Friday, 22 February 2019

Review: Polaris Rising - Jessie Mihalik

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .

Consortium Rebellion Series:
Polaris Rising
Aurora Blazing (October 2019)

Visit Jessie Mihalik's website for more information

Review:
As the fifth of six children Ada's main purpose in life was always to marry into one of the other prominent houses so that her father, the head of the von Hasenberg, could place a spy in an enemy camp. Her father doesn't care that it would be a loveless marriage and that she'd be miserable, he just sees it as her duty to her family. Ada isn't quite so willing to go along with his plans though and she's spent the last couple of years on the run, hiding as a mercenary and taking whatever jobs she can just to survive.

Now her father has lost patience with her though and placing a huge bounty on her head left her vulnerable to any lowlife who just wants to collect the cash. Taken prisoner she is thrown in a cell with another notorious and high value prisoner Marcus Loch. Ada will do whatever it takes to escape before she's taken back to her father and if that means allying herself with another prisoner then that's what she'll do. She doesn't trust Loch but neither of them stand a chance of escaping alone so they'll have to work together in the short term at least.

Polaris Rising was such a fun read and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was the perfect blend of sci-fi world building and romance with plenty of action, great characters and hot chemistry. Ada is a brilliant character who is both smart and fierce, she has no intention of getting caught by her father or her unwanted fiancé and she will do whatever it takes to figure out why House Rockhurst are so eager for the marriage to go through. Loch is the kind of mysterious alpha who I find it very hard to resist, it's obvious he has secrets and I enjoyed unravelling some of the layers to find out more about his past. Ada and Loch fit together really well, they balance each other out as a couple and even when they have a big misunderstanding they're both adult enough to talk things through rather than just act without thinking.

This is a romance so that is a large focus of the story but there was plenty of other things going on too. The romance is fairly slow build and completely believable and the action and mystery kept me on my toes while I was reading. I'd be very happy to read more books with Ada and Loch as the main characters but I'm also excited that the next book stars Ada's sister Bianca. The next book is definitely at the top of my wish list and Jessie Mihalik is an author to watch out for.

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

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Review: Witness in Death - J.D. Robb

There was always an audience for murder...

Opening night in a packed theatre - a killer is on the stage. It's the perfect setting for the perfect crime. But they hadn't counted on homicide detective Eve Dallas being in the audience.

As a media frenzy envelops the high-profile actors, Eve begins to realise that behind their golden facades lurk dark, distressing pasts. The truth begins to blur with the dramatic, so that Eve's unwavering drive for justice is needed now more than ever.

Astonishing acts of betrayal, vanity, sexual deceit and unrequited love push everyone to the edge, until even Eve begins to lose her grip. But if she doesn't reach the gritty truth beneath it all, more lives will end...

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Novella in the Remember When Anthology)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

Review:
Poor Eve can't even enjoy a night at the theatre with Roarke without witnessing a murder, one committed right on stage in full view of the entire audience! Now she's got to try and figure out which of the famous actors in the play killed one of their fellow cast members. She quickly realises that everyone had reasons to want the play's star dead but which one of them actually did the deed?

I think this is the first time in this series that I've almost wanted the murderer to get away with it! The victim here is absolutely vile and definitely got what was coming to him, something even Eve would agree with. If it wasn't for the death of an innocent witness I think I'd have been hoping for her to bungle the case but Eve is a stickler for the law and she will keep digging until she's figured things out no matter how horrible the victim was.

It gets to a point where you're ten books into a series that you start running out of things to say but I still absolutely love this world and Eve and Roarke have become one of my favourite couples. The way they work together is fantastic and I love that their relationship is continuing to evolve even though they're happily married. I also really love all the side characters like Feeny, Peabody and McNab so it's always fun spending time with all of them. The mystery kept me guessing since pretty much everyone who worked at the theatre had a reason to want the victim dead but I think I read this series more for the characters than for the murders at this point. This was another great instalment that still managed to leave me wanting more.

Source: Purchased

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Review: Fake Love - Claire Contreras

In the twenty-five years I’ve known Cory York, the only thing I didn’t fake with him were my orgasms.

In seventh grade, I faked a stomach flu to stay home and keep him company while he was sick. I ended up with a virus that kept me out of school for an entire week.

In twelfth grade I faked an injury to avoid going to prom by myself. He took pity on me, dumped his original date and escorted me to the dance where the spurned girl dumped an entire pitcher of red punch over my head.

In college, I faked being in a relationship with him to get him out of a bind with a classmate. Most recently, I faked a proposal, an engagement, and wedding date.

Between the ring on my finger and the home cooked meals every night, I fell for him. So I left, because Cory York is a good friend, but a terrible boyfriend. I had to leave before he broke my heart.

We went from best friends to silent strangers. Now that I’m back in town, he wants me to be his plus one for his cousin’s wedding. This time I’ll have to fake not loving him.

THIS BOOK IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN AUDIO ON THE READ ME ROMANCE PODCAST. Listen for FREE here:

iTunes - http://geni.us/A888vRA
Google Play - http://geni.us/7lB4UBK
Website - www.readmeromance.com

Visit Claire Contreras' website for more information.

Review:
You can listen to this audiobook for free via the Read Me Romance Podcast or purchase the ebook from Amazon. Some of the ebooks will have extra content like an extended epilogue but I'm not sure if that's the case with this one since I've only listened to the audio version.

I have to be honest and say that the stories I've listened to in the Read Me Romance podcast have been a bit hit and miss so far so I was a bit wary going into Fake Love, especially since I've not read anything by Claire Contreras before. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised and this was my favourite of the stories I've listened to so far.

I always enjoy a good friends to lovers romance and as much as I would have liked this to have been a longer book I still liked Evelyn and Cory's story. Evelyn has known she's in love with Cory for years, they've been best friends forever but even though they faked being in a relationship to get an ex girlfriend off his back she knows Cory doesn't feel the same way about her. Moving away to school has put a lot of distance between them both physically and emotionally, especially since they had a big falling out before she left. When she comes home to visit they're thrown together at a mutual friend's wedding and Evelyn finally realises that Cory might not be so emotionally uninvolved after all.

This was quite a cute story that was very quick and easy to read. I liked both of the main characters and thought it had enough depth for a short novella, obviously there could have been more character development if it had been a full length book but for a freebie introduction to the author it did a great job and I'll definitely consider reading more of Claire Contreras' books in the future.

Source: I listened to this audiobook for free via the Read Me Romance podcast.

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Monday, 18 February 2019

Review: Twisted Truths - Rebecca Zanetti

Twisted Truths is the third book in New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti's breathtaking romantic suspense series, Blood Brothers, that will be loved by fans of Karen Rose, Kylie Brant, Elaine Levine, Maya Banks's KGI series and Lisa Jackson.

Noni is desperate. Her infant niece has been kidnapped, and the only person who can save her is a private detective with too many secrets to count - and more enemies than he can name. A man who walked away from Noni without any warning a year ago and broke her heart. But with Talia's life on the line, Noni won't take no for an answer...

The moment Denver Jones sees Noni, the memories come rushing back. The fire in her eyes. The determination in her voice. The danger of having her in his life. Denver had to push her away once, but now with vicious criminals threatening Noni and her niece, he'll do whatever it takes to protect them. But enemies from his past are circling, and they'll use anything - and anyone - to get to Denver.

Sin Brothers Series:
Forgotten Sins
Sweet Revenge
Blind Faith
Total Surrender

Blood Brothers Series:
(Spin off from the Sin Brothers)
Deadly Silence
Lethal Lies
Twisted Truths

Visit Rebecca Zanetti's website for more information

Review:
Twisted Truths is the final book in Rebecca Zanetti's Blood Brothers series and it's definitely the one I was most excited about. Poor Denver has been pining for Noni since the beginning of the trilogy, he met her and fell in love before the series started but broke both of their hearts by walking away. He knows he left to protect her but she has no idea why he up and left without even saying goodbye. Noni never thought she'd see Denver again but her niece has been kidnapped and she needs help desperately, desperately enough that she's willing to ask the man who broke her heart for help.

There is no way Denver can turn down Noni's request for help, especially now that she's put a target on her back by very publicly searching for him on the internet. Even if he wasn't still in love with her he wouldn't be able to leave a young baby in the hands of a brutal gang though. Denver will do whatever it takes to keep Noni safe and to bring Talia home but he's going to have to work fast if he wants to do it before Maddison and Cobb catch up with them both.

I already loved Denver but it was so great to see him finally fighting for his chance at happiness. He's always been willing to risk his life so that his brothers will survive but once he starting to see the kind of future he could have with Noni it gave him even more strength for the battle. Denver has always been the silent one of the group and Noni used to let him get away with keeping secrets the first time they dated but now she's not willing to let him get off so easily and I loved how she kept pushing him for answers. They make such a fab couple, the chemistry between them was intense from the beginning but there was so much more to their relationship than just sex.

Dr Madison has been the evil at the centre of both the Sin Brothers and Blood Brothers series so I can't tell you how satisfying it was to finally have everything come to a head. This is a battle Denver, Heath and Ryker can't win alone though and that means bringing in the Dean brothers too which made it even better. This was a fantastic conclusion to both of these series, I'm going to miss these characters but at the same time I'm glad they're going to get to enjoy their HEAs now without the constant threat of Madison and her soldiers hanging over their heads.

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

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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Review: Fury - Rachel Vincent

Magic, fate and hope collide in the stunning conclusion of New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s acclaimed Menagerie trilogy…

1986: Rebecca Essig leaves a slumber party early but comes home to a massacre—committed by her own parents. Only one of her siblings has survived. But as the tragic event unfolds, she begins to realize that other than a small army of six-year-olds, she is among very few survivors of a nationwide slaughter.

The Reaping has begun.

Present day: Pregnant and on the run with a small band of compatriots, Delilah Marlow is determined to bring her baby into the world safely and secretly. But she isn’t used to sitting back while others suffer, and she’s desperate to reunite Zyanya, the cheetah shifter, with her brother and children. To find a way for Lenore the siren to see her husband. To find Rommily’s missing Oracle sisters. To unify this adopted family of fellow cryptids she came to love and rely on in captivity.

But Delilah is about to discover that her role in the human versus cryptid war is destined to be much larger—and more dangerous—than she ever could have imagined.

Weaving together past and present in this heartbreaking tale of sacrifice and self-discovery, Fury is the deeply moving finale to a series that readers won’t soon forget.

Menagerie Series:
Menagerie
Spectacle
Fury

Visit Rachel Vincent's website for more information

Review:
In the third book in the menagerie series we see past and present collide in a really clever way. This book alternates between the present day where Delilah is heavily pregnant and about to give birth. She's  in hiding with the small group of friends and allies that escaped from the Spectacle with her and they're trying to figure out how to reunite with the others who either escaped or were recaptured and moved to different locations. We are also introduced to a new character, Rebecca Essig, who is one of the few children who survived the reaping in 1986. We see how she survived and what happened to her and her family in the aftermath of the tragedy and that really brought home how horrific it was for people who witnessed the reaping. At first it isn't clear why this new point of view was introduced but Rachel Vincent very cleverly ties both storylines together in a way that makes total sense by the end of the book.

I loved the first two books in this trilogy so I was sad it was coming to an end but I've loved all of Rachel Vincent's books so far so I wasn't actually nervous going into this one. That's why it's painful to say now that I was so disappointed I was with this ending. It just felt to me like the story is unfinished, a character makes the ultimate sacrifice (which was utterly heartbreaking and I STILL can't believe it really happened!) to try and bring peace between the humans and the cryptids but I didn't for a single second believe that what happened would have made a big enough difference. There was just two much fear, hatred and resentment between the two groups for a single event, no matter how powerful, to have such a huge, worldwide impact. The fact I didn't believe things were resolved meant that the sacrifice made felt meaningless which made me even more sad about it.

I did enjoy getting to know the new character Rebecca and of the two storylines hers was by far the most satisfactory but I wanted that same satisfaction for the characters I've grown to love over the previous two books. I ended up so horribly disappointed in the way things turned out for so many of Delilah's friends, and so many of their stories were left unfinished, that this series feels open-ended. I guess I'm just going to have to imagine my own ending but this is the first time one of Rachel Vincent's series has left me wanting more in a bad way and that left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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

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Saturday, 16 February 2019

Review: Lethal Lies - Rebecca Zanetti

Lethal Lies is the second book in New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti's breathtaking romantic suspense series, Blood Brothers, that will be loved by fans of Karen Rose, Kylie Brant, Elaine Levine, Maya Banks's KGI series and Lisa Jackson.

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever...

Revenge. It's the only thing that helps Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars. But she can't do it alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring the bad guys to justice. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for help, he's all in.

But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, long-buried secrets are coming to light - and the forces determined to destroy Heath are watching, waiting to exact their own revenge by any means necessary...

For more addictive romantic suspense look out for the rest of the titles in the Blood Brothers and Sin Brothers series. And for thrilling passion played out against a dangerous race for survival, look for the titles in The Scorpius Syndrome series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending.

Sin Brothers Series:
Forgotten Sins
Sweet Revenge
Blind Faith
Total Surrender

Blood Brothers Series:
(Spin off from the Sin Brothers)
Deadly Silence
Lethal Lies
Twisted Truths

Visit Rebecca Zanetti's website for more information

Review:
Lethal Lies is the second book in Rebecca Zanetti's Blood Brothers series and this time we get to know Heath as he continues hunting for the serial killer mentioned in the previous book. Anya is being stalked by the killer as he keeps sends her photos of the victims, she is a profiler who has been helping the FBI try to track him but his latest victim was her sister and she is devastated. Now more determined than ever to catch the murderer she decides to taunt him by announcing her engagement to Heath in the middle of a press conference. Heath couldn't be more shocked about suddenly gaining a fiancee he's barely spoken to but the biggest problem of all is that she's just announced his name and location in the national news. It's a race against time to try and catch a killer before the enemies from his past manage to catch both Heath and his brothers.

I just completely devoured this trilogy in three days, I was totally sucked back into this world (I already read and loved the Sin Brothers books) and I couldn't seem to read these books fast enough. They're the perfect blend of action and romance and I really enjoyed getting to know Heath and Anya. I have to admit I was a little shocked by Anya's bold plan and the way she pulled Heath into it without speaking to him first but she had just walked out of her sister's funeral service and was emotionally all over the place so it was fairly easy to forgive her.

I've always loved the bond between Heath and his brothers Denver and Ryker but it's also been really interesting to catch a glimpse of the Dean brothers and their partners. Family is so important to all of them because they all had such horrendous upbringings and its really nice to see the two groups accept each other so easily. This book had less movement on the plot regarding the people from the past who are chasing the brothers but the hunt for the serial killer kept things moving and kept the tension levels high. It was interesting to see how everything is starting to tie together ready for the end of the series too, I've already read the final book and can confirm that it's a very satisfying ending.

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

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Friday, 15 February 2019

Review: Virgins - Diana Gabaldon

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE JAMIE MET CLAIRE IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW OUTLANDER SHORT STORY.

1740: Young Jamie Fraser has left Scotland and, with his best friend Ian Murray, is running with a band of mercenaries in France.

Both men have good reason not to go back to their homeland: both are nursing wounds, and despite their best efforts to remedy the situation, both are still virgins.

So when a Jewish doctor hires them to escort his granddaughter to Paris, they readily agree. Both men are instantly drawn to the beautiful young lady.

What neither know is that their lives and their friendships are about to become infinitely more complicated - and a lot more dangerous ...

Outlander Series:
Virgins (Prequel Novella)
Outlander (Originally published in the UK as Cross Stitch)
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written in my Own Heart's Blood
Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone (Release date to be confirmed)

Visit Diana Gabaldon's website for more information

Review:
Virgins is only a short novella so I'm going to keep my review pretty short too. Set before Jamie and Claire meet this story sees Jamie travel to France to meet up with his best friend Ian. Jamie is recovering from serious injuries and can't return home for his own safety so he joins the mercenary band that Ian has been working alongside.

I don't really want to say much more than that so you'll just have to read the story for yourself if you're interested. I did really like the friendship between Jamie and Ian so it was nice to see how supportive the two are of each other but I wasn't particularly interested in the story and didn't really think it added much to the series as a whole.

I've only read the first book in the series but I'm already leery of the amount of attempted rapes (& actual rapes!) that have already occurred and friends have warned me it only gets worse as the series continues so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that there was a rape scene and at least one attempted rape in a story that's less than 100 pages long. I get that rape would have been a huge threat to women back then (it still is now after all!) but I honestly think there is too much of it included in this series and I would enjoy the books so so much more if that was dialled back a bit. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to see how I get on with the second full length book, Dragonfly in Amber, which I'm hoping to read sometime soon.

Source: Purchased

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