Monday, 30 June 2014

Review ~ Knock Out (Billionaire's Club: New Orleans #1) by Mallery Malone

Knock Out (Billionaire's Club: New Orleans, #1)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 1st 2014

Publisher: St Martin's Press

He is all about pleasure. His. His woman’s. Incredible, unrelenting, mind-blowing pleasure.

Heavy weight champion, Sebastian Delacroix knows how to handle pain.

But when he has a woman beneath him, in his bed, her softness in his hands, it’s all about hot, unforgettable satisfaction and all the ways he can take it and give it.

No one walks away from him…Except one woman: Renata Giordano. And now she’s back. Strong, sexy, irresistible Renata.

This time, she will not escape.

Sebastian is coming for her and he’ll fight as dirty as he has to.

She will be his.

My Opinion
This was a lot shorter than I thought it would be when I requested it. In fact, it was a novella rather than a novel so although I was slightly disappointed by that, I was also pleased as it meant I could breeze through this book in an hour as a break.

Knock out was an intense read that moved at a quick pace. It was very much an in-the-moment read with only a little background on the character. I liked the intensity of the relationship and the emotions the characters went through--they pulled at my heartstrings.

The only thing I would have wanted more of was the MMA side. I thought there would have been more because it was virtually nonexistent, which was disappointing as it was what interested me to begin with. As well as that, I think it would make a great full length novel and would have loved for it to be longer, it could have used a bit more fleshing out.

Overall though, this was an enjoyable short read that I really liked. It was intense and a bit of a whirlwind but I liked that.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Review ~ Deceived - Part 1 New York (Deceived #1) by Eve Carter

Deceived - Part 1 New York (Deceived, #1)ebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Release Date: 13th November 2014

The steamy first installment of the Deceived romance series by Eve Carter.

When Chloe Swanson, an innocent mid-western college graduate, lands her dream job in New York City, she doesn't realize what kind of a ride she's in for. 
It doesn't take long before her boss, the charming and sharp businessman Patrick Collins, deceives her into being part of his plan to land the biggest account of his life.

However, he never expected that he would fall for her. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped between a ruthless billionaire client, who has her own eyes set on Patrick, and his deep affection for the beautiful Chloe.

What follows is a sensual and passionate journey of self-discovery, as Chloe faces the harsh reality of jealousy, love and money in the big city.

My Opinion

I liked how this novella started as it seemed to hold promise. Things moved at a fast place and there were some hot scenes. However, I found my attention waning towards the end as the characters didn't connect with me that well. It was okay for a freebie but I'm not sure I'll read more yet as the writing did need a bit of work on the editing side.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review ~ Neon Memories (Memories #1) by Coty Justus

Neon Memories (Memories #1)ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: May 23rd 2014

Publisher: Self-published

The night her parents were killed in a home invasion, Lydia heard only voices, not enough to bring the killers to justice. Six years later, Lydia, now an up-and-coming Western artist, arrives in Stanton for a short visit, posing a threat to a local resident who knows she can identify him if she ever hears his voice.

Nick took over management of the family ranch after his father broke his back. For eight years, he has waited for an opportunity to win the heart of the only woman he has ever loved. When Lydia inexplicably flees, he comes to grips with the awareness that she will never return his feelings.

Memories wax and wane like the moon as each character seeks meaning within a kaleidoscope of fragmented recollections, some true, some false, some deadly.

My Opinion

Okay, so I'm torn with this book... From the blurb it sounded like a second chance at love novel with a murder mystery elementand the author said it had a paranormal aspect so I was intrigued. There also sounded like there would be action, making this sound like a great read. However, I did have some issues with it.

First of all, I liked the overall idea behind the book. I was thrown straight into Lydia's story in a tense scene as I read about her parents being killed. It shocked me slightly as it was not how I was expecting the book to start and it did catch my attention. It created an air of mystery about who the killers were and what they were after--something which was kept a secret right up until the end--and set up the murder well.

As well as this, I liked Lydia ... I think. The bickering that went on between her and Nick was interesting to read and felt natural. I also liked her independence and how she dealt with everything on her own while wanting to help those around her. Strangely, I was routing for her and Nick to work things out because I love HEAs. I say strangely because Nick wasn't the most likeable male lead. I found him a bit arrogant and domineering when he wouldn't take no for an answer. I could understand his feelings for Lydia and I did sympathise with him because she left, but I think he went about everything the wrong way, which probably links to my reasons for having problems with this book.

The main issue I had with reading this book is that the writing was very choppy and the timeline isn't clear. There are a lot of breaks where the book jumps from character to character and it was hard to keep track of who everyone was (especially when characters change their names and are referred to as something different with no explanation/forewarning) as I was bombarded with a lot of names. When this happened there was also a time shift usually; sometimes it was weeks, others it was years, and it became a little hard to follow and believe in when a narrative jumps six years without warning. You do become used to it as you become aware of the author's style and it does become easier to grasp but I still find myself confused about how long the story spanned. As well as this, there were quite a few strands to this story which also made it hard to follow at times, but this was mostly down to the jumpy nature of the book that flicked from one character to the next.

With regards to the paranormal aspect, it did take a while to arrive and I'm sorry to say that I didn't really buy into it. I wanted to like the paranormal side and I know the reader needs to suspend their beliefs slightly when reading but, for me, this book was too close to the contemporary genre for it to be believable in the small part it played. I felt it was an easy way to resolve everything rather than a necessity for it to be there as it wasn't a constant thread in the story. The explanations given for how it arrived seemed a bit wishy-washy and the fact people jumped straight to a paranormal conclusion as a way of solving everything was slightly unrealistic. I don't think may people would place paranormal goings-on at the top of their list of reasons for why something was happening--especially when there is no reason for them to assume that.

Overall though, Neon memories was an interesting read that had a lot going on in it. Once you get used to the style it becomes easier to follow and it does have some good action and banter between characters. It could have been executed a bit better and I think with a few rounds of content editing it holds promise and would be a good read.


Friday, 27 June 2014

Review ~ Knox: Volume 1 (Knox #1) by Cassia Leo

Knox: Volume 1 (Knox, #1)ebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Release Date: March 24th 2014

Rebecca hasn’t seen or heard from her mob boss father in four years, but she’s about to receive a message from him that will throw her life into chaos. Rebecca thought she left the crime family behind when she went into law enforcement. She never expected to be abducted by a sexy stranger. But this stranger makes an offer too tempting to refuse and soon Rebecca is pulled into one of the most ruthless vendettas of the century.

Knox Savage is the sexy billionaire CEO of Knox Security and a notorious playboy. What most don’t know about Knox is that a large portion of his wealth is made helping high-profile criminals escape justice. He makes no judgments about guilt or innocence. And he doesn’t do it for sentimental reasons. But he’s about to take on a case that is going to get very personal.

My Opinion

This isn't a genre I read usually, but I've read every other book by this author so I thought I'd give it a go. I actually forgot I had downloaded it when it was on amazon for free and found it in my cloud storage today. I wasn't sure what to expect but just like her other books, I couldn't put Knox down. I like the suspense and mystery that's combined with the criminal world and there are also some hot scenes thrown into the mix. I will admit I hate the author for the way she left it though! :-) I'm going to have to get volume 2 straight away!


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review ~ The Beautiful Ones (Prequel) by Lori Brighton

The Beautiful Ones (Prequel)ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: February 9th 2014

Some say we’re special, and that’s why we’re kept in seclusion. Beyond those walls evil lurks and innocent prey would be lost in minutes. Gone. Destroyed. Forgotten. 
Others say the opposite: we’re locked away because there’s something wrong with us. If we roamed the outside world, we might taint the beautiful ones. A species so pure, that to merely be in their presence is a gift. 

As for my beliefs…I’m not sure. 

But I do know one thing: neither of those reasons explains why it is that they come for us only after we’ve passed the age of sixteen. Whether we want to go or not, we’re taken through those iron gates. Escorted away from the only home we’ve ever known, escorted to our destiny—whatever that destiny may be—never to be seen again.

My Opinion

This was an okay read but I think I'd have had to read it more around 2009 these kinds of paranormal/vampire books where new to really like it. I can't say where the author is going to take the first book in the series, as this is a prequel, but for me to be interested in the next book it'll have to be something very unique to this genre as I feel as I've read it all before. I'm really not sure you can do anything original with vampires these days.

Saying that, this prequel had a good amount of tension and mystery for most part, was quick and easy to read, and had quite a bit packed into it.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review ~ Enchanted Castle - A Novelette (The Enchanted Castle Series #1) by Chrissy Peebles

Enchanted Castle - A Novelette

ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: July 13th 2012


Zoey Sanders attends her senior year of high school at a mysterious, gothic castle in Scotland in hopes of running away from her problems. But problems seem to find a way into her new life and even with meeting her possible Prince Charming, there are secrets that lurk in the shadows.

My Opinion

This was an intriguing read but I found it a little jumpy and could have been constructed better. I agree with what other people have said and that it felt like a teaser or the first few chapters of a book rather than a novelette as there wasn't an obvious beginning, middle and end, or plot. I wanted to feel more from the characters and get to know them better before everything started to happen, and I needed some more detail on locations, and background to flesh it out and help me to understand everything. It has an interesting premise and it was free--not sure it's made me want to read on though.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review ~ Bed, Breakfast, and You (Brookfield Series .5) by Lacey Wolfe

Bed, Breakfast, and You (Brookfield Series, #0.5)ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: May 3rd 2013

Claire holds the keys to her future, in more than one way.

As if the recent death of Claire Stevens’ parents isn’t enough, someone wants to steal Honeycreek Bed and Breakfast right out from under her. But Claire isn’t about to roll over and let them. She’s prepared to fight.

Jace Brown is Brookfield’s main attorney, and after delivering the bad news to Claire about her property, he knows all about being on her bad side. 

As Claire gets to the bottom of this scandal, she’s surprised to have Jace by her side, fighting along with her. The attraction is instant, but can it last after the dust settles?

My Opinion

This was a quick, fun read. I enjoyed the romance (even if it could have been a little steamier) as it was cute and sweet and the characters were also good and interesting to read about. Overall, I liked the story. However, I did feel the ending was a bit rushed and everything to do with the taxes/mystery wasn't tied up totally. I wanted just a few more chapters for that resolution but other than that it was a nice summer read.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Review ~ The Trouble with Flying (The Trouble Series #1) by Rachel Morgan

The Trouble with Flying (The Trouble Series, #1)

ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 26th 2014

When introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go. Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?

My Opinion

When the author contacted me about this book, I will admit that it took me a while to figure out where I knew the name from and which book I had previously read by her. Finally though, I remembered that it was Forgiven (A Trouble Novella), which I downloaded for free and enjoyed, so once I had that figured out, I couldn't say no to this request.

The Trouble with Flying was one of those books that is perfect for lounging around with in the sun. However, it should come with a warning: DO NOT start it when you plan to go to bed in an hour! This is what I did and it ended up keeping me up for hours because I couldn't stop reading. I did finally admit I needed sleep around 2am so stopped at 70% only to pick it up first thing the next morning because I couldn't wait to find out what happened.

This book was a sweet, engaging read and the best thing about it, is that it's a full book! Unlike the novella (which was still good), I could fall in love with and engage with Aiden and Sarah. In fact I could relate to Sarah well after having to overcome a fear of speaking to people myself. It wasn't as bad as Sarah's but it made the book all the more realistic for me. She was a likable character and I enjoyed the side to her as she figured out that science was not the path she wanted to pursue. As well as this, I liked how Aiden brought out a more confident side to her and how they helped each other move through their problems. Their growth was believable and it was fun to watch it unfold.

Moreover, I liked the unique setting, it made this book a bit different from other romances like this. Although parts of the story did remind my slightly of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight I still found myself turning the pages, hooked on finding out what had happened to the characters and what choices they were going to make. And, especially at the end, I read with a smile on my face at the conversations between Aiden and Sarah.

If there was one thing I wanted more of, it would be that I would have liked a bit more romance. This is a clean NA book, but I do like a bit more kissing and detail sometimes. Without it, the book for me is sweet and fine as it is, it's just a personal preference that there are a few 'hotter' scenes--I'm not meaning x-rated, or sex--in books.

Overall, The Trouble with Flying, was a great summery read that I couldn't put down. I wasn't meant to read this as early as I have, but who cares when a book can put you in a good mood? I'll definitely be looking out for the next book in this series!


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Review ~ The Summer I Gave Up Boys by Kassandra Kush

The Summer I Gave Up Boysebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: 2nd September 2013

A summer love novella 

Kaliyah Simon just broke up with her cheating boyfriend, and now that summer break is here, all she wants is a quiet, boy-free summer. To focus on work, reading, and her tan. But then she meets up with her old high school nemesis, Isaiah Winters, on the way home, and he seems more interested in being friends than enemies. Can Kaliyah lower her walls and get over seven years of pushing Isaiah away and find out what it would be like to actually be with him? 

With her best friend going boy-crazy, a twenty-first birthday looming on the horizon, Isaiah continually showing up on her doorstep, and an ex that seems to want her back, Kaliyah’s summer promises to be anything but quiet.

My Opinion

This was an OK read. It was quick and easy and had a few good points but it felt like it needed a bit more work for me. I felt the book seemed to repeated things over and over which was even more obvious because of it's short length and I ended up skimming. I also didn't like the main character, Kaliyah. She was strong and the banter between her and Isaiah was good but when that wasn't taking place I found her to be really angry. I know her situation wasn't the best in the world but she seemed to lose her cool at the flick of a switch so I didn't really like her. As well as this she caved to Isaiah really easily which made everything pretty predictable and didn't give me time to enjoy the build up.

Overall it was an easy read but I did come a way feeling it was just OK.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review ~ Blackbird (Sometimes Never #1.5) by Cheryl McIntyre

Blackbird (Sometimes Never, #1.5)ebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Release Date: Feb 19th 2013

"Sometimes never is a distorted perception. I love you, Hope. And I'm not the only one. I know you care about me. I see it in your eyes. I feel it. Everybody needs love. Everybody. And some people need it more than others. You're a liar if you say you don't. I'll do that for you. I'll love you. All you have to do is let me." –Sometimes Never 

What happened in the years between the final chapter and epilogue of Sometimes Never? Blackbird is an 18,000+ word novella that continues Mason and Hope's story as they finish high school, start separate colleges, and confront their demons. 

Though Blackbird can be read on its own, it is better enjoyed after reading Sometimes Never. Recommended for 17+ due to harsh language and some sexual situations.

My Opinion

This was a quick, easy read that was surprisingly well developed and engaging. I don't normally connect with characters in novellas but I found myself growing to like Hope and Mason more and more--even though I haven't read the other books in this series. I liked that the overall story line was kept simple and the timeline flowed well, but there was also a darker side to things that although wasn't developed in a lot of detail, there was enough for you to get a sense of the trouble Hope was in.

I liked the author's style and I think I'm going to have to check out her other work.

Monday, 16 June 2014

ARC Review ~ Rain (Paper Gods #2) by Amanda Sun

Rain (Paper Gods, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 24th

Publisher: Harlequin TEEN

American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.

When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.

My Opinion

Just like the first book, Ink, this sequel had a unique setting an a gorgeous cover that you can't help but be drawn to. As well as this the author has managed to keep the authentic feeling of the Japanese culture all the way through this book making it all the more intriguing to read.

Like with Ink, I did feel Rain took a while for me to get into and it was only really at the end did everything pick up so that I couldn't put it down. I found that it was interesting to read in bursts but it wasn't a book I could sit with for hours as I didn't feel there was enough action. As well as this, I did find myself a bit overwhelmed with the Japanese. Although there is a glossary and it adds to the books authenticity, there were times I just couldn't see the point of using it as it became slightly annoying having to flick back and forth in an ebook to look up words.

One thing that is really interesting in Rain is that the paranormal development managed to remain original. I don't know if it's based on any legends from Japan but if it is I think it's a clever concept used by the author. It ties in with everything about the culture well and the detail involved in creating this side of the book was great. I have no doubts about the kami.

I did feel the characters fitted in well with the setting and were authentic and true. However, I did struggle to connect with them and I can't put my finger on why. I think this might be another reason I didn't stick with the book for long periods of time.

Overall though, Rain was an enjoyable read and an authentic, original sequel. There were a few twists I didn't see coming and it did get better with the more I read. I would have liked more action to be dispersed throughout but in general it was a good read.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

ARC Review ~ Dream Huntress (Dream Seeker #1) by Michelle Sharp

Dream Huntress (Dream Seeker, #1)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 23rd 2014

Publisher: Entangled (Ignite)

Detective Jordan Delany has a gift. Through her dreams, she connects with dead victims of violent crimes. Her isolated life as a drug cop is perfect for hiding the freakish visions, until her newest investigation has her posing as a cocktail waitress in a down-and-dirty strip club. When
she’s saved from a drunken customer by a handsome stranger, the heated chemistry is exactly why she intends to keep Mr. Arrogant at bay. But learning he’s the new bouncer for the corrupt club she intends to bust just might be the one reason why she can’t.

Tyler McGee suspects a drug ring operating out of the local club is flooding the streets of his hometown with heroin. Determined to get answers, he plays the part of a fallen cop and lands the job of head bouncer. What he discovers is that the club owner isn’t the only deadly obstacle he’s facing. His attraction to an intriguing cocktail waitress with a penchant for danger just might kill him first.

My Opinion

I debated over whether to request this book for a few hours. It sounded like the type of books I'm looking for right now however I already had so many to read I wasn't sure adding another to my pile was a good idea. Thankfully, I went with the part of me that said you can never have to many books and hit request. I'm glad I did as well, I really enjoyed this book and it surprised me in more ways than one.

Dream Huntress definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. There was plenty of action, suspense ad danger that had me worried and routing for the main characters. There were also plenty of twists--even in the last few pages!!--which kept me turning the pages quickly as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The drama in this book was created well and the police aspects were woven into the romance well.

Speaking of romance, this book wasn't without its hot, steamy sections that hooked me even more. I found the relationship between Jordan and Ty to be very intense and in one way it was good as the drastic changes in emotion did affect me when they had their ups and downs. However, I did find it a bit hot and cold and sometimes it did become a bit too much. I liked how things developed and how their pasts collided. I thought it was a clever use of the paranormal aspect and made way for se emotional and tense moments.

If there was one thing I wanted more of it was the paranormal side. I didn't quite get how everything worked and for me it needed a bit more development and detail. It wasn't the main focus of the book and seemed to pop up randomly. It also wasn't clear all the time whether Jordan was dreaming or not as some of the moments made it sound like she was awake.

Overall though, Dream Huntress was a fast-paced, engaging read that I couldn't put down. It kept surprising me right up until the end and I can't say that about many books. Would definitely recommend it.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Review ~ Deadly Chemistry (Sex, Lies, and Science Geeks #1) by Teri Anne Stanley

Deadly Chemistry (Sex, Lies, and Science Geeks, #1)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 23rd 2014

Publisher: Entangled: Ignite

Former undercover cop Mike Gibson has been lying low, working as a maintenance man to put his troubled younger brother through college. But when a beautiful scientist enlists Mike’s help to repair the damage done to her lab by a group of vandals, Mike finds that his, and his brother's pasts, are about to be brought to light. 

Laura Kane was happy having a secret crush on the hot maintenance man at Tucker University, but when the drug she was studying is stolen, Laura has a chance to get to know Mike in person. The problem is, he seems to know more about what's going on than any maintenance man should. But then the drug turns up in the wrong hands, and Mike and Laura have to decide if their own chemistry will help, or hinder, the race to save innocent lives.

My Opinion

The description of this book had me at 'undercover cop' really. I think this is my latest phase of reading and can't get enough of them so obviously I requested Deadly Chemistry when I saw it up on NetGalley.

I liked the relationship in this book. The build up was good and things did get hot and steamy when the characters were finally together. I'm all for alpha-type men in books and Mike was just that. He was the stereotypical 'hot' guy who has a bit of a tortured past but doesn't stop at anything to get what he wants--and that isn't a complaint. In fact I really liked his character and how Lauren tried to push him away because that type of guy scared her. I would have liked more detail on his and his brother's background but I did feel for him and sympathised with the guilt he carried.

I didn't feel the same like towards Lauren though. She was an OK character but I didn't feel she was all that smart. I'm not saying every scientist has common sense but the things she did at times didn't seem that believable. Also the constant repetition of how she made the drugs became a bit too much and made her narrative slightly annoying. However, when the couple were together, I liked her more and that's probably because the topics and activities shifted away from work.

My main issue when reading this book was that although I enjoyed it, the writing felt very choppy and disjointed. The plot jumped around a lot and I did find myself skimming back over pages to see what I had missed or whether there was a connection I hadn't processed. Each time I did this though I couldn't find anything so was slightly confused how the author got from one place to another so quickly. As well as this the bad guy was predictable so I was a bit disappointed that all of my assumptions proved to be true as there wasn't much of a surprise or reveal.

Overall though, this was a quick easy read that was enjoyable. It has it's problems but in general the story did engage me and kept me reading.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review ~ More Than Music (Chasing the Dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Music (Chasing the Dream, #1)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 17th 2014

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star. 

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

My Opinion

I'll be honest, when I first saw this book on NetGalley I skipped over it. I read the blurb and thought "nope, not for me." However, yesterday I was bored and had couldn't find a book on my shelf I wanted to read so decided to give this a try and now that I have, I'm glad I did. I didn't expect to be as engaged and hooked on the book as I was and I definitely didn't think I'd be up until 2am telling myself I'd only read one more chapter until I finished it.

More Than Music, although pretty similar to other books I have read with rock stars in the romance and music competition elements, was an enjoyable read and I think this was mostly down to the characters. The bonds between them were crafted well and they were believable. I liked the slightly nerdy twist on the band and the geeky side to the guys when they were around each other. The brotherly relationship was great and made all the more believable by the aforementioned.

As well as this, I liked the relationship and the conversations between Jared an Maddie. There were a lot of scenes that made me smile and laugh, which was a pleasant surprise. The speech in this book felt natural and I could relate to the characters well. I thought the author did a great job of capturing their age in a way that was engaging and believable.

There are a lot of music references in More Than Music obviously but for once I actually knew the songs and artists the author was talking about. Normally I read books with obscure bands or dated music but this book made a nice change as there was both modern and older music that I knew.

The only complaint I have is that I would have liked more originality with the competition they were entering. The Sound, is basically The Voice with a name change. Everything about it was the same--from auditions to the battles to the live shows and I would have liked things to have differed a bit more.

Overall, I didn't expect to like More Than Music but in the end I couldn't put it down. For me the relationships between the characters made this book and it kept a smile on my face the whole way through. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Review ~ Covert Cover Cracked by Missy Marciassa

Covert Cover Cracked
ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 28th April 2014

When 23-year-old Elle can’t explain why her job as an Information Scientist at the Library of Congress keeps her so busy (because she’s actually a CIA operative who just became field rated), her boyfriend dumps her, so she decides to focus on her career and enjoy a fling.

Navy SEAL Reese Beckwith seems like the perfect fling material except the more he sees Elle, the more he wants to know about her, and she can’t resist him. Things get complicated when Reese spots her with her CIA partner, a known womanizer. His questions for Elle get more pointed: he sees the potential for more than a fling, and once he sets an objective, failure is not an option.

Yet Elle tries to keep Reese in the “fling” category as her first major assignment heats up, becoming more personal with each development. When her personal and professional lives collide, Elle is put to the test. Does she have what it takes to be a covert operative? Will she have to choose between love and her career?

My Opinion

When I saw this book on NetGalley I didn't realise it was the third book in a series or that I had previously looked over the other two books and thought they weren't for me. In fact I had to check out the author's site after as the plot sounded so similar and I noticed the cover change. It was one thing that drew me to this book, the cover made the book look exciting and when you add into the mix spies and Navy SEALs, I was pretty much sold.

I think I'm glad that I picked up the series at book three as I found out after that this is the first book that Elle gets a happy ending. For me books must have a happy ending so it was good that this book can be read as a standalone and that I didn't feel confused at all while reading. 

I thought the relationships were crafted well in this book--both those that were romantic and others that were strictly business. The romantic element developed at a nice pace and I found myself falling in love with Reese along with Elle. I was routing for him and I wanted them to spend more time together. As well as this, the business side of this book and spy element seemed legitimate and real. I liked Masons, callous manner and refusal to accept her and it made everything seem more serious.

Moreover, it made a change for me to read about spies and navy SEALs. I'm not normally a fan of purely spy based books but because of the romantic element I had to give this a go. I found it to be a good change of pace and characterisation for me. The narrative was also interesting as the two lives combined.

I will admit that I did have two problems reading this though. The first was that I did feel parts were a little repetitive. The author seemed to keep mentioning certain information (like what Elle's exs did, how it affected her, or her field status) and it became a bit annoying as I didn't need the constant reminder. At one point I did think "OK, I got it the first time, I don't need to hear it again." I also found that this made Elle slightly whiny in places and took away from her strong character that I came to like in the end.

The second problem I had was I felt there was a significant lack of tension in the action scenes. The ending was great but I felt there was so much more potential in all of the scenes before that. I felt the missions were over too quickly--or at east the dangerous side was-- and I would have liked more of a build up and action.

Overall though, Covert Cover Cracked was an enjoyable read that I breezed through. It was interesting and engaging and I'll definitely be looking out for the next two books coming soon!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Review ~ The Next Forever (Pretty Amy #1.5) by Lisa Burstein

The Next Forever (Pretty Amy, #1.5)
ebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Release Date: January 13th 2013

Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Everafter)

One night in college can change everything…
Away at college, Amy just wants one night alone without her high school sweetheart, Joe. So when he invites her to go to the library, she heads off on her own instead. How she ended up at a house party with the mysterious bad-boy Trevor is another story…

Joe so isn’t going to the library. He needs space from Amy, too, so he’s decided to rush a fraternity, to get back the swagger he had in high school. But it doesn’t take long for the brothers to invite him to the real rush here the beer is flowing and one particular girl has set her eyes on Joe.

Over the course of one wild night, both Amy and Joe will have to decide if their futures belong with two new people, or whether the next forever will have their first loves in it.

My Opinion

This was an okay read but I didn't feel much for it. This might be because it follows on from Pretty Amy--something I've only just found out--so it would have probably made more sense if I had. As it stands though, there didn't seem to be much depth or story behind it and I couldn't engage with the characters. It was all right to break up time and it was good for a freebie but I have read better novellas that I could connect and engage with. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Review ~ The Fearless by Emma Pass

The Fearlessebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 24th 2014

Publisher: RHCP 

The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jory is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

My Opinion

After reading ACID (the author's debut) this time last year and loving it, I was excited to start this book. The premise sounded interesting and action-packed so obviously I started reading as soon as this book downloaded to my Kindle.

The Fearless kept me hooked the whole way through. I liked the military side of the book and the regimented lifestyle on the island of Hope. The setting was created well and it felt believable. I also liked that the author showed us how they got to the island and how things developed in the country. She wrote this part as chapters at the start rather than in a flashback or as Cass' thoughts and for me this added greatly to the book as it gave the reader a better understanding of what went on and it included you in the action so you could visualise it clearly.

As well as this, Cass was a great female lead. She was strong, undeterred and she cared greatly for her brother which was shown well. She'd obviously had to grow up quick after losing both parents and being left with a baby brother and it had left a slightly rougher edge to her character as she hadn't had a sheltered upbringing. I also like Myo's character, even if I felt things moved slightly too quickly with him and Cass believed him all too easily.

While The Fearless isn't exactly a new concept--scientists try to create the perfect army and it goes wrong--I did feel parts of it were original and engaging. I liked the secrecy of different groups, the kidnapping (although I'm still not sure of the reason for that) and the overall action and pace of the book. Emma Pass isn't afraid to describe the gory, gritty detail and I like that about her style.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. I felt it was incredibly rushed and kind of came out of nowhere. It also left me with a few unanswered questions and didn't give me the resolution I would have liked. It appeared as if it was the start of a new book rather than the end to one so I came away feeling slightly disappointed.

However, overall, The Fearless was an interesting read. There was a lot of action, it had a darker side and kept me entertained. I don't think it is as good or strong as ACID but I'll definitely be reading more by this author in the future.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review ~ Ransom (Ransom Brothers #1) by Rachel Schurig

Ransom (Ransom Brothers, #1)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 28th 2014

Daisy Harris has no reason to suspect that her day will be any different than usual. She’ll go to class, alone. She won’t speak or make eye contact. She’ll spend her entire day doing her best to go completely unnoticed. That’s what life is like for Daisy now—an endless cycle of loneliness and fear. A life lived hiding behind the walls she so faithfully maintains. 

Then she sees it. A magazine, left behind in class. A simple picture—just his face. And it changes everything. 

It’s been a year since she’s seen Daltrey Ransome. A year since he and his brothers left town to pursue their dreams of rock and roll superstardom. A year since he left Daisy behind—left her to watch as everything she knew crumbled around her. She’s been running from Daltrey ever since, desperate to keep her secret.

But she can’t run anymore. And now that Daltrey has found her—the girl he’s loved his entire life, the girl he’d give up everything for—he’s determined never to let her go again.

My Opinion

I was honestly surprised by this book. When I requested it I was interested in the story but then I looked it up on Goodreads and saw some of the reviews going on about the suicide and bullying aspects so I was slightly worried it was going to be a depressing read. However, I had a really hard time putting this book down and found it an engaging read.

Ransom was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I loved the playful conversations between Paige, Karen and Daisy. When the girls were together the relationships were believable and each of the had a strong voice and personality. I also liked Daisy's transformation with them and how they brought her out of her shell. The development was believable.

As well as this, the happy, jovial sections contrasted with the serious side of the book giving them more of an impact. Although what happened to Daisy is no secret and revealed quite early, I didn't feel it was overdone to an extent where it became the sole focus of the book and brought the narrative down into this pit of despair. I liked that although it still affected Daisy she was beginning to try and move on and it was in the background more. It also allowed a lot of focus to be put on the relationship with Daltery and the two reconnecting--even if the secret was always lingering.

Moreover I liked the romance in this book, even if I wished it had happened sooner. There was a lot packed into the ending of this novel and some of it  I wished had been developed a bit more throughout rather than it suddenly coming to light. There were also a few loose ends that weren't tied up. I don't know of this is a standalone or the start of a series but I would have liked more detail on the people in her home town too.

Overall though, Ransom was a fast-paced, engaging read that I couldn't put down. The characters were crafted well with believable bonds and each one had a strong personality. The story as a whole was interesting and had many layers to delve into. Would recommend to those who like more serious romances.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Review ~ Wrecked (Wrecked #1) by Priscilla West

Wrecked (Wrecked, #1)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: December 11th 2013

Publisher: Blackbird Publishing 

“There would be no happy ending for us. He was too damaged. I was too broken.”

Two years ago, Lorrie’s mother was murdered. But that wasn’t the end of it. Reeling from the tragedy, Lorrie’s father spiraled into alcohol, depression, and finally suicide.

The two most important people in Lorrie’s life are both gone but she’s still alive.

Trying to recover from the tragedy, Lorrie returns to campus, ready to pick up the pieces of her life. All Lorrie wants is to get back to “normal.”

Then she meets Hunter. The man, the legend, “the Hammer.”

Hunter is a cage fighter who takes on every fight like he’s got nothing to lose. His life is a tangled mess of girls, booze, and fist fights. And while it may seem like he’s got a devil-may-care attitude, he’s fighting a private cage-match with a monster he can’t defeat.

Lorrie knows that Hunter is the exact type of guy she should stay away from, especially in her fragile state, but Hunter has other ideas.

As Hunter and Lorrie grow closer together, will they be able to overcome their pain and heal each other? Or will they both end up wrecked?

My Opinion

I requested this book because of the fighter element. I've really been looking for these types of books so I was excited to start Wrecked once I had downloaded it to my kindle. Whilst I did enjoy this book and overall thought it was a good read, I did have a few issues with it.

Wrecked was a book that started off well. It hooked me right from the start and engaged me but the first 50% was definitely the best part of the book. I felt at that point it reached its peak and then things started to go downhill until the ending which really frustrated me. In the start there was MMA, a cute friendship that developed slowly, vulnerability due to back stories and flirty, playfulness. Oh and there were also kittens--which were a suprise! I loved every aspect of the start and it engaged me incredibly well--I couldn't stop reading.

However, I will admit I liked the relationship better when Lorie and Hunter were friends. Once things developed past that I felt that it just became all about sex and the story lost all of its depth as it was sex scene after sex scene. I don't mind sex in books but I feel the friendship that had been built and I loved was lost among this and to me it was that friendship that was so easy to connect with. It made you like the characters and fall in love with their story and I wanted that to continue.

Saying that overall I did like the characters. They were both incredibly strong but had secrets that intrigued me and kept me reading. They also had a vulnerable side that was a nice balance, especially when it came out around each other and no one else.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read for the most part. It did leave me shouting as I hated the cliff hanger ending as it  gave no resolution as to whether everything would be OK. I like HEA and the ending in Wrecked felt too abrupt, even if it makes me want to read the next one straight away. I also felt it needed more MMA but in general the characters were great, the relationship was nice and it does keep you turning the pages.

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