Wednesday, 1 July 2015

May & June 2015 Recap


I know it's been very quiet around here lately, we had some bad news as a family at the beginning of June and I've just not been in the mood to spend much time online. I have been doing plenty of reading though so if I can get my brain in gear to start writing reviews then I will have loads of posts coming soon for you all.

I have a couple of reviews lined up over the next week & I'm going to try and keep the momentum going and get back to normal throughout July. I think this is the first time since I started blogging in January 2010 that I've taken more than a week off & I have missed it so it's good to be back :o)

Books read in April but reviewed in May:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Darkness Falls - Keri Arthur (Read in February, reviewed in May)
  2. Revenant - Larissa Ione (Read in February, review coming soon)
  3. Lion's Share - Rachel Vincent (Read in February, review coming soon)
  4. Warm Up - V.E. Schwab (Short Story) (Read in February, review coming soon)
  5. Vicious - V.E. Schwab (Read in March, review coming soon)
  6. Fairest - Marissa Meyer (Read in March, reviewed in May)
  7. About A Dragon - G.A. Aiken (Read in March, reviewed in May)
  8. Ember - Bettie Sharpe (Novella) (Read in March, review coming soon)
  9. Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs (Read in March, review coming soon)
  10. Hard as You Can - Laura Kaye (Read in March, reviewed in May)
  11. Lover Unleashed - J.R. Ward (Read in April, review coming soon)
  12. Truckers - Terry Pratchett (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  13. Breaking Nova - Jessica Sorensen (Read in April, review coming soon)
  14. A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J Maas (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  15. Once Pure - Cecy Robson (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  16. Alien Separation - Gini Koch (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  17. Marked - Sue Tingey (Read in April, reviewed in May)
  18. Fate's Edge - Ilona Andrews (Read in April, reviewed in May)
Books read in May:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Poppy in the Field - Mary Hooper
  2. Heaven Can't Wait - Pamela Clare (Novella) (review coming soon)
  3. Steel's Edge - Ilona Andrews (review coming soon)
  4. What a Dragon Should Know - G.A. Aiken (review coming soon)
  5. Unremembered - Jessica Brody (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  6. Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 3 & 4 - C.A. Taylor
  7. End of Days - Susan Ee
  8. Unforgotten - Jessica Brody (review coming soon)
  9. Heap House - Edward Carey
  10. Beyond Innocence - Kit Rocha
  11. Salvation - Robin Covington
  12. Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  13. What Caroline Wants - Amanda Abbott
  14. In Bed with Mr. Wrong - Katee Robert
  15. His to Keep - Katee Robert (Novella)
  16. Falling for His Best Friend - Katee Robert
  17. Master of the Opera - Jeffe Kennedy (Serialised Novel) (review coming soon)
  18. War's Passion - Lia Davis (review coming soon)
  19. Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett
  20. Saint Anything - Sarah Dessen (review coming soon)
  21. Let it Ride - Vivian Arend (review coming soon)
  22. Come Home to Me - Jessica Scott (Novella) (review coming soon)
  23. Shards of Hope - Nalini Singh (review coming soon)
  24. Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  25. In the Air Tonight - Lori Handeland (review coming soon)
  26. Misery's Way - J.C. Daniels (Novella) (review coming soon)
  27. An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir (review coming soon)
Books read in June:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. What Piper Needs - Amanda Abbott (review coming soon)
  2. Abhorsen - Garth Nix (review coming soon)
  3. The Stars Never Rise - Rachel Vincent (review coming soon)
  4. Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch (review coming soon)
  5. Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  6. Roar & Liv - Veronica Rossi (Novella) (review coming soon)
  7. Through the Ever Night - Veronica Rossi (review coming soon)
  8. Brooke - Veronica Rossi (Novella) (review coming soon)
  9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews (review coming soon)
  10. Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi (review coming soon)
  11. Magic Mourns - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  12. Magic Bleeds - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  13. Uprooted - Naomi Novik
  14. Valentine - Heather Grothaus (review coming soon)
  15. Waistcoats & Weaponry - Gail Carriger (review coming soon)
  16. Rules of Seduction - Joya Ryan (review coming soon)
  17. Lucky Charms - Lisa Shearin (Novella in the Night Shift anthology) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  18. The Grendel Affair - Lisa Shearin (review coming soon)
  19. Mind Games - Carolyn Crane (review coming soon)
  20. Final Protocol - J.C. Daniels (review coming soon)
  21. The One - Sarah Crossan (review coming soon)
  22. Soulless - Gail Carriger (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  23. Changeless - Gail Carriger (review coming soon)
  24. Hard Evidence - Pamela Clare (review coming soon)
  25. Magic Dreams - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  26. Magic Slays - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  27. Magic Tests - Ilona Andrews (Novella in the An Apple for the Creature anthology) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  28. Magic Gifts - Ilona Andrews (Novella) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  29. Gunmetal Magic - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  30. Frail Human Heart - Zoe Marriott (review coming soon)
  31. Dragon Conspiracy - Lisa Shearin (review coming soon)
  32. Girl From Above: Betrayal - Pippa Dacosta (review coming soon)
  33. Hex Appeal - Anthology (review coming soon)
Other May & June Posts:
  1. Book Trailer: Hard Ink Series - Laura Kaye
  2. Cover Reveal: Pushing the Boundaries Series - Amanda Abbott
  3. Blog Tour: Salvation - Robin Covingtion (Excerpt & Giveaway)
  4. Penguin and Teenage Cancer Trust's Night of Infinities - Inspired by John Green's The Fault in Our Stars
  5. Blog Tour: What Caroline Wants - Amanda Abbott (Extract & Giveaway)
  6. Blog Tour: Falling for His Best Friend - Katee Robert (Extract & Giveaway)
  7. Blog Tour: Beyond Innocence - Kit Rocha (Extract & Two Giveaways)
  8. Bookish News: New 3 Book Deal for Laini Taylor with Hodder & Stoughton
  9. Fabulous Giveaway to Celebrate the Re-Release of Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
  10. Cover Reveal: Dare to Run - Jen McLaughlin (+ Scavenger Hunt Giveaway)
  11. Blog Tour: What Piper Needs - Amanda Abbott (Extract & Giveaway)
May & June Books of the Month:
(Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

My top YA reads in May & June:


End of Days by Susan Ee (read my review here)
Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper (read my review here)

My top NA read in May & June:


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (read my review here)
Once Pure by Cecy Robson (read my review here)

My top adult read in May & June:


Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (read my review here)
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (read my review here)

My Challenge Updates:

These are the challenges I've signed up for in 2015:

Monday, 1 June 2015

Blog Tour: What Piper Needs - Amanda Abbott (Extract + International Giveaway)


Today is the release day of What Piper Needs, the second book in Amanda Abbott's Pushing the Boundaries series and I have a fantastic excerpt to share with you today. This whole series is hot as hell and if you already read the first book you're going to love this one even more. I also have another fantastic giveaway for you guys for 10 copies of the book!

Piper and Michael Collins have it all. They’re in love, both have successful jobs, live in a nice neighborhood, and have a great sex life—that is, up until recently. Over the past six months everything has started to drag. Even though they’ve led an “extracurricular” lifestyle for a long time, things have gotten boring.

Piper decides to liven up her marriage in a big way, which she does with a little encouragement from her pal Caroline at their weekly STD happy hours. She jumps in and sparks between she and Michael fly. First with hot selfies, office sex, and later with some much needed risk-taking.

From there, Piper and Michael make a Top Ten Sex List and start ticking off their wildest fantasies. Piper becomes fearless--the things that made her panic in the past no longer holding her back--but when they both arrive at Michael's number ten, is Piper really ready?

*This book is super steamy hot, filled with out-of-the-box moments. The book contains: explicit sex, hardcore toys, and group sex.

Buy Links:
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Google | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

About Amanda Abbott:
Amanda Abbott lives in the Midwest. She's the author of many books, both on her own and some published in New York. She loves traveling, seeing the world, and above all she loves to write. These stories have blossomed out of her pure love of all kinds of romance, but especially humor + sexy combined. Taking the question of "what if" and making it real was an absolute thrill to write. And there's more in the hopper! To keep up with new series and new releases, head to her website www.authoramandaabbott.com and be sure to sign-up for her newsletter!

Website: http://www.authoramandaabbott.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAAbbott
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaAbbott
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13778727.Amanda_Abbott?from_search=true
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1GzfRb1

Extract:


Honestly, Piper. You never listen to me anyway. If you did, you might find my advice helpful.”
“I do listen. It’s just hard to focus when, you know, focusing takes so much effort.” Piper Collins sat in her usual spot, a comfy overstuffed chair by the window, half-listening to her sex therapist, Marianne Cummings, talk about all the changes she needed to make in her life.

Piper suppressed a snicker when she thought of her therapist’s last name, which she did often, sometimes right in the middle of a session. She’d chosen this woman solely based on her name when she’d found it listed in the directory under sex therapists.

I mean, come on. It’d been a no-brainer.

Piper had been seeing her weekly for the last eight years, without fail, and Marianne really was worth the money. But Piper never took her advice.

Well, hardly ever.

Piper was a little more attentive today because she was looking forward to sharing Marianne’s sage advice with her bestie, Caroline Stratton, tonight for their weekly STD meeting, which included wine, lots of laugher, some lewd jokes, and plenty of talk about sex.

The acronym stood for Sexual Therapy for Deviants.

It was an utterly nonsensical name for their weekly wine-soaked therapy sessions, but Piper thought it was funny, so she had christened it the very first night, and STD it had stayed.

Caroline, her best friend and neighbor, had gone through her own sexual metamorphoses a few months ago. Mostly in thanks to Michael, Piper’s husband of ten years, spilling the beans about their own extracurricular sex lifestyle. But Caroline wouldn’t be caught dead talking to someone about sex, except for Piper and her own husband, Jason. She was too embarrassed and too proper to open up to a stranger.

So this was Piper’s way of paying it forward.

But, in reality, these new weekly meetings were helping Piper almost as much as they helped Caroline. Caroline had actually made Piper feel more normal than she had in years, so there was something to be said about your girlfriends being the best counselors.

“It’s a wonder your brain isn’t the consistency of scrambled eggs with all that’s going on in there. I see you’re thinking about something hard,” Marianne interrupted her thoughts. “You have no idea what it is you need. That’s why you come here to see me.”

“My brain is not the consistency of scrambled eggs,” she told Marianne, smiling. “I’m just really good at compartmentalizing.”

“I’d say avoiding is a more apt description of what’s going on inside that head of yours.” Marianne took her glasses off her nose and let them rest on her chest, using the rhinestone chain Piper had given her as a gift years ago.

“Fine, avoiding. But, whatever. It’s not going to happen.”

“I think you should rethink that,” Marianne told her. “It’s high time for you to stop being afraid of your own sexual pleasure and jump back in. Start taking risks again. No more watching from a safe distance, feeling left out of the fun. It’s time to be adventurous again, just like in the rest of your life. You’re such a vibrant soul. It’s a pity to constantly miss out on all the sexual adventures that await you.” Ms. Cummings was a product of the sixties. She advocated a lot of free love, which Piper was totally on board with.

But this was different.

Jumping in could produce a ripple effect, one she might not recover from. Or at least, that was her fear. “I’m not afraid. I’m terrified. What if that thing”—Piper waved her hand in the air aimlessly—“happens again? I can’t risk it. I don’t feel ready.”

“That thing? You mean your mental breakdown?”
“Um, yes. Exactly that.”
Piper still had trouble admitting it had ever happened.
It’d been a dark time in her life, and it’d been a blessing that she’d only been out of it for a few weeks, not months, or even years. When she’d been right in the thick of it, she’d felt like the weight of the world was crushing the life out of her. And she felt like she couldn’t breathe for days on end. Her husband Michael had finally coaxed her out of it, giving her a lot of love and understanding, but she wasn’t willing to risk it again, not even for something she needed desperately—to feel sex again. To be scintillated by something.

To have an orgasm shake her to her core.

“Well, that was over seven years ago,” Marianne reminded her, “and from everything you’ve told me, you’re no longer satisfied with your sex life the way it is right now. Things have to change, or it’s going to adversely affect your marriage. You’ve been participating in open sex for the last nine years, and I shouldn’t have to remind you that you’ve assimilated very well to the lifestyle. Even though what brought you here was sex with another man other than your husband. You need to start putting yourself out there again so you can find your real pleasure, and in the process strengthen your marriage.”

“Or things can just stay the same.” Marianne chuckled.

Piper didn’t think it was unprofessional for her therapist to laugh at her. They’d been together for too long to not be completely comfortable with one another. “I know that’s your fear talking. And I’ve been saying the same thing to you for the past year. So you’re either going to listen or you’re not. But now that you have this friend to confide in—what’s her name again?”

“Caroline.”

“Yes, Caroline. Maybe she can help you see the light better than I can. Piper”—she leaned forward in her straight-backed chair—“there is sexual pleasure in your future if you allow it to happen. Lots of it. You are a bright light on this earth. All you need to do is make up your mind to live again.”

Now it was Piper’s turn to chuckle. “I have news for you. Caroline is not going to be an advocate of me swapping things up. She had her own little run-in not too long ago, and she’s still recovering. She will want me to stay nice and safe.”

“Have you explained everything to her?” “Not exactly.”
“Try it. She might surprise you.”

***

“I think you should fuck the shit out of him.” Caroline drained her third glass of wine and peered over the rim at Piper, her eyebrows up at her hairline. “What? Was that too much?”

“Caroline Elizabeth Stratton!” Piper was legit shocked. And, to date, not a lot of things shocked her. “I cannot believe that just came out of your proper Southern mouth! I’m aghast.” She laughed.

Caroline set her glass down and smiled at Piper across the table like a shrew. They were in Piper’s kitchen for a change, the breakfast nook to be exact.

“I’m no Southern belle,” Caroline replied. “I think we’ve established that many times over. But I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact you haven’t had an orgasm in six months! And this is the first I’m hearing about it! What the hell, Piper? I thought we shared everything now. I shouldn’t have to remind you that you’re the one who’s responsible for me being in this lifestyle at all, which has been less than six months. You sat there in my kitchen and painted this fantastical picture of raw carnal pleasure, delights around every corner, and you’re not even living it! What a farce!”

Piper swirled the wine in her cup. The ruby liquid arced close to the rim leaving a thin film behind. This was one of her favorite wines. A Cabernet mix. She saved the good stuff for her nights with Caroline.

They’d been meeting every Thursday for three months like clockwork.

Most of the time at Caroline’s, because she worked from home and it was easy for her to host. But Michael, Piper’s husband of ten years, was out of town and Piper had taken a rare day off from her hectic job at the ad agency and had made them a bunch of their favorite foods, including homemade guacamole, which Caroline was currently munching on.

Piper set her glass down and rested her arms on the table. “I couldn’t tell you before because it’s embarrassing. I used to be the queen of orgasms. I could have ten in a row. Now, zilch, nada, nothing. Telling you I’m failing in the sex department, when you were all hopped up on free love, wasn’t going to happen. I don’t do Debbie Downer. I’m a perpetual Debbie Upper. You should know that by now.”

Caroline leaned over the table, a chip in one hand, and a recently refilled wine glass in the other. “Well, we’re going to fix your sex slump. You just have to leave it to me...”

Giveaway:

Now if that extract has caught your attention I have 10 ebook copies of What Piper Needs to giveaway to my readers. You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below, the giveaway ends on the 16th of June and the winners will be announced soon afterwards. Prizes will be sent out directly by Amanda Abbott so by entering you are giving me permission to share your email address with her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners: What Caroline Wants - Amanda Abbott


I'm excited to announce the winners of my latest giveaway today with the help of Rafflecopter.

These 6 lucky winners will all be receiving an ebook copy of What Caroline Wants by Amanda Abbott:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to you all! I have passed your details on to Amanda Abbott's assistant so you should receive your copies of the book soon!

Thanks so much to Amanda Abbott for sponsoring these giveaway & thanks to everyone who entered. I'm sorry if you didn't win but I'll have more giveaways coming up soon so make sure you check back for another chance to win prizes. In fact, check back in about 10 minutes for the chance to win a copy of book 2 in this series!!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Cover Reveal: Dare to Run - Jen McLaughlin (+ Scavenger Hunt Giveaway!)


Today I'm excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Dare to Run, the first book in Jen McLaughlin's HOT new Sons of Steel Row series, that is being published by Penguin (NAL Signet) on the 2nd of February 2016. I'm a huge fan of Jen's writing so I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book & I'm sure you'll see why when you have a look at this cover!

To celebrate the release Jen McLaughlin is holding a scavenger hunt, there are 8 clues scattered around a selection of blogs that are taking part in the cover reveal. All you have to do is find all the clues and then unscramble the eight letters to make a word!

To make it easy for you I'll even tell you where you can find the first clue - Just go to this article on DARE TO RUN, found at USA Today HEA!

You'll be able to find links to the seven remaining clues on Jen McLaughlin's blog HERE

The clue I'm sharing with you today is number 4:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dare to Run Blurb:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston, where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good...

She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

Add Dare to Run to Goodreads HERE

Pre-order Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1AnqL7e
The Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1Lucber
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HDfUZa

About the Author:

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Find Jen McLaughlin Online:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Fabulous Giveaway to Celebrate the Re-Release of Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh


I'm a huge fan of everything that Nalini Singh writes but I adore her Psy-Changeling books and having just read the fourteenth book I can confirm that the series is just getting better and better! The first book in the series, Slave to Sensation, is being released in the US with a fabulous new cover and to celebrate Nalini Singh and Penguin's Berkley Romance imprint are holding a fantastic international giveaway for the first five books in the Psy-Changeling series! Trust me, if you've not started this series yet you really are missing out and this giveaway is the perfect chance to dive in - especially since there will be FIVE winners!

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation"--the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion--and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities--or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...

Buy Links:
Amazon US / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

Read an excerpt from Slave to Sensation HERE

Psy-Changeling Series:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
Beat of Temptation (Novella included in Wild Invitation and the An Enchanted Season anthology)
Whisper of Sin (Novella included in the Burning Up anthology or as a separate ebook)
Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Stroke of Enticement (Novella included in Wild Invitation and The Magical Christmas Cat anthology)
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Declaration of Courtship (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Kiss of Snow
Texture of Intimacy (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Secrets at Midnight (Novella included in the Night Shift anthology)
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope (Releases June 2015)

Giveaway:

You can enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter form below. Winners will be announced via Rafflecopter and will be contacted directly by the giveaway organisers so that they can organise sending out the prizes.

aRafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 25 May 2015

Review: Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex . . .

Discworld Series:
The Colour of Magic (Rincewind book 1)
The Light Fantastic (Rincewind book 2)
Equal Rites (Witches book 1)
Mort (Death book 1)
Sourcery (Rincewind book 3)
Wyrd Sisters (Witches book 2)
Pyramids
Guards! Guards! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 1)
Eric (Rincewind book 4)
Moving Pictures
Reaper Man (Death book 2)
Witches Abroad (Witches book 3)
Small Gods
Lords and Ladies (Witches book 4)
Men at Arms (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 2)
Soul Music (Death book 3)
Interesting Times (Rincewind book 5)
Maskerade (Witches book 5)
Feet of Clay (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 3)
Hogfather (Death book 4)
Jingo (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 4)
The Last Continent (Rincewind book 6)
Carpe Jugulum (Witches book 6)
The Fifth Elephant (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 5)
The Truth
Thief of Time (Death book 5)
The Last Hero (Rincewind book 7)
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Night Watch (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 6)
The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching book 1)
Monstrous Regiment
A Hat Full of Sky (Tiffany Aching book 2)
Going Postal (Moist von Lipwig book 1)
Thud! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 7)
Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching book 3)
Making Money (Moist von Lipwig book 2)
Unseen Academicals (Rincewind book 8)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching book 4)
Snuff (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 8)
The World of Poo
Raising Steam (Moist von Lipwig book 3)
The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching book 5) (2015)

Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

Review:
Wizards always know when they're going to die and Drum Billet is determined to pass on his staff, and his magic, to someone worthy. He has heard that a baby is about to be born, the eighth son of an eighth son, and therefore someone who should be incredibly powerful when they come of age and he has decided that they'll make a worthy heir. Unfortunately he forgets one tiny matter - to check that the baby is actually a boy before he makes the exchange. It's a well known fact on Discworld that girls can't be wizards and boys can't be witches but Esk has been gifted a magic that she never should have had access to and now it's up to Granny Weatherwax to figure out how to train her.

I've always loved the Discworld witches and Granny Weatherwax is a firm favourite but I had forgotten how much she changes throughout this series. When we meet her in Equal Rites she is still an intelligent and powerful witch but she's never left her remote village in the mountains and hates the idea of even visiting a large town, let alone travelling the 500 miles to Ankh-Morpork. I always think of her as being rather worldy and wise so it was quite amusing to see her so nervous about leaving her home. Unfortunately for Granny Esk starts to manifest magical abilities that are beyond Granny's experience and she realises that the young girl needs proper wizard training so it's off to the Unseen University that they go.

One of the things I love about Terry Pratchett's writing is his ability to take real life issues, like equality of the sexes in this case, and present them in a way that shows how utterly ridiculous it is that these problems still occur in our day to day lives. His stories are so full of humour, he is great at poking fun of old fashioned and pointless traditions and his characters are always so much fun to read about. Equal Rites is the third book in the Discworld series but it stands the test of time and I've read it many times over the years along with all of the earlier Discworld novels. I love the world he has created and I've grown really attached to all of the characters over the years, so many of them pop up time and time again even if it's only for a minor guest appearance and although the books can be read in any order I do think that it's best to start at the beginning, especially your first time through the series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review: Once Pure - Cecy Robson

She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch.

Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behaviors and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien.

As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected.

As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.

Shattered Past Series:
Once Perfect
Once Loved
Once Pure
Once Kissed (November 2015)
Once Crossed (release date to be confirmed)
Once Damaged (release date to be confirmed)
Once Crushed (release date to be confirmed)

Visit Cecy Robson's website for more information.

Review:
I have been dying to read Sofia and Killian's story ever since they were introduced in the first book of the Shattered Past series. Sofia is the youngest of the Tres Santos family and her siblings Mateo and Lety have always been very protective of her, something that only increased when she went through a horrible traumatic experience a few years ago. Sofia's experience broke something inside of her and the previously shy and quiet girl went completely off the rails making poor choices when it came to men. It's taken a long time but Sofia has finally put her life back together, she is studying hard and knows what she wants from the future but she is still very timid and her experience has made her very wary of new people, men in particular.

Killian has always had a special place in his heart for Lety, they were childhood friends and he cares deeply for her but she is his best friend's little sister and therefore should be off limits. That hasn't put a damper on the attraction he feels for her though and he would do anything to erase the past and give her back her confidence. When Sofia agrees to help Killian update the website for his MMA gym it means working in close proximity and Killian sets out to help Sofia regain her confidence. He starts with self defence training but the more time they spend together the more he realises that he wants so much more. It's not going to be easy to convince Sofia to give him a chance but she is definitely worth fighting for.

I absolutely loved this story, we've already seen how much Sofia has been through and I was desperate to see her find happiness and start putting the past behind her. More than anything Sofia is a survivor and I loved seeing her slowly grow more confident as Killian and his family encouraged her to stand up for herself. Killian was fantastic, unlike so many new adult heroes he's not a player, sure he's no innocent virgin but he's not someone with a different woman on his arm every night who has no intention of settling down. In fact, for a long time the only person he has been able to think about is Sofia. He is incredibly patient with her and I loved the way he helped to build her up, when he looks at her he sees a strong and independent woman and he wants her to see herself in the same way. They do have issues to work through but I never doubted that they'd be able to make it in the long term.

Once Pure is quite an emotional story, it's utterly heart wrenching and in places brought tears to my eyes but there is also plenty of humour thanks to Killian's crazy siblings. Can I just say right now that I loved all of the O'Brien clan and I'm incredibly excited that Cecy Robson will be writing stories for each of them. I'm already particularly excited about Finn and Wren's books but I know I'll be devouring them all! Another thing I really enjoyed was getting the chance to catch up with both of the previous couples. Mateo is not happy when he finds out about Killian and Sofia but the guys work things out and I think even Mateo can see how good they are together. I love this series and can't wait to continue reading it.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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