Saturday, 31 August 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 8 - 15 things that appeal to you on blogs


I stumbled across the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge hosted by April from Good Books Good Wine and it looks like so much fun that I have to take part. You can find out all about the challenge and how to join in HERE. Obviously the idea of the challenge is to take part 15 days in a row but I don't have enough time for that and since April is so relaxed over the rules I've decided  dedicate one day a week to the challenge.

The Day 8 topic is: Quick! Write 15 bullet points of things that appeal to you on blogs!

  1. A layout that is easy to read (no dark backgrounds with bright writing please it hurts my eyes and I won't be back for another visit!)
  2. A master list of reviews already posted. If I find a new blog I like I love to look through some of their previous reviews to get a feel of whether we have a similar taste in books.
  3. An easy way to follow you (my current favourite is bloglovin' but it's better to have a few different options available)
  4. Reviews (I guess that should probably have been at the top of my list!) I love to find reviewers with their own style - whether the reviews are funny or serious as long as the writer has something intelligent to say about the book they've read I want to read it. 
  5. Personal posts - I have to admit that I'm not very good at writing personal posts but I do love to read them. It's a great way of getting to know the person behind a blog!
  6. Event write ups - I love to hear about book signings / publisher events or any other book related events you may have been too. It might make me green with envy if I wasn't able to go but I can live vicariously through my friends :o)
  7. Info about new releases. I love to discover new books that I want to add to my wish list!
  8. On the same note I also love to see reviews / spotlights for older books and series. I get bored when every blog I follow is all reviewing the same books so if you review something older I'm more likely to drop by to find out more.
  9. A good balance between the amount of text versus the number of pictures. Too many pics can make a blog slow to load but a whole load of text with nothing to break them up is just boring.
  10. Don't fill your sidebars with a million widgets (especially ones that make irritating noises!), it just makes your blog slow to load and I won't be coming back to visit.
  11. Giveaways! I love both hosting and entering giveaways but please make it clear if your giveaway is international or not. I don't want to spend ages entering only to find out it was for US winners only! 
  12. Reading challenges - I love taking part in reading challenges (I'm hosting the British Books Challenge this year) as a way of keeping track of the types of books I'm reading.
  13. A range of different posts, if your blog is nothing but memes then I'm not going to follow you. There is nothing wrong with memes but you don't need to take part in hundreds of them and I want to see other content on your blogs too.
  14. Discussion Posts, again this is something that I'm not very good at doing but I'm working on it and taking part in this challenge was a great way to get me started!
  15. Be honest! I don't care if you don't have the same opinions as I do about every single book you read (although it helps if we have a few things in common LOL) but I do want to know I can trust you to give an honest review.
Wow it was harder than I thought it would be to come up with 15 answers! What are the things that most appeal to you on other blogs? Is there anything I've missed?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Review: An Apple for the Creature - Anthology

What could be scarier than the first day of school? How about a crash course in the paranormal from Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, editors of Home Improvement: Undead Edition? Your worst school nightmares—taking that math test you never studied for, finding yourself naked in school assembly, not knowing which door to enter—will pale in comparison to these thirteen original stories that take academic anxiety to whole new realms.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris’s story, "Playing Possum," Sookie Stackhouse brings enough birthday cupcakes for her nephew's entire class but finds she's one short when the angry ex-boyfriend of the school secretary shows up.

When her guardian, Kate Daniels, sends her undercover to a school for exceptional children, teenaged Julie learns an all-new definition of "exceptional," in New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews's "Magic Tests."

For those who like fangs with their forensics, New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder offers "VSI," in which FBI agent Claire is tested as never before in a school for Vampire Scene Investigation.

And in New York Times bestselling author Thomas Sniegoski's "The Bad Hour," Remy Chandler and his dog Marlowe find evil unleashed in an obedience school.

You'll need more than an apple to stave off the creatures in these and nine other stories. Remember your first lesson: resistance is fruitless!

Includes stories by: ILONA ANDREWS, AMBER BENSON, RHYS BOWEN, MIKE CAREY, CHARLAINE HARRIS, DONALD HARSTAD, STEVE HOCKENSMITH, NANCY HOLDER, FAITH HUNTER, TONI L.P. KELNER, MARJORIE LIU, JONATHAN MABERRY, THOMAS SNIEGOSKI

I thought I'd include a list of all of the short stories included in this anthology for your information:
  1. Playing Possum - Charlaine Harris (Part of the Sookie Stackhouse Series)
  2. Spellcaster 2.0 - Jonathan Maberry
  3. Academy Field Trip - Donald Harstad
  4. Sympathy for the Bones - Marjorie M. Liu
  5. Low School - Rhys Bowen
  6. Callie Meet Happy - Amber Benson (Part of the Calliope Reaper-Jones Series)
  7. Iphigenia in Aulis - Mike Carey
  8. Golden Delicious - Faith Hunter (Part of the Jane Yellowrock Series)
  9. Magic Tests - Ilona Andrews (Part of the Kate Daniels Series)
  10. An Introduction to Jewish Myth and Mysticism - Steve Hockensmith
  11. VIS - Nancy Holder
  12. The Bad Hour - Thomas E. Sniegoski (Part of the Remy Chandler Series)
  13. Pirate Dave and the Captain's Ghost - Toni L.P. Kelner
Review:
An Apple for the Creature is an anthology containing 13 school related stories that would probably make great holiday reading around Halloween. As with most anthologies I found the quality of the stories was a bit hit and miss, there were several I enjoyed but I doubt I'll read the book again. In fact, I think the only story I would go out of my way to re-read is Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews which is the story I bought the anthology for in the first place. I'll talk more about that one in a minute but I just want to mention a couple of the other stories first.

Sympathy for the Bones by Marjorie M. Liu was a creepy tale about a girl who has been raised by a witch and is learning to curse people using voodoo, I enjoyed the story and if I hadn't already been a fan of the author it would have definitely made me check out some of her other books. The other story I really enjoyed was Golden Delicious by Faith Hunter. I've had the Jane Yellowrock series on my wish list for a while now and after reading that story I'll be bumping it up the list. I liked the humour of the story and I'm very interested to find out more about the world the author has created. I'm hoping that Rick and the characters who make up his detective team are major players in the series because I really liked them. Some of the other stories were OK reads but none of them particularly stand out enough for me to rave about them.

I already mentioned that I only really wanted to read this for the Ilona Andrews story Magic Tests and I have to say that was the best part of the book. It was worth buying just for this story alone and I'll definitely pick it up again when I do my next Kate Daniels re-read. I've always quite liked Julie's character, she can be a little annoying at times but I think she is a fairly typical teenager in that regard, and it was nice to see a story from her point of view. Although this story isn't essential reading as part of the series because it doesn't really effect the ongoing story arc it was nice to get to know Julie a bit better and I'd actually like to see more from her POV in the future. We've all seen how much Julie hates the boarding school that Kate sent her to and now she's home and living in the Keep she seems to think she can get away without going to school at all. Kate has other plans for her though and she has a very clever way of getting Julie to go along with them. We are introduced to some great new characters but the one I was most excited about seeing again was Yu Fong (you may remember him from Dali's short story Magic Dreams). I was already hoping he'd end up being a major character in the series and now I'm thinking he's more likely to re-appear thanks to his friendship with Julie. I loved getting to see Julie grow up a bit and actually work out a way to use her ability to help someone else and I'd definitely like to see her get her own book or spin off series in the future.

I'd say if you're a huge fan of the Kate Daniels series like I am then it's worth buying the anthology just for Magic Tests but otherwise you might want to consider borrowing it from the library and saving yourself the money.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Review: The Name on Your Wrist - Helen Hiorns

It's the first thing they teach you when you start school. But they don't need to; your parents tell you when you're first learning how to say your name. It's drummed into you whilst you're taking your first stumbling steps. It's your lullaby. From the moment it first appears, you don't tell anyone the name on your wrist.

In Corin's world, your carpinomen - the name of your soul mate, marked indelibly on your wrist from the age of two or three - is everything. It's your most preciously guarded secret; a piece of knowledge that can give another person ultimate power over you. People spend years, even decades, searching for the one they're supposed to be with.

But what if you never find that person? Or you do, but you just don't love them? What if you fall for someone else - someone other than the name on your wrist?

And what if - like Corin - the last thing in the world you want is to be found?

The gripping debut novel from the winner of the inaugural Sony Young Movellist Award.

Visit Helen Hiorns' page on Goodreads for more information.

Review:
Can you imagine a world where everyone is born with a soul mate? A world where when you reach about three years old a name will appear on your wrist, your carpinomen, a name that you must keep hidden from everyone - even your family - the name of the person who you are meant to spend the rest of your life with? It isn't forbidden for you to date or marry someone who isn't your soul mate but it is frowned upon and you will quickly earn yourself a reputation if you are seen dating people with different names. Everyone is supposed to make finding their soul mate their main focus in life and you really, really aren't supposed to fall in love with someone whose name isn't on your wrist. Corin lives in such a world but she has seen exactly what love did to her mother and her sister and she is determined not to go down that same path. She wants something different for herself and she has no intention of looking for her soul mate but what if love finds her when she least expects it?

The Name on Your Wrist is Helen Hiorns' debut novel and was the winner of the first Sony Young Movellist Award. The story has a very unique concept so I can see why it stood out amongst other entries and I found it an enjoyable read. I had high expectations for this story when I picked it up, the idea of people having their soul mate's names written on their wrists was a really interesting one and I couldn't wait to find out how this phenomenon came about. Although I enjoyed the story I did find myself a little disappointed that we didn't get more background information about the world and how it came about. It takes a long time before you get any kind of explanation and when you do it feels a bit rushed and was glossed over too quickly. I just wanted more information about it all.

I liked Corin and felt bad for everything she has gone through since her father's death, her mother pushed her grief to one side, moved the family to a new town and tries to pretend nothing has changed while her sister has been in and out of hospital since suffering from a breakdown. Corin is left on her own to deal with everything and she doesn't really have anyone to turn to for help. As much as I felt sorry for Corin I found her difficult to connect with, she was supposed to be 19 but most of the time she acted as though she was much younger, I'd have found her character more believable if she was supposed to be 16. I understand that she was quite sheltered because of the world she lived in but it was one of those things that bugged me. I just found a lot of her actions were quite selfish and I hated the way she deliberately set out to hurt people whether she felt they deserved it or not. She could also be quite judgemental even though she complained about other people judging her family when they didn't have the full facts.

I did really like Colton though and I liked the person Corin became as she became friends with him. She didn't really have anyone she was close to before he came into her life and the way he got her to open up to him showed her in a completely different light. I felt more sympathetic towards her because of the discoveries Colton helped us make and I though they were really cute together. I have to say I wasn't a fan of the ending though, Helen Hiorns certainly managed to throw a few twists in there, some I saw coming and some that I didn't, but everything seemed to wrap up just a bit too tidily and it was all a little convenient. This author is definitely one to watch out for though, the sheer amount of imagination that has gone into building her world and the fact that she manages to introduce readers to it quite smoothly and without huge info dumps shows skill and I think she'll just get better at plotting and creating believable characters with each book she writes. Overall I'd say that The Name on Your Wrist is a unique debut and certainly worth checking out if you want to see a different take on the soul mates plot line.

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 August 2013

Review: Truth - Sherri Hayes

For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn't expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring.

There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good.

Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna's father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiralling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer?

As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan's love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they've built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known.

Finding Anna Series:
Slave
Need
Truth
Trust

Visit Sherri Hayes' website for more information.

Review:
If you've read my reviews for the first two books in this series you'll already know how much I adore these characters. Truth picks up the story immediately after the shocking ending of Need with Brianna's father turning up at their apartment and trying to take her home with him. Now that cliffhanger ending left me desperate to find out how things would turn out so this was probably one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. It was thanks to Brianna's father that she ended up in slavery so she is obviously terrified when he appears out of the blue looking for her. He claims that he didn't realise what was going to happen to her and that he has spent the last year searching for her but she doesn't know who to believe and is terrified of the thought of going back home. She just wants to remain with Stephan but with the outside world conspiring against them it is going to be hard to make that happen.

My heart still breaks when I think of all the things that Brianna has been through but it is so good to see her starting to gain confidence and learn to stand on her own two feet again. Of course she still has a long way to go but with Stephan's help she is definitely getting there. I love the fact that Stephan is so caring and protective but that he wants to help her build a life of her own. As much as Stephan wants her to stay with him he doesn't want her to do it because he thinks she has no other choice so he encourages her to make friends and to go to college even though it is the last thing she things she can cope with. Stephan is obviously helping Brianna come to terms with what has happened to her but my one complaint with this series is that he hasn't sought out professional help for her. I know he is trying to do the right thing for her but I do think that some kind of counselling would go a long way towards helping her heal.

It's hard to say too much about what happens in this book without giving spoilers but there are plenty of developments both with Brianna's father and also with Stephan's attempts to punish Ian for what he put Brianna through. There are also some fantastic breakthroughs in Brianna's relationship with Stephan and it's very rewarding to see how far they have come as a couple. What I like most about this series is that Sherri Hayes takes her time with the story, she is showing Brianna's recovery at a realistic pace which means it can sometimes be a case of one step forward and two steps back. Even Stephan (who I absolutely adore and am head over heels for) makes mistakes occasionally by pushing her a little too far, too fast. Brianna needs Stephan to push her because otherwise I think she'd happily become a recluse and never leave his apartment but it is a fine line between making her step out of her comfort zone and frightening her. Overall, Stephan is doing a really good job of knowing what she needs but it wouldn't be believable if he didn't mess up sometimes.

The ending of Truth does leave us with unanswered questions but the cliffhanger didn't feel anywhere near as bad as that at the end of Need. I'm still desperate to get my hands on the final book in the series which will hopefully be released early in 2014 though. This is without a doubt one of my favourite erotic / BDSM series, it's hard hitting, thought provoking and at times distressing to read but at the centre of it there is a beautiful love story and the focus is on Brianna's recovery. If you haven't started the series yet then it is essential to read them in order but Slave is an amazing book and I don't think you'll be disappointed if you decide to give it a try.

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:

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he's going to have to run . . .

Chaos Walking Trilogy:
The New World (Free Short Story)
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and the Answer
The Wide Wide Sea (Free Short Story)
Monsters of Men
Snowscape (Free Short Story)

Visit Patrick Ness' website for more information.

Review:
The Knife of Never Letting Go is one of those books that I was embarrassed to admit I'd never read, its a book that has been recommended to me time and time again and is incredibly popular with all the other YA bloggers I know. I've actually had the book on my to read pile for a few years now but I was kind of intimidated to start it, you know how it can be with those books that everyone loves where you're afraid that you'll be the only person not to like it? That's exactly how I felt about this one but I thought it was about time I pushed past the nerves and gave it a try. I'm glad I did because I now know what all the fuss is about and I can see why everyone raves so much about this series.

I'll admit that it took me a couple of chapters to get used to the writing style, Todd has a distinctive voice and that is shown partly through misspellings and strange word usage. That is something that would normally drive me insane but that actually felt right in this instance and it just added more colour to the story. Todd is a great main character, a young boy of not quite 13 he is on the cusp of adulthood and he is eager to be seen as a man rather than as a child. He lives in Prentisstown, a town with only mail inhabitants where everyone can hear each other's thoughts in a constant "Noise" that is enough to drive you insane. Even the animals speak although they don't always have a great deal to say! I can't even begin to imagine living in that kind of chaos, I have enough trouble turning off my own thoughts sometimes let alone trying to shut out everyone else's!

The story starts with Todd walking in the swamp with his dog Manchee, it's a pretty normal day until he stumbles across an area of complete and utter silence. Todd has never encountered anything like it but he instinctively knows that it is dangerous and something he must keep secret. From that moment on Todd's life is turned upside down and he will realise that everything he has ever been told about the "Noise" and where it came from is a lie. Todd is forced to run from his family and his home but he has no idea if he will ever be able to find a safe place to stay. The Knife of Never Letting Go is a coming of age story, one that is going to push Todd to his very limits and then shove him even further. There were times when I absolutely hated some of the things that he did but even when it was hard to watch his actions I could always completely understand what had brought him to that point. He does a lot of growing up throughout the book as he learns the truth about his past and I think he is growing into an admirable young man.

I don't want to say too much about any other characters because it would be too easy to give spoilers but I will tell you that I think Manchee was my favourite. It was just so funny to listen to his thoughts and I swear if dogs could actually talk they would sound just like him. As well as adding humour to what at times was quite a dark story Manchee was a much needed friend and companion for Todd. There was so much loyalty between them and even though Manchee irritated Todd at times you could tell that deep down they loved each other.

The Knife of Never Letting Go isn't always an easy book to read, I went through a whole range of emotions from anger and disgust all the way through to love and heartbreak, but it is a book that will keep you hooked from the very beginning. My one main complaint is that I still don't understand why everyone from Prentisstown was so desperate to catch Todd and bring him back, we were given an explanation but even now it doesn't make much sense to me. I also found the continual reappearance of a particular character was just odd and completely unbelievable - I can't see how he would have survived so much. In spite of that I still really enjoyed the story and I'm just glad that I already own the rest of the trilogy because there is no way I'd want to wait a year for the next book after that cliffhanger ending! If like me you're one of the few people who is still new to this series then I'd definitely recommend it to fans of YA dystopian stories.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Monday, 26 August 2013

Flirt's "Back to School" New Adult Blog Hop Giveaway

CLICK HERE to visit the rest of the tour stops

Welcome to Flirt University's Back to School celebration! It's time for the Three R's, Flirt style—Reading, (W)Riting, and Romancing! In the spirit of getting to know one another on the first day of school, Flirt, Random House's New Adult imprint, has set up a New Adult blog hop so you can discover other blogs that love the hottest new romance genre.

As part of the hop, Flirt is giving away its signature "I Heart New Adult" tote (for carrying books, ereaders, and other fun things), and its signature "I Heart New Adult" mug (perfect for that morning coffee pick-me-up)! Just check out the Rafflecopter below—stop by each blog for more chances to win, and to meet awesome New Adult fans and reviewers!

Head back to Romance at Random on Tuesday, September 3 to find out if you won (we'll email winners, too!), and don't miss your first Flirt University "lecture" from one of Flirt's esteemed New Adult Author Professors! They'll be sharing their thoughts on everything New Adult!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop away!
  1. Cocktails and Books
  2. Evie Knight
  3. Bookhounds
  4. Manga Maniac Café
  5. What I'm Reading
  6. The Book Tart
  7. Acting Balanced
  8. The Jeep Diva
  9. Reading Under the Willow Tree
  10. Stuck in Books
  11. Books of Love
  12. Book Lovin Mamas
  13. From the TBR Pile
  14. Book Flame Reviews
  15. Romance Crush Junkies
  16. My Book and My Coffee
  17. Bout a Book Blog
  18. Mackable Book Babes
  19. Tonya's Bookshelf
  20. Book Mom's Reviews
  21. The Revolving Bookcase
  22. Victoria's Gossip
  23. Dr. Pepper Diva
  24. Mad Book Reader
  25. Rose's Book Blog
  26. Renee Entress's Blog
  27. Book Addicts Not-So-Anonymous
  28. Go and Read Now
  29. Whirlwind Books
  30. Live. Laugh. Romance
  31. Brenda's Book Beat
  32. Crafty Momma
  33. Stories and Swag
  34. Book-A-Holic Anon
  35. Foxylutely Book Reviews
  36. Fictionators
  37. Zakirrah's Books Blog
  38. Feeling Fictional

Blog Giveaway Details:

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Flirt are very kindly going to giveaway an ebook ARC of Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne to one lucky blog commenter.

To be in with a chance of winning please leave a comment saying what you love about New Adult books or why you'd like to read Isn't She Lovely along with your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

  • Giveaway is open internationally and one winner will receive an ebook ARC of Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne.
  • The ARC will be made available to you via Netgalley so you will need to register for a free account with them if you don't already have one. I will need to pass your registered email address to my contact at Flirt so they can pre-approve you for this title.
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received.
  • To enter leave a comment answering one of the above questions. Please make sure you include your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. Comments without an email address will not be entered into the giveaway.
  • The giveaway will close at Midnight GMT on the 3rd of Septmber 2013 and the winner will be announced soon afterwards. The winner's email address will be passed to Flirt so their prize can be sent.

Release Day Giveaway: Take Me - Diane Alberts #TakeMe


This isn't the first time I've mentioned how much I love Diane Albert's Take a Chance series and I'm thrilled to be taking part in the release day giveaway for the fourth book Take Me. Have a look at the teaser above and tell me you don't think this is going to be one hoy story!! I've been looking forward to Mike's story for ages now so keep an eye out for my review which I'll be posting very soon. In the meantime here is a bit more information about the book:

Married in the morning…

Professional heartbreaker Mike Worth thrived on the chase—and dancer Morgan Collins represented the ultimate prize. But there was no way he was going to throw away his single-man status…not even for an elusive redhead with sparkling eyes and mile-long legs. So how did he let one drunken Vegas night end with I do instead of hell no?

Morgan’s life revolved around her career and she had no intention of letting a man interfere—even if Mike made her question all her rules about love. At his urging, she reluctantly agreed to give their spur-of–moment marriage a chance. But once their trial-honeymoon ended, would she choose to follow the dance and leave her unforgettable husband behind?

Take A Chance Series:
Try Me
Love Me
Play Me
Take Me

Visit Diane Alberts' website for more information

Author Bio:
Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn't until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she's not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.

She is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing, Swoon Romance, and Decadent Publishing. ON ONE CONDITION hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble Bestseller List, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. CAPTIVATED BY YOU hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list. Her goal is to write so many fantastic books that even a non-romance book fan will know her name. She also writes New Adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. Diane is represented by Louise Fury from the L. Perkins Agency.

Website: http://dianealberts.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081315.Diane_Alberts

Giveaway Details:

Diane Alberts is giving away an ebook copy of the three previous books in the series - Try Me, Love Me & Play Me, to one lucky reader who enters using the rafflecopter form below. The winner will announced by Diane and she will contact them directly to arrange sending out the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: Beyond Pain - Kit Rocha

A woman with no future…

Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.

A man without a past…

Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.

In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.

Beyond Series:
Beyond Shame
Beyond Control
Beyond Denial (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Pain
Beyond Temptation (Novella in the Marked Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Jealousy
Beyond Solitude (Novella in the Alpha's After Dark Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Addiction
Beyond Possession (Novella)
Beyond Innocence
Closed Doors (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Blank Canvas (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Ruin
Beyond Ecstasy
Beyond Surrender
Beyond Doubt (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Beyond Forever (An O'Kane for Life novella)

Gideon's Riders Series:
(Spin off series)
Ashwin
Deacon

Visit Kit Rocha's website for more information.

Review:
I didn't think it was possible for me to become more addicted to this series than I already was but with every single book I fall more in love with these characters and the world that Kit Rocha has created. This is by far my favourite erotic series and I am head over heels for all of the O'Kane men. This is a series that I would definitely recommend reading in order though, each of the characters plays an integral part in the ongoing story and both past and future couples continue to shine in every book.

We've already had a glimpse into what life was like for Six when she lived in Sector Three so we know just how hard it is for her to trust anyone. She has been living with the O'Kanes for several months now and is starting to believe that things really are different in Sector Four, she is still understandably wary but she trusts Bren to have her back. I loved Six for her strength, we find out even more about the things she has been through but she doesn't want sympathy and she refuses to let her past dictate her future. She wants to find a place where she belongs but she has to learn to trust not just Bren but also the rest of the O'Kanes before she can believe that she has a future with them. She isn't the kind of woman to back down from a challenge though and she puts the effort in to build a place for herself within the gang. She knows she can be more useful by helping them organise their new territory than she can serving drinks behind the bar and Bren is all in support of that. What she is coming to realise is that the men in Sector Four are nothing like the men she's dealt with in the past and the women are both respected and treated as equals. At first she was horrified by how open the gang are when it comes to sex, she thought that the women were being forced into doing things they weren't comfortable with just like she had been in the past. She comes to realise that everything that happens is consensual though, nobody is made to do anything they don't want to do and that gives her the courage she needs to start to explore her own needs and desires.

Bren knows what it's like to be a victim of circumstances and he immediately took Six under his wing when she got away from the old Sector Three leader. He has spent a lot of time helping to build her confidence, teaching her to fight dirty so she can protect herself and earning her trust. Although he has wanted her from the moment he saw her Bren knows that he must take things slowly if he doesn't want to frighten her away for good. What I loved about him most is that although he wants nothing more to protect her from harm he understands that she needs to fight her own battles and he encourages her to do that. Bren's support means more to her than anything and I was pleased he was able to put his male ego to one side for her sake. Bren encourages Six to push her boundaries when it comes to sex and pleasure but he never pressures her to do anything that she isn't comfortable with, he helps her realise that there are no limits as long as everyone who is involved wants to be there.

I've liked Bren since the beginning but I didn't realise quite how much I was going to fall for him. It's just so damn hard to pick a favourite guy from this series - they are all equally hot in their own ways but if you love big, dominant, tattooed, leather wearing, alpha men who know what they want and won't stop until they get it then you're just going to adore this series. Kit Rocha has written some of the hottest sex scenes that I've ever read in this series and she has taken things up a gear in Beyond Pain. There was one particular scene containing Dallas, Lex and Rachel with Bren and Six watching from the sidelines that was so hot it nearly killed me but Bren and Six were definitely given plenty of time to shine as a couple too. I can tell you right now that I'm dying to get my hands on Rachel's book, Beyond Jealousy, because I already know it's going to be off the charts. The glimpses we have been given of Rachel, Ace and Cruz have just increased my excitement to stupid levels.

I don't really know what else I can say about Beyond Pain apart from to tell you that it is a must read for fans of the series. If you haven't come across these books yet then you seriously have no idea what you're missing out on. This is erotic romance at it's finest, picture a gritty dystopian world full of violence and gangs, heroes and heroines who you will fall head over heels for and the hottest boundary pushing sex you'll ever come across and you'll still have no idea how good these books are. Just go out and READ THEM and you'll see what I'm talking about!

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

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Kindle:

Saturday, 24 August 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 7 - Talk about your blogging quirks


I stumbled across the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge hosted by April from Good Books Good Wine and it looks like so much fun that I have to take part. You can find out all about the challenge and how to join in HERE. Obviously the idea of the challenge is to take part 15 days in a row but I don't have enough time for that and since April is so relaxed over the rules I've decided  dedicate one day a week to the challenge.

The Day 7 topic is: Talk about your blogging quirks

  • I used to write my reviews as soon as I finished a book (I wouldn't let myself start the next book until the review had been written) but that all fell by the wayside and I currently have about 15 reviews waiting for me to write and schedule them. Oooops!
  • I take loads of notes while I'm reading, I never used to have to do that but now I'm so far behind it's the only way I'll be able to remember everything I want to say.
  • When I sit down to write a review I always complete the post layout first. I have a very set way of doing things and it would really bug me if the layout was wrong.
  • I have a shelf on Goodreads for books that are waiting to be reviewed but I also have a notepad that I use to keep a list of all the blog posts I want to write that I tick off when they're done like a to do list.
  • I have a blog diary that I use to schedule blog tours and keep track of books that need to be read by a specific date. 
  • I love taking part in reading challenges as a way of keeping track of the kinds of books I've been reading.
  • I find nothing more satisfying than knowing that I have at least a weeks worth of blog posts scheduled. Unfortunately I'm rarely in that position LOL.
I actually have loads more blogging quirks but I don't want to come across as too crazy so I'm going to save them for another day LOL. What are your quirks? Do you have any of the same habits as me or are your methods completely different?

Friday, 23 August 2013

Review: The City's Son - Tom Pollock

Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.

When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London's ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul's Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old-war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love.

The City's Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne: a story about family, friends and monsters, and how you can't always tell which is which.

The Skyscraper Throne Series:
The City's Son
The Glass Republic
Our Lady of the Streets

Visit Tom Pollock's website for more information

Review:
The City's Son is an impressive debut and a great introduction to the Skyscraper Throne trilogy. Tom Pollock has taken the London we know and love and brought it to life with a vast array of weird and wonderful creatures that you will never have come across before. The amount imagination that has gone into creating this sinister and dark side of London is astounding and I absolutely loved discovering the ghostly railwraiths, pavement priests, people made of glass and so much more. I think one of the things I loved most was the way the characters embody London and how at the same time the city becomes a character all of it's own. You never know what the author is going to throw at you next and I'm sure you'll be delighted with the things you uncover.

Graffiti artist Beth has spent hours exploring the less well known parts of London with her best friend Pen, she loves her city but has no idea of the hidden wonders that are right under her nose. A chance encounter with Filius changes her life forever as he opens her eyes to things she never even dreamed of. She suddenly finds herself having to choose sides in a war that most people don't even realise is going on around them. Fil is the son of the Mater Viae, the goddess of London, and in her absence it is up to him to fight against her mortal enemy, the Crane King known as Reach. With Beth's help Fil needs to rally his mother's troops but will they trust him to lead them to victory?

I really enjoyed seeing Fil's London through Beth's eyes, she's as new to everything going on around her as we are and her amazement was catching. We see not only the depth of London's history but also the futuristic glass skyscrapers that change the city skylines on almost a daily basis. These two very different sides of London are fighting against each other in a battle like nothing you've ever seen before with Fil and Beth right at the centre of it. Fil has grown up on the streets of London and doesn't even remember his mother, he is used to being able to do whatever he wants but he has always had the hope that his mother would return one day to deal with Reach herself. When it comes to a point that he must take action he is lost and doesn't know where to start, it is only with Beth's help that he starts to take his responsibility seriously and plan a counter attack against Reach.

While Beth was a likeable character I have to say that the person I felt most connected to was probably her best friend Pen. The two girls didn't part on the best terms but when Pen comes searching for her friend she is unprepared for what she will find. The scenes from her point of view were harrowing to say the least but she show so much strength and I'm delighted to learn that she will be the main character in the second book, The Glass Republic. My heart absolutely broke for the things that she goes through and I'll be very interested to see how she copes in the aftermath of everything she has suffered. Other memorable characters were Fil's nanny Gutterglass, a creature who builds itself bodies out of any old garbage that just happens to be lying around, and Victor, the Russian drunk who takes Beth under his protection. They both added humour to what would have been very a dark story without them.

If I had one complaint about the book it would be that Beth and Fil's relationship seems to develop a little too quickly. I'd really have liked them to spend more time becoming friends before romance was introduced and I found their relationship unrealistic because it happened so fast. Thankfully that is a minor complaint because their relationship is by no means the focus of the book so don't let that put you off giving it a try. If you're looking for a unique story that really brings London to life then you won't want to miss out on The City's Son!

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

Other Reviews:
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review: Chasing Mrs. Right - Katee Robert

It was only supposed to last one night . . .

Roxanne Stokes doesn’t believe in love. She does, however, believe in the sexy-as-sin stranger who literally knocks her off her feet in front of a nightclub. The chemistry sparking between them takes her breath away, and she’ll do anything to ease the pain in his eyes . . . until she realizes the handsome stranger is her best friend’s older brother who’s just come home from war.

Ian Walser had no idea the gorgeous woman he slept with the night of his homecoming party was his little sister’s best friend—or that she’d be gone before morning. Roxanne’s touch soothes him in a way nothing else can, and he’s not ready to walk away from that yet. Not when spending time with her gave Ian a glimpse of everything he’s ever wanted.

When his sister unwittingly pushes them together, he sees his chance. But convincing a woman who doesn’t believe in love that she’s his Mrs. Right might be harder than any mission Ian’s undertaken. Good thing this soldier likes a challenge . . .

Come Undone Series:
Wrong Bed, Right Guy
Chasing Mrs. Right
Two Wrongs, One Right
Seducing Mr. Right (Novella in the Lovers Unmasked anthology)

Visit Katee Robert's website for more information

Review:
Ian has just returned home from a tour of Afghanistan, he is suffering from PTSD and just needs some peace and quiet to unwind and get used to civilian life. He finds it difficult to be in enclosed spaces or around large crowds so the surprise party his family have organised for him is actually his worst nightmare. Roxanne is a much needed distraction and he is more than happy to act of the chemistry that is sizzling between them. Ian doesn't want just one night with his mystery woman though so when he wakes up the next morning and finds she has walked out on him he's disappointed. Roxanne grew up watching her mother go from one relationship disaster to another and the last thing she wants is anything serious. She doesn't believe in love but she can't deny her attraction to Ian. What she doesn't realise is that Ian is her best friend Elle's brother and when her friend throws the two of them together her one night stand suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Can Ian convince Roxanne to take a chance on love?

I absolutely loved Wrong Bed, Right Guy so when I found out it was the first book in a series I knew I had to add Chasing Mrs. Right to my wish list. I've actually had this book on my to read pile for months though so I really have no excuse for not reading it sooner. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it because it was one HAWT read. If you thought the chemistry between Gabe and Elle was scorching in the first book you've not seen anything yet, Ian and Roxanne are off the charts! They're both very outgoing and love to get down and dirty when there is a risk of getting caught so there is plenty of messing around in public that will definitely leave you in need of a cold shower!

I absolutely loved Ian, he is damaged and hurting from everything he has been through but he is determined to pick up the pieces and build a life for himself. Roxanne constantly pushes him away but he sees through her fear and is determined to make her see that they could have a future together. I was really pleased that Roxanne's issues didn't become a huge obstacle for them, she was wary of being hurt and wasn't sure about the idea of starting a relationship but it doesn't take long before she realises that Ian is worth fighting for and when he really needs her at his side she comes through for him. They make a great couple and I loved the way Roxanne encouraged Ian to follow his dreams rather than give in to what his controlling mother wanted him to do.

It was also really nice to catch up with Elle and Gabe to see how they're getting on now. I'll admit I was a little annoyed at Ian's reaction to Gabe, I know he was protective of his sister but considering Gabe's brother is Ian's best friend Nathan you'd think he would be prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. That was a minor irritation though and I was glad they worked things out in the end. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Nathan's story in Two Wrongs, One Right, I have a feeling he's going to be a fabulous tortured hero which just happens to be one of my favourite types! If you enjoyed Wrong Bed, Right Guy then you won't want to miss Chasing Mrs. Right, they're both fabulous stories so although they can both be read as stand alone books I'd recommend reading the series in order. Katee Robert is definitely an expert at writing realistic characters with scorching hot chemistry and I can't wait to read more from her in the future.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing 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.

Kindle:

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Review: Barely Breathing - Rebecca Donovan

Will the promise of a passionate love mend Emma's broken heart?

The scandalous secrets of Emma's past life have been revealed, but she still has so much to learn. Why did her mother leave her all those years ago?

What really happened the night Emma's father died - and were her memories of being happy just a dream?

The repercussions of one horrific night have affected everyone involved. Now Emma has the chance of a new love - but will she let the past haunt her for good?

Breathing Series:
Reason to Breathe
Barely Breathing
Out of Breath

Visit Rebecca Donovan's website for more information

Review:
Please note that this review will contain spoilers for the first book in the series so don't read any further if you haven't already read Reason to Breathe. This is a fabulous, heart-wrenching series though so it's definitely one I'd recommend giving a try.

Emma's life has changed beyond recognition in the six months since her aunt tried to kill her, she is now living with her best friend Sara which means she finally has a safe place to call home. Although she is struggling to cope with the aftermath of what happened to her she has a lot of support from her boyfriend Evan, Sara and Sara's family but she finds it hard to open up and completely let any of them in. Emma has so many unanswered questions about her past so when her mother gets back into contact with her claiming she has changed Emma wants to give her a second chance. She decides to move in with her mother so they can spend time getting to know each other again but has her mother really changed though or is Emma just opening herself up to a whole new world of trouble?

I really enjoyed Reason to Breathe and after the huge cliffhanger ending I was pleased that I didn't have to wait before I started Barely Breathing. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this story but I was hoping that things would finally start to turn good for Emma. The abuse she had been through was bound to have had lasting effects on her both physically and emotionally though and I felt that Rebecca Donovan did a fantastic job of portraying that. Emma is embarrassed by the fact that the whole town now knows her darkest secrets and she hates the pitying stares and attention she now receives because of it. She just wants to fade back into the background and get on with her life. I felt so badly for Emma during the last book, I actually wanted to climb into the book and murder her aunt so I was so relieved to see that she was now staying with Sara and I was nervous when she decided to move in with her mother. I just wanted to see her happy and living in a stable environment and I had such bad feelings about her mother.

As it turns out living with her mother was almost as bad as living with her aunt had been just in a very different way. Her mother is incredibly needy emotionally and acts like a child herself most of the time, she also turns to alcohol as a coping mechanism and although she isn't violent like Emma's aunt she has a vicious mouth on her and she was very good at verbally attacking Emma. It was hard to watch how Emma puts up with everything her mother throws at her because she thinks she deserves it. There were times when I was practically begging her to talk to Sara and Evan about what was going on but I could understand her reticence to do so. She is so used to keeping secrets and she is so emotionally overwrought from everything that she has gone through that it was understandable that she was pushing away the people who care about her the most. I may not like that fact and I was hurt on behalf of her friends, Evan in particular, by the way she treated them at times but I could see that it was a self defence mechanism that Emma didn't really even understand she was using.

I don't want to go into any more detail about the story so I'll just tell you that Barely Breathing is just as hard hitting as Reason to Breathe was but in a different way. I'm pleased that Rebecca Donovan didn't take the easy way out and make things all sunshine and roses for Emma. As much as Emma deserves some peace and happiness it was never going to come easy for her after everything she's been through. She needs time to heal herself emotionally and as much as the ending gutted me in a lot of ways I think she is going to come out stronger because of it. I absolutely can't wait to see how things play out in Out of Breath. As it's the final book in the series I have high hopes that Emma will finally find her own happily ever after but I have a feeling she's got more to face before she gets there.

Source: Received from Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

Other reviews of this book:
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Paperback / Kindle:

Review: Never Deal with Dragons - Lorenda Christensen

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it’s her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her “typical” day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he’s been sent by North America’s reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she’ll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

DRACIM series:
Never Deal with Dragons
Dancing with Dragons (Release date to be confirmed)
'Til Death or Dragons (Release date to be confirmed)

Visit Lorenda Christensen's website for more information

Review:
In this futuristic world, set sometime after WWIII dragons are definitely at the top of the food chain. They rule over humans like lords of the manor and the humans aren't powerful enough to resist them. Myrna works for DRACIM (Dragon Relations, Arbitration, and Cooperative Interspecies Mediation) and it is her job to help keep the peace between humans and the dragons. This can often be quite a messy business and the kind of things she has to deal with make for hilarious reading. The first line in the book is "It's amazing how often my day starts with a three-legged dragon and an enraged dairy farmer." and I knew from that point that I was in for a fun read.

I actually picked this story up expecting a fairly standard paranormal romance, I love dragons and along with a couple of friends I was looking for something hot and steamy so this looked like it would fit the bill perfectly. As it goes I think the cover is quite misleading because in a lot of ways this one reads more like an urban fantasy, I'm not complaining because I happen to love UF as well as PNR but I do prefer to know what I'm getting when I pick up a book. I loved the unexpected humour right from the beginning, watching Myrna try to hammer out an agreement between a very pregnant and hormonal dragon and the farmer whose livestock has been eaten was very comical and I really liked the way Myrna was so spunky. In fact I quickly warmed to Myrna and had high hopes that she was going to be a fabulous heroine. In a lot of ways she was but when it came down to her ex-boyfriend Trian she turned into a doormat and just let him walk all over her and she lost all my respect for that.

Myrna and Trian had been dating a year and she was dreaming of wedding bells when he vanished overnight taking some of her very sensitive work documents with him and leaving only a very brief note of apology. Since then Myrna's work life has been hell, because she lost the documents she was demoted and she now has to work for the most hopeless boss on the planet who treats her like dirt. There aren't many jobs for dragon speakers though so she doesn't really have any other choice but to accept her current situation. When she is given the task of mediating a dispute between two dragon lords she suddenly finds herself face to face with Trian again for the first time since he left her. Now, the two of them obviously had chemistry and I actually thought Trian was quite nice at first. I was sure he had to have a very, very good reason for abandoning her like he did and I expected a huge apology from him when he explained what had happened. Unfortunately that didn't happen, not only was his reason incredibly pathetic but he hardly gave any form of apology before Myrna had rolled over and forgiven him. I get that Trian is hot but he walked out on you and his actions have made your life a misery for the last year - why would any self respecting woman let a guy get away with that unless he had fallen at their feet begging for forgiveness?

Luckily for me the romance didn't feel like the main focus of this story and I did really enjoy the world building. I loved the fact that there was a reason that dragons had only arrived on the scene fairly recently and I was pleased that they had basically taken over the world because they were so much more powerful. It's not often that supernatural creatures are given the upper hand in stories like this, they are usually living in secret and hiding from the human population so this made a nice change. There were some interesting developments in the ongoing plot that definitely make me curious to see how things will play out. There was a certain amount of predictability to it though and a lot of things were so obvious to me as a reader that I was practically shouting at my kindle hoping one of the main characters would hurry up and figure it out.

Overall, I'd say that while I liked Never Deal with Dragons it didn't quite manage to live up to my expectations. I could have really enjoyed the romance if only Trian hadn't been such an unapologetic idiot and I would have loved the plot if the major twists had been a little less obvious. Considering that this is a debut novel I am prepared to give Lorenda Christensen another chance though because I think this has the potential to be a really fun series (and I do love books about dragons!).

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

Other Reviews:
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Kindle:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill

A brilliantly brain-warping thriller and a love story that leaps back and forth in time – All Our Yesterdays is an amazing first novel, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games.

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future . . .

Cassandra Chronicles:
All Our Yesterdays
Future titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Cristin Terrill's website for more information

Review:
All Our Yesterdays is a very hard book to review, not because it isn't a fantastic read but because it would be so easy to give spoilers and I would absolutely hate to ruin this book for anyone who hasn't read it yet. It can be very hard to find a time travel story that is believable and that is as well written as this one, I was completely hooked from the very beginning and even stayed up until 4am to finish reading it. The story has two narrators, Marina, who tells of events that already happened and Em, who is telling you what is currently going on. These two tales are woven together expertly and it is done in a way that leaves you desperate to find out how things will turn out in both different threads. You might think that it would get confusing having the story told like this but Marina and Em have such distinctive voices that it was easy to tell whose part you were reading at any time.

The story starts with Em who is currently imprisoned and being regularly tortured because she refuses to give up a certain piece of information that her desperately captors need. She lives in a bleak and desolate world that has practically been destroyed by someone she once considered her closest friend - the boy she was madly in love with. The only thing helping her get through her situation is Finn, the boy imprisoned in the cell next door who she is able to speak with through the wall that separates them. Em is determined to prevent the future she is currently living in by returning to the past and stopping events before they are able to unfold but she knows that what she needs to do is going to break her heart.

I don't really want to say much more about the plot than that and I'm not going to tell you anything about Marina and what is going on in her life so you're just going to have to read the book to find out. What I will say is that the story is complex, incredibly well plotted and absolutely addictive to read. Cristin Terrill has included so many twists and turns that you literally have no idea what she is going to throw at you next. The characters are incredibly three dimensional, some you will love and others who you will love to hate but there are none who you will feel indifferent to. They all have flaws as well as strengths and it was interesting to see the way events in their pasts had effected the people they turned into in the future. I'm going to confess that the ending confused the heck out of me at first (you have to remember that I finished it at 4am so I'm giving my brain a bit of a break for not being able to figure it out sooner!) and it wasn't until after I'd had a conversation with a friend and re-read the last few chapters the next day that I really got it straight in my mind. Once I had got my brain around it I realised just how brilliant it was and I was tempted to immediately start reading the story again from the very beginning just to appreciate how cleverly it was written.

I'm happy to say that the book doesn't end on a cliffhanger but I'm pleased to discover that this is part of a two book series and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where Cristin Terrill takes us next. I can't even guess at the things she has in store for Em and Finn but I'm dying to find out!

Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review: The Midnight Breed Series Companion - Lara Adrian

Part human, part otherworldly, the Breed has lived among humankind in secret for thousands of years . . . and now fans of the popular, best-selling Midnight Breed Series can delve deeper than ever before into this hidden, seductive race of vampires and the dark,thrilling universe they inhabit.

A book that's been years in the making, the Midnight Breed Series Companion includes insider info on all of the novels, author notes on the creation of the story world and how the eleven-book (and counting!) series has evolved since its beginning as a contracted trilogy, a complete character guide, series trivia, questions from readers and more.

This special series companion also includes "A Touch of Midnight" - an all-new, never-before-published, original novella featuring Gideon and Savannah, which finally reveals the story of how this reader favourite couple met and fell in love, and answers many questions that fans have been curious about since the series began!

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows (Release date to be confirmed)

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness (Winter 2017)

Visit Lara Adrian's website  for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books.  Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

Review:
The Midnight Breed Series Companion is a must read for any fans of the series. If you've ever wanted to know what inspired Lara Adrian to write the series, her secret thoughts about the characters and her vision for the future of the series then you'll find all of that and more in this book. You need to be aware that the series companion does contain spoilers for the first 10 books in the series (up to and including Darker After Midnight) though so if you're not up to date then you need to read it with caution. The companion has taken a lot of the information that we've learnt over throughout the series and put it into one easy to access guide but it also includes lots of little extras that you won't have seen before.

I wanted to read this book mainly for Gideon & Savannah's story in the A Touch of Midnight novella but I also really enjoyed learning more about the background for each book, how Lara went about creating the world and her series law as well as seeing her answer so many reader questions. There is a section which includes character profiles for everyone we've come across so far - from the most minor characters who died in the very first book right through to our favourites who we've come to love over the space of ten books. I think the character guide is going to come in really handy when I'm struggling to remember the history of one of the more minor characters but I do wish it had included the new generation who were introduced in Edge of Dawn because they are the ones I don't know as well and have more trouble keeping straight in my mind.

The A Touch of Midnight novella is set several decades before Kiss of Midnight and is the long awaited story of Gideon and Savannah's meeting. I have loved this couple since the very first book so I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to finally read their story and I enjoyed every second of it. The story is set in the 70's and I thought Lara has done a fabulous job of creating the atmosphere of that time period. It was fun to see Gideon when he was a full on warrior going out and kicking rogue butt, I'd always wondered why he now remains on the compound and away from the action and my questions have now been answered.

I'm not going to talk about the plot for the story because it would be too easy to give you spoilers so I'm just going to say that I now love these characters more than ever. Savannah is a smart young woman who has an unusual ability and it was nice to learn more about how her Breedmate gift works. She is thrown in the deep end when touching an object gives her a horrifying glimpse of the Breed, she doesn't understand what she has seen and it is up to Gideon to explain things to her. Gideon is as fabulous as ever, he is protective of Savannah and you get to see a glimpse of the funny computer geek we already know and love. As you'd expect their meeting is anything but straightforward, especially when Gideon's nemesis has Savannah in his sights, but they are a brilliant couple.

I did feel that the romance moves a little too quickly but that didn't bother me as much as it usually would, party because I know things have to move faster in a novella than they would in a full length novel but mainly because I already know these characters so well and am fully invested in their relationship. This is a great addition to the series and it was nice to get another glimpse into the pasts of the core members of the Order (Lucan, Tegan, Dante, Con, Rio and of course Gideon). By the time I'd finished reading the novella I was seriously tempted to re-read the whole series again, in fact I may just have to do that before Crave the Night is released next year.

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

Other Reviews:
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