Friday, 30 January 2015

Review ~ Trade Me (Cyclone #1) by Courtney Milan

Trade Me (Cyclone, #1)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 19th 2015

Description:
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

My Opinion

It was the premise of changing lives that hooked me into reading this book. I have read so many billionaire novels that Trade Me sounded more unique in this aspect so I was excited to pick it up. However, whilst there are obvious positives, there were also things that weren't so good and made this book slightly disappointing.

Firstly, I liked the romance in theory. It was a slow build and I liked that Tina didn't fall to her feet in front of Blake just because he was a billionaire. Although she says she'd take money from his dad to break up, in general she had her head screwed on and it didn't feel like she was using Blake, despite her family's financial situation.

Similarly, the relationship between Blake and his dad was interesting. It made me laugh out loud a few times with the banter they had going on, and I felt the insults were a good twist and it worked as a way of showing their affection. Even if Adam was an asshole, his feelings for Blake were obvious. Moreover, with regards to Adam's company, I thought all of this side of things was very believable. I was surprised by the amount of detail I got on Cyclone and it did make the book all the more authentic.

However, like I said, I did have issues with this book. The first was the relationship between Tina and Blake. For me, even though it was a slow build, there wasn't that spark between them. There were a few moments but I didn't like the way it built (or lack of building). I didn't really feel much towards them and therefore found it hard to connect.

As well as this, I expected there to be more development with the trading lives, especially from Tina. It all felt very underdone and there could have been a to more interesting things to read about. And then there was the ending ... Suddenly you're hit with a load of new information, changes in the relationship, and then it cuts off. Everything with Blake's dad felt very rushed and like an add on. I was reading it and thinking WTF?? Everything was summed up way too quickly and I was at 95% when I turned the page and got "Thank you for reading." Seriously, I wanted to shout in frustration. The ending didn't feel like it came to a natural conclusion and I would have liked an epilogue maybe a few months down the line.


Anyway, overall this was an okay read. I have read a lot better NA romances, but this book does have its good points. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, but I wouldn't discourage anyone either.

3

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review ~ Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: 8th October 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Description:
Sky Davis is starting sixth form having always been home-schooled, and wants to keep a low profile. But then she runs into Dean Holder - messy brown hair, smouldering blue eyes, and a temper straight out of Fight Club, someone who Sky is determined to avoid.

There is something about Holder that sparks memories of Sky's troubled past, those which she would rather stay buried. Little does she know that the mysterious Dean Holder is harbouring secrets of his own . . . 

When the truth unravels, Sky must piece her life back together and learn to trust again. Only by facing the revelations together can the two of them begin to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live without boundaries.

My Opinion

Okay, wow. I think I finally get what's to love about this author and why she's so popular. The first book I read by her was Ugly Love and whilst it was an enjoyable read, I didn't get the heart wrenching emotions I've seen posted about in hundreds of reviews. I thought maybe I'm just very unsympathetic, or that the book was hyped up. However, having read Hopeless, I can see why Colleen Hoover breaks so many hearts.

This book was different to what I was expecting. It had plenty of twists and it just kept spinning itself into a darker web. I never would have guessed the linking factors between everyone or what had happened to Sky. I did figure out what her dad had done, but other than that this book just kept shocking me. Things became more twisted but the emotions conveyed were brilliant. I felt for Sky every step of the way and Holder was a solid presence.

Similarly the relationship between the two was great. I thought it was balanced with everything else well and the problems reflected throughout the entire thing. It felt natural and realistic.


Overall even though I'm really late in getting to read this book, I'm glad I finally have. I can now see what everyone's been raving about and I can't wait to download the next one!

5

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review ~ The Grace in Darkness (Darkness Duet #2) by Melissa Andrea

The Grace in Darkness (Darkness Duet, #2)Paperback purchased by myself.

Release Date: October 22nd 2013

Description:
Every part of me yearns for Ryland and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I don’t question if I made the right decision. Adjusting is something I should be used to by now but how can I do that when life has other plans?

When darkness consumes you, only true light can free you

Remembering how I existed before Araya came into my life and turned everything upside down has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I can’t stand to be round anyone and the feeling is mutual. But I’m ready to take back what’s mine. I’m ready to be whole again. But every decision has a choice and every choice has a consequence.

To find the grace in darkness, you must
Dare to be BRAVE
Dare to be STRONG
Dare to be ALIVE

My Opinion

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was unique with it's characters so therefore I was excited to see how Araya and Ryland's story ended.

Whilst this book kept me hooked, and it was enjoyable to see the characters develop and get there own back, I don't think it was as good as the first. It wasn't as clear, well written, or unique. It seemed like the author was trying to put too much in it and the further I read on the more ridiculous the story line got.

Unlike with the first book I started skimming sections in this. And I rolled my eyes a lot. I didn't feel the relationship was developed that well and it was rather jumpy and incoherent. It seemed all over the place and the time line didn't always add up.

Besides that Araya's blindness never seemed to play a big enough part in this book and it definitely needs another edit. On one occasion a character's name was spelt 3 different ways on one page. I'm not that picky with things like this but there were a few too many in this book.


Overall, whilst I'm glad there's a HEA, I felt this book was a bit too unbelievable. The story just didn't seem realistic in the end and I feel it lost its uniqueness.

2.5

Monday, 26 January 2015

Book Blitz ~ False Finder by Mia Hoddell



False Finder
Release Date: 01/13/15
Limitless Publishing
400 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Cora has been able to detect lies since she was born, she’s…a False Finder.

However when blackmail, betrayal, and lying are all the population has to protect themselves, it makes her dangerous. It also makes her a target.

Because of Cora’s ability, Rogan Carvelli—London’s biggest criminal leader—has been trying to acquire her for years.

Cora has learned to survive and remain undetected—at least until one careless mistake causes her friends to betray her.

Sold to Carvelli, Cora is only left with the help of a secret organisation to escape. She knows nothing about them, but they have saved her too many times to ignore.

However, the closer she gets, the clearer it becomes…
Their motives are far from innocent.


Buy: 

Leaning forward, both arms propping his strong body up on the desk, Rogan glared at her. 

“I tried to be cordial. I agreed to your insane demands but this ends here and now. You will sign this contract stating you are employed by me or things are going to get very bad for you, very quickly.” 

Cora matched his stance, pulling herself up and meeting his gaze with unwavering eyes. 

“Get this into your head now as I’m not going to say it again. I am not, nor will I ever let you own me. I will never sign that piece of paper.” Cora kept her voice level, matching his tone with equal determination. She didn’t have a plan for how to get out but she knew she would never sign his contract. 

“Is that so? I beg to differ.” A flash of uncertainty flickered before Cora’s eyes as he spoke, not sure where he was going with his comment. It didn’t fail to escape Rogan’s notice and on the inside he was smiling with joy at his forward thinking. 

“You can’t force me to sign it!” 

“Am I that crass? I won’t have to force you.” 

Picking up a remote from the top of the desk, he pointed it at a painting that was hung on the wall to the right of Cora. It moved to reveal a flat screen TV and with the click of another button it flickered into life. 

As the image became clearer on the screen, Cora gasped in shock. Her hand moved to cover her mouth in disbelief and her head was shaking, not wanting to believe the truth that was before her eyes. 

“Still don’t want to reconsider my offer?” Rogan asked triumphantly, knowing he had won.

About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal or romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning. 

By the age of nineteen, Mia had published nine books, including the Elemental Killers series and the Seasons of Change series. Since then, her books have charted on numerous Amazon Bestseller Lists, and she has also had poems published in a many anthologies. With an ever growing list of ideas, Mia continues to create fictional worlds through her writing, and is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.

She also designs book covers and banners on her website M Designs 

Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Friday, 23 January 2015

Review ~ Holding Strong (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster

Holding Strong (Ultimate, #2)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: March 31st 2015

Publisher: Harlequin

Description:
An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster's irresistible new novel 

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn't share. That's why he's been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry's about to need more than she knows… 

Denver's combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she's been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can't hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who'll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she'll trust him enough to let him…

My Opinion

After loving both the novella and book one in this series, I was thrilled to  be accepted for Holding Strong. I'm still really into MMA romances, and even more so when they are a romantic suspense.

Just like with the first one I really enjoyed the story. I thought Cherry had a good mixture of strength and vulnerability, and I also liked how she came to rely and trust Denver. I thought the pacing on this side of things was good, and it made me love Denver even more. Despite being frustrated by her lack of sharing, he stayed by her and was patient. His strength was obvious and he was a moralistic character. I liked that he wasn't the typical 'badboy' who's an asshole. Yeah, he was possessive and a little controlling but it was just the right amount and it was clear--most of the time--it was for Cherry's safety.

Overall I liked the suspense with Carver, Mitty, and Gene. They felt dangerous and unstable, making them believable villains. However, I did feel their story wasn't as fully developed as it could have been, especially the ending. They dipped in and out of things and I would have liked for them to cause more trouble and have had a longer stand off with Cherry. The ending just felt very rushed.

As well as this the start also had the same problem. Denver and Cherry had sex way too quickly, and I wasn't too keen on it. I thought the middle section was good but the start and ending came and went with little detail or build up.

Despite all of that, I still enjoyed this read and I definitely want to read Stack's story next. If you like romantic suspense, with MMA fighters you should check this series out.



4

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Cover Reveal ~ Camden's Redemption by L. P. Dover




RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2015

Camden'sRedemption-high


For so long, UFC Middleweight fighter, Camden Jameson lived in his twin brother’s shadow, competing to be the best. When he lost his way, he turned to the Dark Side and did some unforgiveable things. After his betrayal, he tried to earn his redemption, but it wasn’t enough. Now his whole world has fallen apart and he’s on the run from those who want him dead. But he’s not alone.

Undercover agent, Brooklyn Avery, has been assigned to Camden’s case, to watch and protect him. For months, she’s been in the shadows, keeping her distance. All of that changes when the mission takes a dangerous turn and she needs to get closer to protect him. Their love is forbidden, but once they see past each other’s scars, they realize they have what it takes to heal the other. Unfortunately, Camden still has a price to pay for his sins.

Lives will be lost, some will be damaged, and a dark, hidden secret will be revealed. In the end, Camden finally learns what it means to put everything on the line for love, even if it costs him.



ADD TO GOODREADS










USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries. 

Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols. 

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over nine novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.




Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review ~ All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 5th 2015

Publisher: Orchard Books

Description:
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

My Opinion

I first found Ally Carter by chance with the Gallagher Girls. I loved the first book in this series, so I was excited to start All Fall Down because I hoped it would live up to it. It's safe to safe to say I wasn't disappointed.

All Fall Down is filled with Carter's usual action, rebel teen, sense of adventure, and humour. She has a clear sense of style and I found myself pulled into the world she created, even though I'm not normally a fan of foreign politics. The author struck a good balance of realism and fantasy in the world she creates, whereby there was enough detail to give all of the necessary background details, but not enough for it to drag.

Similarly, I liked Grace and her conflicting emotions about the death of her mother. The way things were set up were interesting, and overall I liked it. However, I can't help but feel it was a little too similar to Gallagher Girls with all of the secret tunnels, sneaking, and heroics. Grace also was quite similar to Cammie in my opinion, which for me was quite a let down as I would have expected more variation. As well as this I'm not really sure what went down between Alexei and Grace and whether or not it's more than friendship. I wouldn't class this book as a romance and I don't really think it needs it to be honest. 


In general though I did like the story. It was a quick, easy read that I would say is aimed at a younger audience as I did roll my eyes at a few sections in disbelief. I also found it pretty predictable, but nonetheless it's interesting and I hope there's more to come.

4

Monday, 19 January 2015

Review ~ As Red as Blood (Lumikki Andersson #1) by Salla Simukka

As Red as Bloodebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 1st 2014

Publisher: Amazon Skyscape

Description:
In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

My Opinion

This was an interesting read. I love dark novels set in the snow, and especially in foreign countries. I also enjoy it when fairytale twists are involved. In fact when I saw the title and description of this book it reminded of Marcus Sedgwick's Blood Red Snow White, which I think is what intrigued me.

As Red As Blood had me hooked from the start and it only took me a few hours to finish. Overall it was a good read. I enjoyed the story and pacing, it was fast-pace but written well so that things were clear and easy to follow. In general I liked the idea, yet I can't help but feel it could have been executed a lot better.

The main issue I had was everything was so predictable. Also the reveal came way to early and therefore I found my attention straying towards the end because it was obvious what was going on. I think the author could have added a lot more layers to the plot to cover things better.

Similarly the ending seemed too rushed. This was the only part of the book that felt badly paced. I don't get how things went down and it isn't properly explained which was a shame as I would have liked to see that.

Moreover, whilst Lumikki was an interesting lead, I never felt like I really got to know her--or any of the characters for that matter. I enjoyed reading the sections about her tailing people and she was clearly clued up and smart, but I didn't get much in terms of personality. Elisa had more of a personality but little back story. I just felt there was a lot more potential.


Overall, whilst it did have issues, I liked the book overall. I will most probably read the next book and if you like books involving the criminal underworld it might be for you.

3

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review ~ Devlin UnLeashed by Bethany Bazile

Devlin UnLeashedeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Description:
Devlin Ward was a ruthless man. 
A man born among violence with a heavily burdened mind. 
He wasn't the sort of man fairy tales were made of, but he was sinfully beautiful, and addictively seductive. 
Dark and dangerous, yet utterly alluring. 
I’d fooled myself once, only allowing myself to see the beauty in him despite the shadows I’d glimpsed in his eyes. 
When that darkness took over, I ran. 
And now he’s found me. 
He’d trusted me with his love and now he wants it back. And he’s all too willing to crush my heart to make his whole again. 

Juliana betrayed me. 
Went against everything I believed in and pushed the monster I tried to keep hidden out into the open. 
Our love was twisted—and I’d made it that way. But I wasn't prepared to let it go. 
I hunted her for years, picking up traces of her scent as she moved from city to city to escape me. 
Now that I've found her, I’m not sure even her fiery light can brighten the blackout she left me in when she walked away. 

Mature content warning: This title is darkly romantic and intended for adults 18+ due to explicit sexual content, language, violence, and dubious consent.

My Opinion

This sounded really interesting when I first saw it. However I have no idea what is going on. I'm at 33% and whilst the sex is all right, that's all that seems to be happening. Even when I skim ahead all I manage to find are sex scenes. I have nothing against this, but because I have no idea what is going on in the story, there is nothing for me to latch on to and care about so it feels like that's all there is too the book.

Also, the chapters end rather abruptly and then jump forward in time to God knows when, events just seem to occur without being described, and I have found myself flicking back numerous times to see if I've missed something--I haven't. I haven't connected with the characters at all because it is paced too quickly and I think the story line needs to be reworked to include all of the details missed.

Unfortunately I'm going to DNF this as I just don't have any connection with it.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Review ~ Full Contact (Redemption #3) by Sarah Castille

Full Contact (Redemption, #3)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 1st 2015

Publisher: Source Books

Description:
When you can't resist the one person who could destroy you...

Sia O'Donnell can't help but push the limits. She secretly attends every underground MMA fight featuring The Predator, the undisputed champion. When he stalks his prey in the ring, Sia is mesmerized. He is dominant and dangerous and every instinct tells her to run.

Every beautiful thing Ray "The Predator" touches he knows he'll eventually destroy. Soft, sweet and innocent, Sia is the light to Ray's darkness-and completely irresistible. From the moment he lays eyes on her, he knows he's going to have to put his dark past behind him to win her body and soul.

My Opinion

I was excited to read this book as I read book 2 last year and loved it. Similarly, Full Contact definitely lived up to its standards.

I went in thinking with the worry that the story might be a little repetitive--I don't know why but that's what I assumed. Maybe it's the erotic genre that led me to believe it. Anyway, it's safe to say Full Contact was in no way repetitive. It had a good story line that kept me engaged the whole way through. I loved the MMA aspect and the alpha-male roles. The guys all have a clear personality and they're a great cast.

Moreover, I found Sia an easy character to sympathise and connect with. She was a mixture of strong and vulnerable that worked well and kept the balance. I thought she dealt with things believably and her emotions were true.

One thing that annoyed me slightly was Ray's language. At times he sounded so much like a caveman with his statements like "man sees xyz, man wants xyz." At first I thought it was a typo because I'm reading an ARC but as the book went on it happened too frequently to be that. It just grated on me. The other thing was that the plot was kind of predictable and took a while to unfold. For me it could have been paced a bit better as there was a lot crammed into the end I would have liked more depth on.


Overall though, this was an enjoyable, hot read. If you like dominant, alpha-male, fighters this series might be for you.

4

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Review ~ Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never #1) by Cheryl McIntyre

Sometimes Never (Sometimes Never, #1)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: December 19th 2012

Description:
Hope didn't have the best role model when it came to relationships. She’s content with her current no-strings-attached extracurricular activity with the lead singer of her band. She’s never believed in love and commitment.

Mason starts his eighth school in five years anticipating nothing more than the usual—boring classes, fighting more than making friends, and girls happily willing to succumb to his easy smile. He’s never put much stock into love at first sight—until he sees her.

Regardless of their painful pasts, Hope and Mason discover that sometimes never can become forever.

*This is a mature young adult. Recommended for 17+ due to sensitive subject material, harsh language, and sexual situations.

My Opinion
This was an interesting read. I read Blackbird last year without realising it was an addition to this book, and because it was one of the more enjoyable freebies I got, I decided to give the novel ago. Just like with Blackbird, I enjoyed the reading about how the characters develop and grew to be where they are in the novella.

Whilst this isn't an easy read as I have gone through similar issues with a friend, I did find it realistic. The writing is pretty blunt and doesn't sugar-coat Hope's actions though, so if you're squeamish or sensitive to themes like self harm, I'd say this book probably isn't for you. It is one of the less sensitive books I've read in terms of how the situations are dealt with and written about, but that did give it an authentic quality.

When Hope was being a badass and beating guys, I liked her. She did have a strong, protective side. I liked that she fought for what was hers and defended her friends. She was a loyal character who had just had bad things happen to her. I could also sympathise with her for what she had gone through in the past. Similarly, Mason was cute and I'm glad he won Hope over. I will say that his character felt a little too feminine at times and that the odd possessive comment were thrown in deliberately to try and make him seem more masculine. I would have liked a bit more consistency from him, but he was sweet.

The only big negative I have for this book is the ending. The epilogue suddenly jumps and I don't know when it's meant to take place. Obviously Blackbird takes place between the last chapter and the epilogue so I knew what happened already, but it's been a while and I can only imagine it would be quite confusing for someone who hasn't read both. It was all so sudden to me and the details I would have liked in the novel are in the novella. I can understand the separation as this book is already very long, but I think the book at least needs a time put on the epilogue so you can be prepared for it.

My only other comment is that sometimes it was hard to figure out who was speaking. I think it could use another minor edit to clear up a few things and make it easier to follow, but all in all it was an engaging read. It's by no means easy, but if you like the tougher NA books, it may be for you.

3

Monday, 12 January 2015

Review ~ Some Like It Sizzling (A Perfect Recipe #3) by Robbie Terman

Some Like It Sizzling (Entangled Select Contemporary)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 12th 2015

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Description:
Former model and restaurateur Jenna Rawley has a plan. Marry the man who looks best on paper, and live the secure life she craved as a child. But when her fiancĂ© runs off, with her money, Jenna’s left with nothing but the past she’s spent years outrunning. With no other options, she’s forced to move back home, find a second job, and come face-to-face with a man who has every reason to distrust her. 

Firefighter Luke Kearney never forgave Jenna for leaving town after he proposed in high school. So, he’s not especially happy when he’s forced to plan their fifteen-year-reunion with her. Jenna is the last person he can trust. But the more they work together, the more Luke realizes that the girl who broke his heart might have become the woman he could love forever.

My Opinion

Overall Some Like It Sizzling was an enjoyable read. I love second chance romances or love stories about old high school sweethearts finding each other again, so I thought this book would be something I would really enjoy. However, whilst I will say that it was a quick, easy read that was nice to relax and pass the time with, it did have its issues for me.

Some Like It Sizzling is told in a few POV and it also had the unusual quality of the ex being one of them. I liked the switch in POV and how it gave a good insight into every character. I also liked that Olivia's story ran alongside Luke and Jenna's. I think the way the author tied them together worked and the emotions in these section were believable. Olivia was a very grounded character and was selfless. I really liked her and how she put others before herself and had a level head. For a minor character she was very well rounded and I actually liked her more than the main characters--I wish she'd been in the book more.

With regards to the main characters, my first impressions were not good. I can't find another way to put it so I'll just say Jenna was a snob and I hated her. Of course, she has her reasons for wanting money and designer brands but because they are revealed in the last few chapters, I spent most of the book disliking her for her values. Similarly, I didn't really connect with Luke. He felt a bit flat to me and didn't have much of a personality. I really expected a lot more chemistry between the two, but it never seemed to kick off. I thought this would be a hot read because of the title, but I just couldn't buy the romance between Luke and Jenna. Because of this, the story did feel liked it dragged at times.

Overall, this is a sweet read but it didn't hold my attention as well as I thought it would. The romance wasn't that great, but it was easy and enjoyable. It's not the best romance I've read, but I wouldn't not recommend it.

3

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Review ~ Forever Consumed (Consumed #3) by Skyla Madi

Forever Consumed (Consumed, #3)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: June 3rd 2014

Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Description:
This is it.

My revenge.

I can taste it on my tongue, it's sweet and it's addictive.

I've worked way too hard to settle for second best and I will come out on top.
------
Seth Marc is back and training harder than ever before to redeem his loss to Don Russell. Tensions are high but stakes are higher as MMAC founder, Matt Somers, forces Seth and Don to train under the same roof. 
Though Matt Somers believes it's only good fun to provoke the two for publicity, he doesn't realize just how serious the situation is. 

With Olivia by his side, Seth Marc pushes himself to his limits and struggles to keep opponent, Don Russell, out of his head as they fight it out one last time.

My Opinion

I'm going to keep this short as I don't want to spoil this book for anyone who hasn't read it.

This book was a great conclusion to this couple's story! I loved Forever Consumed just as much as book one. It definitely had more in it than Too Consumed in terms of passion, and tension. I really enjoyed reading about the characters one last time as Seth tries to get his revenge. The plot was great and I really liked the emotions in it. 

The couple have their ups and downs and I really believed in their love for one another. I'm kind of sad it's over, but at least there's Jackson's story out to read!

I would highly recommend this series to anyone.

5

Review ~ Too Consumed (Consumed, #2) by Skyla Madi

Too Consumed (Consumed, #2)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: January 2nd 2014

Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Description:
Olivia did the impossible. She tamed the over-confident Casanova, Seth Marc, turning him into a one woman Romeo.

With Seth's first professional fight coming up, she does her best to keep him focused and driven... even if that means withholding sex from him.

As sexual tensions rise, so do past discrepancies the couple thought buried, putting extra stress on both their romantic and professional lives.

Stuck in the center of the action, Olivia and Seth fight for air as they collide face first with the tough world of professional MMA.

My Opinion

I had to buy this (and book 3) as soon as I finished Consumed. If your read my review for that book, then you'll know that I said it was one of my favourite MMA books of 2014. Like Consumed, book 2 didn't disappoint.

Whilst you can stop the series at book one and feel satisfied, I wanted more of Olivia and Seth. I thought this was a good continuation of their story and the writing matched that of book one. The characters were just as great and kept everything I loved throughout their relationship. 

I rated it a star lower because I didn't feel there was as much tension in the relationship, and the story line wasn't as good (only marginally), but it was still an enjoyable read that I couldn't put down. 


Highly recommend this series.

4

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Review ~ The Edge of Darkness (Darkness Duet #1) by Melissa Andrea

The Edge of Darkness (Darkness Duet, #1)Paperback purchased by myself

Release Date: January 20th 2014

Description:
I loved to dance, but I don’t anymore. 
I was in an accident I don’t remember… or maybe I don’t want to remember. 
Either way, every day since, has been… an adjustment and I’m left with a constant reminder that nothing is forever. 

Now, my life is a tangled web of darkness filled with deceit, hate, betrayal and lies. I don’t dwell on the past, I don’t regret and I don’t remember… I survive. But then I met Ryland Dare and he changed everything. He reminded me that life’s worth living and that remembering isn’t always a bad thing. 

You don’t know true darkness until you've felt light… 

On the outside looking in, some would say my siblings and I have had a pretty easy life. But beyond the fancy cars, the huge house and endless social events, is where the truth really lies. Power hungry father, defeated mother and fake friends? Yeah I have one of each. Then Araya Noelle comes along and shows me what I’ve been missing. She thinks I changed her life, but really, she saved mine. 

At the edge of darkness, you must DARE to HOPE. DARE to LOVE. DARE to LIVE

My Opinion

I saw this book linked to a previous NA book as a similar read so I thought I'd give it ago as it sounded like my kind of read. From the blurb it sounded interesting and I couldn't wait to start it when it arrived. However there was a major surprise it had in store that I wasn't expecting.

The Edge of Darkness doesn't take long to reveal Araya is blind. I will admit that when this was revealed I was worried about how the book was going to play out and whether I would like it. I couldn't understand how the author was going to get all of the description you'd have in a normal book in if the main character can't see. Luckily she wrote in dual POV so the blindness didn't hinder the book and it made it different to what I've read in this genre. I will say that I wish it had been mentioned in the blurb though.

In terms of character I thought they were likeable and the emotions the portrayed were believable. I liked the slow progression of their relationship and how Ryland coaxed her into things and helped her fine her passions and confront her fears again. As a couple they worked and were realistic. The family dramas also added more twists to the book that kept things interesting.

One downside to the read though was that it did feel dragged out. The first 170 pages had me unable to put the book down, but for the next 100 I felt the pace slowed dramatically and not a lot happened. It picked up again towards the end, but the middle lacked the pacing of the start an I did find myself skimming for speech because the descriptions and events were becoming repetitive.

Aside from that there were a few formatting errors in my paperback (and a few minor grammar errors). Punctuation was missing, accents from words turned the letter into a box with a cross, words were joined together, and something was really weird with the layout and spacing. I wouldn't normally mention formatting but I think this book really needs to be gone over again as it was distracting while reading. Also this is no fault of the author, but the printing was really faint which also helped slow the reading down as it was sometimes unreadable. Again that's not something the author has control over unless it is a formatting issue because it happened on page 1 of every chapter.


Overall though, despite my qualms it was an enjoyable read and I'm thankful I have a gift card to be able to buy the next one. If you like contemporary NA and want something a little different from the usual emotional problems, you my want to check this out.

3.5

Friday, 9 January 2015

Review ~ Beautiful Surrender (Surrender #3) by Priscilla West

Beautiful Surrender (The Forever Series)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: November 2nd 2013

Description:
What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

The conclusion to the Surrender Series by Priscilla West.

No one is who they seem to be. 

Kristen let Vincent into her heart because he seemed so different from everyone in her conservative world of wealth management. She thought they shared something special, but when she realizes that Vincent has been playing her the entire time, her heart is crushed. 

As Kristen’s relationship with Vincent reaches a crisis point, a man from Kristen’s past returns looking for a second chance. Is her ex-boyfriend really looking for redemption or is his goal something more sinister?

Kristen struggles to hold herself together, until she discovers a revelation that will change everything.
My Opinion

This was a good conclusion to the serial. It was action-packed, fast-paced, and an easy read. Whilst there is less romance in this one, the Marty element comes into the foreground. The story takes a dark turn as the events play out and it had me unable to stop reading. I still stand by my earlier comments that because of the lengths and splits in the story I've found it hard to connect on an emotional level, but I've enjoyed the characters' stories. Things were quite quick but they were all easy reads that I got through in a few hours.

4

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Review ~ Secret Surrender (Surrender #2) by Priscilla West

Secret Surrender (The Forever Series)ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 2013

Publisher: Blackbird Publishing

Description:
“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

I knew that giving in to Vincent Sorenson was a risk, but it was one I was willing to take. I had hidden my heart for so long and for the first time in a long time, Vincent was close to breaking down the walls.

When a trip to Vincent’s exclusive private island reveals the real Vincent underneath the layers of suave nonchalance, I thought we were close to the start of something special.

Just when things were looking up for us, I would discover the one secret that Vincent never intended for me to find.

My Opinion

This was another quick, easy read. Because it's a serial I'm finding it hard to connect with the characters emotionally, but I'm enjoying their story. I do wish the Marty angle was developed more throughout 1 and 2 as it's always left right until the end, but hopefully the third instalment will deliver more on this side of things.

Overall a good edition to the serial. Things happen quickly so if you like quick romances you may want to check this out.

4

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