Saturday 31 May 2014

Review: Deep Oblivion - Matt Dickinson

One beat of a butterfly's wings is all it takes.
One beat that will change lives.
One beat that will end lives.

Hannah [AUSTRALIA] homeless and on the run.

Gwen and Tehpoe [LIBERIA] kidnapped by violent rebels.

Todd and Isabella [BRAZIL] threatened by piranha attack.

Wai Yan [Myanmar] hunted by a cruel dictator.

Stian Olberg [CRUISE SHIP CAPTAIN: SYDNEY] fighting to save his vessel from imminent destruction.

For them, and many others, things will never be the same again.

Some will live.
Many will die.
All are connected.

Mortal Chaos Series:
Mortal Chaos
Deep Oblivion
Speed Freaks

Visit Matt Dickinson's website for more information

I really enjoyed Mortal Chaos when I read it a couple of years ago but for some reason I never quite got around to reading the sequels. Deep Oblivion popped back up on my radar a few weeks ago and I immediately ordered a copy and as it turns out I ended up enjoying it even more than the previous book. Although there are three books in this series the titles are linked more by the style in which they are written than anything else, there is no cross over of characters so it would be very easy to read the books in any order.

The premise behind these books is the Butterfly Effect, the books are all incredibly pacey reads written in short 1-2 page chapters and have a large cast of characters. You might think that would make things confusing for readers but I find it incredibly easy to keep track of who everyone is and what is going on with them. The hardest thing about these books is making yourself put them down once you've started reading them!

Have you ever wondered how a butterfly trapped in a high rise building in Australia could effect a backpacker in Brazil, a missionary worker in Liberia, a monk in Myanmar and a cruise ship? In Deep Oblivion Matt Dickinson manages to make connections between very different people who are all over the world, sometimes it is easy to see how their lives entwine but other times the connections are much more subtle and take a while to be fully revealed. I love the way the author constantly manages to surprise you, he'll build things up so you are expecting one outcome and then at the last minute throw something at you completely out of the blue.

It's obvious from the tag line "Some will live. Many will die. All are connected." that not all of the characters are going to make it to the end of the book but I guarantee that you won't guess what happens to most of them! Deep Oblivion is a fast paced, action packed story that I devoured in one sitting, the story is intense, edge of your seat reading and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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:

Friday 30 May 2014

Review: The Saint - Tiffany Reisz (+ Giveaway)

UK Cover
She's never met a rule she didn't want to break

Rebellious Eleanor is sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never got to church again.

He's the one man she can't have

But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Marcus Stearns - Soren to her and onlyher - is an epiphany. Eleanor is consumed - yet even she knows being in love with a priest can't be right.

But some rules are just made to be broken . . .

And then a whole world opens when Soren reveals to her his deepest secrets that will change everything.

The Original Sinners Series:
Seven Day Loan (Novella) (This novella was also released with the title The Gift)
Little Red Riding Crop (Free short story found on the author's website)
Submit to Desire (Novella)
The Last Good Knight (Serialized Novella published in 5 parts)
The Christmas Truce (free short story for the author's newsletter subscribers)
The Siren (The Red Years book 1)
Something Nice (Free short story for the author's newsletter subscribers)
The Angel (The Red Years book 2)
The Prince (The Red Years book 3)
The Mistress Files (Short Story Collection)
The Mistress (The Red Years book 4)
The Saint (The White Years book 1)
The King (The White Years book 2)
The Virgin (2015)
The Queen (2015)

Visit Tiffany Reisz's website for more information.

I may be a little obsessed with Tiffany Reisz and her Original Sinners, I really can't get enough of this world and the characters she has created. These books are just so addictive and they are always impossible to put down once I've started them. I've loved Nora from the beginning but have had more complicated feelings towards many of the other characters. Soren's sadism terrifies me but he is one of the most brilliant characters I've ever read about, no matter how wary I was of him in the beginning I had grown to love him throughout the previous books but in The Saint I finally understood exactly why Nora is so completely and utterly devoted to him.

Although we've learnt a lot about both Nora's and Soren's pasts in the previous books here we finally get to see the whole tale from the very beginning. The majority of this book is told in flashbacks and we get to see Soren through the eyes of 15 year old Eleanor. In the past I've found it kind of creepy that a 29 year old priest took such an interest in one of his young parishioners but seeing events unfold first hand shows that it really wasn't like that. In fact the relationship between Eleanor and Soren is something special and pure, something that she desperately needed at a time when she had no other person in her life who was there for her no matter what. In the beginning Soren is more of a father figure to her, someone who shows her the right path and steers her away from danger. Yes, the attraction is always there but Eleanor is well beyond her years emotionally and although she constantly pushes Soren for more he always keeps a sensible distance.

The flashbacks cover much of Nora's life between the ages of 15 and about 20 so we get to see not only her introduction to Soren but also the beginning of her friendship with Kingsley and I absolutely loved their interactions. There is so much more going on between the two of them than I ever realised before and it was great to see how much Kingsley helped her when she really needed him and Soren wasn't available. These three characters belong together in a way I can't even begin to describe, no matter what else happens or who else comes on the scene I'm convinced that the three of them will never, ever be far apart.

The Saint isn't just about the past though, it also picks up Nora's story about 6 months on from the end of The Mistress. I'm not going to tell you much about that part of the book because seeing what she was up to came as a complete surprise to me and I don't want to take that experience away from anyone. All I'm going to say is that we get to see much more of a character who has only been mentioned briefly in previous novels and I can't wait to see more of them in future books! I have a feeling they're going to be a very entertaining addition to the story and add plenty of additional spice.

I think it's fair to say that The Saint is my new favourite Tiffany Reisz book, I went through so many different emotions while reading it and I can't possibly hope to do this story justice in my review so I'll just say that fans of the series are going to LOVE this book. If you haven't started this series yet then I can't recommend it highly enough, it isn't a traditional romance but I guarantee you'll fall as madly in love with these characters as I have. These books are dark, they offer glimpses into a world that most of us would probably be too scared to step foot in but they are completely and utterly compelling and are always beautifully written.

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.

US Cover
Paperback / Kindle:

Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE

About the author:

Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice.

When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).

If she couldn’t write, she would die.

Twitter: @TiffanyReisz

Giveaway Details:

As part of the blog tour Tiffany is giving away signed copies of The Saint and ebook copies of some of her other books. The winners will be announced via Rafflecopter and be contacted directly by Tiffany so she can arrange sending out the prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 29 May 2014

Review: Queen of Swords - Katee Robert

When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she's supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn't matter if the ship's commander is the gorgeous stranger she just spent a wild, drunken night with. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don't lie. Ever.

Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the deadly little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed.

Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them...and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.

Sanctify Series:
The High Priestess (Novella)
Queen of Swords
Queen of Wands (June 2014)

Visit Katee Robert's website for more information

I don't often read this kind of sci-fi romance but I love Katee Robert's contemporary romance series so I jumped at the chance of reading Queen of Swords when I was offered a review copy. I'm happy to say I was impressed, the author has created an interesting universe with diverse species of alien characters and she gives us enough information to build a good picture of things without overwhelming us with unnecessary details. None of the terms used are too complicated so the story is very easy to follow and there are enough technological advances to be interesting but not confusing.

Ophelia is from a race known as the Diviners, they have a strong connection with the Lady (their equivalent of god) and they use tarot cards to seek guidance and figure out what path they should take. Ophelia's readings are all telling her that she needs to marry the prince of Hansarda so no matter how much she hates the idea of marrying a stranger who is probably only interested in her because of her father's contacts as a gun runner she will accept his proposal because bad things happen when you don't follow the Lady's path. The cards are always open to interpretation though so even though she thinks she knows what she has to do it could be that she's misreading the situation.

Boone is the half-brother to the prince and also happens to be the sexy stranger she just spend a night with. When he tells Ophelia that it is his job to take her to Hansarda for her marriage she agrees to go with him but Boone actually has other plans. Prince Kristian is Boone's enemy and Boone plans to kidnap Ophelia to stop the wedding from going ahead. Boone will do whatever it takes to protect his people and that means stopping Kristian becoming the King of Hansarda, no matter what it costs him.

I really loved both of the main characters, they're both strong, capable fighters who are determined to do what they believe is the right thing. Most of the time Ophelia and Boone manage to rub each other up the wrong way but no matter how fierce their arguments you can always sense the underlying chemistry between them and you know they are going to be absolutely explosive together when they eventually give in to that passion. Alongside the main couple we also get to meet a variety of other well developed characters, Boone's sister Jenny was definitely a favourite and I'm glad that her book is next in the series.

Queen of Swords is a fun read with great romance and plenty of action and intrigue. I should probably mention that there is a prequel novella called The High Priestess (which actually features Ophelia's parents) but since I haven't read that story yet I can confirm that this one works well as a stand alone. I'll definitely be continuing this series when Queen of Wands comes out, there is a lot going on with the religious cult Sanctify and I'm looking forward to seeing how that resolves itself.

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Review: Recipe for Seduction - Gina Gordon

Veronica Whitfield feels like a frumpy old maid. After ten years of raising her younger siblings, she’s desperate to get her sexy back. And why not find it with the man she’s been in lust with since she was twelve years old—her brother’s best friend, Finn O’Reilly?

Finn is looking for love. And not any love—true love. Complete with the white picket fence, two children, and a dog. He’s just been a little unlucky finding it, and he sure as hell isn't about to consider his best friend’s little sister for the job, no matter how badly he wants her in his bed.

But then Veronica propositions him with a game of dark, delicious seduction. Finn is tempted to indulge his hidden need for kink, but at what cost? Following through could very well ruin their friendship, but maybe—just maybe—helping Veronica rediscover her sexy side is exactly what he needs to find love at last…

Madewood Brothers Series:
Recipe for Satisfaction
Recipe for Attraction
Recipe for Seduction
Recipe for Temptation

Visit Gina Gordon's website for more information

As much as I've enjoyed the previous books in this series I have to confess that Finn and Cole have been the two brothers who I've been most looking forward to getting to know so I was really excited to start reading Recipe for Seduction. I had a feeling that Finn would be something special and I was right - this is definitely my favourite book in the series so far!

Finn is the most low key Madewood brother, he doesn't seek the spotlight of fame and he doesn't care about awards but that doesn't mean he isn't just as committed to charity work and his restaurant as the other brothers - he's just more subtle about it. Finn knows that the most important thing is helping others and giving back to society just like his adoptive mother would have wanted him to. Finn is a people pleaser who wants nothing more than to have a family of his own to love and care for. Growing up in foster care made him into a peacemaker, he always felt that if he could just do what everyone wanted him to do and keep the peace between his brothers then they wouldn't be kicked out of their new home. That need to please has followed him into adulthood and he always puts his desires and dreams on the back burner to support everyone else. I've possibly made it sound like Finn is boring but that couldn't be further from the truth - he may do whatever it takes to keep his family running smoothly but he's just as alpha and competitive as the others and I think he might be the kinkiest of the lot in the bedroom!

Veronica has been half in love with Finn since they were children and met in a foster home. Finn is her brother's best friend though and has only ever treated her like his little sister. Veronica gave up her 20's to be a mother to her younger siblings but now they're growing up and heading off to college she thinks it's finally time for her to have some fun and get her life back on track. She's determined to continue to build up her wedding planning business but she also wants to have fun dating and re-discover her inner vixen. More than anything she would love to explore her feelings for Finn but she knows they have completely different life goals - Finn is looking for love, he wants to marry and have children while Veronica has already raised her siblings and has no intention of starting another family. The chemistry between them is hard to ignore, especially after they discover how well matched they are in the bedroom, but how could they ever find a compromise on their completely opposing desires for the future?

I loved the fact that Finn and Veronica's relationship is built on a strong foundation of friendship, they have a long history together and it's easy to see how important they are to each other. I really admired Veronica and her desire to find herself again, she's spent so long putting everyone else first that she really deserves to have what she wants for a change. I felt exactly the same about Finn though, I so badly wanted to see him fulfil his dreams and I was really worried that there wouldn't be a way for them both to get what they wanted without someone getting their heart broken. They are perfectly matched both in the bedroom and out of it and I loved seeing them spend time together. If you like your books on the hot and spicy side then you're going to enjoy this whole series but Recipe for Seduction was definitely the hottest in my opinion.

I've said before that I'm not a huge fan of big gestures but I absolutely loved how things turned out in this one. I'm going to keep it vague because I don't want to give spoilers but one of the characters does something so perfect that it brought a tear to my eye! The epilogue that follows is a little cheesy but it works so well for these characters that I didn't mind it in the slightest. Although each of these stories works as a stand alone I did really enjoy getting the chance to catch up with previous couples and here we get to attend the wedding of Jack and Story (the stars of Recipe for Satisfaction). The next book in the series is Cole's story and that is one I've been looking forward to from the beginning so I can't wait to get my hands on Recipe for Temptation.

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.


Review: Recipe for Attraction - Gina Gordon

She'll go to any lengths to keep his demons at bay...

Bad boy Neil Harrison may have sexy body and an even sexier smile, but there’s no way in hell architect Carson Kelly is falling for the elusive bachelor. For starters, he’s her boss, and getting intimately involved with the infuriating alpha male could be a career-killer. And secondly, he’s battling personal demons in one of the most dangerous ways possible: illegal street racing. After a friend’s tragic death years ago, Carson swore she’d never get involved in that life again.

Neil knows Carson’s keeping secrets and he’s determined to uncover all of them…even if he has to seduce them out of her. But as their antagonistic work relationship ignites a passionate affair, Carson must decide if protecting Neil from his need for speed is the perfect outlet for her own restless desire, or if they’re on a one-way path to destruction.

Madewood Brothers Series:
Recipe for Satisfaction
Recipe for Attraction
Recipe for Seduction
Recipe for Temptation

Visit Gina Gordon's website for more information

Neil is the oldest of the Madewood brothers and as such he's always felt it's his job to look out for the rest of the family. He's struggling to cope with the death of their foster mother but he doesn't want to burden any of the others with his problems when he knows they're finding things just as difficult. Although he is focusing on building his new restaurant he needs a way to blow off steam and that has come in the form of illegal street racing, speeding on his bike gives him a sense of freedom and helps him momentarily forget about all of his problems. Carson is the architect working on the new restaurant, she knows all about the dangers of street racing and she is worried for Neil's safety when she finds out what he is up to. She has been attracted to him for months so she offers him a no strings attached fling telling him that every time he feels the urge to race he should come to her instead. Carson may have a dark past but she's spent years trying to rebuild her reputation and get her father to respect her again so the last thing she needs are rumours of her affair with Neil getting out - sleeping with her client is not the way to get respect in her industry. Can they keep their time together separate or will Carson lose everything because she tried to help Neil?

Recipe for Attraction is the second book in the Madewood Brothers series and just like the first it is full of plenty of hot sex! Neil and Carson have fantastic chemistry so even though I'm not a fan of the way their fling started I enjoyed seeing them spending time together. The story starts with Neil at a street race so I expected the racing to play a more prominent role in the story and was disappointed when we don't see much of that side of things. I loved the idea of Neil as a badass, tattooed biker and wanted more of that side of him. I also would have liked a better explanation about why he got into racing in the first place, I found it hard to believe that he would be able to give it up so quickly if it was something that he really felt that he needed to do and I ended up just thinking he was being selfish by putting his life at risk for no real reason.

In general I liked Carson, I was annoyed at the way her father pushed her around and was glad to see her finally stand up for herself towards the end of the book. I do think the reasons he gave for treating her so badly were a bit flimsy though and the story could have been improved if there was more time spent on the confrontation. I liked the way Neil was so happy to give his time to his mother's charitable foundation but I found he could be a bit too bossy and overbearing towards his brothers. There were a few moments when he reminded me of a five year old throwing a temper tantrum because he couldn't have what he wanted immediately too and I have to say that isn't something I find attractive in a man. I liked him most of the time and he certainly knows his way around a bedroom (or kitchen worktop LOL) but he wasn't my favourite hero ever.

Both of the books in this series have been quick, fun reads with plenty of sexy scenes and nice characters. I really love the remaining two brothers (Cole and Finn) so I have high hopes for their books. If you're looking for a short and steamy story then it would definitely be worth giving this series a try.

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.


Review: Recipe for Satisfaction - Gina Gordon

Mixing business with pleasure has never been so sexy...

Being the financial caretaker for her deadbeat parents isn’t the life professional organizer Sterling Andrews dreamed of. Tired of being the dependable—and boring—daughter, Sterling decides to have a little fun. And what could be more fun than seducing rich bad boy chef, Jack Vaughn? Except, after one scintillating night together, Sterling’s not only lusting for Jack, she’s working for him. And remaining professional becomes harder every day.

Already a major success thanks to his exclusive restaurants, Jack Vaughn is looking for something more. Ultra responsible Sterling is unlike anyone Jack has met…but she’s his employee. Unwilling to give her up, Jack makes Sterling an offer she can’t refuse—for four sexy weekends, he’ll indulge her most wicked fantasies with no professional strings attached. But will mixing business with pleasure spell disaster? Or will they find the recipe for satisfaction?

Madewood Brothers Series:
Recipe for Satisfaction
Recipe for Attraction
Recipe for Seduction
Recipe for Temptation

Visit Gina Gordon's website for more information

While I enjoyed Recipe for Satisfaction I have to admit I didn't love it as much as I expected to and I'm having a hard time figuring out why. Technically it had everything you want from this kind of story - there is plenty of hot sex and a few sweet moments between the main characters, I also enjoyed meeting the other brothers and would definitely like to read more about all of them but in spite of all of that there was still something missing from this book.

I think it's partly because everything feels so rushed between them, Sterling and Jack have only met a couple of times when they both start thinking of how perfect they could be together and dreaming of the future. OK it takes them a while to express it and the "I love you" declarations don't come until right at the end but I would have liked them to spend more time getting to know each other outside of the bedroom before they start picturing forever. There is a lot of sex, almost too much, and at times it made me feel more uncomfortable than turned on because it just didn't feel natural to the characters. The scene at the nudist beach in particular was just weird and I couldn't imagine Sterling going along with it.

I would also have liked Sterling's family situation to have been expanded on more. Her parents have obviously been bleeding her dry financially for years and she just lets them get away with it because she feels like she has to protect her younger sisters. I could kind of get why she felt like that but her parents lie, cheat and outright steal from her making it practically impossible for her to provide for herself after she's paid their mortgage and covered their bills and gambolling debts. I wanted to see her stand up for herself and tell them that she wouldn't let them walk all over here any more. There is a brief mention of her making changes towards the end of the book but we don't get to see the confrontation with her family which was disappointing.

The other thing that irritated me was Jack's grand gesture at the end of the book, I've never been one to be persuaded by that kind of public display so I know that this won't bother other people as much as it did me, but I think after the way he treated Sterling she deserved a proper one to one apology. I would have liked to see him grovel a bit rather than have her falling into his arms quite so easily after he'd treated her badly and then left her hanging for a week thinking he'd walked out of her life forever. I would have found it more satisfying if they'd actually had a proper, grown up conversation about her family situation and worked out a solution together. He could even have helped her confront her parents and I'm sure he is the kind of guy who would happily have helped her look after her sisters.

I know I've had mentioned quite a few things I didn't like about the story but it wasn't all bad and I did like it enough to want to carry on reading the series. Both Jack and Sterling are likeable and Jack is definitely the kind of guy any woman would be happy to fall for. I think the other characters we've met all have a lot of potential and I loved the set up of four foster brothers who have all come such a long way from their humble backgrounds. They are all chefs (and there is something incredibly sexy about a man who knows how to cook!) but they also give back to the community through the Madewood foundation that their adoptive mother set up. I'm just hoping that future books in the series will spend more time showing the characters getting to know each other outside the bedroom as well as in it.

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

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


Tuesday 27 May 2014

Review: Honor Reclaimed - Tonya Burrows

Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is new to HORNET and anxious to prove he can still do his job despite an ongoing battle with PTSD. He remembers all too well what it’s like to sit inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death, so when a wounded veteran contacts HORNET to rescue a buddy that got left behind, all sorts of nasty memories strain his newfound stability.

An interview with a runaway Afghani child bride leads photojournalist Phoebe Leighton to an arms deal involving a suitcase bomb powerful enough to wipe out a mid-sized town, and she realizes this is one battle she can’t win on her own. Forming an unlikely alliance with a ragtag team of military and government delinquents, she meets Seth, a sniper carrying as many emotional scars as physical, who impresses her with his steely will and ignites passions within her she thought long dead.

Suddenly this mission is about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of HORNET struggle to stop that bomb before it reaches its final destination: The United States.

HORNET Series:
SEAL of Honor
Honor Reclaimed
Broken Honor
Code of Honor
Reckless Honor

Wilde Security Series:
Wilde Nights in Paradise
Wilde for Her
Wilde at Heart
Running Wilde
Too Wilde To Tame

HORNET: Class Alpha Series:
Fragmented Loyalty

Visit Tonya Burrows' website for more information

I've become a huge fan of Tonya Burrows since I read SEAL of Honor last year and I love both her HORNET and Wilde Security series. I've been dying to find out more about Seth since he was first introduced in Wilde Nights in Paradise so to say I had high hopes for Honor Reclaimed is an understatement and I'm very happy to say that it's now my favourite book by this author. If you're new to this series I'd highly recommend reading SEAL of Honor first because there is a lot going on within the team that you'll only know about if you've read their entire history. The HORNET books do have a slight crossover of characters with the Wilde Security series and there is a suggested reading order on the author's website but both series can be read entirely separately if you prefer.

Seth is an ex-marine and the newest member of the HORNET team, he spent 15 months as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan and the torture he endured has left him both physically and mentally scarred. He's suffering from extreme PTSD and the rest of the team don't trust him not to fall apart in a difficult situation so he hasn't exactly been made to feel welcome. When Greer Wilde asks for their help rescuing a fellow soldier who was captured in a very similar situation to Seth the team pull out all the stops to get to Afghanistan to rescue him. It means Seth facing his worst nightmares but there is no way he can leave someone in enemy hands when he knows exactly the kind of torture he will be subjected to.

Phoebe is a photojournalist who travels to some of the world's most dangerous places investigating women's rights and she is in Afghanistan helping her friend with a shelter she has set up for women and girls whose lives are at risk. The newest resident at the shelter, a young girl who was forced to marry a terrorist and who nearly ended up as an unwilling suicide bomber, gives Phoebe information about an attack her husband is planning. Phoebe knows she can't stop the attack on her own and she turns to Seth and the rest of the HORNET team for their help.

I love a damaged hero and Seth is about as damaged as they come. He may have recovered physically from his injuries (apart from the scarring anyway) but he is an emotional wreck. He has no self esteem, doesn't feel connected to the rest of his team and most of the time he feels completely worthless and subhuman. My heart absolutely broke for him and the more we found out about what he had suffered the more amazed I was that he'd even survived. There are some quite distressing scenes of torture - not just flashbacks from Seth but also of the newly captured hostage Zak who the team are out there hoping to rescue - but none of it is gratuitous and it didn't overshadow the rest of the story. Just knowing that there are soldiers who have probable been in (or are currently in) that kind of terrifying situation is horrifying though and it gives you a new appreciation for the risks our armed forces take with their lives.

Phoebe is a great heroine for Seth, he pushes away the people he cares about because he's scared to let anyone close but Phoebe sees through that and calls him out when he acts like an idiot. She refuses to let him get away with anything and he needs someone who is going to be forceful with him and not put up with his crap. I loved that she saw through his scars and saw the man he really is, she wanted to give him more self confidence but she loved him in spite of his prickly personality and the way he constantly pushed her away. They are well matched personality wise and I loved how brave and feisty she was, it doesn't hurt that they have fantastic chemistry too.

I was so annoyed with how unsupportive the rest of the team was of Seth in the beginning. It's a difficult situation because they need to be able to trust that he's not going to break down when they need him the most and end up putting all of their lives at risk so I could understand why they were wary of him but at the same time I desperately wanted them to give him a chance and start treating him better. Ian in particular was really annoying me and I enjoyed seeing him get taken to task by Phoebe. The team is still fairly new and they're all getting used to working together which leads to some interesting situations but I enjoyed the banter and watching them all bond more by the end of the book. This series definitely has more focus on the action so while the romance never takes a back seat there is a lot more going on alongside it. The team are risking their lives in the hope of saving Zak and there are some nail biting sections when I was really worried that not everyone was going to make it out alive. Honor Reclaimed brought me to tears on more than one occasion and I loved every minute of it. I can't wait to see the rest of the team all get their own happy endings and I'm excited that we still have so many books to look forward to.

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.

Previous Cover
Paperback / Kindle:

Release Day Blast: Fabulous May Titles from Entangled Select!

Whether you’re looking for a romance that makes you laugh, makes you ‘walk the plank’, keeps you guessing, or stars your favorite paranormal, look no further. Select books have the single-title stories you crave, and the longer length you need to really get ‘lost’ in a great book. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Select's May releases:

A Hornet Novel

Available in Print and eCopy!

Find out more!

A Sanctify Novel

Available in Print and eCopy!

Find out more!

Never show fear to a demon.

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Find out more!

Save the Dragons

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Find out more!

A week together could be
just the cure she needs...

Only 99 Cents!

Find out more!

It's never the
same old song...

Only 99 Cents!

Find out more!


Fall in love,

save some immortal souls,

break a curse...

No problem.

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Find out more!


Plus don't miss these two special events!

Monday 26 May 2014

Review: Seducing the Playboy - Amanda Usen

The best desserts are worth the wait…

Pastry chef Jenna Cooper crushed hard on playboy chef Roman Gallagher when her older brother brought him home to share their family Christmas six years ago. Now she’s old enough to do something about it, and she won’t take no for an answer—for anything.

Out of the frying pan into the fire…

Roman has one hard and fast rule—don’t sleep where you eat. But he can’t say no to Jenna’s plea for him to help her save her family business. Soon she's working for him, and their scorching chemistry melts Roman’s resistance.

If you can’t stand the heat…

Jenna knows Roman has reservations about enjoying the heat between them, but she’s got a plan. She’s going to keep this sexy man so satisfied in—and out—of the kitchen, he won’t regret a thing. But Roman has his own ideas. He wants more than a few hot nights, and he's going to teach Jenna a lesson about playing with fire.

Hot Nights Series:
Into the Fire
Seducing the Playboy

Visit Amanda Usen's website for more information

Jenna is desperate to save her family's restaurant and the only person she can think of to ask for help is her brother's best friend Roman. Roman is a top chef and an expert at building up new restaurants but he is also the man she's had a crush on since she was a teenager and now she has an excuse to spend time with him she's planning on doing her best to seduce him. Roman wants Jenna more than anything but he knows she's far too good for a playboy like him and although the chemistry between them is fantastic he is determined to take things at his own pace. Working closely together makes it hard for them to avoid giving in to temptation though and Roman starts to wonder if his relationship with Jenna could be more than just a fling.

I have to confess that when I requested a review copy of Seducing the Playboy I didn't realise it was the second book in a series and I probably wouldn't have read it if I'd known that in advance because I'm a bit OCD when it comes to reading books in the correct order. Thankfully Amanda Usen has done a fantastic job of making this story work as a stand alone and although I'm now definitely planning on getting hold of a copy of Into the Fire asap I didn't find myself at all confused reading this story. Having read the blurb of the first book I actually think that the two stories cover the same period of time so I don't think it really matters which one you read first.

I really enjoyed this story, it's everything I look for when I'm picking up a book from the Brazen line - great characters, believable romance and fun sexy times. I found both main characters very easy to like, I enjoyed the fact that Jenna knows what she wants and will do anything to achieve her goals. She refuses to back down from a challenge and she doesn't let anyone get away with treating her badly. Roman is sexy as hell but he can be kind of grumpy so he needs someone who is going to call him on it when his attitude is bad. Although the attraction between Roman and Jenna is intense he actually keeps her waiting a long time before he agrees to do more than kiss so this book is all about delayed gratification but there are some fab kissing scenes and Roman certainly knows how to follow through after such a long build up!

Seducing the Playboy is fairly predictable but I could say the same about most contemporary romances so the thing I'm most interested in is whether the characters are likeable and how much fun I have reading them. This book hit the right spot on both of those points and has definitely left me wanting to read more from Amanda Usen 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.


Release Day Blast: New books from Amanda Usen & Gina Gordon (+ International Giveaway)

If you like your heroes hot, the sex hotter, and a swoon-worthy romance to swoop in and save your happily ever after, Brazen has the story for you. Sinfully sexy soldiers. Alpha cops who demand control. Sweet guys with a naughty side in the bedroom. At Brazen, they've got the hero destined to melt your... heart. Visit the Entangled website, the Brazen Blog, follow them on Twitter, Like their Facebook page, and follow them on Pinterest.

Introducing Brazen's May 26th releases:

Work Hard, play harder...

Find out more!     

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!
Let the game of seduction begin...

Find out more!

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Plus don't miss the Brazen Seduction Party

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday 25 May 2014

Review: A Kiss in the Dark - Cat Clarke

When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.

Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy - everything Kate wants in a boyfriend.

Alex can't help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive . . .

But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.

Passionate, moving and gripping, A Kiss in the Dark will make you feel first love all over again.

Visit Cat Clarke's website for more information

I'm a huge fan of Cat Clarke's writing, she always creates such realistic teenage characters and her stories never fail to pack a punch. I think A Kiss in the Dark might just be her best book yet which is really saying something!

I'm afraid that this review is going to be deliberately vague because this is the kind of story that would be incredibly easy to spoil and I would hate to ruin anyone's experience of reading it. There are so many things I want to talk about when it comes to this novel and it's killing me that I can't discuss them.

Alex and Kate are attracted to each other from the moment they first meet, they have the same interests, enjoy spending time together and slowly but surely they fall in love. In a lot of ways they are perfect for each other but Alex has a secret, one that has the power to destroy their relationship if Kate ever finds out the truth. The reader actually finds out what that secret is fairly on in the story and because the first half of the book is told from Alex's point of view we get to see just how much keeping that secret plays on their mind. Alex didn't set out to deceive Kate but what starts as a small misunderstanding between them soon snowballs into something so huge that Alex has no idea how to fix things.

I spent half of the book just waiting for the truth to come out, you know Kate is going to be devastated and you're hurting on her behalf but you can't help but feel sorry for Alex even when you're wishing that they could have been honest with each other from the very beginning. After the big reveal the point of view switches so you can see exactly how hurt Kate was by Alex's betrayal. It was at this point she does something incredibly stupid as a way of getting revenge on Alex and although I was incredibly angry at her actions I couldn't help but wonder how I would have reacted in her situation. Kate quickly starts to realise how one small lie can snowball way beyond anything you'd have imagined and I think that probably helps her to see things from Alex's point of view. The real question is whether she will do the right thing by the end of the story or will she see her revenge through to the bitter end.

A Kiss in the Dark is a gut wrenching read, I was so emotionally invested in both of these characters and it's very hard to imagine that the outcome of this relationship is going to be anything but heartbreaking which makes even the good times they spend together rather bitter sweet. This is the kind of book that makes you ask uncomfortable questions and I loved it for that. I would like to take a copy of this book and place it in the hands of every teenager I come across, there is a lot we can all learn from Alex and Kate's story and I applaud Cat Clarke for writing such an incredibly emotional book.

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:

Saturday 24 May 2014

Review: Dark Vision - Debbie Johnson

Lily McCain is cursed.

With just one touch she can see a person's future, whether it's a good fortune or a terrible fate. Afraid of the potent visions she foresees, she distances herself from the world, succumbing to a life of solitude.

But the touch of a mysterious stranger - who has powers of his own - Lily sees a new, chilling future for herself: one where she is fated to make a terrible choice . . .

Visit Debbie Johnson's website for more information

As soon as I heard about Dark Vision I knew I wanted to read it. I'm a huge urban fantasy fan, it's been one of my go to genres for years and most of my favourite series fall into this category. It's a very US dominated genre though, not that I don't love series set in the US but it does make a nice change to find a book set in the UK since they are so few and far between. Dark Vision isn't just set in the UK, it's also set in Liverpool which is even better - it's nice for me to get that British feel but still be able to travel somewhere I've never been before!

So, I had high hopes for this story but while I liked it I didn't find it wowed me as much as I hoped it would. To start with the positives the Dark Vision has an interesting mythology and it combines all kinds of supernatural creatures and different abilities. It has a very British feel to it and I enjoyed the humour that was scattered throughout the story. The world definitely has a lot of potential and since I believe that this is the first book in a new series (I was unable to find confirmation of that fact) I would definitely be keen to read more books by Debbie Johnson in the future.

I also found Lily's abilities very interesting, she only has to brush up against someone and any skin to skin contact will result in a vision. Lily can't control the visions she sees but they very often show the other person's death or something horrible that they will have to go through in the future. Since Lily has no way of blocking her ability the only way she has been able to control her visions is to avoid touching anyone. As you can imagine having to keep people literally at arms length is not only very difficult but it also leads to a very lonely life for Lily and because of that she's always had trouble making friends. The one person who has broken through her defensive barriers is Carmel and I loved the supportive friendship they have. Too often any other female characters are only there as rivals for the heroine and that definitely isn't the case here.

I was intrigued by Gabriel from the first moment Lily meets him, he's definitely got that mysterious vibe going for him and although you know he is keeping secrets you get the feeling he's got her best interests at heart. What irritated me was the way Lily reacted to him, I could understand her being wary of him, in fact I liked that about her at first, but after he'd saved her life it didn't make sense that she kept refusing to follow his instructions or accept his help. It made even less sense that when she starts hearing voices she immediately trusts a complete stranger - especially one who actually admits he was the one who put her in danger in the first place! Surely if you can't trust the guy who SAVED YOUR LIFE then you're not going to trust the man that WANTS YOU DEAD? Because of her misplaced trust and her refusal to do anything that Gabriel suggests will help keep her safe she is constantly putting herself into danger. I might have forgiven her once but time and time again she ignores advice and puts not just herself but also all of her allies at risk. I find it hard to respect a heroine who acts like such an idiot.

Lily does come a long way by the end of the book though, she makes progress on starting to understand her abilities and she starts to accept the things she has learnt about her destiny. As much as she irritated me for a large chunk of the book I'm fairly confident that she will learn from her mistakes and think before she acts in the future. I have high hopes for the potential romance between her and Gabriel but I really hope that the potential triangle with Luca doesn't continue past this book. So, while Dark Visions may not be perfect it was still a likeable read and if it does turn out to be the first book in a new series then I'll definitely be picking up the next book to see what happens to Lily next.

Source: Received from Del Rey 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.

Print / Kindle:

Friday 23 May 2014

Cover Reveal: Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie - Jeff Norton (+ Exclusive Extract)

I don't normally read middle grade fiction but I heard Jeff Norton give a reading from his upcoming novel Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie at a blogger event a couple of months ago and it made me laugh so hard I almost cried so of course I added it straight to my wish list! Since then I've devoured Jeff's MetaWars series and loved every minute so I'm even more excited to read this one.

Today I'm very excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie and I also have an exclusive extract to share with you all. There are quite a few other bloggers taking part in the cover reveal but we all have a different extract to share with you so if you like this one make sure you keep an eye out for the others!

So let's have a look at that cover:


'My name is Adam Meltzer and the last thing I remember was being stung by a bee while swinging at a robot-shaped piñata on my twelfth birthday. I was dead before the candy hit the ground.'

Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie is narrated by the hilarious Adam Meltzer - pre-teen, worrywart, and now zombie. Adam's family gets the fright of their lives when he turns up at their door desperate for a shower . . . three months after his funeral.
When most people think zombies, they think of eating people, and unintelligent monsters.
But Adam doesn’t like germs. Or dirt. Or things being disorganised. So waking up as a zombie was definitely not in his plans, and the idea of eating people is disgusting. Getting stung by a bee doesn’t normally lead to becoming a zombie, and it seems incredibly unfair that it’s happened to Adam.
Soon Adam's back at school trying to fit in and not draw extra attention to himself, but when he sees his neighbour Ernesto transform into a chupacubra, and the beautiful Corina (Adam's number one mega-crush) turns out to be a (vegan) vampire, undead life is never going to be the same again.

A hilarious adventure caper - if Ferris Bueller met Shaun of the Dead - all about friendship and being yourself . . . even if you're undead.

Visit Jeff Norton's website for more information

Here is the full cover wrap:

Exclusive Extract:

Adam decides to see if he can locate the bee that killed him and reverse the zombie process

Maybe Ernesto and Corina could understand what it was like to be different from the ‘normal’ population, but at least they looked normal on the outside.

‘I want to find the bee,’ I said.

‘What bee?’ asked Corina.

‘The bee that killed me. Then maybe I can understand why this is happening to me.’

‘Yeah, you can’t become un-undead,’ said Nesto.

‘No,’ I said, realising it was too late for me. ‘But we might be able to stop it happening to anyone else.’

But there was more to it. I did want to find that bee, but I also wanted to understand it there was something wrong with me. I didn’t just die; I came back. I was really confused. I mean, why me? Of all the people who have lived and died, why was I suddenly back from the dead? It was different for Ernesto and Corina; they’d inherited their conditions and had a good long while to come to grips with their specialness. Me, I had specialness thrust upon me by a bumblebee stinger. I wanted answers and I wanted to know if I could ever be me again.

‘Maybe there’s a way to undo it?’ I mused. ‘To be normal again.’

Corina scoffed. ‘Who needs normal?’


What do you think? I just can't wait to read this story :o)

Don't forget to keep an eye out for other blogs taking part in the cover reveal so you can read more extracts!

Thursday 22 May 2014

Review: Out of Control - Sarah Alderson

She's not a witness - she's a target!

An onlooker to a brutal murder, Liva is taken into police protection. But the police station is attacked and bullets start flying - and it's Liva in the gunmen's sights.

With a car thief called Jay, Liva escapes the massacre. Alone in New York, they are desperate to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

Visit Sarah Alderson's website for more information

When the people she is staying with are murdered Liva is taken into protective custody while the police try to figure out who was behind their deaths. Before she can even finish giving her statement the police station is attacked and Liva finds herself in the middle of a gun fight. She escapes with the help of a car thief called Jay but now the two of them have to stay one step ahead of the killers who will do whatever it takes to find her. Can Liva and Jay figure out who the killers are before they end up the last in a long line of victims?

It's no secret that Sarah Alderson is one of my favourite authors, I've devoured all of her books and loved every one of them so I couldn't wait to get started on Out of Control. I think this is her most action-packed book to date, the intensity is high from the very beginning and it doesn't let up until the end, I actually have to thank Sarah for yet another lost night of sleep because I just couldn't put it down!

Liva is a fantastic main character, she is smart and incredibly kick ass. She grew up with bodyguards and has had self defence training since she was a young girl so she knows how to stand up for herself. As a dancer she is physically fit but she is also mentally tough and her ex-military father taught her to use every weapon available to her - not just guns or knives but also her brain. Liva is thrown into a nightmare situation and she comes very close to losing it in the beginning but once her brain has time to catch up with what is going on she really starts to come into her own. She takes control of the situation and starts to make plans to ensure her own safety.

Jay was at the police station after getting arrested for car theft and now they're on the run he's technically a wanted criminal but there is a lot more to him than first meets the eye. I don't want to say too much about his character because it's better for you to discover his secrets for yourself but he was nothing like I imagined he would be and I loved how protective he was of Liva even when she was pretty much a stranger to him. He is the kind of guy who goes out of his way to help others even when that means putting himself at risk and you have to admire that about him.

Out of Control is a fast-paced thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat and it has some fantastic twists guaranteed to shock you. Sarah Alderson touches on some very difficult issues in a way that enhances the story without overwhelming it. There is a hint of romance but since the story happens over such a short period of time the characters don't fall madly in love by the end of the book which is something I found much more realistic. Liva and Jay have been thrown together and they have to learn to trust each other quickly, they share some fantastically intense kisses but the focus of the story isn't on them falling in love. Although this story works well as a stand alone I'd actually love to revisit these characters in the future. If you're looking for a pacey thriller with non-stop action, great characters and a fantastic setting then look no further - I can't recommend this one highly enough!

Source: Received from Simon & Schuster 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:

Out of Control Blog Tour: Sarah Alderson talks about human trafficking

I'm a massive fan of Sarah Alderson so I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the release of her newest novel Out of Control. I was lucky enough to get an early copy of the book so I've already had the chance to read it (my review will be posted later today) and trust me it's just as fantastic as all of Sarah's other novels!

I have a fabulous guest post from Sarah to share with you today where she talks about what made her want to include the topic of human trafficking in her story. The main character isn't a victim of human trafficking herself but her father is part of a task force trying to put a stop to it and Liva gets caught up in the crossfire.

About the book:
She's not a witness - she's a target!

An onlooker to a brutal murder, Liva is taken into police protection. But the police station is attacked and bullets start flying - and it's Liva in the gunmen's sights.

With a car thief called Jay, Liva escapes the massacre. Alone in New York, they are desperate to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

Visit Sarah Alderson's website for more information

About the author:
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and tutu-wearing daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After almost a year spent wandering around India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel, Losing Lila, on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali.

Since then she has published a further four novels and several short stories. The contemporary thriller The Sound, will be published in the US in May 2014, while Out of Control, a thriller with a focus on human trafficking, will also be released in May in the UK.

As well as Young Adult fiction, Sarah writes New Adult fiction for Pan Macmillan under the pen name Mila Gray. Her first novel Come Back To Me will be out in summer 2014.

Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay and is working on several other books and screenplays (multi-tasking is one of her favorite things).


Sarah Alderson on why she chose to touch on the subject of human trafficking in Out of Control

About two years ago I was at a birthday party and someone who knew I was a writer came up to me and told me that I needed to write a book about slavery and human trafficking. She worked for the UN and was particularly passionate about this issue having seen first hand the impact that modern day slavery has.

I had read a few books – both non-fiction and fictionalized accounts – of victims of human trafficking and it was a topic I too felt very strongly about though to be honest I also had decided I couldn’t read another book on the topic as it was just too harrowing.

At first I nodded politely and told the woman I’d think about it but in reality I discounted the idea of writing a book on the topic because I didn’t think I had any authority. I wasn’t a victim. I hadn’t worked in the field. I’m known for writing fast-paced thrillers with heaps of romance so I didn’t feel it would be the right topic to tackle.

But then I thought on it some more and decided that actually I had the perfect platform to introduce the issue. I realized I could still write a romantic thriller with lots of action and great characters but that I could also include a powerful message for my readers, who might not ever normally pick up a book on the topic.

Out of Control is a novel about a 17 year old girl called Liva who goes on the run in New York with a car thief called Jay. Her father is the head of a government taskforce looking at tackling gang-related trafficking (this is actually a real taskforce). He also owns a private security firm so Liva has grown up around bodyguards and is pretty kick-ass in her own right.

The story isn’t about a victim of trafficking. I couldn’t do that story justice. But I hope that people read the book and think ‘wow, that was an awesome exhilarating unputtdownable read,’ and then say ‘wow, I want to do something to help tackle this.’

Over 30 million people are enslaved today. Think about that number. It’s almost unfathomable. Yet it’s the sad reality of the world in which we live. Living in Asia has given me a much greater insight into how much poverty there is in the world and how many people are at risk of exploitation.

Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world. From prostitution to forced labour to sweat shop workers, slavery takes many forms. It’s very hard to fight, yet if every person were to add their voice to the campaigns to stop modern-day slavery, there is hope that together we could make a difference to many people’s lives and bring about an end to it.

For more information on the issue check out any of these great websites which are full of resources on how to run campaigns or fundraise:


Thanks for a fabulous post Sarah! It really is terrifying when you sit down and think about how many lives are effected by human trafficking. Thanks for including the sites for more information too, I'm definitely going to check them all out and see what I can do to help.

Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the Out of Control blog tour, you can find the details in the banner below:


Related Posts with Thumbnails