Monday, 20 September 2021

Date Me, Bryson Keller - Kevin van Whye

                                            56625076. sy475 
Book: Date Me, Bryson Keller
Author: Kevin van Whye
Genres: LGBTQ+, Young Adult
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: January 2021

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 20th September 2021

Description:

Everyone at Fairvale Academy knows Bryson Keller, the super-hot soccer captain who doesn't believe in high-school relationships. They also know about the dare Bryson accepted - each week he has to date the first person who asks him out.

A single school week is all anyone gets. There have been no exceptions to this. None.

Until me, that is.

Because brilliant Bryson Keller forgot one thing. He never said it could only be girls . . .

Review:

I've been eyeing this on my Kindle for a while now, the cover is just so bright and colourful which kept catching my attention when I scrolled through my books for my next read. So, here goes.

This starts with a prologue in which we learn about Bryson Keller and the dare that allows him to date a different senior for a week for the next three months. Then we skip to the start of the last school week of the dare and Kai being late for his lift and then stopping for his morning drink from the temperamental vending machine known as "Big Bertha". Only his drink gets spilt down himself by the crowd of girls waiting for Bryson to arrive and things only go downhill from there with him getting detention. He blames Bryson and in an act of vengeance/craziness he asks Bryson to date him.

Since I loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, I thought this would be a great read, too, and I did really enjoy it. It's in the same sort of cute teen romance trope that I like. 

I loved thirteen year old Yazz and her support of Kai coming out. The strongly worded letter she ;eaves their parents when they aren't as supportive as they could be at first. As Bryson points out:
"Your sister is amazing."
I 100% agree. And then we got to read that letter. Ha! Good one, kid. I laughed, I cried but I did so enjoy it. If anyone knows any more books like this one or Simon then please leave me a comment.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Vision In Silver - Anne Bishop

                                             25489473. sy475
Book: Vision In Silver
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others, #3
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: e-Book
Publication Date: 3rd March 2015

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 19th September 2021

Description:

The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…
 

Review:

It's been a while since I read the first and second book in this series so I had forgotten a lot of what had gone down previously but I did remember Simon and Meg and their tentative relationship/friendship.

So this picks up where the last left off with Humans and the Others still at odds, especially with the Humans First and Last party creating issues that don't exist to further their end. The cassandra sangue, now freed, are still struggling to keep themselves sane but Meg and her friends in the courtyard decide to make some sort of book on what to expect to help them try and integrate. And then there's Monty and the unexpected arrival of his daughter Lizzy and her favourite bear that are carrying secrets.

This is another one of those need to read every line books - I admit it, I do skip paragraphs sometimes! - because if you skip things you miss something important. There is just so much happening in these books.

I am still very much pro-Others, or at least Simon's Courtyard. They've just grown on me a lot over the last three books from these rather terrifying creatures that cared little for humans to these creatures willing to protect their human "pack" - the people they have grown fond of who reside in their Courtyard.

I'm also still hoping for a Simon/Meg romance and it does seem to be happening but in tiny increments all the time. A certain thought here, a touch there. It's kinda cute.

I'll be reading more of this series at some point in the future.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

The Darkest Warrior - Gena Showalter

                                             36574742. sy475
Book: The Darkest Warrior
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld, #14
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 28th May 2019

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ
Date Finished: 16th September 2021

Description:

He is ice…

Possessed by the demon of Indifference, Puck the Undefeated is unable to experience emotion without pain…until her. According to an ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Marry her.

She is fire…

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but the worst is yet to come. To survive a transition into immortality, she must give herself to a monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defy fate to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

Review:

I've been reading this series for about 10 years now. I picked up three paperbacks in the series last year or so and this is the only one I haven't got around to reading yet, so here goes. I hope Puck and young Gillian's story is as interesting as I expected her romance with William to have been...

So, this starts with Puck and his younger brother Sin warring for their realm of Amaranthia before Puck is betrayed by his brother over the long spoken prophecy about them both. Puck heads out to the Oracles of his land and they tell him what he must do. He must marry Gillian, the one meant for William of the Dark.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this one, after the above mentioned thing, but I did like it but not as much as some of the previous books in this series. I think the span of time when Gillian is left in Amaranthia without Puck - 500+ years - and we don't see her change from the meek little teen to the kick-arse warrior apart from in those letters addressed to Puck. I feel like we missed out on some fun scenes.

I did enjoy seeing some of the previous characters making an appearance in this one like Keeley and Torin and even once-upon-a-time bad guy Galen. There is still that fun dynamic between characters where they rib each other and even sometimes attack each other and it's all in jest. It's crazy but I love it.

I do feel the ending was a bit of a let down after all that build up. The battle took all of about six pages in the end. 

I am glad that Puck and Gillian got their HEA but I think I'm more interested in the "geek" that is going to be William's salvation and the woman he will fall in love with. Need to buy that book!

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Not My Romeo - Ilsa Madden-Mills

                                             50365912. sy475
Book: Not My Romeo
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: The Game Changers, #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 18th August 2020

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 9th September 2021

Description:

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Review:

You know when you read a book's description and question how it can go from a mix up on a date to the jock turning up in your small towns play? Well, I was intrigued by that part the most. And also, a bit of cover love! I mean, look at that guy!

So, as I mentioned above, this starts with a mix up on Valentine's Day when Elena sits down with her supposed date for the evening. It's a bit of "crossed-wires" but they can't help but be drawn to each other for various reasons and they end up spending the night together. A series of events sees them thrown together again and again and their attraction grows into something uncontrollable.

Elena was that character that's a little bit quirky, a little bit ballsy but also a little nerdy. She was great and I quickly fell into her character arc with her naughty underwear she created herself and wore all the time. I liked how she had a great camaraderie with her housemate and her Aunt and reading her thoughts about people's reactions to meeting Jack and what she would love to do to them. She had me smiling a lot.

I grew to really like Jack the more we got to know him. He was this mix of shy, sweet and alpha. He'd had a troubled childhood and struggled to connect with people he didn't know well, and after being burned by his last girlfriend he's wary of letting people get close. But it was so beautifully tragic in a way, because you could see how much he cared for her but not enough to let her in and this quote from the book pulled at me in it's perfect grasping of the situation.
"But Elena isn't a mistake.
[...]
God.
She's the girl a man dreams of finding someday...everything I always wanted.
And I threw it back in her face.
I reacted without listening.
You lobbed another interception, Jack.
You lost the fucking game."

I was almost in tears by this point in the book. We'd seen both characters with their alternate POV's and we knew they both had feelings for the other and I had become emotionally invested in these two. I wanted them to get their HEA's! Luckily we have a rather fun version of Romeo & Juliet to read through as we see these lovers ad lib their way through their lines as they try and tell the other how they feel.

"I did so much wrong, and it's my own damn fault for being...broken since the moment we met."

"I meant it as a symbol that I wanted more with you, but then I'd get nervous and not bring it up. I felt so unsure. I've never loved anyone. I'm stupid." 

*Sigh* Jack, Jack, Jack, you sweetheart. Yeah, this one hit me in the feels.

I do have several more books by this author to read on my Kindle and I will be reading them shortly but for now, I'm going to read a non contemporary book since I'm pretty sure this is going to give me a book hangover and I'll be thinking about it for a while.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Flame - Chelle Bliss

                                              45870487. sy475
Book: Flame
Author: Chelle Bliss
Series: Men of Inked: Heatwave, #1
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 17th September 2019

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ
Date Finished: 6th September 2021

Description:

Could you love a man surrounded by danger?

Gigi Gallo’s childhood was filled with the roar of a motorcycle and the hum of a tattoo gun. Fresh out of college, she’s about to start working at her family’s tattoo studio — Inked. But when she shows up the first day, she never expects to run into someone tall, dark, and totally sexy from her not-so-innocent past.

Pike Moore is a bossy biker with a cocky attitude and an even bigger ego. He came to Inked to start over. New town. New job. New roots. None of that included coming face-to-face with the hot chick who spent a week in his bed before she vanished without a trace.

But when Pike’s dark family history catches up with him, can he stop Gigi from being caught in the crossfire?

Review:

This starts with Gigi eyeing up the guy at the end of the bar and being too chicken to approach him despite the fact he's been staring at her, too. With a bit of coaxing from her friends and a lot of alcohol, she finally heads over and asks if he wants to go back to his hotel. Things take a strange turn and they end up spending several days together before they end up going their separate ways. Fifteen months later they unexpectedly meet again at Gigi's family's tattoo parlour, Inked, which is the place to work and be tattooed. Gigi is initially angry to see Pike but the feelings that had started to stir within her all those months ago start to unravel once more but it seems trouble may be after Pike and he wants her far away from it.

I was intrigued not long after this started - when their night together didn't go according to plan - and I wanted to see where it was going to go from there. It was fun and a little steamy. So I didn't entirely understand Gigi's reaction to Pike's turning up in her neighbourhood. Like he was some vile creature or worse. And then suddenly, she wanted him again. I was confused.

The book went downhill for me when they ended up at the MC. I am not a fan of motorcycle clubs at all. Maybe because I'm British and we don't have them. They just seem so lawless and do whatever they want. That kind of thing does nothing for me.

I won't be reading any more of this series.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Duncan - D.B. Reynolds

                                              20762229
Book: Duncan
Author: D.B. Reynolds
Series: Vampires in America, #5
Genres: Vampires, Paranormal Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: January 2014

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 3rd September 2021

Description:

Washington, D.C. … capital of an empire. Powerful. Exhilarating. Corrupt. And in the shadows … vampires far older than the nation itself.

A power unto himself, Duncan has served at Raphael’s side for a hundred and fifty years. But long laid plans have finally borne fruit, and the time has come for Duncan to leave Raphael and tackle the greatest challenge of his life. He will face treacherous vampires and murderous humans. He will rock the halls of human power if necessary. But Washington, D.C. will be his.

Emma Duquet cares nothing for vampire politics. She just wants to find her missing roommate and best friend, Lacey. But Lacey’s been playing with vampires of a particularly dangerous kind, and Emma will have to deal with the new vampire in town if she’s going to find her friend.

Battling powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets, Duncan and Emma will dig beneath the corruption and depravity that is Washington, D.C. and uncover the most heinous conspiracy of all…

Review:

I read Sophie not that long ago and decided to head back into this authors series...but I'm not too clear on the thing that happened at the end that means Duncan is no longer Raphael's.

So Duncan heads off on his own, meeting two of his children when he lands in Washington D.C, to take over the territory from Victor - who it seems has had a vicious system running for however long where he hosts parties and attacks the women who attend. Duncan ends up meeting Emma Duquet who is looking for her lost friend and housemate that frequented Victor's parties and who he instantly feels a connection to. He vows to help her find her friend and deal out vengeance to those who may have hurt her.

I was drawn into this one from the start. Duncan was very clearly on a mission and nothing was going to stop him. I loved following him on his journeys around DC as he hunted down the men who had done the atrocities that permeated the walls of the house he now resided in.

Weirdly I've enjoyed following Cyn and Raphael's journey in the previous books but I have to admit, I enjoyed focusing fully on Duncan and Emma in this one. It wasn't entirely focused on their romance, either. He was cleaning up his new territory - without any help from Raphael - and we saw glimpses of his past, as well as how he became one of Raphael's vampires.

I think apart from the first book in the series that this is one of my favourite books so far. I do have book 6, Lucas, but I won't be reading it straight away.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

The Switch - Beth O' Leary

                                              56935243. sy475
Book: The Switch
Author: Beth O'Leary
Genres: Contemporary, Chick Lit, Romance
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 21st January 2021

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 29th August 2021

Description:

Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…


Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

Review:

I picked this one up from my favourite bargain everything store - The Works - for just £2/3 for £5.

This starts with Leena fumbling through a sales pitch at work and her boss demanding she take some much needed time off - two months to be exact - so she can get back to being her usual self. Leena doesn't want time off, she'd rather work but decides to travel up to see her Grandma in her little picturesque Yorkshire village. Grandma Eileen has recently lost her husband to the dance instructor and is starting to feel a little lonely so she has compiled a list of the eligible men in her village - only she can't see herself with any of them. When Leena catches a look at the list, she's equally fascinated and horrified at the pros and cons and comes up with an idea: Why doesn't Eileen head to London and Leena will stay in the village?

This did take me a while to get into at the start but once I did, I was excited to see what both of the women would do in their respective locations. Leena was taking over Eileen's duties in Hamleigh and Eileen was trying to make Leena's London block of flats a bit more welcoming to group activities and get togethers while checking out the dating scene. It was fun.

I enjoyed seeing both women slowly sink into their new surroundings and find their place in their new community and doing what they could to make their mark. I grew to really like them both but Eileen was definitely my favourite of the two.

This isn't my usual read, really, but I did truly enjoy this book. It's a romance but with family drama and a small village community who know everyone else's business.

Sledgehammer - P. Dangelico

                                             35687395. sy475
Book: Sledgehammer
Author: P. Dangelico
Series: Hard to Love, #2
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 11th September 2017

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 28th August 2021

Description:

Amber Jones is in a pickle. And when I say pickle, I mean a world of trouble.

She knew she shouldn't have gone to her ex's New Year's Eve party. And she reeeaally didn't mean to almost burn down his house.

Now she needs a good lawyer, stat. But where to find one?


Ethan Vaughn is a very busy man.

He really shouldn't have agreed to spring Amber Jones out of jail. As the most sought after lawyer in professional football, he should be focused on representing his NFL clients--not an accident-prone, struggling actress.

Now she's remanded on bail, and living in his house.

The woman is a walking talking disaster. And considering his track record, he needs to stay as far away from this one as possible.

Problem is, he's finally met the one he's willing to risk it all for.

Review:

I read the first book in this series last year some time and really enjoyed it, so of course I went and bought the next in the series, it's just taken me a while to get around to reading it.

This starts with Amber in lock-up, waiting for her phone-call, after accidentally setting her ex's mum's kitchen on fire after finding out he was getting engaged to another woman while invited to the party. She rings her best friend, Cam - the main gal in the first book in this series, and she sends Ethan who's a lawyer and close friend but Amber's pseudo enemy. Her bail gets posted but she is given into Ethan's care to supervise her actions until the court case. Amber is determined to give up on romance and love after the disasters she's dated but there's something about Ethan that chips away at her resilience and feelings slowly begin to emerge for both of them.

I forgot how much I like this authors style! I could have happily and greedily read this in one sitting. 

Amber was stubborn as a mule but Ethan had a way about him that totally broke down her barriers. I really liked him. Maybe he didn't go about it all in the right way but I could tell from near the start that Ethan had feelings for her (as shown in my Goodreads updates).
I loved how we saw more of Cam and Cal from book one, Wrecking Ball, too. The birth of their child was written with humour and heart and I remembered why I liked their story so much, too.

I am most definitely going to read more of this authors books because they are the style of writing I like and the romance always hits me in the feels. (I'll admit, I did have a little cry towards the end when it all started to look a little bleak).

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Private Charter - N.R. Walker

                                                41444984. sy475
Book: Private Charter
Author: N.R. Walker
Genres: MM Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 22nd August 2018

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ
Date Finished: 25th August 2021

Description:

Stuart Jenner’s job is high stress, high stakes, and everything he’s strived for. So why, when the apex of his career is within reach, does he stumble? At his doctor’s insistence, he books a privately chartered yacht to sail around the Whitsundays for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex. When his friend-with-benefits bails on him at the last minute, Stuart decides to go alone.

Foster Knight left the rat race behind six years ago, bought a yacht, and now calls the Great Barrier Reef his home. Sailing tourists around tropical waters is all in a day’s work, and he’s never been happier. When his next client arrives alone, the two-week charter will be the most private job he’s ever had.

Foster can see how stressed and exhausted Stuart is, and he promises him extensive rest and relaxation. Stuart slowly realises his original plan for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex might not be lost yet. Confined to a yacht, isolated by aqua-coloured oceans and the sweltering sun, Stuart and Foster are about to find out just how hot the tropics can get.

Review:

I decided to change things up and go for a more recent book this time. I've read quite a few of N.R. Walker's books and enjoy them more often than not, and this one sounded quite good.

This starts with Stuart leaving his stressful role at a big company to go on annual leave for two weeks on a yacht travelling the Whitsundays. The guy he was supposed to be going with pulls out the night before they're set to leave and so he ends up alone but for the captain of the boat. Stuart isn't sure how relaxing it will be on his own but before long on the first day the sun, swimming and the company of Foster have him de-stressing quickly and an attraction begins to flare between them, especially when he realises that Foster is also gay and single.

I was pulled in pretty quickly with this. It was a quick read and their journey through the tropical islands, clear blue seas and white sandy beaches of the Whitsundays sounded amazing. 

The romance between them was a slow burn, taking until about half way for things to progress to fully physical but you could see that by then it was starting to get emotional between them, too. They were great for each other in a lot of ways and the end bit where Foster sailed down the coast to find Stuart in Sydney was super cute.

I will, of course, be reading more books by this author in the future.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Saving Wishes - G.J. Walker-Smith

                                            17452823
Book: Saving Wishes
Author: G.J. Walker-Smith
Series: Wishes, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 10th February 2013

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 23rd August 2021

Description:

For Charli Blake, being seventeen is a tough gig.

She's been branded a troublemaker, her reputation is in tatters and she's stuck in Pipers Cove, a speck of a town on the coast of Tasmania.

Thankfully, it's temporary. Her lifelong dream of travelling the world is just months away from becoming reality. All she has to do is ride out the last few months of high school, which is easier said than done thanks to a trio of mean girls known as The Beautifuls.

When Adam DΓ©carie arrives in town, all the way from New York, life takes an unexpected turn. His arrival sets off a chain of events that alters her life forever, convincing her of one thing. Fate brought him to her.

Review:

This is another long serving Kindle book that must have been on my device for about five years. I do have a tendency to buy/download (freebies) books and forget about them.

This starts with Charli leaving her brothers diner/convenience store to head home in the rain only to be nearly hit by a car she doesn't recognise - one belonging to new arrival Adam. Adam has been drawn to the small Tasmanian town after receiving postcards from his cousin showing beautiful views in the area. They initially clash but both find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other and feelings bloom between the pair. He makes her want things that she'd started to give up on.

I wasn't sure about this to start with. Charli doesn't come across the best initially - she's a stubborn, argumentative teen - but the more we read about her and the things that she's been through in the tiny town we begin to sympathise and see she isn't so bad and is doing the best she can to protect herself from future hurt.
Adam came across as a nice guy from the start but at the same time we never really learned much about him - not for a long time anyway.

I enjoyed the first 25% or so but then it all sort of stayed as it was - we didn't really have any major things happen to throw some drama about and I got a little bored. There was a bit of drama thrown in towards the end that had me intrigued enough to carry on but it didn't full pull me in at any point.

I wasn't keen on how the first part of this series ended, either. Everything is left open. She goes travelling but not with who she was supposed to. Adam is in New York and Charli ends up in Mauritius. She left before school finished... I don't know, maybe I expected her to stick to her guns but unexpected things got thrown at her right at the end and she did need to escape. I'm not sure if I'll continue the series.

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