Review: Treasured by Thursday

Sunday 15 December 2019 No comments
Treasured by Thursday Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Threats from beyond the grave!

Aww, the end of the thoroughly enjoyable Weekday Brides series has arrived and I’m sad to have reached its conclusion. Each story has been amazing and I've completely fallen in love with all the characters that I’ve met along the way.

Treasured by Thursday is written almost as if it is part two of the preceding instalment, Seduced by Sunday, as poor Gabriella Masini realises that her problems did not end with her husband’s death.

When billionaire Hunter Blackwell approaches Alliance it’s with an ulterior motive. When he meets with Gabi as part of his assessment to become an Alliance client, he is stunned when this feisty woman rejects his application. Knowing that he has to do everything he can to secure a bride, and fast, he does his own background check on Gabi and finds one or two useful things hiding in Gabi’s closet. With blackmail his last resort and a large sum of money on offer, Hunter forces Gabi’s hand and she begrudgingly accepts his request and takes him on as a client, and a husband. Not wanting to ask for her family’s help to sort out her problems once again, Gabi realises that she must meet Hunter’s demands in order to find the time to discover a way out of what appears to be certain prison time for her.

With a cleverly constructed contract in her hand, Gabi accepts Hunter’s proposal and despite the many problems they could face if the marriage falls apart, the pair get married. Hunter is unaware of Gabi’s marital past but soon starts to see the signs of her fragile state of mind as she becomes unravelled at the drop of a hat. Gabi is determined to move on with her life with ex-husband Alonso dead and buried but her emotional wellbeing is still being affected by the demons he firmly placed inside her mind.

With active off-shore accounts needing to be investigated and an insurance policy which appears to have been fraudulently claimed following Alonso’s death, poor Gabi’s problems seen to be spiralling out of control once again.

Despite the terms of their marriage, both Hunter and Gabi quickly come to realise that they may have misjudged each other and they soon start to enjoy one another’s company. With time they become intimately involved and knowing that this could further complicate their agreement, they start to open up to one another about what was really behind their reasons to marry.

With Hunter’s private investigator unearthing more problems than Hunter and Gabi could ever imagine, their problems quickly come to a head as the drug lord that Alonso Picano worked for comes to reclaim his money. As expected, Gabi’s friends and their husbands quickly come to her aid but soon realise that they are dealing with a very serious threat to Gabi’s life.

This was once again an extremely well-written and well thought out suspenseful storyline. I will miss each and every character from this series and I am sure that I will dip back into these books in the future. The audiobooks were particularly enjoyable and a particular highlight for me. Tanya Eby did an amazing job of narrating this series and brought the characters to life perfectly.

Catherine Bybee is definitely my 2019 author find of the year.

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Review: Ninth House

Friday 13 December 2019 No comments
Ninth House Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Woohoo, congratulations to Leigh Bardugo on her win!!! #ninthhouse #leighbardugo #GoodreadsChoice #topfantasy đŸŸđŸ„‚

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Currently Reading...

Wednesday 11 December 2019 No comments

Title: Edge of Reason (Arrow’s Edge MC Series, #1) Author: Freya Barker Genre: Romantic Suspense ReleaseDate: December 9th

Buy link:

#KindleUnlimited #KU 

Book Description:

Brotherhood and beer meets single mom and apple pie.

I am a riding contradiction. 
A scholar, a cynic, a brother, and a biker.

My name is Trunk.
I’m smart enough to recognize the chip on my shoulder, and cautious enough to keep it right where it is. 

I am a misguided romantic.
A mom, a daughter, an agent, and a survivor

My name is Jaimie. 
I’m strong enough to look after my family alone, and too stubborn to accept I don’t have to.

We make an odd couple—our differences obvious—but when hatred and danger threatens to destroy everything of value in our lives, we only get stronger. 

Review: Seduced by Sunday

Seduced by Sunday Seduced by Sunday by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So much for R&R...

Just when you didn’t think the complex suspense element in this series couldn’t get any better, bam, we’re thrust into a drug trafficking drama. The individual book covers and story titles may lead you into thinking that this series is about gently evolving love stories between the key protagonists but the stories behind the romance are so much more than you could expect.

The suspense element is compelling and extremely well thought out. Starting each book you know there will be drama but you have no idea at the start of the story exactly what you will find. The one common denominator that you can rely on though is the whole Weekday Brides group and their husbands who are, as always, on hand to support whoever is the next unsuspecting victim of love.

This story is about Meg, or Margaret Rosenthal to give her her full title. With Michael Wolfe, a Holywood star, at her side, she sets off for an exclusive holiday on a secure island which boasts a paparazzi-free zone, or so they think. When Michael and Meg arrive at Sapore di Amore they are looking forward to a week of R&R, all whilst Meg assesses the resort for future Alliance honeymoons. When they arrive they are met by the owner, Valentino “Val” Masini, and his sister, Gabriella “Gabi” Masini. After an initial battle with Val over being cleared to stay at the exclusive resort, Meg arrives fully prepared to give the Val hell, until she lands eyes on him. Both Meg and Michael are stunned by Val’s good looks and Meg knows she is in trouble, especially as her role on the island is to keep Michael’s secret intact.

When mysterious pictures start emerging, Val knows there has been a security breach but when the pictures start to become more revealing and involve Michael and Meg, the group bands together to find out exactly who is targeting them and why. At this point, Val finds out for himself exactly who Meg really is as she contacts her ex-marine friends and starts her own investigations, especially as Michael’s secret lover is on the island.

Things take a more sinister turn though when Gabi’s life is put in danger and it takes every one of Meg’s Weekday Brides friends to help to rescue Gabi. Their investigations take them to Italy and its many winemaking regions before it starts to become clear to the trio of Michael, Meg and Val just how much danger Gabi is really in.

This story was a lot more complex than the others, but that’s certainly not a detrimental comment about the preceding instalments. This book is just so much more rewarding to a reader seeking a really good romantic suspense story. What I love about the female characters, in particular, is that they are all strong in their own way despite, or maybe because of, what has happened to them en route towards their own HEAs. Whilst this story is predominately about Meg’s developing relationship with Val, it clearly sets up Gabi’s story and sadly, that’s the last instalment in what has been a surprisingly entertaining and extremely well-written series. If you have not read anything by this author before, I recommend that you rectify that and soon. Pick a series and start from book one, you won’t be disappointed.

Once again, this unabridged book is available to read/listen to for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

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Review: The Endless Beach

Tuesday 10 December 2019 No comments
The Endless Beach The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mure and its inhabitants have stolen my heart!

After a bit of a slow start, I really warmed up to this story and its characters. Set on a beautiful Scottish island called Mure, it's everything you could ever want from a peaceful island existence. Being a remote island though, it's all about knowing your neighbours and it's clear that your neighbours clearly know all about you, as Flora and the other characters in the story can attest to!

Having not read the start of Joel and Flora's journey together, I did find it a little difficult to connect with Joel and felt that I was missing much from when he and Flora initially got together. This book starts with them having some relationship problems and this gave me the immediate impression that Joel was cold and dismissive of poor Flora and her feelings. By the end of the story, it became clear that I couldn't have been more wrong about Joel, I’m pleased to say.

This book came across a little disjointed initially because it has two, very distinct, storylines both of which packed a powerful punch. First, we have Joel and Flora, and the problems they are facing in connection to Joel's boss, Coltan, the man due to marry Flora's brother Fintan. Then, we have the story of Saif, the island's refugee GP and his long-lost children which he is reunited with. My interest in the two storylines seemed to lean towards Saif and his struggles with being reunited with his children and suddenly becoming a single father in a strange country rather than Joel and Flora's issues but all the characters stories come together towards the end of the book, thanks in part to the close-knit community of Mure.

This is the first book of the author's that I've read in a long time. I was expecting a fluffy chick-lit storyline but this was altogether something more. It was a more rounded storyline, it had depth, possibilities, struggles, drama, and heartbreak. After struggling to embrace the story initially, it left me in tears, both from sadness and happiness, by the book's conclusion.

All of the characters in the story were almost rendered insignificant though but one little girl: Agot. Her passion for life was palpable and the way she immediately bonded with Saif's son, Ash, was incredibly sweet. As was the way she responded to the pain and suffering experienced by other characters.

If the story isn't enough, readers are also rewarded with some of the delicious recipes mentioned during the storyline but once again, Agot stole the show with the last inclusion in the book - the loyalty card that she designed is proudly displayed on the last page.

All in all, this is a highly recommended story and one which will take you on an emotional ride through the highs and lows of the characters of the tiny island of Mure.

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

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Review: An Island Christmas

Monday 9 December 2019 No comments
An Island Christmas An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A poignant Christmas story

This book seems to have two titles: “An Island Christmas” or “Christmas on the Island”, but in essence, it’s the third whole book in the delightful Mure series.

Who doesn’t love a romantic story based on a small island? With its quaint way of life, Mure, a remote island off Scotland, has a warm and relaxed feel to it despite the cold and blustery feel to this particular instalment. We’ve met the characters and we’ve witnessed their many woes to date and now through An Island Christmas, we get to see everything wrapped up in time for the holidays. The characters are the same, the trials and tribulations are the same and yet there is hope for some of the characters, at least, who have been living their lives on the cusp of happiness.

This story is not a standalone story but instead follows on from a number of tales carried through from the previous instalments; some happy, some sad and some incredibly painful. You need to witness each and every different pathway through this series to be able to fully embrace the different conclusions found in this book. Joel and Flora continue along what seems to be an unlikely path towards their HEA, Lorna and Saif dance around each other’s emotions all whilst Saif wonders if he will ever see his wife again, and Fintan and Colton try to come to terms with what will transpire between them. Add in Agot for a much-needed dose of humour and you have a well-balanced story.

For me, parts of this book worked and parts simply didn’t. I struggled through the first part of the book as it felt as if nothing had changed from previous instalments. The book seems to favour Flora’s story and yet I just could relate to her relationship, if you could call it that, with Joel. Fintan and Colton broke my heart and yet, it was Lorna and Saif’s story that this instalment cried out for. Sadly, there was very little about Lorna and Saif and every time their story picked up pace, the writing once again deviated towards another character. Because of the number of different directions this book took, the story came across as being very disjointed. Yes, I loved the characters but I wanted more from each of them rather than a brief blend of each of their storylines.

It was the last third of the book that really held onto me and painfully didn’t let go. I wouldn’t recommend reading the ending in public as I did because there were lots of tears as the inevitable finally happens and Colton’s journey takes an altogether different direction. Flora and Lorna’s stories also picked up momentum but there was still more to be told where Saif and Lorna are concerned.

All in all, this was an okay telling of what should have been a fabulous book and whilst I loved it, I felt that it could have been so much better. I hate it when a story ends with unfinished business and I have no idea if the questions left unanswered will ever be addressed.

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Review: Taken by Tuesday

Taken by Tuesday Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another bodyguard hit

I thought this series may have started to run out of steam as the days progressed but that is definitely not the case. Each story is unique and can be read as a standalone but readers will benefit from reading the series in book order to be able to really appreciate and understand the characters and their personal involvement in each story.

For Taken by Tuesday it’s Judy’s turn to shine. Sister of actor Michael Wolf/Gardner and Zach Gardner, Judy became known to readers when Mike and his then-wife, Karen, visited the Gardner home and found themselves embroiled in a kidnapping plot. During this time, Judy finds herself helping Rick, Neil’s bodyguard and ex-marine friend, to find the evidence needed to clear Zach and Karen. Their close promixity sparks that inevitable flame as the two find themselves immediately attracted to one another.

With Judy set to start college, Rick decides that he needs to give her time to complete her degree without any distractions but when her graduation looms, Rick knows it’s now or never where his feelings for Judy are concerned. When Judy decides to take up an internship at an architectural firm in LA and decides, along with BFF Meg, to stay at Michael’s house, Rick knows that nothing will stand in his way where his feelings for Judy are concerned.

With Judy playing hard to get and Rick being determined to win over her emotions, the two entertain readers with a very romantic dance around one another. All seems to be going well if a tad slowly, until Judy’s life is placed in danger and Rick becomes the prime suspect. As expected, the whole of the Weekday Brides gang pulls together to come to help Judy and to clear Rick’s name.

This was another highly entertaining storyline. I do love the bodyguard stories so, after Neil’s book, I was delighted to see Rick’s was story had also been written. Judy was a sweet character and despite being relatively innocent, having lived in a quiet town all of her life, she was also a decidedly strong female and not one to be broken, fortunately. As expected, this story leads onto Meg’s, Judy’s BFF, but Meg is heading outside of the Weekday Brides family for her love interest.

This is definitely an easy to read/listen to series and one which is perfectly narrated by Tany Eby.

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Review: Midnight Lily

Friday 6 December 2019 No comments
Midnight Lily Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tale of two minds

I’m slowing working my way through a range of KU books and was delighted when I came across Midnight Lily. Archer’s Voice is still my go-to book by Mia Sheridan and I was keen to see how this story would hold up by comparison.

As other reviewers have said, this story is very complex, emotive, disturbing and overall felt like more of a psychological suspense story with a romantic undertone aimed at drawing readers through the darkness of the characters’ minds.

The writing, as expected, was very strong. You could not foresee where the story was headed and the mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. Both of the key protagonists have their own demons that they are battling but you are drip-fed their individual stories and backgrounds as the book progresses. Even towards the end of the book, you read with a sense of uncertainty over what may still happen, despite questioning whether the story to that point actually took place. In some respects, this book requires at least a second or even third read in order to straighten any questions still lingering in your mind.

Whilst the story is told in a methodical way the book also seems fast-paced and it’s that pace that makes you read on with trepidation for what is yet to come. Despite the complexity of this story and the imaginative and sensitive theme, the book leaves you with a sense of unease and, in some respects, with more questions than answers. That in itself brings the story to life in a way most other books fail to do. This is not just a love story, it’s a love story that stems from a kind of madness that is almost too painful to bear witness to. This is definitely a story to read and read again.

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Review: Single by Saturday

Single by Saturday Single by Saturday by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A love triangle with a secret

This felt like a story in two parts. First you have Karen’s relationship, albeit for convenience, with Mike and then you have her growing feelings for Mike’s brother Zach and I have to say I was torn between both. Karen was the perfect wife for Mike and their friendship was really something special but the sparks ignited when Karen first lays eyes on Zach. Mike’s brother.

In trying to keep his fake relationship hidden from those close to him, Mike has distanced himself from his family. When they have been ignored for long enough, Zach decides to take a ride to find out exactly what is going on for himself and that’s when he first lays eyes on Karen. When Mike and Karen decide to go home to meet Mike’s family in Utah, Karen knows she must also become a impressive actor in order to convenience Mike’s family that their marriage is genuine but she has trouble convincing herself of her role in Mike’s life whenever Zach is around.

It’s whilst visiting Mike’s family that Karen comes across a couple of teens in need of her help but her help comes at a cost for herself, Zach and Mike.

This was another thoroughly entertaining story with passion and drive. There is the inevitable drama and twist to the story and the complications between the three main protagonists was perfectly penned. Catherine Bybee always writes stories with loveable characters and the developing relationship between Rick, Mike’s other bodyguard and Neil’s ex-marine friend, and his sister already has me hooked!

This is definitely an author I’d recommend to those looking for a lighthearted and not overly raunchy romance. It’s sweet, satisfying and seductively captivating.

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Review: Archer's Voice

Thursday 5 December 2019 No comments
Archer's Voice Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of those books that I craved to read but knowing that so many other people had loved it, I reached for it with trepidation. I'm always disappointed when people rave about books before I get to them because I feel they inadvertently set the book up for a fall. It's like that film you've waited to come out on DVD before watching it, you know the one, all your friends saw at the cinema but you decided to wait until you could watch it in the comfort of your home only to be disappointed by all the preconceived hype. Well, Archer's Voice was the book equivalent for me. Everyone raved so much about the story and Archer Hale that I was hesitant to start it. Was I disappointed? No, absolutely not. Whilst the story was sweet and tender and a beautiful contemporary romance, not my normal favourite genre, I did enjoy it but I didn't quite get the obsession over it. Whilst I wouldn't want to read the book again, I couldn't put it down. I loved the simplicity of the storyline and its characters who were brought together by fate having both suffered their own painful losses in life.

Bree Prescott has left her friends behind and set off to escape the painful memory of her father's death and finds herself at a beautiful lakeside cottage. Knowing that her pain won't leave her, she hopes that a fresh start will enable her to at least find some peace away from her home town and its cruel memories.

Archer Hale's family own the town that Bree finds herself in but a shadow of his former self, Archer quietly hides himself away from the world and its questioning eyes.

Bree soon starts to settles into her new life but after coming across the wild but beautiful man who is Archer, sets out to find out more about him and to understand why she is unexpectedly drawn to him.

Archer is treated by the town folk as an idiot but Bree soon finds out that is far from the truth. Although Archer can't speak, Bree soon learns that he has a special mind and a tender heart and before long the two are drawn into each other's auras.

The story continues with Bree and Archer slowly falling in love with each other but Archer's family are determined to de-rail his future happiness. Will Archer find happiness and trust and will Bree and Archer be able to banish their demons once and for all?

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Review: Smut

Wednesday 4 December 2019 No comments
Smut Smut by Karina Halle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fluffy Rules

Who knew I’d be entertained by a tarantula called Fluffy! This was a witty and fun read with plenty of Smut!

It's been a long time since I've read a KH story and this has been sitting on my Kindle for what feels like forever. I still prefer KH's darker/horror stories but this was definitely entertaining and well worth a read when you're looking for a fun standalone read.

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Review: The Gift of Happiness

The Gift of Happiness The Gift of Happiness by Holly Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can never resist Holly's books but her Christmas stories are all the more enjoyable. I loved Ruby & Jacob's story and their romantic journey towards their HEA as chilly as it was at times! Holly's books make me want to find these magical villages and move in with her special mix of characters.

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Review: Fiancé by Friday

Fiancé by Friday Fiancé by Friday by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forbidden love between the daughter of an English Duke and her ex-marine bodyguard, what's not to love!!!

Neil & Gwen are probably my favourite characters from this series. Put them on the run from an unknown assailant/stalker and you've got a romance story magic on your hands.

Free to read/listen via KU/Audible.

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