Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review ~ Forgiven (The Trouble Series) by Rachel Morgan

Forgiven (A Trouble Novella)

ebook download from Amazon for free.

Release Date: 20th April 2014

Description:

Heartache, humour, and first love collide in this sweet romance novella ...
Three hundred and six days ago, Julia ran away from home. Abandoning her family, friends, boyfriend, and university plans, she fled with no explanation. She can't hide forever, though, and now it’s time to face the mess she left behind.




My Opinion

I found this when I went on one of my many free-book-downloading-sprees. I was specifically looking for novellas as I like the quick burst of story they give to break up the day so I was eager to start making my way down my pile.

This was a short read but filled with a lot of drama. I liked that although there weren't many pages the author hid what had happened to Julia and why she had run for the majority of the story. The first chapter opened up a lot of questions and it built the intrigue well. This novella kept me turning the pages quickly and while there are certain things I would have liked developed a bit more, such as the build up between Josh and Julia (I want to know what he wrote!!!), the overall structure was good, it moved along quickly and flowed well. I might have to check out the rest of this dried when they're released.

4.5

Friday, 30 May 2014

Review ~ Open House (Pool of Souls #1) by Krystal Shannan

Open House (Pool of Souls, #1)


ebook downloaded on Amazon for free

Description:
Intrinsically woven into the fabric of human existence, Aphrodite, Titan Goddess of Love and Passion, dedicates herself to matching soul mates. 

Rebecca Carol and Robert Corvin missed their original chance to bond when Ares, God of War, took control of Robert's career ten years ago. Their souls have naturally pulled them back together for a second chance at love, but...How far will the gods go to get their own way? 

Will divine influence create another perfect match or will it tear them apart forever?


My Opinion

I think overall this was an enjoyable and easy read but it just wasn't believable. Parts were hot but the basis of the whole novella of people meeting again after 10 years of nothing just didn't fit with the connection that was supposedly there. I mean if someone told me they had been stalking me/moved with the intention of marrying me and then kissed me straight after meeting ten years later I'd not only be seriously freaked out but probably slap them as well. I definitely wouldn't have sex with the straight away and then move in with them a few days later--there would need to be some build up and romance. So although this was steamy in places it needed that believability there for me to engage with it.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review ~ Paradigm (Paradigm #1) by Ceri A. Lowe

ParadigmeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 13th 2014

Publisher: Bookouture

Description:
What if the end of the world was just the beginning?

Alice Davenport awakens from a fever to find her mother gone and the city she lives in ravaged by storms – with few survivors.

When Alice is finally rescued, she is taken to a huge underground bunker owned by the mysterious Paradigm Industries. As the storms worsen, the hatches close.

87 years later, amidst the ruins of London, the survivors of the Storms have reinvented society. The Model maintains a perfect balance – with inhabitants routinely frozen until they are needed by the Industry.

Fifteen-year-old Carter Warren knows his time has come. Awoken from the catacombs as a contender for the role of Controller General, it is his destiny to succeed – where his parents failed.

But Carter soon discovers that the world has changed, in ways that make him begin to question everything that he believes in. As Carter is forced to fight for those he loves and even for his life, it seems that the key to the future lies in the secrets of the past...

My Opinion

I really wanted to like this book and I gave it until 60% however, I'm not going to be able to finish Paradigm unfortunately. For me the start was really slow and it didn't engage me at all. I decided to give the book a chance with the hope of it getting better but all I did was get more and more confused. I struggled to picture the world the author created and the characters weren't easy to relate to for me as the whole freezing, unfreezing, time difference etc just didn't make the writing easy to follow. There were some sections that were better than others (I did come to enjoy Carters section a little more) so I thought the book would pick up. However, it seemed as if the author struggled to write some sections more than others and it became evident in the pacing and energy of the book. I really didn't like the Alice sections.

I don't like not finishing books but I just don't see how I can continue with this one because in all honesty I'm not really sure what was going on and the relationships weren't there for me to connect with it. It didn't hook me and I tried flicking to the end with the hope of some action but when I'm skimming pages at 45% it's generally not a good sign so I'm going to have to admit defeat with Paradigm. 


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Review ~ Your Room Or Mine? (Do Not Disturb #1) by Charlotte Phillips

Your Room Or Mine? (Do Not Disturb #1)
ebook downloaded from Amazon for free.

Release Date: May 9th 2013

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Description:
1 cheating ex, 3 bottles of white wine, an emergency pep talk from the girls… and this seemed like a good idea at the time:

Izzy Shaw’s Getting-Over-Him Action List

1. eBay his entire collection of football memorabilia and spend all profits on treating myself to fabulous new wardrobe.
2. Turn plans for ‘Loved-Up Mini-Break’ at exclusive boutique hotel into a weekend of spa pampering, me-time and shopping at Harvey Nics.
3. Don’t get even, get even better. Have one night stand with drop-dead gorgeous stranger – Mr Tall, Dark & Handsome in the hotel lobby is just what I need!

Your room or mine? Go on Izzy…

My Opinion

This was a good, lighthearted read. It kept me turning the pages, made me smile and I engaged surprisingly well with the story and the characters. It was a great summer read to relax with and I liked the author's style. Things moved along quickly and it ended well, I'll definitely be looking out for more by this author. 

4.5

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Review ~ Deep Surrendering: Episode 1 (Surrender Saga) by Chelsea M. Cameron

Deep Surrendering: Episode 1ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: 20th March 2014

Description:
She's all about rules. He lives by none but his own. When these two meet, the results could be disastrous.

When Marisol Everly’s friend Rory sets her up with Fin Herald, Marisol doesn't expect that it will amount to anything, .but that was before she saw Fin's searing blue eyes and mischievous smile. Not to mention, he seems absolutely fascinated by her mundane life. He's everything that a girl could want, but there's something else that ripples under the surface of his flirty behavior. Something darker. Something that fascinates Marisol, but scares her at the same time. Is she willing to risk falling into an abyss she might not get out of?

My Opinion

This was an OK read. It was quick and set things up but it ended so abruptly. I know it's part of a series of short stories but I got to the end and was like "what the hell just happened?!" It was well written but I think I would have needed a little more to continue the series as it ended just when things started to pick up. I also thought it would be hotter than it was, but I guess that comes from the length really. Overall it was an enjoyable read to break up the time but just ended to soon.


3.5

Monday, 26 May 2014

ARC Review ~ Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

Take Back the Skies
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 5th 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Description:
Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

My Opinion

OK, so I'm torn. The main reason I requested this title was because of the age of the author. Being an author of 19 myself, I was intrigued to read Lucy Saxon's work and Take Back the Skies sounded like it might be my thing so I took a chance on it. I'm now torn though because some parts were so good but others, for me, just fell flat and brought the book down.

I found Take back the Skies a really hard book to get into. The start didn't really hook me which was a shame because the ideas at the start were good, I just didn't think they were executed to their full potential. For example; Cat running away from her family could have been a really dramatic moment--it's vital to the plot--but I felt the author seriously under played this and made it all too easy. There just wasn't enough tension, suspense or drama for me to be gripped.

Actually, this was the main problem I had with Take Back the Skies (despite all of my fs being removed in my arc--don't know why). The premise was great and I liked the overall concept but I just felt everything was too easy and just kept falling into the laps of the main characters. Even when they did get caught or in difficulty, the situation was rectified almost immediately and there was no hardship. For me this created almost no tension whatsoever. I wanted more drama, hardship and tension. I wanted the characters to have to work for what they were trying to achieve--since when was over throwing a government easy? 

However, saying that the book does pick up. I'm not saying it's nail biting drama but there were a few surprises that I didn't expect. When I reached these sections of the book, I was pleasantly surprised and glad that it was able to draw some emotion from me. One of my notes in the Kindle app was "Well I didn't see that coming" and at this point I was turning pages at a rapid rate as I wanted to find out more. 

The sci-fi aspect that is revealed, although surprised me, it did feel I was reading the same thing as I have in other books such as: Partial by Dan Wells or Eden by Keary Taylor. There were subtle differences but the underlying concept was the same so I couldn't help but draw a comparison and I felt that Take Back the Skies was more underdeveloped--maybe there will be more detail on them in the second book though?

The characters in Take Back the Skies were likable. I loved Fox and Cat's attitude problems and how they always ended up arguing. It was a believable relationship and their growth was realistic. I also liked how they crew on the Stormdancer were more of a family. Their reactions, emotions and feelings were crafted well and gave the overall feeling of a likable cast--even if I disagree with the ending on so many levels (I won't go into why because I don't want to spoil it, or rant, but I wished I had stopped at 80%).

Overall, Take Back the Skies is an OK read. I enjoyed it but it's not one that had me on the edge of my seat or biting my nails. For me it highlights the potential of the book and the author but there just wasn't enough tension or hardship for the characters. Everything was too easy and a bit too similar to other books I've read for me. It may interested Sci-fi or Steampunk fans though so I wouldn't rule it out. 


2.5



Sunday, 25 May 2014

ARC Review ~ Rules of Survival by Jus Accardo

Rules of SurvivaleARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 2nd 2014

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

Description:
If you want to survive, you have to follow the rules…

Mikayla Morgan is wanted for her mother's murder. She's been on the run for almost a year now, avoiding not only the police but the real killer. Tired of running and desperate to clear her name, she breaks one of the most sacred rules: never return to the scene of the crime.

Every bounty hunter on the Eastern Seaboard is after the Morgan girl—but Shaun Denver and his partner snagged her. She's a piece of work, and Shaun can't decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her. When things take a sharp turn south, Shaun does the only thing he can think of to keep her close—he handcuffs them together.

As the danger mounts and the killer closes in, the chemistry between them threatens to explode. Shaun and Kayla will need to break all the rules if they hope to get out of this alive.

My Opinion

Wow, where to begin... I have never read anything by this author so I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I requested Rules of Survival. However, the bounty hunter aspect intrigued me and I couldn't wait to get started when the acceptance finally came. The book seemed to have a different angle with the concept and the fact the characters were going to be chained together was already creating interesting situations in my head before I started reading.

It is safe to say that this book didn't disappoint at all. Right from the start it was full of action and I got a great sense of the danger Kayla was in and how she had been living. Of course everything isn't revealed and things come together in the final section f the book but it was clear that Kayla's mum got into a sticky situation and Kayla was paying the price with not only the bad guy after her but bounty hunters.

I will admit that I was a bit worried that this was going to turn into a spin off of the movie "bounty hunter" what with the hand cuffs and promise of romance but as the book developed it became its own and just kept on getting better and better with every page. I liked how it became just Shaun and Kayla for most of the book and the emotions created were believable. I enjoyed how they grew together and slowly became drawn to one another while the tension at that the fact Shaun had cuffed them together still lingered. I was also surprised that this aspect didn't become boring and overused. There was a presence of it in the background but the author didn't keep making a big deal out of it until necessary.

Because of this it also led Kayla to become a strong female lead. She was not whiny at all, she held herself together and although living by her mother's rules and the repetition of them did become slightly too much she had a clear sense of purpose and characterisation. Likewise, I liked how Shaun managed to bring out a more reckless side to her whereby she would take risks. He had an uncontrollable temper but when his jovial side shone through his jokes or charm made me smile.

The plot in Rules of Survival was brilliant and I think it's been one of my favourite books so far this year. I seriously had problem stopping and just kept turning pages as it only got better as it went. It was action-packed, filled with drama (the good kind), had a high intensity and well written. As well as this the elements of romance were executed brilliantly and when things got hot--believe me they got hot. They were a great contrast to the action but also the ferocity involved added to the danger aspect so it all linked nicely.

There is only one minor complaints I have with this book. And that was, that although it has a satisfying ending, I would have liked more. It tied up everything and gives the reader hope but I would have liked maybe one more chapter or and epilogue that skipped ahead a bit to give a less abrupt feel and satisfy me a bit more. It left me wanting more and I don't know if this is a standalone but I feel one more chapter was needed.

Overall though, I loved this book. The characters were great, it was full of action and I couldn't put it down. This is definitely one I'm going to have to get in paperback when it's released and I'm glad I got it in advance (so thank you to the publisher). I would highly recommend giving this book a go when it's released as I'm off to check out this author's other work!


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Review ~ Intercepting Love (Second Chances #5) by L.P. Dover

Intercepting Love (Second Chances, #5)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: May 27th 2014

Description:
Both have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.

Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream, but after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long.

Cooper Davis, NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in the embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol—almost ruining his football career—until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel; the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his. Especially, now that someone else threatens to take her away.

Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs, and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win their way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?

My Opinion

I was gutted when I didn't receive an ARC of this book as it seems like I've been waiting for it forever after I purchased all the books in this series and read them in just a few days. However, it made my day when I saw the paperback was up on Amazon already and I could get it to arrive before the kindle release. I just had to order it straight away and I got the in the post today (21st)--I squealed at the postman which he did look at me strangely for. I couldn't wait to start it and it was the perfect summers day for reading so spent most of it outside with this book. I just couldn't put it down. Once again this author captured my heart with her words and characters, creating a story I fell in love with and couldn't put down. 

I will admit that the MMA romances in this series have been my favourite so I'm super excited for her new series with the other fighters but this books was just as good. It was nice to hear Cooper's story and the NFL and 'football' was interesting as being from the UK, it's not something that is common here or that I know much about. 

Cooper was just a swoon-worthy as any of L.P's other male leads and I liked Kate's bite. I'm still not sure about Luke so I'm glad there wasn't as much of him in the book as I was expecting but overall the cast was lovable and worked well together. I can't wait for Evan's story as I found myself really growing to like him so now I'll have to begin the long wait all over again for the next release (whichever book that may be).

Overall I'd seriously check this series out if you haven't already. The author has a way with words and you won't be able to stop reading them.


Friday, 23 May 2014

Review ~ Red At Night by Katie McGarry

Red At Nightebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Release Date: April 1st 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (Mira)

Description:

In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.

Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him….

My Opinion

This was a short, sweet read that broke up my day nicely. I've loved every book in the Pushing the Limits series buy this author but haven't read any of her novellas so when I saw this was free I had to one-click. It had everything I've come to love from this author, I just wish it was longer as I would have loved to get the characters' full stories.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Review ~ Scorched by Erica Hayes

ScorchedeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 22nd May 2014

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Description:
In a world where everyone wears a mask, you can't trust anyone… not even yourself.

Verity Fortune was once Sapphire City’s top crime-fighter, wielding her powers of telekinesis to battle the city’s most despicable villains. Now, she’s consumed by a single burning desire: revenge. Against those who took away her mask, her memory, and nearly her life.

Having escaped from the asylum they left her to rot in, Verity dons her mask once again and becomes the Seeker, a vigilante warrior for truth.

But when she unwittingly uncovers an evil conspiracy deep within her own family, she’s suddenly on the run, alone and hunted by those she thought were on her side…

My Opinion

I've been eagerly waiting for this book, hoping it would go up on Netgalley, since I saw the cover. I was really excited to read an urban fantasy by this publisher and the cover had me hooked so I hit the 'send to kindle' button instantly when I saw it had been uploaded and I definitely wasn't disappointed.

Scorched had me intrigued right for the start with Verity's inner conflicts about whether she is a bad person or not. It set up the themes in the book nicely and the constant battle with herself over right and wrong was constant and developed well. There was also plenty of action from the offset which had me turning pages at a quick pace and unable to stop reading even though I had other things I should have been doing.

Throughout the whole book there was plenty of action and the characters all had a gritty, fighting edge to them--especially Verity. She was a strong female lead despite her inner battles. I liked the way she wasn't afraid to talk back to people and had a mouth on her. For me those qualities enhanced the believability of what she had gone through. She needed to be tough for everything to tie together and she definitely was.

As well as this I liked the whole superhero/villain aspect this book had. I've read a lot of paranormal book where people have supernatural abilities but very rarely do I come across one where they are actually referred to as super heroes and villains. For me it gave this book a comic book quality and while that's not usually my thing I think the fact the author roughed it up and have it a harder edge worked, the book was gritty rather than cheesy.

One thing I would have liked was more background on where they were and the world they lived in. I would have also liked more details on the supernatural side of things as I felt it was slightly under developed and basic. I was never sure on the extent of each persons' ability and would have liked to know their limits of what they were capable. I would have also liked the twist at the end to have been a bit more of a surprise as I did assume what was going on before it happened but that might just be me.

As well as this, my only other comment was there wasn't much romance. Although this isn't a complaint, I did expect more romance coming from this publisher but there wasn't any. There was a short back story at the end but it did come about all of a sudden so although I don't think the book needed romance, I had assumed there would be something. I did spend a lot of time wondering if Verity would fall for someone and I wouldn't really class this as a romance having read it now.

Overall, Scorched was a book that was full of energy. It was fast-paced, action-packed and had a darker edge to it which I love in novels. It was also written well and had an interesting concept. I'll definitely be looking out for more by this author.

4.5

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Review ~ What a Girl Needs (Indecent Proposals #2) by Aimee Duffy

What a Girl Needs (Indecent Proposals, #2)


ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: March 6th 2014

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Description:
The second novella in a thrilling, pulse-racing new erotic romance series, Indecent Proposals. Three best friends, Shey, Eloisa and Georgia take on the most powerful and eligible men of the New York dating scene.

Perfect for fans of bestselling erotic romance authors Sylvia Day and E.L. James!


My Opinion

This novella did something really rare for me while I was reading it and it was a pleasant surprise. Normally I find novellas a quick, easy read that I breeze through and while What a Girl Needs did this, it also had me actually feeling for the characters. I connected really well with them in this and couldn't put it down. There were parts that made me smile and then there were parts that broke my heart as I felt for the characters. I fell in love with their story and think I liked this one even more than the first. Georgia was a strong character that was easy to connect with and I liked how she gave up control slowly. I also like how everything built between her and Max, it was just as hot--if not more so--than the first book and I look forward to reading more from this author!





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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

ARC Review ~ Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: May 27th 2014 (US) / July 1st 2014 (UK)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Description:
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My Opinion

I have been waiting for this book since I received an ARC of Crash into You. I have loved every book in this series and so I'm glad to say this didn't disappoint in the slightest. I'm also glad that I was accepted to get a copy from the publisher as I don't think I could have waited for the UK publishing date--seriously, it's so unfair that it's so long after the US. 

Anyway, Take Me On had everything I've come to love from this author but best of all it had fighters and MMA in it, which I'm really into at the moment.

When reading Take Me On I couldn't stop. I love everything about Katie McGarry's writing and the love and emotion she puts into her characters and books. She creates a brilliant cast of characters and I enjoy following a different set of people in each books. For me, she creates realistic drama with engaging characters and a captivating plot. I find it easy to connect with the characters and although there are definitely certain stories I prefer, I'm always able to feel for them. West and Haley were no exception. I liked Haley's growth, her strength even when she thought she had none and her heart. Although she had lost her reason to fight, she put her heart into everything from whether it was protecting her family or loving West. It took her a while to trust people but when she did you could see the connection between them even more. She gained my respect throughout the book and my feelings towards her only grew with admiration.

As well as this I liked how West brought her out of her shell. Yes he was hardheaded and stubborn. He was also cocky and came across as a bit of a jerk at times but I still loved him. My heart broke for him that he blamed himself for everything which gave him a real human and down-to-earth side and I didn't see the twist with his family coming. The fact that Rachel was kept in the loop in the background and this book fill the gap between the accident and her learning to walk from West's POV I thought was brilliant.

Moreover the characters worked well in the strong setting of a fighter's world. There was a grittier edge to the book that came from the constant training and kick-ass attitude from the characters but it also gave them a sense of power. It was easy to believe that any one of them could have done serious damage but they all restrained when provoked and helped each other get through it.

Overall, this book had everything I wanted from it. I fell in love with the characters and their story, the book had me right from the offset and it refused to relinquish its hold until I finished it. I highly recommend this series and now start the (probably long) and eager wait until the next book in this series is released!


Monday, 19 May 2014

Review ~ Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano

Catch My Breathebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 17th 2014

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Description:
Lia Meyers' plan for a relaxing Scottish vacation is short-lived when one uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness lands her in the arms of a dangerously attractive Englishman.

The perfect opportunity for a much needed holiday romance? Wrong! Lia’s still reeling from the mother of all bad breakups, and she really doesn't have the patience for Alastair Holden – despite his effortless charm and cute British accent.

Arrogant and totally inscrutable, he's exactly the sort of guy she wants to avoid but can't: the man behind the mystery proves just too tempting to resist.

Drawn to him, Lia is forced to battle with her own insecurities, and the closer they become, the more she recognizes her own weaknesses as she peels away his layers with every night they spend together. Discovering the past Alastair is so desperate to conceal, Lia must decide if they can heal one another together or if their deepest fears will tear them apart.

My Opinion

Catch My Breath is another one of those reads that kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. It's one of those romances where the characters have a jaded or traumatic past that is hidden and because of that the author drip feeds and hints at what has happened to them, building intrigue and suspense that keeps you turning the pages rapidly without being able to stop. However, despite saying that and although I did enjoy reading this books, parts of it did frustrate me and I hard time with some of it, leaving me with the overall feeling that it's an okay read.

I found it really hard to get into Catch My Breath. I felt the start was really fragmented and jumpy and the way the characters pushed each other away and pulled them back gave me whiplash. One minute they were all over each other and the next they were either angry or saying nothing could happen. I can handle this a few times but not to the extent it happened in Catch My Breath as it took part of the believability out of the book for me. The times also jumped around a little and I felt that everything could have flowed better for an easier reading experience.

However, saying that, the book did pick up and I'm glad I hung in there. The writing started to flow better as the relationships became more solid and the time linked from one day to the next seamlessly. By the end of it I thought the writing had improved drastically and although I found myself wishing the start could have been like it too, it shows the potential of this author. I think this book was a grower more than anything.

One thing I liked was the information was withheld for quite a while with only little hints at what had happened. I liked that they both had a past and were still struggling to ope with it but found each other despite it. On the other hand though, I couldn't understand why Alastair kept giving orders when Lia had issues with possessive, controlling men. They way she just took them frustrated me and due to the amount of times she reinforced the point about what happened with her ex, it didn't seem very realistic.

There was one thing that really pleased me with this book and that was that it didn't throw all of the British stereotypes that Americans think we do into one book. There was some banter surrounding British slang which was playful and flirty and by no means annoying like with other books I have read. It's one thing that worries me when I see a novel et in England by American authors but Lynn Montagano pulled it off.

Overall Catch My Breath was a good read. It definitely grew on me and I'm glad I stuck with it. It had its faults but in general it was a good romance that kept me entertained.




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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Review ~ Fight For You by Magan Vernon

Fight For Youebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 9th 2014

Description:
A mafia prince who doesn't want the crown.
A girl who has secrets of her own.
One love that they'll both have to fight for.

Nicky Ragusa lives his life inside the cage, circuiting the underground ring to escape his fate as the mafia prince. When Jackie Marks crashes into his life, he’ll take the fight outside the cage.

But the battle for Jackie’s heart comes with a steep price. Nicky’s father has wanted him to take over the family business for years, and the time for running is over. Now Nicky is right where his father has always wanted him: in the middle of a war.


All Nicky has ever wanted to do was fight. Now all he has to do is fight for her.

My Opinion

I'm sad to say I couldn't finish this book. Everything about it sounded so good, especially with the fighter aspect however, it just felt so rushed and had no depth. I know it said it wasn't the standard NA 'fluffy' romance but in the 45% I read I'd hardly call it a romance. When the characters 'meet' one is unconscious, then she gets mad, storms an office to show her anger and somehow they end up having sex?! They are practically strangers and it wasn't even believable insta-love because of the emotions Jackie was meant to be feeling. I normally like insta-love but this felt so flat as after that she's more of a background character so nothing built. I really struggled to connect with the characters and the mafia side of the story wasn't dark or detailed enough to keep me reading. I found myself skimming pages quickly so decided to stop as nothing was engaging me and didn't see the point in continuing.



Saturday, 17 May 2014

Book Spotlight ~ The Breath of Aoles (Ardalia #1) by Alan Spade

The Breath of Aoles (Ardalia #1)The Breath of Aoles (Ardalia #1)

Release Date: 27th February 2014

Genre: Science-fantasy

Description:
Pelmen hates being a tanner, but that’s all he would ever be, thanks to the rigid caste system amongst his people, the hevelens. Then he meets Master Galn Boisencroix and his family. The master carpenter opens up the world of archery to young Pelmen, who excels at his newfound skill. But Pelmen’s intractable father would have none of it, and tries to force Pelmen to stay in the tannery.

One day, however, Pelmen’s best friend and Master Galn's son, Teleg, disappears. Lured away by the prospect of untold riches through mining amberrock, the most precious substance in the world, Teleg finds himself a prisoner of the Nylevs, fierce fire-wielding worshippers of the god of destruction.

Now Pelmen must leave all he knows behind, overcome his fears and travel across the land, in search of his childhood friend. Along the way, he will ally himself with strange and fantastic beings: a shaman who controls the Breath of Aoles, or the power of the wind, a krongos, a creature of the mineral realm who can become living rock, and a malian, adept at water magic.

Buy: Amazon

Add to: Goodreads

About the Author

Alan Spade worked for eight years for the press, reviewing video games. In his youth, he acquainted himself with the classic French authors, while immersing himself in the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen King. That wide range of influences is reflected in his style, simultaneously approachable, visually evocative and imaginative.

Excerpt

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review ~ What's a Girl to Do? (Indecent Proposals #1) by Aimee Duffy

What's a Girl to Do? (Indecent Proposals # 1)ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Publisher: HarperImpulse

Description:
The first novella in a thrilling, pulse-racing new erotic romance series, Indecent Proposals. Three best friends, Shey, Eloisa and Georgia take on the most powerful and eligible men of the New York dating scene.

‘I’m not coming over.’ Shey replied confidently.
‘Then maybe you could return the favor now.’
Wait, he didn’t mean…
‘Slide your hand beneath your panties and tell me how ready you are for me.’
Oh my god, he did.

Single Manhattanite Shey Lopez doesn’t do one night stands, or have relationships she can’t control. Especially if giving in to playboy Calvin Jones means losing her heart in the process.

However, Mr Won’t-Take-No-For-An-Answer always gets what he wants and there’s only so many times a girl can resist such a enticing proposal…

My Opinion

This isn't the genre I usually read. However, having read Sinfully Summer by this author and loving it, when I saw this book for free on Amazon I decided to give it a go. What's a Girl to do was a short steamy read. I liked the characterisations, the build up in the relationship and how the characters grew together. It was definitely a hot read and had its moments that made me smile. I definitely wished it was longer but at least there are more novellas in the series for me to buy!



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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Review ~ Summer Unplugged (Summer Unplugged #1) by Amy Sparling

Summer Unplugged




ebook downloaded from Amazon for free

Description:

Bayleigh is addicted to her cell phone and her mom has had enough. After catching her sending a less than lady-like photo to a boy who barely knows her, Bayleigh's mom sends her away to her grandparent's house for the summer--sans cell phone, laptop and Ipod. Bayleigh thinks the summer will be torture without social media...that is until she meets the boy next door.



My Opinion

This was short read that started off irritating but got better towards the end. I found the main character Bayleigh to be quite immature and bratty so I couldn't really connect with her but the story grew on me with the introduction of Jace. I did feel it was a little jumpy and needed more detail but it was OK as just a short break up of time in the day.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Book Spotlight ~ Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Pressed PenniesPressed Pennies

Release Date: 13th May 2014

Description:
Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

Pressed Pennies is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

Buy: Amazon | B&N

Excerpt

A mix of playful conversation and alcohol set the night’s happy mood. Rick was tipping his third beer at the season’s final bash when he looked up and saw her. He nearly choked on his drink. She was his age, pretty with an athletic build. She had gorgeous wavy chestnut hair with beautiful dark eyes that matched. She had a mysterious confidence about her and a smile that men would die for. Rick swore she had an aura from her head to her feet. At that moment, he thought, I have to meet her. His mind filled with questions that needed answers: Who does she know at the party? Who can I get her background from? Who can introduce us? As his mind raced, Carol walked over with the beauty. And as they got closer, it hit him. “Oh, my God!” he said.
“Rick, this is…” the friendly hostess began to introduce with a smile.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Review ~ Model Position by Kitsy Clare

Model Positionebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 24th Feb 2014

Publisher: Inkspell publishing

Description:
For Sienna, love and art are perilous games. Is she ready to take that gamble?

Sienna is a beautiful, talented artist poised on the precipice of soaring into the glamorous, yet cutthroat Manhattan art scene.

Dave Hightower is a hooked-up, handsome heir to the hippest gallery in NYC, Gallery Hightower.

Erik is the live drawing model with his sizzling green eyes fixed only on Sienna.

Three’s a crowd, so Sienna must make a choice: date Dave and ride the fast track to landing a show at Gallery Hightower and hobnobbing with the art glitterati, or follow her heart and take a chance with Erik, the stunning male model who’s stealing her heart. But Erik has some worrisome secrets, and who in their right mind would make live modeling their career? 

Dare Sienna throw away her chances of hitting it big to follow her heart?

My Opinion

I really struggled to engage with this novella so I'm not going to say too much about it. The overall premise of the story sounded interesting, however having read it now, I think it could have been executed much better. I found the characters really hard to connect with and just didn't like them. For me, Sienna was a user, indecisive and didn't have much depth. Dave was arrogant and Erik was smarmy and so it led for a really hard read as I just wanted to smack all of their heads together. 

As well as this the plot jumps around a lot and so there was not a lot of build up. Due to this I felt some parts were really unrealistic because of the abrupt nature of the narrative. If feel that in a longer book it may have worked as you could have seen the characters grow and relationships develop but in this novella it just didn't. I hate saying this as I normally like romance novellas but I think that the fact there wasn't one character I liked led me to not enjoy this read. I just found it a bit bland and cheesy.



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