Monday, 31 March 2014

Review ~ The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow

The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters, #1)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 25th 2014

Publisher: Mira Ink (Harlequin)

Description:
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

My Opinion

The Secret Diamond Sisters was an OK read but that is really the only word that comes to mind besides "meh." I think I went into this book expecting a lot more than it delivered and I came away from it feeling frustrated as the potential is there and the story could have been so much more.

I liked the setting of Vegas, it was slightly different to the usual books I read and I liked that there was a small Gossip Girl aspect to the book. The Secret Diamond Sisters focused on the elite and there were a few web forums dispersed throughout the book talking about the sisters.I also thought the overall premise of girls moving to Vegas to live with a father they've either not seen since infancy or never met who happens to be a billionaire was good and interesting. There was a lot of potential for drama and secrets and there were things hinted at from the past that kept me reading to find out if they ever appeared.

Sadly, that was about it for how far my likes went with this book. I felt the execution is what let The Secret Diamond Sisters so much and stopped it from being a great read. There seemed to be so much crammed in to the book and so many different strands that I felt none of them were really developed in enough detail. There were lots of tiny things but not one solid constant in the book and for me it kind of felt like the story didn't go anywhere. I was waiting for some big reveal or drama that would impact the sisters' lives but it just never arrived. Just a few strands were; issues with the sisters' mum, coping with moving, relationship (sort of/flirting), the father's lifestyle, adapting to lives, hotel deals, clubs, a hotel opening and then secrets from the past. For me there was too much to keep track of and it felt too slow as nothing was continuously building drama.

I also think that the way in which this book was written didn't help the development or pacing at all--it actually felt very weird. The book is written with each chapter being on a different character (Savannah, Peyton, Courtney or Maddison). Normally this is fine because they are written in first person and you get to know the characters and their thoughts. There is also normally only two or three so less to keep up with. However, in The Secret Diamond Sisters the book is written in 3rd person and follows 4 characters-each having chapters of their own. Personally it just felt very stiff and choppy doing this; I was distant from the characters because of the 3rd person narrative and the fact it changes character every chapter meant you never really develop feelings for them.

Doing this also meant that the timeline was all over the place with the book constantly jumping back and forth in time to describe what happened to individual characters at the same point in the book. I feel that there was a lot of unnecessary detail and that this would have been better condensed and used as the start of a book as there wasn't enough drama to keep me hooked. At one point the author hinted at a secret Adrian was hiding and I thought everything was going to pick up. I was turning pages hoping for a reveal but sadly nothing happens and by the look of the interview in the back of the book, you'll have to wait for book 2 for it to maybe revealed.

Overall The Secret Diamond Sisters could have been so much more. It has the potential but I found in this state that the execution was lacking and that it was repetitive with no solid plot line that you could sink your teeth into.
2.5

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review ~ Begin With Goodbye (Begin With Goodbye #1) by Lilly Wright

Begin With Goodbye (Begin With Goodbye #1)

ebook downloaded for free on Amazon.

Description:
BEGIN WITH GOODBYE Vol. 1 is the first installment in a serial romance series. It is approximately 5000 words (about 18 pages.) New volumes will be released every 2-3 weeks until the story is complete.

When Samantha left Harborhaven for her freshmen year in college, she barely looked in her rearview mirror. Now it's three years later and she's back for her sister's funeral.

But only Samantha knows the truth: for all intents, her sister died three years ago on the night of her senior prom. Coming home means coming face to face with the man she holds responsible--her sister's husband and Samantha's former lover, Julian Ashburn.

My Opinion

It's an interesting start and concept and holds potential. I'm intrigued to find out more but I can't bring myself to pay for work that is so short (unless a box set type of thing) so I guess I'll be left in the dark about what happens next.


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review ~ Reaching the Edge (Edge #2.5) by Jennifer Comeaux

Reaching the Edge (Edge, #2.5)


ebook downloaded for free on Amazon


Description:
Emily has waited over two years to give herself to Sergei. She couldn’t have asked for a more patient man. Now they’ve finally reached their wedding night, and after all Sergei’s patience and understanding, Emily wants to be everything for him. How will their first night together compare to their dreams?

This is a 3500-word short story that contains mature content not suitable for younger readers. It is part of the EDGE series, but it's not necessary to read Life on the Edge or Edge of the Past first to enjoy this story.




My Opinion

For a short story it was surprisingly well written. Focused only on one aspect (I'm guessing between books), it was intriguing and I didn't want it to stop. The writing flowed well and the emotions felt real. I don't normally find myself getting lost in books this length but I did with this, it was like I was in a bubble. The only negative is I've never associate Adagio for Strings with romance, so it broke the spell slightly reading that as all I could think of was the Platoon movie--not what you want in this kind of book...

I'm intrigued to read the other books though to get the characters' backgrounds.


Friday, 28 March 2014

Review ~ Falling for her Fake Boyfriend (Falling for her Fake Boyfriend #1) by Ann King

Falling for her Fake Boyfriend (Falling for her Fake Boyfriend, #1)




ebook downloaded for free on Amazon

Description:
As if life isn’t complicated enough for Holly Jackson. Firstly, she’s struggling to finish college on limited funds, then her former guardian and aunt is calling her bluff on having a boyfriend—since in her aunt’s opinion, single girls are single because something is wrong with them. The question is will her swoon-worthy, sinfully sexy neighbor, Ethan, agree to be her man for a day? Or forever?




My Opinion 

This was a short, sweet read. It's written at a fast pace, that was at times a little choppy, but it was a good way to break up my time. It needed a bit more detail though and maybe a few changes to the word "God". It felt like that was repeated nearly every time a character spoke.

For a freebie it was OK, there's not a lot you can say about this many pages. I would have liked it to be longer rather than in parts as seemed interesting but I'm not paying for 22 page books in a series.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Book Spotlight & Excerpt ~ Reset by C. A. St James

A Psychic Couple, Second Sight, and MurderReset

Genre: Paranormal Mystery (Psychic Investigator)

Description:
George Chambers is a psychic who makes a practice of helping earthbounds; ‘liberating ghosts’ is how he puts it. Normally it’s quite low key, a simple matter of astral contacts and inner balance. But not this time. He and Erin Rinaldi have bumped into a murder investigation, and the spotlight has turned towards them. George and Erin were already off balance, their hearts set spinning when mutual benefits became more than either of them had bargained for. They have some big decisions to make. Now they have to decide their future while they struggle to dodge the cops, solve a marijuana grower's murder, and free the victim's ghost.

Buy: Amazon | B&N

Excerpt
Erin’s stomach tightened as the black-and-white rolled by. Not ten minutes earlier, the same cop had driven past from the other direction.

The patrol car pulled to the curb opposite a large, tree-shaded bungalow at the end of the block and she closed the book she’d been pretending to read. The cop seemed to be using his radio, but the reflected dazzle of the morning sun made it hard to tell for sure. Dropping the visor, she checked her face. Then she leaned back, took a measured breath, and waited.

An unmarked car with two stony-faced men in jacket and tie pulled up behind the. Erin set the rear-view camera to record and grabbed her hat. When she got out she pressed a button on the fob and the doors of the Lincoln sedan responded with a reassuring thunk.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Review ~ Fall into Forever by Beth Hyland

Fall into Foreverebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 8th March 2014

Description:
A girl with a past she can't remember. A guy with a past he can't forget. 

Ivy McAllister had it all. Perfect boyfriend. Perfect life. Perfect future. Or so they tell her. Because one night, on a dark country road, a fiery crash changed everything…and Ivy can’t remember what happened. 

Now, two years later, at a new college far from home, she tries to regain control of her life, but her plans don’t include a tattooed, motorcycle-riding, indie music-obsessed guy with his own sorority girl fan club. 

Jon Priestly is the hottest guy at Pacific State University. Just ask his groupies. But with a dark past he must keep hidden, he shuts himself off emotionally and trusts no one. That is…until he meets a broken girl with haunting green eyes and secrets of her own. 

Ivy shouldn’t be attracted to Jon. They’re wrong for each other in every possible way. Yet as they spend time together, something about him—everything about him—feels so right. 
But when threats from her past make her question what little she does remember, Ivy must decide whether to run again or trust the one person she can’t live without. 

*** Due to mature situations, strong language and drug references, this is not intended for readers under 18. ***

My Opinion

When I started this book my first thought was "uh oh here we go again." Ivy's situation made me scoff slightly and I wasn't sure I was going to like this book as Ivy didn't appear very strong in the beginning. However, this book grew on me with every page I turned and by the end I had fallen in love with the characters and their story.

The first day I couldn't stop reading this, I got to 68% before calling it a night as I needed to sleep but had to pick it back up the next morning straight away. I loved the playful side to Jon and Ivy's relationship and some of their comments put a smile on my face. I also liked how there was a deeper level of emotion there too though and they helped each other through. Jon definitely grew on me as he became less of an asshole--I just couldn't figure him out in the beginning. He seemed like the tough/bad boy but turned out to be a really sweet guy who you can't help but like.

As well as this, I found myself constantly turning pages as I wanted to find out what the characters secrets were. I had my suspicions about Ivy and Jon-which turned out to be correct-but the not knowing kept me reading. I would have liked the reveals to be developed a little better as I felt they were a bit abrupt and left until the last second possible, but it was still worth the wait.

There were many elements to this book: the relationship, Ivy's threat from the past, the attacks, Ivy's past, Jon's past, Jon's father and a few others and some were developed well but others I found lacked in certain areas. For example, the one that stood out to me most was the attacks. When they started I was say on the edge of my seat, scared for Ivy. I had my assumptions about what it was for but that turned out to be wrong as the case disappeared. There was never a reason for why it was happening and although I can understand it was used to push Jon and Ivy closer together I felt it needed a little more detail to make it more plausible. It was tense and dramatic but it needed the loose ends to be tied up which happened with a few other aspects of the book.

Overall though, this book was an interesting and engaging read that I couldn't put down. I liked the characters and Ivy's growth was crafted well so that you could feel for her--she was likeable. I also liked the romance which had its make-you-smile-moments and others that tugged at you heartstrings. It was an enjoyable read.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Review ~ A Brush of Love by Jonathan Sturak

A Brush of Love




ebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Description:
A young woman recounts a moment of true love in her life and a twist that changes her heart forever. Have you experienced true love?

One of the eleven stories included in the mysterious collection "From Vegas with Blood"






My Opinion

This was OK. It was quick and simple but there was too much telling and not enough showing. The author used the phrases "I saw" or "I felt" constantly rather than describe the scene/feeling so I felt very distant from the writing and story as there was no depth. I'm not sure where the romance or love came into this book as everything was over before it had begun and I couldn't feel anything at the end as there had been no time to develop a relationship with the characters.

It's an OK read if you want something quick I guess as it only stands at 13 pages.




Monday, 24 March 2014

Review ~ Fighting for Love (Second Chances #4) by L.P. Dover

Fighting for Love (Second Chances, #4)ebook purchased by myself

Release Date: 9th March 2014

Description:
Fighting for someone’s heart is more challenging than fighting for a title.

For a time, many years ago, love had grown, love was made, and in the end … love was lost. The decision to leave had been the worst mistake Shelby Dawson could have ever made. However, at the time—ten years ago—she felt her secret needed to stay hidden, even if it broke her heart and the heart of the man she loved. Back then, he was all hers and she was all his, but now things have changed and he isn’t the same guy she knew.

He happens to be the well-known MMA Heavyweight champion and famous bad boy, Matt ‘The Destroyer’ Reynolds, who once before struggled to help his family pay the bills. Now, he has money flowing with each undefeated win and an insurmountable number of women filling his bed. Everything is perfect for the illustrious fighter, until one day it all changes. In walks the girl from his past, the same girl who promised to stick by him but left and never looked back. 

Their second chance to make things right will not come easy, for when one mistake is made an unwelcome consequence soon follows. Someone out there wants to rip them apart and they won’t stop until Matt and Shelby pay the ultimate price … their love.

My Opinion

After getting Meant for Me off NetGalley and loving it, I just had to buy Fighting for Love. This isn't something I usually do--I think I can count on one hand how may ebooks I go on to buy especially if they are self-published--but L.P Dover's writing is so brilliant I just couldn't resist and the fact that it was set in the MMA world again, well, I was sold on it from that moment on. I would have loved to have the paperbacks on both these books, but I'm going to have to wait until I can afford them, so I settled for the 77p ebook version which was a great deal for such a great read.

I'm so glad I found this author through Netgalley, Meant for Me was the first book I've read by her but Fighting for Love definitely won't be the last. It was crafted beautifully, the story was great and the characters were believable. It wasn't as dark or sinister with a sense of danger like Meant for Me but it was a heartfelt romance that focused on the characters. Matt and Shelby's story was heartbreaking and I did find myself crying--rare for a book to do that so I applaud the author. 

Fighting for Love was a book I couldn't put down. I had to stop at one point due to work but even then I decided this book was more important and picked it back up. L.P Dover has a great style that draws you into her world and the characters' lives. I found the whole thing believable and could engage and relate well with the characters. There was a good amount of pain, love and mystery which all interlinked for an interesting story and I liked how there was a good size cast of characters who all had their own personality. There are characters you love and then there are ones you love to hate and the switch in points of view between Shelby and Matt helped developed the other characters with different perspectives.

Although Shelby's secret was all that secretive because I guessed it from page one, the reaction to its reveal shocked me and tugged at my heartstrings. I loved that this book was able to pull so many emotions from me and make me feel so much that I ended up crying. 

Overall Fighting for Love, although not as dark as Meant for Me it equals it in the love department. It was hot, steamy, emotional and honestly these two books are some of the best romances I've read this year. I haven't had a chance to read book 1 & 2 yet, but their on my list and I can't wait for Cooper and Tyler's stories in the future. I would highly recommend!


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Book Spotlight & Excerpt ~ Sanctuary 12 (Fallen Gods Saga) by T.W. Malpass

Sanctuary 12 (Fallen Gods Saga)Sanctuary 12 

Release Date: April 17th 2013


Publisher:


Description:

Nine strangers, linked by the inner whisperings of a mysterious little girl.

Each must piece together the origins of their other-worldly abilities and the location of the white manor, where they will be reunited and the questions that have plagued their existence will finally be answered. But someone else marks their every step. The sinister Mr Cradleworth has other plans for them, plans that could bring about catastrophic consequences, not just for earth, but the whole universe.

Jerrico Flynn always felt distant from the world around him, soaking up emotion like a sponge.

Martha Johnson dreams of other worlds – worlds where demons stalk the highways.

Vladimir Volanov can get inside your head by eating the one thing you can never escape from.

Josie De Morgan is blind, but she can see your death long before you can.

Heven Ramirez can break your heart if he concentrates hard enough.

Kaleb Levesque is a sculptor with a healing touch. He can give you a new lease of life.

Evelyn Alton has an Unkindness of ravens at her command.

Stuart Matheson is bound to a wheelchair, but his telekinetic power evens the odds a little.

Barnes may look like just a dog. Take your eyes off him, he may jump somewhere you can’t follow.

This epic tale covers half the globe as it follows each character into the darkest recesses of their soul. Combining eighties-style horror with science fiction, this dark fantasy will take you on a journey you will never forget.

Buy: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

About the Author
I’m 38 years old and live in Staffordshire in the UK. I’m as much in love with the world of film as I am with literature. My tastes are varied, but the horror genre feeds my imagination the most.

I regularly attend Film 4’s Frightfest film festival in London, and have met some of my heros and heroines there. I’m hoping one day to meet my all time favourite author, Clive Barker...we’ll see.

Until then, I’m working hard on my horror/fantasy trilogy, the Fallen Gods Saga. Book 1, Sanctuary 12, is available now, with Fallen Gods: Infanticide to follow in November 2013. The final instalment, Fallen Gods: Mind over Matterless is my current project and should be ready in 2014.

I have several more projects lined up, including a possible comic book! I hope you will find something you like within my work. If you like your romance dark and bloody, why not try my novella, The Last Cut is Always the Deepest. 

One of the biggest tragedies in modern fiction is the lack of strong female characters. I don’t subscribe to this idea that a strong female in fantasy has to jump around doing martial arts in a tight costume. My female characters distinguish themselves by having a strong moral core, and being able to think under pressure without giving in to fear-induced aggression. I hope my characters offer something a little different for both female and male readers.
You may find my love for monsters quite apparent in my books. That’s because I adore them. We are all monsters in the end, aren’t we? Some beautiful, some not so much.

I would be very interested to speak to you, even if it’s just to talk about horror in general. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TW_Malpass) or drop a comment on my website. Take care until then, fellow monsters. 

Excerpt
‘There.’ Kaleb placed the steaming mug of hot chocolate on the coffee table in front of her. 
‘Thank you,’ Josie replied. Her hair was already starting to return to its natural colour after she’d run the towel through it.
‘I’m going to dim the lights a little. Don’t get the wrong idea. I just don’t like artificial light.’
‘You’re not going to vamp out on me, are you?’ Josie said.
Kaleb laughed. ‘I think it’s because I have to work under a fluorescent lamp all the time. I get pretty sick of it.’ He turned the dimmer switch to its medium setting.
‘What do you sculpt?’ 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Review ~ Seasons in the Sun (The Night Songs Collection .5) by Kristen Strassel

Seasons in the Sun (The Night Songs Collection, #0.5)ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Description:
Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha's Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie's sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn't show anyone else. She's determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she's the one who's wrong about him. He's beyond her help. But it's too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

My Opinion

I downloaded this because I've been on the hunt for short novellas that I can read within a hour. The time I can spend reading this month has lessened dramatically so novellas seem to be the perfect solution as I'm struggling to keep up with novels. So, because this was free I thought I'd give it a go. I didn't know it was a prequel going in--which probably answers my problems, but more on that in a minute.

One thing I thought the author did well in this novella was make the character appropriate for her age. I'm not normally a fan of books where the main character is under 15 but I didn't mind this one. I've seen it done so many times where an author decides to create a younger character and then dumps every problem under the sun on them, makes them act like a brat and uses language I don't feel comfortable reading in NA (and I'm not bothered by most things). However, the author of this struck the right balance I think. Callie was a believable fourteen year old, her emotions felt real and the situations she found herself in felt real. She also had parents who clearly cared and disciplined her which was a nice change.

For me though this novella started off well but slowly went downhill. I started off lighthearted and joking between friends. There was even a little flirting and those scenes were great, however it didn't stay like that. I have no problem with Tristan's drinking and out of control manner but the changes did seem a little sudden. The ending also seemed like a different story entirely and I found myself asking "How did I get from a romance to this?!" There were subtle links but they weren't developed enough to make the ending plausible for me. I don't know if things are better linked if you read the actual book first, but after seeing some reviews stating there are vampires involved, I don't think I'll be reading it to find out.

Overall, this novella moved at a quick pace, did hook me in the beginning and was the easy read I was looking for. It was a shame about the ending, but like I said I only found out it was a prequel after I'd finished it so it may make more sense if you read the book--I don't know.


Friday, 21 March 2014

Review ~ White Christmas by Ros Baxter

White Christmasebook downloaded from Amazon free list

Description:
What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

Seventeen years after the Apocalypse, Admiral-class Explorer Tabysha is caught up in a firefight and shot down over Tyver, where ice vampires hunt human warmth. Seeking shelter in an ice cave, she is instructed to stay put and await rescue. But after another ship crash-lands, and the Hunter Gatherers stalk its wounded pilot, Tabi breaks protocol.

When it turns out the survivor is the man who stole her heart then skipped out on her ten years before, it seems to Tabi that no good deed goes unpunished, and things can’t get any worse. But she’s so wrong.

As the Hunters pick up the escalating heat signature of the former lovers, Tabi has to tell Asha that there is only one way to repel the creatures stalking them.

And it involves picking up where they left off ten years before.

My Opinion

I know this is a bit of an odd time to read this book, but there didn't seem to be much about Christmas in and I needed a short read and this definitely was that as it took around fifteen minutes to complete. 

I'm not sure if it's a prequel to a series as a lot if detail was missing and with the sci-fi aspect it seemed a bit weird for that to be not to be there as I was left slightly confused by what everything was. I needed more information on the paranormal/sci-fi aspect as it felt like it had the potential to be a lot more. However, without that detail, I couldn't really connect or develop any kind of emotion for the characters and their story. 

For a freebie it was OK. You could understand the basics and it flowed at a quick speed but I just couldn't get into it as there was no detail or in depth back story to connect with. The characters needed more of a background and the paranormal element needed to be elaborated.

2.5

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Book Spotlight ~ Divine Vices (Divine Vices #1) by Melissa Parkin

Divine Vices (Divine Vices, #1)Divine Vices

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Self-published
Released: November 1st 2013

Description:
Danger seldom leaves its victims unscathed in the ways of seduction, and this lesson is one that sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster now knows all too well.

Nine months following the traumatic accident that claimed the life of her mother and sister, this high school junior has at last found a fresh start in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine. In the company of her best friends, Ian and Gwen, she’s bracing the usual turmoil of adolescence and taking all in stride…until the new transfer student, Jackson Matthews, comes walking into her life. He’s arrogant, sarcastic, roguish, devastatingly sexy, and the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. But when circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself a bit too close for comfort as their bond intensifies. Plagued by unexplainable events, a sudden string of disappearances, and even a cult-related murder, Cassie begins to fear for her life. Is it all just a coincidence that these happenings began when this Casanova strolled into town, or has she in fact fallen for a real lady-killer, or worse?

Buy: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

About the Author
True solace for this Chicagoland native is no further than a minute's walk away from her, right to the keyboard. Having always been blessed/cursed with an overactive imagination, she's constantly encouraging her predisposition with late night writing fits fueled by her mild Dr. Pepper addiction. A connoisseur of music, movies, and literature, Melissa is always finding inspiration in everything around her. When she's not diving into the depths of her mind's eye, you will undoubtedly find her with a book, a camera, her iPod, or a can of Dr. Pepper in hand.

Links


Excerpt
Droplets of water cascaded into small puddles across the cement floor, affixing to the potent odor of mold and mildew permeating the cellar. No matter how strong the musty stench was though, nothing could conceal the unmistakable metallic tang of blood, both new and old.
“Just tell us what we want to know, and this can all end now,” spoke a calm voice, resonating from a dark corner of the room. “If not, my friends here will happily continue in their quest to persuade you.”
A single light bulb hanged overhead in the center of the basement, its bright intensity creating an island of isolation over the man in question as he sat limply in an iron chair. Broken, beaten, and desperately coughing to find relief, Donovan choked on the blood sliding down his throat. Looking through the dampened tangles of hair plastered over his eyes, he watched figures loom about in the shadowed open space, inching closer like great white sharks about to make surface-charges.
“Go to Hell,” he said, bracing himself for the impact.
“Not my first choice for vacationing this season,” cracked the same voice in the darkness. “Unseasonably hot this time of year.”
Still desperately fidgeting at the restraints digging into his wrists and ankles, Donovan yelped in agony as a blow from a heavy fist registered to the back of his head.
“Stubbornness doesn’t suit you,” said the stranger, striking a lighter with a gleeful snap. The subtle glow highlighted his mouth, which was tightened to a sadistic grin as a cigarette sat between his lips. Taking a deep breath, the bud burned like smoldering coal as he snapped the lighter shut. “And I’m not entirely certain why you’re resisting here? We both know that there’s no cavalry coming to your rescue. You’ve done an impeccable job at isolating yourself.”
“So what makes you think I would know anything then?” barked Donovan.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Review ~ Sugar and Spice: A Karma Cafe Novella by Tawny Weber

Sugar and Spice: A Karma Cafe Novellaebook downloaded for free on Amazon

Description:
Hot kisses, sexy shoes and a midnight rendezvous – the perfect recipe for Happy Ever After. Throw in a fairy godmother with a personal agenda, a midnight deadline and a marriage-of-convenience and you have a hot and sassy twist on a modern day Cinderella story.

For over a hundred years, the Karmanski women have been cooking up delicious treats, and a little magic. But now their business, Karma CafĂ©, is in trouble and each of the Karmanskis has a different opinion on how to save their livelihood. The matriarch, Odette, is old-school, and more than ready to rely on magic. Natalia is sure if she can just marry her daughter off to a wealthy suitor, all their problems will be solved, and she has just the suitor in mind – the gorgeous CEO of Chastain Shoes. Anja’s just as determined to foil her mother’s plans and stay single. She cooks up a scheme to serve up the perfect match for this prince of a guy. With the aid of a little magical help, she’s going to put a Happy Ever After twist on her mother’s matchmaking.

Administrative Assistant, Dedra Hanson has three addictions. Gorgeous shoes, yummy treats and her sexy boss. Her credit card balance and bathroom scale do a pretty good job of keeping the first two addictions in check. And the third? Love of her job has always kept her from acting on her passion for Paul Chastain. But now she’s leaving her job because her playboy CEO boss is about to become engaged to a chilly socialite to save his business. Paul Chastain is fair game.

All she needs for one wild fantasy night? The nerve to seduce her boss, and a little bit of magic. The only question left is, can she leave when the clock strikes midnight?

My Opinion

This was a quick, flirty and steamy read that was good to relax with for just under an hour. It's perfect for a break from what you are doing but I wasn't blown away by it. The romance is a standard secretary-falls-for-her-boss and although I don't mind predictable romances I felt this one could have been so much more with the addition of the 'witches' in the cafe.

There were a lot of questions I needed answering about the witches and I felt their part was under described considering their importance in getting Dedra and Paul together--what they did needed further description too. I found that because of the lack of detail the writing just felt slightly disjointed as you never really learn who people are or why they are like that.

The parts with Paul and Dedra were steamy and crafted better. I liked the speech between the two as it flowed well and did give a good sense of the character's personality. However, for me the ending wasn't what I wanted. Because the witches aren't explained in detail I found myself not caring about them in the epilogue and I didn't really see reason for it. I would have liked it do end on a note about the relationship with Paul and Dedra and sum some things up.

Overall, it's a good quick read to break up time and OK for a freebie, I just feel parts need more development as I need more than just sex in a book and this had the potential to do that.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Review ~ One Wild Night (Forever Wild #1) by Magan Vernon

One Wild Night (Forever Wild, #1)Bought from Amazon by myself (free)

Release Date: December 5th 2013

Description:
One Wild Night- EPISODE 1 in the first season of the Forever Wild Serial. (This is a six part series with one book releasing every 3 weeks)

One Wild Night Can Change Everything

Valerie Wilder doesn’t do serious relationships. She also doesn’t usually wake up in Vegas next to a male stripper…

A male stripper who happens to be her new husband.

A quickie divorce seems like the answer, but the Nevada legal system doesn’t think so. When her new husband suggests flying back to Chicago with Valerie she accepts, wondering if one night in Vegas could turn into something much more.

My Opinion

This was an OK, quick, easy read. It was playful and fun and I found myself caring about the characters, however it was way too short and ended so abruptly.

I admit I downloaded this on a whim because it was free and although I knew it was a novella in a series, I expected a bit more to be summed up than it was. I'm interested to see how the story plays out but I'm not going to pay for the next five if they are the length of this novella--it didn't even take me half an hour to read which was a shame as I was really getting into the story and was growing to really like how things developed between Wes and 
Valerie.

There were a few moments I didn't find very believable and the fat references/curvy references did become a little too much but the novella is so short you breeze through it before they can really cause too much trouble.

Overall, this has potential, and the concept is intriguing. It's a quick read to sit back with, I just think it had been split up too much and didn't see the need to stop it where the author did. It is a shame as I'd like to know what happened to them, but like I said, I'm not going to pay for five (maybe three I would have but five at this length? Just no) more books which I believed could have been kept as one story.


Monday, 17 March 2014

Review ~ Meant for Me (Second Chances #3) by L.P. Dover

Meant for Me (Second Chances, #3)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 30th December 2013

Publisher: Self-published

Description:
***A STEAMY, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE (STANDALONE) NOVEL BY THE USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, L.P. DOVER. If you love sexy MMA fighters then this book is definitely for you. Let the fight begin ...***

After a night of raw passion with the man Claire O'Briene had been secretly admiring for years, she thought their time together had come once and for all. Fate had finally brought them back to each other, but unfortunately nothing had changed. He was still the same man who ran away from relationships. Against his better judgment, Mason Bradley gave in to the temptation and allowed himself one night with the one woman he'd been too afraid to want ... too afraid to need.

Four months after leaving Claire and regretting every minute of it, Mason gets called in for an undercover mission that's not only dangerous, but brings back a past he spent years trying to forget. A past of fighting ... of getting in the ring and using his fists to get what he wanted: money, women, and drugs. Now there are fighters turning up dead, and it's Mason's job to find out the truth.

Knowing he might not come out of the mission alive, Mason seeks out Claire to tell her how he truly feels, only to find another man competing for her love as well. Fighting is what he's good at, and for once he will be fighting not only for justice ... but for love.


My Opinion

When I saw this cover on Netgalley it stood out. I think it was the font on the 'M' that caught my attention so I thought I'd check out the blurb to see if it was for me. After reading the blurb I couldn't hit request fast enough. The MMA/undercover mission had piqued my interest and having never read a romance that sounded like this, I was itching to give it a go and I definitely wasn't disappointed.

Meant for Me was one of those romances that left me thinking about it for a few days after I finished it--you can probably tell that because it's taken me 2 days to try and arrange my thoughts for this review. It was one of those romances that takes your breath away because you are so invested in the characters and their story and I think the author did a great job with her characterisation. I haven't read any of L.P Dover's work before but I think I might have to now.

Meant for Me caught my attention right from the offset and it didn't let go at all. The only time I stopped was when I thought murder scenes were going to be described as it was already 2am and not knowing how graphic the author would make it, I didn't want to freak myself out and get no sleep. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the balance the author struck between the violence, detail and content. She seemed to get it exactly right every time with how much she revealed and I never found it too much or overbearing. She masked it at the right places and then went into a bit more detail in others--it allowed you to picture it but it gave you a little creative license with how bloody you wanted to make the scene which I liked.

There was definitely a lot going on in this book and I found the structure was faultless. The book flowed seamlessly and developed brilliantly. I found myself falling more and more in love with the character (especially Mason--I may have a new book boyfriend) as it went on. I wasn't sure how things were going to go from the start but I loved his development and how intense Claire and his feeling were. Claire was the right mix of strong yet vulnerable and I felt they really worked well together.

I don't really know what else to say about the romance--except I want Mason. It was really intense and did leave me thinking about it for a while. The emotions felt were believable and the action had me on the edge of my seat as the characters found themselves in the middle of everything. I loved that there was a darker twist with the MMA/Cop drama and it tied in well, making for a unique story that had a deeper level than just second chances and sex.

The only slight quibble I have is that I may have liked the mastermind to be hidden or for his identity to be kept a secret a bit longer. I may also have liked a few more suspects to have been thrown into the mix for a little more tension and suspicion. Don't get me wrong, it was still crafted excellently, but I think a layer of who the characters couldn't trust would have made it exceptional.

Overall, Meant for Me was a brilliant, fast-paced read that I couldn't put down. I loved the characters, their story and their romance. I also liked the ending, it summed everything up perfectly. I do wish this series wasn't stand-alone books as would love to read more about Mason and Claire but for now I'll have to settle for Matt's story as the MMA aspect has caught my interest again. Anyway, this is definitely on my ebook to paperback buy list.





Saturday, 15 March 2014

Review ~ Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: 29th November 2011

Publisher: Razorbill

Description:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. 
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. 
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Opinion

This is one of those books that has been on my to-buy list forever. I finally got round to purchasing it last November and finally started and finished reading it a few days ago. It has split my opinion and I'm not sure I'm going to explain why as my head is a rambling mess, but I'll give it a go.

Overall, I liked Legend. It had a kick-ass female lead, a criminal bad-boy and lots of destruction in the dystopian genre. It started off well and the alternating points of view worked in this book, giving a good over view when the characters were apart. It also moved at a quick pace, with short chapters. I was actually surprised at its length when it came in the post as I thought it would be at least 100 pages more--don't know why I assumed it.

However, I think my main issue with Legend was that it was predictable. It would have probably been better if I'd read it when it first came out as I wouldn't have been so used to the genre but reading it now, it just read like every other dystopian book. It also didn't hold or conceal its secrets very well. I had guessed the ending at the twist way before it was revealed so I did find it lacking in that sense because I was right on every assumption.

Saying that, I probably will by the second book though as it finishes on an annoying cliff hanger that only sums up part of the book and I'm intrigued to see where it goes next.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Review ~ The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot

The Right Side of Mr WrongeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: March 6th 2014

Publisher: HarperImpluse

Description:
One-off, moving on sex, wasn’t meant to be this hot…

When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the “wife” of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger.

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she’s just another woman after his wallet? And if she’s looking for Mr Right, she’s definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this “gold-digger” a lesson!

She’s seizing the moment, he’s breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr. Wrong…

My Opinion

The Right Side of Mr Wrong is a tricky one for me to sum up my thoughts with. While it was an enjoyable read, it didn't feel blown away by it. The book was a grower but my opinion is still split so I apologise if this review seems a little disjointed, I'm having a hard time trying to put notes down.

This book did take me a while to get into it. After the first few chapters I really was questioning whether or not I was going to finish it. At the 34% mark I was debating marking it as DNF and moving on as I just wasn't engaging with the story or the style. For me the characters felt very stiff at the start and like with the whole narrative they took a while to grow into their roles and personalities. I felt very distant from them at the start and there wasn't as much depth as there was by the end of the book.

I think it was around the 65% mark that I started to connect with the characters and their story. I know it's a bit late, but better than never right? I felt that they grew up and developed into characters that I could feel for as another level of drama was added with the secrets they had been hiding. These weren't really developed at the start so  found the writing quite repetitive and dragged until this was introduced. After this, I found that the relationship was more fluid, they were less stiff and things moved at a better pace. There was more development in the relationship and I did start to feel invested in it. By the end I really liked Brando and Shea but I think it was a shame I had to read so far into the book before getting to this.

The concept of a 'test wife' and women writing in on postcards to be considered was original and I liked it. The setting was also nice and I liked how driven Shea was to fulfill the job she came to do.

Overall The Right Side of Mr Wrong was a good read. It's worth sticking with past the slow, repetitive start as it gets better towards the end and although I don't feel blown away by it, it was an easy read to follow and relax with.







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