Changing the Rules by Catherine Bybee – Blog Tour & Giveaway


Bybee-ChangingTheRules-COVER Synopsis:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes the steamy first novel in her new adrenaline-fueled Richter series.

As an employee of MacBain Security and Solutions, Claire Kelly can certainly hold her own. Armed with an impressive set of covert skills, she’s more than prepared to tackle any job that comes her way…except one involving Cooper Lockman.

Cooper and Claire used to work together before his feelings for her sent him packing to Europe for six long years. But now he’s back and determined to ignore the still-smoldering heat that lingers between them.

Their current mission: go undercover together at a California high school to root out the mastermind behind a prostitution ring targeting young girls. The closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, however, the deadlier their task becomes. As Claire and Cooper risk their lives to bring down their target, will their hearts be the final casualties?

Book One in the Richter Series
by Catherine Bybee
Montlake | March 23, 2021 | Romance, fiction, New Adult
Paperback | $12.95 | 336 pp. | ISBN#: 978-1542009911
Kindle eBook | $5.99 | 336 pp. | ASIN#: B08C76NQVM
Audiobook | $25.19 | 9 hours | ASIN#: B08HB4V9Z7

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A Magical Read – Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

Imaginary Things
by Andrea Lochen


Rating **** (4 of 5 stars)

***NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review***

Normally, books categorized as women’s fiction aren’t my favorites. The premise for this one sounded so intriguing though, that I wanted to give it a try as soon as I’d read the description. After losing her job in Milwaukee, Anna Jennings and her four-year old son, David, return to her grandparents home in the rural Wisconsin town of Salsburg to make a new start. As they settle into their new home, Anna is surprised and startled to find that she can actually see David’s imaginary friends, two dinosaurs that follow him almost everywhere and act as his playmates and protectors. Her grandparents’ neighbor, Jamie Presswood, who used to play with Anna when she would visit as a child, has also returned to Salsburg to care for his ailing mother. While Jamie seems intent on keeping his distance at first, the two eventual manage to resume their friendship, and start something more. Not sure if she is going crazy or if what she can see is really her son’s imagination, Anna struggles with her fear of not being a good enough mother to David, and of not being good enough to be loved again after her failed relationship with David’s father.

This story was magical, suspenseful, and heartwarming. Ms. Lochen has done a wonderful job of inserting fantastical things into mundane situations in a way that makes you feel that they utterly belong. The characters were so real, that I almost felt as thought I knew each of them personally by the end of the story. Anyone who is a fan of women’s fiction or sweet romance novels, or has ever tried to raise a child will love this book.


Andrea Lochen Image
Andrea Lochen is a University of Michigan MFA graduate. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013), won a Hopwood Award for the Novel prior to its publication. She has served as fiction editor of The Madison Review and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where she was recently awarded UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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A Matter of Grave Concern, by Brenda Novak

A Matter of Grave Concern
by Brenda Novak

Audiobook, 9 CDs, Read by Michael Page

Matter of Grave Concern, A

My Rating *** (3 of 5 stars)

I listened to this as an audiobook during my commute back and forth to work. I have to admit that Historical romance is not one of my preferred genres, and someone who enjoys romance novels might have a different opinion of this book. I was in the library one Saturday afternoon with my two girls and wanted to grab something to listen to in a hurry. The title caught my eye, and I skimmed the beginning of the blurb on the back. I read just enough to make me think it was an historical mystery, and not even paying attention to the author’s name (which I would have recognized) I took it and checked out. Driving in to work that first Monday morning after picking it up, it didn’t take long to realize what I had. I might have stopped listening if I’d had another book to listen to in the car, but since it was all that i had with me, I kept going.

The story is about a young woman named Abby who’s father is a surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine. She decides to help the college keep their students by providing a corpse for the required anatomy classes. This requires Abby to deal with a group of resurectionists, or body snatchers. Little does she know that one of the gang is not what he is pretending to be. Max Wilder has actually joined the gang of grave robbers in search of his half sister, Madeline, who has gone missing and was last seen in the company of the gang’s leader, Jack Hurtsill.

This story had it’s ups and downs. At times the characters thoughts and concerns seemed repetitive and almost silly. Should she or shouldn’t she give in to Max. Will he or won’t he tell Abby the truth. I know some of that is necessary to help build tension, but it seemed a bit much. I’m not sure how I would have felt in Abby’s position as Max revealed one secret after another, instead of coming clean up front. It also seemed that after spending the first 2/3 of the book searching for Madeline, her part of the story was wrapped up in a rush. It was interesting to hear about what colleges were willing to condone to get the corpses they needed for their students to study medicine, however, and there was enough danger, suspense, and intrigue to keep my attention.

All in all, this was not a bad story, but there was too much graphic sex for my taste. If you don’t mind that, or are willing to do a little skimming, then it might be worth a read.

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