I loved Maggie's character in the story so it was really great to get an extra epilogue from her point of view. It's a really sweet snippet that shows how she's going out and getting on with her life & my only complaint is that I wanted more!...more
Firstly I have to comment on how special the UK hardback of this book is, I'm not usually a fan of hardbacks and prefer to buy my books in paperback oFirstly I have to comment on how special the UK hardback of this book is, I'm not usually a fan of hardbacks and prefer to buy my books in paperback or as ebooks but this is one hardback that will happily be displayed on my bookshelves. It has a beautiful blue cover with a gold foil title and design, the edges and end papers are hot pink and it comes with a gold ribbon bookmark. It's the kind of book you want to treasure and I'm happy to say that the contents more than live up to the outer packaging.
I love reading anthologies because they can be a great way of trying new authors but I do tend to find that they are a bit hit and miss, often there will be a couple of stories I love along with a bunch of mediocre entries that were okay but nothing special. I had high hopes for My True Love Gave to Me though because it has contributions from so many well known and popular YA authors and I have to say this is probably one of the best anthologies I've read. It includes 12 holiday themed stories and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Obviously I have a few favourites but the quality was consistently high and there wasn't a single story that missed the mark or bored me.
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell is a story spanning four years in the lives of best friends Mags and Noel, we only get to see one night of each year - New Years Eve - but we get a real sense of how close the two of them are and how strongly they feel for each other. Will one of them ever be brave enough to make the first move to take things further though? A very sweet contemporary romance with likeable characters who I would have loved to spend more time with.
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link has a real fairytale feel to it, Miranda spends every Christmas staying with her Godmother's family and she meets a mysterious boy in the garden but he will never come into the house and she only ever sees him when it's snowing. This is a sweet and magical story that I completely fell in love with and I definitely plan to check out more stories by Kelly Link in the future.
Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena is about Shy, a young man who is flat sitting for his boss over Christmas and the friendship he develops with a girl in the flat upstairs. Matt de la Pena is another new to me author but I loved his writing style and will be looking out for more of his books, this is a feel good story and one that left me with a smile on my face.
Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han is set in the North Pole and features Santa's adopted daughter Natty, she is the only human there and feels left out because she doesn't have a date to the Christmas Ball. I hate to say it but this was probably my least favourite story in the anthology, purely because it ended so abruptly. I was thoroughly enjoying it but then it just seemed to stop half way through, I turned the page looking for more and nothing. I think this could have been excellent if it had just been a tiny bit longer.
It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins is an incredibly sweet and heart warming romance and it was definitely one of my favourite stories in the anthology. Marigold is in desperate need of a holiday miracle and she gets a lot more than she expected when she goes to buy a Christmas tree from North. I've heard so many great things about Stephanie Perkins's writing and if this is what she can do with a short story I can't wait to read one of her full length novels!
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan is the story of a boy who dresses up as Santa and sneaks into his boyfriend's house just to help a young girl believe in magic for another year. This was incredibly sweet, it focuses more on family relationships than romance but I loved it.
Krampuslauf by Holly Black brings us the darker side of Christmas and introduces readers to the legend of Krampus. A group of friends decide to throw a New Years Eve party and think it will be the perfect opportunity to get revenge on one of their cheating boyfriends. I really enjoyed this one but would definitely have liked it to have been longer, the characters were great but I wanted to see more of Krampus and his friends.
What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Foreman is a very humorous story about a girl from a big city who is having trouble settling in at a very rural college until she meets Russell who makes her realise that things could be very different if only she was willing to make a bit more of an effort. This was another favourite story with just the right balance of comedy and romance.
Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire was a bit of a strange story but I absolutely loved Vaughn, the town prankster who accidentally set fire to the church hall just a few weeks before Christmas and is now trying to make things right by making sure the nativity play still goes ahead. This had a strong theme of redemption and not playing up to people's expectations of you but instead learning to follow your own path.
Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White is about a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere that does everything it can to live up to it's name. Maria is desperate to escape the dead end town and move away but Ben, the new chef at her family's diner, makes her see things in a different light. I really enjoyed the family relationships in this one, Maria doesn't feel like she has anything in common with her mother and step-father but there are a lot of things that she doesn't realise and once she finds out the truth she finally understands how much they care about her.
Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter is about a young girl who is desperate to get away and have a fresh start, so desperate that she willingly swaps plane tickets with another girl even though she has no idea where she's going to end up. This story was full of surprises but really sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Again it's one where I loved the characters so much that I want to be able to spend more time with them but we still get a satisfying ending.
The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor ended up being my favourite story in the anthology. Neve is an orphan who has very little choice about what will happen to her when she turns 18, she either finds a man to marry her or she will be forced to live out a very harsh, and likely very short, existence alone in a very inhospitable environment. When she realises which man has come to court her she is horrified enough to pray for help and her prayers wake a sleeping god who decides to offer her assistance. Laini Taylor has such a beautiful writing style and she hooked me into her story from the very first page, this was completely magical and I loved every minute of it.
My True Love Gave to Me really is a fabulous anthology, one with a diverse range of stories so that there is bound to be something to suit everyone. It's a perfect read for this time of year and one I think I'll be dipping back into each December from now onwards....more
I don't read much middle grade fiction but when I heard about this trilogy and realised it aimed to teach children about climate change and g3.5 stars
I don't read much middle grade fiction but when I heard about this trilogy and realised it aimed to teach children about climate change and global warming I knew I wanted to give it a try. The cool heat sensitive, colour changing covers didn't hurt either and I have to admit to spending more than a little time playing with them trying to see the full image underneath the dark top layer!
SeaBEAN is the first book in the trilogy and it introduces us to eleven year old Alice and her school friends. Alice lives on the small, isolated island of St Kilda with a handful of other families who are all working on a way of harnessing wave power and turning it into electricity. This story focuses on Alice's adventures with her friends after a mysterious, futuristic device is delivered to the island. The C-Bean was sent by an anonymous donor and is meant to be a new classroom for the island school but it doesn't take long for the friends to realise that the C-Bean has mysterious abilities that open them up to a whole world of adventure.
SeaBEAN is a fun and fast paced adventure story that is sure to appeal to younger readers. I like the fact that there is an underlying message there but that the environmental issues aren't forced down reader's throats - it's educational without being too much and I think that works better when it comes to getting a message across. The C-Bean reminded me of Doctor Who's Tardis and I can't wait to see what kind of journey it takes Alice and her friends on in the next book....more
I love Tessa Bailey's Line of Duty series so I had high hopes for her new Serve series which is set around a BDSM club. UnBuddy read with Aly
I love Tessa Bailey's Line of Duty series so I had high hopes for her new Serve series which is set around a BDSM club. Unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of the first book but that was more down to the fact that I hated the heroine than anything else so I took a second chance and bought the second book too. I'm so glad I did because Exposed by Fate was everything I wanted from Owned by Fate and more, in fact I think I now have a new favourite Tessa Bailey hero in Oliver, he was absolutely fabulous!
Eliza is keen to explore her newly discovered submissive side but she's wary of testing the waters with a stranger when she has no real idea about what she will enjoy or what will be expected of her. Oliver is her best friend's older brother and as a playboy and a regular at Serve he would be the perfect person to teach her the art of submission. Her only fear is that she could end up getting her heart broken if she doesn't keep him at a distance. Oliver has craved Eliza for a long time but he knows he's not a one woman man and would never want to hurt her. The pair agree on three lessons thinking that will be enough for Eliza to learn what she needs to know but not long enough for either of them to get attached. What they don't expect is the instant, deep bond that they both feel and it's not long before they realise that the lessons are changing them both but will either of them be brave enough to admit that three lessons will never be enough?
Tessa Bailey has always excelled at her dirty talking heroes and Oliver is no exception to that, he is completely masterful in the bedroom (and the shower, and on the conference room table, and .. well you get the picture!) so we are treated to some completely knicker melting scenes that will leave you desperately needing a cold shower. Eliza may be inexperienced but inexperienced doesn't equal shy and she's more than willing to jump into her lessons with both feet. She has done her research and she trusts Oliver to always have her best interests at heart so she doesn't hesitate to accept anything he suggests. The two of them have fabulous chemistry but more than that they have a solid base of friendship and I loved the way Oliver was able to talk to Eliza about her fears and make her realise that there is nothing wrong with her desires. Eliza is a strong heroine, she loves to submit in the bedroom but in all other areas she is strong and feisty and more than capable of keeping Oliver on his toes, she is also the one person who believes in him. Oliver has always been on the outside looking in when it comes to his family, he's never felt good enough or that he could live up to their expectations but Eliza sees past that to the man he is inside and she helps him gain confidence in his business life which was great. I liked the balance between them and the fact that they are both better together than they were apart.
Exposed by Fate was a fab story and one I thoroughly enjoyed. If you're looking for a hot and spicy romance with plenty of dirty talk and a little exhibitionism you will love this one. I'll definitely be buying future books in the series as soon as they're available!...more
This is the third book in the Serve series, the first two books were written by Tessa Bailey and this is Katee Robert's first instaBuddy read with Aly
This is the third book in the Serve series, the first two books were written by Tessa Bailey and this is Katee Robert's first instalment. There is no crossover of characters to the first two books so this can be read as a standalone story, the link here is that all of the characters attend the same BDSM club in New York.
Ridley has never got over the crush she had on her best friend's older brother Garrett but he broke her heart six years ago when he walked away and she has decided that it's about time for her to move on with her life. She's decided that the perfect guy for her to settle down with is Garrett's twin brother Will and she heads out to the Serve BDSM club determined to seduce him. After an amazing, passionate scene at the club Ridley is horrified when she removes her blindfold to see not Will but Garrett is the guy who just made the earth move. Garrett walked away from Ridley once because he was scared she would break his heart but after the night they've just shared he can't bring himself to leave for a second time. Can he convince her to give him a second chance and even if he does will he be able to put his fears behind him enough to start a meaningful relationship?
I love second chance romances and I love dirty minded bad boys so Mistaken by Fate was right up my street. Garrett definitely ticks the dirty talker box and both he and Ridley get off on a little exhibitionism which leads to some incredibly erotic encounters between the two of them. I loved seeing them together, Garrett had a really sweet side but he was so scared of being hurt that he kept pushing Ridley away. I was pleased that Ridley didn't let him walk all over her, as much as she liked giving him control in the bedroom she didn't let him push her into anything she wasn't comfortable with and she was sensible enough to fight for what she needed too. I have to admit I was a little confused about their history, I could never quite work out if they'd been in an actual relationship before he left or whether they'd just been friends on the verge of something more. It wasn't the end of the world but I really would have liked a little more background and I think I would have found the end of the story a little more believable if they'd had more of a conversation about what had happened between them in the past. That was my only issue with the story though and I enjoyed everything else about it.
If you're looking for a story with a dirty minded hero and a heroine who is up for pretty much anything then you're bound to enjoy Mistaken by Fate. I'm definitely hoping that we get at least two more stories from Katee Robert in this series because I'm dying to know more about Garrett's twin brother Will and their younger sister Sara....more
Falling for the Enemy is the third book in Samanthe Beck's Private Pleasures series and I enjoyed it just as much as the previous ones. Each of the boFalling for the Enemy is the third book in Samanthe Beck's Private Pleasures series and I enjoyed it just as much as the previous ones. Each of the books in this series have been fun, sexy romances with great characters and a fun small town setting and I've enjoyed every visit to Bluelick.
We met Ginny and Wolverine, AKA Shaun, in the previous book and I was looking forward to getting to know them better. Ginny is the town hairdresser and often underestimated because of that but she cares about Bluelick and it's residents, she spends a lot of time listening to their problems and complaints and has decided that it's time to do something about that by putting herself forward as a candidate for mayor. Shaun has only recently returned to the town he grew up in but has done his best to keep himself to himself and stay out of the public eye. He is the epitome of dark and mysterious and the chemistry between him and Ginny is irresistible. The one slight problem is that his father is the current mayor and Ginny's main opponent for the position. Ginny is scared to do anything to risk her chance of winning and the last thing she needs is a town scandal where she is caught dating her enemy's son but can she resist Shaun's charms?
I really liked both of these characters, they know exactly what they want and are willing to fight to get it. I did find myself slightly annoyed with Ginny for the way she was constantly telling Shaun that they had to keep their affair a secret and was then complaining to herself that he never stayed the night but I was having so much fun reading the story that I was able to ignore my irritation. They fit really well together as a couple and I enjoyed seeing Shaun worm his way into her affections. The one thing that could have made me enjoy the story more would have been Ginny making more of a stand and telling the rest of the town that she loved Shaun and was going to date him no matter what they thought of their relationship. I did love the way Shaun stood by her though and he certainly makes enough effort to win over anyone!
Falling for the Enemy is a steamy read that I thoroughly enjoyed and would happily recommend to contemporary romance fans. Although this book would work as a stand alone all three stories have been great so I would suggest buying them all and reading them in order so you can get to know each of the couples....more
I'm a huge fan of Tonya Burrows, I've read and enjoyed all four of her previous stories and I know she writes great hot alpha men so to say I was exciI'm a huge fan of Tonya Burrows, I've read and enjoyed all four of her previous stories and I know she writes great hot alpha men so to say I was excited about Vision of Darkness is an understatement. Especially when I heard it was her first paranormal romantic suspense and it was compared to Christine Feehan's GhostWalkers series because I love those books. Unfortunately I think I went in with my expectations too high and I ended up feeling a little disappointed.
I think my problem started with how quickly things develop between Alex and Pru, they've known each other for a couple of days when he is accused of murdering her cousin and she doesn't even consider the fact that he might be guilty. I get standing by your man but wouldn't you have a few seconds of doubt when it comes to someone you've just met? Especially when you're grief stricken over the death of someone who is practically a brother to you? It took a long time for me to actually feel any chemistry between them but by the time I did they were practically glued at the hip and it all came a little too late for me to feel fully invested in their romance. The fact that Alex lies to Pru (and everyone else) about his identity for absolutely no reason didn't help, I could understand his caution but not why he didn't at least talk to her about it.
Although the romance happened overly quickly I found this was a very slow book, we are introduced to a lot of characters and get to see things from a lot of different points of view which made it slow to read and harder to connect to. A lot of the POVs are from very minor characters so it gives you a good insight into who is up to no good from a very early point in the story - why else would we need to hear from them? - but we also got a half-hearted romance between Pru's friend and another relative that seemed completely pointless considering how it was left hanging and just added unneeded page time to the story.
On top of that both Alex, Pru and Alex's friend and fellow D.I.E. Squadron member Nick all make some ridiculously stupid decisions that consistently put Pru in harm's way and left me wanting to bang my head against the nearest wall. The worst was when Alex realises that he's been set up to drive 5 hours out of town to get him out of the way. Does he call Nick and Pru to warn them that they could be in danger? No, he just turns around and starts the 5 hour drive to get back to them. It's not like this is a historical story in the time before mobile phones & just one little phone call could have alerted Nick to the potential danger and saved a whole lot of trouble for Pru. That's only one example of the idiotic behaviour on display but I can come up with several more without even having to think too hard about it.
Now, I've mentioned a lot of things that I didn't like about this story and perhaps I'm being overcritical because I know how much I love Tonya Burrows' other stories but Vision of Darkness wasn't all bad and there were things I liked about it. The ghost was creepy, there were parts of the mystery that it took me a while to figure out and on the whole I liked most of the characters when they weren't being idiots. I'm intrigued by the idea of the D.I. E. Squadron and definitely want to know more about their abilities. The ending also left me desperately wanting to find out what happens next for one character in particular so I'm definitely planning on picking up the next book in the series. I am hopeful that the series will just go from strength to strength now that some of the world building is in place and I still have a lot of confidence in this author's ability to draw me into her stories....more
I read this story as part of the Angels' Flight anthology which contains 4 Guild Hunter novellas.
I'll admit that this was the story I was least exciteI read this story as part of the Angels' Flight anthology which contains 4 Guild Hunter novellas.
I'll admit that this was the story I was least excited about reading because I couldn't remember who Noel was and I don't remember coming across Nimra before. If you're like me and need a reminder Noel was the vampire who was horrifically tortured during Archangel's Consort before being dumped in Raphael's territory as a warning. His physical recovery was a long and slow process but even though he is fully healed he still has the mental scars from his experience. Noel was always one of Raphael's most trusted vampires, not far below the seven in terms of the hierarchy, but now he has been sent to the court of the angel Nimra. Noel has been told it is a promotion but he thinks he has been sidelined because of what happened to him. In fact it is quite the opposite, Nimra has reason to believe that a member of her court, someone who is very close to her, is plotting against her and she needs an outsider's help to uncover who is behind the attempt on her life.
I still don't remember coming across Nimra before, she is a very old angel and one who is feared by even the most powerful angels and vampires. She has no trouble holding even Nazarach out of her territory and we all know what kind of reputation he has! Nimra is nothing like Noel expects her to be, there is none of the terror and fear that he would expect in her court and the people who stay there all seem to genuinely care for her. It was surprising how human Nimra seems considering she is so old and powerful, she shows affection for her people and for animals (you've got to love an angel who cares about her cats!) and seems like a decent leader. It was hard to figure out why her enemies were so terrified of her at first but before long you realise that she has more than enough power to hold her own if she needs to. I enjoyed the way her relationship develops with Noel, she helps bring him back from the knife edge that his torture left him on and gives him a reason to live again. They make a really cute couple and I hope we catch up with them further down the line....more
I read this story as part of the Angels' Flight anthology which contains 4 Guild Hunter novellas.
I have liked Elena's best friend Sara from the momentI read this story as part of the Angels' Flight anthology which contains 4 Guild Hunter novellas.
I have liked Elena's best friend Sara from the moment we first met her in Angel's Blood. As the guild director she has always gone out on a limb for her people and she is particularly protective of Elena even when that does mean facing off against a pissed off archangel. Sara and weapon expert Deacon are such a cute couple and I've always enjoyed seeing Elena spend time with them but it was fantastic to actually discover how they met each other and became a couple.
This story has a nice amount of action as Sara and Deacon work together to track down a rogue hunter who has started murdering vampires. Sara is also facing trials thrown at her by the archangels because she is about to become the new guild director and the odds are not in her favour. The chemistry between Deacon and Sara is fantastic, they have trouble keeping their hands off each other but their worlds are far apart and they both have reservations about how a relationship between them would work. Sara worries that Deacon wouldn't want to have her as his boss when she becomes director and Deacon prefers a quiet life away from the spotlight which is something the director will never be able to have. I just love this couple and it was great to have a story which focuses on them, I hope we get to see more slices of their life together further down the line....more
Aww that made me want to reread the Guild Hunter books all over again! I never expected to love Dmitri as much as I do but his and Honor's story was iAww that made me want to reread the Guild Hunter books all over again! I never expected to love Dmitri as much as I do but his and Honor's story was irresistible and this was a great little glimpse into their life as a couple now.
I've become really hooked on this series over the last few weeks so it'll be no surprise if I tell you that I absolutely devoured Darkness Hunts. PoorI've become really hooked on this series over the last few weeks so it'll be no surprise if I tell you that I absolutely devoured Darkness Hunts. Poor Risa seems to go from one fight for her life straight into the next one without a moment to even breathe let alone sleep or eat. Now she has managed to capture the attention of a murderer, one who is attacking his victims on the astral plane, somewhere that even Azriel can't help her so this time she really is on her own.
I absolutely love seeing how far Risa has come in this series, she has gone from strength to strength and although she makes mistakes she always comes back fighting. I think one of the things I love most about her is that she isn't invulnerable, she has impressive abilities but she still gets injured and she feels the after effects of a battle just like anyone else would. I can't even tell you how much I've been enjoying the relationship development between her and Azriel. I've been crazy about his character since the very beginning and desperately want to see the two of them work things out but it isn't easy for them when they are both so different. There are obviously deep feelings there though and I have high hopes that they'll work things out.
Another thing I'm really enjoying is seeing her connection with her sword Amaya, I have a feeling that this is only going to grow stronger with time and it will probably be the thing that saves Risa in the long run. I'm also glad we finally have some kind of resolution to things with Lucian. I've had a bad feeling about his character from the beginning and some of his actions in this book are despicable. I have to say the one thing that stopped this from being a five star read was Risa's reaction when she finds out what Lucian has been up to. I expected her to be outraged by the things he did and she seemed to take them far to calmly and in her stride. I would have been much happier if she had given him a piece of her mind and kicked him into touch.
Like all of the previous books Darkness Hunts has plenty of action, Risa is dealing with the aftermath of her attack by her father's enemies and at the same time trying to juggle the wishes of the vampire council and the Directorate who both need her help, she is having to keep secrets from the people she loves in the hope of protecting them from a madman all while she struggles to deal with her feelings for Azriel and the way he keeps blowing hot and cold with her. I just can't wait to see what happens in Darkness Unmasked!...more
The Last Good Knight is a serialised novella in Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series, it fits into the time line before The Siren but I wouldn't reThe Last Good Knight is a serialised novella in Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series, it fits into the time line before The Siren but I wouldn't recommend reading any of the prequel novellas until you've read at least the first main book in the series so that you'll be familiar with the characters and their relationships with each other. This novella was published in five instalments (see list below) but I have chosen to review the story as a whole so I'm going to keep my discussions about the plot fairly vague and focus more on how I felt about it.
I have been a huge fan of this series from the get go, Tiffany Reisz has managed to pull me into her world so completely that I feel like she's actually writing from personal experience and that all of these characters really do exist out there somewhere. I can't think of any other series where all of the characters feel so real to me, even the ones we don't get to spend a lot of time with like the newbie in this story Lance.
I have to tell you how much I adored Lance, he was such a wonderful, sweet and caring guy and I really wanted him to find happiness more than anything. I was so angry with life for screwing him over the way it had and it was actually painful to see what he had to give up in order to get the one thing he'd been fighting for for such a long time. I know that sounds vague but like I said, I really don't want to give you spoilers and I'm sure once you've read the story you'll understand exactly what I mean. The chemistry he had with Nora was absolutely wonderful and I really did feel that they could have been perfect together so it was hard to see the world trying to pull them in different directions.
As with any story by this author The Last Good Knight is incredibly hot, and will definitely leave you fanning yourself. Tiffany Reisz never fails to turn up the heat and Nora doesn't like to be kept waiting so you know you're in for a treat when she's in full on Domme mode. Her relationship with Lance isn't just about sex though, there is so much more to it than that and they have a strong emotional connection too. The story also has plenty of drama, action and mystery as well as giving us glimpses of both Soren and Kingsley which always makes me happy. As much as I would have loved a full length novel staring Lance (and I kind of hope we'll get to see more of him in the future!) I still enjoyed every minute of this novella and it's helped tide me over until the release of the next full length novel. I don't think I'll ever get enough of this series so I hope we've got many more stories to come!
Here is the reading order for the instalments in The Last Good Knight serialised novella: 1. Scars and Stripes 2. Sore Spots 3. The Games Destiny Plays 4. Fit to be Tied 5. The Last Good Night...more
Unidentified Funny Objects 3 is a collection of 23 fun science fiction & fantasy short stories from a whole host of well known authors. I3.5 stars
Unidentified Funny Objects 3 is a collection of 23 fun science fiction & fantasy short stories from a whole host of well known authors. I have to admit I wanted to read the anthology for the story by Gini Koch but I thought it would be a great way of trying some new to me authors and I've definitely added some new books to my wish list now.
This really is a diverse collection so I'm sure there will be something for everyone - you'll read about aliens, superheroes, mermaids, zombunnies, robotic travelling salesmen and much, much more. Its the kind of anthology where you never know quite what you'll discover next and I really enjoyed that about it. As this is a short story collection it is a great book to dip in and out of when you don't have much time to read and just want something quick to fill in a ten minute gap but if you're not careful time will run away with you and before you know it you'll have finished half a dozen stories and end up being late for your appointment!
My favourite stories in the anthology were Master of Business Apocalypse by Jakob Druid, Picture Perfect by Matt Mikalatos, Into the Woods, with Zombunny by Camille Griep, Live at the Scene by Gini Koch, Do Not Remove this Tag by Piers Anthony, Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day by Tina Connolly and The Date Worse than Death by Kevin J. Anderson and Guy Anthony De Marco but I don't think there was a single story that didn't at least get a smile from me....more
I loved Private Practise when I read it last year so I was really pleased when I found out that Samanthe Beck had written further books about some ofI loved Private Practise when I read it last year so I was really pleased when I found out that Samanthe Beck had written further books about some of the side characters we'd been introduced to. While This is the second book in the series and the timeline runs simultaneously with the first book and even thought there is some crossover of characters I don't think it's essential to read these books in order. I would be happy to recommend both stories though because they're both fabulous small town romances with a lot of humour and plenty of super hot sex.
Josh moved to Bluelick because the promotion to Fire Chief would be good for his career, he has no intention of staying in the small town for long though and just wants to use the job as a steppingstone to a higher position back in the city. Melody is the town good girl but she's desperate to break out of her shell and live a little and who better to teach her than the sexy new guy who can't take his eyes off of her. What is supposed to be a wild and passionate fling soon becomes more important to both of them but is Melody enough to make Josh consider putting down roots in Bluelick?
The connection between Josh and Melody crackles off the page from the minute they see each other, they have fabulous chemistry and I loved the flirty banter between them in the middle of the supermarket. Despite just having ended a 10 year relationship Melody is fairly inexperienced but I loved how quick she is to go after what she wants, she is a little shy but she's not afraid to try new things or to tell Josh exactly what she needs from him. Josh is a very sexy, dominant guy who loves taking control. He can't seem to keep his hands off Melody which leads to a lot of creative experimentation so you'll definitely need a cold shower to cool down after reading this one! I loved the fact that their relationship was so straightforward, both of them are quick to admit to their feelings and neither of them tries to push the other away. There was use of one trope that irritated me a tiny bit (I can't say more without giving a spoiler) but I was happy with the way it was handled so it didn't bother me as much as it could have.
I think one of the things I love the most about this series is the humour, there were so many laugh out loud moments and I read the whole book with a smile on my face. I just can't wait to revisit Bluelick while reading Ginny and Wolverine's story!...more
It's no secret that I'm a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Ilona and Gordon Andrews and I absolutely adore their Kate Daniels series. All of their stIt's no secret that I'm a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Ilona and Gordon Andrews and I absolutely adore their Kate Daniels series. All of their stories are full of humour, fantastic world building and great characters and even though A Mere Formality is only a short story (with 26 pages) it's no exception.
This story is completely stand alone so you don't need to have read any of the author's previous books to enjoy it and it's available to download for free from their website here: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/blog/201...
I'm deliberately keeping this review very vague because it would be too easy to give you spoilers but it's basically a story about three alien species who are negotiating a peace treaty. You can expect lots of innuendos, jokes and dirty talk so it's recommended for adults only but there isn't any actual sex.
For a quick read this is a lot of fun and I'd definitely recommend it....more
I love these little novellas that Alyxandra Harvey has written allowing us to revisit the characters from her Drake Chronicles series. Lucy has alwaysI love these little novellas that Alyxandra Harvey has written allowing us to revisit the characters from her Drake Chronicles series. Lucy has always been a particular favourite character of mine so I will devour any book or story written from her point of view. A Tithe of Blood and Ashes is set about 2 months on from events in Blood Prophecy so this story will contain spoilers if you're not completely up to date with all the full length novels in the series but it's well worth picking up if you're a fan of this world.
Lucy is in the middle of her exams and more than a little stressed out but things are about to get worse when she discovers she has suddenly become a homing beacon for every Hel-Blar vampire in the area. What she can't work out is why they are being drawn to her and nobody else. Something strange is going on and Lucy won't stop until she's figured out exactly what is going on - and why her parents are keeping secrets from her.
This may only be a short story (around 50 pages) but it has everything I've come to expect from this series, Lucy's trademark snark and sarcasm, plenty of action, the hot Drake brothers (Nicholas in particular!) and of course the Helios-Ra members who are all too ready to fight any vampire, not just the bad ones. I don't want to say too much about the story because it's far to easy to give spoilers for such a short novella but this is a fun read and one I'd definitely recommend to fans of the series....more
I don't tend to buy multiple copies of the same book, my shelves are close to collapsing as it is and it seems pointless to waste space on duplicates. There are a few exceptions to that rule though & I think Shadow and Bone must be the book I own the most copies off.
What girl doesn't need 4 copies of one of their favourite books though? Well OK, you're right, none of us do, but how was I supposed to resist the pretty new purple cover?
Especially when you throw in the fact that this has exclusive extra content! I didn't reread the whole book but it was worth buying this version just for the letter from Mal to Alina. It was perfect getting to see some of his thoughts after Alina first discovers her powers & I love him more than ever now :o)...more
After really enjoying the prequel novella, Dangerous Destiny, I was really excited to get started on Night Sky and learn more about the Greater-ThansAfter really enjoying the prequel novella, Dangerous Destiny, I was really excited to get started on Night Sky and learn more about the Greater-Thans and their psychic abilities. Unfortunately for some reason I really struggled with this one and it seemed to take a long time for the story to really get going. This is a long book (almost 500 pages!) and it really didn't have enough substance to justify the length. I think if it had been really trimmed back to make a faster and more streamlined read I would have found it much more enjoyable. Having said that this is the beginning of a series so there is a lot of world building to do and characters to introduce and things really picked up speed in the second half so I have hopes that future books will be more fast paced.
Skylar has no idea that she is a Greater-Than (someone with psychic abilities) so she is confused when things start happening near her that have no rational explanation. That is the least of her worries when a young girl that she babysits for goes missing though, Sky is desperate to find out what happened to Sasha but she has no idea where to start looking. Whey Sky meets Dana, another Greater-Than, she is suddenly thrown into a whole new world, a world where people can have superpowers, where she is able to move things with her mind and where she can even smell evil. Dana and Milo offer to help Sky search for answers, they believe that Sasha has been murdered by a group who use Greater-Than blood to create a drug called Destiny. They're already investigating the disappearance of other children and they want Sky and her best friend Calvin's help.
I did enjoy learning about all the different kinds of abilities that the Greater-Thans can have, they all have different strengths but skills can vary from fast movement, telekinesis, precognition, mind control, telepathy and so much more. Sky is only just beginning to discover what she is capable of but I'm already a little concerned that she's turning into a too perfect heroine. It seems like she is able to do pretty much everything, more than any other Greater-Than that Dana has ever come across before, and I think I would have liked her character more if she'd had a few more flaws. Overall I'd say the characters are okay, I felt that Sky's attraction to Milo built up far too quickly but just as I was going to start calling insta-love they started to have more interaction and develop a friendship. I love the fact that Sky is so close to her best friend Calvin, they were the two characters we'd been introduced to in the prequel and it was good to see that their friendship has grown even stronger since then.
Dana was a little harder to like, she's quite snarky and harsh but once you get to know her she has a soft side and when you learn about her past you start to understand why she has that prickly, defensive layer to protect herself. There was one particular scene where they're all in a club and Dana uses her abilities on Calvin that made me feel really uncomfortable though. I know she didn't mean it in a bad way but I couldn't help comparing her actions to a kind of mental rape. There was absolutely no sex involved but she was forcing him to do things against his will and I was cringing throughout the entire scene. I just felt that whole section was pretty pointless and quite insulting, there was no reason that Calvin couldn't have gone into the club in his wheelchair - surely people in wheelchairs are allowed to go clubbing too? - and although I know it was meant to come across as a humorous and light hearted scene it completely missed the mark for me.
Overall I'd have to say Night Sky was an okay story, it wasn't horrible but it didn't wow me like I expected it to. I do think the series has potential but I'm not sure if I'm invested enough in the characters to want to carry on reading. The great news is that it doesn't end with a major cliffhanger, the main mystery is resolved by the end of the book and although a new plot thread is introduced you aren't left feeling like you've only read half a story. I may give the next book a try to see if the issues are ironed out but I doubt it'll be a book that I end up desperate to get my hands on....more
Buddy read with Aly (who thankfully enjoyed it more than I did!)
As a huge fan of Tessa Bailey's dirty talking heroes in her Line of Duty series I wasBuddy read with Aly (who thankfully enjoyed it more than I did!)
As a huge fan of Tessa Bailey's dirty talking heroes in her Line of Duty series I was incredibly excited to find out that she was co-writing a new series set in a BDSM club and couldn't wait to read Owned by Fate. I had such high hopes for this story but if I'm honest I only just managed to finish it which was a real disappointment.
I think my main issue was that I really hated the heroine so as much as I liked Jonah Caroline pretty much ruined the book for me. Caroline is a journalist who helps run her family financial magazine, the last thing she wants is to make the magazine more edgy but sales are falling and they need to do something drastic if they want to save the business. She agrees to write a piece about one of New York's hottest BDSM club but she goes into it completely prejudiced against the lifestyle and determined to hate every minute of it. I found it pretty impossible to believe that someone who was so anti all things BDSM would then go on to have a one night stand with a Dom on her very first visit to the club. I could have forgiven that if her attitude had started to change but she goes on and on about how she's a respectable woman and BDSM is wrong and quite frankly I wanted to punch her in the face.
Caroline is basically a stuck up snob who thinks she's way too good for Jonah, she constantly looks down her nose at him but even when she is judging his lifestyle choices negatively she still can't help herself from falling into bed with him. Jonah was much more likeable but I couldn't for the life in me understand what he saw in Caroline. There was nothing about her that made it believable he would fall for her and the more he let her get away with treating him like crap the harder I found it to respect him. He starts the story as a pretty decent Dom (who is also the owner of the club she keeps knocking!) but he pretty much rewards her for looking treating him like crap and then begs her to spend time with him. I can't see any self-respecting Dom acting like that and it was just too much for me.
Although I didn't enjoy Owned by Fate as much as I expected to I do still have hope for the series and have bought the next book because I like Caroline's brother Oliver and her friend Eliza. Since my main problem with this book was the fact I hated Caroline I'm hoping I'll have more luck with those two! I know I'm actually in the minority not liking this book so don't let me put you off giving it a go. The sex scenes are hot, the dirty talk is great and if you can ignore the judgemental heroine you'll probably enjoy this much more than I did....more
It's felt like a long wait for this latest instalment of Felicity Heaton's Her Angel series but Nevar's story was brilliant and I loved Her Avenging AIt's felt like a long wait for this latest instalment of Felicity Heaton's Her Angel series but Nevar's story was brilliant and I loved Her Avenging Angel. This is a fantastic series but it really is one that is better read in order so this review may contain spoilers for previous books and if you're new to the series I would recommend starting with Her Dark Angel (my review can be found here).
Felicity Heaton is great at creating bad boys and just as good at giving them the chance to redeem themselves when it's their turn to shine which is exactly what she did with Nevar. We all know what he did to Asmodeus and Liora in the previous book but I found it hard to blame him too much considering everything Asmodeus had put him through and the couple have forgiven him and tried to build bridges. Nevar's problem is that he can't forgive himself, he hates the darkness inside him and he doesn't feel worth of anyone else's love and friendship so he's never really believed that the others really do care about him and want to see him happy. It's painful to see Nevar so distant from the people who could be his friends, he always feels like he's on the outside looking in and although he cares about the others he is scared to show it in case they reject him. His shame over his past actions makes it very hard for him to find happiness and he's just going through the motions and not making the most of life.
When Nevar accidentally releases the Great Destroyer, a powerful being capable of bringing about the apocalypse, he has no choice but to accept help from Asmodeus and the others to stop the end of the world. He is distracted from his task by Lysia, a demon with no memory of where she came from and no idea who she really is. Lysia brings out all of Nevar's protective instincts but he still doesn't feel worthy of her no matter how much he craves her. Lysia may not have her memories but she knows what she wants and she isn't going to let Nevar walk away from her without a fight, especially not when he's about to face a viscous enemy that both heaven and hell have failed to destroy.
As much as I enjoyed the romance between Nevar and Lysia I think what I loved most about this book was the interactions between the rest of the characters we've met throughout the series. I think nearly all of them made an appearance here and I particularly loved the scenes with Erin, Veiron and Dante! There is a huge amount going on in the wider world here and although a lot of things are resolved by the end of the book there is definitely a new story arc set in place that should make the next few books extremely interesting. This is a series I've been following for several years now and I can't wait to see what happens next....more
The Prelude of Ella and Micha is set around a year before the start of The Secret of Ella and Micha but includes flashbacks throughout Ella and Micha'The Prelude of Ella and Micha is set around a year before the start of The Secret of Ella and Micha but includes flashbacks throughout Ella and Micha's childhood and teenage years. They grew up together and have been best friends for as long as they can remember but although they are crazy about each other Ella is too scared to take the next step and Micha doesn't want to scare her off by pushing her. They have spent years dreaming of the day they'll both be 18 and can leave their home town behind them and make a fresh start somewhere far away, the plan has always been to leave together but after one terrible night things might be quite so simple after all.
Having already read the next few books in this series I had a pretty good idea about what would happen in this novella and if I'm honest I was a little nervous about reading it because I wasn't sure there would be enough new information to hold my interest. However I needn't have worried because knowing what was going to happen just made the story even more bitter sweet and heartbreaking.
I'm not going to go into details of the plot because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who is new to the series but I do think that even if you haven't read any of the books you'll be able to enjoy this prequel and at such a bargain price it's probably a great way to try the series and meet the characters. I absolutely love Jessica Sorensen's writing, she creates incredibly realistic characters who are damaged but not beyond repair and she is brilliant at writing sexual tension between her leads and giving readers a romance that they can become invested in. This is one of my favourite new adult series and definitely one I'd happily recommend....more
TimeBomb is the first book in Scott K. Andrews' new time travel trilogy and it introduces us to three very different protagonists. First you have JanaTimeBomb is the first book in Scott K. Andrews' new time travel trilogy and it introduces us to three very different protagonists. First you have Jana, a girl from 2141 New York who finds herself pulled to the present day when she leaps off the top of a skyscraper. Then there is Dora, a young servant who has been pulled forward in time from Cornwall in 1640 and finds herself in a world very different to the one she is used to. Finally there is Kaz, the boy who finds them both at Sweetclover Hall, a young illegal immigrant who is on the run from an angry farmer. At first glance the three of them have absolutely nothing in common but they soon find themselves pulled into a web of intrigue and mystery. They have no idea why they have been drawn into this mess but they do know that they'll have to work together if they want to find the answers.
Most of this story is set in Dora's time period, right in the midst of the English Civil War, a very dangerous time for strangers to appear in a small, tight knit, community. Dora may be local but she's been missing for long enough to the locals to be suspicious and it doesn't help that she's arrived with strangers in tow. All events seem to lead the trio back to Sweetclover Hall and it appears that Lord Sweetclover and his mysterious wife Quil are behind everything that has happened to them but just what are they up to and why are Dora, Jana and Kaz so important to them?
As this is the first book in a trilogy we're left with a lot of unanswered questions but Scott K. Andrews has written a story that is fast paced and incredibly addictive to read. I picked it up thinking I'd just read a couple of chapters before bed and before I knew it I was halfway through the book. All three main characters are well drawn out and three dimensional, they all have different strengths and must learn to trust each other and work together as a team. It isn't easy for them to decide who else they can trust and they all make some surprising discoveries about their own timelines which I think will have an impact on them as the series continues. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where this story goes next, the great thing about time travel stories is that pretty much anything is impossible, I'd quite like to get the chance to explore Jana's futuristic world but I'm also very intrigued by the hints we've seen that the story actually begins way back before even Dora was born. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for the sequel and I'd recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a fast paced read with plenty of mystery, lots of action and more than a little journeying through time....more
The Gifted Dead is the first book in Jenna Black's new Gifted series and she has created an interesting new world where you have both the Gifted, peopThe Gifted Dead is the first book in Jenna Black's new Gifted series and she has created an interesting new world where you have both the Gifted, people with extraordinary gifts, and normal humans. The Gifted are all connected to a super-conscious known as the Anima, which is made up of the souls of previous generations of Gifted, they each have their own spirit guide who will set them quests and if they achieve their goals they are rewarded with Gifts that will help them in the future. Only the souls of Gifted who are seen to have done something special are allowed to join the Anima and become spirit guides, anyone considered not worthy by the elders is cremated rather than laid to rest on consecrated ground. Unfortunately someone seems to be trying to change the shape Anima not only by digging up consecrated bodies and burning them to sever their connection to the Anima but also by consecrating souls that have not been authorised by the elder council. When Melanie uncovers what is going on she becomes determined to figure out who is behind the plot and stop them but it appears that the conspiracy goes far deeper than she ever could have imagined and now her entire family is at risk.
I have to admit that The Gifted Dead wasn't at all what I was expecting but I mean that in the best possible way. The story has a much darker tone than I thought it would and it is jam packed with political intrigue and interesting characters. The story is told from a lot of different points of view which I did find confusing initially and it didn't help that most of the characters are extremely hard to like at times but once I started to see how everyone was connected to each other the story really started flowing and I couldn't put it down. I think what I loved most was the fact that most of the characters aren't wholly good or evil, some of them are doing horrific things but when you uncover their reasoning you can't help but feel kind of sorry for them, others seem nice on the surface but are hiding deep, dark secrets that make you wary of them. There are a few characters that I absolutely despise and more that I'm really rooting for.
Jenna Black has given her characters some interesting abilities and some of them are really put through the wringer to pass the quests that the Anima send them on. I'm actually not sure whether the Anima themselves is a force of good or evil, they certainly work in mysterious ways that's for sure! Love them or loath them all of the characters are very three dimensional and they all have complex motives for the things they do. I can only think of one character who I felt nothing but sorrow for and anger over the way they were treated, the others, even ones I'd consider good on the whole, all did things that annoyed me or made me question their judgement but I think that's one of the things that is so clever about this series. It's certainly made me interested to see where things go from here and I'm already looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel....more
Since cousins Gretchen, Emma and Penelope discovered they were witches they have been on a sharp learning curve and they're still trying to figure outSince cousins Gretchen, Emma and Penelope discovered they were witches they have been on a sharp learning curve and they're still trying to figure out how to use their gifts. After Emma accidentally released the Greymalkin sisters in the previous book all three of them are under constant watch by the Order of the Iron Nail and it's making life impossible. When strange magical events begin to occur around Mayfair the girls find themselves at the centre of suspicion but Gretchen has never been one to sit back and wait for things to happen so she becomes determined to uncover what is really going on and find a way to prove their innocence and to keep London safe.
Whisper the Dead is the second book in Alyxandra Harvey's Lovegrove Legacy trilogy and it picks up the story right where the first book, A Breath of Frost, left off. Although we still get to see plenty of both Emma and Penelope this is definitely Gretchen's story and I really enjoyed getting to know her better. Gretchen is the most outspoken of the cousins, she is very much a tomboy who has always wanted to do everything that her twin brother Godric does. She hates the restrictions placed on women by society and refuses to follow the rules when she could have much more fun dressing as a boy and going out on an adventure. I loved that rebellious side to her and enjoyed seeing her take such an active role in the investigation.
As a Whisperer Gretchen has the most difficult ability of all of them since she constantly hears all the previous spells any other witch have ever cast on repeat inside her head. It means she has a great depth of knowledge at her disposal but trying to pinpoint the spells she actually needs is nearly impossible and causes her a great deal of pain. Her gift may cost her but if she can figure out how to use it safely she will be a formidable ally and she wants the freedom to work alongside the Order. Gretchen is brilliant at escaping from her Order babysitter, much to Tobias's frustration and she definitely manages to keep him on his toes with her unpredictable behaviour which was fun to see.
As much as I enjoy the hint of romance between Gretchen and Tobias I really appreciate the fact that the romance isn't the main focus of these books. Both Gretchen and Emma may have found love (or be on the way to it) but these books are more about the magic and the mystery. This series is definitely darker than the Drake Chronicles but I don't mean that in a bad way and I'm always completely hooked from beginning to end. I do have to warn you that this book ends on a killer cliffhanger but although I'm disappointed I'll now have to wait a year for the final instalment I know it will jump straight to the top of my wish list when it is released....more
Dangerous Destiny is a prequel novella in Suzanne & Melanie Brockmann's new YA Night Sky series which is a spin off from Suzanne's adult FightingDangerous Destiny is a prequel novella in Suzanne & Melanie Brockmann's new YA Night Sky series which is a spin off from Suzanne's adult Fighting Destiny series. The novella introduces us to Skylar, a young girl who has just moved to Florida and is facing that horror of starting a new school where she doesn't know anyone. She has only been there a week but she's struggling to fit in and hasn't really made any friends yet so she is more homesick than ever. She usually sits alone at lunch but when she finds her normal table already occupied Skylar is forced to sit with the other school outcast Calvin. What seems to be the start of a beautiful friendship could end in disaster though when another student pulls out a gun - unless Skylar can find a way to stop things spinning out of control.
I'm not going to go into much more detail about what happens in this novella but I will say it's fast paced, gripping and left me desperate to carry on reading the series. It's not often that a novella hooks me in quite so quickly and I'm definitely excited to see where things go from here. I haven't read Night Sky yet (I'm about to start it now) so I'm not sure how vital it is to read this prequel novella first but it's such a fab introduction that I'm happy to recommend it. I liked Skylar and I enjoyed the beginning of her friendship with Calvin, there is a lot of fun banter between them and it'll be fun to spend more time with them. This is my first book by Suzanne Brockmann but I have a feeling that once I finish Night Sky I'll be starting to work my way through her back list while I wait for the next instalment of this series!...more
Thoughts before reading: Modern retelling of Oliver Twist where Twist is a street artist and a freerunner? Hell yes, sign me up!
Thoughts after reading:Thoughts before reading: Modern retelling of Oliver Twist where Twist is a street artist and a freerunner? Hell yes, sign me up!
Thoughts after reading: I was really excited to start this modern retelling of Oliver Twist but unfortunately it just isn't working for me. I honestly think it's a case of me and the writing style not gelling rather than it being a badly written book though. There isn't anything in particular I can point to and say this is why I don't like it so I would hate to put anyone off giving it a go.
In fact I may even give it another try at some point just to see if I can connect with it better the second time around....more
Sascha, Lucas and Naya are all just so cute together! I love getting a glimpse at their normal day to day life & seeing how they're obviously crazSascha, Lucas and Naya are all just so cute together! I love getting a glimpse at their normal day to day life & seeing how they're obviously crazy about each other even when doing something so everyday as the weekly shop!...more