Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Spotlight: The Closer You Come - Gena Showalter


Today I'm excited to share some excerpts from Gena Showalter's new contemporary romance The Closer You Come. This is the first book in her new Original Heartbreakers series and it's definitely at the top of my wish list!

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty . . .

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

You can add the book to your Goodreads Shelf HERE

Buy links:
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Closer-You-Come-Original-Heartbreakers-ebook/dp/B00OY9Z90O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423619433&sr=8-1&keywords=gena+showalter+the+closer+you+come
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-closer-you-come-gena-showalter/1120348729?ean=9780373779628
iTunes/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-closer-you-come/id933738963?mt=11&uo=4
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Gena_Showalter_The_Closer_You_Come?id=qrYYBQAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-closer-you-come

About the Author:
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.

Website: http://members.genashowalter.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/@genashowalter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/genashowalter

********************

EXCERPT ONE:

“Pay attention, honey,” Jase said to Brook Lynn. “This isn’t a lesson you’ll want to learn twice. You throw a tantrum in my room, you get wet.” Jase tossed the little wildcat into the deep end, hoping to calm her down.

Jessie Kay beat at his arm, screeching, “Idiot! Her implants aren’t supposed to be waterlogged. She’s supposed to cover them with a special adhesive.”

Please. “Implants are always better wet.” He should know. He’d handled his fair share.

“They aren’t in her boobs, you moron. They’re in her ears!”

Well, hell. I’m on silent, she’d said, the words suddenly making sense. “Way to bury the lead,” he muttered.

Brook Lynn came up sputtering. She swam to the edge of the pool and climbed out with her sister’s help, then arranged her hair over her ears before glaring up at him, reminding him of an avenging angel.

He’d hoped the impromptu dunk would lessen her appeal.

He’d hoped in vain.

Water droplets trickled down flawless skin the color of melted honey. The plain white button-up and black slacks she wore clung to her body, revealing a breathtakingly erotic frame, legs that were somehow a mile long, breasts that were a perfect handful…and nipples that were hard.

Those traits, in themselves, would have been dangerous for any man’s peace of mind. But when you paired that miracle body with that angel face—huge baby blues and heart-shaped lips no emissary from heaven should ever be allowed to have—it was almost overkill.

Damn, I picked the wrong sister.

Well, what was done was done. Another piece of broken glass in his conscience. Another memory to leave a sticky film on his soul, like a spider determined to catch flies.

“I’m sorry about your hearing aids, or whatever they are,” he said, “but catfights aren’t allowed in my room. You should save all disputes for the next JELL-O Fight Night.”

She watched his lips. Her eyes narrowed, an indication she’d understood him.

Without looking away from him, she said, “Jessie Kay, get in the car. If I have to start counting again, you’ll regret it.”

For the first time that evening, her sister heeded her command and took off as though her feet were on fire.

West and Beck arrived a second later and scoped out the scene: a gorgeous woman who was soaking wet, probably chilled, stood as still as a statue, her hands fisted at her sides, while Jase couldn’t seem to look away from her.

“What the hell happened?” Beck demanded, running a hand through his hair.

“This is between him and me.” Brook Lynn pointed to Jase. “You guys go inside.”

“Your hand is bleeding.” West frowned and reached for her.

“I’m not your concern.” She stepped away, avoiding contact, and would have toppled back into the pool if Jase hadn’t caught her arm.

With her sex kitten curves, he was surprised by the slenderness of her bones. Even more shocked by the soft silk of her skin, the warmer than melted honey temperature. She wasn’t chilled, after all, and the longer he held on, the more electric the contact proved to be, somehow cracking through the armor he’d spent years erecting around his emotions, until he practically vibrated with the desire to touch all of her…to hold her…

To devour.

What the hell?

He released her with a jolt and widened the distance between them. His inner armor wasn’t something he maintained just for grins and giggles. It was for survival. As a boy abandoned by his parents and sometimes mistreated by fosters, he’d learned emotions were a weakness that could be used against him. To feel something for a person or object meant he’d placed value on it—whether for good or ill.

Feel nothing. Want nothing. Need nothing. For the most part, the motto had served him well. There had been times the armor vanished, the darkest of emotions consuming him…pushing him to do things he shouldn’t. Trouble had always followed.

********************

EXCERPT TWO:

She scanned the yard—and finally found the source of the banging. Jase, with a hammer. Shirtless Jase. Muscles honed from intense manual labor bulged as sweat glistened and trickled down tanned skin and more tattoos than she’d realized. One of his arms was fully sleeved, the colorful ink wrapping over his shoulder and covering his pectoral. On his other side, his ribcage and torso were etched with intricate designs. A handful of what looked to be letters rose above the waist of his shorts.

Am I drooling? I’m probably drooling. Wow. Just wow. He was major man-candy. Gourmet. The house specialty. He radiated the most sublime sex appeal, the kind that shattered the most ingrained resistance and battered the staunchest inhibitions, and he would definitely satisfy even the most intense sweet tooth. He worked the hammer with masterful expertise, like he could fix anything, anywhere, anytime, and she had to admit it was total girl porn.

How she longed to close the distance and study every inch of him more closely. Study, yes…

Perhaps touch…

He paused to wipe his face with a rag, and she almost moaned at the increased deliciousness of him. If almost was the new word for loudly.

He looked up and stilled.

“Brook Lynn.” His sunglasses were light enough that she was able to watch his gaze travel over her slowly, leisurely.

Her body reacted as though physically caressed, tingling and aching in her most intimate places. Heat flash? Maybe. Probably.

“Good morning,” he said, his voice a husky rasp just as sexy as the rest of him.

“Morning.” She gulped and wiped her hands on the side of her wrinkled shorts. Don’t gawk at his chest. Certainly don’t glance lower. “My phone. My keys. Shoes.” Making words should not be this difficult. “Do you know where they are?” Better.

“Phone and keys are in the kitchen. Shoes are in your car.”

She must have been too focused on the noise—and then the food—to notice the phone and keys. “Well, then. Thank you. For everything,” she added, only to hesitate. “But, uh…I’m a little confused about why you didn’t just take Jessie Kay and me to our home.”

“Two reasons.” He set the hammer aside. “I didn’t have permission to enter your residence, and Jessie Kay had had too much to drink. She needed to be monitored, so…” He shrugged.

So he’d acted like the gentleman he’d once claimed he wasn’t. “Well, thank you. Again,” she said, and turned to retreat inside. Only then, with her gaze off him and a little distance between them, was she able to breathe.

How did he affect her so strongly? And how could she make it stop?

“You didn’t eat,” he said, coming in behind her.

Her eyes widened as she rounded on him, her breath hitching when she discovered he was close enough to touch. Close enough to press against, male hardness to female softness, if only she leaned forward the slightest…little…bit. No! Bad Brook Lynn! Bad!

Then his words hit her. “That feast is for me?”

His nod was slow, and his gaze hot on her, as if he’d sensed the direction of her thoughts. “Your sister, too.”

Needing no further encouragement, she sat at the table and dug in, soon caught up in a whirlwind of different tastes and textures, moaning with rapturous delight. Yes, she would have added a few other spices to take the flavor to a whole new level, but all in all the meal rocked her socks.

When she finished, she dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. Oh, now I’m ladylike? She looked up to find Jase had removed his sunglasses, but hadn’t pulled on a shirt…and he was staring at her as intently as she’d stared at him. It was disconcerting. Especially since his features were blank, and she couldn’t read him.

A blush burned her cheeks, and she cleared her throat. “Don’t judge me.” Or my new food baby.

He arched a brow. “Is that what I was doing?”

Surely. “Well.” She cleared her throat again. “Anyway. My compliments to the chef.”

“That would be Beck.”

Never would she have guessed the pretty boy had a skill that didn’t involve a mattress and a panting partner. “Did he train at the Institute of Divine Cuisine and Hellish Addiction?” Jessie Kay had often accused Brook Lynn of sneaking into classes.

“More like the Institute of That Was Fun, But Now It’s Time For You To Go.”

Nice. “You guys and your one-night stands,” she said, and rolled her eyes.

“Is that judgment I hear, angel?”

Angel? The endearment proved a thousand times more personal and tantalizing than “honey,” shocking her to the core. Of course, he’d meant nothing by it. She figured he probably used the words interchangeably with every female he encountered—even with her sister. But…

I’m still reeling.

“No judgment,” she said, and stood. “And now it’s time for me to jet.” Before I do or say something more stupid. “I’m late for work, so…this is goodbye.”

His gaze still locked on her, he stepped closer to her, too close for comfort. She should have backed up, if only out of a sense of propriety, but she remained in place. He crossed his arms over his massive chest, those green eyes heating, burning. A sign of…arousal?

The provocative scent of him filled the air between them; it was masculine, sultry and heady, and it fogged her thoughts. It must have. Why else would she have continued to gaze up at him instead of running away?

“Jase?”

“Brook Lynn.”

Her heart must have heard music her ears couldn’t pick up, because the treacherous organ whipped into a frenzied beat, perhaps even doing cartwheels. Her breaths began to come faster, and shallow. I’m panting. I’m freaking panting. She shifted from one side to the other. He took another step toward her, as if compelled, then another, the last whisper between them vanishing.

He’s the predator, and I’m the prey.

********************

EXCERPT THREE:

When she’d proudly proclaimed herself healthy, he’d almost pulled her flush against him and kissed her. But she’d looked vulnerable and hauntingly fragile, and he’d found the strength to walk away instead. The need to protect her, even from himself, had proven stronger.

Now, here she was, on the bed, looking as healthy as she’d claimed.

He shut the door and moved into her line of sight.

She gasped with surprise—and pleasure? “Jase!”

He paused long enough to ask, “How are you feeling?”

Warmth bloomed in her baby blues. “Totally racer ready. Just waiting for my discharge papers.”

“Good.” He closed the distance, cupped the back of her nape and pressed his lips to hers.

She opened with another gasp.

No turning back now.

His tongue thrust against hers, and hers reached tentatively for his. A groan escaped her, enthralling him, and just like that, he lost track of his surroundings, his intention to simply taste. His mind centered on only one thing: hearing that sound again.

He urged her to her back, kissing her as if he would die tomorrow. As if she were the last girl he’d ever see. As if her lips held the answer to every question he’d ever asked. Supple and willing, she reclined for him. Her arms wound around his neck, bringing him with her, so that the hardest parts of him were lined up with the softest parts of her. All the while their tongues rolled and thrust in a white-hot tangle.

He tasted mint and cinnamon, a hint of strawberries. A heady combination, addictive when it should not have been. He’d tasted all three flavors before, but they’d never made him feel as though he was floating… melting from the inside out.

He could be locked away for the rest of his life, he decided, but it wouldn’t matter because he’d experienced this one perfect moment. Not even Daphne had affected him this strongly—and with so little. But then, her kisses had been those of a teenager in puppy love. This one came straight from a woman with passions as intense as his own.

Everything he’d felt for Brook Lynn since moment one consumed him, raw and carnal as she arched her back and rubbed her chest against his. Softness without the barrier of a bra, two little beads abrading deliciously…only the thin material of her shirt covering her.

He clutched at her pillow, nearly ripping the material in half, and lifted his head to ensure she could read his lips. “Be still,” he told her. If she kept moving like that, the experience would end in mere minutes. “Please.”

“Can’t,” she rasped, her fingers applying pressure at his nape, urging him back down.

Her eyes were glassed with passion-fever, her cheeks even rosier than before. Her lips were red and swollen, moisture glistening over them.

“Damn, you’re beautiful.”

“And you’re wasting precious time.” She stopped trying to force him down and sat up, thrusting her tongue in his mouth, as if she’d been starved for him and could not live another second without this.
When she fell back, he went with her, her willing captive. Her nails raked down the ridges of his spine, and he cursed the shirt that prevented skin-to-skin contact. The urge to climb on top of her, to pin her down with the full bulk of his weight, teased him. He would put his hands on every inch of her, strip her, caress her nakedness and drive her to the very edge of release. And the sounds she would make…he would swallow them all.

A low, possessive growl rose from deep in his chest. He’d never heard it before. Not from anything human. It should have scared the hell out of him, but it merely urged him on. He put one of his knees on the bed—on the gurney.

The gurney.

They weren’t just in a public place, but in a hospital. Anyone could come in. Anyone could sneak in behind him, attack him.

Jase jolted back, severing contact. His body shouted a protest, his hands closed so tightly he would have sworn he’d cracked the bones. He struggled to catch his breath, to stay in place, away from her. Have to stay away from her. How had she made him forget his surroundings, even for a second?

********************

March 2015 Recap


Books read in February but reviewed in March:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Froi of the Exiles - Melina Marchetta (Read in December, review coming soon)
  2. On the Edge - Ilona Andrews (Read in January, reviewed in March)
  3. Darkness Falls - Keri Arthur (Read in February, review coming soon)
  4. Revenant - Larissa Ione (Read in February, review coming soon)
  5. Willing Victim - Cara McKenna (Read in February, review coming soon)
  6. Viking's Orders - Anne Marsh (Novella) (Read in February, review coming soon)
  7. Lion's Share - Rachel Vincent (Read in February, review coming soon)
  8. Before I Fall - Jessica Scott (Read in February, reviewed in March)
  9. A Curse Unbroken - Cecy Robson (Read in February, reviewed in March)
  10. Hero - Samantha Young (Read in February, reviewed in March)
  11. Warm Up - V.E. Schwab (Short Story) (Read in February, review coming soon)
  12. The Catalyst - Helena Coggan (Read in February, reviewed in March)
Books read in March:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Lucky Break - Chloe Neill (Novella)
  2. Angelfall - Susan Ee (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  3. Vicious - V.E. Schwab (review coming soon)
  4. Rock Hard - Nalini Singh (review coming soon)
  5. Red - Alyxandra Harvey
  6. Taken by a Dragon - Felicity Heaton (review coming soon)
  7. Ice Study - Maria V. Snyder (Short Story) (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  8. Shadow Study - Maria V. Snyder
  9. Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken
  10. Mort - Terry Pratchett
  11. Bayou Moon - Ilona Andrews (review coming soon)
  12. Protecting Fate - Katee Robert
  13. Inside Out - Maria V. Snyder
  14. Fairest - Marissa Meyer (review coming soon)
  15. Everlasting Bad Boys - Anthology
  16. About A Dragon - G.A. Aiken (review coming soon)
  17. Ember - Bettie Sharpe (Novella) (review coming soon)
  18. Outside In - Maria V. Snyder (review coming soon)
  19. Vampire Seeker - Tim O'Rourke (review coming soon)
  20. Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs (review coming soon)
  21. Hard as You Can - Laura Kaye (review coming soon)
      (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

      My top YA read in March:


      Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder (read my review here)

      My top NA read in March:


      Before I Fall by Jessica Scott (read my review here)

      My top adult read in March:


      On the Edge by Ilona Andrews (read my review here)

      My Challenge Updates:

      These are the challenges I've signed up for in 2015:

      Sunday, 29 March 2015

      Review: Everlasting Bad Boys - Anthology

      They're bad boys--with that little something extra. Sexy, wild, out-of-this-world talents that can leave any woman feeling weak at the knees (among other body parts), they're the ones to call when you want pleasure that lasts . . . and lasts . . .

      Can't Get Enough Shelly Laurenston

      Even for a dragon, Ailean the Wicked has a bad reputation. For 150 years he's been renowned for his fighting prowess, but now he's got a new conquest in mind--a gorgeous dragoness known as Shalin the Innocent. Ailean suspects she's anything but. And while he's saving her from her enemies, he plans to prove that, even in human form, a bad-boy dragon can show a girl a good time that's truly off the scale . . .

      Spellbound Cynthia Eden

      No witch in her right mind would summon an immortal soul-hunter to her aid, but Serena Tyme needs Luis D'Amil's help to destroy the warlock who's stalking her coven. And she's willing to pay any price he names. . .especially when the tall, dark, sexy-as-hell assassin shows her he can work some sensual magic of his own . . .

      Turn Me On Noelle Mack

      Finally, Beth Danforth has found a man who can flip her switch. That's because supersexy Justin Watts, CEO of SpectraSign, is literally made of light. His dazzling, custom-built body can't ever wear out. And talk about energy--Beth can't get enough of the guy. The sex is electrifying. The love will never fade away . . .

      For more information about any of these authors you can visit their websites by clicking the links below:
      Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A. Aiken)
      Cynthia Eden
      Noelle Mack

      Review:
      I only really picked up this anthology for the Dragon Kin story by Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A. Aiken) but I thought I'd give the other stories a chance and I'm glad I read them all. Spellbound and Turn Me On were both enjoyable stories and it was nice to be able to try out a couple of new authors. Can't Get Enough was definitely my favourite story of the bunch though and I think this anthology is worth picking up for that alone if you're a fan of the Dragon Kin series.

      Can't Get Enough by Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A. Aiken)

      Dragon Kin Series:
      Can't Get Enough (Novella in the Everlasting Bad Boys anthology)
      A Tale of Two Dragons (Novella)
      Dragon On Top (Novella in the Supernatural anthology)
      Dragon Actually
      About a Dragon
      What a Dragon Should Know
      Last Dragon Standing
      The Dragon Who Loved Me
      How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
      Light My Fire
      Feel the Burn (2015)

      Having already read Dragon Actually (and the novella included in that book Chains and Flames), I had already met both of the main characters from Can't Get Enough. In fact Ailean and Shalin are the grandparents of Fearghus and I was quite curious to see how they'd met and fallen in love considering how different their personalities are. I knew immediately that I was going to love Ailean, he's a complete player and absolutely unapologetic about that fact. He's the kind of guy who has always known what he wants and happily goes out to get it but when he falls he falls hard and he now only has eyes for Shalin. Shalin is much shyer and more reserved, all she ever wanted was to be left alone with her books to get on with her studies but Ailean is a temptation she can't ignore no matter how much trouble he might get her in.

      As much as I enjoyed the relationship between Ailean and Shalin (and that was a lot!) I think what I enjoyed most about this story was Ailean's crazy family. He's from a large and boisterous family where everyone has an opinion and they all think they have the right to interfere in each others lives and I just love that. I'm from a small family myself so I love seeing that interaction and close connection that the dragons all have. It is hilarious seeing the family squabble and tease each other but when it comes down to it they have such a strong bond and will always unite together against anyone who crosses them. They're quite a bloodthirsty bunch too so I'm hoping we get to see them causing plenty of trouble throughout the Dragon Kin series.

      Spellbound by Cynthia Eden

      Serena and her coven are being targeted, her friends are being picked off one by one by a warlock who is trying to steal their powers and she's getting desperate. Desperate enough to call for help from a Cazador - a powerful soul stealer whose duty is to protect the world from supernaturals who use dark magic - but she knows that help will come at a price. Luis isn't happy when Serena summons him but when he discovers the situation she is in he knows he has to help her, it doesn't hurt that he finds the witch incredibly sexy either.

      These two had great chemistry from the beginning so although their relationship moves quite quickly I didn't have a problem with it. I enjoyed seeing them fight together as they hunted Serena's enemy and I thought they suited each other. This was a quick and fun read and I wouldn't mind revisiting the characters in the future.

      Turn Me On by Noelle Mack

      Turn Me On is a difficult story to review, in some ways I really loved it but in others I felt a little let down. I liked the main characters and enjoyed the interaction between them and I absolutely loved finding out more about Justin's past and where he came from however I think there were far too many unanswered questions and it was hard to accept how quickly Beth believed everything he told her. Towards the end the story took a turn into the completely ridiculous and we didn't get a full explanation on how things happened or why Justin did what he did. It just didn't make sense to me and that made it hard to believe the way their relationship moved forward from that point.

      This story really did have so much potential though and I think if it had been a full length novel with a little more depth and background then I would have absolutely loved it. I don't believe that this is part of a series but if the authors revisited these characters or this world then I'd be very tempted to give it her another chance to win me over.

      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:

      Thursday, 26 March 2015

      Review: Inside Out - Maria V. Snyder

      Keep your head down.
      Don't get noticed.
      Or else.

      I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping INSIDE clean for the Uppers. I just do my job and try to avoid the Population Control Police, who dream of recycling scrubs into fertiliser. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? It's not like it's dangerous . . .

      Well, turns out it is. Because I know every corridor, pipe and shortcut I've become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I know if we find a gateway to OUTSIDE it'll be suicide plain and simple. But guess who likes a challenge.

      I should have just said no . . .

      Insiders Series:
      Inside Out
      Outside In

      Visit Maria V. Snyder's website for more information

      Review:
      I've become a huge fan of Maria V Snyder since I discovered her Avery of Khazan and Chronicles of Ixia series but for some reason I'd never quite got around to trying her Insiders books. I'm really not sure why I left it so long and now I'm kicking myself because Inside Out was fabulous! I think I'd just got a bit bored of YA dystopia, the market has been completely flooded with the genre for a long time now and although this series was published during the early wave because I missed it at the time it's taken a while to make it's way back onto my radar. What I can say is that even though I seem to have read a ton of books in this genre Inside Out was different enough to hold my attention and I love it for that alone.

      Trella is an interesting main character, she's a bit of a loner and kind of hard to relate to at first. She only really has one friend and she even keeps him at a distance so she can come across as quite selfish at times but really it's her defence mechanism. She thinks that by keeping to herself she is rebelling against the system but gradually she realises that she has fallen hook, line and sinker for the lies they have been feeding her and that she has been reacting in exactly the way the people in charge want her to. Once she starts to understand how things really work she realises that she is going to have to start putting her trust in others if she wants to find a way to change the status quo. I really grew to respect Trella, she is smart, resourceful and incredibly brave, she may not be the easiest person to get to know but once someone has earned her trust she is fiercely loyal and she will do anything to protect those she cares about. She also cares about her people as a whole, she wants to create a better life for the scrubs who live on the lower levels. She wants equality and the chance to choose her own destiny and you've got to love her for that.

      I haven't even mentioned the world building yet and there is so much I could talk about there. Trella lives in an enclosed world, a giant cube built on four levels that each have a very regimented layout. There is no known exit and nobody knows what happened to the Outside or why they are unable to leave. The Uppers live on the top two levels, they have complete control over the society and make all the important decisions. They live in luxury while the scrubs from the bottom two levels do all the work to keep the society functioning. The scrubs live in overcrowded barracks, they aren't allowed to remain in family units and they work long hours doing the jobs that the Uppers think are beneath them. Scrubs resent the Uppers who have it all but perhaps everything isn't quite what it seems and when Trella finds herself caught up in a rebellion she starts to realise that it isn't only the scrubs who are being lied to.

      I don't really want to say too much more about the plot but I loved watching everything unfold through Trella's eyes. I had so many questions and spent a lot of time speculating about the cube that they lived in and why they were unable to get out. Had there been a nuclear holocaust or some kind of asteroid? Was it a virus? Were they underground? Would they be able to return to the surface? No matter how many possibilities I came up with I didn't once guess at the real answer and it was nice to be so surprised by it. I'm just going to say that even if you think you're bored of YA dystopian stories it is well worth picking up a copy of Inside Out. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait to start on the second (and final) book Outside In.

      Source: Received from Mira Ink 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, 25 March 2015

      Spring Fling with Headline Eternal: Favourite Romantic Reads (+ Fabulous Giveaway!)


      I'm incredibly excited to be taking part in Headline Eternal's Spring Fling blog tour today. They are the UK publisher for some of my absolute favourite romance authors (Jill Shalvis, Karina Halle, Katie Reus, Sylvia Day and Jaci Burton to name just a couple of them) and they have even more exciting titles coming up this year so you definitely need to be keeping an eye on their website!

      You can find out all about Headline Eternal's current and upcoming releases on their Website, Facebook Page or by following them on Twitter so make sure you're following them!

      To top it all they have offered to send one of my UK blog readers the most AMAZING prize pack full of some wonderful titles so make sure you stick around to the end of this post for your chance to enter!

      Now please say a big hello to the lovely team at Eternal and check out what romantic recommendations they have for us!

      Favourite romantic read:

      Christina:
      Just like every other romance fan, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb has a special place in my heart. Naked In Death is definitely up there.

      Kate:
      Don’t make me choose! OK, if I’m going non-Eternal, I can never wait to get my hands on new releases from Kristen Proby, Nalini Singh, J. R. Ward and Lisa Kleypas. I am so excited about J. R. Ward’s new Bourbon Kings series and her Black Dagger Brotherhood Legacy books. And I cheered when I saw that Lisa Kleypas is writing more historicals!

      Jo:
      My fav romantic read would definitely be some romantic suspense – thrills of all kinds! I love everyone from early Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner, to Kylie Brandt and JD Ellison, Debra Webb and Suzanne Brockmann. I can’t wait to get my teeth into Pamela Clare and her great I-Team series that we’ve just started publishing at Headline Eternal.

      Beth:
      It has been noted that I am a Jill Shalvis fan, so I can’t answer this question any other way – Simply Irresistible absolutely stole my heart. I have read it three times now, and it is always my go-to novel for when I want to absolutely fall in love with a book.

      Katie:
      Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series is an absolute favourite series. From the very first pages of Bared to You I was hooked!


      Favourite romantic classic:

      Christina:
      Wuthering Heights is my treasured romantic classic. I could never resist dark, handsome, brooding Heathcliff, and the love story between Cathy and Heathcliff is so powerful.

      Kate:
      I’m picking Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South because I have to admit the screen adaption completely captured my heart. Richard Armitage’s brooding presence as John Thornton, and the intensity of his love for heroine Margaret Hale, makes me sigh every time. I love that they are the epitome of opposites attracting.

      Jo:
      I do think that Jane Austen writes amazing romantic novels - though my favourite of these is not the most conventional one. I'll always have a soft spot for Mansfield Park. I've read this more than any other Austen and think that although Fanny makes mistakes she gets her happily ever after in the end!

      Beth:
      My favourite romantic classic is Persuasion, by Jane Austen. It was her last completed novel, and in my opinion, best one. Controversial. But hear me out, Pride and Prejudice lovers. It attempts to portray questions about class, gender and family, without the very annoying sisters constantly squabbling over the wrong man! And who can forget Rupert Penry-Jones as Mr Wentworth? Forget Colin Firth’s wet shirt, and look out for Rupert’s unwavering love after so many years in the film adaption … Swoon.

      Katie:
      I confess I love to curl up with a Jane Austen book, but for all-time favourite it’s got to be Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Tess and Angel’s tragic romance is no less moving each time I read it.


      Favourite romance genre:

      Christina:
      I absolutely adore paranormal romance. Pulse-pounding and scorching-hot action, true love, and a happy ever after, all with the addition of a supernatural, imagined and exciting world – can’t get much better than that!

      Kate:
      The thing that I love most about romance is the fact that there is so much choice and something for whatever your mood. I love how romance keeps surprising me – I’ve discovered new genres as the authors I love have experimented with different things. I’m really excited about the diversity of romance – for example, look at contemporary romance at the moment. There’s a huge choice, whether you like your romance funny and heartwarming like Jill Shalvis or Marie Force’s books, or dark, dangerous and edgy like Katie Ashley and Karina Halle.

      Jo:
      For me it has to be romantic suspense! I'm a big crime / thriller reader and always have been so combining that with romance is definitely a winner! Sex and serial killers ... I love contemporary romance titles too especially the slightly darker ones. Karina Halle is a favourite for me on the Eternal list and I'm really looking forward to Katie Ashley's VICIOUS CYCLE later in the year too.

      Beth:
      I love erotic fiction! However, I also love historical fiction, and contemporary ... I’m not sure I have answered the question, but I don’t think I can! My favourite romance genre entirely depends on my mood, which is never a problem for me because Eternal caters to everyone’s tastes. Check out the links on our website to see specific titles chosen just for you, depending on your penchant for any genre! But I think erotic fiction may just edge ahead…

      Katie:
      The thing I love about romance is that there are so many genres to choose from, but the one I read more than any other is contemporary romance. I just love the small town charm of series like Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor books.


      So what do you think of their choices? Have they included your favourite books or are there others you'd add to the list? I have to say I think they've mentioned most of my favourites, I'm very happy to see all the love for Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor books, I adore her writing and her Animal Magnetism series is fantastic too. Karina Halle's Artist's trilogy is fabulous if you like your stories darker. I have a particular love of paranormal romance too so anything by Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian and Sherrilyn Kenyon always top the list and Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn are fantastic if you like historical romance.

      Giveaway Details:

      Now I'm sure you haven't forgotten that I mentioned a giveaway. The Headline Eternal ladies have very generously offered a prize pack including the following books:

      • Nyrae Dawn – Masquerade
      • Nyrae Dawn – Façade
      • Nyrae Dawn – Charade
      • Monica Murphy – One Week Girlfriend
      • Rhyannon Byrd – Take Me Under (SIGNED)
      • Rhyannon Byrd – Keep Me Closer (SIGNED)

      Isn't that a fantastic collection?! I'm actually kind of jealous that I can't enter myself LOL. Since this prize pack is being sent out directly by the Headline team this is open to UK participants only (sorry to my international followers but make sure you keep an eye out next week because I do have another international giveaway lined up to celebrate my birthday!)

      Giveaway terms & conditions:
      • This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
      • The giveaway closes on the 5th of April at 23:59 GMT
      • You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below and the winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and contacted soon after the giveaway ends for their contact information.
      • You will have 1 week to respond to my email or new winners will be chosen.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway


      Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Headline Eternal Spring Fling Tour for more chances to win prizes!

      Sunday, 22 March 2015

      Review: Shadow Study - Maria V. Snyder

      Yelena Zaltana is back and facing her biggest battle.

      When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to play a vital role in the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

      Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands - and protect her relationship with Valek.

      Yet dissent is rising. Valek's job - and life - are in danger. And Yelena's magic has been compromised.

      Now she faces her toughest challenge - uncover and defeat her hidden enemies without the help of her powers . . .

      The Chronicles of Ixia:
      Poison Study
      Assassin Study (Short Story)
      Magic Study
      Fire Study
      Power Study (Short Story)
      Ice Study (Short Story)
      Storm Glass
      Sea Glass
      Spy Glass
      Shadow Study
      Night Study
      Shattered Glass (Novella)
      Dawn Study

      Visit Maria V. Snyder's website for more information

      Review:
      I'm a huge fan of Maria V. Snyder, I was late to the party when it came to the Chronicles of Ixia books but I absolutely LOVE the Study trilogy and Yelena and Valek are still one of my favourite fictional couples so I can't tell you how excited I was to find out they were going to be the main characters in this new series. Although I enjoyed the Glass trilogy and would recommend reading the Chronicles of Ixia series in order (start with the Study trilogy, then the Glass trilogy and finally the new Soulfinders trilogy that starts with Shadow Study) I had missed Yelena and Valek as the main characters and was looking forward to them taking a central role again. Better still, Shadow Study finally gives us a chance to see things from Valek's point of view as he is one of the story's narrators alongside both Yelena and Janco.

      Shadow Study was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it more than lived up to expectations. There is just so much to love about these characters and this world and I loved getting the chance to see inside Valek's head and the chance to learn more about his childhood and his assassin training. Did you ever wonder how he ended up working for the Commander or why he wanted to kill the king of Ixia? Did you want to know who taught him about poisons and how he became so skilled with a blade? You'll get the answers to those questions and so many more, Valek has always been a bit of a mystery so it was great to get to know him better. His relationships are sorely tested in this book, people he trusts are keeping major secrets and he isn't sure why but Valek has never been one to back away from a challenge and you just know he'll move heaven and earth to protect Yelena so anyone who is out to hurt her is going to end up in a world of trouble.

      I have to admit I would have liked for Yelena and Valek to have spent more time together than they did but I can understand why things were that way and I think we're going to see them working closer together as the series continues. At least the time they do spend together was quality time and I love seeing how strong their bond is and how happy they still are after so many years as a couple. Adding Janco as a third point of view was brilliant, he is able to give us insight into both Yelena and Valek and he is just such a fun character to spend time with.

      Yelena finds herself in an impossible situation here, she has several enemies coming at her and very little way of protecting herself against them. I don't want to go into too much detail about what happens but I found it interesting seeing her a bit out of her depth for a change, she is so used to being able to handle anything that is thrown at her and it comes as quite a shock to find herself feeling vulnerable. I had a suspicion about something for quite a long time and I was absolutely thrilled by the big reveal at the end of the story. In fact there are so many things I desperately want to talk about but I can't because they're all veering into spoiler territory.

      Shadow Study is absolutely fantastic and it was one of those books that I wanted to devour in one sitting, so much so that I was annoyed because life kept getting in the way. It was great to catch up with some familiar faces but we are also introduced to some interesting new ones and the plot was just amazing. My only real problem with this book is that the rest of the trilogy isn't available for me to devour immediately - it's just not fair that I'm probably going to have to wait 2 years to get hold of book 3 and I actually think Maria V. Snyder is trying to kill me! I can't fault her though, any author who has me so totally invested in the lives of her characters is obviously doing something right and I will be right at the front of the queue on release day impatiently waiting for my copies of Night Study and Dawn Study when they are published.

      Source: Received from Mira Ink 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:

      Review: Lucky Break - Chloe Neill

      In this thrilling new novella from New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill, vampire Merit bites off more than she bargained for when she takes a trip to a secluded Colorado town filled with feuding supernaturals . . .

      Merit and Ethan are in desperate need of some alone time, far from the worries of Cadogan House, but trouble tends to follow wherever they go. Their attempt at a romantic getaway is quickly interrupted when one of Ethan's vampire friends shows up at their door - covered in blood and accused of killing her shifter husband.

      Merit and her Master soon discover their vacation spot is far less idyllic than it appears. A centuries old quarrel between local vampires and shifters has made the town a perpetual supernatural battle zone, and this fresh blood has stirred the already volatile mix. Now, Merit and Ethan must put their passion on pause to figure out who's really responsible for the murder before all hell break loose . . .

      Chicagoland Vampires Series:
      Some Girls Bite
      Friday Night Bites
      Twice Bitten
      Hard Bitten
      Drink Deep
      Biting Cold
      House Rules
      Biting Bad
      Howling for You (Novella)
      Wild Things
      Blood Games
      Lucky Break (Novella)
      Dark Debt
      Midnight Marked
      Phantom Kiss (Novella)
      Blade Bound

      Visit Chloe Neill's website for more information

      Review:
      Merit and Ethan are taking a well earned vacation, somewhere quiet where they can have a few days spending quality time as a couple. Well, that was the idea anyway, but we all know that trouble tends to follow them so it shouldn't surprise anyone that before their first night is over they find themselves caught in a centuries old feud between the local vampires and shapeshifters!

      It's no secret that I'm a bit of a Chicagoland Vampires fan girl so of course I couldn't wait to dive into this novella and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Merit and Ethan. It was great to see them outside of Chicago in an unfamiliar environment but still kicking butt as we'd expect. There are also appearances from Gabriel and Damien which is always a huge bonus in my books, I LOVE the shapeshifters and am still desperately hoping that Chloe will give us a spin of story about Damien at some point.

      I loved Lucky Break, the mystery behind the ongoing feud was interesting, I enjoyed seeing Merit stand up for herself and her man and as usual I loved the banter between her and Ethan. I think my only complaint with this story was that it was a novella and I wanted it to be a full length book but that's just because I'm greedy and I can never get enough of this world or these characters.

      Although this story doesn't impact the ongoing series story arc I would happily recommend it to fans of the series & it's a great way to get a Merit fix while you wait for the next full length 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.

      Kindle:

      Saturday, 21 March 2015

      Review: Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken

      It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear-a lot-or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

      Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe-a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger.

      She's wrong...

      And just wait until you meet the rest of the family...

      Dragon Kin Series:
      Can't Get Enough (Novella in the Everlasting Bad Boys anthology)
      A Tale of Two Dragons (Novella)
      Dragon On Top (Novella in the Supernatural anthology)
      Dragon Actually
      About a Dragon
      What a Dragon Should Know
      Last Dragon Standing
      The Dragon Who Loved Me
      How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
      Light My Fire
      Feel the Burn (2015)

      Visit G.A. Aiken's website for more information

      Review:
      You know how you sometimes need a palate cleanser? Something that is just going to be light hearted, funny and if we're completely honest a little on the ridiculous side? Well that's exactly what you're going to get if you pick up a copy of Dragon Actually, the first book in G.A. Aiken (AKA Shelly Laurenston) 's Dragon Kin series. It's full of sexy (and incredibly horny) dragons and kick ass warrior women who aren't afraid to take what they want. There are no blushing virgins or simpering, downtrodden women in this book, they are all fighters who give as good as they get when they come up against these very alpha males.

      Annwyl the Bloody is a warrior princess who is raising an army to go up against her brother the king. She is determined to maker her brother pay for his sins and she's completely ruthless when it comes to achieving that goal earning her a reputation for beheading her enemies. When Annwyl is injured in battle she is rescued by a black dragon who takes her back to his cave and manages to heal her. Fearghus is also a fierce warrior but the dragons tend to keep to themselves and he has no interest in human wars. Where Annwyl's strength and determination have put men off in the past it is exactly what Fearghus finds so attractive about her and it isn't long before they are unable to resist the building attraction between them. Fearghus is keeping a big secret though, one that would normally make me really annoyed with a hero but in this case I just found it so funny watching things unfold that I forgot to be irritated with him. I loved these two, they have great chemistry and wicked banter but we also get to see a deeper friendship develop and I believed in them as a couple.

      Dragon Actually also contains a bonus novella, Chains and Flames, that tells the story of how Fearghus's parents, Bercelak and Rhiannon, met and fell in love. I have to admit I wasn't sure I'd like Bercelak because he was a bit of a bastard in Dragon Actually but I ended up loving him from the very beginning of his story and it was Rhiannon who took a while to win me around. Rhiannon is a spoiled and pampered princess who is horrified when her mother tells her she must mate with low born Bercelak. She believes that she deserves so much better than him but when they are forced to spend time together she is surprised by how much they actually have in common. I think I ended up loving Bercelak even more than Fearghus, he's completely baddass and a well known warrior and he was also a Dom who made me a little weak at the knees.

      Overall I thoroughly enjoyed both of these stories and I can't wait to continue reading the series. The whole dragon family are completely crazy and so much fun to read about so I'm hoping that all of the siblings will get a book of their own (I deliberately haven't looked ahead to see whose stories have already been written) eventually. I love reading about sibling relationships, the way they tease each other mercilessly but will always have each other's backs when it comes down to it, and I'm hoping that we'll get a chance to keep up with previous couples as we're introduced to new ones.

      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, 20 March 2015

      Review: Mort - Terry Pratchett

      Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

      After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that romantic longings did not mix easily with the responsibilities of being Death's apprentice . . .

      Discworld Series:
      The Colour of Magic (Rincewind book 1)
      The Light Fantastic (Rincewind book 2)
      Equal Rites (Witches book 1)
      Mort (Death book 1)
      Sourcery (Rincewind book 3)
      Wyrd Sisters (Witches book 2)
      Pyramids
      Guards! Guards! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 1)
      Eric (Rincewind book 4)
      Moving Pictures (Industrial Revolution book 1)
      Reaper Man (Death book 2)
      Witches Abroad (Witches book 3)
      Small Gods
      Lords and Ladies (Witches book 4)
      Men at Arms (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 2)
      Soul Music (Death book 3)
      Interesting Times (Rincewind book 5)
      Maskerade (Witches book 5)
      Feet of Clay (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 3)
      Hogfather (Death book 4)
      Jingo (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 4)
      The Last Continent (Rincewind book 6)
      Carpe Jugulum (Witches book 6)
      The Fifth Elephant (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 5)
      The Truth (Industrial Revolution book 2)
      Thief of Time (Death book 5)
      The Last Hero (Rincewind book 7)
      The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
      Night Watch (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 6)
      The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching book 1)
      Monstrous Regiment (Industrial Revolution book 3)
      A Hat Full of Sky (Tiffany Aching book 2)
      Going Postal (Moist von Lipwig book 1) (Industrial Revolution book 4)
      Thud! (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 7)
      Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching book 3)
      Making Money (Moist von Lipwig book 2) (Industrial Revolution book 5)
      Unseen Academicals (Rincewind book 8)
      I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching book 4)
      Snuff (Ankh-Morpork City Watch book 8)
      The World of Poo
      Raising Steam (Moist von Lipwig book 3) (Industrial Revolution book 6)
      The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching book 5)

      Discworld Related books:
      The Discworld Mapp - Terry Pratchett & Stephen Briggs
      Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book - Paul Kidby

      Visit Terry Pratchett's website for more information

      Review:
      As someone who has been a fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series for close to twenty years I was absolutely devastated when he passed away last week. I have read and reread the earlier Discworld books so many times over the years but unfortunately I hadn't kept up with the more recent releases. I guess that's probably something to be glad about now because it means I still have a few new Discworld adventures ahead of me. Anyway, I've been telling myself for ages that I would do a series reread and review all of the books on my blog but although I've read a few of the books I've never managed to complete the task. After hearing the news I just had to dig out one of my old books to read though and since Death has always been one of my favourite Discworld characters I decided to start with his mini series and pick up Mort. I couldn't think of a more appropriate book to read right now and I have to say it cheered me up no end imagining the conversations that Terry Pratchett is now hopefully having with one of his most popular characters.

      Although Death had played a minor role in several of the earlier books Mort is the first story where he is one of the main characters and it was here that we really start to get to know him better and understand what his life is like. He is such a fascinating character and I love reading his observations about humanity and life in general. Death doesn't look at things in the way that most of us do but he's an incredibly witty character and so much fun to read about. He also has a special fondness for cats so I'd love him for that if nothing else!

      Death has decided it's time for him to take on an apprentice and Mort is the lucky guy who lands the job. Unfortunately things don't quite go to plan when Mort accidentally thwarts fate because he doesn't want to see a young girl die. Mort may have given Keli a temporary reprieve but when it's your time, it's your time and the world is determined to set things right. Mort has set a whole chain of events in motion and it's now up to him to figure out how to resolve things.

      Mort contains all the crazy hijinks you'd expect from the Discworld but it is also a coming of age story as we get to see the kind of man that Mort will grow into and it gives a rather poignant look at Death both as a character and as an inevitable event in everyone's lives. I found the last couple of paragraphs particularly heart wrenching in the circumstances so I just have to end this review with them:
      'Goodbye,' Mort said, and was surprised to find a lump in his throat. 'It's such an unpleasant word, isn't it?'

      QUITE SO. Death grinned because, as has so often been remarked, he didn't have much option. But possibly he meant it, this time.

      I PREFER AU REVOIR, he said.
      RIP Sir Terry, I'm going to picture you sitting side by side with Death putting the world to rights over a game of chess!


      Source: Purchased

      Other Reviews:
      Notes of Life
      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:

      Thursday, 19 March 2015

      Winner: Chicagoland Vampires Swag Pack - Chloe Neill


      I have some winners to announce today with the help of Rafflecopter and you have won a Chicgaoland Vampires Series Swag Pack by Chloe Neill!

      Without further ado I'm happy to announce that the winner is:

      a Rafflecopter giveaway


      Congratulations Paula! I have sent you an email asking for your address and you now have 1 week to respond or a new winner/s will be chosen. I will be sending the prize pack myself so your details won't be passed on to anyone.

      Thanks so much to Chloe Neill for sponsoring this giveaway & thanks to everyone who entered. I'm sorry if you didn't win but I'll have more giveaways coming up soon so make sure you check back for another chance to win prizes.

      Review: Protecting Fate - Katee Robert

      He’ll keep her safe . . . but who will protect her from him?

      Fixer Sara Reaver is in serious trouble. She’s stepped on the wrong toes, and now her uncle is sending her out of the city in an effort to keep her safe—and he’s assigning her a glorified babysitter. The last person she expects to show up is the gorgeous Z, or for him to tempt her and then reject her in the space of a single night. Twice. Now she’s out to prove to him just how good they’d fit up together in every way imaginable.

      Mercenary Z Loreto hates protection jobs, but he’s willing to make an exception for his best friend’s little sister. The only problem is she calls up things he’s been doing his damnedest to keep under wraps for the last seven years. But when she pushes him too far, it all comes rushing to the fore, and the fact she’s willing to submit to his every desire only makes the loss of control sweeter.

      Sara and Z have a boatload of issues between them, but they’re sure they can make things work if they take it one day at a time… Right up until things spiral beyond their control. Now Z’s playing for keeps in a big way, and Sara’s got to decide if a chance at true happiness is worth the risk of repeating history.

      Serve Series:
      Owned by Fate - Tessa Bailey
      Exposed by Fate - Tessa Bailey
      Mistaken by Fate - Katee Robert
      Betting on Fate - Katee Robert
      Driven by Fate - Tessa Bailey
      Protecting Fate - Katee Robert
      Rules of Seduction - Joya Ryan

      Visit Katee Robert's website for more information.

      Review:
      I loved Katee Robert's first two books in the Serve series so was really looking forward to getting to know Garrett and Will's baby sister Sara. I knew I'd enjoy Protecting Fate but I didn't think it would be possible to top Garrett and Will as some of my favourite dominant heroes, until I met Z that is! I have to say I think this was Katee Robert's hottest story yet and I absolutely loved the chemistry between Z and Sara, in fact if it hadn't been for one of my least favourite tropes being used towards the end of the book this would easily have been my favourite instalment in the Serve series.

      Sara works for her uncle as a Fixer but she's got in a little over her head and now has someone out to get her. Her uncle and brothers want her out of the city where she will be safe but they're sending a team along just to make sure she is protected. The last thing Sara wants is a babysitter but there is something about Z that draws her like a moth to a flame. Z only took the job as a favour to his best friend Garrett and getting involved with Sara would be wrong on so many levels but no matter how hard he tries to resist she manages to push all his buttons. Sara knows what she wants and she isn't taking no for an answer.

      Sara and Z have absolutely fantastic chemistry right from the moment they lay eyes on each other. Sara is a strong and confident woman, someone who is capable of standing on her own two feet and who is highly independent but she loves to submit in the bedroom. She has very strict rules though and will never sleep with a guy more than three times because she absolutely doesn't want any kind of a relationship. She's seen first hand what happens when a marriage goes bad and she refuses to open herself up to that kind of hurt. Z also has very good reasons to be wary, he's been badly burned before and has had his Dominant side locked down tightly for a long time. Sara brings it bubbling to the surface and even though he knows how dangerous it is he just can't seem to help himself around her.

      I loved both of these characters and I loved the fact that Z was quite quick to make up his mind about what he wanted. Once he'd set his sights on Sara he wasn't going to settle for anything less than being a permanent part of her life and as much as she resists him for a while it didn't take too long for him to worm his way into her affections. I really enjoyed seeing them learn to open up and trust each other both in and out of the bedroom. I already mentioned that there was one particular thing that happened towards the end that I wasn't happy with but that's more down to a personal preference than something that will bother most readers and I can't really say too much about it without giving spoilers. All I'll say is that it felt like a way of adding drama when there didn't really need to be any but I was happy that the problems didn't continue for too long and both Sara and Z were adult enough to admit their mistakes and move forward. They did both need a kick to get them there but that gave us the opportunity to see a couple of characters from the previous books so it wasn't all bad. I think I just would have preferred the drama in the story to have come more from the storyline of someone being after Sara, that would have felt more natural and would have added more pace to the story overall.

      The important thing is that everything worked out okay in the end and I absolutely loved the little epilogue. Sara and Z were such a cute couple, their chemistry was fantastic and Protecting Fate was a hot as hell story. If you're looking for a steamy read you can't go wrong with any of Katee Robert's instalments in this series (Mistaken by Fate, Betting on Fate and Protecting Fate) and although each of these books does work as a stand alone story I would highly recommend all three of them.

      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.

      Kindle:

      Saturday, 14 March 2015

      RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

      Goodnight Sir Terry, you'll be missed

      It's taken me a couple of days to sit down and write this post, in fact I almost didn't post anything at all because I'm sure many other bloggers will have already said everything there is to say and probably done it far better than I ever could. I'm not the kind of person who usually gets that upset about the death of a celebrity but I was absolutely heartbroken on Thursday when I found out that Sir Terry Pratchett had died.

      I have been a fan of Terry's since I was about 16 and an ex-boyfriend introduced my Dad & I to the Discworld series. That's nearly 20 years of entertainment and countless hours spent reading and rereading his books. So many laughs had and discussions shared with my Dad about the characters we love and our favourite books.

      Terry signing my copy of I Shall Wear Midnight

      I was lucky enough to meet Terry back in 2010, something that would never have happened if it hadn't been for this blog, and it was an experience my Dad and I will never forget. It is still one of my favourite author events all these years later and it was absolutely amazing listening to him speak. I feel privileged to have seen him in person and I'm glad I have that memory. You can read my write up of the event here and I also posted video footage of the event here and here if you'd like to watch Terry in conversation with Tony Robinson.

      Terry was an inspiration, not only because of his wonderful sense of humour and the way he managed to make such astute observations about humanity but also because of the dignity he showed when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and the way he tirelessly campaigned for more money to be spent on research. I was also incredibly moved by his documentaries about living with Alzheimer's and assisted suicide. I don't want to remember Terry for his illness though, I'm going to remember him by his stories and his characters.

      The way his passing was announced on Twitter, as if he was sharing one last conversation with Death (who happens to be one of my favourite Discworld characters) made me laugh and cry at the same time and I don't think it could have been more appropriate.

      The final chapter

      This is how I choose to think of Terry now, sharing a drink and a game with Death before he moves on to whatever comes next. I'm sorry but I'm not sure who created the picture (a friend sent it to me) but if anyone knows please let me know in the comments so I can credit them.

      Terry Pratchett with one of his most popular characters

      The world lost a legend on Thursday and the world is a darker place because of that. But Terry's humour will live on in his books and that is something that can never be taken away from us.

      I haven't felt much like blogging (or reading for that matter!) for the last couple of days so I'm going to take a bit of a break but I'll be back sometime in the next week hopefully raring to go again. In the meantime I'm going to pick up my copy of Mort and spend some quality time on Discworld remembering this wonderful author and reminding myself why I fell in love with this series in the first place.

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