5+++ Star Review: Midnight Blue by LJ Shen

Friday, 20 November 2020 No comments

This book stole my heart. It’s one of the best rockstar romance books that I have EVER read.

The title sang to me. Reading it wasn’t a requirement it was a necessity and now its presence has left an indelible mark deep within me.

Alex is so perfectly complicated and literally came alive in front of my eyes. I suspect some readers will struggle with Alex's self-destructive personality, the way he sees the world and the way he reacts to the pressures he faces, but I see a brilliant artist who struggles on a daily basis to be accepted and to accept those around him.

He scarred me. I decorated him. But at the end of the day, we were both tainted by each other.

Controlled by “Suits”, Alex plays his management in the same way he plays his beloved Tania, with careful precision. He knows they dictate where he is to be, how he’s to behave and what is expected of him but little does he know, their control goes way beyond what he could imagine possible.

”Are you happy, Alex?”

“I’m an artist. My job is not to be happy. My job is to feel, to suffer, and to conjure the same feelings in others.”

Due to go on a world tour for three months, and needing Alex to remain sober and in control, the Suits arrange for a “nanny” to shadow his every move. That nanny is Indigo “Indie” Bellamy. Indie looks sweet and seemingly fragile enough to damage and that’s exactly what Alex sets out to do, break her and to send her home crying and into the arms of her dysfunctional family. What Alex doesn’t expect is her quiet determination to succeed and inner strength.

Like my dignity, Alex Winslow was a two-faced man. One was the cold, asshole devil he gave me now, the one who wanted me to kneel. The other was his playful, relaxed self.

With her family struggling financially, and her brother finding it difficult to overcome the loss of their parents, Indie is the glue that is holding everyone together. That glue before long is also felt by Alex as he starts to find that he needs her, if only for intimacy. What Alex doesn’t expect is for Indie to become his muse. Writing songs in a hotel corridor at midnight starts off relatively innocently enough but with Alex pressing every one of Indie’s buttons, she soon starts to waiver where her feelings for him are concerned.

Alex wanted into my pants. Lucas wanted into my life. And I wanted to get out of this tour alive and whole. Heart, body and soul.

With each tour stop, more of Alex and Indie’s personalities are revealed. In Moscow they start to get close, in London, they are practically dating, even if neither wants to accept their feelings towards one another, by Paris the sparks really start to fly but for all of the wrong reasons.

Everyone can-and does-see my scars. No exceptions. My soul is empty.

To Alex, Indie is like a shiny penny. Something that he must have, keep close and not share with anyone and that includes his bandmate Lucas, who Indie gets close to much to Alex’s annoyance. Where Indie is concerned, Alex is like a petulant child and sharing his muse is something that he's not prepared to do.

This story takes you on an atmospheric journey which captures a multitude of emotions. It’s poignant, heartbreaking, funny, sexy, and above all mesmerising and I can't recommend it strongly enough!

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Crew

Tuesday, 3 November 2020 No comments

At first, I had a love/hate relationship with it. I wasn’t sure how or if I would relate to Bren, having experienced her almost childish ways from Channing’s perspective. Then we meet her. I mean, we really meet her. We see what makes her tick, why she carries a knife, why she joined her crew, why her relationship with Channing is so fragile, why she relies on Cross, and why she became the Bren she is today. I cried for her when she couldn’t shed the tears herself. I wanted to fight with her, for the future she lost thanks to her father. And, I wanted to protect her, from herself and those intent on causing her harm.

This book really had it all. Yes, the crew life may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and yes, the whole book is set around Bren and her crew but it is so much more than just violence and scrapping. The story shows how four dysfunctional people became friends and why their loyalty to each other means more than life itself.

This book is poignant and heartbreaking in the way the story is portrayed. I was frustrated with the characters at times but that just made me more invested in the storyline. I really disagreed with Cross’s decision to put retribution before Bren towards the end of the story, and that point had me almost tearing my hair out but then I realised, these are young people shaped in a way that is different to most. They draw their strength from each other and could quite possibly fall apart without each other.

The boys are A-typical for their age group in the way they sleep around but that just makes them more loveable. That said, Cross and Bren’s connection was the complete opposite with them drawing comfort from each other’s presence way before their entanglement became romantic. The whole romance scene between them was extremely well written, thoughtful and tasteful, which I really appreciated.

I am sorry that some people didn’t connect with the story or the characters. For me, they are simply diamonds in the rough. Created from a force so great that makes them shine in their own special way.

This was an audiobook read for me and the narrator really did the story a huge justice in the way she portrayed the characters and brought the story to life. Maybe there’s a difference between the ebook and the audiobook, I don’t know. What I do know is that this story, although it started steadily, is one that will last with me for a very long time. I can’t wait to read/listen on in this series.

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Review: Front Page News

Tuesday, 6 October 2020 No comments

Front Page News by Jade C Jamison (Nicki Sosebee #13)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've come out of my reviewing hiatus for Nicki Sosebee and all I can say is....


Well, we’re here, the last book in the sensational Nicki Sosebee series. It’s always sad to reach the conclusion of a long-running series and this one will be especially poignant for me.

After my rather *sorry* vocal disappointment of the preceding instalment, Wake Up, I decided to woman-up and re-read it in preparation for Front Page News, but this time, I managed to do it with an open perspective, just!

So, “the thing” happened in Wake Up, it was a big thing and it floored me but upon re-reading the story I actually managed to once again become involved in the mystery and suspense of the Nicki Sosebee series and to put aside my frustration.

The ongoing saga of whether Nicki will bring Winchester’s own crime lord and his many minions down has been the main focus of this series and her love interests have almost become a side-part of what makes Nicki, Nicki. I think I allowed myself to become too invested in wanting to see Nicki’s heart protected and somehow I lost my way with the slow burn of Nicki’s biggest story to date as it was developing. That, however, was soon corrected in Front Page News.

The start of Front Page News carries on immediately from the end of Wake Up so a re-read may be necessary if you can’t remember what lead to the cliff-hanger at the end of Wake Up. By contrast to the preceding instalment, Front Page News is all about the drama and how suddenly all the pieces of Nicki’s Winchester jigsaw are finally coming together. Nicki, and rightly so by this point in her investigations, is now highly paranoid of who she can and can’t trust but with Jesse at her side, she decides to step-up her investigations especially into “the thing” that happened in Wake Up and the story suddenly takes on an almost frantic feel to it as Nicki, and us as her devoted readers, desperately race with her towards the finish line in order to see if she manages to bring the “King” to his knees and to find out who, exactly, the mysterious “Blackie” really is.

The story hit a number of high notes for me. The suspense was riveting and hypnotic, the mystery became almost tangible as the story reached its conclusion and when it did, I was left reeling and with a smug sense of satisfaction. Now, whilst the story hit all the high notes with the mystery and suspense it did have a twist to its tail, quite literally, but for me, and I hate to say it, but it felt too staged (I’m sorry Jade). Yes, I wanted the mystery around “the thing” to be resolved and yes it was but the conclusion of the story felt rushed. I missed the warm tingly feeling I always felt around Nicki and her love interests and yet I was still pleased that my many questions were answered. Personally, I thought the ending was going in another direction which is possibly why I was thrown for a loop, again, but still, the story ended on a positive with all of my many questions answered. I would have liked to have read more about the downfall of the “King” but sadly this was glossed over. I would have also liked to have witnessed how other key players were brought down in order to revel in Nicki’s glory but the story jumped ahead in time and ended with the final nail being hammered into the King’s metaphorical coffin and Nicki’s Winchester crown sitting pretty atop her head.

One thing that really confused me was why were there so many Nathan’s in this book (Wright, Carpenter and Jr.!). Can you tell that I’ve become slightly too invested in this series? I have loved spending time with Nicki and I am so sad to see her story end (although I’m sure Jade is glad to see the back of her and all of the blood, sweat and tears she unwittingly set herself up for after creating such an amazing character).

To Jade C Jamison, I say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for giving us Nicki Sosebee. I have loved her and I will miss her and I will be eternally grateful that you saw this series through to its conclusion and for giving Nicki’s fans a very happy finale to what was a fascinating series.


Review: Birthday Girl

Monday, 9 March 2020 No comments

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This has to be right up there with my all-time favourite reads. The story had everything that I hoped for!

This, as seen in the blurb, is another delicious forbidden romance from Penelope Douglas. The sexual relationship between the key protagonists was incredibly slow to develop but it picked up quite a pace once the reins were released. Pike was the perfect partner to complement Jordan and despite her young age and relative innocence, her character was penned in a way that came across as much older than her years.

Despite being her boyfriend's father, Jordan finds herself spending more time with Pike as her Cole distances himself from her and their life together. When she realises that their relationship is over Jordan once again finds herself facing more impossible situations but the ever-reliable Pike is there to offer her support and friendship.

The way the developing relationship between Pike and Jordan was written allowed readers the chance to come to terms with their love affair and although they both resisted it, it was Jordan who came to her senses first and realised that there was nothing that they couldn't overcome if they handled their relationship carefully. Unfortunately for her, Pike found accepting their romantic feelings for one another more difficult and delayed the inevitable talk with his family and it was that delay which brought about the biggest fight of his life.

This was definitely a story to love and it was made even more enjoyable via Audible.

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