5+++ Star Review: Hold On (The Burg #6) by Kristen Ashley

Monday 25 January 2016 No comments
Hold On (The 'Burg, #6)Hold On by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

10 "Gooey" Stars. A perfect ending to a perfect series.

That was epilogue heaven. Yes, she who hates epilogues, loved this one, HARD.

This is one of my all time favourite series. I may have taken me a while to get around to reading The 'Burg series but it was certainly worth the wait. Kristen Ashley is an author who really knows how to sell a story to her readers. At first I thought the level of detail in her books was occasionally unnecessary but I quickly came to appreciate that this is where the magic lies in her writing. She tells you everything which in turns makes you an active participant in her stories.

Garrett's story was the perfect conclusion to this series. Right from the start I knew this was going to be an emotional read as I absorbed Cher's pain. This woman has faced it all and lived to tell the tale but when she claims to not deserve her own HEA my heart practically broke for her. Cher is loved amongst her friends though and despite her background they will do anything for her, even the loveable Ryker (who steals the show in every book in my opinion).

I especially love the way Kristen Ashley brings the children in this series to life and you find yourself loving them as much as the main players, if not more, and Ethan was a prime example of this. Despite his tender age, he is fiercely protective of his mother and wants nothing more than for her to be happy.

It's with a heavy heart that I end this series but I know deep down that I will return to it often.

Review: Soulless

Tuesday 19 January 2016 No comments
Soulless Soulless by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a delightfully dark pairing Bear and Thia turn out to be!

I read the conclusion to Bear and Thia’s story with a heavy heart. Lawless left us waiting, not so patiently, to find out what happened to Bear and Thia so Soulless couldn’t come quickly enough.

So, did I enjoy it? Yes, mostly. It took me a while to get into the story but from 20% in, it really did wrap things up nicely albeit with a shock or two along the way. It even made me cry at one point. God, I loved Grace. The story also had a bit of the unbelievable about it as we get to spend time with Preppy, yes, he who died [all too soon in my opinion] had a cameo part to beat all cameo parts.

So Bear is in prison and Thia must be kept safe. Enter the weird and wonderful Rage [I hope she gets a spin-off story]. Despite being told to trust Bear, Thia struggles without him being around but with the MC club falling apart around Chop’s feet, Bear must bide his time and build an army ready for his release and the inevitable revenge attack on his father.

King and Ray also play a small part in this instalment, which just sweetened the deal for me. But it’s the minor characters who add mystery to this story with friends and foe’s swapping sides just to add to our reading enjoyment!

I have enjoyed this series and the characters that TM Frazier has created. There is violence and blood and gore but there is also a special unbreakable bond between three friends, later brothers, which makes this story so unique. There is laughter, tears and love in the search of peace and happiness.

Copy provided by the author in return for an honest review.

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Review: The Protector

Friday 15 January 2016 No comments
The Protector The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just like a naked romp through a field of bluebells, this is sure to be another hit for JEM!

It’s been a while since I read anything by Jodi Ellen Malpas. I’m always hesitant when an author has reached such a pinnacle with a previous series and fearful that they won’t be able to emulate it. For me, leaving the author’s writing well alone up to now seems to have worked because I was swept away by The Protector . Whilst I could still feel JEM’s pulse coming through her writing, the story held a purity to it which was untainted by a certain “Jesse Ward” .

One thing JEM does write, extremely well, is a strong alpha-male. Jesse may never be beaten in that category but Jake Sharp more than makes up the numbers in JEM’s every growing arsenal of dream-worthy characters. Jake is ex-military, and an all-round bad boy with sharp edges. With a fiercely protective personality – which is good given he’s a bodyguard – and a painful memory he can’t escape, he’s just crying out to be fixed. Enter Camille Logan, an “It” girl living in London. To the gossip mags, she is an entitled, spoilt, rich little girl living off her daddy’s wealth but that is far from the truth. Cami is desperately trying to find her way in a world which she lives through a lens as every aspect of her life is scrutinised by the press. Having fallen from grace, thanks to her drug-addled ex, Sebastian, she is determined to turn a corner and in doing so wants to create a life for herself well away from her father’s controlling personality. With a string of inappropriate suitors in Cami’s past, her father is looking to match her up with someone dependable, but boring. Before any of his plans can be put into motion though, Cami becomes the target of anonymous threats. Cami is her father’s little star and, despite his shady background, he’s determined to keep her safe and there’s only one man for that job: Jake Sharp.

Jake is living on a diet of work, women and drink and when one is lacking, the others fill the gap. With no suitable jobs on the horizon, Jake considers turning down the bodyguard job to protect Cami. With his dark clouds building though, he agrees to take on her protection and soon becomes swept away by all that is Cami. Not only stunning on the outside, Jake quickly falls for her inner beauty and her need for independence. Keeping Jake on his toes becomes a game to her that is, until Sebastian raises his ugly head again then all bets are off. Torn between beating Sebastian to a pulp and saving Cami, Jake struggles to control his anger but one glance at Cami and he knows that he can’t resist her charms any longer. A job is a job and personal feelings never come into play for Jake but with one touch of Cami’s skin, he knows that she may be just the person to save him from the demons on his back.

Side by side, Cami and Jake fight to be together and free of the dangers and darkness that over shadows them but will they truly ever be free of what, or whom, controls their lives?

I really enjoyed this story. Set in London helped and a healthy dose of English colloquial terms made this book a refreshing change. I appreciate that JEM isn’t swayed by the strength of the US book market and stays true to her roots and doesn’t try the make her writing become too Americanised. Whilst I enjoyed the book, I didn’t fully connect with either Jake or Cami. Yes, their individual stories were to be relished, and I did appreciate their struggles, but I just didn’t feel that soul deep bond, for some reason, until the end of the book. Maybe I’m still under Jesse’s spell! Whilst an enjoyable story, with some twists and turns, I greedily still wanted more. The book felt slight long in-between excitement and because of this I am, I guess, rather harshly giving this story 4 stars. I absolutely LOVED the end of the story though and I could re-read the last 10% again, and again.

Definitely a book to recommend to my friends and followers though. Taking the magic that is “JEM” away from the equation, this would still be a hugely successful book and a pleasure to have read and reviewed.

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Review: Unforgivable Sin

Unforgivable Sin Unforgivable Sin by Isabel Lucero
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 2 in this amazing series and I just want to say, "hello Troy"!!!

If you haven't read this series you really should. A delicious group of escorts living a charmed life until that is..... until they fall in love.

Troy was a tough nut to crack. Still not able to trust after a painful break up, he's the one of the group most likely to remain an escort but that is until Em comes along. Despite his feelings and concerns though he takes a chance on love and despite his crazy ex, Carla re-emerging, they are determined to find their HEA, but will they?

Seriously folks, read this series, you'll love it!

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Review: Sins & Mistrust

Sins & Mistrust Sins & Mistrust by Isabel Lucero
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, OMG, OMG, this was soooo good. I loved Marc's story so much and was swept away by his romantic struggles

Marc, the third and final escort we get to experience, surpassed my expectations as did his romantic partners. It's a long time since I've read a good M/M, M/F/M, M/M/F book and this blew me away with the emotion. I really felt for Marc but it was Thalia who stole the show for me in her attempt to bring Marc, Lincoln and herself together. She patiently waited until Marc understood his feelings for Linc and her before releasing their explosive chemistry onto us poor unsuspecting readers.

This is a seriously sexy, hot, fun and delicious trilogy and I was left with only one question. Why hadn't I read it sooner!!!

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Review: Kill Me

Kill Me Kill Me by L.P. Lovell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book totally blew me away. This story was violent, sexual, angry and emotive - it fitted my "top book" expectations perfectly! I loved Una and Nero's story and can't wait for more.

A new author to me and one I will certainly return to. LP Lovell has a real talent for bringing drama and emotion to life through written words.

I knew this book would be one to relish. Anything involving the Mob or organised crime families, and a healthy dose of lust and lasciviousness ticks all of my boxes but what I didn’t expect was the power behind the story.

From the start, Una’s story was heartbreaking and painful. Although LP Lovell kept her abuse after being kidnapped brief, it still packed a punch. From childhood pain, readers are then thrust into a different type of suffering as Una is moulded over her teenage years, and earlier, into becoming an assassin and not just any assassin. Una commands a high price for her services and it’s clear from early into the story exactly why this is. Una is cold and calculating in her work and conducts her business with complete emotional detachment. Taking on other personas and images, Una tries to keep who she is a secret until she comes face to face with Nero. Nero wants his brother, the Capo, killed and hires Una for the job. What Una doesn’t expect though is that once the job is done, Nero will expect more from her in return for finding her long lost sister.

Nero scares me and it's such a rare gift, one that no one else has even given me.

With four killings expected, Una has her reservations but despite being under Nero’s control, Una starts to awaken her inner temptress and soon Nero and Una fall into an unconventional and violent relationship. Theirs is not a tender love but more of an explosion of sexual awakening as each fight for domination. Neither trusts the other but rely on each other for support and it’s this support that Una starts to question when it comes to Nero, especially since he is blackmailing her to complete the killings he seeks at her hands.

I suddenly see her for what she really is. The very qualities that make us human have been torn from her and though she is indeed strong, she's also irrevocably broken.

This story is, as expected, violent a time but not gratuitously so. It portrays a life many of us would never enter into but for Una and Nero, their bond is special and one to relish as you progress through their story. This instalment does end of a cliffie but it’s not too long to wait for the next instalment. Fortunately, in the meantime, Una’s prequel will shortly be released and I guess that will be a true telling of her experiences and indoctrinations from her abduction to her present day.
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Review: Make Me

Make Me Make Me by L.P. Lovell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Painfully brutal but singularly beautiful, the story of Una's training years is one that is difficult to stomach but at the same time captivating.

This was inevitably going to be a short but challenging read as we head back into Una's childhood which consisted of pain and abuse. From her time in the orphanage to when she is taken to be trained as an assassin, Una knows little of life outside of her tragic existence.

What this story does tell us though is more about the boy she has nightmares about and whom she killed: Alex. Brought together to train, Una and Alex share a bond which spans a few short years. Their connection is a tender one and it's formed by a deep emotional bond. Whilst neither act upon their feelings, in part due to their age, they do fall in love, as only young teenagers can when fighting to survive. Alex is tender with Una, he holds her, hugs her and sleeps next to her but this connection and palpable bond is their undoing once Nicholai Ivanov becomes aware of their mutual feelings. The outcome is painful but their journey is beautiful. I just wish there could have been a different outcome for poor Alex.

This series so far has been an absolute pleasure to read and to become lost in. Whilst it is dark, the story is meaningful and totally captivating. I'm not sure given the chance again whether I'd read Make Me before Kill Me but I am happy to have read this 0.5 novella after Kill Me, if only to fill in Una's back story. To read Make Me before or after Kill Me doesn't make a great deal of difference but I may have found Make Me a little shocking had I read it first, so personally I recommend reading Kill Me before Make Me.

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

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Review: Shut Up and Kiss Me

Shut Up and Kiss Me Shut Up and Kiss Me by Jessica Lemmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 "Silent" Stars

Whisper sweet words to me Cade!

This story starts where Fighting for Devlin left off, with the events immediately after Cade’s accident.

Cade’s problems do not end when he leaves the hospital as he realises that his future hopes and dreams have been dashed with the injuries he sustained in the car crash. With his voice in tatters, Cade’s father turns to Tasha to help his son, after Cade rejects every other therapist assigned to help him. Tasha is not a voice coach but uses her therapy training to try to support Cade through this challenging time in his life. The only problem is that Cade won’t even accept Tasha’s help and she is left with offering him the only thing that she can, her friendship.

Comforted by Tasha’s nearness, despite his vocal frustrations, the pair, whilst attracted to each other, spend time alongside each other in companionable silence but at the same time they start to form a special bond. Cade’s pain is tangible as he struggles through his daily existence without the words which were once his forte. Now bussing tables at Devlin’s restaurant, Cade is a shell of the man he was once and despite liking the distraction of working, he finds it hard to be around people, especially when they laugh at his silent demeanour. However, with Tasha at his side he finds a breakthrough and when they share their first kiss, Cade knows he must do everything he can to make her see how much she means to him.

Tasha’s father starts out be rejecting her connection to Cade and threatens her but having experienced her own form of torture in a past relationship, Tasha is not prepared to give Cade up, despite her father’s protestations. As Cade and Tasha continue to spend time together, their relationship develops into a tender romance and Cade is the perfect man for Tasha to trust with her heart.

I fell easily into this storyline and overall enjoyed it much more than Devlin’s story with Rena. Whilst Fighting for Devlin was more focused around illegal gambling, Cade and Tasha’s story is a gentler, altogether more rounded story with a sweet and caring undertone. I particularly enjoyed Cade’s vulnerability and his pain following his accident. Tasha’s role in Cade’s treatment was beautiful and despite the inevitable hurdle along the way towards their HEA, I didn’t find the story overly vexing.

You will definitely need to read Fighting for Devlin before starting Shut Up and Kiss Me as it sets the scene for Cade’s post-accident story but also because Devlin and Rena play an active part in this story as well.

Copy received via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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4 Star Review: The Consequence of Seduction (Consequence, #3) by Rachel Van Dyken

Thursday 14 January 2016 No comments
The Consequence of Seduction (Consequence, #3)The Consequence of Seduction by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

News Alert: Reid has been tamed!

I really do love this series and especially those Emory boys, Max and Reid. Despite being the older sibling, Reid finds himself far below Max’s maniacal brilliance on a daily basis but Reid will never go down without a fight and that means only one thing, he’s going to use everything in his arsenal to topple Max’s empire!

Max is bored and when Max is box the world needs to be fearful. Sitting in his ivory tower, he plots and plans his world domination, one step at a time. With his eyes set firmly on the Presidency though, and needing to bide his time before he takes up office, he decides that match-making is a more pressing matter *poor Reid*.

Despite his weird and wonderful ways, Max does have his brother’s and friends’ best interests at heart and seeing that Reid is still suffering at the hands of “Grandma”, he sets about getting him back in the saddle. Enter Jordan. After initially meeting in a bar, Reid is shocked to find that she is his new Publicist but what Jordan doesn’t expect is a new right-hand man, aka Max. Max decides to spice things up in Reid’s life and advertises a place playing Reid’s “shrew” in a real life remake of the Taming of the Shrew. In an attempt to escape the frenzy of female applicants, Jordan steps in and says the place is filled but little does she know that Max is happy to use her as Reid’s muse.

All out war ensues especially when Reid plays Max off against his father and as a result, Max’s sex life is put on hold! Max won’t be stopped though and Max without sex is a scary thing to behold. The story progresses with antics galore and pranks to make your eyes water, especially where Jason is concerned. Grandma makes an appearance *gotta love that woman* as well as Hades and Little G and the scene is set for yet another epic story in the Seduction series.

As much as I love this series, and in particular Reid, I did find this story particularly exhausting to read. This is more to do with trying to keep up with Max’s mind rather than RVD’s writing style though. The banter is fast flowing, the antics even quicker and Max is simply Max. Need I say more!

Jason’s story is next and I’m already mentally preparing for the physical onslaught. Poor Jason is bound to find himself in hospital a time or two!l

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Review: Trust

Trust Trust by Becca Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mafia story with a twist and a sting in its tail!!!

As beautiful as this cover is, I may have overlooked it had I not caught the word "Mafia" in an email from the author! Mafia stories are always a plus for me but having read so many recently I was sceptical whether this could satisfy my ever demanding addiction to this genre.

After starting the book, I did flick back to see if it really was about mafia as it started out more like an emotional contemporary romance. As the pages turned, I was enjoying the story but still wondering "where are the Mafia?” Then, BAM, all of a sudden I was thrust into a battle over Jessie, the sweet female character who was trying to put her life back together after the death of her husband, and his prior rejection of her. Lucas, her friend and confidant is waiting in the wings to help her heal broken heart but Lucas isn't necessarily Jessie's knight in shining armour! Despite being a friend of both Jessie and her late husband, Lucas has clearly been waiting to claim Jessie as his own but when Jessie receives a cryptic message from beyond the grave, she starts to wonder who, if anyone, she can "Trust" in her life.

After visiting the location of her inheritance, Jessie's life takes an irreversible change in direction when she comes face to face with previously unknown family members. And that's where I receive my fix of Mafia. With both her Grandfather and Uncle pointing the finger at each other as being responsible for her mother's death, Jessie doesn't know who she can trust, especially when it transpires that Chris and Lucas have been lying to her for years.

I LOVED Becca Lee's writing style in this book. Talk about smooth and sexy! With each page turn, her words unforgiving drew me deeper into the book and its hidden secrets. I loved the characters, although I felt a need to rein in my need to proclaim my undying love for Lucas until I knew I could trust him!

My only frustration with this story was that I felt it was wrapped up far too quickly. It was almost like the author had decided enough was enough and just ended it in a few pages when I was ready for another 20%. Had the ending been drawn out more, this story would have been a solid 5 Stars for me. Despite this, I have absolutely no reservations about recommending the book or the author. I'm not sure if Becca Lee intends to continue this story in the future but I have to say, it's just too good to leave a powerful Mafia themed story as a standalone. That would be sacrilege!!! I definitely think readers would benefit from a prequel to see the build up to this book from Chris' perspective.

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Review: Just a Kiss

Wednesday 13 January 2016 No comments
Just a Kiss Just a Kiss by Kate Kisset
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another new author to me and a series which has already captured my attention. Who wouldn’t love a romance story set amongst the wine region of Napa?

The story sets out telling the sad tale of Sarah, cheated out of her inheritance by her scheming ex-fiance and her accountant. Now she is rebuilding her life and her bakery business with the support of her loyal friends, Danica, Juliet and the delightful Lulu. When an opportunity arises to have one of the Santino brothers, Jamie, getting experience of baking in preparation for his next movie, Danica couldn’t resist offering him Sarah’s services and expertise. Sarah is horrified but reluctantly agrees to the request, especially when she lays eyes on Jamie. However, their first morning together doesn’t go to plan and Jamie has his offer rescinded. Jamie is not to be deterred however and returns the next day with apologies and a look that Sarah is futile to resist.

Despite her past, Sarah soons comes to realise that there is a mutual attraction between her and Jamie and with his cheeky personality she is finding it hard to resist him or his charms. The only spanner in works, so to speak, comes in the form of Nikki Lean, Jamie’s latest co-star. With Nikki determined to give off an air of “the man is clearly mine”, Sarah backs off but not without a fight from Jamie. The only problem for Sarah though is being able to trust a man again as she struggles to understand why this man in particular has set his sights on her.

The story progresses with plenty of fun and games courtesy of Danica, Juliet and Lulu and the rest of the Santino family, especially the six brothers who we have only been teased with so far.

I really enjoyed this story. It was lighthearted, well written and enjoyable. At times I had difficulty understanding and appreciating the path taken by Sarah and the way she spurned Jamie only to jump back into his arms, literally. This was a mood swing pattern that seemed to reoccur throughout the story. I felt the ending was slightly rushed and to my horror, the story finished at 88%, but we did get an extract from the next story, Napa Crush, Danica and Michael’s book. With twins in the future all is looking bright for the Single Girls Wine Club and especially the Santino brothers.

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Review: Win Me

Win Me Win Me by Joan Kilby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a combination: a cowboy, a soldier, and a country music star. Add to the mix three fun loving women and hey presto, you have The Outback Bachelor Ball series; a simply scrumptious trilogy.

The first in a three book serial written by three different authors: Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss and Sarah Mayberry, this opening instalment sets the scene as three friends are reunited for the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball. One recently separated from her husband (Beth), one jilted by her long term lover (Jen) and the other ready to return home to face the man she has always loved but failed to capture (Ellie), we get the feeling early on that this is going to be a fun if albeit emotional ride.

As the ball nears, and dares are set and accepted, the story speeds up as the two girls and “cowderella” aka Jen set off for fun and frolics and you can only fear for the men they are going to cross paths with!

Brought up alongside Rick, her father’s farm hand, Ellie is determined to finally either win his heart or get over him once and for all. Rick has known Ellie since she was 14 and once warned off her by her father, he has kept his distance, until now. Rick still sees her, in Ellie’s eyes, as a little sister but she makes it clear from the point of returning home after 6 years in Wyoming that she is all woman. Although it is clear that Ellie and Rick still have strong feelings for one another they are each hesitant to move forward with them. Knowing her mind however, Ellie decides to take things into her own hands and the little cowgirl suddenly becomes a temptress and Rick is done for.

I really enjoyed this story. The premise intrigued me and the concept of three tantalising alphas convinced me to give the series a read. Having read book one, I am now heading to read Jen’s story and with Logan on the scene, things are going to get interesting, if only she can see beyond her broken heart.

These books can be read as stand-alone stories but I would recommend reading them in order in order to full enjoy the characters and the romantic path they take.

Copy provided by the author in return for an HONEST review.

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Review: The Score

The Score The Score by Elle Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

That was Dean-licious!!!

I have thoroughly loved each and every book so far in this series. They are entertaining, easy to read, heartfelt and passionate.

Dean was the enigma up until now. A rich boy who plays down his wealth but a man-whore who is on a mission to have sex with every girl who crosses his path. He is confident, attractive and cute as hell, so who couldn't resist his charms?

Meet Allie, Hannah best friend and recently single after her on again, off again relationship with Sean has finally ended, for good this time. When she try to escape from Sean's endless pleas about getting back together, she finds herself at Garrett's house and being taken care of by Dean. Dean is Dean though and despite being warned off Allie decides to pursue her anyway. There is no escape for Allie though as Dean decides he needs just one more taste of her!

Dean had so many more layers than expected. He is from the perfect upbringing, living in a perfect world but when that world is turned upside down it is left to Allie to put him back together.

I really enjoyed seeing a softer side to Dean and this literally made my heart squeeze for him. Allie was his perfect partner though and together they told a rewarding story.

Next up is Tucker's book and with the bombshell at the end of The Score, readers certainly have some questions they need answers to ASAP.

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Review: The Mistake

The Mistake The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, I love this series!!!

Ah, my sweet, sweet, boy-man Logan. Who wouldn't fall in love with him!!!

I do feel like a bit of a cougar reading and loving the characters in this series. I'm way beyond my early 20s but I'm only human and this series brightens up my day. I know YA/NA isn't for everyone but for me this is as much about reliving my misspent youth as it is finding an alternative one to live vicariously through.

This instalment is about Logan, who pulled on my heartstrings throughout The Deal. He has a difficult home life and an uncertain future and with no desire or intention of settling down does what he does best and has sex, lots of sex. After turning up at a wrong dorm though, little does he know that his life is about to change when he comes face to face with the pretty but innocent Grace. Grace is dumbfounded when she sees the beautiful Logan at her door and after agreeing to let him use her phone, things between them soon become interesting.

I really love Elle Kennedy's writing style. It grabs you from the first page and draws you that, sometimes elusive, fantasy book-world with ease.

Dean's story is next and I know that one will also kick my poor unsuspecting emotions into touch.

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Review: The Deal

The Deal The Deal by Elle Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eek, gotta say... that completely tickled my fancy!!!

I clicked on this after seeing the positive reviews about book 3, The Score, and after reading just a few lines I was completely HOOKED!!!

I do love my YA/NA books and set in a college this was always going to draw me in but add to it a hunky but vulnerable sports star and I was done for.

Trying to move on from her own darkness, Hannah Wells (or Wellsy!) sets her sights on one boy only to be swept away by another, Garrett Graham. After failing one of his midterms, which incidentally was aced by Hannah, Garrett begins stalking Hannah to persuade her to tutor him. Hannah declines but someone saying no to Garrett has him stunned and this simply makes him more determined to make her change her mind.

Garrett isn't at all creepy in his stalking of Hannah though. He's cute, tenacious and loveable but Hannah still only has eyes for Justin. Eventually though, Garrett starts to grow on Hannah and it's not long before she says "Justin who".

I loved the way Hannah and Garrett went from being acquaintances to friends to lovers before falling in love. The path they took was perfect and despite the odd inevitable hurdle or two they soon came to realise that they were destined to be together, despite what others may think.

I can't wait to read on with this series as I'm sure Logan will also pack an emotional punch.

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Review: Thirty Nights

Thirty Nights Thirty Nights by Ani Keating
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+++ Stars

Occasionally you come across a book that just makes you silently applaud the author and that book for me is Thirty Nights. I was blown away by its beauty, its intelligence and its all-round magic. From Baci to Byron, and the periodic table in between, this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time.

I was immediately sold on the story from seeing the cover and reading the synopsis. I loved the complexity of the story and its characters. From the personal and emotional battles experienced by them, you can’t help but feel their pain and read on in the hope that their connection finds a way to succeed in a battle against bureaucracy.

First we meet Elisa Snow who is studying in the US as a chemist, after losing her parents in tragic circumstances. After her Visa application is denied, she is forced to consider returning to the UK and to a place that is no longer part of her life. With no family in the UK and her closest friends in the US, Elisa is devastated and knowing she has very few options available to her, starts to wonder what will happen to her and her wish to realise her father’s dreams.

As well as working in a lab, Elisa is also a muse to her illegal immigrant artist friend, Javier. Javier is able to bring out Elisa’s beauty on canvas and it’s his art that captures the attention of wealthy businessman, Aiden Hale. Aiden sees something in the artwork that ingrains itself in his psyche and after purchasing the paintings, sets his sights on finding out exactly who the muse is.

Aiden doesn’t expect the muse to be none other than aspiring chemist Elisa Snow. After visiting her Professor and witnessing a presentation from Elisa, Aiden knows that she is “La Virgen” and offers her a proposition.
Let me look at you. Not your paintings tonight. You.
Both Aiden and Elisa have secrets which cause them great pain but together they are able to live in the moment and after spending more time together they soon become bewitched with each other, that is until Aiden breaks their bond in order to protect Elisa. Elisa is not one to be deterred though and sets out to find out exactly what demons Aiden is trying to protect her from.

Despite Aiden's tormented background, together they embark on a journey of love and hope and despite the darkness in their lives, they soon become permanently part of each other's soul. Aiden is determined to help Elisa to remain a US citizen but it’s not an easy fight, especially when Javier is likely to be placed in danger by their association.

I really can’t express how much I loved this story. I really did feel the power of Aiden and Elisa’s connection and despite their emotional baggage, they were beautifully paired. You can’t help but feel for Aiden and all that he has suffered and continues to suffer. His story will make you cry rivers of tears as you witness a strong man be broken by who he is and what he has become. Elisa is his strength though and she alone can help him find peace. That is until Aiden breaks her heart.
There is something endless about his eyes - like you enter through them and perhaps never come out.
I don’t know where Ani Keating has been hiding her writing magic but she really is a truly talented and extremely knowledgeable, or at least well researched, individual. Her law background is apparent in the story but her science knowledge must also be commended, as does her passion for Byron and Baci!

This story has become one of my all-time favourite reads and I will definitely read it again.

Copy provided by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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Review: Set the Pace

Set the Pace Set the Pace by Kim Karr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With plenty of mystery and intrigue, this story sets the scene for the series’ conclusion with book 2, Turn It Up.

You know that old adage, don't judge a book by its cover? Well I totally ignored that with this story and the result left me feeling a little flat. I loved the cover and it's what drew me to the book, that and the fact that I thought it was about a racing driver; a big old plus for me!

For some reason though I just couldn't get to grips with this story. It started slow and then plodded along before suddenly picking up pace. Jasper added to the momentum somewhat but it took a death before I felt gripped by the story. For some reason , I just couldn’t connect with the characters. I felt that I didn’t get to experience them deeply enough on an emotional level to become fully invested in them, their past or what they were facing together in the present.

That said, this book had it all going on with mystery by the bucket load. Right from the start, there was an event which may or may not have been linked to a tragedy which affected Jasper, his family and everyone else in their town some years before. Time moved on though and it’s only when Jasper tries to return his home town to its old engineering heritage that events outside of his control start to thwart his plans.

With the story told in the past and present, as we get to know Jasper and Charlie/Charlotte, it’s clear that these two were destined to be together but with Charlotte’s father at the forefront of the investigations into the tragedy in the town’s past, she must clear his name before she can clear her own but in doing so puts herself into danger. Annnnnd, that’s where the story ends, on an inevitable cliffie.

I really should read the conclusion to this story but after struggling through part 1 and nearly DNF’ing it a few times, I’m just not sure the pull is strong enough. But hey, that’s just me and I’m sure lots of other people will love this book and its characters to the moon and back.

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Review: Clubwhore

Sunday 10 January 2016 No comments
Clubwhore Clubwhore by Kim Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, that was a total steam-dream with more than a dash of broken girl syndrome! It’s certainly one biker book ride that I'll never forget.

I knew from the cover and the synopsis that I’d really enjoy reading this book. Books about bike clubs are always a great read for me but this was something quite different. Although a clubwhore, Delilah was so much more complicated than her title leads us to believe. She has a thirst for pain and a desire for sexual release so I guess a MC club was the best place for her to end up but had it not been for the club, life could have turned out quite differently for Delilah. Yes, in some respects, the Devil’s Renegades saved her from a life of consensual abuse at the hands of the man who fed her deepest and darkest desires.

This storyline isn’t set up to titillate. It’s not something to just satisfy our fascination with kink. It tells a story of a compulsive desire for a release either through pain or sexual stimulation. Delilah is one complicated lady but as you read the story you will love her, her damaged ways and her desire to be helped and there’s only one man suited to that role, Devil’s Renegade MC Sergeant at Arms Bryce.

Bryce was a character I took time to warm to. Obviously fascinated by what Delilah has to offer him, and also entranced by her looks and personality, he sets about spending time in her bed whenever he’s at the clubhouse but it’s not long before he comes to realise that Delilah needs more from him than explosive sex.

Delilah is as compulsive in her weekly routines as she is in her need to be satisfied in order to feed the monster that lives inside of her. Seeking punishment from her family, she heads home every Sunday knowing she will face physical and psychological abuse. After one particular visit though, Delilah finds herself needing help and turns to the one person she has started to trust, Bryce. From that point on, Bryce is determined to help Delilah face her demons and with techniques which seem almost implausible to me, as a reader, he works to help Delilah to find her inner peace. Neither Bryce nor Delilah are looking for a relationship. Neither want to have or be an ‘ol lady but despite their physical desires, Delilah forms an attraction to Bryce that soon becomes unbreakable but will it cost her relationship with Bryce?

I found this story enjoyable but at the same time difficult to read. The need for pain or release that Delilah faces is almost too much to bear as you feel for her in her daily struggle to keep her monsters at bay. Bryce did become the perfect alpha for me before the end of the story though and his brusk personality gave way to a more personable and likeable one. At times I found the story to be more drawn out than necessary and perhaps lacking a little focus. I like to be drawn into a story’s plot and apart from Bryce and Delilah spending time “together” very little happened outside of their connection but when it did, I was rewarded with a story which was all consuming.

This is the first book I’ve read by Kim Jones and I will certainly be reading Saving Dallas which has been sat on my kindle for forever! I really enjoyed her writing style. Her writing was almost poetic and I found myself re-reading paragraphs to simply enjoy her style and phraseology. There is a HEA, just don’t expect flowers, candles and romance on the journey there!

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Review: Losing Traction

Losing Traction Losing Traction by Amo Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Race cars to rock stars with a little bit of MC club in between.

The cover and synopsis sold me on this book straight away. This story was clearly created to be a little different: a female racing driver, brought up in a MC club who falls in love with a rock star. A dream scenario you may think!

I hadn't read the Sinful Souls MC series before starting Losing Traction and I felt that this made the story overly confusing. As a result, I wasn’t able to fully connect with the characters or be able to relate to them without understanding their backgrounds. I did love the main characters though especially Ryder and Ryker who sold themselves to me immediately. I loved the feistiness of Phoebe and her strength and determination is definitely a selling point in this story.

The start of the book, for me, was very disjointed and unnecessary. I could see that the author was trying to set the scene for readers who hadn’t read her previous books. However, once it settled down into the present day I was quickly absorbed by the story. My enjoyment did lapse again sadly towards the end of the book when I found I was just too exhausted trying to keep up with the numerous characters, their contributions to the story and where the book was heading next. There were also some issues with the writing whereby sentences didn't make sense and despite re-reading paragraphs on occasion I still found myself too confused to settle into the flow of the book.

This really could have been a great book though and I am sure those people who have read then Sinful Souls MC series will be blown away by this story.

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Review: Enshrine

Enshrine Enshrine by Chelle Bliss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautiful story clearly written from the heart. Enshrine is every book lover's dream. From pain and sadness to finding love with an unbreakable bond, Callie and Bruno's story is breathtaking.

This was such a rewarding story. Despite covering a difficult theme, Chelle Bliss managed to draw me into a story of hope and determination and a desire to overcome everything that life throws at us.

Callie is a Molecular Biologist but her professional endeavours are put on hold when her future is turned upside down after one life-changing telephone call. Facing a battle like no other, Callie finds herself in a heartbreaking daily struggle to come to terms with the card that life has dealt her, that is until Bruno steps in to help and support her. With a secret identity and a darkness to his aura, Callie is surprised when this man who is practically a stranger to her suddenly becomes her rock. With an unexpected kindness and tenderness, Bruno saves her from herself and from an uncertain future. He gives her strength, fortitude and a determination to overcome her fears but can Callie trust this enigma of a man?

Bruno complimented Callie perfectly. He was her tower of strength and did everything in his power to help her face her battle head on. With only assumptions to go on as to who Bruno really is, Callie still falls in love with him and despite her best intentions does so in the knowledge that he could be a dangerous man.

I really loved the connection between Callie and Bruno and as the story plays out, we find there is more to their relationship than even Callie is aware of. Whilst reading the story I had all sorts of scenarios playing out in my mind as to who exactly Bruno was and what was revealed was completely unexpected.

This may come to be one of the most notable books in 2016, and I’m sure everyone who reads it will relate to it on some level. It is a poignantly penned story and one which will remain with me for a long time to come.

On thing though, yes this is a standalone story but with such delicious characters waiting in the wings, I can only hope that Bruno's siblings get their own story, possibly in a spin-off series!!!

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4 Star Review: From Dust (Portland ME #1) by Freya Barker

Saturday 9 January 2016 No comments
From Dust (Portland ME, #1)From Dust by Freya Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, what an emotionally charged read!

This is my first Freya Barker book and I have to say, I loved it. The writing was eloquent and the emotion palpable. What Syd experienced at the hands of her family following the horrific accident which led her to where she is today was cruel and wretched. Despite living rough and finding herself cold and starving though, Syd finds hope of a safer future thanks to Viv, a kind-hearted woman who takes her in, offers her food, a job and a place to rest her head, in safe surroundings. Finding herself inside a pub/restaurant, it’s not long before the owner sees her and inexplicably finds himself wanting to help and protect her.

Review: The Pact

The Pact The Pact by Karina Halle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

It took a while but I really got into this story. I listened to it so got the fully "Scottish accent" experience which I really enjoyed. The story was easy to enjoy, despite me being frustrated with the characters' behaviour throughout most of the book.

The story is about a classic love triangle between three best friends: James, Stephanie and Linden. James is in love with Stephanie and Stephanie and Linden are in love with each other but don't want to upset James' feelings by acting on their feelings, despite the "pact" Stephanie and Linden made to marry each other if the remained single by the time they reached 30.

This story had it all going on. Drama, drama, drama!!! James' jealousy of Linden was a little perturbing though. It seemed ridiculous that he would feel this way about his so called best friend and add that to his actions to stop Linden and Stephanie's relationship made me practically hate him but thankfully he pulled his head out of his butt long enough to see that his actions had cost him the loyal friendship of Stephanie and Linden.

Linden was really sweet, albeit it totally naive! I loved the way he wanted Stephanie so much that he was frightened to act on his feelings because he didn't want to risk their friendship. Who knew a game and an unexpected kiss would ultimately bring them together!

Not the best book by Karina Halle but something a little different which will call to the contemporary romance lovers out there, especially those looking for a good stand-alone read.

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Review: She Dims the Stars

She Dims the Stars She Dims the Stars by Amber L. Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has left me with mixed feelings despite it being a really sweet and poignant story with a heartfelt message.

I loved the characters and their connection but for some reason the story didn't pull me in a hard as I expected. At times I found the story lacked some fluidity and as a result it was a little difficult to follow. I was going to stop reading it a few times but then I just had to find out what happened to Audrey and Elliott, and Cline. Despite my misgivings, I was glad that I read on until the end. The conclusion was probably as perfect as it could be, given what Audrey went through. It wasn't an artificial ending, and for that I have to praise the author as she managed to maintain the overall feeling throughout the story without creating an unrealistic conclusion.

By the end of the book, I felt like I have been on the road with the group as I faced their ups and downs with them. The reasons behind Audrey's problems did seem unrealistic though. I understand that her clashes with her step-mother attributed to her problems with surely just talking to her father would have given her the answers she desperately sought.

This was quite a short read but one to leave you with a clear message about depression and anxiety, so I commend the author for tackling such a difficult and emotive subject.

As my rating suggests, overall I liked the book and I suspect each reader will reach their own conclusions as to how to interpret the story. Love it or hate it though, it packs a powerful punch.

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