Review: Ruckus

Monday 27 February 2017 No comments
Ruckus Ruckus by L.J. Shen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The HotHoles are back with Dean & Rosie’s story!

There is something so questionable about these characters and yet I am still drawn to them. Vicious lived up to his name and now it’s time to find out if Ruckus lives up to his.

With the story going back and forth over the span of approx. 11 years, we get to see the early interactions between Rosie and Dean, Dean’s subsequent relationship with Rose’s sister, Millie, and now, in the present day, what life is like for Rosie and Dean living under the same roof but at the same time emotionally miles apart.

Rosie is still battling her illness and despite her parents’ wishes she is determined to maintain her independence and to continue living in New York. Dean’s pursual of her is relentless and appears purely sexual and it’s something that just makes Rosie dislike him even more. Yes, her heart has belonged to him since they were young, but now she sees him for what he is and that’s a manwhore.

Dean being Dean continues to do what he does best and that’s drink, drugs and sex but at the same time, continues try to make Rosie realise that they were destined to be together. Not without his own fare share of problems in this book, Dean hides his pain and suffering behind his bravado and when things get really dark for him, there’s only one person to save him from his suffering but in return can he save Rosie from her life shortening illness?

Despite waiting ever so patiently to get my hands on Ruckus I found that Dean’s story fell a little flat for me. I found myself skimming over large parts of his story and only really enjoying the book when Dean and Rosie spend time together and that's when the story comes alive. Their connection, although initially tentative, soon becomes all consuming though and as their story progresses, I did find myself enjoying the book a little more. I just couldn’t connect with Dean overall though, sadly. I also did not enjoy the story swinging back a forth over the years as this came across a little unnecessary, and at times, repetitive. The first few pages of the book, and in particular LJ Shen’s penmanship, blew me away but sadly even her wonderful writing style did not heighten my enjoyment on this occasion. That said, the epilogue was particularly poignant and at least I finished the story on a high note.

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

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Review: Kept from You

Kept from You Kept from You by Nashoda Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Killian Kane aka “Kite” is finally here and he’s more than ready to use his Irish brogue to charm readers into submission.

I knew Kite’s story would pull on my heartstrings but I still wasn’t prepared for the emotional turbulence that came with Kept From You. We know Kite as the mysterious drummer from Tear Asunder and as you read this book you, quickly come to realise that his life is a lot more troubled than we could ever have expected.

Kite’s story starts at school and with a girl who makes him question who he is. Savvy is the type of girl who sees only the good in everyone, especially the angry teenager, Kite. After Sculpt asks her to help at an underground fight, Savvy finds herself drawn to Kite and his brooding ways. Despite Kite’s initial resistance, he too is finding it difficult to keep away from Savvy but despite his attraction to her, he can only allow himself to watch her from a distance.

Years later and Savvy scams her way into a Tear Asunder gig with a forged backstage pass. With her life in tatters thanks to her ex, she needs Kite’s help in order to secure a job as a dancer at Brett’s club, Compass. When Kite realizes who she is, though, and more importantly what she wants from him, he quickly stops her in her tracks. Knowing that he couldn't bear to witness other men watching her dance, he thinks that will be the last time he sees her but with her unrivaled determination, Savvy s won’t be stopped from getting what she wants. After hijacking a dance cage at Compass, she finally manages to get a job but it comes at a price, and that’s the wrath of Kite.

Despite trying his damnedest to distance himself from Savvy, everyone close to Kite quickly comes to realise that Savvy may just be the girl to save him from himself, and more importantly, his tragic past. He soon finds, however, that Savvy may be the most infuriating woman he has ever met and despite trying to improve her life, Savvy is keen to keep her independence.

I loved the interaction between Savvy and Kite. Savvy is quiet yet fierce in her single-mindedness when it comes to her dancing and her feelings for Kite, and yet Kite, despite having been in love with her his whole life, still feels that he is not good enough for her. As is always the case with this series, when Kite and Savvy do start spending time together, and Kite’s wounds start healing, there is always someone ready to break the lovers apart.

Kite’s story is told over three timeframes. Starting from the time Kite and Savvy spend together at school up to the present day, we also get to witness Kite as a young lad living in Ireland with his family. It was the story portrayed whilst in Ireland which packed the most emotion as we get to see who has caused Kite to become the broken man that he is today. At first, I wondered in the necessity to add this additional timeframe to the story but as you read on, it all becomes painfully clear.

It looks like the next story is going to focus on the loveable rogue, Trevor. Trevor is Savvy’s neighbour and a total man whore but when it comes to Savvy, he clearly demonstrates in this book that he will go to the ends of the earth to protect her. I can’t wait!

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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4 Star Review: Ghost (Boston Underworld, #3) by A. Zavarelli

Wednesday 22 February 2017 No comments
Ghost (Boston Underworld, #3)Ghost by A. Zavarelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great instalment in this truly amazing series.

I have loved each and every story but this one had a slightly different feel to it from the previous books. Focussing solely on Alexei, a Russian, and Talia, the slave girl that he saves, this book feels more insular in its approach and whilst this is not a negative aspect to the book, it does demonstrate a more segregated feel to the story.

Alexei is a dream of a male protagonist though and when his secret is revealed you warm to him even more. Talia is troubled and has every right to be, her pain is visceral and her actions heartbreaking but with Alexei at her side, she is forced to live, day by day, and towards a possible HEA.

A highly recommended and well-written series for readers who love stories about organised crime and who can stomach their brutal actions.

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5+++ Star Review: Breaking Giants by LM Halloran

Breaking GiantsBreaking Giants by L.M. Halloran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phew, another revisit, via audiobook this time, and another gaping hole left in my heart by Julian Ashburn.


5+++ Stars

It's hard for me to express in words just how much I loved this story. From a tentative acceptance to review a book from an unknown author to complete and total love for the story is relatively unheard of but for me, Breaking Giants is one of the closest books to rival my love for SC Stephens’ Thoughtless series.

If I ever wanted to hug the life out of an author, and a book, then this would be it! The developing story between Julian Ashburn and Rose Cunningham may just have ruined me and my love of rock star romance stories for life. Their carefully constructed story is full of painful reminders of why love is hard and trust is even harder.

Review: Riot

Riot Riot by Tillie Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My rating is not just for this book, which was brutally epic, but for the Scarred Souls series as a whole. I don’t know where the idea came from for Tillie Cole to write a book about blood pits and gulags but it was brilliant.

With numbers in place of names for the main protagonists, the characters can get a little misleading at times but you soon fall into accepting these people by their numeric pseudonyms. This story features 152, a girl taken from a Russian orphanage into Georgian slavery. Now Arziani’s High Mona, she serves him and only him, but when Arziani needs a way to break the will of his champion fighter, 901, he does so by forcing him to take 152 on a nightly basis.

152 is fitted with a drugged bracelet which causes her indescribable pain until she is relieved of her suffering by 901. 901 resists Arziani’s intention to try and find his ultimate vulnerability but he struggles when he witnesses the pain and suffering experienced by 152. Deciding to take away her pain and to not become attached, 901 tries in vain to ignore his growing feelings for 152.

Whilst 901 fights and 152 suffers at the hands of Aziani, 152’s brother, Valentin, works with Luka and Zaal to rescue her and to once and for all end Arziani’s tyranny. Valentin, having killed Arziani’s sister, still has a score to settle and is more than relishing the task of bringing down Arziani and thus freeing those held in captivity, including his sister.

With one last battle on the horizon, Luka, Zaal and Valentin head to Georgia in order to rescue 152. Inessa, 152, and Ilya, 901, know nothing of their pasts, apart from their names revealed to them by Inessa’s chiri, Maya, but 152 dreams of a man with scars on his face but until she comes face to face with him she has no idea that it’s her long lost brother.

This series may sound unusual, and it is, but it is also a powerful story of love, survival and hope and one highly recommended, especially if you love your romance stories with a hard and unyielding edge to them.

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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5 Star Review: Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #2) by Samantha Young

Sunday 19 February 2017 No comments
Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #2)Every Little Thing by Samantha Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's something inherently comforting about being back on Hart's Boardwalk.

This series returns with its second book and this time readers are treated to more from the sizzling but unrequited romance between Hart’s Boardwalk’s own princess, Bailey Hartwell, and the businessman she more than likes to clash with, Vaughn Tremaine.

Bailey has been with her boyfriend for 10 years now and despite having the feeling of settling for him rather than truly loving him, she continues her relationship with him, that is until she witnesses the unimaginable. What stuns Bailey more is her indifference to her breakup. Feeling more angry and embarrassed than broken and emotional, Bailey does what she always does and buries herself in her work all whilst being supported by her friends; Jess, Emery and Dahlia, oh and of course Cooper.

Review: The Last Boss' Daughter

Friday 17 February 2017 No comments
The Last Boss' Daughter The Last Boss' Daughter by Sam Mariano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mafia story with grit and determination!

I’ve read Sam Mariano’s books before so reading this book was a no-brainer, especially when I saw it was a mafia story. Having read the first few pages on Amazon, I couldn’t wait to get started and it was moved quickly to the top of my TBR.

Whilst based around the mafia, and especially a mafia principessa, this story is more one of survival and redemption. Having lost her father, a mafia boss, Annabelle De Luca is now buried in a loveless marriage with a made man who works for her mother’s new husband. Forced to marry him at 18, although she never voiced her vows, Annabelle lives on a diet of avoidance, slavery and grief. Not only did she lose her father when he died, she also lost her mother’s love and since then she has stumbled through life determinedly trying to avoid her husband and to survive each day.

On the anniversary of her father’s death each year, Annabelle visits a place that holds fond memories for her with her father. With a swing and an apple and a few words spoken aloud, Annabelle tries unsuccessfully to understand why her life has turned out as it has. This year, Annabelle finds unusual activity at the yard she visits and after an impromptu meeting with what appears to be security guards, Annabelle comes face to face with one of her father’s old friends. Warned away, after a rather interesting encounter with one of the guards, Liam, a man who momentarily reignited her life force, she heads home, but this time she is not alone.

Liam follows the girl who intrigued him whilst he had her pushed up against a tree. Rather than being scared, or crying, she teased and taunted him and left him somewhat dumbfounded. When she returns home, he realises that all is not right in her life. When he sees her fighting off a man in her bed, he realises that he needs to keep her safe, if albeit from a remote and unnoticed distance. After things turn very ugly for Annabelle one night, Liam steps in and although Annabelle is delighted to see that he hasn’t forgotten her, his intervention starts a chain of events that neither could have foreseen. With Annabelle now watched 24/7, she is even more trapped within her life and ever fearful of her future. Liam is the only man who can save her but with him unable to come near, Annabelle struggles to find a way to escape.

When her step-father realises that she’s been cheating (in his mind) on her husband, she is brought into the family home and kept against her will. Liam is at a loss as to what has happened to Annabelle and knows that he must find a way to rescue her, and even at the detriment of the job his is tasked to do. The story concludes in a battle of epic proportions between the rival mafia bosses and in order to save Annabelle, Liam knows he must also hurt her, possibly beyond reproach. Can Annabelle and Liam ever find their HEA and can Annabelle live with Liam knowing exactly who and what he is?

This was a relatively slow developing story but is still one to be enjoyed and savoured. Annabelle clearly finds herself in a position that she can’t escape from and with depression and loneliness her only companions, she deals with what life throws at her in the only way she knows.

Definitely a story to be enjoyed by mafia book fans and one that is recommended.

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

Review: Lauren

Friday 10 February 2017 No comments
Lauren Lauren by Leigh James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

From billionaire CEOs, scientists, and mercenaries, this story really does have it all, and more.

Lauren is full of corporate espionage and is set inside of a billion dollar biomedical company. Lauren is a 25 yr old brilliant scientist with a new and innovative biomedical prototype which could revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of patients but despite her brilliance, and her company’s security measures, her computer system is hacked and suddenly all that Lauren has been working for, for years, is under threat.

There is one man that Lauren can turn to for support, and protection, and that is Gabriel Betts but Gabe has more than his business interests in mind when it comes to Lauren. With Gabe working closely at her side, Lauren lowers her defences and starts to fall for his charms. Gabe is everything that Lauren needs and whilst together they face danger on a daily basis, they continue to grow close.

Whilst Lauren and Gabe’s developing relationship was endearing, especially how Gabe treats Lauren’s inability to stop working long enough to fall in love, the book’s strength lies within the mystery and intrigue of Lauren’s skills as a scientist and what she must face in order to protect her business interests from outside parties. Despite protecting her prototype with everything she can, her business is suddenly the focus of two other companies: one that can be trusted, Gabe’s, and the other which is intent on taking over her business and acquiring control over the rights to her unique product.

Despite the science theme of this book, the story can easily be enjoyed by anyone looking for a good romantic suspense book. The world of R&D is opened up to readers and with it the understanding of the dangers involved when developing new products. There is also a side story developing between Lauren’s sister, Hannah and her bodyguard Wes that I can’t wait to read more about, especially as Hannah seems to be a key player in the next instalment.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author and publisher (Jack's House Publishing) prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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