’s. She just moved into Ky’s apartment building. She’s beautiful and Ky can’t stop himself from wanting her. Madison is kind of a mystery. She’s got some issues, but she keeps them a secret.

Ky and Madison try to keep things simple and friendly, but they can’t stop themselves from falling for each other. Soon, his feelings for Madison are distracting Ky from the job he’s meant to do.

I was sucked into mystery of Combative from the very beginning. I loved Ky and the sweetness he hid under his tough guy exterior. He was so good with Madison and her quirks. At times I wanted him to push her a little harder for information on her past, but I enjoyed the build up not having that information gave the story. Madison’s thoughts were confusing and intrigued me. I couldn’t wait to see where her storyline was headed.

I also loved the mystery surrounding the other characters in the book. I wanted to know who Nate DeLucca really was and what he was up to. I wanted to know what Jackson’s motives really were. All of the mystery around everyone was so suspenseful and intense. I was always slightly confused and excited to see what was going to happen next.

And the cliffhanger!!! Crazy! I need book 2 now!

Combative was an intriguing book filled with mystery, suspense and romance. Anyone who enjoys intense books shroud in secrecy will love this one.

**I received an electronic copy of Combative in exchange for an honest review.





Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

26025580Title: The Grownup

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Publisher: Crown

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Goodreads Synopsis:

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

3 / 5 Stars


Hmm…I’m not quite sure what I think about this short story by Gillian Flynn. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be scary. It was just kind of creepy. I’m not complaining — I don’t like scary. I wasn’t even going to read it because of being categorized as horror, but I love Flynn’s writing style so I went for it.

The Grownup immediately sucked me in and held my interest the entire. The writing was beautifully creepy. I loved the characters. They had fascinating backstories. It also had some twists and turns I didn’t see coming.

My only problem with The Grownup was the ending. I wasn’t necessarily let down by it, but it felt a little lacking. I actually wanted to know more about what happened next in this creepy little story. It would have been a great full length novel.

Would I recommend it? It’s only 62 pages. If you love Gillian Flynn’s other works, I’d recommend it.


Review: Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

22324683Title: Six of Hearts 

Series: Hearts, Book #1

Author: L.H. Cosway

Publication Date: July 26, 2014

Publisher: CreateSpace

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.

I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.

I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.

But most of all, I put on a good show.

The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.

Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her.
I want it for all six of us.

She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this–if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.

So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.

You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.

I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.

So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

3.5 / 5 Stars

Six of Hearts is one of those hard books to review. There were many great things about it, but there were also some things kept it from being amazing in my opinion.

I’m going to start out with what I didn’t love: how long it took me to get sucked into the story. It wasn’t until Chapter 8 that I was truly engaged in it. Prior to that, I debated not finishing the book. Part of that was being annoyed at Matilda’s lack of confidence until then. I understood it, but it made her character seem younger than she was supposed to be. I also couldn’t decide if Jay was a decent human being underneath his cockiness until then. Once they started to connect and their romance started to bloom, I started to enjoy the novel more.

Matilda and Jay’s romance was super sweet. They took it at slower pace than what you normally see in this genre and it was refreshing. It fit Matilda’s shy personality well and brought out Jay’s good qualities.

Another thing Six of Hearts had going for it was it’s uniqueness. It was unlike New Adult romance I’ve ever read. While it features two broken characters falling in love like many novels in the genre, it’s unique because the main character’s love interest is an illusionist. I can honestly say it’s the first time I’ve come across that. It added a new spin to the romance and I loved that. It was fun to read about the illusions Jay created.

I also really enjoyed the mystery of Six of Hearts. Some of the revelations I could see coming, others were a complete surprise. The surprises made it so much fun to read.

So, while the beginning was super slow for me, I did end up enjoying Six of Hearts.



Review: Never Never Part 3 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

25454883Title: Never Never Part 3

Series: Never Never

Authors: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.
Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

4.5 / 5 Stars

Never Never Part 3 continues Silas and Charlie’s search for answers of how they got to where they are now. This final novella answered all of the questions we’ve all been not very patiently waiting for.

I know it’s been getting mixed reviews, but I loved the way Never Never Part 3 wrapped up the series. Maybe it’s the romance reader inside of me, but I couldn’t come up with a better answer to all of Silas and Charlie’s questions. Everything was so easily and perfectly explained. It made sense. It might have lacked a little in that the answers didn’t blow me away, but they were perfect for the characters.

The one issue I had with Never Never Part 3 was the epilogue that took place 20 years later. It didn’t add anything to the story and made the perfect ending a little cheesy. But it didn’t ruin the book for me or anything. I just thought it would have been better without it.

I really, really hope there’s another Hoover-Fisher collaboration in the works. Their writing styles fit so well together and their ideas are so much fun to read.


Review: Imago Mortis by Samuel Marolla

imago-mortis-2820x4500.jpgTitle: Imago Mortis (Augusto Ghites #1)

Author: Samuel Marolla

Publication Date: January 12, 2014

Publisher: Samuel Marolla

Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Mystery

Amazon Synopsis:

Augusto Ghites is a junkie. His drug: the ashes of the dead. His trip: reliving the lives of those whose ashes he sniffs and interacting with their ghosts.
To obtain those ashes – to get his fix – he needs money. And there’s no better job for someone who can talk to ghosts than that of a private eye.
When an old prostitute hires him to investigate the death of her colleague, Ghites thinks that it’s just an average, everyday case. But together with the King Lizard, he will discover that there are forces at play that are well beyond his capabilities to control.
Set in a decadent Milan and told in perfect noir style, this horror tale introduces a dark and self-destructive occult detective in the best hard-boiled tradition.


3 / 5 Stars

I have to admit I was a little nervous going into reading Imago Mortis. Paranormal/horror stories are not normally my thing. I scare easily and tend to gravitate to light and fluffy romances. That being said, I agreed to read Imago Mortis because I’m always up for trying different genres. You never know what you’ll like if you don’t try it, right?

The first thing I noticed when I started reading Imago Mortis were the amazing descriptions. There were intricately detailed descriptions of everything! From the city of Milan to the seedy characters Ghites interacts with, everything is beautifully described. While it was helpful in getting acquainted with the setting and characters, the descriptions did distract from the story a bit. At times, it was hard to pay attention to what was happening in the story because I was so overwhelmed by the lengthy descriptions of where Ghites was or who he was with.

As for the story itself, it was definitely creepy! A private investigator who communicates with ghosts to solve crimes is one thing. A private investigator who snorts dead people’s ashes to do so is entirely another! The things Ghites sees were so disturbing. I’m hoping I don’t have nightmares from those visions!

To be honest, Imago Mortis wasn’t a book for me. It wasn’t that it was poorly written. The writing was beautiful. It was just too creepy for me. I’m sure there are a lot of horror buffs out there who would love it, though!

**I received an electronic copy of Imago Mortis from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Review: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

17443673A Different Blue

Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: March 25, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: New Adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.

5 / 5 Stars


I borrowed A Different Blue from the library without reading the book description. I simply wanted to read another book by Amy Harmon. I’m happy I didn’t because I might not have read it.

I’m not much for student-teacher relationships. They’re one of those taboo relationships that kind of gets to me. It’s easier to understand when it’s a younger teacher and a high school student, but there’s just some lines that shouldn’t be crossed and I believe this is one of them. Maybe it’s becoming a parent. Maybe it’s knowing how many lives would be ruined in the aftermath. Maybe I’ve heard way too much of the Mary Kay Letourneau story (my mom was a teacher in the district when/where it happened). It’s just a relationship I can’t stomach.

But, like I said, I’m glad I didn’t look at the description. I would have missed out on a great book because this wasn’t a student-teacher affair story. While the story begins while Blue is in high school, it jumps time. Blue and Wilson’s friendship may have began while she was in high school, but any romantic feelings were left for the future. This was the inspirational story of a broken young woman coming to terms with what life threw at her and who she really was.

Nineteen-year-old high school senior Blue knows what everyone thinks of her. She’s a mean slut. But Blue doesn’t care. She doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.

Her mother abandoned her when she was two. She doesn’t even know who she really is. Her “father” died several years later, leaving his sister to care for Blue. There’s no one that truly cares what happens to her. Well, except maybe for the new history teacher–the young British teacher all of the girls except Blue are hot for. And Mr. Wilson probably just wants her to graduate so he doesn’t have to deal with her anymore.

As the school year goes by, history quickly becomes Blue’s favorite class. The more she learns about history, the more she begins to discover about herself. But just when Blue thinks she knows where her life should be headed after high school, life throws a wrench in her plans.

Blue’s stuck turning to the one person she’s been fighting the entire year, Wilson. She suddenly gets why all those girls have been giggling all year.His friendship will help Blue make it through the year, but her crush on him might just ruin her.

Oh, this book. It almost had me in tears so many times. As inspirational as the story was, it was so hard to see Blue struggle. She was so lost as a person due to her past and just when she would start to figure things out, something big would change her course. I kept hoping for some happiness and hope for her, but it seemed always just beyond her grasp. I wasn’t sure how she would ever be who she wanted to be.

I adored Wilson and the way he tried to help Blue. He frustrated me at times, but the way he cared for her was so sweet.

I would highly recommend A Different Blue to NA readers who love inspiring novels. It has a great message and a sweet, slow-burning romance.