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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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Review: Deadly Silence - Rebecca Zanetti

Deadly Silence is the first 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.

Run for your life... And don't look back.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. Helping out a friend has put not only her job but her life in jeopardy. Zara needs help from someone she can trust - she just doesn't expect it to be the mysterious PI who recently appeared in her life.

Ryker Jones has problems of his own, including recovering from his investigative agency's recent brutal loss of a client. He wants to keep Zara at arm's length - and protect her from the reality of what he's running from.

But when danger arrives on Zara's doorstep, Ryker can't walk away. He might be the only one who can save her - if his deadly past doesn't catch up with them first...

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:
I love Rebecca Zanetti's Sin Brothers books so I was excited to dive into Deadly Silence, the first book in the spin off Blood Brothers series. This story introduces us to three new brothers, Ryker, Heath and Denver, raised together in an orphanage they all have questions about their backgrounds that they are trying to find answers to while running their own detective agency specialising in searching for missing people. When a new client asks them to find a mysterious woman they remember from their own childhood it looks like their past and present are about to collide.

Zara has been casually seeing Ryker for months but knows there will never be anything serious between them. That doesn't stop her turning to him for help when one of her closest friends goes missing though and when it looks like Zara may be in danger too Ryker realises that he would do anything to keep her safe. The timing couldn't be worse considering Ryker's past, and his enemies, are about to catch up with him, but Zara needs his help and he could never walk away from her.

Rebecca Zanetti always manages to write books that are full of action and danger but also great characters, strong family bonds and scorching hot romances. Zara and Ryker's relationship is a little different because they're already seeing each other before the story starts but because they've both been trying to keep things casual we still get to see their relationship blossom throughout the book. Ryker was a very overprotective alpha male but Zara holds her ground and she's willing to fight for what she needs and not let him walk all over her which was good. He's actually more willing to pursue a relationship than she is because she has a fear of him walking away and breaking her heart and he could actually be a really sweet guy even though he was also quite demanding and knew exactly what he wanted.

As I've come to expect from this author one of my favourite things about this book was the bond between Ryker, Heath and Denver. The boys aren't related by blood but instead they chose each other and they are very close. They all had awful childhoods that were made even worse in the orphanage where they met and surviving that kind of hell together left them with an unbreakable bond. They've always known that someone from their past is hunting them so they've had to work hard to stay under the radar but when they take on a new client they start to realise that perhaps it's time to confront their past so they can finally move on with their lives. There was a lot to love about their story and I really enjoyed seeing characters from the Sin Brothers books put in an appearance too, I hope we see more cameos from them throughout the series.

I loved all three brothers so much that I've already started reading Heath's book, Lethal Lies, and I expect to be devouring Heath's story, Twisted Truths, immediately afterwards. Sometimes there are huge advantages of not starting a new series until all the books have been published and I intend to make the most of them!

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

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Review: Spectacle - Rachel Vincent

In this riveting sequel Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

Menagerie Series:
Menagerie
Spectacle
Fury

Visit Rachel Vincent's website for more information

Review:
After Delilah and her cryptid friends finally managed to take back their freedom at the end of Menagerie I honestly expected Spectacle to be about them travelling the country and rescuing other cryptids along the way so the direction this story took really surprised me. They do manage to run Metzger's Menagerie for a couple of months but then they're captured by Willem Vandekamp, owner of The Savage Spectacle. No matter how brutal and humiliating the Menagerie was the Savage Spectacle somehow manages to be so much worse. On the surface they are kept in better conditions, they have mats to sleep on, they're fed proper meals and they're even allowed to shower but that is only because Vandekamp needs them looking their best. You see the Savage Spectacle caters to the fetishes of the rich and powerful, no matter how depraved your desires may be if you have enough money Vandekamp will provide your deepest, darkest wishes.

I really enjoyed Menagerie but I think Spectacle was even better and I just couldn't put it down. If you've read the first book then you'll already know that this series is dark but I should probably clarify that it doesn't get any easier in this one, the things that Delilah, Zyanya, Lenore and the others go through were horrific but I'm glad to say most of it wasn't shown in full detail. Even Gallagher and Eryx are forced to kill in an arena to survive so this is not a happy book full of sunshine and roses. What it is is a book that will make you think about what it means to be human. Does it really matter that you're physically human if you're a monster on the inside, how does that make you any better than someone who is different on the outside but who just wants to be free to live their life in peace? It was far, far easier to relate to the cryptids in this book than it was to their human handlers and I spent most of the book just waiting for Delilah to find a way to release her inner furae on them all.

I don't want to spoil the book by telling you if that happens or not but I will say that some characters definitely get what they deserve even if it isn't all of them. It's not often that I read a whole trilogy without taking a break between books but with the way this ended I'm incredibly relieved that Fury is already available because I'm diving straight in. I really want to see Delilah, Gallagher and the others find some happiness and a safe place to be and more than anything I want to see them punish anyone who has ever attempted to abuse them. Humanity had better watch out because the cryptids are coming for revenge!

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

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