Diamonds in the Rough

What does it take for a book to become a "Just Another Girl and Her Books Diamond in the Rough?" It takes a well written story that sucks me in and doesn't spit me out until after it has begun to affect my dreams. It takes a book that makes me want to shout its praises from the rooftops because I just want everyone to know how good it is. It takes a novel that leaves me satisfied but wanting more all at the same time. If a book does all these things, it becomes one of my diamonds in the rough.

Authors, if your book appears on this page, feel free to post the badge with your book (if you want), but please be sure to link it back here. Thanks.

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Two destinies. One death.

"Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates."

Eric Welborn isn't completely human, but he isn't the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she's powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he's determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she's assigned as Eric's class partner. He won't help, let alone talk to her, but she's determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he's strived to hide.

Minutes Before Sunset is the first book in The Timely Death Trilogy. Read my review here.

Underestimated by Jettie Woodruff

Morgan starts her life in a bad situation, she doesn't really know what she wants out of life. She's never had anyone to look up to or help guide her in the right direction. She had it rough and never dreamed that it could get worse. However, she finds that it can and it does.

She learns what real hell is when she meets the husband that she doesn't want to marry but isn't given a choice.

Can she escape? She can and does, only to wake up and find herself right back at square one.

Warning! This is not your everyday fall in love romance. This book contains disturbing situations, strong language, graphic, sexual content - some forced, some not. If it's a happily ever after love story that you are looking for, you should probably move on. If you are up for the ride, stick around and it may just turn into a love story after all.
 Read my review here.

Separation Anxiety by Lisa Suzanne

We all get one true love in our lives, and it’s up to us to find it. Fate will act and try to push us together, but ultimately it’s up to us to recognize who that one person is when he’s standing in front of us. 

It turns out that I recognized who my one person was when I was separated from my husband. 

On the same day I determined that I was finally going to file for divorce, I confessed my secret to Jesse Drake, my swoon-worthy colleague known for his womanizing ways. Jesse invited me to crash with him, and with each new piece of the enigmatic Jesse puzzle that I started to fit into place, I found myself wondering if Fate had pushed us together for a reason. 

If only my husband would stop getting in the way of the man with whom I was meant to be.

Separation Anxiety is intended for mature audiences.

This is the first book in the Love Sick series of connected standalone novels. Read my review here.

The Gathering by S.L. Dearing

Another world war has happened and everything we knew is now gone. There are no more countries. No more governments of old... only survivors who have created a new world made up of small colonies. It has been thirteen years and the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the old Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains. The settlement is making ready to host the fall Gathering, a time where every six months the other colonies from various parts of what was once Southern California visit for ten days of fun and reminiscence. The Gathering begins as any other party. A time for new loves, old friends, family, dancing and fun, but all too soon that changes. The people in Lia Fail begin to experience strange goings on they can't explain, unseen forces attack several guests and friends begin to distrust friends. When they receive news of a horrific massacre, they realize they must face an impending dark evil that threatens to descend on the tranquil village. Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this darkness. But she will face the evil along side her oldest and dearest friends, as well as an amazing new ally. The fate of her people, the lives of her children and freedom itself rests in her hands. Will she have the courage to do what must be done? This is the beginning of a journey that will change all of their lives forever. The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles is the first in a new Paranormal, Fantasy, and Adventure Series. This book contains adult situations, violence and is intended for a mature audience. Read my review here.

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

***A Standalone Horror Romance***

A note about this book: Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 – couples were often thrust into marriage together with short courtships, racism was widespread and not overly frowned upon, and women had little to no rights. What wouldn't fly in today's day and age was unfortunately the norm back then - it is worth keeping that in mind when reading this book.

Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive 

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization. Read my review here.

Objective by K. Larsen

My story started out cliche: good girl falls for bad boy. One wrong move changed all that; turns out the good girl doesn’t save the bad boy. My story goes from cliche to risque to mind blowing. My story is different from all the others because the events of my story led me to one objective.

Remembering him comes in dreams and flashbacks that I can't control. I tell myself it’s time to let go...but moving on from him is impossible when I still see our lives in my head. 

When you kill your soul mate you don’t ever really recover. 
A year of trying to forget, or rather move past it, has taught me that you can't. It's an impossibility to move on from that kind of horrific form of betrayal. If you’re too selfish or scared for suicide like me, you learn to wake up every morning and follow routine. One foot in front of the other, day after day. 

Hollow. Lifeless. Haunted. Loving him was like the sun on a summer day. Living without him is like slowly burning to death. Torture.

A Bloodlines Novel. 

*Note: While Tug of War is the 1st in the Bloodlines books, each book can be read as a standalone book.* Read my review here.

Fly Like You've Never Been Grounded by SJ McCoy

Laura Benson has her life together, thank you very much. Her jewelry store in San Francisco is doing wonderfully. Her design skills will soon have her traveling to London, designing a new line that should build her reputation world wide. 

She's on top, which is where she likes to be - especially when it comes to men. Since giving her fiance his ring back a year ago, Laura has kept her relationships light, and short. Sexy pilot Smoke Hamilton might be hot, but she doesn't need a Mr Right, just Mr Right Now. She doesn't need a man holding her down. 

From the moment he first saw her, Smoke knew Laura was his kind of sexy. What he hadn't banked on was her being his kind of smart, with a sassy mouth too. He usually prefers his women 'nice and easy', but Laura is a challenge. Smoke has always been a sucker for a challenge, he just can't leave them alone til he's conquered them. 

Conquering Laura is a risk, she's Jack's cousin, Jack is not only his friend, but his employer too. Still she's a risk he has to take. As a pilot, his career comes first, and always gives him the option to fly away. He'll never let a woman tie him down again. 

The chemistry between them definitely has the sparks flying, but will the scars of the past only lead them to crash and burn? 

The Summer Lake series follows a group of friends from a small lakeside town in the California hills. They have kept in touch over the years and now, in their early thirties, their lives are drawing them back to Summer Lake and to each other. 

This book is intended for adult readers 18+. Read my review here.

The Bondage Club by Alexandrea Weis

A man looking for a new beginning.
Hunter Donovan is a writer who dreamed of penning the great American novel but settled for a job running the family business, Donovan Books. Trapped publishing other people’s stories, Hunter buries his frustrations in vodka and an endless parade of one-night stands.  
A woman with a secret.
Cary Anderson is the perky, petite, and staunchly determined editor who is well versed in erotica fiction. But Cary has a kinky side that she is struggling to keep hidden from the world. 

Fed up with dwindling sales, Hunter hopes to breathe new life into his publishing house by breaking into the risqué world of erotica. He hires Cary to rescue his company and she is keen to show her new boss everything she knows. But what starts out as a lesson in sexual fiction turns into an unexpected roller coaster ride of disastrous romantic encounters. And just when Cary helps stir Hunter’s creative voice, he uncovers the truth about her wicked ways.  

Some ties that bind can cut right to the heart in…The Bondage Club. Read my review here.

Taste Test by L.B. Dunbar

In a modern twist of fairy tales,
what if the beast is a woman instead of a man?

Ethan Scott
I was about to find out when a mysterious job led to the secluded home of a horror novelist. I’d lost everything: my scholarship, my education, and my way. In denial of my family inheritance, I took the unusual employment as a chance out of a hole, but I found myself buried in the unknown trauma of another situation much deeper. 

Ella Vincentia
I had changed my name and my address to keep myself hidden, but my scars were more than physical. Living as a recluse in the woods, I was used to being alone, so I wasn’t happy when a certain someone was always in my space. Our first encounter was less than pleasant and tension continued at every attempt to tame me. 

I knew she was keeping secrets and I wanted to help, but she was cutting me down and cutting me off every time she opened her mouth. Our frustration with one another grew until a misunderstanding changed everything. How can I be the next guy after something so tragic? It was a challenge I wasn’t sure I was willing to take. Read my review here.

Spark of Light by Elizabeth Tuttle

Nearly a century ago the world was decimated by a magical war. In their defeat, elves were captured by humans, cut off from their magic, and broken down into lifeless, drone-like slaves.

Avery is different. Somehow, her magic has always simmered beneath the surface. Never completely broken, she must pretend in order to survive. When Zander, her master’s nephew, brings her magic out in full force, she finds out what it’s like to truly be alive.

Ripped from Zander’s side and sent to The Farm, Avery doesn’t know if she’ll be able to hide her light and make it out alive. But there, she’ll meet someone who knows her true purpose. 

The war isn’t over, and if Avery can survive, she could be the one to set her people free. All it takes is a little hope and a Spark of Light.

***MatureYA - This book contains mild adult language, sexual content, and possible triggers.*** Read my review here.

'Twas the Night by Robin Reed

Rollo is the overworked, stressed-out Head Elf at the North Pole. As he prepares for Christmas Eve, he has to deal with toys that look like they're having sex, terrorist reindeer, and worst of all, the sudden death of Santa Claus. Rollo has to save Christmas after he finds out that Santa is not just dead -- he is undead. Read my review here.

Outlier: Rebellion by Daryl Banner

“Those in power will do whatever they can to get away with everything they can.”

Every citizen in Atlas, the last city on the planet, is born with a unique, special ability, and no one sleeps past the age of two.

Except for Wick Lesser who, at seventeen, still sleeps. Hiding this rare ability from the world, his father, who can calculate futures, trains him in self-defense and combat while his healing-gifted mother works an unglamorous job in the muds and keeps his secret safe with the help of Wick’s older brothers. The Lesser family of the ninth ward slums manages to keep afloat, suffering under the corrupt, greed-driven Kingship of the Lifted City.

But not for long.

In the first installment of the Outlier series, Wick’s unassuming slumborn life soon explodes into a full-speed adventure of danger, betrayal, and self-discovery when he secretly joins an underground rebel movement working to take down the oppressive ruling power. But the task is far from easy, and there are more adversaries than Wick can count. Not to mention the complication of an intense, unplanned attraction ... to someone on the wrong side of the rebellion.

Powerful forces are gathering to put an end to the uprising, including the city’s elite crew of law-enforcers called Guardian, of which Wick’s own two eldest brothers are sworn members, and all corners of the slums grow ever restless: a lustful boy with blackened eyes leads a violent street gang, with Wick’s younger brother as his newest recruit. A cunning orphaned girl whose ability is to be unseen, sees everything. And high up in the Lifted City, a privileged and wealthy boy yearns for an exciting new life in the slums.

Their world is at a precipice of great change. No one is safe. The rebellion has begun.

*** Contains adult themes, M/F and M/M sexuality, and violence. Read my review here.

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, Suanne Laqueur's astonishing debut novel follows a young man's emotional journey to salvage relationships destroyed in the wake of a school shooting.

As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives--a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes. 

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving? 

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love. Read my review here.

Destiny's Flame by D.S. Schmeckpeper


What happens after the battle is done? Do you think everyone lives happily ever after?

Lumernia has been left divided, leaderless. The ensuing power struggle cost the city more than just the knightly order, leaving the land and its people unguarded. Is the conquering army content with their prize, or do they have their sights set on more?

Celeste, Tarnelius, Arcus and Siobhan are back. After saving the land of Altierra from the threat of the ultimate evil, they expected life to return to normal and made plans to pay respects to a fallen friend. No good deed ever goes unpunished, though, and their actions have many consequences. Kuunkierto was defeated, but an ancient pact was broken and the first calls of war have sounded. Will they be able to right the wrongs of the world once more? Will they be strong enough to face what is coming?

Through the flames of war, new destinies arise. Read my review here.

Fae - The Wild Hunt by Graham Austin-King

Fairies... The Fae... The stuff of bedtime stories and fables. 

But sometimes the fairy tales are true. Sometimes they are a warning... 

For a hundred generations the Fae have been locked away from the world, in the cold, the Outside. They have faded out of sight and mind into myth and folklore, but now the barriers are weakening and they push against the tattered remnants of the wyrde as they seek a way to return. 

As a new religion spreads across the world, sweeping the old ways and beliefs away before it, a warlike people look across the frozen ocean towards the shores of Anlan, hungry for new lands. War is coming, even as the wyrde of the Droos is fading. 

Only by realising the truth lost in a child's tale will the world hope to withstand the wild hunt. Read my review here.

The Trials of Hercules by Tammie Painter

After waking to a heinous crime he doesn't remember committing, Herc Dion is sentenced to death by live burial. At the last moment, Eury, leader of the city-state of Portaceae, offers Herc the chance to atone for his crime through a series of trials. Trials that will force him to face monstrous creatures, test his loyalty, and send him to face death itself. Filled with an unshakable sense of duty to Portaceae, Herc readily accepts the risks.

Adding to these challenges, Herc endures perpetual cruelty at the hands of Hera, the goddess who is meant to protect Portaceae. Her blinding hatred of Herc has led to the near ruin of her realm and to her ignorance of Eury's true plans that could spell the end of her existence.
With the knowledge that Hera has done everything to destroy his life, will Herc risk his own life to protect her and to save Portaceae?

The Osteria Chronicles are a multi-part fantasy series. Set in a future world that resembles the city-states of Ancient Greece, you’ll see myths come to life as the heroes of Osteria contend with the whims of the gods. Read my review here.

Rival by Penelope Douglas

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me… Read my review here.

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman


Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women. They are sisters by marriage with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost but not quite wins.

From debut novelist Lynda Cohen Loigman comes The Two-Family House, a moving family saga filled with heart, emotion, longing, love, and mystery. 
Read my review here.

No comments:

Post a Comment