Monday, 28 June 2021

The Mixtape - Brittainy C. Cherry

                                            55747432. sy475 
Book: The Mixtape
Author: Brittainy Cherry
Genres: Music, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book - Kindle First Reads
Publication Date: 1st July 2021

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

Description:

Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

Review:

I got this from Amaazon's First Reads program for 99p at the start of the month.

This starts with Oliver and his twin brother Alex at a music party/event when they both decide to head out together. Unfortunately, they get hit by a speeding driver and Alex dies from his injuries. Fast forward six months and we see from Emery's POV. She's struggling to make enough money to keep her and her daughter in food and even to keep the roof over their head. One night she goes to work at the bar and none other than music sensation and now recluse Oliver Smith is sat in the back. When he starts to be recognised by the people in the bar, Emery ushers them out and ends up taking a very drunk Oliver home, only to be fired the next day for not closing the patrons tabs. When Oliver finds out, he offers her a job and a friendship begins to bloom between them.

I did like this. It took a while for me to get into it but once I did, well, I pretty much devoured it. The story is emotional dealing with death, emotional abuse and the after effects of rape but it also shines with love and forgiveness.

The connection that Oliver and Emery shared was great. They both helped the other in so many ways that their romance was almost inevitable. How could they not fall for each other after all the nice things they'd said and done for each other?

I loved the interactions between Oliver and Reese. They poked fun at each other and loved it. They were a really cute twosome and I loved how they continuously bounced back and forth while growing close almost instantly.

As for Emery and Sammie's parents? They were the worst set of overbearing parents I've ever read about. They truly were vile to their children in their over-religious/self-righteous way and I could gladly have banged their heads together a few times throughout those "past" chapters.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

A Crown of Blood and Bone - Sloane Murphy

                                              53617048. sy475 
Book: A Crown of Blood and Bone
Author: Sloane Murphy
Series: Shadow Walkers Saga, #1
Genres: Paranormal
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 2nd June 2020

My Rating: DNF @ 55%
Date Finished: 24th June 2021

Description:

Not all monsters are what they seem.

"You're a Hunter, Remy."

Those four words changed my life.
One minute, I'm human, engaged, and ready to start my life.
Then my twenty-first birthday rocks round, bringing with it the biggest god damn shock of my life.

I'm a Hunter. Nephillim. Monsters are real, And this isn't my first life.

With more secrets than I could have ever believed, and a world so far from what I thought I knew.
My enemies are not who they seem, and this world isn't just black and white.

Review:

This starts with Remy heading out for early birthday drinks with her fiancΓ© and her family who do not get along at all. They clash constantly and it's starting to wear Remy down. A few days after her birthday, he dad and family sit her down and explain why they've been so protective of her - it turns out that her family are Nephilim tasked with keeping the peace between the paranormal races that inhabit her city and that they reincarnate after every death and are always born back into the same family and keep their memories if they chose to take up the gauntlet and continue the fight.

I'll admit the first 50% of this didn't grab me at all. I honestly don't know why I continued any longer. It was just so slow going and was taking way too long for something exciting to happen. The first 40% or so is just her finding out she's a hunter and deciding to become one again in this lifetime - after her twelfth reincarnation.

I wanted a little more action, a little more romance, something. It was just so slow going. Even the blooming realisation that she'd had a vampire - her enemy - as a lover in a previous life she'd lived did not drag me in. I think it had taken too long by that point.

Not for me.
 

Monday, 21 June 2021

Web of Lies - Nyna Queen

                                            54102522. sx318 
Book: Web of Lies
Author: Nyna Queen
Series: Trueborn Heirs, #2
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book - Kindle Unlimited
Publication Date: 14th June 2020

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 21st June 2021

Description:

A royal gathering. She isn't invited. And if they find her, they will kill her...

Against all odds, Alex Harper survived her deadly wounds and managed to shake off her faceless pursuers. But she is hardly safe. With a death sentence looming over her, she must quickly find out who is pulling the strings in this twisted game she has become a part of – before they catch her. But that means infiltrating the trueborn royal elite; a glamorous world that possesses no love for shaper mongrels such as Alex. One wrong step will be the death of her.

To make things worse, she has to work with Darken again. Now back in trueborn territory, the scorching hot Deathbringer has retreated behind his armor of fire and the class difference between them becomes painfully obvious. Can their feelings for each other survive this growing gulf? Not that it will matter if Alex's self-control isn't good enough to pass for a member of the elite, and in the Royal Palace of all places! Caught between dark secrets and political intrigues, Alex soon realizes that she has entangled herself in a deadly web of lies...

Review:

This is probably going to be my last KU book of my latest subscription as my subscription ends on the 25th.

So this one picks up where the last left off with Alex in a sort of coma as her body tries to heal itself after the injuries she sustained at the end of the last book. When she does come to, everyone wants to find out who was behind the attempt on Stephane's and the childrens lives so they decide to follow several leads and in the end, end up at a high profile party at the Palace where Alex must pretend to be a high-born.

I do enjoy this series and I'll start by being honest. I was mostly caught by the thing that was transpiring between Alex and Darken. It had been brewing for a long time by the time they did the deed in the first one and both of them clearly had high hopes of something coming of it...but nope. At least not as of yet, as they keep having some of those charged moments and keep trying to say things before being interrupted. It was driving me a little mad!

I am also rather intrigued by who's behind the attempts on Stephane and his family's lives after finishing this one. It wasn't a big deal to me at the start but now I'm starting to get pulled into that craziness.

It did end on a bit of a cliffhager - not like the first! - with Alex's fate very close to hanging in the balance. She isn't in imminent danger this time but I very much want to know how this trilogy is going to end - and if Alex and Darken will finally just talk to each other and admit their feelings! 

I will be impatiently waiting for its release.

Friday, 18 June 2021

By A Thread - Nyna Queen

                                              48632358. sy475 
Book: By a Thread
Author: Nyna Queen
Series: Trueborn Heirs, #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 1st May 2019

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 18th June 2021

Description:

“I’m a spider, sugar. My shaper kind doesn’t bear that name for nothing.” 

That's not something Alexis Harper dares to say very often. If she did, it might just get her killed. Not that she is an easy mark, but even fools get lucky once in a while. In a world where the magically gifted trueborn rule and the magicless halfborn slog away in the slums, half-blood mongrels like Alex are outcasts—feared and shunned. For most of her life, she has lurked in the shadows, trying to keep her true nature a secret. But the secrecy ends abruptly when she saves two trueborn aristo children from a group of hired killers. 

Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Alex suddenly finds herself running from powerful enemies, with no one around to trust. Or what about the mysterious stranger who has been following her? He is one of Death’s Servants, born and bred to kill at the country’s command. Not the most preferable ally, but then, her choices are limited. Soon she has to decide whether she can trust him or not—it’s a gamble she might not survive either way. And before Alex knows what is happening, her life is hanging by a silken thread…

Review:

I picked this up for free a few months back after seeing several people I follow on Goodreads give it good ratings.

This starts with Alexis working at her job as a server at a bar in the slums where her identity as a half-born is a secret from her colleagues. When she picks up an extra shift she isn't expecting two aristo children to teleport into her bar or for the group of men that appear seconds later to try and kill them. Jumping to their rescue she ends up going on a cross country journey to try and get them home, only to run into their uncle Darken - a deathbringer - who is searching for the children while being named as the children's kidnapper and a murderer. As a group they try and find an easy way back to the kids home but it isn't easy when being hunted at every corner. 

I did enjoy this. The author had a very descriptive way of writing, using phrases I either hadn't heard in a long time or just not at all. I'm not normally a fan of the overly descriptive and I'll admit that I did skip a few paragraphs here and there because I wasn't interested in what was being said but at times it described the people and the scenery beautifully.

There was a tension between Alex and Darken from pretty much their first meeting and it slowly became something sexual. I liked their verbal sparring sessions since 

I do feel like English is not the authors first language. There were times when I wasn't sure what the author was trying to say with the words she'd chosen. There were also a few times when the wrong tense of a particular word was used. I just think it needs going over with a fine-tooth comb to straighten out those few kinks. Things like this:
"Take care if this, so we can be gone."

I enjoyed this enough to want to continue the series... especially considering it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

The Player and The Pixie - L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

                                                29758085. sy475
Book: The Player and The Pixie
Authors: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby, #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 12th April 2016

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ
Date Finished: 13th July 2021

Description:

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

THE PIXIE
Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

Review:

I bought this off Amazon last year some time since I've enjoyed reading both authors before. This is the first book I've read in this series.

This one starts with Lucy at her brothers sports party for the Irish rugby team when another player who isn't particularly liked, Sean, walks in and starts mouthing off at Lucy's brother. They have an argument and things are broken up by the rest of the team, though Lucy is intrigued by the handsome athlete. They end up meeting a while later in a department store where Lucy's tiny shoplifting habit is seen by Sean and he finds himself drawn to the rainbow haired girl in the most carnal of ways. Things take an unexpected turn when Lucy ends up in bed with Sean and realises just how terrible he is at sex and he asks her to teach him what she knows.

So I'll be honest, I wasn't sure about Sean to start with. He wasn't the most likeable guy, seeming to enjoy taunting people but the more we got to know him, the more he grew on me. There was a reason for him being like he is and, luckily, Lucy works it out for herself.

Their romance was cute - and steamy! - when it finally kicked into gear. I loved how Sean came out of his shell and stopped being the pain-in-the-arse guy he had been to pepper Lucy with compliments and. dare I say, orgasms. He really grew on me in the end.

You can clearly see the Irish and the American uses in this book. You have words like color and knickers. One very much an American spelling while the other is distinctly British. It was a bit of a strange mix but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I would be interested in reading more of this series. Judging by the wedding scene in this one I'm assuming it's going to be Sean's cousin and one of his teammates.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Bossy Grump - Nicole Snow

                                             57561471. sy475
Book: Bossy Grump
Author: Nicole Snow
Series: Bad Chicago Bosses, #2
Genres: Office Romance, Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle e-Book - Kindle Unlimited
Publication Date: 28th March 2021

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

Description:

You know that awkward moment when your lava-hot boss says "marry me?"
Not for love. Not for real. Not without a mammoth payoff.
Of course, this fortune comes with a ginormous snag—Ward Brandt.

Call me bananas.
I must be short of a full bushel rejecting Chicago's finest billionaire.
Who knew he was my boss when he crashed my worst date ever?
Oh, but he found out.
He swore I wasn't fit for Brandt Ideas, chewed me up, and spat me back out.
I vowed I'd prove him wrong—and sabotage a metric ton of his coffee.

Then tragedy strikes, upending his limitless ego.
Guess who needs an image makeover to shore up the family business.
Big fat hell no.
King Snarlypants has a peanut-sized heart and a chip on his shoulder bigger than a redwood.

Find another sucker, Ward-hole.
Even if I agreed, my shields are up.
No magnetic kisses. Zero butterflies. Nix the blushing when everyone gushes over what a “perfect couple” we'd be.
Then again...it's just ninety days and mama needs a windfall.
What's one little white wedding lie with a bossy grump built like a god?

Review:

I got this from the Kindle Unlimited Library. 

I was hoping that Paige would get her own book after the events of the first book in this series and she did! I'll admit I don't remember a whole lot of her from the first but I do remember her throwing a pie at the main guy for what he'd done to her friend.

So...this starts with Paige meeting a Tinder date before heading out to the art gallery showing that she's really looking forward to - and her date is dreading. While there, Paige is intrigued by the stern guy in the impeccable suit wandering through the exhibit and trying to avoid spending too much time with her now drunk date. Things get a bit dicey when her date tries to force her into a dark corner and she is rescued by the suited guy. It's only the next day that she realises that the suited guy is her new boss and he is not impressed by her behaviour the night before.

I was enjoying this for the first 50% or so with the antagonising of each other and then the fake engagement but then my interest started to wane. It was taking too long to get where it was going. As I've mentioned several times in my reviews, I'm not the biggest fan of long books - unless they're by a certain author whose initials are MZ - I like a book to be between 250 - 350 pages because, if I'm into the story, I can quickly finish them in 2-3 days. This whopper at 502 has taken me over a week.

The romance was a slow burn and there were times when I could have happily punched Ward repeatedly for the stupid things he said and did to Paige. He was just so clueless. It all worked out in the end, though.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Broken Beats - D. Kelly

                                            42207102. sy475
Book: Broken Beats
Author: D. Kelly
Series: Illusion
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Musicians/Rockstars
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 14th May 2019

My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished: 7th June 2021

Description:

Darren

Single father
Widower
Retired
Three things I never thought I’d be by thirty, yet all my daily reality.
This is not the life I would have chosen, but it’s the hand I’ve been dealt.
I love my daughter.
I loved Belle.
I’m not interested in more heartache.
Relationships are a thing of the past.
Until I meet her -
She’s the awakening I desperately need, but one I’m not sure I deserve.

Haddie

Everything happens for a reason.
Time heals all wounds.
You’re too young to give up on love.
They say that, but they’re wrong.
My world crumbled when my fiancΓ© died.
Then I met him –
He’s flawed in the same ways.
Broken in the same places.
Scared of the same things.
He looks at me like I’m his salvation.
And I want to be, but an open heart means risking a broken one.

Review:

I picked this up from World of Books - a seller of pre-loved books - for a couple of pounds. I do love a musician romance and this sounded interesting.

It starts with Darren telling the reader about his past - about his band, his wife, Belle, and his daughter. We then go back to six months ago when Darren was struggling on the anniversary of his wife's death and slept with someone he shouldn't have, which helps to make him realise that maybe he should start dating again. Haddie is also trying to find love again while also still grieving the death of her fiancΓ© and they meet at their mutual friends bar one night and things go from there.

I'm not the biggest fan of reading male POV's sometimes. Guy's don't seem to think as...nicely as women do. There's a lot of sex thinking and general swearing. It puts me off a little. We do see alternate chapters from Haddie's POV so it did get broken up.

I'll admit I struggled with this from the start. I just didn't really enjoy being inside Darren's head - but I also felt like I'd missed a lot of important things with not having read the original series this book branches off from. 

The romance didn't really work for me, either. They met at a mutual friends bar and it was like wham, bam, thank you ma'am. They had one date and suddenly they were an exclusive couple? It just seemed way too fast to be real in my opinion.

I was determined to finish this, though, as the things that Darren kept saying to appease Haddie's body issues were lovely - they both said some really nice, insightful things about themselves and life in general. I just didn't really feel their story. It wasn't for me.

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