Rock Chick is my seventh book by Kristen Ashley and as I only discovered her as an author in May this year, that’s qu...moreReviews for www.bookchickcity.com
Rock Chick is my seventh book by Kristen Ashley and as I only discovered her as an author in May this year, that’s quite some going. But in this time I have become a fast fan and intend to make my way through her back catalogue. Rock Chick is book number one in Ashley’s Rock Chick series and also the first series she wrote. Quite frankly, it is flipping hilarious!
Indy is a rock chick. She’s a cop’s daughter, she owns a used bookstore with a super cool coffee shop inside it, a wardrobe to die for and man does she love rock music. She’s also been in love with Lee Nightingale, her best friend Ally’s brother since she was five and he held her hand at her mother’s funeral. Lee put a firm end to her crush when she was in her teens, by telling her he saw her as nothing more than a sister and breaking her heart.
Move forward a few years, Indy’s wild, a free spirit and she’s also inadvertently got herself into a spot of bother. It seems her savant like Barista Rosie has got himself in deep with some bad guys and now they’re both being shot at. As luck would have it Lee is now a serious bad-ass and runs his own PI / security company. With a big push from Ally, Indy turns to Lee for help, but it seems that Lee is not quite so uninterested in her as she was led to believe.
Where to start? This book is laugh-out-loud funny, seriously sexy and actually kind of reminded me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series in its style. Which isn’t a bad thing as I love that too. Indy is a truly awesome heroine, she loves her friends, she loves life and I really seriously want a job in her bookshop! But also what makes Indy is her friends, from her crazy bookshop workers, her best friend Ally who is wild, her extended family and her gay next door neighbours every aspect of her life was filled with fun and humour.
Then there’s Lee. Ladies, be still your beating hearts! I defy you not to faint at the sexiness that is Lee. He is sexy, lethally dangerous and a majorly cool bad-ass. He is the epitome of what an awesome romance hero should be. Also, he is surrounded by mega sexy, equally cool bad-asses that work for him. Hmm, maybe I should work for him and not in the bookshop? The chemistry between Indy and Lee, was off the scale, the banter hilarious and the romance will take you into that happy gooey place.
The plot was full of action and crazy thrills and spills. If you’ve not ready anything by Ashley before, expect car bombs, kidnaps, guns and more. Also look out for the drag queen night, too funny. Ashley has quite a slangy writing style, which makes the writing punchy and also incredibly addictive. There were times when I found it near impossible to put it down!
What also really makes this book work is the extended secondary characters within the story. As I mentioned earlier, Indy’s group of friends and fellow ‘rock chicks’ are part of what makes her as a character. Then you have Lee’s family, his Mum, Dad and brother and his co-workers, why they do make fabulous man candy, they are also interesting characters in their own right. I also have to give a special mention for Tex, the ex-con, Vietnam veteran, cat lover, with a love for grenades and tear gas… yes really and I loved him. Ashley has created a whole community of characters that set up this beginning of the series brilliantly.
This is a great start to a series and even better than her Dream Man series. I loved it so much I read books two and three straight after and was very tempted to go straight onto book four too. Indy and Lee were an awesome couple and the book so genuinely funny and sexy all at the same time, I totally loved it. I am now determined to read my way through Ashley’s back list! :-)
I think Lick may very well find its way onto the my favourite books of 2013 list. If the next book had been already out, I would have bought it immediately. I loved it, I loved Ev and David and I loved Scott’s writing style. The story was sweet, romantic, endearing and sexy. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love with a rock star? I would highly recommend it. (less)
Outlaw read like a piece of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) fan fiction than a novel in its own right. I have googled it to se...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Outlaw read like a piece of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) fan fiction than a novel in its own right. I have googled it to see if is, but haven’t been able to find anything to confirm, but if Ms James isn’t a big fan of the series then I will eat my hat!
Let’s start with the main character Cole, described as:
"...blonde hair falling past his collar, golden facial hair growing along his jaw and mouth."
Sound familiar? Cole was in fact a ringer for Jax, the main hero in SOA, it even felt like James had tried to mirror Jax’s speech patterns in the dialogue with his regular use of the word ‘darlin” and in the general cadence. Then there’s Crash, who seemed to me to be very much like Opie, Jax’s best friend in SOA, then there was the ‘weasely’ looking policeman, hell there’s even a Scottish biker in the mix. I found it very hard to disassociate the characters of the book, with those of one of my favourite TV shows and not in a good way.
The story centres around Cole being at a meet, when a biker turns up with a bruised, battered and handcuffed woman with him. Cole is so disgusted with this behaviour that he manipulates things in order to rescue her. Angel, a twenty-one year old woman who has been kidnapped, awfully abused and raped finds herself in the terribly violent biker world, which is a million miles away from her life as a policeman’s daughter.
Angel has a lot to come to terms with and neither of them are able to trust one another, but they find themselves striking a deal in order that Angel doesn’t end up running to the cops. Inevitably both of them end up falling for one another, despite the large disparities between their lives. The romance itself was ok. I found it hard to believe that just two days after being violently raped, Angel is willing to have sex with Cole, never mind the psychological issues, and surely she’d be far too sore? So for that reason I found myself struggling to get into it and find it believable.
In the middle of the book it’s like the story totally switches gears and almost feels like it’s written in a totally different style. There’s a jump in time, I actually often quite like this as a narrative device, and thought that it did add to the overall story, but it was almost like they both became slightly different characters, not a total revolution, but not quite the same either.
It was at this point that I felt like the book became less influenced by SOA and more of a slight homage to Kristen Ashley. Mack, the group’s President, ended up reminding me of Tack, the hero in Ashley’s Motorcycle Man, and Natalie with attractive read hair, Tyra. The epilogue itself felt like something straight out of Ashley’s books with it’s use of the word ‘kick-ass’ and switch of narrative style to first person when the rest of the book had been in third. Overall the book was all a bit of a jumble.
Outlaw felt like a complete mish mash of other people’s styles and I couldn’t quite ascertain what was James’s own. I didn’t totally hate it, I did reach the end after all, but I felt like it lacked originality and read more like fan fiction than a unique novel in its own right. Perhaps if you haven’t watched SOA or read any of Ashley’s books (which are much, much better), then perhaps you wouldn’t have the same issues with this book as I did. But at the same time I’m not sure I’ll be picking up anything by James again.
Having read some of Jude Deveraux's books in the past, I knew her writing would be good and I wasn't disappointed in...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Having read some of Jude Deveraux's books in the past, I knew her writing would be good and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Set on the island of Nantucket, which I had to Google to see if it was real (it is), it tells a tale of love (of course), small town life, ghosts and reincarnation.
Finishing architect school, Alix finds out she is given the use of a beautiful house on Nantucket island for one year. Recovering from a relationship breakup and wishing to develop a design portfolio, and also having agreed to help with her best friend Izzy's wedding, she decides to make use of the opportunity and goes to Nantucket to take some time out.
When she arrives she discovers that legendary and rather handsome architect Jared Montgomery, who is not only a resident of the island but also the owner of the property where she is staying. Overcome with a touch fangirl-ness she is disappointed to discover that Jared is in fact a bit of a jerk.
True Love is a really rich story. Deveraux depicts a vivid and warm vision of Nantucket and its inhabitants. This is obviously the start of a new series, so there was a certain degree of scene and character setting, but it was written in a warm and engaging way. Actually, I wouldn't mind moving to Nantucket myself if it's as lovely as it's written in the book.
The love story between Alix and Jared was a surprisingly fast given their early feelings towards one another. But there's plenty of sparring between the pair. It was sexy, fun and grew into something real and lovely.
The paranormal element of the story comes in the form of Jared's great (insert lots of greats) grandfather, Caleb, who has been haunting his family since his death at sea many years ago. The guy is hilarious (and hot)! I think there were points in the story where he totally stole the show. He also added a rather unexpected and fabulous twist at the end of the book.
The opening of the book felt slightly odd. This was because Alix was left the use of the house in Nantucket in the Will of a woman she had only met once when she was four. The reasons behind this short inheritance came across as somewhat strange and convoluted. As the book progresses we do discover more back-story to explain why this was the case, but it also unearths quite a few secrets and lies. Again, I found it convoluted and well, rather odd that so many things were kept from her and for really quite manipulative and bizarre reasons. I also found that she forgave the deception rather too easily.
Another part of the story I didn't think quite worked was the wedding. I'm trying to explain here, whilst at the same time keeping this review spoiler free, but I am a bit baffled why either party involved would be happy with the eventual outcome? Let's just say there are quite a few major changes to the original wedding plan, and I do mean major, and if it was my wedding, I would feel a little bit robbed to be honest.
Alix's parents, Victoria and Ken, are also great characters. Her mother a complete force of nature, I both suspect and hope she's going to get her own story. Ken obviously adores Alix and is a great father, he also gets his own side story, which put a smile on my face. There is a vast and rich cast of side characters that makes this a multi-layered story.
Although I have read a few of Deveraux's historicals, I have not read her catalogue extensively, but think if you were a huge Deveraux fan, I suspect that a lot of the ancestral characters referred to here appear in her historicals. Which I imagine big fans would really enjoy.
Despite a couple of parts of the narrative that didn't quite work, this was a lovely, warm, and richly written book. I love the island setting, and the romance was funny, cosy and satisfying. Plus, I quite fancy running away with ghostly Caleb ;-) RATING: (less)
Having become a rather large fan of the TV series Sons of Anarchy, when I saw the Own the Wind was a biker romance, I quite simply couldn't resist. I've never read anything by Kristen Ashley before, and my oh my have I missed out! Her writing is completely and utterly addictive, the type of writing bookaholics dream of, when you need more hours in the day just to fit in more reading in, because you just can't get enough of it.
Own the Wind is the first book in a series following the members of the Chaos motorcycle club. While it is the first book in a series, it is actually a spin off from Motorcycle Man a book in Ashley's Dream Man series, I would highly recommend you read Motorcycle Man first. I went on to read afterwards, but wish I had read it first, as Motorcycle Man is the story of club president and father to Tabby the heroine of Own the Wind, Tack.
When she young, Tabby, the daughter of Chaos club president had a wild side and she got in trouble. Because she was family the members of the Chaos club took care of her, including Shy. But Shy wasn't afraid to give her a few harsh home truths, even if they cut deep. Then she grew up, she trained as a nurse and she found her feet. That is until tragedy struck, shattering her entire world, but once again Chaos and Shy are there for her as she struggles to recover.
This is such a sexy, addictive novel. I loved Tabby, she was feisty and had serious biker girl cool. This book spans an array of emotions, from the depths of grief, to lust and then ultimately love. You watch Tabby grow and grieve and completely admire her strength.
Shy completely has the alpha hero thing down. Totally bossy, I think he would drive me mad. I loved the fact they had a 3 day argument over whether their freezer should have an ice-maker! Although while he was totally sexy (I mean seriously), and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him, I think if I was with him I might want to lock him in the aforementioned freezer on a regular basis. The thing about Ashley's biker heroes is that they seemed to cross over that mega control freak line. However, combined with the complete and focused love they offer, it's a seriously heady combination.
Interestingly, this story spans quite a large period of time. Jumping forward weeks, months and sometimes years at a time. It added realism to the story, it allowed Tabby to grow up from the young, wild girl, to become the woman she needed to be. But it also added credit to her grief, it wouldn't have felt right for her to jump right into another relationship. Additionally, I love the snatches of Shy's feelings towards her when she was younger in the prologue, it made their love story so much more intense. Actually, the prologue really set this book up, it was quite long, when I got to chapter one I was surprised that I hadn't read past it already. But it really added to the overall story.
As a Sons of Anarchy fan, I really felt its influence in this book, it was even referred to a couple of times in the book. Also with the regular reference to brothers and old ladies, I also liked the fact that Ashley made it clear that while this was biker group, it was a clean biker group, unlike SOA. Well, with the exception of their habit of threatening people who don't behave!
There was a side story in Own the Wind around Tabby's best friend Natalie who is a drug addict and gets herself into serious trouble. I'm not totally sure how I felt about how this part turned out. I felt said for both Tabby and Natalie. I'm not sure if Ashley is setting Natalie up as a future heroine in the series or a future bad apple, it could go either way at this stage. But there was a part of me that wasn't totally happy with how this part of the storyline fully concluded. But I shall hold my reservations and see how or if this develops later in the series.
On top of all the seductive sexiness this book also has some great relationships. There's Shy and his soldier brother, the biker brothers and sense of family between them all. I loved Tack and Ty-Ty (Tabby's father and stepfather) and the love they all shared. It made me want to join a biker group just to be part of it!
I am most definitely a Kristen Ashley convert, I went on to read two more of her books directly after this one. This book was so good I even forgave it the occasional use of the dreaded 'c' word, thankfully it was only occasional. I loved Own the Wind and could barely put it down, I would highly recommend Ashley to romance fans.
The Trouble With Being A Duke is a historical romance with a Cinderella-esque twist. Reformed rake and Duke, Anthony...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
The Trouble With Being A Duke is a historical romance with a Cinderella-esque twist. Reformed rake and Duke, Anthony has had to grow up and face his responsibilities following his father’s death. Convincing his mother to throw a ball for the first time in five years, he knows it’s time to find a bride.
Faced with marriage to a man she cannot abide in order to relieve her family’s financial troubles, Isabella wants one night of fabulousness. Sneaking into the Duke’s ball was meant to be one night just for herself before she enters into marriage with the immensely self centred and vain Mr. Roberts, but she didn’t expect to capture the attention of the Duke himself.
This is a lovely romance, I do like a rags to riches story and The Trouble With Being A Duke has every element of a rags to fairytale. It also has a sense of humour, the opening ball even has a Cinderella theme and as Isabella flees the scene of the ball I kind of half expected her to leave a shoe behind.
Anthony is immediately smitten, this is most definitely a love at first sight romance, and is determined to capture the heart and hand of his future bride. Isabella is a great heroine, but also kind of mad. Not a mad character, but completely determined to marry the rather hideous Mr. Roberts to save her parent’s reputation, it all gets a bit bonkers. I mean she has a Duke who wants to marry her. But it would seem her mother hates the gentry and is horrified by her daughter’s new suitor. And well it’s all a bit ridiculous really, with her parents refusing to let the Duke visit, Isabella determined not to fall for him and cue a rather silly plot, which is entertaining never the less and I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.
The romance itself is sweet, I loved that Anthony was so in love with Isabella from the first moment, what girl doesn’t want a fabulous rich man running after them and trying to woe them? He is dashing and courteous and rather irresistible. A true knight in shining armour.
There are some great additional characters that add to the story, from Isabella’s cheeky sister Jamie, Anthony’s rakish best friend and his rather sweet mother. As this is the beginning of a new series by Barnes this opens things up for plenty of further sub stories for different characters.
The ending is rather fab in true Cinderella style (are you sensing a theme? ) and of course the baddies get their due comeuppance. I ended up enjoying The Trouble With Being A Duke much more than I thought I would when I read the summary.
A great, fun read. There aren’t lots of twists and turns, it’s a simple romance about an ordinary girl capturing the heart of a Duke. Despite its simplicity and slight plot silliness I actually couldn’t put it down and finished the last page with a smile on my face.
A great novella to accompany On Dublin Street if you want to know a little but more about Ellie and Adam's romance. Really enjoyed it, particularly th...moreA great novella to accompany On Dublin Street if you want to know a little but more about Ellie and Adam's romance. Really enjoyed it, particularly the flashbacks to Ellie's past :-) (less)
I read On Dublin Street on the insistence of fellow BCC reviewer Gemma who determinedly told me I would love it. In fact, she wanted me to read it so...moreI read On Dublin Street on the insistence of fellow BCC reviewer Gemma who determinedly told me I would love it. In fact, she wanted me to read it so much she actually bought it for me, which was incredibly sweet and kind. So how could I refuse such an offer? I don't know what I was expecting really, I'm always slightly nervous about reading a book someone highly recommends what if you hate something they love so much? I opened On Dublin Street with obvious high expectations and the prologue was so far from what I was expecting, I immediately found myself sinking into the writing.
On Dublin Street is the story of Jocelyn (Joss) Butler, I was anticipating an erotic romance, but the book is so much more than that. It's a story about grief, it's a story about love and friendships, but I think most importantly it's a story about learning to live and love and not being afraid of the future no matter where it might take you.
The book opens with Joss as a teenage girl. We see a glimpse of one tragic day that changes her life forever and makes her into the woman she becomes. Fast forward eight years and Joss has relocated from Virginia to Scotland and has a new life and is in the process of looking for a new flatmate. Her first comment about Ellie her new roommate, is that Ellie is friendly and she doesn't normally associate with friendly people, because they ask questions. Because Joss hides behind a wall, she deflects personal questions and she doesn't talk about her past or her parents ... ever. She is cool, she is aloof and she is solitary and believes life is better this way.
Enter Braden, he's seriously hot, he's seriously cocky, he's rich and he's used to getting his own way. He also turns out to be her new flatmate's brother. The chemistry between Joss and Braden is off the scale. They start with Joss completely refusing to consider any sort of relationship between them, the build up and tension as they spark off one another as Joss refuses Braden burns a hole in the page. It's mega sexy and they haven't even had sex yet. Until you reach that pivotal moment and all parties involved, including the reader are about ready to combust!
It's a love / hate relationship, but it's a relationship that also makes Joss begin to reevaluate her whole life. But it's not just Braden who plays a part in this. Her friendship with the beautifully warm and bubbly Ellie is new and important too. We watch throughout the book as slowly Ellie and Braden break through Joss's veneer. Crumbling the walls she has worked so very hard to erect. But to open yourself up to love and deep friendship, also opens you up to risk of heartache and Joss is not sure she can comeback from that again. Young wrote these emotional aspects so well, as a reader you ended up both frustrated with Joss, but also feeling emotionally for her aswell
This is a fabulous book, it's compelling, it writes about the importance of family and friendships, it's about an individual's (Joss's) journey and an incredibly addictive and sexy romance. There is also a great sub-plot romance around Ellie. A highly recommended summer read and a big thanks to Gemma to introducing me to it :-) (less)
Frost Burned is book number 7 in the Mercy Thompson series and this is one series that delightfully has not lost it...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Frost Burned is book number 7 in the Mercy Thompson series and this is one series that delightfully has not lost its spark over time. Over the last two books Briggs seems to have cleverly changed the setting or scenario so that the writing remains fresh and interesting. I should also add that it was most definitely better than River Marked, the last instalment.
The storyline centres around the kidnapping of the whole pack (yes all of them) as Mercy, with the exception of snarly werewolf Ben, remains un-captured. Leaving Mercy with the task of finding and rescuing the pack, as well as protecting anyone else affiliated with them from harm, including Adam’s daughter Jesse.
I really enjoyed the fact that I felt like we saw what I would describe as some old-school Mercy in this book, as she works on her own to solve the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I love Adam and we even get some scenes from his point of view too, which was awesome. Really awesome actually, to see his feelings and emotions and also what it’s like to be a powerful wolf, his love for Mercy. But I do also like it when Mercy’s on the back foot working her way out of a situation too.
Stefan’s back yay! But we also get lots of Ben, Kyle and Tad. Ben always has been an interesting character, Tad I hadn’t written thought much of really before other than as a secondary character, but he was a great and quite funny and I hope we see more of him. It was also fab to see more of Kyle, if not for his fashion sense alone.
For readers of the Alpha and Omega spin-off series, (very) old werewolf Asil guests in Frost Burned. I had a big grin when he appeared, there’s something about him I find quite fascinating. He’s the darkest of all of Briggs’ werewolves, silently rocking on the edge of sociopath-ness (yes I know that’s a bit of a made up word ). I could happily read a book all about him and his past. The interactions between him and Mercy were amusing and he made a great addition to the overall cast of characters.
The plot was a wily, twisty thing giving me several unexpected twists. The abduction plot itself ended up being quite far reaching. But this something I completely love about Briggs’ writing she throws in plenty of surprises and there’s plenty to keep you guessing. The unsettled political landscape seems to be growing in momentum with the wolves and the fae now ‘out’ in the open, what will become of the vampires? The sense of unease and growing unrest within the the fae is going to hopefully bring some great storylines in future books.
The great thing about seeing some of the story from Adam’s point of view was getting a real deep insight to his feelings for Mercy. The love they have for one another is a really lovely thing and it only added to the romance in the book. Despite their marriage and the end of the love triangle, not one part of the chemistry between them has lots its sizzle at all.
A great book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I adored as always the romance between Mercy and Adam. Mercy is one of the top urban fantasy heroines in my opinion and this book reminded just why. All these great elements were bound together in a superb plot that’s as twisty and bendy as a yoga instructor.