Once Upon A Christmas is a deliciously cosy Christmas romance, which hits the spot perfectly if you want to sink intReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Once Upon A Christmas is a deliciously cosy Christmas romance, which hits the spot perfectly if you want to sink into an easy holiday romance. Split into two parts, you get two romances for the price of one, set in the pretty Lake District.
The first story follows single Mum and doctor, Bryony, whose daughter, Lizzie has written a letter to Santa asking for a Daddy for Christmas. The thing is, Bryony has been in love with best friend, and fellow doctor, Jack, who’s an all round ladies man since she was 5. Realising that nothing is going to happen between them, she decides to put him behind her and starts dating in earnest, only for Jack to start jeopardising her dates. She’s baffled, what is going on?
Jack most definitely has the sexy doctor thing going on, and I loved the banter between him and Bryony. The attraction between the couple was palpable, as was Jack’s denial of his feelings. Bryony’s daughter is as cute as a button and added an extra dimension to see how Jack, the self-confessed ladies man, interacted with her with such care and affection. Jack and Bryony also work on the search and rescue team which made for some interesting thrills in the storyline.
This is my first Sarah Morgan book and her writing style is great, it’s light, addictive, and the will they, won’t they plot completely kept me hooked. This was honestly a fab friends to lovers romance with a really adorable Christmas ending.
The second part of the story was about Bryony’s brother, GP Oliver. When Bryony’s best friend Helen’s life gets turned upside down when she’s jilted at the altar, she needs somewhere to go and lick her wounds. Off on her honeymoon, Bryony offers her her cottage and asks her brother to keep an eye on her friend.
Again Morgan has created another truly fabulous hero. As soon as he sees Helen it’s love at first sight for Oliver. He is so caring, down to earth and devastatingly sexy. Helen is like a broken little sparrow at the beginning and it’s lovely to watch her bloom and recover under Oliver’s gentle care. The couple do fall for one another remarkably fast. Oliver even faster, but this only made me like Oliver even more, his conviction in himself and his feelings.
Helen and Oliver’s story gives us a greater insight into village life in the Lake District, and the depictions and anecdotes of the lives of the people that visit Oliver’s surgery. From newborns, to the elderly, to amusing love life problems, it was warm and funny. You can’t help but fall for both Helen and Oliver and the people in their small village.
Honestly, if you want a heartwarming Christmas romance, you really shouldn’t look any further. I loved both parts of this book and devoured it quickly. I have seen that Bryony’s other brother Tom’s story is written about in Snowkissed, parts of the story have already hinted at, and I think I might purchase it to enjoy during Christmas week itself .
The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby, was a good and I enjoyed it, but at the same time it wasn’t awesome. It was one of thosReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby, was a good and I enjoyed it, but at the same time it wasn’t awesome. It was one of those books that while I enjoyed it when I read it, I also wasn’t desperate to pick it up again after I put it down. At times the plot was slow, but when it worked it did work.
The story follows cowboy Lucian as he returns home from serving in Kuwait, during his time away he has had daily web chats with the lovely Natalie and he has high hopes of a potential relationship. But as he arrives home (a little early) Natalie is already at his home, she greets him with gun in hand as she shoots a troublesome coyote, with a baby in her arms. Much to Lucian’s surprise.
Clearly the story is a lighthearted festive cowboy romance, it is meant to be fun and slightly madcap. Amongst this theme is a recurring problem crazy animals which is fun and the interference of Lucian’s family who have decided they very much want Lucian and Natalie to be together,as well as their adoration of baby Joshua. But, there were some things that just didn’t work for me. The fact that Natalie concealed her pregnancy for the whole time her & Lucas were communicating did irritate me. How can you talk to someone everyday and not tell them such a huge thing? I think Lucas had every right to be angry and while I know he needed to forgive for the story to move on, I did feel that he forgave her quite quickly.
Then there were odd things about how Natalie was looking after her baby, like weaning him onto food at 8 weeks and giving him alcohol to make him sleep. I don’t in general care what age or sex an author is, but these actually came across as quite old fashioned and perhaps showed the author’s age, and could have done with a bit of modern research? Also given that it was only 8 weeks since she gave birth, Natalie seemed to have no concerns about having sex, or even about stretch marks or her body. The there was the fact she conceived her son after an accident one night where she had unprotected sex and the first she sleeps with Lucian she does it again! I mean seriously you would have learnt your lesson… Right?
On the flip side there were things I really enjoyed. Natalie’s sassiness, the way she doesn’t take any nonsense from her love potential rival. I mentioned earlier the funny scenes with the crazy animals and Lucian’s older relatives were incredibly endearing. Lucian is a great cowboy hero, calm, strong and very understanding. I kept reading because I really wanted to see how he and Natalie ended up and where their romance was going to go. It also have a lovely festive feel and you can’t go wrong with a happy festive ending.
This wasn’t the best Christmas or cowboy book, but it was still fun. I did have some problems with the plot, pacing and character decisions. But I did like Lucian and Natalie and wanted to see their happy ending and it gave me a cute Christmas one, with plenty of tinsel!
Alpha Instinct was a great book and I devoured it quickly. A paranormal romance, it combines super sexy romance, honReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Alpha Instinct was a great book and I devoured it quickly. A paranormal romance, it combines super sexy romance, honestly Connor is hot with a capital ‘H’, with some great mystery and paranormal elements.
Our heroine, Ana, has been left as the alpha of her pack after all the men in the pack were mysteriously poisoned and killed. If that’s not enough responsibility, neighbouring alpha Taggart is trying for a hostile takeover. Known for his cruelty particularly to women, Ana wants nothing to do with him. When Connor turns up, a man Ana fell in love fifty ‘shifter’ years ago, who left her without a word, Ana dare not trust him and is scared to give him her heart.
Added into the plot is a mystery, as you realise there is a human killer out for Ana and her pack working in the background. You have Taggart’s nasty behaviour, more poisonings, and attacks on people associated with the pack, and as the plot winds up you realise there are multiple evil baddies and you just need to work out who.
The big thing that really worked in this novel was the chemistry between Ana and Connor, it was fabulously smoking and kept me completely hooked into the story. I wanted them to get together, but I also enjoyed the dance until they finally got there. Connor totally has the alpha thing going on; bullish, sexy, bossy, but cute too, and Ana is a determined woman who is not afraid to fight for herself, but will also admit when she needs help as well.
There was also a side blossoming romance between Connor’s brother, Liam, and local bookstore owner, December, which was sizzling and compelling. The ending left me so wanting to be reading more of them. Luckily book two in the series is all about them! If I’m honest, I think there were times when Liam and December totally stole the show from Ana and Connor as I wanted the story to flash back to them.
The plot was full of plenty of action, and Reus wasn’t afraid to kill off a character, or maybe two. There is some interesting world building, I really enjoyed the fact that this was a world where shifters and vampires had come out in the open and were dealing with their place in society, and the discrimination that that brought with it. Reus threaded wider plots lines for further books in the series right from the onset, which meant the series shows a lot of promise and I will definitely be continuing with it.
If I had one niggle, it was that I guessed who the main bad guy was. At the same time, I wouldn’t say that the plot was predictable., but I do prefer to be surprised. I not only guessed, but I guessed from quite early on, so I think the plot needed just a couple more twists to keep me on my toes. Also, quick side note, but the US cover is totally wrong and nothing like I pictured Ana looked like, I hate it when that happens.
A really solid start to a new series. I enjoyed Reus’s writing style and the romance between Ana and Connor, and even more so the beginning of the romance between Liam and December. The book nicely sets up some great plots for future books in the series. I did have one niggle in that I worked out who the bad guy was, but I will most definitely be picking up book two.
I am a really big fan of Kenyon’s writing and I have read nearly every on of her books. Her Dark-Hunter series hittiReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
I am a really big fan of Kenyon’s writing and I have read nearly every on of her books. Her Dark-Hunter series hitting the top of that list. But I do find, that some books are amazing and some books are more middling. The non amazing books always disappoint because you know just how good Kenyon can be. And it’s not that the middling books are bad, they’re really not, they just don’t compare to some of her more awesome titles.
Unfortunately, you can probably guess where this is going… Time Untime was one of the more middling ones. Time Untime has a lot of Native American aspects to it, our heroine Kateri is a professor at university and despite loving her grandmother deeply, never believed all of the stories she always told her. That is until all things go a bit crazy one day in her lab and soldier appears out of nowhere trying to kill her.
Based around the Mayan calendar and the predictions of the apocalypse, Kateri discovers she is the descendant of a longline of women able to close the portal between dimensions and prevent the end of the world.
Enter Ren, a man Katerihas dreamed about all of her life. But in these dreams he always kills her. Ren is a Darkhunter, and like all darkhunters has experienced a terrible and brutal life. Ren is the son of a tribal chief and Atlantean Goddess. His mother unable to raise him, gives him to his father, who not only does want him, but completely hated him and treated him despicably. His past like most of the darkhunters is terribly sad and brutal. Ren’s job is to protect and help Kateri achieve her goal, but there is darkness in his past that he is fighting very hard to control him and derail their mission.
Ren had a stutter which given the fact he was a total bad-ass warrior, this really endeared me to him. I do like a hero with a vulnerable side. I did also really enjoy the romance between him and Kateri. Ren had so many hang ups and had experienced so many betrayals that the romance was lovely to see blossom and him finally experience true love. Kateri is a tough chick and being a professor, clever and determined too. They both made great leas characters.
As a huge Acheron fan, I did enjoy the scenes we go go him in the book and we also got to see some characters we’ve met in previous books, particularly from Retribution. I would actually go as far as saying you ideally need to read Retribution before this one. Ladies, trust me there is plenty of warrior man candy in Time Untime to keep you happy.
As can be the case in some of Kenyon’s books, I did find it tricky at time keeping track of all of the folklore and pantheons in this book. From Mayan, Greek, Atlantean and Native American, it’s all kind of thrown in there. It did create a couple of head scratching moments for me, but if have also come to accept this is pretty much Kenyon’s style.
A good book, lots of action and a romance you can’t help but route for. Not Kenyon’s best, and some of the mythology is hard to keep track of, but you still won’t regret picking it up. Another solid instalment in the Dark-Hunter series, not I hardly wait to pick up Styxx!
Celtic Moon is the first in a new series by Jan DeLima and I have to say it was a cracking start. Our heroine SophieReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
Celtic Moon is the first in a new series by Jan DeLima and I have to say it was a cracking start. Our heroine Sophie has been on the run for fifteen years from the father of her son. Moving regularly as he continues to hunt her and their son Joshua down. When Sophie was pregnant Sophie discovered that Dylan was a shapeshifter and when he threatened to take her baby from her she knew she had to run, to protect both her and her unborn baby.
But now her son is fifteen, Sophie has been noticing unusual things with his behaviour and suspects that just like his father Joshua might be able to shift into a wolf too. Unable to help him herself and fuelled by a powerful mother’s love, Sophie does the unthinkable and calls Dylan. Dylan desperate to find his child and the only woman he has ever loved, immediately agrees to help even though there is a terrible war looming in his world and as the leader of his people Dylan knows there are seriously dangerous times ahead.
Celtic Moon was a surprisingly good read and a real page turner. When I read the premise I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of the book, but DeLima has managed to write an urban fantasy novel that combines traditional werewolf legend with new and interesting mythology. She has crafted a new world of shapeshiters, guardians, magic and legend and it was fascinatingly enjoyable. The book only scratched the surface of the different powers that each of the wolves possessed, and there is still plenty to explored and explained, leaving some great threads open for future books in the series. Each of the werewolves appear to have different powers and limitations and are uniquely connected with nature. Dylan’s sister Elen is a particularly interesting character in this respect. The story itself sits on that bridge between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, giving it the grit and action I regularly enjoy with a rich romance at the centre.
Sophie herself is a great main character. She has evolved herself from an environmental pacifist and nature lover to a toughened warrior in her own right. Learning to fight, shoot guns and use knives in order to protect her son. There was something that very mildly reminded me of Sarah Connor from the Terminator films in this respect, although Sophie was slightly softer. There was very little she wouldn’t do for Joshua. The relationship she shares with her son is warm and well written.
Dylan is a tough man to read. A leader of waifs, strays and rejects. Not to be dismissed as insignificant. He is the protector of those the guardians would rather kill. Just as he is finding his long lost wife, and the son he has never met his world is on the brink of war. Of course everything coalesces into a fab finale.
If I had one criticism of the story, it was that after years of running from Dylan, doing everything in her power to hide and protect her son, and I mean years of continuously moving and running. I felt like Sophie went back into a relationship far too quickly. Two days after they’re reunited. It was all too fast, I wanted it to be more of a slow grower, giving them both time to love and trust again. It just annoyed me.
Both a great debut novel and start to a new urban fantasy series. Celtic Moon was one of those books when the pages keep on turning and you’re half way into the story already. DeLima has done some really interesting world building, which I look forward to reading more about. Despite my frustrations with the super fast reconciliation I did really enjoy Sophie and Dylan’s romance too.
Beautiful Bad Man tells the story of two children, Cal and Norah, who shared an experience that stayed with them forever. Cal has never forgotten whatBeautiful Bad Man tells the story of two children, Cal and Norah, who shared an experience that stayed with them forever. Cal has never forgotten what Norah did for him, and will always be indebted to ‘the Girl‘. Norah has always dreamed of what became of ‘the Boy’ after that fateful night. Many years later, Cal is working as a gun for hire, when the group of men he is working with are asked to scare a widow off her lands so that his employer might force her to sell. At first he doesn’t recognise the beleaguered, grief stricken widow. But when it looks like things are going to get out of hand he knows he’s going to have to step in.
I’ve never read anything by Ellen O’Connell before, and decided to buy Beautiful Bad Man after it was recommended to me on Amazon. Her writing style appears to have a little more darkness in it than other historical westerns I have read, but it’s got an easy flow and the darker undertones adds depth to her characters.
Both Cal and Norah have been damaged by their life experiences. Cal abused in childhood until he is left believing his is a damaged, evil man, and Norah is wallowed so deep in grief, that she no longer has the drive in her to carry on living. Each have their own journey to travel, but seeing each other again after all the time that has passed is the trigger to their recovery.
The wider plot circles around the evil landowner Van Cleve who is intent on driving Norah and her neighbours off their lands in order to expand his empire. He sets about this with bullying, vandalism and murder. It soon becomes apparent to Norah, if she wishes to keep her lands she is needs a tougher person to help her, and it also become clear that Cal might be one of the few people who can stop him.
I did like Cal, there were occasions when he did make me smile with his liberal take on what was legal and what wasn’t. I also enjoyed how he shouted at Norah until she came back into herself and fought to live again. What I did miss with O’Connell’s writing style was a greater insight into the character’s emotions and feelings. While of course you do get some of this, I would have liked it to have been deeper as you didn’t always know what the characters feelings were at different junctures of the story. I think this element could have been expanded and made the overall love story richer.
The romance takes a while to get going and it was far from love at first sight, despite their curiosity of one another due to their past connection. Norah is a tough character, she is a survivor and knows how to work and endure. Cal believes himself to be evil and unworthy of love, and initially, only stays to help Norah out of a sense of duty. But the slow blossom of love and healing they each undertake made it a lovely read.
As I mentioned earlier, this definitely has darker undertones to this story, of rape, child abuse and neglect. But it also brought home some of the tougher realities of living in the West in the 19th century. Namely poverty, starvation and corruption. A time when not owning a gun could mean your death. I enjoyed this part of the book, I don’t mind a bit of darkness in the books that I read, and it added plenty of tension to the story.
A well written historical western. I would have liked to have seen more about the character’s feeling at different moments, but that aside this was an engaging, slow burner of a romance with a darker edge mixed in. I will be reading more by Ellen O’Connell in the future.
Rock Chick is my seventh book by Kristen Ashley and as I only discovered her as an author in May this year, that’s qReviewed 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! :-)