Sunday, 25 January 2015

Review: One Night of Scandal - Elle Kennedy

The wrong man never felt so right . . .

Ex-fighter Reed Miller has been secretly lusting over his best friend’s girl for months, but he refuses to jeopardize a friendship over a woman—especially one who doesn’t like him all that much. Now that Darcy’s on the market again, it’s even more imperative to stick to his strict hands-off policy. But the sizzling attraction between them is too powerful to ignore, and once he’s had a taste of her…all bets are off.

Darcy Grant is tired of walking the straight and narrow path. She’s on the hunt for passion, and there’s no denying Reed is just the man to give it to her. Although she has no interest in dating a bad boy, and certainly not her ex’s best friend, it’s impossible not to melt beneath Reed’s skillful touch. Now it’s just a matter of setting a few ground rules—and hoping her rule-breaking, sweet-talking bad boy agrees to follow them. But if she lets Reed into her bed, does she stand a chance of keeping him out of her heart?

After Hours Series:
One Night of Sin
One Night of Scandal
One Night of Trouble

Visit Elle Kennedy's website for more information

Review:
Reed has been dying to make a move on Darcy since the moment he first met her but there was always one thing stopping him - the fact she was dating his best friend AJ. No matter how attracted he is to her he would never step over that line and risk breaking his friend's heart. All bets are off now that Darcy is single again though, as hard as he tries Reed just can't resist temptation and the attraction between them is far too hot to walk away from. Reed isn't like the guys Darcy usually dates, she's never gone for bad boys in the past but she's desperate for some excitement and passion in her life and Reed certainly fits the bill for a hot fling. Darcy may want to settle for a fling but Reed is looking for a whole lot more and he's determined to do whatever it takes to win her around.

I have to start by telling you how much I loved Reed, not only is he an ex-MMA fighter who is as sexy as hell but he's also a really sweet and caring guy. He goes out of his way to do things for others and his bad boy reputation dates back to when he was much younger and doesn't really fit the man he has become now. He doesn't feel worthy of love because of his background but apart from a major misunderstanding towards the end of the book he really is pretty perfect boyfriend material. For the most part I liked Darcy, she's the kind of woman you can picture yourself being friends with but it did get to the point where I started to get a little irritated with her for always seeing Reed as nothing more than a bad boy player. She based her thoughts purely on his reputation rather than the way he constantly acted towards her and I wanted to shake some sense into her a couple of times. Thankfully she soon came to her senses and I was really pleased that she was the one who made the first move in apologising after their misunderstanding.

It was great to see a glimpse of how the previous couple, Gage and Skyler, are doing. This book is only set a few months later but I was glad to see them still happy and head over heels in love. AJ's character really stood out for me here which is good because he's the star of the next book and I'm now even more excited for One Night of Trouble. AJ was so sweet about things when Reed told him he wanted to be with Darcy and I loved that they didn't let it effect their friendship. I think that's mainly because the others were upfront and open with him fairly quickly into their relationship, I hate it when people keep secrets so I was really pleased that Reed and Darcy weren't going around behind AJ's back.

One Night of Scandal is a very sexy read, Reed and Darcy are quite an adventurous couple which makes for fun reading but I enjoyed the time they spent outside the bedroom as much as the sexy times. Elle Kennedy is a fairly new author for me but this series has definitely made me sit up and take notice so I'm looking forward to exploring her back list of titles.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Review: Grave Matters - Jana Oliver

A legendary Demon Trapper, Riley Blackthorne frequently battles with Hell's minions. So when she travels to Scotland to meet up with her hunky boyfriend, and celebrate her eighteenth birthday, she's thrilled at the chance to leave Atlanta and it's troubles behind.

Denver Beck, who has been studying for months to become a Grand Master - a rare and highly dangerous job - is just as eager to see his girl. He's anticipating a romantic reunion, keen to take their relationship to the next level.

Riley's twisted history with Hell has garnered unwelcome interest by people willing to use her for their own purposes. Trouble is brewing in the land of the heather, the kind that will drive a wedge between her and Beck, and prove the ultimate test of their love . . . and their survival skills.

The Demon Trappers Series:
Retro Demonology (Free Short Story)
Forsaken (Released in the US as The Demon Trapper's Daughter)
Forbidden (Released in the US as Soul Thief)
Forgiven
Foretold
Grave Matters (Novella)

Visit Jana Oliver's website for more information

Review:
Riley and Beck have been apart for months while Beck is in Scotland studying to become a Grand Master but they're finally about to see each other again now that Riley is travelling to join him to celebrate her eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately their reunion doesn't go smoothly thanks to a shocking betrayal by one of the other demon trappers.

I absolutely loved this series so I was excited to get the chance to spend more time with Riley and Beck. It was also nice to see the couple outside of their usual hunting ground in Atlanta spending time together in Scotland. I'll admit that I didn't like seeing their relationship on rocky ground though, they've been through so much together that I had hoped they would be stronger than that. Thankfully they soon work through their differences and band together to stop their enemies though.

Grave Matters is a fairly short novella but I enjoyed every minute of it and my main complaint was just that I wanted more. The book also includes four illustrations by Mark Helwig of some of the different demons we've encountered throughout the series and two other demon trappers short stories written by Jana Oliver. You may have already read Retro Demonology which is a story about Riley's first solo attempt at trapping a demon and is already available as a free ebook but it's nice to now have this story available in print for the first time. The other story is called Personal Demons and it's another prequel to the series this time from Beck's point of view when he's hunting with Riley's father. Both of these short stories give us glimpses into younger versions of the characters we know and love from the series and were a great addition to the book.

This book isn't a good starting point for people who are new to the series but I'm sure Demon Trappers fans will love Grave Matters as much as I did. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that Jana Oliver decides to revisit these characters again in the future but in the meantime I feel a series reread coming on.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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Paperback / Kindle:

Review: Hunt - Rachel Vincent

It’s been more than four years since Abby survived capture and torture by a quartet of rogue shifters. Back then she was a scared kid, just trying to survive.

Now Abby is all grown up, and if she’s learned anything from training with Faythe Sanders, the world’s first female Alpha, it’s that she can take care of herself—and anyone else who comes along. So when her college roommate is abducted from a campsite deep in the Appalachian woods, Abby knows exactly how to get her back . . .

The rules of the hunt are simple. Kill or be killed.
Abby Wade is not ready to die.

This short story was previously published in the Chicks Kick Butt anthology

Shifters Series:
Stray
Rogue
Pride
Prey
Shift
Alpha
Hunt (Novella)

Wildcats Series:
(This series is set in the Shifters world featuring characters we've already met but is paranormal romance rather than urban fantasy)
Lion's Share (February 2015)
Further titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Rachel Vincent's website for more information

Review:
I absolutely adore Rachel Vincet's Shifters series, I read it way back in 2010 and I still miss the world so as you can imagine I was incredibly excited when I heard that she was writing a new spin off paranormal romance series featuring some of the characters we've already met. The first book in the new Wildcats series, Lion's Share, is going to be published in February and features Abby and Jace as the main characters. I realised that I never read Abby's novella though so I thought this would be a great way to jump back into the world and get me even more excited for the new series. Hunt is actually a perfect crossover between the two series so I'd highly recommend picking it up if you haven't already.

Hunt is a short story set sometime after the ending of Alpha, I can't quite remember the timeline now but it's four years after we initially met Abby's character. Abby is living away from the rest of her pack while she studies at college and she's spending the weekend camping with her college friends when things go terribly wrong and her group is attacked by a bunch of humans. Abby knows fear, she was captured and tortured by rogue shifters as a young teen and there is no way she's going to sit back and let her friend's be terrorised by mere humans.

This may be short but Rachel Vincent packs a lot in and it was great to see how much Abby has grown since we first met her. She is able to put her fear to one side so that she can fight for her friends and it was great to see her kicking butt and taking names. We get a glimpse of her current alpha who just happens to be the lovely Jace and I really enjoyed the interactions between them, I have a feeling Abby is going to cause quite a bit of stress for Jace before she's finished!

I loved diving back into this world and Hunt has made me even more desperate to get my hands on Lion's Share. It's also made me really tempted to go back and reread the whole Shifters series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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Kindle:

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Cover Reveal: Morning Star - Pierce Brown

I am a HUGE fan of Pierce Brown's trilogy, Red Rising was my favourite book of 2014 and although it's only January I can pretty much guarantee that Golden Son has already won the top spot for 2015 so as you can imagine I'm desperately waiting for any news of the final book in the series Morning Star. Well today Entertainment Weekly have revealed the cover and I thought I'd share it here in all it's glory:


Isn't it wonderful? If you've read either of the previous books you'll already understand the significance of Darrow's reaper blade but I also love the colouring and can't wait to have this book on my shelves next to the others.

Entertainment Weekly also posted a great interview with Pierce Brown where he talks about the reason the book is called Morning Star and gives a few hints about what readers can expect from the story. Warning this does contain spoilers so if you haven't read Golden Son yet you may want to save the link & come back to it later but you can check out the interview HERE.

Just in case you've been living under a rock for the last year and haven't discovered the series yet you can read my review of Red Rising here or my review of Golden Son here. This is absolutely one of my favourite series so I can't recommend it highly enough!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Review: Darkness Unmasked - Keri Arthur

Risa Jones, a half-aedh/half-werewolf, can speak to the souls of the dying and the dead, and see Reapers, the collectors of souls. She received a phone call from Madeline Hunter, the leader of the vampire council, ordering her to investigate the death of Hunter's close friend and lover, Wolfgang Schmidt. His body has been discovered wrapped in a web-like substance and has been completely drained. As the body count continues to grow Risa must summon her gifts to find the dark spirit before it strikes again.

Meanwhile, as the search for the keys that keep the gate to Hell closed grows more intense, Risa begins to unravel mysteries that will have startling consequences for her.

Dark Angel Series:
(This is a spin off from the Riley Jenson Guardian series)
Darkness Unbound
Darkness Rising
Darkness Devours
Darkness Hunts
Darkness Unmasked
Darkness Splintered
Darkness Falls

Riley Jenson Guardian Series:
Full Moon Rising
Kissing Sin
Tempting Evil
Dangerous Games
Embraced by Darkness
The Darkest Kiss
Deadly Desire
Bound to Shadows
Moon Sworn

Visit Keri Arthur's website for more information

Review:
I've been on a bit of a reading slump for the last couple of days so I decided to pull out the big guns and I knew Keri Arthur wouldn't fail me. I was right, this series just get better with every instalment and Darkness Unmasked was absolutely fantastic.

Risa has already been through so much but the pace just never lets up and this story sees her facing worse challenges than ever before. Hunter has set Risa the task of tracking down a murderer, one who leaves her victims little more than a dried up, empty husk that has been encased in a mysterious web. As if tracking down a murderer that seems to be part giant spider wasn't bad enough she is still trying to track down the remaining keys to hell and more than one enemy has a vested interest in her succeeding quickly. Risa is juggling a lot of balls all while trying to keep her friends safe and stop the gates to hell from being opened permanently but now more than ever she is at risk of losing everything.

I really don't want to say too much about the plot of Darkness Unmasked because I'd hate to give spoilers but oh wow Keri Arthur does not hold back in this story and she takes Risa to dark places I'd never have dreamed of even in my worst nightmares. An old enemy makes a reappearance and as despicable as his behaviour was in the past that was nothing compared to what he has up his sleeve this time around. I was shocked and horrified by what happens, not just to Risa but also to one of her closest friends, and I have no idea who that is going to effect things for the rest of the series.

It isn't all bad though and one of the things I've been loving for the last few books is the continued development of Risa's relationship with Azriel. It's been so great to see Azriel become more human in his reaction to things, I've been fascinated by his character from the beginning but I love him even more now we're starting to see his sense of humour and how much he obviously cares about Risa. Their relationship has never run smoothly and they still have more challenges to face but I have hope that they'll be able to work things out eventually.

Darkness Unmasked had me on the edge of my seat and it's left me desperate to know what happens next. I'm thankful that the entire series is already available and I'm sure I'll be devouring the remaining two books very soon. In fact, I'm planning on diving right into Darkness Splintered as soon as I finish writing this review!

Source: Received from Piatkus 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

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review: One Night of Sin - Elle Kennedy

Sometimes it’s good to be bad . . .

When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.

Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again.

As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skylar’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

After Hours Series:
One Night of Sin
One Night of Scandal
One Night of Trouble

Visit Elle Kennedy's website for more information

Review:
Good girl Skyler isn't usually into one night stands but from the minute she spots Gage across a crowded nightclub she knows she's going to make an exception. Ex-MMA fighter turned club owner Gage has bad boy written all over him but Skyler is more than willing to explore her bad side with him and she's not going to take no for an answer. Gage knows he's the last thing someone like Skyler needs in her life but she's impossible to resist and he soon finds himself falling into a hot affair that could just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to either of them.

One Night of Sin is the introduction to Elle Kennedy's After Hours series and she sure gets things off to a scorching hot start with Gage and Skyler. This is a fairly short novel and the attraction between the main couple is pretty instant but their chemistry practically steams up the pages so I didn't have a problem getting invested in their story. They're both great characters and although there are plenty of reasons for them not to be together I thought they were a fabulous couple. I loved that Gage brings out Skyler's more confident side, he makes her feel sexy and she isn't afraid to tell him exactly what she wants. Gage has no problem handling any of Skyler's requests and has plenty of his own ideas on how to spice things up in the bedroom.

We are also introduced to Gage's two business partners who all own an equal share in Sin nightclub and are the heroes of the next two stories. I have a feeling I'm going to love Reed and AJ just as much as Gage so I have high hopes for the rest of the series. If you're a fan of dirty talking heroes and are looking for an incredibly hot read then One Night of Sin is just what you need.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Kindle:

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Review: Golden Son - Pierce Brown

I'm still playing games.
This is just the deadliest yet.

Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Reds were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.

In Red Rising, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people.

Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

Red Rising Trilogy:
Red Rising
Golden Son
Morning Star (2016)

Visit Pierce Brown's website for more information

Review:
I'm going to apologise in advance for this review because I just don't think I have the words to do Golden Son justice, I've been trying for days to write this and I can't seem to express myself in any sensible way so you'll just have to put up with my fan girl raving. Red Rising was without a doubt my favourite book of 2014, it was one of my first reads of the year and even though I read over 200 books after it none of them managed to knock it off the top spot. So as you can imagine my excitement levels for Golden Son were off the charts. I was a little nervous at the same time though, so many times you find the second book in a trilogy is a disappointing filler that doesn't really add to the story and I would have been gutted if that had happened here. I needn't have worried though because Golden Son is incredible, in fact I think it blows Red Rising out of the water which is quite an achievement!

To put it simply Golden Son is epic. It is a book that will grip you from the very first page. It will take you on a roller coaster of intense emotions - you will laugh, cry, cheer and scream in frustration. There are shocking plot twists, new friendships are built while old ones end in betrayal, your heart will be ripped out when characters you love are destroyed but you'll find yourself rooting for others to survive. The story is fast paced, the plot is intricate and has so many layers that I'm sure there are things I won't fully understand until I reread the book and the character development is fantastic. We get to experience epic battles but we also get to learn more about the society as we see Darrow working hard to bring it down from the inside. The world building is just incredible, it's already so detailed yet I feel like we've hardly begun to touch the surface and I can't wait to see where things go from here.

It's so hard to write a review when you don't want to give away any of the plot so I'm just going to talk about a couple of the main characters. Darrow has changed so much from the boy we first met, he has become quite cold in some ways and the only thing he really cares about is destroying the Golds who betrayed him and his people. He pushes his friends away and has become a bit of a loner but at the same time he manages to draw people to him, his allies would willingly walk into hell by his side and we see this happen time and time again. One of the things I've always loved about Darrow is that he isn't perfect, he makes so many mistakes but he is smart enough to recognise that and he tries hard to learn from them. There are times when it can be frustrating watching him push people away but it is easy to understand where he is coming from. I can't help but love him and I desperately want to see him find some kind of happiness even as he brings the system down around him.

Without a doubt my favourite character is Sevro though, he steals every single scene he appears in and I love him more than words can say. I've lost count of the number of times that Sevro and the Howlers have saved the day, the war would truly have been lost without them. I absolutely adore the friendship between Sevro and Darrow too. Sevro is often the voice of reason, the one who calls Darrow out when he isn't thinking clearly but at the same time Sevro can often be the more bloodthirsty of the two and he's brilliant at plotting against their enemies. Other highlights include meeting Pax's family, finally discovering who Ares is (I would never have guessed in a million years!) and meeting new character Ragnor who I hope we see a lot more of.

To be honest there are too many highlights to mention, Golden Son is so tightly plotted that there isn't a single wasted sentence. Every line is important, every single chapter is full of suspense, emotional anguish and shocking reveals. This is an exhausting read but in the best possible way and once again I feel confident in naming my book of the year even though it's only January. I think I'd be willing to sell my soul to the devil if I could get my hands on a copy of the final book, Morning Star, right now but in the meantime I'll just have to console myself with multiple rereads of the first two books while I wait.

Source: Received from 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.

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