Sunday 24 July 2016

Review: Glory in Death - J.D. Robb

The dead were her business. She lived with them, worked with them, studied them. She dreamed of them. Murder no longer shocked, but it continued to repel.

The first victim is found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second is murdered in her own apartment building. Both have had their throats slashed.

New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas has no problem finding connections between the two crimes. Both women were beautiful and successful; their glamorous lives and loves the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with powerful men provide Eve with a long list of suspects - including her own lover, Roarke.

As a woman, Eve is compelled to trust the man who shares her bed. But as a cop, it's her job to follow every lead, to explore every secret passion, no matter how dark. Or how dangerous.

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Available in the Remember When Anthology or separately)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Creation in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella available in the Mirror, Mirror anthology or separately)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsession in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death
Vendetta in Death
Golden in Death

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

I'm so glad that I finally bit the bullet and started this series, I enjoyed the first book but I can already see the improvement as I read Glory in Death so I have incredibly high hopes for how wonderful it will be by the time I catch up with the latest releases.

I'm not sure how much time has past since the events in book one but Eve has healed from her injuries and her relationship with Roarke has grown closer than ever so I'm assuming it's at least weeks if not months later. Roarke is obviously crazy about her and he's willing to put his heart on the line and tell her how much he cares but Eve is still holding herself back and trying to keep him at a distance. She's still learning to trust in his feelings for her and she's definitely scared to admit how important he is to her, even to herself. I'll admit Eve's distance can be a little frustrating at times but it was totally understandable considering everything she has been through and I'm glad that their relationship development still feels realistic. They fell in love quickly so they still have to work out how to be a couple but they both seem willing to put the effort in. Roarke pushes Eve to admit her feelings but I never feel like he makes her go faster than she wants. He respects her needs and I think she needs someone who will keep pushing or she'd just stagnate in her comfort zone forever.

While we're on the subject of Roarke he is totally my kind of guy and he's already close to the top of my list of favourite top book boyfriends along with the likes of Curran and Barrons. He's what you want in an alpha hero, he's commanding, attentive, attractive and he loves Eve unconditionally. It doesn't hurt that he's a billionaire (and that I want to move into his library!) but I'd settle for the hot sex on tap LOL. Roarke and Eve both have careers that keep them very busy but he goes out of his way to make sure they have time together and I love that he puts her first over his business interests. The things that rang alarm bells about him in the first book seemed to have vanished in this one (or perhaps I'm blinded by those little love hearts in my eyes!) but he's still very mysterious and I can't wait to dig deeper and uncover all his secrets.

I know I've mainly focused on the relationship (you'd be forgiven for thinking I'm reviewing a romance novel rather than a futuristic romantic suspense) but Eve's job as a detective does play a major role in these books and her latest case involves the murder of two high profile female victims. These women were smart and successful although they had very different career paths and it's up to Eve to try and find out what links them and find their killer. The futuristic setting is great and I'm really enjoying seeing all the different technology J.D. Robb has included in the series (I definitely want a self driving car please!). She also created an interesting murder mystery that kept me guessing all the way through and surprised me at the end (although I should probably mention that I'm the world's worst at guessing who the bad guys are). If I'm this excited about a series after just two books I just can't wait to see how much I'm fangirling after the next forty. It'll take me a while to get through them all but I'll be sure to update you as I do.

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.

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Saturday 23 July 2016

Review: 200 Cupcakes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook - Joanna Farrow

Cupcakes are a delectably indulgent treat - and so quick and easy to make! From colourful cakes to keep the kids entertained to sophisticated recipes for special occasions - Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: 200 Cupcakes has something for everyone. Why not treat yourself to some gorgeous mocha cupcakes or delight a friend on their birthday with some maple, pecan and white chocolate muffins? Each recipe is accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions and a full page colour photograph to ensure perfect results every time.

Visit the book page on Goodreads for more information

This is a fab cupcake recipe book that is great value for money when you consider how many recipes it contains. The book starts with an introduction that contains information about the kind of tools you'll need and some basic baking tips which I'm sure most amature bakers will find useful to read through before getting started.

The recipes are then split into different sections and I'll give you a brief overview of each section so you'll have a better idea of what's included:

1. Everyday cupcakes - This section contains basic recipes for everything from vanilla to various kinds of fruit and nut, citrus flavours, coffee cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, gingerbread and even marshmallow. There are cupcakes here to suit every taste bud and although I've only tried one of the recipes so far (the Very Cherry cupcakes which tasted delicious even though I had a bit of an icing disaster!) I can't wait to test the rest. I particularly love the sound of the Poppy Seed and Lemon, Iced Gingerbread and Warm Pecan Caramel cupcakes!

Very Cherry Cupcakes
(I made the icing a little too runny so it didn't cover the cherry 
jam like it was supposed to but they still tasted great!)

2. Chocolate cupcakes - This section is a chocoholic's dream: Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Orange, Minted White Chocolate, Chocolate Strawberry, Chocolate Brownies and Mocha are just a few of the different flavours you'll find in there. Again I can't wait to get baking!

3. Cupcakes for kids - A lot of the cupcakes in this section use the vanilla cupcake recipe for the actual cake and focus more on different creative ways to ice them using both buttercream and icing along with different fruits or sweets. These are the kind of ideas that you can use to have fun decorating with fairly young children and still come up with pretty looking cakes that the whole family will enjoy eating.

4. Cupcakes for adults - Slightly more sophisticated than the previous section but if you like the sound of Almond Praline, Strawberry Marguerita, Pistachio, Red Velvet, Coffee and Walnut or Lemon Meringue then you'll have plenty to choose from here.

5. Savoury cupcakes - This is the most interesting section and one I'm looking forward to trying out. When I think of cupcakes I automatically think of something sweet with lashings of buttercream icing but this opens up a whole new savoury world. With recipes like Corn Chill and Bacon, Goats' Cheese and Tomato, Smoked Salmon or Spicy Cheese and Parsnip I'm having trouble deciding where to start!

6. Special occasion cupcakes - Christmas, Easter, Halloween, 4th of July, Weddings, Birthdays you'll find something for pretty much any occasion in this section.

Each recipe in the book comes with clear and easy to follow instructions, a large colour picture of the finished cake and plenty of tips to help you achieve great results. I can't wait to try out more of the recipes and I'll update this review as I do.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine 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


Friday 22 July 2016

Review: Oblivion - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Experience the epic love story of Obsidian as told by its hero, Daemon Black . . .

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble's the last thing I need, since I'm not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there's one thing I know, it's that humans can't be trusted.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her - or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I'm the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl . . . she could mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy - the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy - a human - won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that's one thing I'll never let happen . . .

Lux Series:
Shadows (Prequel Novella)
Oblivion (Obsidian retold from Daemon's POV)

Visit Jennifer L. Armentrout's website for more information

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the trend to write the same book all over again but from the male character's perspective, most of the time it doesn't actually add much to the story and I tend to think these books are just a gimmick to get fans spending more of their money so in general I tend to steer clear of them. However, in this case I was really intrigued by the idea of getting into Daemon's head, if you've read Obsidian (and if you haven't then I don't know why you're even reading this review!) you'll know his character was very hard to pin down. The chemistry between him and Katy was scorching hot but he'd go from undressing her with his eyes one minute to giving her the cold shoulder and acting like a complete arse the next. Along with many other fans I fell for him anyway but I was really curious to see whether Jennifer L. Armentrout would be able to pull of giving him realistic and believable reasons for his behaviour and I have to say she completely pulled it off.

Dameon is a complex character but he has a reason for everything he does. It's not always a good reason and it doesn't make his mean behaviour any more acceptable but it does make it understandable. He's just trying to do right by his sister and the rest of his people, he doesn't want to make the same mistake that his brother did and he's terrified of his feelings for Katy. I was glad to see that it upset him when he hurt her and I definitely feel more invested in the outcome of their relationship now I've seen how deeply he cares. I'm still glad that Katy calls him out for his behaviour though and he'd better have had an attitude adjustment when I start reading Onyx but I now love his character more than ever.

It's actually been a long time since I read Obsidian, so long that I'd forgotten most of what happened in it, which meant that reading Oblivion was almost like reading a completely new book and that made it even better. I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed this as much as I did if I'd read it immediately after the first book but after a long year gap I loved it. It reminded me how much I loved the first two books and made me excited to carry on reading the series (yes sadly I never did get past the first book and the prequel, even though I pre-ordered every single book in the series that released over the last four years!). It was fun being back in this world and I'm excited to finally find out how it all ends!

Just for readers information if you buy the print copy of Oblivion you'll only receive the first story retold from Daemon's point of view but if you buy the ebook version you'll actually get to read the entirety of the first three books (Obsidian, Onyx and Opal) so that's something to consider when you're deciding which version to purchase. I've only read the first story so far but I did buy the kindle version (even though I received a review copy of the paperback from the publisher) so I may come back and update this review later if I go on to read the next two parts.

Source: Received from Hodder in exchange for an honest review

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

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Thursday 21 July 2016

Ten Most Anticipated Contemporary Romances for the Second Half of 2016

The Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge is hosted by Gone with the Words and Love at First Page. As part of the challenge they are setting a different topic every month that participants can choose to join in with which I think is a brilliant idea so you can expect a post like this to appear at random most months throughout the year.

The July Prompt is:
Ten Most Anticipated Contemporary Romances for the Second Half of 2016
(Links below will take you to the book's Goodreads Page)

  1. Bound to Submit - Laura Kaye
  2. Rock Wedding - Nalini Singh
  3. Sweet Little Lies - Jill Shalvis
  4. It Ends With Us - Colleen Hoover
  5. The One Real Thing - Samantha Young
  6. Don't Tempt Me - Lori Foster
  7. The Sapphire Affair - Lauren Blakely
  8. Hard Rules - Lisa Renee Jones
  9. The Protector - Jodi Ellen Malpas
  10. Bedmates - Nichole Chase

Are any of these books on your list? Which other contemporary romances should I be adding to my wish lists?

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Guest Review: The Teleportation Accident - Ned Beauman

I get my love of reading from my Dad, I remember constantly begging him to read "just one more story" before bed on pretty much a nightly basis until I was able to read books for myself. He doesn't have to read to me any more but we quite often talk about the various books we've been reading and he's even written a couple of blog reviews for me in the past when I twisted his arm. It's been a long time since his last one but there was obviously something about this book that captured his attention because he actually wrote this review completely voluntarily and it just popped up in my inbox the other day when he sent it to me!


When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that is happening to anyone anywhere. If you're living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn't. But that's no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can't, just once in a while, get himself laid. From the author of the acclaimed Boxer, Beetle comes a historical novel that doesn't know what year it is; a noir novel that turns all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science fiction novel that can't remember what 'isotope' means; a stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to ignore it.


Visit Ned Beauman's website for more information

Dad's Review:
My main reading, aside from being a Terry Pratchett and J R R Tolkien fan, is normally around Science Fiction/Fantasy and Crime. So I borrowed this book from my local library on the basis of the Title and the first couple of pages, which although wordy showed an enjoyable / oblique sense of humour.

It was not what I expected as it was more a of a Romance(?), although it did pay some respect to Science Fiction.

Although still wordy, I became engrossed with the characters and humour. It was well constructed and I would recommend it to anyone who found the first few pages enjoyable.

Some quotes -

"...the two subjects most hostile to his sense of a man's life as an essentially steady, comprehensible and Newtonian mechanical undertaking were accidents and women."

"Had he ever had sex? He supposed he probably had, but the memory was by now so dim that he almost wondered if in fact someone else had just described sex to him once and he'd gradually come to miscategorise it as an experience of his own, as one sometimes does with incidents that took place in childhood"

"The entire apartment was crammed with piles of old books, often with only the narrowest of pedestrian corridors between them, and these piles were continually being rearranged, relocated, or removed, so that after every nap the cats woke up to an entirely unfamiliar topology, like a tribe dwelling in some impossible mountain range that rumbled every hour with random, hyper-accelerated geological convulsions. Yesterday, they might have found a nice ledge, hidden between two volumes of a dictionary, which caught the morning sunlight through the window; today, it would be gone, or it would be too high to reach, or it would topple as soon as they set paw on it. The cats didn't seem to leave the apartment very often, and he imagined it was because they found the great city outside to be eerily, almost unbearably static."

"... studying a portrait of a muscular grey haired man with a grim, almost demented gaze and the sort of moustache that could beat you in an arm wrestling contest"

Source: My Dad's own copy

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

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Tuesday 19 July 2016

Blog Tour: Rock Wedding - Nalini Singh (Excerpt + Giveaway)

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness… 


Amazon US:





New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss  series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

Excerpt from ROCK WEDDING by 
Nalini Singh
Plowing his gloved fists into the punching bag in front of him on the morning of the fourth day, Abe blocked out the other sounds in the gym and attempted to lose himself in the rhythm of the mindless action. It worked for about a minute before his mind filled with Sarah again. Her shy smile when he gave her a compliment. The way she’d sit curled up under his arm and read to him on lazy summer days.
Hard on the heels of that memory came one of him throwing her books in the pool in a drug-fueled rage. She’d been sobbing as she tried to save them.
“Fucking bastard,” Abe muttered, talking to his past self. He punched the bag so hard that it threatened to swing back right into his face. He didn’t care. He deserved to have his face beaten in.
Ripping off his gloves afterward, he showered, then went straight to a bookshop.
It was too little too late, but now that he’d remembered his asshole behavior, he couldn’t just leave it. Ball cap pulled low, he wandered the aisles… then realized most people here didn’t care who he was; they were more interested in the volumes that lined the shelves. He spent an hour inside the murmuring quiet of the store, searching for the titles he remembered seeing on their bedside table. She’d definitely read him Jane Austen.
He couldn’t remember which one though, so he bought the entire set.
And there was this one romance novel she loved and had read over and over again. He’d teased her it would fall apart in her hands one day. She’d just smiled and read him a paragraph that she’d told him was part of her favorite scene. What the hell had it been? Yes, that was it. In the end, it turned out the store didn’t have that book in stock, so he bought her a bunch of new releases featuring people with dogs or puppies on the covers. He definitely remembered seeing covers like that in their home.
After spotting it in a display, he added in a nonfiction book about a woman who’d set up her own company while nearly flat broke and who was now a millionaire. At the counter, he paid extra to have the books wrapped up and packaged.
He’d called his car service earlier; the driver shot him a funny look when he put the package in the passenger seat and gave him Sarah’s address. “I’m a courier now?” the stocky middle-aged man asked, having worked long enough for Schoolboy Choir that he was a friend. They’d all missed his calm demeanor and total trustworthiness when he broke his leg recently and had been out for a while.
“Best in the business,” Abe responded.
The other man snorted. “I’ll get it to her now.”
Blowing out a breath after the gleaming black town car pulled away, Abe went to where he’d parked his SUV and got in. He didn’t want to go home to his empty house, but he didn’t want to barge in on his friends either. David and Thea, Noah and Kit, they needed time alone. As for Molly and Fox, while the newlyweds were back home after a short wedding trip, having postponed their honeymoon until later in the year, Abe wasn’t about to bust up their love nest.
Gabriel and Charlotte probably wouldn’t have minded the company since they’d been doing the sightseeing thing, but the other couple had flown back to New Zealand twenty-four hours earlier—after inviting all of them to their own wedding.
His phone buzzed right then.
Picking it up, he saw a message from Fox. Molly and I are at that Thai place with the noodles you like. We saved you a seat if you want to join us for lunch.
Damn, he loved his bandmates. On my way, he messaged back.
Starting the engine, he tried not to obsess over if Sarah would call him after receiving his long overdue gift. Hell, he’d be content with her throwing the books at his head. All he wanted was for her to talk to him, to let him show her he wasn’t that guy anymore, the one who’d destroyed them both.

Excerpt #2 from ROCK WEDDING by 
Nalini Singh

Sarah sat on the floor of her living room, books spread out all around her.
Having worked nonstop for days, she’d given herself the afternoon off. First, she’d gone to see her son. The anniversary had rolled around again, and though she hurt, this month wasn’t one of the bad ones. She’d talked to him, told him about her day, left him with a kiss.
Her plan for the rest of the day had been to get into her pj’s and curl up on the couch with Flossie to binge-watch a favorite television series. Then had come the buzz at the gate that made her heart thunder and her skin flush… and the delivery of a most unexpected package.
I hope you’re doing okay today. Say hi to Aaron for me. I’m sorry I threw your books in the pool. I was a dick. – Abe
Sarah stared at the note card again, still not certain she was reading it right. The first two lines, they turned her throat thick, but the rest… He’d been so high that day that she’d have bet her business he had no memory of the ugly incident. Sarah had never forgotten it: she could still feel the wrenching ache of the sobs that had overwhelmed her as she tried futilely to fish out books that had been well and truly drenched.
Abe, meanwhile, had moved on to throwing the pool furniture into the shimmering blue water.
Her fingers trembled as she picked up a leather-bound copy of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It matched the other Austen novels he’d sent her, the set a lovely reissue packaged for collectors. Beside the fancy collector’s editions lay cheerful paperbacks with laughing couples and/or dogs on the covers.
She stifled a wet laugh. He’d clearly chosen those at random, but it was cute that he’d remembered she liked romances with animals in them. Half the time when she’d read to him or talked to him about her favorites, she’d thought he was mostly asleep. It hadn’t mattered—she’d just liked being with him.
The most surprising book in the package was the one about the entrepreneur who’d gone from rags to riches on stubborn grit and sheer determination.
It gave her a funny, fluttery feeling in her tummy to realize Abe really did take her business endeavor seriously. It wasn’t mockery, not when he’d gone to the effort of choosing these other books with her likes specifically in mind. He’d thought she’d like the book because she was an entrepreneur too.
Her eyes burned.
Her hand went to her phone, but she hesitated, the memories of her awful loneliness while she’d been with Abe holding her in place. Curling her fingers into her palm, she picked up the television remote instead.
She had to keep her distance if she was to have any chance of protecting her battered heart. Because this Abe? The one who sent her flowers and books and who dropped by to make sure she was all right? He was more dangerous than the man who’d broken her to pieces.
© Copyright 2016 by Nalini Singh

Haven’t read this series yet? 
Start the Rock Kiss Series NOW! 
Rock Addiction (Book One) Rock Kiss Series
Rock Courtship (Book 1.5) A Rock Kiss Novel: 
  • Rock Redemption (Book Three) Rock Kiss Series

Amazon US:




Author Information
Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.
STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Monday 18 July 2016

Review: Taking Sides - Audrey Noire

Daria Griffin has completed her first successful mission as a new operative with ARC, and bagged herself a hot new boyfriend in the form of Augmented human, Nicolai Novik. But with ARC’s higher ups taking a dim view of their relationship, her partnership with Nico is getting split up. She’ll be getting a new partner, another Augmented name Bronson. Flung into the rural backroads of Montana with Bronson, will she be able to successfully pull off a new mission with the new guy? And why does Nico hate Bronson so much?

Author's Note: Taking the Bait is a 20,000-word novella. No cliffhanger, HFN. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. The first scene from it's sequel is included as a bonus at the end of the book!

ARC Operatives Series:
Taking the Bait
Taking Sides

Visit Audrey Noire's website for more information

It's always difficult to write a negative review of a book, especially when the author sent it to you for review but I can only give my honest opinion and what doesn't work for me will more than likely work for other people so don't let me put you off giving the series a try.

I had a few issues with Taking the Bait but I was curious enough about the world and the characters that I was happy to pick up the sequel and I was hoping to see an improvement in Taking Sides. Unfortunately the things that I was hoping to see more of didn't happen and I noticed far more editing errors in this story too, I'm not sure if I just noticed them more because I was enjoying the story less or whether the editing had gone downhill because there were errors in the first book too but it didn't feel like as many.

I was immediately confused when I started reading this, I had wrongly assumed that Daria and Nicolai would still be undercover and working on the investigation that they started in the first instalment, the fact that things picked up a month or more later just left me feel like I was missing something. There was absolutely no resolution to events in the previous book: Who was it that broke into their hotel room? Was the business man they were investigating dirty? Did they manage to take him down? Considering he was a suspected human trafficker who had taken a big interest in Daria at their first meeting I went into this completely expecting him to try and take her captive and for Nicolai to come along and save the day!

Instead that story is just over, it's now sometime later and Daria and Nicolai have been in a relationship for a month and, although they've been working as partners up until now, the big bosses have got wind of their relationship and decided to separate them. We didn't get to see much of the start of their relationship but it doesn't bode well when Nicolai suddenly starts giving Daria the silent treatment for no apparent reason. The two then go on another mission, each working with different partners, and while Nicolai continues to act like a petulant five year old Daria mopes around like a depressed teenager because she's stressing about pointless relationship drama. This is supposed to be a series about secret government agents with superpowers so I expect excitement and action not teenage relationship angst.

I worried for a minute that we were going to have a love triangle introduced, thankfully that wasn't the case but instead we had a showdown with the most obvious bad guy in history. I'm not going to tell you who the bad guy is and I couldn't tell you why he was bad even if I wanted to. I'm also not going to tell you if Daria and Nicolai ever got over their snits and had an adult conversation about what was bothering them so you'll have to read the story for yourself to find out. The best I can say is that these are quick reads but it's unfortunate that a premise that could have been so much fun ended up taking a backseat to boring relationship drama.

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

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


Review: Taking the Bait - Audrey Noire

Daria Griffin is a newly-minted undercover operative with ARC on a mission with her partner, Nicolai Novik, an augmented human with super-fast speed. Their first job? Infiltrate a conference of billionaires as a newly-wed couple and dig up the dirt on shady business dealings. Daria's the bait, tasked with luring in businessmen with her unhappy-trophy-wife routine while Nicolai talks shop. But the operation goes all wrong when Nicolai starts acting strangely in the middle of it. Will they be discovered by forces who may not have their best interests at heart? And why is Nicolai acting so possessive of Daria when he never said more than a few words to her during training?

Part one of a three-part romance story in The ARC Operatives series!

Author's Note: Taking the Bait is a 12,000-word novella. No cliffhanger, HFN ending. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. The first scene from it's sequel is included as a bonus at the end of the book!

ARC Operatives Series:
Taking the Bait
Taking Sides

Visit Audrey Noire's website for more information

Audrey Noire's ARC Operatives series is about a group of undercover government agents, some of whom are augmented to have superhuman abilities like extra speed and strength. Daria is a new agent that has just completed her training and is about to take on her first undercover investigation. She is paired with one of her augmented classmates Nicolai and the two are to pose as a wealthy business man and his wife at a conference to try and get close to some billionaires who didn't come by their fortunes honestly. As the danger rises so does the heat between them but is it just the adrenaline rush or could it be something more?

When Audrey Noire asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing her superhero flavoured paranormal romance series I have to admit I jumped at the chance. Afterall who doesn't love a good superhero story? I was intrigued about ARC and wanted to know more about how the agents came by their superpowers but I have to admit that side of the world wasn't as fleshed out as I hoped. I don't think we even found out what ARC stands for (I apologise if I missed it!) and I don't think the superpowers were explained very well. If it's some kind of technology the government has to create augmented agents then why don't they give everyone the upgrade? For that matter why was Daria specifically recruited to the agency? She didn't seem to have any relevant training or special abilities to have been specifically targeted by a secret agency that most people don't even know exists.

It's only fair to point out that Taking the Bait is the first in a three part serialised novel though so the answers to my questions could come in later instalments and I enjoyed this enough that I'll continue reading to find out. The main characters were likeable and I'm curious about what they're going to discover during their undercover mission. There's no denying the chemistry between them but the sexy times fell a little flat for me thank to the lack of a condom (if you're going to have sex with a guy that has a big reputation the least you can do is protect yourself from disease!) and some uncomfortable phrases (let's face it, being split open by a monster cock is not sexy!).

I do think this series has potential though, especially since this was the author's first published work. The banter between her characters was fun, the world could turn out to be really interesting when we've had the chance to learn more about it and Taking the Bait was a fun, fast read with a nice amount of spice to it.

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

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


Sunday 17 July 2016

Movie Trailer: A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

I have to confess that Patrick Ness' novel A Monster Calls (which was based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd) has been on my to read pile for a few years now, it's one of those books that I've heard amazing things about but because I know it's going to break my heart I keep putting off reading it.

Unless you've been living under a rock you'll already know that the book is currently being turned into a movie and when I was at Walker's blogger party a few weeks ago they showed us the trailer and it looks like it's going to be fantastic. I really NEED to read this book so I can watch the movie when it comes out!

Just check out this trailer & tell me you don't feel the same:

Doesn't it look fantastic? The movie is out in America on the 21st of October but according to IDMb we're going to have to wait until January 2017 to see it on screens in the UK. I'm kind of gutted that they're making us wait so long for it but I'll have absolutely no excuse for not reading the book before it releases!

Just in case you're like me and haven't actually read the book yet I thought I'd include the blurb below for you. I have the illustrated version (which has some absolutely stunning artwork from Jim Kay, the same man who is in the process of creating the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series).

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

Visit Patrick Ness' website for more information

Have you read A Monster Calls? If so I'd love to know what you thought of it! Are you as excited about the movie as I am?


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