When Hannah's inherits a cat and dog, Abbott and Costello, she also finds herself the new executor of their $10 million fortune. S...moreBuddy read with Ange
When Hannah's inherits a cat and dog, Abbott and Costello, she also finds herself the new executor of their $10 million fortune. She never expected to have such an enormous amount of money at her disposal and quite frankly she isn't sure it's worth the trouble, especially since it's turned her into a target. Hannah needs help and the only person she can think of to turn to is psychic detective Zach. Zach has always had one major rule - no mixing business with pleasure - but he's finding that extremely hard to stick to when it comes to his beautiful new client. Before he can even consider pursuing a relationship with her he needs to discover exactly who is trying to steal Abbott and Costello's fortune though.
On the Scent is such a fun read and I lost count of the number of times I found myself giggling as I read it. The antics of the animals in particular were hilarious and Angela Campbell made me completely believe that Zach was able to hear Abbott and Costello's thoughts. Abbott is a typical cat, he thinks he's the boss and expects everyone to cater to his every whim, he's also incredibly intelligent and has a very sarcastic sense of humour. Costello on the other hand is a very playful, happy character, he may not be the brightest but he is certainly easy to please and he loves the humans in his life with all his heart. If you've ever owned a dog or a cat I'm sure you will be able to completely relate to the conversations that Zach has with the pair of them!
Both of the main characters are very easy to like. Hannah is incredibly down to earth and despite having a huge amount of money at her disposal she would rather live her life as normal. She is happy to live a modest life and doesn't need a huge house or a designer wardrobe to be content. Zach has a major secret and I'll admit that I was a little nervous when I found out what it was but he's actually a really nice guy who was in a tricky situation and doing his best to survive. I was a little irritated that it took him so long to come clean with Hannah but I was glad that the author didn't use the secret to create unnecessary drama between the couple.
On the Scent is a perfect light hearted and humorous romance with a dash of suspense and it's a story I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm excited to continue reading the rest of the series!(less)
I'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the w...moreI'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the worst book I've attempted to read this year. This will include swearing and it'll probably include spoilers but since I only managed to force myself to read the first 91 pages I can't see that I'll be able to give away anything major. Either way you continue reading this at your own risk!
Let's start with the main characters. When I pick up a book told from a female point of view I want to read about a strong, independent girl who knows how to stand on her own two feet. I don't mind if she makes mistakes as long as she learns from them but I do need her to have a brain and be prepared to use it. Unfortunately Britt is everything I hate in a main character. She is spoilt, selfish and incredibly stupid (I'll get to my reasoning for those statements later). She talks about how well independent she is but she won't even fill up her own car at the garage because she doesn't want her hands to smell of petrol. Perhaps petrol pumps are different in America but I've been filling up my own car for about 15 years now and I've never once found that my hands smell of petrol afterwards. What the hell is she doing? Does she shower in the stuff?
Then you have her best friend Korbie. This really is a case of dumb meet dumber and I was ready to strangle the pair of them by about page 40! I love reading about supportive friendships in my novels, best friends who have each others backs and who look out for each other. Let's get something perfectly clear, if your best friend is constantly putting you down to make themselves feel better, if your best friend lies to you and doesn't tell you when she knows your boyfriend is cheating on you (I don't care if your boyfriend happens to be her brother), if your best friend does all of these things then you know what? She is NOT your friend. In fact, you'd be better off considering her an enemy and finding someone new to hang out with. If, after all that, you decide to stick with her then I hate to say it but you deserve everything you get! Britt herself makes all these observations about her friendship with Korbie and yet she still chooses to follow along in her friend's shadow for lord only knows what reasons. If possible Korbie is even more shallow, spoilt and stupid than Britt and trust me that really is saying something.
Britt has been planning a back packing week with Korbie for months (although how spending a week in an expensive cabin and going on daily hikes counts as back packing I'll never know!) and says she is prepared for anything but as they are driving up the mountain they are caught in an unexpected storm that reduces visibility and makes driving dangerous. Does our heroine pull over and stop like a sensible person? No, she lets Korbie goad her into continuing to drive in dangerous conditions, on a fucking mountain no less, when she can't see more than two feet in front of her. This was the point when I really started to hope that she'd drive the car off the edge of a cliff and the book would unexpectedly end after 40 pages. When the torrential rain turns to snow and they are eventually forced to stop at the side of the road they just start making even stupider decisions. What do you do when you're trapped in your car in a major snow storm? Bear in mind that you have a car full of camping equipment, clothes and food that will keep you warm and fed until the storm has passed or help arrives. You have also driven hours into an isolated mountain range and have no clue where you are or if there are any cabins nearby. You can't see any lights in the distance, the snow is already deep and you have no compass or way of getting back to the car if you get lost. So which option do you choose - stay in the semi warm, and definitely dry, car or head out into the great unknown with no idea if you'll be able to find help or just end up turning into a human snowman? Yes, I think it's fair to say that our moronic main characters choose to wander aimlessly just in case they can find help. Yes, my eyeballs did hurt from rolling around inside my head by this point.
Miracle of miracles they actually manage to find a cabin after walking through the snow for over an hour. The cabin is occupied by two hot guys (because obviously our plucky heroines wouldn't trust them if they were ugly!) so no matter what kind of creepy vibes they are giving off Britt and Korbie not only waltz straight in like they own the place, they also start bickering over who gets to call dibs on each guy. Trust me if the author had had "bad guys in here" in skywriting across the top of the cabin it still couldn't have been more obvious that something terrible was about to happen! I'm not even going to pretend to forgive Korbie for wanting to cheat on the boyfriend who is supposed to be spending the week with them - especially when she justifies it by saying:
"So we aren't forever. What's the point of being completely loyal when I know our relationship is going to end?"
My response to that is what's the point in being in a relationship when you're happy to cheat on your partner?
The part that REALLY got me though was Britt's thoughts on finding the cabin and meeting the guys:
"I tapped my cup to his, grateful to have found Shaun, because for a minute there, I'd thought I was going to have to save myself. Instead, I'd wandered into the protective care of a sexy older man..
You know what? Fuck you Britt. Fuck you and your reliance on a man to rescue you. Fuck you for not being capable of looking out for yourself and for putting yourself into this situation in the first place.
I could go on and on about why I hated this book but I think I've already made it clear enough. This is without a doubt the worst book I've attempted to read in 2014 (in fact I'd probably go so far as to say it's the worst book I've picked up since I started blogging at the beginning of 2010 and considering I've read over 1,000 books in that time that really says it all.(less)
It's no secret that Nalini Singh is one of my favourite paranormal romance authors, I absolutely adore her Guild Hunter series and...moreBuddy read with Ange
It's no secret that Nalini Singh is one of my favourite paranormal romance authors, I absolutely adore her Guild Hunter series and I'm currently working my way through her Psy-Changeling books which I already love just as much. So when I found out she was writing a new adult rock star romance I immediately wanted to read Rock Addiction and I couldn't wait to see what the queen of paranormal could do with a contemporary romance (this isn't her first contemp story, but it is the first one I've read). I went into this book with incredibly high expectations but for once I wasn't worried because I knew this author wouldn't let me down. She consistently writes fabulous stories with characters who I fall in love with every single time and that's exactly what happened here.
Fox is the lead singer of the rock band Schoolboy Choir, he has it all - money, fame, a bad boy image complete with tattoos, more sex appeal than any one man should possess and a voice made for seducing women. He has his sights set on Molly, a sweet and innocent librarian who has a deep seated fear of fame and the resulting paparazzi harassment thanks to her time spent in the spotlight as a teenager after a family scandal. The last thing Molly needs is to start a relationship with one of the most famous faces in rock but that doesn't mean she isn't willing to have a little fun - as long as it's kept private and is a short term thing. Fox is the one who is determined to push her for more, he knows something special when he sees it and he has no intention of letting Molly go.
Rock Addiction is an incredibly hot read, one that is packed with scorching hot sex scenes that will leave you in need of a cold shower. I already knew how good Nalini Singh is at writing chemistry between her main characters but I really think she has excelled herself in this instance and I loved everything about Fox and Molly's relationship. What I loved most was the way the author turns so many different romance tropes upside down, there were a few times when I almost started to worry about the direction things were going to take - I feared we might end up with another relationship crisis because the characters weren't sensible enough to talk things through like adults - but every time I got nervous something would happen that completely surprised me and made me fall in love with the characters even more.
Both Fox and Molly are flawed in different ways but they understand themselves well enough to see why they react in certain ways and they also make allowances for each other based on their pasts. I loved seeing them put each other first and working together to find solutions for their problems - it made it very easy for me to believe that they could make things work as a couple. The one thing I really didn't like was a certain part about Molly's trust fund, I just didn't agree with the way things were dealt with and it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Apart from that I think their romance was done incredibly well and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them fall in love.
As if fantastic main characters weren't enough we also have a selection of brilliant side characters who I absolutely can't wait to spend more time with. I really hope we get a book for each of the remaining band members, David, Noah and Abe, because I have high expectations for all three of them. I also loved what we saw of Molly's best friend Charlie and desperately want to learn more about her and the boss she calls T-Rex. Rock Addiction has left me excited to continue the series and it has everything I look for in a rock star romance so I can't recommend it highly enough. Nalini Singh was already one of my auto-buy authors for paranormal romance but now I'm going to have to go and read through her contemporary romance backlog!(less)
I'm the biggest fan of this series, I love the world, I love the characters and I've devoured every single book and novella the second I've got my han...moreI'm the biggest fan of this series, I love the world, I love the characters and I've devoured every single book and novella the second I've got my hands on them. A Cursed Bloodline was one of my most anticipated reads of the autumn so I had incredibly high expectations but now that I've finished reading it I think I'm in shock and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it.
A Cursed Bloodline had me completely gripped from the very beginning, so much so that I stayed up all night reading and finished it just before 7am! The book brought out so many intense emotions in me, I was shocked, angry, horrified, angry, hurt, angry, devastated, angry and heart broken. There were a couple of moments where I giggled but they were few and far between which is unusual for this series. If I had to pick one word to describe my mood reading this book it would have to be depressed. Every single time Celia was given even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel something even worse would come along and smash her hope to smithereens and I actually got to the point where I was finding it painful to carry on reading. Never mind poor Celia - I needed something good to happen to stop my own heart from breaking!
I do feel that the book deserves top ratings because it made me feel everything so intensely, not every author has the ability to do that to me, but on the other hand I read for fun and this book made me suffer. I can deal with a certain amount of emotional upheaval in a story but there comes a point where you start thinking enough is enough and because everything is so bleak you start to wonder if you can bear to carry on reading. I'm still a huge fan of this series though and I'm going to trust Cecy Robson to make things better in the next instalment. She's taken us through rough patches before (although never quite this bad!) and always brought the characters out the other side stronger than ever so I'm going to trust that she'll manage it again. I just hope to god that the next book will be a little lighter in tone though or I may need therapy afterwards!
One thing I really love about these books is seeing how far Celia has come. Her bond with her sisters is really tested this time and I did find myself a little annoyed with the others (particularly Shayna) for not standing by her when she needed them. They should have known her well enough to understand that she must have good reasons for her actions and they should have supported her even if they didn't agree with her decisions - just like Danny and Bren did. I was less annoyed with the way the wolves behaved because they were acting with Aric's best interests at heart and they don't know Celia as well as her sisters should but even they started to annoy me after a while. It was Anara that brought my rage to unprecedented levels though and his actions made my blood boil.
The story has plenty of action where we get to see Celia kicking ass but I was a little disappointed that a major part of the final battle was off screen and we only find out exactly what happened later on when Celia asks her sisters about it. I know there is a reason for that (Celia was unconscious during that scene and since she's the narrator it would have been impossible for her to witness events unfolding) but I really would have preferred to see what happened first hand. Perhaps we could have seen Celia struggling to stay conscious and been given hazy details about what was happening as she looked on? I think that would have worked better for me anyway.
A Cursed Bloodline is one of those books that is going to shock fans. It'll probably be a Marmite book, one that you'll either end up loving or hating but no matter what you're bound to have an extreme reaction to it which, quite frankly, can only be a good thing. It took me a long time to decide whether this is my favourite instalment in the series or the complete opposite but I've come to the conclusion that any book that has me so invested that I feel like I'm being kicked in the teeth every time something happens to the heroine has to get top marks. This is definitely one of my favourite series and I'm now even more eager for the next book than ever!(less)
I had such high hopes for this story but I'm afraid it really isn't working for me. I just haven't been able to connect with any o...moreBuddy read with Ange
I had such high hopes for this story but I'm afraid it really isn't working for me. I just haven't been able to connect with any of the characters and to be honest I'm bored. When I put a book down for several days and keep making excuses not to pick it back up I know it's time to walk away.
There is nothing wrong with the writing, I think this really is a case of it's me not the book but I can't help it.
Since Ange has already written a fabulous review that explains exactly why I'm having problems with it I'm not going to go into more detail here. I'll just suggest you read Ange's review if you'd like more information.(less)
I have been absolutely addicted to Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy ever since I discovered Daughter of the Blood and after the h...moreBuddy read with Aly
I have been absolutely addicted to Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy ever since I discovered Daughter of the Blood and after the huge changes at the end of Heir to the Shadows I couldn't wait to start Queen of the Darkness. This book was everything I'd hoped it would be and then some and I didn't want to put it down for a second. I can't believe how much I've come to love these characters and I'm was so incredibly invested in their stories that I desperately needed to know what would happen to them all. I'm going to assume that if you're reading this review you've already read the last two books so although this review will be spoiler free for Queen of Darkness I will be discussing events in previous stories. If you don't want to see these spoilers then look away now but before you go I will tell you that the Black Jewels trilogy is one of the most complex, compelling and utterly addictive fantasy series that I've discovered in a long time and if it's one you haven't started yet then you're seriously missing out!
Still with me? Well, in that case I'm going to assume you're already an Anne Bishop fan and high five you for loving the series as much as I do! At the end of Heir to the Shadows we saw Jaenelle claim her territory so that she was able to protect her Kindred friends. Jaenelle now has a court of powerful Queens, Warlords and Kindred who would all do anything for her but she takes that responsibility seriously and will protect them with her life if needed. I have loved seeing Jaenelle grow into her power, she really is an incredible character and after so much suffering in her life she has now become a strong and confident young woman. I actually feel very proud of everything that she has achieved and I couldn't wait to see her figure out how to deal with the enemies who have done everything they could to destroy her.
One of the things that I was most excited about was seeing her reunited with Daemon. I missed his presence in the last book but I understood why that distance was needed, he has suffered enough though and it was time to see both of them find a way to happiness. Daemon has finally found his way out of the Twisted Kingdom and taken his place at Jaenelle's side as her consort but it is a role in name only as the two of them struggle to communicate their wants and needs to each other. I really enjoyed seeing someone as experienced as Daemon so unsure of himself, he loves Jaenelle so much and is terrified of putting pressure on her but as inexperienced as she is she has no idea how to make the first move. It was great seeing Saetan, Lucivar and the others help the two of them work through things and I loved seeing them all spending time together building or rebuilding their bonds. Things between Saetan and his sons are incredibly complicated but we get to see them slowly get to know each other and learn to trust themselves.
Jaenelle is the most powerful Witch born in thousands of years and she can feel the evil that is trying to destroy all three realms. She knows what has to be done to stop it and she knows that she will pay the ultimate price but that is something she is willing to do to protect the people she loves. Her friends aren't quite so willing to let her bear that cost though and they are determined to find another way. The love that all of these characters have for her is absolutely heart warming but I've also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the friendships build between them as individuals and getting to see some of my favourite characters find love and happiness in their own right.
I don't want to say too much more about what happens in this book because I think it's much better if you can enjoy the journey for yourself. I will say that I absolutely loved every minute of this book. This entire series has taken me on an emotional roller coaster, one where I've both laughed and cried. There have been times when I was so mad that my blood was boiling and others where I felt emotionally drained and exhausted but I have also fallen in love and met some of the most fantastic characters - ones who will stay with me for years to come. I can absolutely guarantee that this is a series I'll return to again in the future and I'm glad that I've still got some short stories set in the same world to devour before the journey is completely over. I may be a fairly new fan of Anne Bishop but I'm now a die-hard one and I can't wait to discover more of her books!(less)
Daughter of the Blood may have been an incredibly dark and at times shocking story but I loved every minute of it so although I had...moreBuddy read with Aly
Daughter of the Blood may have been an incredibly dark and at times shocking story but I loved every minute of it so although I had to brace myself beforehand I couldn't wait to continue reading Jaenelle's story in Heir to the Shadows. I was expecting an intense read when I picked up this book and I wasn't wrong but I was also pleasantly surprised to find it isn't quite as dark and disturbing as the first book. Although this sequel wasn't quite as painful to read it does still contain scenes of mental and physical torture so I should probably warn anyone new to the series that you need to prepare yourself for the worst. I'm not trying to put anyone off because it's a FANTASTIC series but if you don't know what to expect you'll end up getting quite a shock! You also need to make sure you read this series in order, the world building is detailed and complex, there are a lot of different characters to keep track of and they have all had significant growth just in the first two books. You'll be completely lost if you pick up the books at this point and I would hate to see people to ruin the series for themselves.
As much as I enjoyed Daughter of the Blood I loved Heir to the Shadows even more, I can't tell you how grateful I am to already have my hands on the next book because as soon as I've finished writing this review I'm diving straight back into the world Anne Bishop has created! I just can't wait any longer to discover what happens to all of my favourite characters next. I don't think I have it in me to write a review that will fully explain what an amazing book Heir to the Shadows is or just how much I adore this series but I'm going to do my best in the hope of convincing you to read it for yourself.
At the end of the previous book we saw Jaenelle suffer the worst kind of physical and mental torture imaginable, it actually hurt my heart thinking about everything she went through and it's the kind of thing that no woman should ever have to deal with - let alone a 12 year old child. It was hard to see how Jaenelle would survive, let alone come out of the ordeal mentally stable but I had underestimated the amount of love and faith her friends and adopted family have and they pulled together to help her through. It takes 2 years for her mind to heal enough to return to her body but Saetan never loses faith in her. She has blocked the memory of the event that nearly killed her but she is still a very different girl to the Witch we met in the beginning. She is much more wary and finds it hard to fully trust even the people she was closest to before, she is also angry and has much less control over her temper. It takes a long time and the help of some very close friends before she starts to emerge as the fun loving and friendly girl she used to be but even then there will always be lasting effects from her trauma.
I absolutely loved meeting some of the friends that she'd spoken of in the previous book but that we hadn't been introduced to. We knew she visited lots of people besides Saetan, Daemon and Lucivar but now we get to meet her Kindred friends for ourselves along with the other young witches and warlords she has met over the years. Jaenelle draws both people and animals to her, they feel her power and know that she is the longed for Witch who has the ability to bring peace to the realms but that isn't the only reason they care for her. Jaenelle has no intention of setting up a court or taking over the duties of running a territory but she is still incredibly protective of the people she cares about and will use the power she was born with to keep them safe no matter what it costs her.
One of the characters who nearly broke my heart in the first book was Lucivar, every time we saw him he was either being tortured or being forced to watch someone else suffer and his POV made for some uncomfortable reading. I badly wanted to see him escape and find some happiness so I was absolutely thrilled with how things progressed for him in this book. He is finally reunited with his father Saetan and he is at Jaenelle's side like the protective older brother he's always wanted to be. Jaenelle needed men around her who had no interest in her sexually and I loved her interactions with both Lucivar and her adopted father Saetan. Their family dynamics are difficult at times because they all have reasons to distrust each other but there is such a sense of love between them and that really shines through in every conversation.
The one person missing from the family reunion is Daemon and although I understood his absence I'll admit I missed him because he doesn't play such a big role in this part of the story. Daemon is the one who saved Jaenelle's life but mentally throwing himself into the abyss to reach her cost him dearly and now he's paying the price. Daemon's memories of what happened to Jaenelle are vague and now he's not even sure if she's dead or alive. Worse still, he can't remember what caused her injuries and he is terrified that he did something to hurt her. His anguish over her possible death and the role he may have played in it have caused him to lose his mind and now he is walking in the Twisted Kingdom completely lost and alone. The only person who has the power to reach Daemon and bring him back is Jaenelle but when she blocked the memories of what happened to her she also blocked out the time she spent with Daemon. The most important question is will she remember who he is in time to save his life?
I've already said that this story isn't quite as dark as the first one but that doesn't mean things are all plain sailing and there are still plenty of enemies out out there making plots against Jaenelle and her family. I was glad we see some people start to get what they deserve but others like Hekatah and Dorothea are still plotting and getting ready to cause more trouble. In a lot ways the focus of this story is Jaenelle's recovery and seeing her build a network of close friends and allies that I think she will need on her side in the next book though. This instalment almost feels like the calm before the storm and I have a feeling things are going to go downhill fast for our favourite characters as the series continues in Queen of Darkness. I just hope Jaenelle and her allies are strong enough to face whatever is about to be thrown at them.(less)
Decker has been in love with Lizzie forever but never felt he was good enough for her. He gave up everything to protect her though and has spent the l...moreDecker has been in love with Lizzie forever but never felt he was good enough for her. He gave up everything to protect her though and has spent the last 10 years in jail paying for his over protectiveness. Lizzie stood by him when he went to jail and her letters and visits were the only thing that kept him sane. He always hoped that when he was released he would have a second chance to win her heart but months before his release she started dating Noel. Now, three years on, Decker has to watch as Noel treats Lizzie badly and constantly lets her down but he doesn't know how to tell her how he feels. Then when Noel breaks Lizzie's heart by telling her he wants an open relationship Decker sees his perfect opportunity to show her how much he cares. Can he convince her that they are the perfect couple?
I absolutely loved You Own Me and Decker is the perfect protective alpha who would do anything for the woman he loves. As much as I don't agree with the actions that got him sent to prison in the first place he has paid for his crimes and he's no longer the hot headed teen that he was back then. He's grown up a lot and although he will protect Lizzie from anyone who threatens her he no longer needs to resort to such brutal measures to do it. Lizzie's relationship with Noel has been a mentally abusive one, Noel constantly puts her down and makes her feel bad about herself and Lizzie's confidence is at an all time low. Decker is the one man who has always been there for her and he works so hard to help Lizzie realise how beautiful she really is and he is constantly showing her just how attractive he finds her curvy figure.
Can I just say how much I loved reading about a normal woman, someone who has hips and a bum and who isn't a skinny size 8. Lizzie has a full figure and Decker loves that about her, Noel made her feel that she was never good enough but Decker shows her the opposite and I loved seeing her confidence blossom and watching her become more outgoing and happy. Considering this novella is just under 100 pages I found I was incredibly invested in these characters and I enjoyed spending time with them. You Own Me is full of sweet and touching moments but there is plenty of heat too and you'll soon discover that Decker and Lizzie have fantastic chemistry together. I was rooting for them from the beginning and couldn't wait to see them get to their happy ever after.(less)
Necessary Force is a prequel novella that introduces readers to D.D. Ayres' new K-9 Rescue series. As a fan of romantic suspense and an anima...more3.5 stars
Necessary Force is a prequel novella that introduces readers to D.D. Ayres' new K-9 Rescue series. As a fan of romantic suspense and an animal lover of course this series immediately caught my attention & I couldn't resist requesting a review copy on Netgalley.
Photographer Georgie first meets Brad when he is one of the models posing for the photos she is taking for a charity calender. After an incredibly hot one night stand she never expected to see him again and it isn't until several months later when their paths cross. Unfortunately they only meet again because Georgie is being targeted by a stalker and when they do meet she realises that everything he told her before was a lie. Now he's supposed to be protecting her but Georgie isn't sure whether she can trust him.
I think the main reason I didn't love this novella as much as I expected to was because of the lies that Brad had told when he first met Georgie. I didn't really think he had a plausible excuse for those lies and that made it hard for me to forgive him. Obviously in a novella the romance has to move fairly quickly but because I wasn't impressed with the way Brad had behaved I found it harder to accept that Georgie forgave him so quickly and was willing to jump into bed with him. I just think that if they'd had a simple one night stand with no awkward drama then I would have found it easier to believe that they could fall in love later down the line when they met again. That would have meant the story could have had a stronger focus on the suspense side of the story rather than the awkwardness between the two of them. The suspense side was a little on the lacking side because it was pretty obvious for a long time who the stalker was.
It isn't all bad though and there are a lot of things I liked about the story. The writing is good, the sex scenes were hot and I did like both of the characters (if I ignored Brad's lies!). I think the problems with the lack of suspense and the rushed feeling romance will probably be significantly reduced in the next book which is a full length novel so will allow the author to expand on the elements that were missing slightly here. In spite of the problems Necessary Force is a quick and enjoyable read and it has definitely caught my interest enough to make me want to pick up Irresistible Force.(less)
I'm a huge fan of Robin Covington's adult contemporary romances so when I found out she was writing her first NA story and it was about a female count...moreI'm a huge fan of Robin Covington's adult contemporary romances so when I found out she was writing her first NA story and it was about a female country singer and a hot bad boy fireman I couldn't wait to read it. There is definitely a big trend for musicians in NA romances right now, it's obviously a big seller and I've read some really good stories but most of the time it's the guy who is a member of the hot rock band and the girl who is someone from out of the public eye so it made a nice change to see that turned on it's head in Temptation.
Kit is only 21 but she's a huge star who went from living on the streets to being signed and becoming an overnight sensation when she was just 17. She was thrown into the spotlight at a young age and it's put a lot of pressure on her knowing that she is responsible not just for herself but also for all the people who work for her. Her career has taken a bit of a beating recently since she fell of the rails after a nasty break up and ended up in rehab but she's slowly working at building things back up again. Her record label were reluctant to give her a second chance so she's on her final warning and she's got to do whatever it takes to keep them on side and that means playing up her good girl image and keeping out of the spotlight.
Max is a bad boy firefighter who was badly burned by his last relationship and has no intention of letting it happen again. He's happy playing the field and when he is thrown together with Kit for publicity shots after saving her from a fire he is more than willing to have a little fun with his favourite fantasy woman. Kit can't afford the scandal of a public relationship but the chemistry she has with Max is hard to resist. Surely they can have a little fun in private until she has to leave on tour to promote her new album without getting into too much trouble? It isn't quite as easy as they think to keep their relationship out of the public eye though and with reporter's following their every move Kit could end up losing everything.
Temptation was a hot and spicy read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I definitely wouldn't mind meeting a guy like Max in real life! I liked both of the main characters and felt that they worked well together as a couple, there were a few moments when I felt that there was a little too much angst between them but overall I thought their problems were realistic ones considering their situation and I enjoyed seeing how they would overcome the odds to work things out. If you've not read anything by Robin Covington before then this would be a great place to start but I'd also highly recommend her adult series starting with A Night of Southern Comfort because she writes fabulous and sexy contemporary stories.(less)
I really enjoyed the Cursed when I read it last year so when I was offered a review copy of the prequel novel Captured I jumped at the chance of readi...moreI really enjoyed the Cursed when I read it last year so when I was offered a review copy of the prequel novel Captured I jumped at the chance of reading it. Captured may be a prequel but at around 170 pages you certainly get plenty of story and I really enjoyed getting to see Emma and Zack's first meeting. If you are new to the Fallen Siren series then you can definitely start here, you'll even find an extract of Cursed included at the end so you can make a start on it immediately after finishing this. Captured is a fab introduction to the series and it's one I'm really looking forward to continuing.
For those that haven't come across these books before the main character is Emma, a siren who was cursed by the god Demeter and who has spent centuries trying to atone for her sins so that the curse will be lifted. Emma works as an FBI Agent and her current case involves her travelling to Charleston to help find a kidnapped child. Cooper is the third child to be taken and the previous two were found murdered so the FBI need to work fast if they are going to find him alive. Emma has been brought in to work alongside another agent, Zack, and the chemistry between them is sizzling from their very first meeting. Zack is not just an FBI agent, he's also a werewolf, but he doesn't know that Emma is a siren and she will do whatever it takes to keep it a secret from him. Emma may be attracted to Zack she has very good reasons to avoid getting into any kind of relationship and she is determined to keep him at arm's length no matter how charming he is or how much she wishes she could take things further.
Although we get a little information about the curse placed on Emma and what that means for her life this prequel focuses much more on introducing the main characters and showing how well they work together. Don't worry though because you'll get a lot more detail about the supernatural side to the world in the next book and there is enough here to give you a good idea of what to expect from the series. Anyone who has already read Cursed will know that Emma and Zack had worked together previously and I really enjoyed seeing that in a lot more detail. I also liked the mystery of who was behind the kidnappings and didn't put everything together until about the same time that Emma and Zack started to figure things out.
Captured is a nice introduction to the series for newbies but it was also a great way of giving fans of Cursed more background information about the main characters. It helped to tide me over until the next novel, Reckoning, is released in October but it has left me eager to spend more time with these characters.(less)
Ben has had a thing for Reese ever since he saw her at a party 3 years ago, he's seen her at many family events since then and his feelings have just...moreBen has had a thing for Reese ever since he saw her at a party 3 years ago, he's seen her at many family events since then and his feelings have just grown stronger but there has always been something getting in the way of him making a move - the little fact that she was already married. When he found out that she was getting a divorce and moving back to the area he went out of his way to make sure they'd be able to spend time together and he's determined to finally make his move. Reese is shocked when she realises her new landlord and the guy living next door is Ben, she hadn't expected to see him again and had no idea that he was interested in her. After her ex Reese is wary of letting another man into her life but when Ben makes it quite clear he's looking for fun not a long term relationship she can't resist the chemistry that flares between them.
Take Me Under is the first book in the Dangerous Tides series and it was a quick, fun read that I was able to finish in a couple of hours. Overall I'd say I liked both of the main characters but there were things about them that irritated me. Reese has spent years being belittled by her ex-husband and is very down on herself, she doesn't feel sexy or attractive and has no idea what Ben could possibly see in her. While I could understand where she was coming from I did find it a little frustrating that she had such a low opinion of herself and it didn't quite ring true that she would be able to jump into bed with Ben quite so quickly considering her previous experiences. I was also annoyed with the way Ben kept telling Reese that he didn't want a relationship but then getting irritated with her for refusing to let him spend the night. He was giving her so many mixed signals that it wasn't surprising that she didn't have a clue how to react to him!
This book has a LOT of sex and that isn't something I'd usually complain about but here I did feel that it took away from the main story a little too much. The suspense side of the story could have been so much more interesting if they had spent more time trying to figure out what was happening rather than going at it like bunnies. Reese was being stalked and spent a lot of time feeling like someone was watching over her shoulders but it didn't stop her getting down and dirty with Ben outside where anyone could be watching them and that didn't vibe for someone who was as alpha and possessive as Ben. I'm not sure if it was partly because there was just so much sex but I also found some of the terminology used and conversations they had were crude and cringe worthy rather than a turn on. It's not often that I find myself skimming over the sex scenes but that happened more than once here.
The story wasn't all bad and I was pleased with the way things turned out in the end but I do think it could have been a lot better. I did like the side characters though and I'm curious enough about Ben's brother Alex to want to try the next book in the series. If you're looking for a hot beach read with a dominant, dirty talking alpha hero then it would definitely be worth giving Take Me Under a try.(less)
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I s...moreBuddy read with Ange
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I started reading but the shiny foil cover caught my eye and when I realised it was about witches and alternate realities I couldn't resist. I'm so glad I took a chance because this turned out to be one of my favourite YA reads of the year. There is just so much to love about this book and once I'd started reading I didn't want to stop.
Lily is such a fantastic main character. She isn't one of the popular crowd at school, in fact her allergies to pretty much everything have made her a bit of an outcast but no matter how tough things are she just gets on with it. She knows that it won't be long before her increasing allergies leave her housebound and she's determined to make the most of attending school while she still can. I loved her automatically for having so much courage but what tipped me over the edge into complete girl crush mode was the way she reacted when a potential love interest broke her heart. Lily isn't a simpering fool who will forgive a guy any asshat behaviour just because he is hot, no Lily is the kind of heroine who knows exactly how she deserves to be treated and who would rather be alone than let a boy walk all over her. Do you know how rare a heroine like that is in YA these days? It's so hard to find positive female role models and I could have jumped for job at Lily's response to the boy in question!
All that was before we'd made it beyond the first couple of chapters and I could already tell I was going to love this book. Now take this fabulous heroine and drop her unexpectedly into an alternate reality, one where magic is real and where witches rule. Lily suddenly has an explanation for her allergies and finds herself in a place where she isn't an outcast, in fact she is incredibly powerful. She is completely out of her depth and has no idea who she can trust so it's understandable that she quickly bonds with the people she recognises from her own reality but even then she doesn't blindly trust them or expect them to act the way they would in her world. Lily is sensible, she thinks things through and trusts her instincts rather than go along with what other people want her to do, even in an alternate universe Lily is my kind of heroine!
There are two other characters who I really want to talk about and the first is Lillian, Lily's alternate self, who happens to be the witch in charge of the whole of Salem and all of the other covens around the new world. Lillian is a fascinating character, she does some horrific things and you can't help but hate her for them but the more you learn about her the more you start to wonder about her motives. I'm not saying her actions are justifiable but she does have reasons and I think we've only started to uncover them. There is so much more to Lillian than a cardboard cut-out villain and the choices she makes raise some really interesting questions. Can you ever justify doing terrible things? Is it worth losing the life of a few people if you can potentially save thousands? What if the cost is more than a few - how much life are you willing to sacrifice?
The other character who deserves an honourable mention and a round of applause is love interest Rowan. He really is the kind of guy that we all wish we could meet, he's strong, protective, caring, intelligent and brave but best of all he can admit when he's made a mistake and he can actually apologise for it! Imagine that - a guy who will say sorry! It's a rare and beautiful thing indeed, especially in YA. There is no alpha asshat behaviour here, yes he's wary of Lily in the beginning but considering he thinks she is is mortal enemy Lillian (because they do look identical after all!) that was completely understandable. To be fair, considering the things that Lillian has done to him I actually thought he reacted quite reasonably to Lily's arrival. I absolutely loved seeing their relationship develop over time, there is no insta-love here and the couple spend time getting to know each other and learning to trust. Lily isn't afraid to call Rowan out when he is unreasonable and he is equally willing to push her when she needs it which makes them very well matched.
I don't want to say too much about the alternate world that Lily ends up in because I think it is somewhere that you should have fun exploring for yourself by reading the book. What I will say is that I loved the way magic works, the way it is based on scientific principles and has been so cleverly set up that it comes across as completely believable. I don't have much difficulty thinking there is an alternate universe out there somewhere where magic is real! I think it's quite obvious that I loved this book, I could spend hours writing this review trying to give you more reasons to read it but to be honest if I haven't already sold it to you then probably nothing else I could say will either. If you're only going to take one young adult recommendation from me this year then make it Trial by Fire, this book is such a refreshing change, it breaks so many of the current YA trends and is well worth the money it costs.(less)
Megan is just passing through Hidden Oaks, visiting her brother and taking photos for the local firemen's charity calendar before starting her new job...moreMegan is just passing through Hidden Oaks, visiting her brother and taking photos for the local firemen's charity calendar before starting her new job as a tattoo artist in Portland. She's just escaped from one horrible relationship so the last thing she is looking for is a new one but that doesn't mean she's averse to having a little fun along the way - especially with the incredibly hot owner of the local bar. Becker isn't just a bar owner though, he also happens to be captain of the fire station where Megan will be taking photos and he's also her brother's best friend. It was supposed to be a one night stand but as they are forced to spend time working alongside each other the chemistry between them just keeps building and they're both finding it hard to resist. But can Megan put aside her fears over dating someone in such a dangerous line of work and will Becker be willing to break the man code to put the moves on his best friend's little sister?
I enjoyed the first book in this series (Burn for Me) but I knew immediately that I was going to love Becker so I was happy to find out that his story was up next. I have to say Lauren Blakely has really raised the stakes here and I loved Melt for Him so much more. The connection between Megan and Becker is incredibly intense and so hot it's combustible, I loved the fact that they were both willing to talk about their feelings and that even though they both had doubts for various reasons they were able to work things out like adults. There are plenty of steamy moments between them and this is definitely one HOT read.
I will say that I felt that the declarations of love came a little too quickly, Megan is only in town for two weeks and they both start talking about a permanent relationship before she is even due to leave so that side of things did feel a little rushed. I completely believed that they were well suited to each other though, I loved their chemistry and the way they teased each other and spent time verbally sparring. It wasn't hard to imagine that they could have a successful relationship but I would have found it a little more realistic if they hadn't moved quite so fast. The epilogue helped out a little there but do be prepared for a fast moving relationship when you pick this up. If you're willing to look past that you're going to get a sexy and enjoyable story that is well worth reading.(less)
I'm a huge fan of Robin Bielman's Secret Wishes contemporary romance series but everyone knows I'm a paranormal girl at heart so when I found out she...moreI'm a huge fan of Robin Bielman's Secret Wishes contemporary romance series but everyone knows I'm a paranormal girl at heart so when I found out she was writing a PNR series I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the first book Veiled Target. As you can imagine I had high hopes for this story but unfortunately I didn't love it as much a I expected to. There were a lot of things about the book that irritated me but it's really hard to explain why without giving some (fairly mild) spoilers so consider that a warning before you continue reading this review.
My biggest issue was with the main character Tess, she works as an Eliminator which basically means she's a human who is trained to hunt and kill Veilers (supernatural creatures) who cross the line and start to harm others. We are constantly told how kick-ass she is and that she is an expert at fighting but we never, ever see it in action. If you were to print a picture of someone next to the words "Too Stupid to Live" in the encyclopaedia it would have to be a portrait of Tess. She gets herself into one ridiculous situation after the other and I'm sure she only survives until the end of the book on pure luck and because of the sheer stupidity of her enemies. I can't for the life of me figure out how she has survived years as an Eliminator because she should have died numerous times in just this story and there were actually times I was wishing that would happen. Basically Tess is all talk and no action, she'll tell you constantly how much she loves danger and is an adrenaline junkie but when you look at the evidence she has no skill whatsoever.
I could go into a lot more detail about why I think Tess is a moron but I don't want to stray too far into spoiler territory so I'll let you discover that for yourselves if you decide to read the book. Another issue I had was with how easy it was to guess who the baddies were, it was pretty obvious from very early on in the story and there wasn't a single red herring to point me in a different direction. When it came to the big reveal I found myself rolling my eyes at everything that happened and it felt like a fairly formulaic ending to the story.
I don't want to say the story is all bad though because there were things I liked about it. Robin Bielman has added a few interesting twists in her take on shapeshifters and vampires, she has created an interesting world and the smexy scenes between Tess and Hugh were undeniably hot. As I'm such a fan of her other books I'm definitely tempted to put this down to first book in a series glitches and give the next book a try to see if I like it more. I'm hopeful that since my biggest dislike was Tess reading a new story with a different heroine might be more enjoyable.
This spoiler tag contains the notes I made while I was reading this book, these are more for my reference than anything so don't look unless you really don't mind giving yourself spoilers for the story!
(view spoiler)[Thought I'd like Tess - seed like she was going to be a kick ass vampire hunter. Turns out she survives more on luck and the sheer stupidity of her targets than out of any intelligence on her part.
Chases him in the dark (for no good reason), rips heels off but wears shoes anyway?! Can you imagine trying to walk in heeled shoes with the heels missing? Can you picture the shape you'd have to contort your feet into?. No idea why the wulfen didn't spot her sooner when she's romping along behind them like an elephant (subtle she is not!)! Left all weapons in the car so she's completely helpless! Then she was so busy mooning over the hero & congratulating herself for being so clever & sneaky that she couldn't even remember the way back to her car!
Constantly talking about how kick ass she is and how she loves extreme sports but she never shows that she can fight. All talk & no bloody action & she's getting on my nerves
Oh dear lord, now she has to kiss him because only her saliva can save his life (because they have no antibiotics to hand). How can saliva do the same job as antibiotics? And why would you need antibiotics to cure poison anyway? Surely you need an antidote not antibiotics? This doesn't even make any sense!! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
One Wish is a new prequel story for Michelle Harrison's Thirteen Treasures series so it's ideal for fans of the series or anyone who is new to this au...moreOne Wish is a new prequel story for Michelle Harrison's Thirteen Treasures series so it's ideal for fans of the series or anyone who is new to this author. This whole series has been incredibly fun to read and One Wish is no exception to that, it has all the magic and wonder you could hope for from a fairytale and is full of great characters and fun adventures.
Tanya is a young girl with the second sight which allows her to see the fairies and other fae creatures. This rare ability often gets her in trouble, the fairies don't like to be seen and they take great pleasure in tormenting her by causing mischief and because Tanya's mother can't see them it is always Tanya who gets the blame for the things they do. Tanya is thrilled when she meets a young boy called Ratty and realises that he has the same ability as she does, not only can he see the fairies but he also has ways to protect himself against them and he's willing to teach them to Tanya. When Ratty is kidnapped it is up to Tanya, along with Ratty's mischievous fairy guardian Turpin, to rescue him but that is going to be easier said than done.
One Wish is an incredibly whimsical tale full of colourful characters. My favourite would have to be Turpin, she's such a tricky little pest but her heart is in the right place and she would do anything to protect her Ratty. I also really enjoyed the Wishing Tree who always speaks in rhyme. Tanya is a fabulous main character and I've enjoyed following all of her adventures.(less)
There is a lot to like about Lauren Blakely's latest spicey novella Burn for Me and I enjoyed reading it. As with any book in Entangled's Brazen line...moreThere is a lot to like about Lauren Blakely's latest spicey novella Burn for Me and I enjoyed reading it. As with any book in Entangled's Brazen line there is plenty of heat to this story, Smith sure is one sexy fireman and Jamie is a lucky, lucky girl!
Jamie and Smith have been friends since he moved to town a few years ago, they spend a lot of time together going bowling, drinking and just generally having fun. As much as Jamie loves Smith as a friend and is incredibly attracted to him she just doesn't see him as relationship material. Her sister married a man just like him and it ended in disaster when he broke her heart so Jamie is incredibly wary of dating a player. Smith may have dated quite a few women but he never makes promises he can't keep and he's remained friends with all his ex-girlfriends because of that. He has been crazy about Jamie for a long time and all he wants is a chance to prove to her that he's really her perfect man. After they finally give into their lust for each other Jamie asks Smith for a week long fling hoping she can get him out of her system but Smith is determined to use that week to prove to her just how good life would be if they were a couple.
I love a friends to lovers story and I have a bit of a thing for firemen so I knew I wanted to read Burn for Me the moment I heard about it. Having read Lauren Blakely's novel Night After Night I was expecting some fantastic chemistry and really hot sex and I wasn't disappointed. I loved the connection between Smith and Jamie, both the emotional one and their physical attraction. I did find myself getting frustrated by Jamie's continually changing thoughts about them as a couple though, on one page she'd start talking like she wanted more and I'd think she'd made a breakthrough but then the very next page she'd be doubting him again. I wouldn't have minded this happening a couple of times but it went on for way too long and then there was some completely unnecessary drama thrown in at the end just to cause extra tension. It was so obvious that Smith was a nice guy and not the kind of man who would cheat on a girlfriend and considering Jamie has been friends with him for such a long time I struggled to believe she would think so badly of him. I wanted more of them spending time together and having fun and could have done with less of the back and forth.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story though and I think the things I had an issue with won't bother everyone as much as they did me. Burn for Me was a solid start to the series and I liked the side characters we were introduced to (who I believe will be the main characters in the next book). I'll definitely be checking out the next book when it is released and in the meantime I'm planning on reading more from this author's back list.(less)
I can't even bring myself to care enough about this story to write a proper review for this instalment. I won't be reading part 4 because I've already...moreI can't even bring myself to care enough about this story to write a proper review for this instalment. I won't be reading part 4 because I've already tortured myself more than enough for one lifetime thank you.
My complaints for this series were pretty much covered in my reviews of the first two instalments:
It probably goes without saying that the main character continues to act like a moron as well as moon over pretty much any male she comes into contact with. The plot has more holes than Swiss cheese and there is not a single thing that anyone can say that would convince me that it will improve in the final instalment. I'm done.(less)
If you read my review for the first instalment in this serialised novel you'll probably already know I had a lot of problems with it. Since I had alre...moreIf you read my review for the first instalment in this serialised novel you'll probably already know I had a lot of problems with it. Since I had already been given review copies of all four sections I decided to give the story another chance though and I have to admit that I did enjoy this part slightly more than the first.
I really don't have a lot to say about Greed that I didn't already say about Mercy. All the things that irritated and confused me the first time around are still here and we get a few more WTF moments thrown in for good measure. Even if we completely forget about all the holes in the plot (such as why a law student would be given such a major role on a high profile case or why they all seem to think that someone who is completely new to the BDSM scene would be able to go undercover as a sub in a BDSM club and be able to figure out who the real murderer is) I'm still irritated by the way Kate seems to be going back and forth between Jaxon and Nick with her affections. She is making the most of the BDSM lessons that Jaxon is giving her but when she feels threatened Nick is the one she calls and even though they've kept it platonic so far I don't think she's far off jumping into bed with both of them considering the thoughts she has about Nick. What I really don't like is the fact that she knows Nick is interested in her but she hasn't told him that she's sleeping with Jaxon. I'm sure that there have been points in most peoples lives where they've had a crush on more than one person but that doesn't mean you should act on it.
I can't decide whether I should carry on reading or give up now I'm at the halfway point. Obviously the things that annoy me aren't going to go away and are possibly only going to get worse as the story continues but I do kind of want to know exactly what happened in Kate's past with her father. I'm also curious about who the real murderer is and there was a pretty compelling cliffhanger that managed to snag my attention just before I quit this instalment. Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment but since I already have part 3 on my Kindle I might have to give it a try at some point. At least they're all quick reads!(less)
Mercy is the first instalment of Shelly Bell's new White Collared serialised novel. Now, I've said before that I'm not a fan of this new trend of spli...moreMercy is the first instalment of Shelly Bell's new White Collared serialised novel. Now, I've said before that I'm not a fan of this new trend of splitting one story into several parts for no apparent reason and that's still the case here. If this first part is anything to go by each section (apart from the final one I hope!) is going to end on a horrendous cliffhanger and none of them are going to work as a stand alone story. Basically, you're signing up to read all four parts, considering it's around 100 pages per section it's really only the equivalent of a normal book so why it couldn't have been released as one full length novel I'll never know. Anyway, on principle I'm no longer reading serials until all of the instalments are available - I'm just not good at having to wait weeks to find out what happens next, usually by the time part 2 is published I've lost interest in continuing the series!
Kate is a third year law student and an unpaid intern at a prestigious law firm working for her idol, and secret crush, Nick. She is hiding a tragic past that could effect her chances of becoming a lawyer but she has worked hard to get where she is and is determined to make it. When billionaire Jaxon is accused of murdering his submissive wife he turns to his best friend Nick for help. The way Alyssa's body was found points to a murderer from the BDSM community and since Jaxon and Alyssa were in a D/s relationship of course he is the prime suspect. It is up to Kate and Nick to prove his innocence.
White Collared is an erotic thriller series but be warned that you will be required to suspend all belief while you're reading it. There were so many times when I was raising my eyes and shaking my head and I'm not an expert when it comes to the law or police investigation procedures so if you read a lot of this kind of story then you'll probably have even more problems than I did. To save me time I'm just going to bullet point some of the issues I had:
- Kate is a law STUDENT specialising in civil law yet she is asked to play a major part in a criminal law trial. Don't they have qualified lawyers for that? Surely when you're a billionaire and money is no object you're going to pay for the best?
- She has absolutely no hands on experience of BDSM, she has read a popular romance series (Anyone else assuming Fifty Shades?) and done some research online but that is the extent of her knowledge so how does she expect to go undercover at a BDSM club as Jaxon's new submissive? She's planning on tracking down a murderer but surely anyone is going to take one look at her and know she's new to the lifestyle and suspect something is up.
- She takes one look at the crime scene photos and identifies the type of knife used to cut into Alyssa's body. She recognises the shape of the cuts because her father used the same kind of knife when they were fishing. So this young student is suddenly more knowledgeable than CSI experts and spotting things that the police have missed the very first time she glances at the photos? Don't you think she might be a little too disturbed that she's looking at photos of a DEAD BODY to concentrate on the shape of the cuts? I can't believe that she'd have been subjected to a lot of crime scene photos as part of her studies when she is focusing on civil cases rather than criminal ones but perhaps I'm wrong about that.
- She is an UNPAID intern working all hours of the day and night, presumably she's got studying to do on top of that since she's not completed her law degree yet and she has no family support or income that we know about. So how does she afford her own apartment and a Harley? Admittedly the apartment is run down and in a bad area but where does her rent money come from? How is she even affording to feed herself?
Don't even get me started on the whole situation with her boyfriend or the fact that she only has to look at either Nick or Jaxon to go weak at the knees. Kate hasn't made the best first impression on me that's for sure, I was irritated by the way she swoons over both men and I found her skills unbelievable. I am kind of curious to find out more about her past though, we haven't been given much information but what we do have is intriguing. Nick comes across as a possessive stalker and frankly more often than not he acts like an arsehole, perhaps he'll grow on me but at the moment I'm not seeing the appeal. Jaxon is probably the character I like the most so far but even he hasn't sucked me in completely.
I know I've had a lot of negative things to say but Mercy isn't all bad. It's actually well written (if you ignore the fact that the whole situation is implausible) and it's definitely intriguing. The once sex scene we get is pretty hot and I'll be interested to see if things spice up further as the series continues. Since I already have all four instalments for review I'll probably read at least one more section before I make up my mind on the series as a whole. I'm hoping that I have to suspend belief less in the next part though or I probably won't be carrying on beyond that.(less)
Summer Rain is a romance anthology containing nine stories from authors who are all donating 100% of the proceeds to the Rape, Abuse and Incest Nation...moreSummer Rain is a romance anthology containing nine stories from authors who are all donating 100% of the proceeds to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) which is the largest anti-sexual violence organisation in America. Personally I think it's worth buying the anthology for that fact alone and I can't applaud these authors enough for giving their time to such a worthy cause.
The anthology contains a wide selection of stories, most with a contemporary setting although there are a couple of sci-fi / fantasy stories too that were an unexpected but pleasant surprise. These stories look at all kinds of relationships - from friends with benefits, to a marriage on the rocks and even a virgin sacrifice. All of the characters have different fears, desires or needs but they are all looking for something that has been missing from their lives before. Not all of the stories contain a happily ever after but most of them at least end with a happy for now.
I wanted to read this anthology because I'm a huge fan of Ruthie Knox but I enjoyed getting the chance to try stories by Molly O'Keefe, Cecilia Tan, Charlotte Stein, Mary Ann Rivers, Amy Jo Cousins, Audra North, Shari Slade & Alexandra Haughton and have definitely discovered some new authors that I'm keen to read more from. I haven't reviewed each of the stories individually because I think one of the fun things about picking up this kind of anthology is letting it surprise you with the total variety of stories it contains. As with any anthology there were some stories that really stood out for me and a couple that I found harder to connect with but overall the quality was really high and the stories were all well written and edited.
This is the perfect kind of book to pick up when you're short on time and want to dive into a satisfying story that you can devour in one sitting. It's also a perfect way of trying some new authors and I'm pretty sure that, like me, you'll end up discovering a few new favourites. By the time you add in that in buying the book you are also donating to an incredibly worthy cause and there really is no excuse not to grab a copy now.(less)
I've used Lonely Planet guides abroad before but never thought of trying out the London one until I saw it come up on the Amazon Vine list for review....moreI've used Lonely Planet guides abroad before but never thought of trying out the London one until I saw it come up on the Amazon Vine list for review. This is a brilliant resource for tourists or even for people who visit London fairly regularly. It is small enough to be easy to carry but also has a fold out map that will come in extremely handy.
I love the fact that it is spilt into different areas (Westminster, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury, St Pauls, South Bank, Kensington, Regent's Park / Camden & Greenwich) and includes a suggested route (along with recommended tourist hot spots) for if you only have a day to explore. The guide lists top tourist attractions, suggests walks and areas to visit for shopping trips and even includes places to eat and night life hot spots.
At the back there is a best of London section that includes things like markets, museums, parks, views, architecture, tours, churches, hidden sights and festivals.
This is a guide book I'll be dipping into again and again in the future to help me gradually explore more of London(less)
Jenna is desperate to save her family's restaurant and the only person she can think of to ask for help is her brother's best friend Roman. Roman is a...moreJenna is desperate to save her family's restaurant and the only person she can think of to ask for help is her brother's best friend Roman. Roman is a top chef and an expert at building up new restaurants but he is also the man she's had a crush on since she was a teenager and now she has an excuse to spend time with him she's planning on doing her best to seduce him. Roman wants Jenna more than anything but he knows she's far too good for a playboy like him and although the chemistry between them is fantastic he is determined to take things at his own pace. Working closely together makes it hard for them to avoid giving in to temptation though and Roman starts to wonder if his relationship with Jenna could be more than just a fling.
I have to confess that when I requested a review copy of Seducing the Playboy I didn't realise it was the second book in a series and I probably wouldn't have read it if I'd known that in advance because I'm a bit OCD when it comes to reading books in the correct order. Thankfully Amanda Usen has done a fantastic job of making this story work as a stand alone and although I'm now definitely planning on getting hold of a copy of Into the Fire asap I didn't find myself at all confused reading this story. Having read the blurb of the first book I actually think that the two stories cover the same period of time so I don't think it really matters which one you read first.
I really enjoyed this story, it's everything I look for when I'm picking up a book from the Brazen line - great characters, believable romance and fun sexy times. I found both main characters very easy to like, I enjoyed the fact that Jenna knows what she wants and will do anything to achieve her goals. She refuses to back down from a challenge and she doesn't let anyone get away with treating her badly. Roman is sexy as hell but he can be kind of grumpy so he needs someone who is going to call him on it when his attitude is bad. Although the attraction between Roman and Jenna is intense he actually keeps her waiting a long time before he agrees to do more than kiss so this book is all about delayed gratification but there are some fab kissing scenes and Roman certainly knows how to follow through after such a long build up!
Seducing the Playboy is fairly predictable but I could say the same about most contemporary romances so the thing I'm most interested in is whether the characters are likeable and how much fun I have reading them. This book hit the right spot on both of those points and has definitely left me wanting to read more from Amanda Usen in the future.(less)
As much as I've enjoyed the previous books in this series I have to confess that Finn and Cole have been the two brothers who I've been most looking f...moreAs much as I've enjoyed the previous books in this series I have to confess that Finn and Cole have been the two brothers who I've been most looking forward to getting to know so I was really excited to start reading Recipe for Seduction. I had a feeling that Finn would be something special and I was right - this is definitely my favourite book in the series so far!
Finn is the most low key Madewood brother, he doesn't seek the spotlight of fame and he doesn't care about awards but that doesn't mean he isn't just as committed to charity work and his restaurant as the other brothers - he's just more subtle about it. Finn knows that the most important thing is helping others and giving back to society just like his adoptive mother would have wanted him to. Finn is a people pleaser who wants nothing more than to have a family of his own to love and care for. Growing up in foster care made him into a peacemaker, he always felt that if he could just do what everyone wanted him to do and keep the peace between his brothers then they wouldn't be kicked out of their new home. That need to please has followed him into adulthood and he always puts his desires and dreams on the back burner to support everyone else. I've possibly made it sound like Finn is boring but that couldn't be further from the truth - he may do whatever it takes to keep his family running smoothly but he's just as alpha and competitive as the others and I think he might be the kinkiest of the lot in the bedroom!
Veronica has been half in love with Finn since they were children and met in a foster home. Finn is her brother's best friend though and has only ever treated her like his little sister. Veronica gave up her 20's to be a mother to her younger siblings but now they're growing up and heading off to college she thinks it's finally time for her to have some fun and get her life back on track. She's determined to continue to build up her wedding planning business but she also wants to have fun dating and re-discover her inner vixen. More than anything she would love to explore her feelings for Finn but she knows they have completely different life goals - Finn is looking for love, he wants to marry and have children while Veronica has already raised her siblings and has no intention of starting another family. The chemistry between them is hard to ignore, especially after they discover how well matched they are in the bedroom, but how could they ever find a compromise on their completely opposing desires for the future?
I loved the fact that Finn and Veronica's relationship is built on a strong foundation of friendship, they have a long history together and it's easy to see how important they are to each other. I really admired Veronica and her desire to find herself again, she's spent so long putting everyone else first that she really deserves to have what she wants for a change. I felt exactly the same about Finn though, I so badly wanted to see him fulfil his dreams and I was really worried that there wouldn't be a way for them both to get what they wanted without someone getting their heart broken. They are perfectly matched both in the bedroom and out of it and I loved seeing them spend time together. If you like your books on the hot and spicy side then you're going to enjoy this whole series but Recipe for Seduction was definitely the hottest in my opinion.
I've said before that I'm not a huge fan of big gestures but I absolutely loved how things turned out in this one. I'm going to keep it vague because I don't want to give spoilers but one of the characters does something so perfect that it brought a tear to my eye! The epilogue that follows is a little cheesy but it works so well for these characters that I didn't mind it in the slightest. Although each of these stories works as a stand alone I did really enjoy getting the chance to catch up with previous couples and here we get to attend the wedding of Jack and Story (the stars of Recipe for Satisfaction). The next book in the series is Cole's story and that is one I've been looking forward to from the beginning so I can't wait to get my hands on Recipe for Temptation.(less)
I don't often read this kind of sci-fi romance but I love Katee Robert's contemporary romance series so I jumped at the chance of reading Queen of Swo...moreI don't often read this kind of sci-fi romance but I love Katee Robert's contemporary romance series so I jumped at the chance of reading Queen of Swords when I was offered a review copy. I'm happy to say I was impressed, the author has created an interesting universe with diverse species of alien characters and she gives us enough information to build a good picture of things without overwhelming us with unnecessary details. None of the terms used are too complicated so the story is very easy to follow and there are enough technological advances to be interesting but not confusing.
Ophelia is from a race known as the Diviners, they have a strong connection with the Lady (their equivalent of god) and they use tarot cards to seek guidance and figure out what path they should take. Ophelia's readings are all telling her that she needs to marry the prince of Hansarda so no matter how much she hates the idea of marrying a stranger who is probably only interested in her because of her father's contacts as a gun runner she will accept his proposal because bad things happen when you don't follow the Lady's path. The cards are always open to interpretation though so even though she thinks she knows what she has to do it could be that she's misreading the situation.
Boone is the half-brother to the prince and also happens to be the sexy stranger she just spend a night with. When he tells Ophelia that it is his job to take her to Hansarda for her marriage she agrees to go with him but Boone actually has other plans. Prince Kristian is Boone's enemy and Boone plans to kidnap Ophelia to stop the wedding from going ahead. Boone will do whatever it takes to protect his people and that means stopping Kristian becoming the King of Hansarda, no matter what it costs him.
I really loved both of the main characters, they're both strong, capable fighters who are determined to do what they believe is the right thing. Most of the time Ophelia and Boone manage to rub each other up the wrong way but no matter how fierce their arguments you can always sense the underlying chemistry between them and you know they are going to be absolutely explosive together when they eventually give in to that passion. Alongside the main couple we also get to meet a variety of other well developed characters, Boone's sister Jenny was definitely a favourite and I'm glad that her book is next in the series.
Queen of Swords is a fun read with great romance and plenty of action and intrigue. I should probably mention that there is a prequel novella called The High Priestess (which actually features Ophelia's parents) but since I haven't read that story yet I can confirm that this one works well as a stand alone. I'll definitely be continuing this series when Queen of Wands comes out, there is a lot going on with the religious cult Sanctify and I'm looking forward to seeing how that resolves itself.(less)