Saturday, 31 August 2019

Pricked - Winter Renshaw



Book: Pricked
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 24th January 2019

Date Finished: 31st August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

All I wanted was a tattoo.

What I got was a broody, enigmatic demigod with an electrifying touch and a mysterious past.

We were night and day in every way possible, not an ounce of anything in common, and yet, I wanted him in the worst way.

It didn't matter that he was emotionally unavailable or that he was exactly the kind of man who would give my father a coronary should I dare to bring him home. It didn't matter that his heart was wrapped in barbed wire or that he made me promise never to fall for him.

None of it mattered because he was the most perfectly imperfect, beautifully tortured soul I'd ever known, and I was besotted, addicted to all the thrilling and wondrous ways he made me feel when we were together.

They say a single moment can change the entire trajectory of your life. But looking back, I never could have imagined all the ways my world would change the moment it collided with his.

I learned too late that he kept his past a secret for a reason.


Review:

This is my second book by the author, the other being P.S. I Hate You which I read a few months ago and, if I'm honest, I wasn't all that impressed with. I blame it on the written letters in the book. I do like to try an author more than once, though, as it could just be the storyline that I couldn't get into so here's my second try of Winter Renshaw.

So Madden is a tattoo artist who gives Brighton her first very discreet tattoo, hidden so her parents don't give her the third degree/make her get it laser removed for daring to do something like that to herself. They are very...controlling, the type who make it known when they disagree with something you've said or done. Buy clothes for you to wear to outings. Want to know where you are at all times, etc. Anyway, Brighton gets the tattoo and becomes fascinated with the inkless artist, Madden, while Madden becomes obsessed with the pretty rich girl. And so their story begins.

I really liked this book. They try the whole friends-with-benefits-while-pretending-to-be-together thing and it works really well with them. They are actually really great together. But of course, feelings grow and the guy who told her not to fall for him starts to pull away.

I liked these two characters. They have a connected past that makes itself known towards the end and it's a little sad but they make it work--just not without being apart for a while. I actually really liked the fact that her dad got his comeuppance in the end.

I like how he dubbed her "The Girl with the Butterfly Tattoo" in his phone, too. Another plus for Madden.

So it seems that this book hit a lot of the right notes for me and I will be looking out for more books by this author in the future.

Monday, 26 August 2019

The Jack's Heart - Demi Vice (Netgalley)



Book: The Jack's Heart
Author: Demi Vice
Series: Prison Saints #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dark, Erotica
Publication Date: 26th May 2018

Date Finished: 26th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

I’m the Jackpot of all Men.
The Jackhammer of all F*cks.
The Jack of all Trades.



If you haven’t guessed it yet, the name’s Jack. For the last seven years, I gave up my freedom for a crime I didn’t commit, and all for money, my retirement, and my dreams.

When it was time to leave, my cellmate asked me for a favor. Find his sister, give her a letter, and leave. Easy, right?

Wrong.

Nothing about Ahri was easy. She was a stubborn beauty, an intoxicating mystery, and a feisty fury. She was nowhere near perfect, but perfection was overrated, and Ahrianna Lore was underrated.

I went along with the lie of who she thought I was—just some guy looking at the apartment next door. It was supposed to be a quick hookup, but curiosity got the best of me.

I read the letter.

Have you ever heard the story about the Jack of hearts whose heart was stolen by a beautiful thief?

Review:

Another Netgalley read. Thank you BookBuzz.net.

So we meet Jack not long before he gets released from prison after doing a stint of seven years for a crime he didn't commit. He's asked by his cell-mate of the last three years to deliver a letter to his sister who it turns out lives near where he grew up as a kid. Upon sight, they have an instant attraction and things get very heated.

I'll be honest, I wasn't sure about Jack at the start. He seemed very cocky, almost intimidating in those first few chapters. But he did grow on me, quite a lot in fact. He had lines he wouldn't cross like having sex with Ahri while she was drunk. I liked that. I liked how protective he was of her. One quote summed him up pretty well:
Jack had the whole, "don't judge a book by its cover," down to an art form. There were layers to him no one ever expected, and they were addicting.

Ahrianna was a fighter. She'd had a tough childhood but was striving to do better, be better. She worked two jobs, barely getting any sleep, and was doing an online course so she could get her dream job in management--where the money was.

The sex scenes were a little too dirty for me. We had anal play and very filthy dirty talk (which I'm not the biggest fan of. I don't mind the odd bit but this was very in-your-face-description dirty talk) and I skipped a few paragraphs.

As for the romance in this, it was nice. Two really damaged people coming together and the attraction being so sudden that the romance just evolved naturally. They were...I don't know how to describe it. So alike in so many ways but complimented each other in others. They were a really great couple.

With those first few scenes and the hot sex I expected this to be more erotica than romance but it wasn't like that at all. Definitely more of a romance.

I've just finished it and seen that Ceifador, a character from Jack's past is the next book and with that last scene in the prison I'm wondering if that guy might be him? I may have to read it and find out.

If you like steamy contemporary romances with good-hearted bad boys and feisty female characters then you should give this a try.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Passion Unleashed - Larissa Ione



Book: Passion Unleashed
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Demons
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 1st November 2011

Date Finished: 22nd August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter - and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality...as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.

Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe - her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realises a horrible truth: he's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.



My Review:

I read book 1 (Pleasure Unbound) and book 2 (Desire Unchained) not that long ago and got really invested in this group of brothers and their friends.

Like the others before, this one starts with some action. Wraith is hunting gang members that belong to a vampire led gang when he gets poisoned by a mysterious someone. And it seems he can't be healed unless he sleeps with a certain virgin with Aegis connections who holds a charm that can save his life. Of course, there's a downside to that--Serena will die without it.

I liked how Wraith changed in this. He's gone from some rather self destructive guy, who holds himself back from everyone, to one who starts to soften and admit he cares for people. We see his insecurities and his fears and I started to feel for him. To truly like him. He's not had the greatest life, not until he met his brothers anyway.

I loved the globe-trotting aspect to this one with Serena's Tomb Raider type skills. We spend a while in Egypt as she looks for two artefacts that the Aegis are hoping will stop the unrest in the demon population and Sheoul.

Gem and Kynan's romance returns in this one--after his disappearance at the end of the last book--and I have been eating it up! It's been three books brewing now, so it's about time they finally got together. Of course, nothing ever goes smoothly and for several pages I wanted to cry.

And what do you know? Another sibling pops up in this one, and it appears his story is next in the series. I don't know if I'll be going straight into book 4 or take a break now that the original trio have found their special someone.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Fear the Reaper - Jami Gray (Netgalley)



Book: Fear the Reaper
Author: Jami Gray
Series: Fate's Vultures #4
Genres: Futuristic, Second-Chance Romance
Format: MOBI e-Book
Date Published: 20th September 2019

Date Read: 31st July 2019
My Rating: Did Not Finish @ 54%

Description:

When the hunter becomes the hunted, it’s time to reap what you sowed…

The world didn't end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.

After vowing to never again put his life on the line for another’s ambitions, Reaper, leader of Fate’s Vultures, has earned himself a formidable reputation. Unfortunately, that reputation isn’t enough to stop an old enemy from retaliating. With bounty hunters sniffing at their heels, Reaper vows retribution and takes the Vultures to the one person no one expects—Lilith, the woman he once loved.


As leader of the Rocky Mountain territory, Lilith has paid dearly for a position that kept her secrets safe. When a looming threat draws close, every devil’s bargain she’s made falls by the wayside and she is forced to partner with the man who walked away.

With no choice but to work together against a common enemy, Lilith and Reaper need to find their way through the minefield of past betrayals and broken promises to ensure a future for those they’ve sworn to protect … before it all goes to hell.

Review:

I've never read any books by this author and neither have I read the previous books in the series but that wasn't a big issue as the events of the previous books are explained in short pretty early on in memories and discussions between the characters but you still feel like you've missed something.

There is a history between Reaper and Lilith and I enjoyed the chemistry that still sparked. It was definitely a second chance romance while trying to bring about a certain someones downfall.

It had some nice description in this but I did struggle at times to get absorbed in the story. I'd pick it up, read about 5% and then put it back down again and concentrate on my paperback instead. I think it sounded more like my kind of read than what it turned out to be.

If you liked the previous books or like futuristic stories set on Earth where everything has gone to ruins and people are doing what ever they can to make money and keep the peace between the remaining areas of the USA then you'll more than likely enjoy this.

Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

Monday, 19 August 2019

When Polly Met Olly - Zoe May (Netgalley)



Book: When Polly Met Olly
Author: Zoe May
Genres: Chick-lit, Romance
Format: MOBI e-Book
Publication Date: 7th January 2019

Date Finished: 19th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…
Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…


Review:

I've seen this book on Goodreads quite often with friends rating and reviewing it so when I saw it on Netgalley as a "Read Now" and with me looking for good chick-lit writers that I'm going to buy again and again, I thought I'd give this a try.

So we meet Polly--a British ex-pat--who is being interviewed for a job at a successful dating agency. It turns out that Polly isn't so good at the dating thing in real life though, as shown in these quotes:

"Didn't you send him a peach and aubergine emoji with a question mark and a winky face when you were drunk?"
"What about that guy you called Mike for four dates then it turned out his name was Matt."

She gets the job and, quite quickly, she's asked to check out a rival firm who is stealing some of their clients. So Polly goes to the other firm as a possible client and meets Olly, the owner. They seem to have an instant connection, a spark, but Olly turns a little cold and clinical towards the end of her interview. They meet by accident a few more times as Polly explores the area surrounding her new office. We don't see him all that often in the book until near the end, to be honest. She's too busy trying to find the perfect partner and setting up dates for her clients.

As the books name suggests, they do end up together but not before hitting a few bumps along the way. It's on a really slow burn and does come a little out of left field when they finally admit they have feelings for each other but after that, the happiness they feel when they're together was really cute.

I loved the camaraderie between Polly and her friend Gabe, he teases her terribly at times but I had to smile. And her friendship with her boss, too, was pretty cool. They made quite a good team at the whole dating agency thing.

I think this was quite enjoyable and will look out for further releases to see if they're as cute as this one was.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Miss Me Not - Tiffany King



Book: Miss Me Not
Author: Tiffany King
Genres: Young Adult, Suicide, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 22nd November 2012

Date Read: 15th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ


Description:

Miss Me Not is a beautiful story of self-discovery, forgiveness, caring, and love.

Madison Hanson's past demons have given her a shadow of an existence with little hope. With the sudden tragic death of a fellow student, Madison questions her own life choices, and is now forced to evaluate everything she thought she believed in. When fate intervenes and partners her with Dean Jackson, a popular "all around good guy" from school, Madison gets a glimpse of a life that is filled with sunshine that has the power to break through the darkness she has cloaked herself in.
With Dean's help, Madison discovers a desire to finally step out of the shadows, and embrace life and all its gifts.


Review:


Note: This has been on my Kindle for years--literally! I've decided every so often when there's not a book I've bought that I'm just dying to read that I'll start reading my backlog of books from the earliest bought. This was #1 - from 2013. I'm not doing bad, I only have one more book from 2013 before I start the ones from 2014. Yay!

*-*-*-*-*

This covers some rather dark topics like suicide and physical abuse. On the first page we learn of a student's suicide and Madison's feelings about it. And then the fact that she has a sort of suicide pact with her only friend. It's quite a punch to the gut that these 17 year olds feel so low due to family situations that they want to end things.

Madison had a very unconventional childhood with parents who took no notice of her at all and in an effort to gain any sort of attention from them she acted out in the past until the unthinkable happened when she was just 13. I understand how stuff like that can warp you when it happens at such a young age.

Then a ray of light appears in the form of Dean--all round good guy. He's been asked to tutor her so she doesn't flunk a class. He's determined to be her friend after watching her for years and seeing her "fade into the background" behaviour. Things progress from friendship into romance over time and we get a rather sweet romance between Dean and Madison. He's very protective of her.

Of course, things don't always go the way you want and someone close to Madison commits suicide throwing her back into the darkness of grief. Luckily, she now has a strong support system in place with Dean and his family and they manage to keep her grounded.

I thought it ended a little abruptly but it was a sweet young adult romance that covered some hard hitting topics.

Another note: Suicide does seem to be a big issue in teenagers around the world and this book does a good job of highlighting it. It doesn't seem fair to me for teens to be that low that they take their own lives. They've barely started living and they ready to die already? That's not right. I've had a few good cries while reading this.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

The Last Piece of My Heart - Paige Toon



Book: The Last Piece of My Heart
Author: Paige Toon
Genre: Chick-lit
Format: Paperback
Date Published: 1st June 2017

Date Read: 14th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ

Description:

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture...

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a book. But then a different proposition catches her eye.

Nicole DuprΓ© died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have a chance to show off what she can do, even if it means relocating to Cornwall and answering to Nicole's grieving husband, Charlie. But as she gets to know the family Nicole left behind, and the woman behind the words, Bridget's priorities begin to change...


Review:

Paige Toon has always been an author I'll buy. I've pretty much read all of her books apart from her last two or three--which I own but haven't gotten around to reading yet. I always tend to find Toon's books easy to get through and once I start, it's a case of full steam ahead.

So Bridget is a travel journalist who is also writing a blog about reclaiming the pieces of her heart that she lost to past boyfriends who she fell in love with, flying all over the world to meet up with them and asking for the pieces back. At the same time, she's been tasked with finishing writing a sequel to a bestselling novel after the author died suddenly half way through writing it.

It was interesting to read the authors journals and to see that a lot of her story was based on her own experiences when she was younger. I enjoyed Bridget's time getting to know Nicki--the author who had sadly passed away--through the stories told in notebooks and from her husband, Charlie.

Then there's Nicki and Charlie's baby daughter, April. I've got a serious weakness for cute babies/children in stories. She's used as a pretty focal character in the book and I think, like Bridget, that we start to fall in love with her from early on.

I think Toon did a good job of writing a grieving husband (and other family members) and the tenderness of finding new love after such a big loss.

I'm looking forward to reading those other books I mentioned above.

Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

Friday, 9 August 2019

Deep Scar Vol. 01 - Rosella Sergi (Netgalley)



Book: Deep Scar Vol. 01
Author: Rosella Sergi
Series: Deep Scar
Genres: Manga, Romance
Format: e-Book (Netgalley)
Publication Date: 13th June 2018

Date Finished: 9th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Sofia is a quiet young woman who longs for more independence. When she moves to Turin for school, it's her first time away from her family and her boyfriend Luca. But her new roommate, Veronica, leads a life very different from hers: she prefers evenings in the company of beautiful boys! Luca dreads the influence of Veronica and her entourage on Sofia, and especially the presence of the enigmatic Lorenzo, who seems to be a little too interested in his girlfriend... 

Review:

It's been several years since I last read a manga book but the cover art style reminded me of the handful of series' that I really enjoyed, so I thought I'd give this a go.

It starts with Sofia moving into a new apartment as she heads off to University and meeting her room-mate, Veronica, for the first time. They are complete opposites. Then we have Lorenzo, Veronica's close friend who's always in and out of their room.

He is a little tormented by something in this volume and continuously pushes Sofia away while always doing nice things for her. I have a feeling they knew each other in the past considering that little bit of a cliff-hanger ending. You can clearly see that something is going to happen between them in future volumes but I don't think it will be without issues.

I loved the little images used as chapter breaks, and the chapter starts with the individual characters on them were pretty cool, too. As was the bonus content with the profiles of the characters at the end.

Some parts of the storyline seemed a little OTT, like her parents reaction to what her room-mate looked like, but I'm assuming their reaction will be explained in future issues.

I will keep my eye out for future volumes of this.

Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

Written in Red - Anne Bishop


Book: Written in Red
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror(ish)
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Published: 5th March 2013

Date Finished: 9th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ

Description:

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.


Review:

Well I thought this one started on a bit of intrigue. Where had Meg come from? What were these scars she had? How had she so new to...life?

I found this really hard to put down, if I'm honest, the story really pulled me in and despite there not being much of a romance, I'll admit I was hooked. I loved the innocence of Meg and her just being really nice to everyone, which equally confused them and made them want to protect her. It was nice seeing them turn from scary "other" beings to  almost friendly. Especially with Meg. She became one of them. Part of their family.

Despite its lack of romance--I can't decide if something may happen between Meg and Simon in the future--I enjoyed this. It had a few elements of horror style things in--at the beginning and towards the end some trespassers are eaten alive and then some detailed snow related deaths towards the end--but although I didn't enjoy that bit so much, I forgot about it quickly enough.

I loved how every species of other in the Courtyard had their own little traits. The Crows with the "shiny". The wolves with their "arroooo" greetings. Tess with her living hair. The Hawks and their love of rats and mice. The elementals and their horses.

It was really well thought out and though it was almost 500 kindle pages long, I didn't lose interest once.

I'm interested enough in this group of characters to carry on the series. I even read the excerpt for the next book and it HAS given me hope for something more between Meg and Simon so I will be buying the next book at some point in the future.

Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Darling, All at Once - Piper Lennox



Book: Darling, All at Once
Author: Piper Lennox
Series: The Fairfields #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Pregnancy
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 27th August 2018

Date Finished: 4th August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Wasted, covered in glitter, and wearing the ugliest dress in existence.
Also known as: me, the night I stumble into bed with a Fairfield.


Cohen isn’t my type. Not even a little. I mean, other than his legendary family genes, and a smirk that leaves me as breathless as it does enraged.

One night. That’s all I want.

Then daylight comes, and all I want is to forget him. There’s just one problem: that night was too incredible to black out.

Actually, there are two problems.

Now my sister wants me to be her surrogate. To carry her child. To be pregnant.

But, as luck would have it…I already am.

* * *

Wasted, hungover, in that dress or out of it: there’s not a single version of Juliet I don’t find beautiful. Including knocked-up.

I’m a joker. I’m immature. She’s got a long list of reasons why I’m not her type.

But thank God for hormones: now she needs something. Bad. And I can give it to her, in about a hundred different ways.

I promise her our arrangement will stay purely physical.

I’m a liar.


Review:

I loved how Cohen was a candy floss vendor at Juliet's sisters wedding. That just screams fun to me so I was enjoying this from early on. And then there's the slightly drunken sex after said wedding ends and I was drawn into this.

Cohen's boyish charms really won me over, as did his constant hoping for more with Juliet. Juliet, on the other hand, could deny her attraction and want for something more with him until she was blue in the face but it was pretty obvious after a while so about half way through when they gave in and became a couple I was really happy for them.

Of course nothing ever goes as planned and their relationship goes through a few rough patches but the baby brought them together for a lot of it. It was really cute. I seem to have a soft spot for babies and toddlers in my romances. They just add a touch of...tenderness to the characters. I melt a little when a big tough guy goes all gentle and sweet with a cute little kid--or even his pregnant girlfriend.

I really liked this, it was pretty high on cuteness in my opinion. I'm intrigued about who's going to star in the rest of this series so I will be keeping my eye out for other books in the series.

Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

Friday, 2 August 2019

Desire Unchained - Larissa Ione



Book: Desire Unchained
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Demons, Shapeshifters
Format: Paperback
Date Published:1st September 2011

Date Finished: 2nd August 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Runa Wagner never meant to fall in love with the sexy stranger but she couldn't resist the unbelievable passion that burned between them...a passion that died when she discovered his betrayal and found herself forever changed. Now, determined to make Shade pay for the transformation that haunts her, Runa searches for him - but ends up prisoner to his darkest enemy.

A Seminus demon with a love-curse that threatens him with eternal torment, Shade hoped he'd seen the last of Runa and her irresistible charm. But when he wakes up in a dank dungeon chained next to a mysteriously powerful Runa, he realises that her effect on him is more dangerous than ever. As their captor casts a spell that binds them as lifemates, Shade and Runa must fight for their lives and their hearts - or succumb to a madmans evil plans.


Review:

Since I enjoyed Pleasure Unbound so much I thought I'd go straight into book 2 and read Shade's (Eidolon's brothers) story.

My hours at work have doubled recently so I'm not getting as much reading time in so it's taken me a while to finish this but I enjoyed it as much as the previous.

I grew to like Shade quite a lot in the first, he was very protective of his family and I was interested in who was going to be that special woman in his life. Once again, though, it isn't straight forward. Runa despises him after what ended up happening to her but you could see a connection still there between them as they share their prison cell.

I was very intrigued as to who had taken Shade, Runa and whoever else was in that cellar, hostage and the answer blew me away. I was not expecting that. They escape but not before getting mated and then the journey of their relationship really plays out.

The story arc that started in the first with Gem and Kynan continues in this one. It ratcheted up a few notches and I am interested to see where that goes. And of course, I want to see who the special lady is that brings Wraith to his knees.

Ordered book 3 and 4 so I can finish the series but not arrived yet. Can't wait to read more!


Link: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Goodreads

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