Monday, August 29, 2016


Cover Design: MadHat Books
Release Date: August 29, 2016


I traded in my Navy uniform and short hair for tats and a scruffy beard to become a man on the run. Moving from town to town, taking comfort in hot cars and fast women was the only way I could outrun the nightmares. Then I met her… Looking like a Southern Belle in a small Texas town, all layered in pretty dresses and perfume, I call her beautiful. She calls me a perv. This beauty won’t admit I have something she wants (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), or that I’m the one she’s looking for, but I love that she has something I never knew I needed. I may be labeled as a jerk, but she’s going to fall in love with me, and I’m going to make her cuss and drink whisky instead of lemonade. Why? Because sometimes beauty comes with a dirty mouth and sometimes your lemonade needs to be spiked.    

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Amazon/Goodreads rating:  5/5
In Patti's Imagination rating:  10/10

JAGS, as everyone calls retired Navy medic, has spent six years moving from town to town trying to outrun the nightmares from his years serving.  He no longer has his short hair but instead is covered in tattoos with a scruffy beard.  Stopping in the one town of Texas to help out a buddy with a situation he ends up staying longer than he planned.  This is where he meets Sasha.  
Sasha, the Southern Belle, has lived her life in a bubble in her small Texan town.   She can not stand the sailor talk that comes from JAGS or pretty much anything about him.  Sure her world has just been turned upside down and her life isn’t safe any longer.  Will JAGS be the one to be there for her on her way of learning sometimes that Southern lemonade needs to be spiked.  
This is the first book I have read by this author but it will not be my last.  JAGS right from the start had me wanting to know more.  The event that takes place in the prologue was tragic and I knew right from there that this was going to be a book I wasn’t going to be able to put down.  
As JAGS states at one point “After all, it isn’t the life around us that makes us who we are, it’s the life within us that forces us to keep living.”   
The emotions in the book are real and at times raw.  “I hate my life. I hate every morning that I wake up.  I hate every breath that I take.  I hate the seconds I accidentally look into a mirror and catch my horrid reflection.  I hate when people look at me for longer than necessary.”
Then you have the sexual tension and mishaps between JAGS and Sasha that brings some humor to the story.  Add in JAGS love for cars, or women as he refers to them, and there will be times that leave you with a silly smile.  I particularly loved when he took a job as a mechanic and is working on a car when his female boss comes in.  He may have some screws loose as she states that he agrees with “I do. And it’s a good thing I know how to use a screwdriver to make things tight and hard, don’t you think?”
This story is not your simple love story, there are several suspenseful moments as well as unexpected twists that bring the story into a different light.  There are struggles with trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do with life.  
“Does that include people who cover up their pain with a smile? Or people who say anything they’re thinking because it’s better than hiding the truth?   I know I’m brash and ‘rough around the edges’ as you put it, but I still have a heart.” JAGS
This books takes you on ups and downs, leaving you laughing as well as in tears.  There wasn’t a moment when I was able to fully figure everything out.  The supporting characters added to this roller coaster ride you travel through.  I do hope Greta gets her own book as I would love for her to have a happy ending.  
“Life...this thing we do every day where we wake up, take a few breaths, eat some food, sometimes get lucky, and then repeat.  It’s a ride.  You can hang out in the slow-as-a-slug lane, or you could merge on over to the fast-as-f**k lane and feel the wind in your face and make your heart pound out of your chest.  The choice is yours, but I think I’d rather show up at my grave with smoke lit up in my path” JAGS




Signed paperback of Spiked Lemonade

About the Author

Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates. When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

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