Review: Wanderlust

Sunday 18 March 2018 No comments
Wanderlust Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I purchased this book on Audible as soon as I saw that it was narrated by Richard Armitage. A British character and narrator is a rare commodity amongst the romance genre and author group that I follow so I was beyond excited to start listening to story. The story also piqued my interest because it is set in Paris and in particular the Montmartre district, an area which is steeped in history, beauty and offers a fascinating backdrop to any romance story.

We first meet Joy as she travels to Paris for work. With a nose for a scent, she is excited to be starting a year-long contract in the city doing the job she loves. Willing to embrace everything French, she excitedly tries to use what little French she knows but initially with very funny results. Fortunately for her, she has a translator appointed to support her. What Joy doesn't realise is that her new translator has already made a lasting impression on her thanks to an impromptu meeting in a boulangerie!

Griffin and Joy share an immediate attraction and it is clear from the outset that their personalities match. Joy is your typical effervescent American and Griffon is the swoon-worthy Brit with an accent that she has, to date, only dreamt about. When they realise that they are to work together, Joy and Griffon decide to become friends but their friendship grows as they spend endless hours together, walking the streets of Paris and sharing their common interests alongside the sights and sounds of the city.

With Griffon's time in Paris coming to an end, as he prepares to travel to Indonesia to complete a marathon in memory of his late brother, Joy and Griffon try, unsuccessfully, to protect their hearts from the imminent loss. Having both fallen in love with each other, they part not knowing where their respective futures will take them.

I struggled to wholly enjoy RA's interpretation of Griffon. At times, his character portrayal came across a little stilted and lacking in emotion. When added to the female narrator, their respective POVs just didn't work. I wanted to spend all of my time with RA, as expected, and that may have taken the shine off Grace Grant's contribution to the story and possibly even RA's.

Overall, the story was also a little slow and didn't really develop even by its conclusion, despite the fascinating sights and sounds captured by the author. Lauren Blakely's enthusiasm for the city was clearly evident in her writing but possibly to the detriment of the story and her characters. Also, the romantic scenes were cold and clinical and totally lost in translation in audio format. Whilst Lauren Blakely is probably not aware of RA's massive fanbase, her use of him as a narrator could have a negative effect on the book's ratings. When compared to his work on The Tattooist of Auschwitz, this story could be a step too far for his die-hard fans! I'm sure though, when the ebook/paperback releases, and Lauren's normal fan base reads the story, they will thoroughly enjoy it.

View all my reviews

Review: Marek

Saturday 10 March 2018 No comments
Marek Marek by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such an enjoyable and easy to read series.

It difficult to keep finding superlatives to do this series justice. I am continually drawn to these novels because I can enjoy the stories without being weighed down in drama and emotional baggage. I know what to expect each time I start one of the Cold Fury books despite having widely different characters in each book. The stories are not overly long and drawn out, satisfy my passion for sports romance stories, although the hockey theme is starting to become a little tenuous. I appreciate that old and well-loved characters find a place in future stories, despite these books being standalones within a series. And, add in the author’s naturally edifying writing skills in relation to the story's theme and I’m won over time after time.

Marek was a sweet character with a past to put right. When he finds out his ex-girlfriend and the woman he grew up with is getting married he jumps into action only to find she has been keeping more than one secret from him. Marek quickly asserts his dominance where Gracen is concerned and before long she is shacked up, for want of a better word, in his house and has an almost wedding firmly in her rearview mirror.

Gracen and her daughter, Lilly, find life at Marek’s house lonely, especially when Marek avoids them in order to give them space. Gracen is a sweet character though and together with Lilly they start to worm themselves into Marek’s life. I love stories which involved an entertaining and sweet young child and Lilly quickly stole my heart.

Marek is angry and resentful and finds it difficult to move on from Gracen’s deception but with time and patience, on Gracen’s part, they start to become a family, if albeit a slightly dysfunctional one. What Marek doesn’t know is that Gracen has been keeping even more secrets from him and when he starts to find out the reasons for her planned marriage, he soon comes to realise that all is not what it seems.

If you are looking for a lighthearted sports romance story which is without heavy drama and yet heartwarming then look no further than this series.

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

View all my reviews

4 Star Review: Double Vision by L.M. Halloran

Wednesday 7 March 2018 No comments
Double VisionDouble Vision by L.M. Halloran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a girl who really dislikes reading about stories involving a D/s relationship *shudder*, I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Thankfully, all BDSM activities were kept to a minimum and instead readers are treated to a hard fought for romance involving rival organised crime families [a big plus for me] and unknown beginnings.

Throughout this story, I was unable to predict where the storyline was heading next. From an innocent upbringing, the heroine, Eden, finds herself thrust into a life of crime, guns, violence, and uncertainty. Living in the shadows for most of her adult life, Liam is the man that Eden falls for as he promises to protect her, always. With the complexity of their relationship they find themselves separated periodically only for Liam to come to Eden’s rescue whenever her safety is threatened. Liam is an Irish gangster and is known for his knack of finding people, as Eden can attest to. As their story progresses, their love for one another increases but given their respective backgrounds, the question is will they ever be able to find a peaceful solution to the problems they face?

As always with LM Halloran, this book is incredibly well written. She is able to create characters that you are immediately drawn to and stories that absorb you mind, body and soul. Next stop is London and Dominic’s story. Whilst this again may test my BDSM limits [a safeword or two may be needed!!!] I am certainly keen to see how their story evolves.

Review: Neighborhood Watch

Monday 5 March 2018 No comments
Neighborhood Watch Neighborhood Watch by Stylo Fantome
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love a story about a broken man!

Finally, it’s Landon and Tori’s turn to tell their story. Landon is Liam’s twin and Tori is Liam’s sex club manager but together, Landon and Tori are simply explosive.

Right from the start, which began at the end of the last book, we knew we were in for a treat where these two are concerned. Tori is still sore that Liam doesn’t act on her romantic feelings towards him and after getting drunk, decides actions speak louder than words. The only problem…. it’s Landon’s face she finds herself glued to and not Liam’s!

Tori thinks she’s found the perfect sexual partner and one to keep up with her voracious sexual appetite. Thinking that Liam really knows what buttons to press where she is concerned, Tori is in heaven, that is until she realises that it’s Liam’s troublesome brother that her lips are attached to. Despite her initial repulsion, Tori decides to satisfy her needs with Landon and despite disliking him, she finds her body drawn to him.

Landon really does enter this story with a bang. He’s cocky, arrogant and dominant. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to voice his demands in the crudest way possible much to Tori’s delight. Hiding behind sex and trying to forget their problems, Landon and Tori make an unusual pairing but when Landon invites Tori to Bali with him, all expenses paid, she decides time away from Liam is just what she needs. What she doesn’t realise is that a free holiday actually comes at a price.

As expected for the brother who has fallen from grace, Landon has ulterior motives where Tori is concerned. Still wrapped up in drink and drugs, Landon’s problems escalate when he reaches Bali but what he doesn’t expect is to find himself falling for the exuberant Tori and before long they start to connect on an emotional as well as physical level. Unfortunately for Tori, Landon’s past is about to become her very real future.

This was another wonderful story in this hugely successful series. Landon and Tori both seemed so mysterious and I couldn’t wait to read their story. The only downside for me was that Landon was portrayed as too much of a dominant jerk at the start of the story and whilst I did thaw towards him, I never really connected with his character. Despite that, his relationship with Tori was fascinatingly turbulent and their story was totally unexpected. I’m definitely sorry to see this series come to a close.

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

View all my reviews