Saturday, 1 August 2015

ARC Review ~ Dare to Rock (Dare to Love #7) by Carly Phillips

Dare to Rock (Dare to Love, #7)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 4th 2015


Avery Dare lives a quiet life in Miami as an online fashion/makeup video blogger. She has good friends, a close, large family and if her love life is lacking, she likes it that way. But when she receives an invitation to one of her ex's concerts along with an invitation to meet him back stage, she decides to take the risk… and comes face to face with the reality of his rock star lifestyle - the press, the crowds, and the half naked groupies. 

At eighteen, Grey Kingston left everything he knew and loved behind to seek fame and fortune as a rock star, and he found it as the lead guitarist and singer for the band, Tangled Royal. Fans adore him, women throw themselves at him, and he can afford everything he couldn’t growing up. Yet at the height of his career, he’s ready to walk away and return home to a simpler life… and the woman he left behind, if he can convince her to give him another chance. 

Except moving on isn’t as easy as Grey would like. When Avery is threatened by a stalker, it becomes evident Grey’s fans not only don’t want him to retire, they don’t want Avery in his life either. And Avery isn’t sure she wants the pressures that are part of Grey’s life… but she doesn’t want to lose him again, either. Can their recently renewed love survive the fallout?

My Opinion

Dare To Rock has split my opinion. On one hand I really enjoyed it. It was an easy, fast-paced read that held my interest well. However, on the other I've come away from it feeling it had so much more potential.

Like I said though, I did enjoy this and it is by no means a bad book. Although I haven't read the previous 6 books in the series, I could understand everything well so it can definitely be read as a standalone. It has made me want to back read though.

I liked Avery and her growth. As someone who hates large crowds and a lot of attention I found her easy to relate to and engage with. I thought the author captured the feelings of her anxiety well without overdoing it, but also made her transformation believable. She had a good heart and was a likeable leading character.

Similarly, Grey was interesting. Being the famous rock star I expected more jackass behaviour, but he knew what he wanted and he didn't waver from it a second time. His loyalty made him admirable. Saying that though I did have a few issues surrounding his character. The first was the name because of a certain famous series. It just didn't click with me, although that's a tiny issue.

The main thing that split my opinion with Dare To Rock was I felt the story only scratched the surface with certain plot strands. I won't give too much away, but I felt the side of the story involving the stalker and Simon (Grey's manager) were underdeveloped. It started off well but then rather than develop, it was but into the background only to reappear at the end suddenly. Personally, I would have liked less sex and more on those threads.

The only other thing was I didn't really feel a spark when Avery and Grey reconnected. I thought their romance and emotions were sweet, but I didn't feel the passion, which I think is why I ended up getting bored of the constant sex.

As well as this I do think the book needs an epilogue for a few months or a year in the future. It ended so suddenly I was taken aback and it didn't have the finality a book usually does when I get to the end. It felt like something was missing.

Overall though I liked Dare To Rock. It was a light, easy read to get lost in and you may want to check it out if you're into rockers.


Friday, 31 July 2015

ARC Review ~ Red Blooded by Caitlin Sinead

Red BloodedeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 3rd 2015

Publisher: Carina Press

Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.

My Opinion

I was really looking forward to reading this book. It sounded slightly different, but similar enough to books I usually read to intrigue me. However, now I've reached the end I feel sort of let down. I was expecting more from what I read in the blurb and it just didn't deliver on what was promised in my opinion.

Red Blooded started off well, and for around the first 40% it held my attention. I found the writing easy to read and the laid-back style made it pleasant. It wasn't a book I had to think too hard about to follow. Similarly, I liked the political angle and I thought it was going to set up some interesting scenes.

However, unfortunately, after that things began to go downhill, until I was only skimming the final few chapters. The main issue I had was the romance took forever to blossom. I was expecting Peyton and Dylan to begin their fake relationship early on and then develop, but it didn't arrive until 73%. By then my attention was waning significantly because I didn't feel any kind of chemistry leading up to it.

The majority of the book is about Peyton's paternity issues and although that side of things was okay, it wasn't enough. The story felt slow and not enough happened. The same thing seemed to be repeated and there wasn't enough romance. I didn't feel a spark and I wanted more to happen faster. By the time a relationship actually developed the book was over. I just didn't care for the characters.

Moreover, I never really connected with either Peyton or Dylan. Peyton switched from stubborn to cry-baby so often that I didn't ever really get a grip on her character. As for Dylan, he was a bit weak and underdeveloped. He was meant to be Peyton's handler but he followed her around like a puppy. He had no backbone and hardly any history or depth.

Overall, I don't know if I expected too much from this book, but in my opinion the blurb oversold it. There was hardly any romance and for that reason I was disappointed. The first half is okay, but after that it lost me unfortunately. I wish I could rate it higher but my only feeling on this book is it was okay. Others who like less romance may enjoy it, but it didn't work for me.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Review ~ Seduced by the Baron (Fairy Tales of New York, #4) by Amy Andrews

Seduced by the Baron (Fairy Tales of New York, #4)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 29th 2015

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Once upon a time, Faith Sullivan dreamed of being a famous painter who lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park. Unfortunately, life had other ideas and at 26, she’s still running, working and living at Sully’s, her family’s traditional Irish pub in Brooklyn with her stubborn, ailing father. And she was perfectly fine with her lot until suddenly her three best friends each found their prince, and her own happily ever after seemed like another dream lost. Until one day a long, tall Australian walks into her bar and her loved-up besties decided to play Fairy Godmothers.

Ex pro-surfer turned beer baron, Rafael Quartermaine is in New York for a month on business. He’s looking for a pub to launch Baron lager on the American market and Sully’s is perfect. All he has to do is convince Faith, the traditionalist, to say yes. And once he’s done that, maybe he can convince her that all work and no play makes Faith a dull girl.

Faith’s connection to her family and Sully’s is absolute, and Raf’s business drive and itchy feet aren’t conducive to long term, so it should be an easy break when duty calls Faith back into the fold on the evening of the ball. But running out on the baron is harder than she ever imagined… Will their fling sizzle out, or become something more?

My Opinion

I enjoyed this book much more than the previous one. I connected a lot better with the writing style and I ended up reading it in a matter of hours.

Seduced By The Baron was a quick, well-paced read. I found there was a lot more chemistry between Faith and Raf in this story, and they were easier to engage with. I wanted them to get together and stay together as they were a sweet couple.

Moreover, I thought the story line was well crafted. More seemed to happen in this one and it held my attention well. There were a variety of plot lines and the entire romance was a cute kind of hot.

Overall, I enjoyed this read a lot more. If you want something quick and sweet, you may want to check it out.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review ~ Taming the Beast by Lucy King

Taming the Beast
ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 29th 2015

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Once upon a time, Mercedes ‘Mercy’ Hernandez had the most enormous crush on her best friend’s older brother, Seb Madison. Now, though, she can’t stand the beast. Forget that he’s as spine-tinglingly gorgeous as ever. He’s a lousy brother and a manipulative bastard, not that she ever thinks about that disastrous one night stand they once had…

Still riddled with guilt over the death of his parents, billionaire loner Seb Madison has spent so long emotionally shut off that when beautiful, fiery Mercy bursts into his life again, he doesn’t know what’s hit him. All he knows is that she confuses him and he doesn’t like it.

Yet their chemistry hasn’t faded and, when hostility turns to attraction, a no-strings affair seems the logical solution. Mercy’s taking a much needed break from her family’s Argentinian vineyard to study for an MBA and Seb doesn’t do relationships. Neither have either the time or inclination for anything other than weekends-only red-hot sex. Or do they…?

My Opinion

This was an okay read. I pushed through to the end because it's only a novella, but it didn't hold my attention well.

Taming The Beast started off slow. I didn't connect with the characters and it didn't really draw any emotion from me. Things did pick up when Mercy finally starts seeing Seb, but I didn't feel the chemistry.

Overall it was only okay. I wouldn't go out of my way to read it, but I wouldn't  say don't read it either.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review ~ Without You by Reylynn Purdue

Without Youebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review for the tour.

Release Date: January 29th 2015

Roxanne Daniels was supposed to be spending her summer getting ready to head off to Julliard. That was the plan. 

But that was before-- Before she found her mother’s lifeless body-- Before she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with someone else. Before she knew what heart shattering pain felt like.

Now all she wants is for the pain to go away. But it never does.

Until him. A complete stranger who could end up being much more.

But letting go and moving on is easier said than done.

My Opinion

I'm on the fence about this read. Whilst I enjoyed Without You, I did have issues with it.

Firstly, it is a long read especially for a romance, but I made it to the end so something kept me reading. It was a weird type of enjoyment, it both frustrated me and I wanted to know what was happening in the end. There was something weirdly intriguing about Roxy and Jordan's relationship. I wanted them to get their HEA, and I wanted them to grow and develop, especially Roxy seeing as she was so broken. Despite my issues, they were a couple I rooted for and wanted to see do well.

However, unfortunately their relationship was hindered by the length of this book. Whilst it held my interest, sections were repetitive and it could have done with some things taking out to speed up the pacing. They always felt like they were arguing, crying, breaking up, whining, or then having sex on a constant cycle--and the sex was always closed doors. I have nothing against that, but the author described so much of the build up, she could have put it in.

Moreover, why were all of the guys controlling assholes? I hated the way Roxy's family (brother, dad, and Brent) had a say over every aspect of her life and the fact she let them. Her character felt inconsistent in this sense because at times she was incredibly feisty while at others she fell apart. The motives and reasons needed more work for me and they felt a little underdeveloped. It wasn't clear to me why everyone was so controlling, or why Ryan (the brother) had his rules.

As well as this, the ending infuriated me and the story took a weird turn that wasn't really related to what the book was about. I wanted a HEA, not a cliff hanger. Because it was such a long read, I kind of felt cheated when the whole cycle began to repeat again. I didn't feel Roxy had grown or learnt anything. She was still just as whiny as ever and then there's this twist that comes completely out of the blue to confuse matters even more. It just didn't link to me, and felt like a leap of genres. If it had been entwined with the plot more, it would have made sense, but apart from one scene that isn't really major, it's random.

Overall, even though I did have issues with this, I  enjoyed it. I would definitely be interested in reviewing the second book if I was offered a copy just to see where the story takes the characters because I want a HEA!! 


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