Friday, 30 November 2012

Review: One Night with a Hero - Laura Kaye

He wants just one night…

After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, Army Special Forces Sgt. Brady Scott vowed never to marry or have kids. Sent stateside to get his head on straight—and his anger in check—Brady’s looking for a distraction. He finds it in his beautiful new neighbor’s one-night-only offer for hot sex, but her ability to make him forget is addictive. Suddenly, Brady’s not so sure he can stay away.

…what they need is each other.

Orphaned as a child, community centre director Joss Daniels swore she’d never put herself in a position to be left behind again, but she can’t deny herself one sizzling night with the sexy soldier who makes her laugh and kisses her senseless. When Joss discovers she’s pregnant, Brady’s rejection leaves her feeling abandoned. Now, they must overcome their fears before they lose the love and security they’ve found in each other, but can they let go of the past to create a future together?

The Hero Series:
Her Forbidden Hero
One Night with a Hero
Titles and release dates for future books to be confirmed

Visit Laura Kaye's website for more information

Review:
We first met Brady in Her Forbidden Hero - Alyssa is his sister and Marco is his best friend - and I actually commented in my review that I was really hoping that Laura Kaye would give Brady his own story. I can't tell you how glad I am that she did, I had a feeling that Brady would be a keeper and as much as I loved Marco in the first book Brady took me to a whole other level of lust in One Night with a Hero! It was incredibly easy to see what attracted Joss to him but it was equally easy to see that she was a worthy heroine. Although I do think that this story can easily be read as a stand alone story I would happily recommend both of these books to any fan of contemporary romance who enjoys reading about sexy military men.

Brady and Alyssa grew up with a drunk and abusive father and are both still dealing with the emotional fallout even now they are adults. Brady has anger issues and is terrified of turning out like his father so he has vowed never to have a family of his own. He is terrified of putting a wife or child through the things that he and Alyssa had to deal with. His anger issues aren't just effecting his social life though, they are now threatening his army career and his chances of promotion. Brady loves life in the Special Forces but has been sent back to the states and told to get help dealing with his anger. He meets Joss and is instantly attracted to her but in spite of their explosive chemistry it was never supposed to be anything more than a one night stand between them. After realising that Joss is his new neighbour Brady struggles to stay away from her though and for the first time in his life he finds himself wishing he could have a future with someone.

Joss didn't have an easy childhood either, orphaned at a young age she grew up in children's homes and never felt that anyone really cared about or wanted her. She knows what it is like to feel rejected and is determined that she will never let anyone make her feel that way again. Brady is an irresistible force of nature though and she is pulled to him like a moth to a flame. Just when she thinks they might have something worth fighting for an unexpected pregnancy threatens everything. Brady's reaction leaves her feeling lost and confused but if there is one thing she is 100% sure about it is that she will never let anyone make her child feel as unwanted as she always has.

There is absolutely no doubt that Brady is a hero - the way he always looked after Alyssa, the job he does and even his protective instincts towards Joss all show that time and time again - but there are also times that he is a complete arsehole. At one point I wanted to slap him for the things he said to Joss and I was so glad that she made him suffer for his mistake because I'd have lost all respect for her if she had let him get away with it. As much as Brady was an idiot there were extenuating circumstances and he did genuinely regret the things he had done so I didn't find it too difficult to forgive him. Brady and Joss are both damaged people who have suffered a lot but you just know that together they can work through things and come out stronger on the other side.

One Night with a Hero is an utterly fabulous read and one that I can't recommend highly enough. I loved the relationship between Brady and Joss from the very beginning, their flirtatious banter had me laughing out loud and their chemistry left me needing a cold shower. This was the ultimate feel good book, one that took me through a whole range of emotions but left me with a huge smile on my face when I was finished. Laura Kaye has quickly become an author I know I can turn to when I'm looking for a sexy romance with engaging characters and an ending I can believe in and I can't wait to read more of her work.

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

Other Reviews:
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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Review: Luminosity - Stephanie Thomas

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

The Raven Chronicles:
Luminosity
Evanescence (Release date to be confirmed)
Obscurity (Release date to be confirmed)

Visit Stephanie Thomas's website for more information.

Review:
Beatrice is a Seer and her visions are amongst the clearest of all of the Seers at the Institution where she was raised. With a war on the horizon it is Beatrice's visions that the Institution depend upon most to protect themselves and the rest of the city from the Dreamcatchers. All of the Seers visions are recorded and interpreted by the Keeper, the most important woman at the Institute, she is the one who has absolute control over what actions are taken and how they go about protecting the city. Nobody is supposed to lie to the Keeper but Beatrice has a frightening secret, one of their enemies has been visiting her dreams and he is making her question everything she has ever been told about the Dreamcatchers and the war. Unsure of where to turn and who she can trust Beatrice finds herself pushing her friends away in order to keep them safe but can she find the answers she needs without their help?

I have a fascination with the idea of humans with any kind of psychic powers so I knew I wanted to read Luminosity from the moment I read the blurb. I was intrigued by the idea of an Institute full of people who have visions of the future and couldn't wait to see more about how they used these visions to protect themselves and the vulnerable citizens around them. The story is told by Beatrice so we get to see a lot of how the Seers live which I found really interesting. The way the children are taken from their families practically at birth and raised within the institution was actually quite horrifying, they didn't have an easy life and were shown no love which I found really sad. The Seers are raised more as a commodity than as people with feelings and it was quite brutal how expendable the Keeper seemed to think they were. Stephanie Thomas certainly didn't shy away from showing the harsher side of their lives and you could never be quite sure what would happen to Beatrice and her friends next.

Beatrice has a close bond with several other Seers but it was her best friend Gabe that she has always been able to share everything with in the past. I have to say I really liked Gabe, he was so supportive and sweet towards Beatrice but was understandably frustrated by the way she started pushing him away and keeping secrets. It was obvious that Gabe really cared for her and it seemed that she had the same feelings for him which is why I was so confused when the love triangle started to develop. Echo is a Dreamcatcher and when he starts appearing in Beatrice's dreams she is worried that he is trying to trick her. She has been raised to believe that the Dreamcatchers are evil and that they will drain the lives of the innocent humans if they are able to break into the city so I couldn't understand it when she started to develop feelings towards Echo. It might have made some sense if Echo had been less secretive but he never once opened up to her and gave her any information. He talks in riddles and I don't feel like I know anything about him apart from the fact that he is a good looking Dreamcatcher. The fact I had no connection with him just made the triangle completely unbelievable and irritating.

The thing I really found missing from the story was more information about the Dreamcatchers and the way their abilities work. We're supposed to believe that the Institute hasn't told the Seers the complete truth about them - and I do suspect that is the case - but we have watched the Dreamcatchers brutally murder citizens with their ability so that doesn't make me feel very sympathetic towards them. I may not trust the Institute completely but I trust the Dreamcatchers and Echo even less at this point in time. I'm sure that we will learn more about them as the series continues but I felt that the lack of information did reduce my enjoyment of Luminosity slightly. If I'd been given more answers by the end of the book I probably would have increased my rating from 3 stars to at least 4.

Luminosity is still an enjoyable story though, it just failed to wow me as much as I hoped it would. Considering this is Stephanie Thomas's debut it was a solid start to the series, she has created an interesting world that with a bit more detail is sure to become really fascinating. I would recommend the series to fans of dystopian stories, particularly if you want something a bit different and are interested in the idea of Seers and Dreamcatchers. I'll definitely be picking up the next instalment when it is released and who knows by the end of that book I may even have switched from team Gabe to team Echo (although I think that is unlikely!).

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:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

UK Cover Reveal: Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff

I had an email from Simon & Schuster yesterday revealing the UK cover for Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff so I thought I'd share it with you here. Paper Valentine is being published in the UK on the 3rd of January so thankfully we don't have too much longer to wait because it feels like I've been waiting for ages already!

Before we have a look at the cover I want to remind you of the book blurb (or share it with you just in case you haven't already seen it!):

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor's peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian's ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah's just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn't there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realises that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life - and it's up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

So now you've had a chance to remember what the book is about let's have a look at the UK cover:


I love the cover - I think it's deliciously creepy! The hand looks like it's about to crush the paper heart that it's holding and I like the slogan Dying For Justice. I definitely look at this cover and know I'm going to be picking up a chilling murder mystery and I love the added detail of the names in the background - who are Monica, Abby and Hailey? Straight away I have a mystery I want to get to the bottom of!

I can't share the UK cover without at least mentioning the US one though:


I really like the US cover, it's unusual and I like the pattern in the girl's dress which reminds me of those paper cut out snowflakes I used to make at school. I also like the moody feel of the clouds in the background and the bright red heart. This cover would stand out on the shelves in a book store but I don't think it tells me as much about the story as the UK cover does. I'm not sure if it's just me but I think that cover would make me expect more of a paranormal romance than a supernatural thriller. I guess until I've read the book I won't know for sure which cover suits it better but just from reading the blurb I think it will be the UK one.

So, as much as I like both covers I'd pick the UK one if both books were placed in front of me. I'd love to know which cover you like best though! Which one do you feel suits the story better?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: River Road - Suzanne Johnson

The hurricane may have passed, but in New Orleans the storm rages on.

With the borders between the city and the otherworld in ruins, new and dangerous species have swarmed into the waterways. There is talk of war between rival clans in the darkest depths of Louisiana's swamps and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the peace.

When wizards start dying and it becomes apparent that the waters of the mighty Mississippi itself have been poisoned, DJ will have to really focus if she is to find out who - or what - is responsible. And with an undead suitor, the amorous pirate Jean Lafitte, on her back that isn't going to be easy . . .

It's anything but smooth sailing in the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

Sentinels of New Orleans Series:
Royal Street
River Road
Elysian Fields

Visit Suzanne Johnson's website for more information

Review:
Three years on from the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and brought down the boarders between here and the otherworld wizard and Sentinel DJ is still trying to keep things running smoothly between the pretes (preternatural creatures) and the humans who have no idea of their existence. Along with her partner and fellow Sentinel Alex it is up to DJ to keep the humans in the dark and make sure the pretes don't get out of control so when the poison in the Mississippi threatens to cause a war between two different clans of merfolk they must work quickly to keep the peace. Add in the mysterious murder of a group of wizards and things are about to get even more complicated.

I have to admit that I was a little confused by the 3 year time jump from the end of Royal Street to the beginning of River Road, it took me a chapter or two to get my bearings but it didn't take long to realise how much sense it made. If the story had carried on directly it would have been hard not to focus on the aftermath of Katrina and the rebuilding of New Orleans and that would have taken the focus away from DJ's role as Sentinel. Although New Orleans hasn't been rebuilt to it's former glory at the time this story takes place enough of the rebuilding work has been completed that Suzanne Johnson is able to concentrate on the effects of the boarders between here and the otherworld being broken down.

As much as I enjoyed Royal Street there were a few things that irritated me, the main one being the love square that was forming between DJ, shapshifter Alex, Historical Undead pirate Jean Lafitte and Alex's cousin Jake. Although that square is definitely still in place I found myself enjoying it so much more in River Road, probably because it wasn't so much the main focus of the story. I have actually developed a little bit of a crush on all three of the men in DJ's life so I can understand why she is having difficulty figuring out her feelings - I do know which team I'm on though and after the way things ended I have high hopes that my favourite Alex is going to start pushing DJ for more in the next book! Each of the guys bring something different to the table though so it will be interesting to see which one manages to win DJ's heart, especially when she is working so hard to resist all of them because she is so afraid of losing yet another person that she loves.

The main focus of River Road is definitely on the different pretes and how they all interact with each other though. We get to find out a lot more about the Wizards and how they ended up pretty much taking charge of the other preternatural beings. Sentinels basically act as the supernatural police force so we get to see a lot more of Alex and DJ working together as they try to uncover who is behind poisoning the river. It was nice to see how well the pair of them get along now, after a rocky start they have become best friends and I really enjoyed the way they banter with each other but always have each others backs. It was good to see a few new species introduced into the series - you have the two different clans of merfolk, some highly sexed nymphs and we even get our first (but I have a feeling not our last!) elf sighting!

The Sentinels of New Orleans is developing into a fantastic urban fantasy series and one that I'm incredibly excited about continuing. I would recommend reading the series in order but as this is only the second book you have plenty of time to catch up before Elysian Fields is published sometime next year (I wasn't able to find a publishing date yet). If you like your urban fantasy full of drama, action and fun characters with snappy dialogue, great banter and just a hint of romance then you should be adding this to your to read list. If you enjoyed Royal Street then you're going to love River Road even more, Suzanne Johnson has definitely added her name to my must read list of authors after this one!

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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River Road Blog Tour: International Giveaway & Guest Post by Suzanne Johnson

I really enjoyed Royal Street, the first book in Suzanne Johnson's Sentinels of New Orleans series but I have to say I loved the second book River Road even more so I was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour to celebrate it's UK release. I'll be posting my review of River Road later today but in the meantime I wanted to share the cover and blurb with you before I hand over to Suzanne for a fabulous guest post.

The hurricane may have passed, but in New Orleans the storm rages on.

With the borders between the city and the otherworld in ruins, new and dangerous species have swarmed into the waterways. There is talk of war between rival clans in the darkest depths of Louisiana's swamps and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the peace.

When wizards start dying and it becomes apparent that the waters of the mighty Mississippi itself have been poisoned, DJ will have to really focus if she is to find out who - or what - is responsible. And with an undead suitor, the amorous pirate Jean Lafitte, on her back that isn't going to be easy . . .

It's anything but smooth sailing in the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

Sentinels of New Orleans Series:
Royal Street
River Road
Elysian Fields (2013)

Author Bio:
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick.

Visit Suzanne Johnson's website for more information

Now please give a very warm welcome to Suzanne who is here to talk about the different preternatural creatures that you will meet in the Sentinels of New Orleans series.

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Name That Prete! The World of River Road
by Suzanne Johnson

One of the things I most enjoy about writing fantasy is the world-building. Even though my Sentinels of New Orleans series is set in the real city, and my characters go to real places, they don’t always keep the company of, well, humans. In fact, the human citizens of New Orleans don’t know such beings as my characters exist, or that a whole horde of preternaturals (pretes) came flooding into town after Hurricane Katrina knocked down the metaphysical levees as well as the physical ones.

The Sentinels world is a true “multiverse,” with alternative versions of New Orleans existing alongside the “real” one, and different species cross back and forth. As long as they can mainstream with humans undetected and out of trouble, they can stay.

So, here’s a quick glossary of my species…because you can never have too many!

WIZARDS. The largest preternatural group and, as a result, the most powerful. Because they’ve long been the dominant magical species, they have traditionally been in charge of monitoring the borders between the human world and the preternatural world called the Beyond. The “border guards” are called Sentinels. Wizards belong to different congresses according to their particular skills. The heroine of the series is DJ Jaco. She’s a Green Congress wizard, whose abilities lie in doing ritual magic. In other words, they’re the geeks of the magical world. Most of the other preternatural groups hate the wizards, thinking they’re arrogant and stubborn. They might be right!

THE HISTORICAL UNDEAD. These are people who were famous in their human lives and therefore are made immortal by the magic of human memory. If they’re really famous or well remembered, they can even have a corporeal life in the modern world—as long as no one realizes who they are. The members of the Historical Undead we’ve met so far in the series are the 18th-century pirate Jean Lafitte, the voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, and jazz great Louis Armstrong.

WERE-CREATURES. Since they can mainstream well with humans, many were-creatures already lived in the modern world before the borders came down during the hurricane. There are werewolves, of course, and quite a few of them work for the wizards as assassins, or Enforcers. A strain of werewolf peculiar to Louisiana is the Loup-Garou. They are said to have come to French Louisiana with the Acadians when they were driven from Canada by the English in the 1700s, and are rogue wolves. They don’t join packs. They have poor control over their wolves. They’re big and bad. And yeah, DJ, is kind of dating one.

SHAPESHIFTERS are similar to were-creatures except they are born, not made, can shift more quickly, have better control over their shifts, and don’t have any relation to the cycles of the moon. When shapeshifters mate with humans, their children might or might not be shifters—or it can show up a few generations down the line. Shifters you’ll meet in the series include a canine shifter, weregators, and merpeople, who in the Sentinels world are aquatic shapeshifters. They shift halfway into classic merman and mermaid form, or shift all the way into big fish.

ELVES. The elves are powerful, mysterious, and secretive. They have tended to stay within the confines of Elfheim, their kingdom in the Beyond. We learn in the first book that in addition to being a wizard, DJ has elven ancestors on both sides of her family and has inherited some elven skills that make both the wizards and the elves uneasy. We meet our first elf in River Road, and they’ll be much more prevalent as the series progresses.

VAMPIRES. While some vampires mainstream with human populations, most still live within their part of the Beyond, the Realm of Vampyre. In the Sentinels world, vampires can feed from each other to stay alive. Human (or other) blood is addictive and sweet, though, so they’re anxious to jockey for power as the borders come down. Vampires will be introduced in the third book, along with...

THE FAE. Another of the major preternatural species, the Fae so far have kept their allegiences secret and appear to be watching what happens while the wizards and elves and vampires try to position themselves. Whose side will they be on, and will it tilt the power toward or away from the wizards?

THE OTHERS. Because there are always more. There have been some weregator sightings, and a goblin or two. A bevvy of nymphs make an appearance in River Road, and there are whispers going round that satyrs are working at an escort service in the city’s French Quarter. DJ really, really doesn’t think the satyrs are going to be able to mainstream with humans—goat pupils and hooves are hard to hide.

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Giveaway Details:

Suzanne is offering one lucky winner their choice of either Royal Street or River Road. The giveaway is open internationally and one winner will be chosen at random from all entries received. To enter the giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment answering Suzanne's question below:

What is your favourite species?

You have until the 11th of December 2012 to leave a comment and enter the giveaway. Please make sure you include a way for me to contact you (your email address or twitter ID) in case you are the winner.

Suzanne is also giving away an amazing prize of either a Kindle, a Nook or a $100 gift card for Amazon, B&N or The Book Depository as part of her blog tour. You can enter this giveaway and find out about the other stops on the blog tour by visiting this post.

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Thanks for a fabulous guest post Suzanne and for a fantastic giveaway! One of the things I love most about the Sentinels of New Orleans series is the variety of pretes you come across. I love the idea of the Historical Undead (Jean Lafitte definitely caught my eye!) but I have to admit my biggest crush is on a certain canine shifter!!

I'm going to leave you with the UK and US covers for River Road. Which one do you like best?

UK Cover

US Cover

I like both covers again but I still feel that my favourite is the UK one, I just love the font used for the title. I prefer the tone of the UK cover too although I do like the alligator (or should that be weregator?) on the US one!

Don't forget to leave a comment answering Suzanne's question to be in with a chance of winning your choice of either book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series - Royal Street or River Road!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review: Slammed - Colleen Hoover

UK Cover
Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart.

Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.

Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she's losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.

Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.

Slammed Series:
Slammed
Point of Retreat

Visit Colleen Hoover's website for more information.

Review:
Life has been hard for Lake and her family since the unexpected death of her father several months ago and moving across the country to her mother's home town was the last thing Lake wanted to do. Things start to look up when she meets her gorgeous new neighbour Will though and there is an immediate attraction between them. It isn't just lust though and after the perfect first date they realise how much they have in common. Their relationship hits a very sudden and unexpected road block a few days later though when a shocking revelation makes it impossible for them to continue seeing each other. That doesn't stop the feelings between them though and when Lake is desperately in need of a friend Will is the only one she can turn to. Can they turn love into friendship or will they both end up with their hearts broken?

Slammed is another one of those books that became an overnight sensation when it was self published by author Colleen Hoover, so much so that it has now been picked up by Simon and Schuster. I have to admit that I'm always a little sceptical when I pick up books that are surrounded by so much hype (be that books that are self published or ones published via more traditional routes). I have just been burnt so many times by books that everyone seems to love but that I just don't see what all the fuss is about. I'm happy to say that Slammed has more than earned its reputation though, no it isn't perfect but it is well above average and is an impressive debut. The problems were so minor that I'm not even going to bother mentioning them in my review, I'd much rather talk about the positives and there are plenty of those!

I want to start with Lake's family, they have been through hell with the sudden loss of her father but they have managed to stick together and be there to support each other throughout. Like any family they have their arguments and even a few secrets but they are all protective of each other and there is a lot of love between them. I have to give Lake's brother Kel a special mention, the age difference between them is the same as the one between me and my brother and Kel was like a carbon copy of my brother at that age. He was utterly adorable and I loved the interactions between the pair of them. The conversations were very realistic and just made me feel even more connected with the story and the characters. Lake's mother is obviously keeping a big secret from her children and Lake becomes incredibly angry with her because of it. That anger was completely understandable even if her suspicions were incorrect. I have to admit I'd guessed the secret she was keeping but I was desperately hoping my suspicions were wrong and lets just say I was moved to tears when I wasn't.

Then you have Will. I don't even know where to start talking about Will except to say that he is pretty much the perfect guy. I developed a major crush on him right alongside Lake! For once we have a hero who isn't the typical bad boy we're seeing so much of these days, Will is in fact a genuinely nice person - he is caring towards is friends, he has put his life on hold to look after his young brother Caulder and he will do anything to help Lake and her family. He smart, fun, a bit of a geek and he loves slam poetry which he is really, really good at (I loved the addition of his poems to the story). It doesn't hurt that he is incredibly good looking but that isn't the most appealing thing about him by a long shot. I loved watching how things developed between him and Lake, if there was ever a relationship I've been routing for it was theirs.

Colleen Hoover has perfectly captured the feelings of first love and she makes you live through those emotions again right alongside her characters. The story is one of grief and loss, secrets and betrayal, friendship and hope but above all it is a story that shows that no matter how bad things get life always goes on. It shows that horrible things happen to good people and there is never an easy way to get through them but once you come out the other side things will get better. It will make you appreciate the things you have and feel thankful for your family and friends. Slammed took me on an emotional roller coaster - I fell in love, I had my heart broken, I laughed and I cried but by the end I was left with a huge smile on my face and I can't ask for much more than that from a novel. I can't recommend the story highly enough for YA / new adult contemporary romance fans.

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

Other Reviews:
US Cover
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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations I can't wait to watch!

Since I've stumbled across quite a few movie trailers recently I thought it might be nice to share them here & find out which ones you're all looking forward to watching.

The Hobbit - December 2012


I have to say the one I'm most excited about is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, I've read the book several times over the years (in fact I must re-read it soon before the film comes out!) and have always been a massive fan of this and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love the LotR films so I have very high hopes that The Hobbit will be just as good if not better and watching the following trailers has only increased my excitement!





Warm Bodies - February 2013


I have to admit I'm not so sure about Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, the fact that there is a romance between a human girl and the zombie who ate her boyfriend made me feel more than a little squeamish when I read the book (you can read my review here). However in spite of not being keen on the romance I did find that there was something incredibly compelling about the book, it was very well written and really made you think about the things that are important and what it is that makes us human. From the trailer it looks like the film stays very true to the book (although you can never be 100% sure of that until you've see the whole thing) and I am very curious about it. I don't think I'll be booking advance tickets for as soon as this one comes out but if the reviews are good then I might just give it a chance.



Beautiful Creatures - February 2013


I already posted the trailer for Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl but I couldn't really post about films I'm excited about without mentioning it again. Now the Beautiful Creatures series is one I've been wanting to read for ages but for some reason have never got around to. It looks like I'm going to have to hurry up and read at least the first book though because I don't want to miss the movie! Don't forget I currently have a UK giveaway for all 4 books in the Beautiful Creatures series that you can enter here (giveaway closes on the 5th of December)



The Host - March 2013


The Host by Stephenie Meyer is another one of those books that I bought years ago but have never got around to reading. I'm not even sure why because I've heard really good things about it & I read the Twilight series multiple times before I started blogging (don't judge, I know the series isn't perfect and not everyone loves it but it got me back into reading again after a long break so it'll always have a special place in my heart!). Anyway, I think the film looks awesome so it's another book I need to hurry up and read!



The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - August 2013


It may not be out until August but I'm already incredibly excited about City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, I love the books (read my review of City of Bones here) and think the film will be fantastic! I have a feeling that with so many fans of the series out there this is going to be one of the must see summer smash hits.



There really are some awesome book to movie adaptations coming out next year aren't there! Of course I'm also really looking forward to Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, I couldn't find a trailer for that one yet though but I'll be sure to post it on the blog when I come across it. Are there any other films coming out that I've forgotten about? Which of these are you most excited about?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Review: Heart of Danger - Lisa Marie Rice

Ghost Ops. A small unit of super-elite soldiers so secret only two men know of their existence. Betrayed by their commanding officer while on an antiterrorist mission, the team is massacred. Only three survive—and find themselves framed and disgraced. But en route to the court martial, they escape . . . and disappear.

Beautiful, brilliant, and determined, Dr. Catherine Young is on a mission to find a man who has vanished into thin air. Walking into a high-tech hideaway bearing an essential message to Tom "Mac" McEnroe, Team Leader of the betrayed Ghost Ops force, is the most dangerous thing she has ever done. The soldier she encounters is frightening and suspicious, but her senses reveal the man underneath: tough, honorable, and so breathtakingly masculine Catherine feels weak in his presence . . . But to surrender to Mac's passionate desires would put her life in dire jeopardy. Catherine has a gift that enables her to see into the heart of others—and looking into Mac's is like staring into the very heart of danger itself.

Ghost Ops Series:
Heart of Danger
I Dream of Danger (2013)

Visit Lisa Marie Rice's website for more information

Review:
Heart of Danger is the first book in Lisa Marie Rice's new Ghost Ops series and is a great introduction to the characters and the world they're living in. The Ghosts were an elite military group who carried out dangerous and secret missions but their last job went horribly wrong after they were betrayed by their commander. Only Mac, Jon and Nick survived the mission and after being set up to look like terrorists they are on the top of the government's most wanted list. The three of them are determined to prove their innocence and find out exactly how they were set up but in the meantime they have created an underground Haven for themselves and others who are in danger. The Haven is a top secret lair hidden within a mountain and Mac and the others will protect its inhabitants with their lives, they have built a small but thriving community where they can be self sufficient and remain under their enemies radar.

Dr Catherine Young works for a pharmaceutical company that is trying to find a cure for dementia and she works closely with patients who are taking part in a new drug trial. Thanks to her gift (or curse as she sees it) and her ability to feel people's emotions by touching them Catherine quickly realises that all is not what it seems with one of her patients. She risks everything when patient 9 asks her to track down Mac and his men and go to them for help. Mac is shocked at how easily Catherine finds the Haven, she should never have been able to get that close to their compound and he immediately suspects that she has been sent by their enemies to spy on them. The more he finds out about her the more he comes to believe her story and the Ghosts realise that everything they believed about the mission that went wrong was a lie and their former colleague is in great danger. Can Catherine help them to rescue patient 9 before he is killed by their enemies?

I'm going to admit that it was the cover that first brought my attention to Heart of Danger (well who wouldn't be drawn to it?!) but it was the blurb that convinced me I needed to read the book. I love this kind of series where you have a group of undercover military / ex-military alpha heroes who are trying to uncover who betrayed them. I can never resist an alpha hero but one of the things I love most is the sense of community that develops as you get to know the characters better throughout the series. The Haven is a great community, most of the inhabitants are civilians who found themselves in trouble by being brave enough to stand up against various forms of corruption. As a group they are wary of letting anyone new into the group but once they accept someone they become part of the family. Everyone brings their own unique skill set to the group and I'm looking forward to learning more about the inhabitant's stories in future books.

To get back to our main characters I have to say how much I loved Mac, he is smart, strong and incredibly protective of the community and those he cares about. He doesn't have to think twice before risking his own life to keep others safe and although he didn't want to be the group's leader he has stepped up to the role because they needed him to. When he falls for Catherine he falls hard and I love watching a growly alpha type who gets turned into a mushy teddy bear by his woman. I admired him for wanting to protect Catherine and keep her safely at Haven while he went to rescue patient 9 but I admired him even more for respecting that she was intelligent enough to be an asset to him and his team and to realise that they wouldn't be able to complete the rescue without her. It goes against all his instincts to take Catherine into a danger zone but he does it because he knows it is the only option. Catherine is a worthy heroine for Mac. She has always been isolated by her gift, even her family thought she was a freak and she has never really had any friends or close relationships. Her career means everything to her but she doesn't think twice about risking it all to help patient 9. She is compassionate, warm and loving and deserves to have someone who doesn't make her feel like a freak, someone who loves her for who and what she is and that is what she finds with Mac. I loved the way their relationship developed and you can expect to go on a sexy journey with them because their chemistry is combustible.

Overall Heart of Danger is a great start to the series and the story has everything you could wish for from this kind of romantic suspense - a group of swoonworthy alpha males (I can't wait for Jon and Nick's stories!) with access to all the guns and explosives they could possibly need, an action packed storyline, great romance with fab sexy times, interesting side characters that you want to learn more about and an evil villain who will turn your stomach with his horrible deeds. I can't wait to get my hands on I Dream of Danger and see what happens to the Ghosts next and I'd highly recommend this book to any fan of romantic suspense.

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

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Review: Katya's World - Jonathan L. Howard

The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.

There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

The Russalka Chronicles:
Katya's World
Titles and release dates for further books in the series to be confirmed.

Visit Jonathan L. Howard's website for more information

Review:
Katya may only be fifteen but children grow up fast on Russalka and she has just received her adult ID card that allows her to start work as the navigator on her uncle's submarine Puskin's Baby. Her first journey should be an easy one, just a routine delivery to one of the colonies, but that was before the vessel is commandeered by a soldier to transport notorious pirate Kane to prison. Thanks to the soldier's lack of navigational skills Katya is forced to take them on a dangerous route through perilous waters and that is where things really start to go wrong. Far away from usual shipping routes the submarine encounters a previously unknown and extremely dangerous enemy, one that puts the entire planet at risk.

I haven't read much hard core scifi so I have to admit I wasn't too sure what to expect when I picked up Katya's World. The story sounded really interesting though so I thought I'd give it a try and I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it. Russalka isn't a world that I'd like to visit though, entirely covered with water there is no land mass available so the colonists spend their lives either underwater or on floating towns. Most of the underwater structures are built in underground cave systems that have the water carefully pumped out of them and just the idea of visiting them makes me feel claustrophobic so don't even get me started on the submarines! It's a harsh life but the colonists have been there for generations and have adapted well to their new environment. I found the information we were given about the technology they used was interesting but there were times I felt it slowed the story down a little. I also wanted more of a visual description of their underwater environment, I can clearly picture the submarines they used and even the homes they built but was at more of a loss when it came to their surroundings.

The story is a fast paced adventure though and one that managed to continuously surprise me with the twists and turns it took. Just when I'd think I had things figured out something would happen to turn things on their head and I'd have to start guessing again. We have been introduced to a wide range of characters and I loved how we were kept on our toes trying to figure out everyone's motives and where their loyalties lie. Nothing is quite what it seemed and everyone seems to be keeping some kind of secret. I also really liked the Russian influence to the story and the way the Russalkans were proud of their Russian heritage but at the same time had turned their back on so much of their Earth history. It was interesting to see how this effected the decisions they made and the way they thought things through, especially considering the recent interactions they'd had with Earth.

Katya is a great character, although she acts much older than her age you have to expect that considering the environment she has grown up in. She is smart, resourceful and independent and the kind of character who puts herself at risk to protect those she cares about. She is in a very male dominated world but she is strong enough to stand up for herself and make herself heard which is a good thing considering she comes up with some pretty good plans. Alongside Katya my favourite character would have to be Kane, he is a notorious pirate but he acts completely differently to how I expected him to. A lot of the things he has done cross the lines into evil but at the same time he is very easy to trust. I'm not even sure why I wanted to trust him since half the time I was worried about his motives but there is just something so likeable about him that I couldn't help myself. Katya's World is a great start to the Russalka Chronicles and I'll definitely be reading the next instalment to find out where Jonathan L. Howard takes things next.

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

Other Reviews:
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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Review: Blood Law - Karin Tabke

The coming of the Blood Moon will lead two Lycan packs into war, spur two rival brothers into conflict, and spark an act of vengeance so evil that its effects will be felt for generations. And one woman stands at the centre of it all...

As undisputed Alpha, Rafael must choose a life mate to preserve the dominance of his Lycan pack. He never suspected his mate would be a human, the same wounded woman he seduces from the brink of death. Falon is a dangerous combination of Lycan and Slayer - beings bred to destroy his kind. Even more, she's a mesmerising beauty whose sensuality tempts her seasoned warrior to take unnecessary risks. The primal heat between them is irresistible, yet surrendering to it could destroy them both . . . for a vengeful foe stands ready in the shadows to take what is rightfully his by Blood Law.

Blood Moon Rising Trilogy:
Blood Law
Bloodright
Blood Vow (December 2012)

Visit Karin Tabke's website for more information

Review:
Rafael knows he has to find a mate to enable his pack to thrive but after killing his brother's mate he knows the woman he chooses will be forced to pay his debt with her life. He may have only killed Lucien's mate because she was a Slayer who had set out to destroy them all but Lucien has never believed that and according to the Blood Law Rafael must pay the price. When Rafael meets Falon he is surprised to find himself wanting to mark a human as his own, but he finds her impossible to resist and decides it is the best way to get her out of his system before her life is forfeit to pay his debt. At least then he will be free to make peace with Lucien and take a permanent Lycan mate. There is more to Falon than meets the eye though and the more time Rafael spends with her the less willing he is to sacrifice her to Lucian's revenge. Will Rafael put his duty to his people above his own needs or will he risk all to keep Falon safe from harm?

I have to admit that I wasn't too sure about Rafael at first, the way he was so willing to mark Falon even knowing it would cost her her life didn't give me warm feelings towards him! He comes across as quite arrogant and seems to believe that Falon is beneath him just because she is human. Even though he knows she is innocent and doesn't deserve to end up caught in his argument with his brother he seems quite willing to let her pay the ultimate price. I didn't think the author would be able to make me like him but she definitely proved me wrong and by the end of the story I was routing for him and Falon to work things out and be able to stay together. The more you see of Rafael the more you see how hard things have been for him, he feels a great responsibility to his pack and thinks that he has let them down by not taking a mate sooner but at the same time he hates the idea of allowing Lucien to take someone's life out of a misguided sense of revenge. Rafael feels he has been harshly judged by the Blood Law when the woman he killed was a Slayer and as it is forbidden for a Lycan to take a Slayer as their mate he feels that Lucian was the one in the wrong. At the same time he has to deal with the pressures of the ever increasing Slayer threat while his Pack is becoming weaker thanks to the divide between him and Lucien so he really is under a lot of strain. He hides his worries and fear under a tough as nails outer shell but once you look past that you can see what a caring man he really is inside.

It would be easy to think of Lucien as the bad guy in the story but when you look at it from his point of view he had found the love of his life and feels he was betrayed by his brother when Rafael killed her. Not only did he lose the woman he loved but he also lost his brother and half of his pack when they took Rafael's side against him. He doesn't believe his mate was a Slayer but even if she was he loved her and was devastated by her death. The way in which Rafael killed her didn't help matters and it really is no wonder that Lucien is out for revenge. The fact that he is willing to use an innocent woman to do it doesn't gain him any sympathy from me but I could understand that his pain has caused him to go to such drastic lengths! Lucien really is the ultimate tortured bad boy and I'm very curious to see if the author manages to redeem him by the end of the series.

Falon has always known that she was different from everyone else but as an orphan she never understood why. After meeting Rafael she finally feels that she has met someone who will be able to give her the answers that she needs. Falon has been through a lot but she has always had a strong will to live and that only gets stronger when she finds herself caught in the feud between Rafael and Lucien. The attraction between her and Rafael is intense and they have off the scale chemistry but she also feels a bond with Lucien which makes things complicated. She is out of her depth in the Lycan world, a world where she doesn't know the rules and doesn't understand how everything works, but she never lets that stop her from fighting for what she wants or standing up for what she believes in. You have to admire her strength and the way she refuses to back down when Rafael makes demands of her, she really grows throughout the story and becomes someone that the rest of the Pack have to admire.

Blood Law is a fantastic start to the Blood Moon Rising trilogy and it left me desperate to get my hands on the next instalment. I have to say I was completely shocked at the ending - I wouldn't have guessed what was about to happen in a million years! - and I'm dying to know how things will play out between the brothers in Bloodright. If you're a fan of werewolves and you're looking for a paranormal romance that pushes the boundaries then you definitely need to pick up this book. There were a few scenes that made me slightly uncomfortable but I love a book that manages to shock me and that was certainly the case with this one. If you like your romance on the erotic side then this series is sure to hit the mark and I have a feeling that it's going to get even more interesting as the series continues. This was my first book by Karin Tabke but it won't be the last and as soon as I have finished with this series I'll be working my way through her back list.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cover Reveal: New Beautiful Creatures movie tie-in cover + UK Giveaway to win all 4 books in the series! #beautifulcreatures

On 13th February 2013 the internationally best-selling novel Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl becomes a major Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros blockbuster, directed by Oscar nominated Richard LaGravenese (P.S I Love You) and featuring an all star cast including Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davies and hot young Hollywood talent Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich and Emmy Rossum.

To celebrate Penguin will be republishing Beautiful Creatures on the 3rd of January with a fabulous new cover to tie in with the movie. Today I'm very excited to be taking part in the global cover reveal so without further ado check out the fantastic new cover:


So what do you think? Stunning isn't it and it really captures the feel of the film! In case you haven't already seen the official movie trailer I thought it would be nice to include it here for you. I know this is a film I can't wait to go and see as soon as it's released!!



Giveaway Details:


Thanks to the lovely folks at Penguin I have a fabulous giveaway for my UK blog readers.
  • One lucky winner will win paperback copies of all four books in the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption!
  • The winner's prize will be sent out directly by my contact at Penguin so the winner must give me permission to pass their address on.
  • To enter please use the rafflecopter below to confirm that you are a UK resident, there are optional extra entries for following or tweeting about the giveaway but these are not required to enter.
  • Duplicate and invalid entries will be deleted and the winner will be chosen at random from all remaining entries.
  • The giveaway will close at 12:01am EST on the 5th of December 2012 and the winner will be contacted soon afterwards. You will have 48 hours to reply to me with your address or a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Review: The Pleasures of Winter - Evie Hunter

The Pleasures of Winter is a steamy erotic story of romantic obsession and explosive sexual chemistry for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.

When reporter Abbie Marshall needs to escape Honduras, a private jet carrying a Hollywood A-lister is her only way out. She has a ride home with Irish actor Jack Winter - notorious womanizer and all round bad boy. Abbie is shaken to the core by Winter's blazing beauty and provocative mind.

After the plane's nose-dive into the remote rainforest forces them to fight for survival, Abbie catches tantalizing glimpses of the complicated man behind the image. And the more she sees of him, the more he touches some primal part of her that she is determined to suppress. But after a devastating encounter with Winter's shadow side, Abbie's detachment is shattered.

On returning to normal life, Abbie cannot forget what happened, nor ignore the shocking rumours about the star's private life. Her struggle to make sense of her torment leads straight back to Winter, who is just as obsessed by her. But if they are to have a relationship, Abbie knows she must embrace his hidden desires ... and accept her own.

No longer caring about anything but their intoxicating love affair, Abbie is drawn deeper into the dark heart of Winter - and the secret that threatens to destroy everything...

'Evie Hunter' is actually two Irish authors who discovered a mutual love of erotic fiction when doing a creative writing workshop two years ago. They are delighted the rest of the world has caught up with them. Before writing The Pleasures of Winter, their first full-length novel, they co-wrote a number of BDSM-themed novellas.

Pleasures Series:
The Pleasures of Winter
A Touch of Winter (Short Story)
The Pleasures of Summer
A Touch of Summer (Short Story)
The Pleasures of Autumn
A Touch of Autumn (Short Story)
The Pleasures of Spring
A Touch of Spring (Short Story)

Visit Evie Hunter's website for more information.

Review:
When reporter Abbie Marshall's investigation into a drug cartel in Honduras land her in hot water she needs to find a way out of the country fast. The only thing her boss can manage last minute is to get her onto Hollywood superstar Jack Winter's private jet, on the condition that she carries out an interview with him. Abbie is a serious journalist and the last thing she wants is to be stuck interviewing a famous actor but desperation makes her accept the deal. Things go from bad to worse when their plan crashes in the rainforest though and with it looking unlikely that help is on the way it is up to them to find their own way to safety. Jack immediately takes control of the situation and Abbie finds herself drawn to his strength as well as his good looks. Jack awakens desires in Abbie that she has never felt before and even when they make it to safety she can't forget the things he did to her. Neither of them are able to forget the time they spent together but can they ever find a way through their differences to build something worth fighting for?

The Pleasures of Winter is actually written by two Irish authors Caroline McCall and Eileen Gormley writing together under the pseudonym Evie Hunter. This was my first taste of either author's work but it definitely won't be the last and I'll be keeping an eye out for anything else written either together or individually by them in the future. In fact I already have A Touch of Winter downloaded on my kindle ready to start reading when I've finished writing this review and I'm looking forward to spending more time with Jack and Abbie. Fans of erotic romance stories like Bared to You and Fifty Shades will definitely enjoy The Pleasures of Winter and I have a feeling this will end up being just as popular!

I loved the way the story starts off with Abbie in such a dangerous situation and desperately looking for any way out of Honduras. The authors did a great job of building the tension and making me believe that Abbie's life was at risk and that heightened sense of danger just added to the impact of seeing bad boy Jack for the first time. Jack is wary of journalists and is so against the idea of giving Abbie an interview that he immediately goes out of his way to make things as difficult as possible for her but I loved the way she stood up to him and didn't let the fact that he was a superstar overwhelm her. When their plane crashes there are a few moments that were a little unbelievable but that didn't stop my enjoyment of the story for a second. I just absolutely loved the sizzling chemistry between Abbie and Jack and the fact that the story is told from both of their points of view made that even better.

As much as I enjoyed the scenes in the jungle it was when they got back to reality that I really started to fall in love with the characters. Jack brought out Abbie's submissive side and I loved the way she set out to learn more about the D/s lifestyle and how that brought their paths together again. Jack is off the charts hot and let me just say watch out for the scene with the web cam, it'll leave you in need of a cold shower for sure! *Swoon* The book does contain some BDSM scenes but nothing too over the top or frightening to those who are fairly new to the genre so I'd say it is more BDSM light than anything too hardcore. These authors can certainly write a hot scene though and I appreciated the fact that they show a healthy attitude towards D/s relationships.

The Pleasures of Winter is perfect for fans of erotic romance that is heavy on the romance but still contains a little kink. If you're looking for something hot and steamy with intense chemistry then you can't go wrong with this one. I really hope that we get to see more of these characters in the future but I'll be looking forward to anything that these authors come up with.

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

Other Reviews:
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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Do you want to take a virtual tour of my bookshelves?


I have been promising Kirsty (from The Overflowing Library) a guest post about my book shelves for her Bookcase Showcase feature for months now so it really was about time I got around to writing it. The post went live on Kirsty's blog last weekend but I forgot to post about it here so I thought I'd give you a quick reminder now in case you missed it.

If you'd like to go on a virtual tour of my bookshelves check out my Bookcase Showcase post on The Overflowing Library. You can see first hand how I organise my shelves and just how out of control my to read pile has become!!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Review: Back to You - Priscilla Glenn

When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgement she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?

Visit Priscilla Glenn's page on Goodreads for more information

Review:
Lauren and Michael were unlikely friends back in high school, she was the good girl, the student who worked hard and always did her homework while Michael was the ultimate bad boy, always getting into fights and skipping more classes than he attended. Even though they were complete opposites they developed a strong friendship that lasted until Michael graduated and something happened to tear them apart. It has been eight years since they last saw each other and their lives have changed dramatically but no matter what happened between them in the past they are drawn towards each other again. Neither of them ever forgot their friendship or how much it used to meant to them but can Lauren ever trust Michael enough to give him her heart for the second time after he destroyed it so completely the first?

Back to You is told partly in the present where Lauren meets Michael again for the first time since he left high school. Lauren has just returned to her home town and is now working in a nursery school while she finishes her degree in child psychology. Michael is a single parent to an adorable three year old called Erin and he falls back into Lauren's life because she is Erin's new teacher. At the same time that we are following their current lives we also get to see how they met for the first time via flash backs to their time in school together. We know from the present that they had a big falling out but it takes quite a while to find out exactly what went wrong between them, they seemed so close that it was hard to imagine them no longer speaking to each other and I found it heart breaking watching as they destroyed their relationship in the past. Thankfully at the same time we are also seeing them work together to rebuild a fragile friendship eight years later.

I have to admit I fell for Michael right alongside Lauren both in the past and current story lines! At school he had the bad boy vibe going for him but I was also brought to tears a couple of times as we learnt about his childhood and the things he had been through. In the present he is a wonderful and caring father to Erin, he has grown up a lot since becoming a dad and is even more irresistible than he was before. Lauren is wary of giving into her feelings for Michael, she was devastated by his actions in the past and has never really got over what happened between them. It has made her distrustful of men in general and she struggles to let anyone close enough to build a relationship. Deep down Lauren has a lot of love to give though and it is impossible not to fall in love with Erin. The more time she spends with the little family the more she starts to have hopes for a future for the three of them.

I was impressed to find that Back to You is Priscilla Glenn's first novel, it doesn't read like a debut and that makes me feel even more excited to read more by her in the future. This is a wonderful romance and one I'd highly recommend both to older teens and to adults. As a side note to the author I just want to say how much I loved Adam and ask if we can please, please, please have his story in the future?! Priscilla Glenn is going to be an author to watch out for and I can't wait to see what she writes next.

Source: Ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday, 16 November 2012

Review: Kissed by Darkess - Shea MacLeod

Danger is always on the menu for Morgan Bailey, a sexy and street-smart bounty hunter, who prowls the dark underworld of Portland, Oregon hunting creatures of the night. Morgan’s never met a vampire she couldn’t dust or a demon she couldn’t kill until she’s hired to destroy a new kind of mystical threat: the Sunwalker.

A powerful immortal once believed myth, the Sunwalker carries with him an ancient secret which, if left unchecked, will destroy Morgan’s world. Pursued by a passionate Templar Knight and the target of the local vampire clans, an ancient power is awakened within her, unlike anything she’s ever known. Morgan must uncover the truth behind her mission and about herself, before the Darkness lurking inside swallows her whole.

Sunwalker Saga:
Kissed by Darkness
Kissed by Fire
Kissed by Smoke (December 2012)
Kissed by Moonlight (2013)

Visit Shea MacLeod's website for more information

Review:
Since surviving a vampire attack several years ago Morgan has developed some new abilities that make her a perfect vampire hunter. Now working for her friends PI firm she spends her time killing vampires and demons to keep the human population safe and unaware of the danger surrounding them. Her latest case is to track down and kill a Sunwalker but everyone knows that they are just a myth though so it's going to be a pretty impossible job. Well Morgan always thought that Sunwalkers were a myth but she's about to discover how little she really knows about the supernatural and the more she uncovers the greater the danger she must face.

I love urban fantasy so I'm always excited when I come across a new series to try, particularly one where the first few books are already available because it means I won't have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. So when I saw Kissed by Darkness on the Amazon Vine list I jumped at the chance to review it. Unfortunately if I had to describe the book in just one word the only one I can think of is disappointing. I had such high hopes but although there are signs that this could develop into an interesting series it didn't manage to impress me.

I'll start with the things that I did like and the main one was the history the author has created for the vampires. With links to the Knights Templar and the lost city of Atlantis the author has come up with something a bit different which I always appreciate. I still have questions about the world but that is something to be expected when you're reading the first book in a series. I also quite liked Jack, he doesn't particularly stand out as different to many other heroes I've read about but there is definitely potential for a crush worthy male lead there. There were a few amusing moments throughout the book and I particularly liked Morgan's friend Cordelia and her pet cat.

I think the main reason I didn't enjoy the book was because I really don't think much of Morgan. She spends half of the book talking about how kickass she is and how she has become so much stronger and faster since her vampire attack and the rest of it talking about how hot every single guy she meets is. Seriously, there was not a man in the book who didn't make her hormones go crazy (apart from the bad guy so it's pretty obvious from page one that he must be evil!). I'm all for having hot guys in the story but I don't need to hear how gorgeous they are on EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. I get it Morgan, you have a crush on Inigo but can't go there because he's your best friends cousin - I heard you the first 10 times and saying it another 20 isn't going to make me care. While we're on the subject of Inigo all I have to say about him is ugh, he is such a creepy stalker type that I didn't find him even slightly attractive! To go back to the point about how kickass Morgan is I have to mention that if a character is constantly telling me how good she is in a fight but then never once manages to back up her claims then I find it more than a little difficult to believe her. Honestly, I didn't think she was kickass in the slightest for the majority of the book and the tiny hint at it that I did see was a case of too little too late. I don't like to call characters too stupid to live but in this case the phrase really fits, she constantly made rookie mistakes and nearly got herself killed practically every time she came across a vampire - not ideal for someone who supposedly makes a living hunting them!

Like I said Kissed by Darkness isn't all bad but I think my dislike of Morgan really coloured my enjoyment of the rest of the story. After revelations towards the end of the book I do think the series has some potential but at the moment I'm undecided about whether I'll carry on reading it. Just reading the blurb of Kissed by Fire and seeing that the story is about dragons makes me want to pick it up (I have a bit of a thing for dragons) but unless Morgan has undergone a major personality transplant I'm not sure if I can bring myself to spend more time in her company.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

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