Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: Glory - Ana Jolene

Nineteen year old, India Beaumont has bipolar II disorder. Living in a world where solar flares have reshaped society, she must fight to survive in Ward Four where the only people thriving are part of an exclusive motorcycle club. Glory MC don’t play well with strangers but when Indy manages to land a job as a bartender at their clubhouse, she gets the fresh start she’s always dreamed of. While everyone else is focused on the flares, no one will be paying attention to her or the disorder she means to keep from everyone.

The president’s son, Ian Haste, is the first to zero-in on her, seeming to sense the kindred spirit that she desperately hides. As secretary and treasurer of Glory MC, Hastie is exactly who Indy needs to avoid, but the reckless lifestyle he lives may also be the one thing that helps him understand her better than anyone else.

As tensions rise between Ward leaders, Indy’s secret threatens to be exposed before she is ready, and with only pieces of the puzzle, Hastie doesn’t know what to believe. When he finally discovers the secret she’s been hiding, will Hastie still be able to love her or will he deem Indy too crazy even for him?

Glory MC Series:
Glory
Origin
Nirvana

Visit Ana Jolene's website for more information.

Review:
Glory is the first book in Ana Jolene's Glory MC series, set in a dystopian future where solar flares have decimated the population and the government has collapsed. The area has been split into different sectors and Glory Motorcycle Club control ward 4. There is some rivalry between the different wards but we're yet to find out exactly what happened to cause this or who is in charge of most of the other areas. Indy and Hastie meet when she starts working behind the bar at the Glory MC club house, he's instantly attracted to her but she's holding him at a distance because of a secret she is desperately trying to keep. It's up to Hastie to break through her defences if he wants to understand what makes Indy tick.

This is Ana Jolene's debut novel and I think she did a brilliant job of bringing her characters to life. Indy in particular was a complex character whose bipolar disorder affects her greatly. She could be a hard character to understand because she goes from phases of hyper-mania straight into boughts of depression and you never know quite what she'll do next but I felt that was realistic for someone with her illness. I found it frustrating that she wouldn't tell Hastie what was going on with her but at the same time I could completely understand why she didn't want to be judged for her bipolar disorder and was afraid that he'd walk away from her if he knew about it. I liked the way Hastie was so patient with her and so understanding when he did find out why she was blowing hot and cold with him but sometimes I struggled to fit his personality in with what I expect from a scary alpha biker. This isn't a genre I've read a huge number of books in but in my experience MC characters tend to be a bit more badass than the Glory MC members but that's hopefully something that will change as we get to know them all a bit better.

Where the story fell down for me was in the world building, there were definitely some interesting ideas in there and I can see it getting better as the series continues but I felt we needed a bit more background information about how the world came to be destroyed. There were some inconsistencies in the way we're told that there is no government and no police so life is hard but at the same time they had easy access to electricity (when a solar flare wasn't in progress) so the utilities companies are still running. They were also easily able to buy gas for their bikes, Indy owned a car and lived alone with a female friend with no mention of any danger, there didn't seem to be any food shortages or general lawlessness in the area and they were able to contact manufacturers to place orders for supplies when Indy wanted to give the bar she worked in a makeover. Basically I don't understand why the government is gone but everything else still seems to be running as normal and that threw me out of the story a bit.

I'm hoping that the world will be expanded upon in the next book and I definitely liked the characters enough to want to continue reading. Considering this was her debut I expect great things from Ana Jolene in the future.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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:

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Review: The Mechanical Minotaur - Laura Lam

Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell . . .

The Mechanical Minotaur

Evander’s father locks him in the cellar on his twelfth birthday. Their house in the Emerald Bowl is cold and empty, far from the warm home in Imachara where he lived with his parents back when his mother was alive. Yet down in the dim, dark cellar is a trunk with Evander’s name on it, and within is an automaton that says it can lead the boy back to his mother . . .

Vestigial Tales are stories set in the world of the award-winning Micah Grey series. Step behind the circus ring from Pantomime, the theatre of Shadowplay, and the court magic of Masquerade.

Note: This story is best read after Masquerade, as a cap to the Micah Grey series.

Micha Grey Series:
Pantomime
Shadowplay
Masquerade

Vestigial Tales:
(Series of short stories set in the same world as the Micha Grey series)
The Snake Charm
The Fisherman's Net
The Tarot Reader
The Card Sharp
The Mechanical Minotaur

Visit Laura Lam's website for more information.

Review:
The Mechanical Minotaur is the 5th of Laura Lam's Vestigial Tales but where most of these short stories can be read at any point in the Micha Grey series this one really should be read after Masquerade if you want to avoid spoilers.

This is the story of a young boy called Evander who has been treated terribly by his father ever since the death of his mother a year previously. Then on the night of his 12th birthday Evander receives an unexpected gift that makes him question everything he thought he saw the night his mother died. Now Evander is on a quest, with the help of a vestige mechanical minotaur, to uncover what truly happened that night but it won't be an easy journey.

I don't want to say much more about the story but this was a nice addition to the Micha Grey world and I really liked Evander's character. This does tie into the main series but you don't really figure out how until nearer the end of the story so I'm not going to spoil things by saying how. Evander was a really sweet boy and I think I'd have liked his story even more if it had been a little longer, as it is I don't think it was a particularly necessary addition to the series but it was worth reading if you want to see a bit more of this world.

Source: Received as part of a preorder giveaway from the author

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.

Kindle:

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Cover Reveal: Tamed by a Tiger - Felicity Heaton




Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 13)
Felicity Heaton

A snow leopard shifter in the prime of his life, the last thing on August’s mind is tying himself to one female. He welcomes a different one to his bed each night, or at least he had until five months ago when he became alpha. The duties and pressures of running his pride have his libido dead on arrival—until a trip to London to discuss business with the former alpha lands him in the path of a beautiful, bewitching tigress who awakens a passion in him that flares white hot and a need of her that consumes his every moment.

Promised at birth to a male she has never met, Maya has left her pride behind to go to the tiger alpha who is to be her mate, but she can’t leave without saying goodbye to her older brother, Talon. A stop in London at Underworld to see him one last time turns out far different, and far more dangerous, than how she had imagined it when she sets eyes on an alluring crimson-haired stranger who stirs new, unbidden feelings in her, desires that rouse her fiercest and most frightening instincts and demand she stake a claim on him—her fated mate.

Will Maya be strong enough to place her pride and her family’s safety before the desires of her own heart? And will August unravel his feelings for the black-haired beauty before it’s too late and he loses her forever?




The special sneak preview for Tamed by a Tiger begins on July 30th, exclusive to Felicity's mailing list. Every subscriber is entered into the giveaway to win a signed personalised paperback copy of Tamed by a Tiger, with a chance to win a copy in each of the three exclusive sneak peek chapters being sent out on July 30th, August 1st and August 3rd.

Not only will joining her mailing list ensure you're in with a chance of winning one of the signed copies of Tamed by a Tiger, it means you'll start receiving her newsletters, where she gives away 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards in each issue, and rewards subscribers with exclusive excerpts, teasers, flash fiction and cover reveals, and plenty of fun! Plus, you'll receive FOUR FREE EBOOKS in her Series Starter Library just for signing up!

Join her newsletter at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/newsletter.php


“Cavanaugh, take over a moment,” Sherry called over her shoulder, towards the other end of the bar to Maya’s left.

Her eyes leaped there.

Landed on a huge male with short silver hair who stood with his back to Sherry, the lights playing across his broad shoulders changing his white shirt from blue to red as they shifted.

He twisted at the waist to look at Sherry.

Maya didn’t hear what he said.

She didn’t hear the music.

Didn’t hear anything but the thumping of her heart.

She stared at the male Cavanaugh had been talking to at the end of the bar.

A male with flame red tousled hair and piercing silver eyes that captured hers as he lifted them from his beer to her, looking past the bartender.

Heat rushed through her, fire that burst to life inside her so fiercely she couldn’t catch her breath, and she stared at him, transfixed, lost in those silver eyes as they turned liquid, glowed around his irises and pulled her deeper still, narrowing the world down to only him.

Who was he?

In the wake of the fire that blazed through her blood, her instincts flashed to life, sweeping through her in a devastating wave that stripped all control from her.

She snapped and snarled at the females near her, baring her short fangs at them as a need seized her and drove her to obey it.

A need to fight.

She growled at Sherry through gritted teeth, her fangs slicing into her gums as they elongated.

Sherry backed off, her blue eyes shooting wide as she distanced herself.

No.

On a low growl, Maya leaped onto the black bar, and swiped at her, claws cutting through the air. Sherry ducked beneath her blow, narrowly evading it. Maya’s hackles rose, the urge flowing stronger, driving her harder. She needed to fight. She needed to make sure every female in the vicinity left.

This was her territory now.

She would make that clear.

She opened her mouth to roar.

Someone’s hand slammed down over it, and she struggled as strong arms hauled her backwards, dragging her off the bar. The male held her harder, wrestled with her and managed to restrain her arms, pinning them to her sides. She bit into his palm and he growled at her, a warning she wanted to heed but couldn’t manage to obey.

She needed to fight.

“Calm her the fuck down or you are both out of here, family or fucking not,” a male voice barked and she snarled at the owner of it—the jaguar. “Get this shit under control.”

“Come with me,” Sherry said and Maya struggled harder, needed to reach the female and fight her.
Needed to make this her territory.

Grey grunted and his grip on her tightened, and she flinched as pain arced like lightning through her bones. A show of strength. He was stronger than her, but she wouldn’t let him stop her. He could break her bones if he wanted. She would fight.

She kicked at him, battering his shins.

He bowed backwards, bringing her legs up and making it impossible for her to reach him.

Maya lashed out at everyone in her way instead.

All it did was help her brother by scattering everyone in his way, giving him an open route to take as he followed Sherry.

As she drew closer to the male with the fiery red hair, the need to fight grew stronger, drove her out of her mind and terrified her, leaving her feeling trapped inside her own body. She clawed at Grey’s arms, cutting through his coat and scoring his flesh, but all he did was hiss through his teeth. His grip on her remained too strong for her to break.

She needed to break it.

She needed to fight.

The scarlet-haired male’s silver eyes tracked her until she was level with him, and then casually he looked back down at his beer and resumed speaking with Cavanaugh.

Cold swept through her in response.

All of the fight flowed out of her and she slumped in Grey’s arms, reeling but unsure why.




Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (Only 99c at all retailers!)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger


Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you're looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Release Day Blitz: Eyes on You - Laura Kaye


From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes EYES ON YOU, a new novella in her Blasphemy Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!


About EYES ON YOU (Blasphemy #3):

She wants to explore her true desires, and he wants to watch…

When a sexy stranger asks Wolf Henrikson to rescue her from a bad date, he never expected to want the woman for himself. But their playful conversation turns into a scorching one-night stand that reveals the shy beauty gets off on the idea of being seen, even if she’s a little scared of it, too. And Wolf loves to watch.

In the wake of discovering her fiancé’s infidelity, florist Olivia Foster never expected to find someone who not only understood her wildest, darkest fantasies, but would bring them to life. As Wolf introduces her to his world at the play club, Blasphemy, Liv finds herself tempted to explore submission and exhibitionism with the hard-bodied Dom even as she’s scared to trust again.

But Wolf is a master of getting what he wants—and he’s got his eyes set on her…




EXCERPT:

The silence that followed was thick with tension, and Liv almost couldn’t decide if she’d hallucinated what’d happened or if this first date was truly just that bad. Jerry wouldn’t make eye contact and, instead, peered down at his cell phone beneath the table. So she took the opportunity to survey the diners sitting at the horseshoe-shaped bar near them in the hopes she’d see someone, anyone, she knew. God, please give me a way to escape Mr. I Don’t Use Menus. But God had clearly forsaken her, because the party of three women having a girls’ night out were strangers. As were the various groupings of men, some of whom wore Orioles gear and watched the pre-game commentary on the captioned television screens above the bar. An elderly man she didn’t know sat alone nearest to their high-boy table nursing a glass of bourbon, and two seats down from him…sat the hottest man Liv had ever seen.

And that was her impression just from seeing him in profile.

He had dark blond hair and a chiseled jaw, and even sitting, it was clear that he was tall.

Seriously broad shoulders filled out a dark green button-down shirt, and big hands gripped a glass of water. Now God was just being mean. Because someone was going to get to be with that man tonight while she was stuck here with Jerry of the I Don’t Use Menus clan. As she watched, not-Jerry pressed his cell phone to his ear and began talking in tones too low for her to hear.

On a sigh, Liv returned her attention to Jerry. Not that it mattered, because his gaze remained fixed on his phone. She drained the rest of her Prosecco and wished someone would bring her the bottle. That wouldn’t be too awkward for a first date, right? Right?



About Laura Kaye:

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Laura grew up amid family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Maryland Romance Writers, and she is past president of the RWA-Contemporary Romance Writers.



Monday, 17 July 2017

Review: Bronze Gods - A.A. Aguirre

Across the water lay the land of Hy Breasil, inhabited by the immortal Ferishers. Though they were few, they were divided, and when the mortal conquerors came they did not stand together. They had magic but the invaders were many, and after a bitter war, peace was only made through marriage. And thus the ten great houses grew, and the city of Dorstaad rose, and the Ferisher bloodlines grew thin. But there were some who still wielded the ancient magic...

Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko work all hours in the Criminal Investigation Division, keeping the citizens of Dorstaad safe. He’s a charming rogue with an uncanny sixth sense; she’s all logic—and the first female inspector. Between his instincts and her brains, they collar more criminals than any other partnership in the CID.

Then they’re assigned a potentially volatile case where one misstep could end their careers. At first, the search for the daughter of one of the great houses seems straightforward, but when the girl is found murdered—her body charred to cinders by an intricate and deadly device—Mikani and Ritsuko will be challenged as never before. A ruthless killer is stalking the gaslit streets, weaving blood and magic in a lethal ritual that could mean the end of everything they hold dear...

Apparatus Infernum Series:
Bronze Gods
Silver Mirrors

Visit the Apparatus Infernum series page on Ann Aguirre's website for more information

Review:
The Apparatus Infernum series is written by Ann Aguirre and her husband Andres under the pen name A.A. Aguirre. I'm a fan of Ann Aguirre's writing style and I love steampunk so of course I was drawn to this series and I'm so glad I found it. The authors have created an interesting world that is set in a different realm, one where originally ruled by the Ferishers (fae type immortals) but invaded by humans. The Ferishers were more powerful but the humans had numbers and technology on their side and now only a few main Ferisher families remain. The world has an industrial revolution feel to it but with the addition of magic and as the series centres around a pair of detectives it has a bit of a murder mystery thing going on too. It's a real mash up of genres that includes hints of a future romance and I'm very interested to see where it goes from here.

The main characters are CID Detectives Celeste Ritsuko and her partner Janus Mikani. Ritsuko is the first female detective employed by CID and therefore she has to work three times as hard as any of the men just to prove herself worthy of her position (sadly sexism is still a thing even in fictional worlds but that just makes it feel more realistic!), she is methodical and very, very motivated to prove she's the best so she's willing to put the legwork in to make sure she solves any cases that come her way. Mikani is obviously some ferisher blood somewhere in his family tree and it's given him the very useful ability to tell if people are lying to him, using his gift comes at a price but it makes him very handy to have around when they're interviewing suspects. Mikani is less organised than Ritsuko and tends to work by instinct rather than through logic but their very different styles really compliment each other and is what makes them one of CID's top teams of detectives.

After the disappearance of the daughter of one of the largest and most powerful Ferisher families Mikani and Ritsuko are handed their most important and high profile case yet. They need to find out what is going on fast, before public opinion can turn against them and they've got very little to go on. The deeper they dig the more mud they uncover and there is much more going on than either of them could have guessed at. I really enjoyed the mystery side to the story and was totally invested in the outcome of the story. I also loved both of the main characters and the strong friendship between them, there are definitely hints that their bond could become even deeper though so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a bit of romance in the next book too.

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:

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review: Masquerade - Laura Lam

The gifted hide their talents, but dare they step into the light?

Micha's Chimaera powers are growing, until his dark visions overwhelm him. Drystan is forced to take him to Dr Pozzi, to save his life. But can they really trust the doctor, especially when a close friend is revealed to be a spy?

Meanwhile, violent unrest is sweeping the country, as anti-royalist factions fight to be heard. Then three Chimaera are attacked, after revealing their existence with the monarchy's blessing - and the struggle becomes personal. A small sect decimated the Chimaera in ancient times and nearly destroyed the world. Now they've re-emerged to spread terror once more. Micha will discover a royal secret, which draws him into the heart of the conflict. And he and his friends must risk everything to finally bring peace to their land.

Micha Grey Series:
Pantomime
Shadowplay
Masquerade

Vestigial Tales:
(Series of short stories set in the same world as the Micha Grey series)
The Snake Charm
The Fisherman's Net
The Tarot Reader
The Card Sharp
The Mechanical Minotaur

Visit Laura Lam's website for more information.

Review:
I first fell in love with Micha and Drystan way back in 2013 when Pantomime was first released so I went into Masquerade with mixed feelings from the excitement that we were FINALLY going to get a conclusion to their story to the sadness that the journey was nearing an end. I still don't feel quite ready to say goodbye to this world or these characters but I do think this was a fitting end to the series and it did answer all of the biggest questions that had been raised in previous books. Some things possibly tied up a little too easily but overall I was happy with the way it ended and I'm very glad I invested the time to read the series.

Micha has been such a wonderful character from the very beginning, all of his struggles to become the person he was born to be and to find people who will accept him for who he is have paid off and now he has created a wonderful family for himself with Drystan, Cyan, Maske and more. I loved that his brother Cyril has supported him through everything and it was nice that Cyril had a larger role to play in this story too. Drystan has always been a character full of secrets and I was a bit disappointed we didn't get to dig further into his past but he's also been on quite a difficult journey and this book sees him facing his biggest temptations yet. I was worried for a time that he would fall completely apart but it was nice to see Micha support him in his hour of need when the tables turned.

I don't want to go into much detail about the plot but this story focuses much more on the political unrest in Ellada, the Foresters have been growing in power since the beginning, people are becoming more and more paranoid and tensions in the general population are high. For Micha and the other chimera the stakes have never been higher but you'll have to read the book for yourself if you want to know more than that. This book had less of the magical performances of the previous one but probably more intrigue and investigation, more secrets and bigger betrayals. The pace felt a little slower but not in a way that stopped me enjoying it, in fact I probably appreciated the urgency more because of the way events unfolded.

Masquerade was a fitting end to the trilogy but I'm still kind of hoping Laura Lam will decide to revisit this world in the future. I'd be very happy to spend more time with these characters or even explore other parts of the world and perhaps see some of the minor characters have a chance to shine.

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

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, 15 July 2017

My Favourite Books from the First Half of 2017

It's always interesting to look back and try to pick my favourite books of the year but it can be really hard to narrow it down to a reasonable number so I thought I'd make a start on my top books of 2017 list early by having a look at my favourites from January to June. I limited it to first reads only (the books I reread are already favourites so would have an unfair advantage!) and no more than one book per author (again some authors would end up on the list multiple times!). The books can be old or new as long as they're new to me but as it happened this time around they're all 2017 releases and there are quite a few debuts on the list which is great.

My favourite YA books from the first half of 2017:
(Click the links to read my reviews)


  1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  2. Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder
  3. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
  4. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I don't really read contemporary YA so it's no surprise that this list is full of fantasy titles. We are really getting spoiled with the huge amount of YA fantasy being released right now and there are so many more books that I'm really excited to read and already suspect will end up on my final list at the end of the year!

My favourite adult books from the first half of 2017:
(Click the links to read my reviews)


  1. White Hot by Ilona Andrews
  2. Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
  3. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  4. Scorpion Trap by Pippa DaCosta
  5. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

It doesn't surprise me that my favourite adult tiles are all branches of fantasy either, my favourite genres are still definitely urban fantasy and paranormal romance but fantasy in general always hits my hot spot! This list includes 4 of my favourite authors who are nearly always in my top book lists and Katherine Arden's debut has me incredibly excited to follow her writing career.

What are your favourite books of the year so far? Do any of mine make your lists too? If you have any fantasy recommendations (old or new) please do leave them in the comment, I can never have too many books on my to read mountain!

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