Jun 232015
 

Truly, Madly, Greekly: Sizzling summer reading Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?

Another great book from Mandy Baggot and a bargain at only 99p – and the best cover of any of her books by far.

I always look forward to Mandy’s books and this one was no exception. Ellen and Lacey have gone to Corfu to start planning Lacey’s wedding. Ellen is glad to get away from her everyday life which is crumbling around her, but she finds it impossible to relax and enjoy the holiday. Enter Yan, a member of the hotel animation team who finds himself both irritated and intrigued by this uptight Englishwoman.

This is a great story for reading on the beach but you could read it anywhere and instantly be transported into sun, sea and sand. One of the things I love about Mandy’s books is the realism – forget billionaires falling in love with secretaries, this is something you actually could see happening. It was also interesting getting a bit of an insight into the life of the animation team – having been on package holidays I never really gave much thought to what they get up to on their time off!

I love Yan and Ellen and the fact they are normal people, they are both wounded, both hiding secrets and neither are looking for love. I am a sucker for accents on men and I had no trouble imagining the sexy accent Yan had – an accent always adds to the hero’s appeal. This is a story not just about a holiday romance but about trust, family, believing in yourself and not letting anyone hold you back.

The only thing that slightly irritated me about this book was Lacey.  I found it difficult to warm to her and wanted to give her a slap at times, but having said that it didn’t spoil the book for me. I had a wonderful couple of hours curled up in my chair, with the rain hammering down outside, imagining myself in a sunny resort in Corfu.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mandy Baggot
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Bookouture
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Jun 192015
 

Some Kind of Wonderful Her whole life, Puffin Islander Brittany Forrest has dreamed of adventure. And at the age of eighteen, she thought she’d found it in bad boy Zachary Flynn. But after just ten tempestuous, smouldering days, their whirlwind marriage went up in smoke, and Brittany resolved to put him out of her mind forever.

Zach knows he let Brittany down, but being back on Puffin Island and seeing Brittany again stirs up long-buried emotions. This daredevil pilot has never felt worthy of her, yet he can’t stay away—even when he knows the chemistry between them will only complicate his life.

Wow, just wow, I loved this book – sexy and romantic, what more can a girl want! This is the second book in the Puffin Island series and I think it’s better than First Time in Forever. While you do not need to have read the first book, I’m a great believer in doing so and I think you come to appreciate the characters more.

What can I say about Zach? Inside that luscious body, he is still a wounded and scarred child, thinking everyone is going to turn on him. The easiest way not to let anyone hurt him is to refuse to let anyone in.  I just wanted to give him a hug (among other things). Thankfully Brittany soon realised that trying to keep her distance was futile.

Brittany is frustrated that she is stuck back on Puffin Island while her broken arm heals, and seeing Zach again throws her completely off balance. Her mind says stay away, her body says go for it. Together they need to navigate their feelings and work out a way to cope with living on the same island.

I loved getting to see all the Islanders again and especially enjoyed the insight into summer camp. The addition of Jaws was a tense scene but it just goes to show again what an amazing guy Zach is. Shame he can’t see it himself.

This is perfect to read at home or on the sun lounger, hell if you like romance it is perfect to read anywhere! As I love romance this is the perfect book for me; I love the setting, I love the characters and I cannot wait to read the final book in the trilogy.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Series: Puffin Island (2)
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
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May 252015
 

The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the worlds worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she’s actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she is still here.

This was hilarious right from page one, from the minute she describes feeling like a sausage being squeezed out of its skin I was hooked and did not stop laughing throughout. Strange you might think, considering Rosie is dead, but this is just not a sad story. Yes there are some bitter-sweet moments but this is the true definition of a romantic comedy.

Having the story told from Rosie’s point of view is great and it is so funny watching her adjust to being dead, how she reacts when she realises someone can see her and how she goes about haunting someone who just really ticked her off. Her personality and wit have not diminished just because she is dead and she does keep worrying about those ugly pyjamas she is now stuck wearing.

With a whole host of other characters, this book had a great pace throughout and I did not want to put it down until I found out what actually happened. Rosie found out things about herself and her friends she never knew while she was alive and starts to realise just what she had been missing out on.

I am normally the sort of person who avoids stories where the heroine is dead because I do like predictable  happy endings, having said that, this is a good ending and I am so glad I read it.

I highly recommend it and I will very definitely be looking for the author’s next books.

 

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Kate Winter
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Sphere
  • Genre: Romantic Comedy
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May 142015
 

Cat's Lair (Leopard People) Cat Benoit has finally escaped her past. She’s off the grid, underground but watchful, and creating a new life for herself in Texas, far from the torrid dangers of her native New Orleans. She’s safe. He’ll never find her this time. Cat has to believe that, it’s the only thing keeping her sane.

Oh wow this is hot, hot, hot. The Leopard People series is my favourite of Christine’s and I loved this book.

Cat is frightened and mistrustful of everyone (with good reason), while Ridley Cromer manages to get under her skin in every way possible. She is just starting to trust him when her world comes crashing down and her past catches up with her.

The main characters in this book are strong and well written. Often I find the author’s alpha males just a bit too misogynistic for my taste but oh I loved Ridley. Yes there is the pattern of a very alpha shapeshifter but I did not think it was over the top. Cat is scared of what is within her and Ridley has to make her see that her leopard is as much a part of her as breathing. As a result there is a large part of the book just with the two of them which means lots of discussion and hot and heavy sex, with little moving forward with the plot; but hell I didn’t care  - who needs Fifty Shades is all I can say! I don’t think it detracted from the story at all and fit with Ridley trying to prepare Cat for the confrontation we know is coming.

The bad guy in all this is a nasty piece of work although very much on the periphery for most of the book.  However, when the showdown comes it is brutal for all concerned and my heart was in my mouth at times.

This book can be read as a standalone, but we do get to see characters from other books and reading the earlier ones in the series will give you more insight into the world of the Leopard people. However, having said that you could happily read this one and then you will like it so much you will want to go back to the beginning. Nothing in this book would spoil earlier books.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Christine Feehan
  • Series: Leopard People (7)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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May 052015
 

Bite: The most gripping thriller you will ever read Tomorrow should be the greatest day of Erica Stroud-Jones’ life. In just twenty four hours this brilliant young scientist will present her secret work to a conference in Amsterdam – research that promises to revolutionize the battle against a deadly tropical disease. Millions of lives could be saved. Arriving to watch her are skeptics and rivals, admirers and enemies. Erica’s own eyes will be on sculptor Max Carver, her new love to whom she will dedicate her achievement. Tomorrow never comes. Erica vanishes during the night…

I was pulled into this from the first few pages, intrigued as to what could be so dangerous but clearly so innocuous as to be on a plane in the first place. However, I quickly became confused as to what was going on. There were so many characters and I was not always sure how they fitted in. Having said that I was sufficiently intrigued enough to keep reading and things start to make sense as you move through the book.

While Erica is the main female character, we do not get to see much of her in the present. Her disappearance is told entirely from Max’s point of view and what we learn about Erica, we learn from flashbacks using her journal from her days in Africa. It seems clear this must be linked to her disappearance but I have to confess it took me ages to put it together – always good if you have to keep reading to find out the answers! The journal diaries from Africa were fascinating, interesting  and very vivid, I was almost annoyed when we kept switching back to present day.

Max may have only known Erica for a short time but he is determined to find her, convinced she has been abducted and the reason is linked to her secret paper. We are left wondering  most of the way through exactly what was in her paper and I was dying to know.  Thankfully we do get to find out eventually never fear. I found Max a difficult character to get on with and I’m not sure his background would have enabled him to turn into the James Bond style superman he seemed to become. I don’t know how he was still standing at one point let alone running. He has to contend with organised crime, corrupt police and professional thieves in order to find out what happened to Erica. I admire his determination and persistence.

The premise of this story is frightening because you could actually see it happening, and all because of a throwaway comment made by a greedy pharmaceutical boss. There were lots of interesting facts about malaria and mosquitoes and you cannot help but have sympathy with the plight of those people.

Overall this is a thriller with a frighteningly real sounding premise and while I got confused, everything does come clear and make sense in the end – it seemed to get quite James Bond for a while which is not really my style of book but that doesn’t make it bad just not my ideal. There are very real moral and ethical issues running throughout this and you have to look inside yourself to think whose side are you actually on.

If you like clever action thrillers you will probably love this.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Nick Louth
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Sphere
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Apr 222015
 

Clash of Iron (The Iron Age Trilogy) LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF WAR

Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they have conquered it, they must defend it.

A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to protect their home, the British tribes battle each other – and see Maidun as an easy target.

Meanwhile, Lowa’s spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited bloodthirsty British druids, and Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome’s charismatic general, Julius Caesar.

War is coming. Who will pay its price?

I adored Age of Iron, the first book in this series and was waiting eagerly for this second book to be released.  I sometimes have worries about whether a sequel will live up to the first one, but I think because of Watson’s irreverent style of writing, I didn’t worry about this book and I was very happy to be proved right on that score.

Clash of Iron turns a few things we thought about certain characters from the first book on its head.  The most notable are Ragnall who takes self-absorption to a new level and becomes one of the enemy, even if it was by accident and a sense of his own self-importance.  The other characters are from the original 50.  Chamanca, who I now think kicks ass in a slightly icky way but she has undeniably won me over; Atlas who is just solid, likeable and is as loyal to Lowa as he was to Zadar; and Carden who can find the humour in any situation.  Those three are just awesome.

Lowa and Spring have grown beyond their experiences in the first book with Lowa learning to be the Queen of Maidun and to not repeat the mistakes Zadar made, while Spring is learning to be the best she can be and looks up to Dug and Lowa.  I keenly felt her frustration with her magic and not being able to understand how it worked, especially when it came to people she cared about.

Dug, thankfully, is just Dug!  Still badger profanity obsessed, solid, dependable but now just wants a quiet life.  I kept rooting for him and Lowa to reconcile as they so clearly wanted to be together but battles, events and timings meant it proved difficult.  I was surprised he managed to keep out of it for as long as he did but I do admit cheering when he entered the fray.

For the bad guys, they are too many to mention in this but oh my goodness, some of them are horrible.  Methods of torture for amusement or questioning is never going to be pretty but the author managed to get pretty damn inventive here.  He also managed to make some of it macabrely amusing.  King Hari the Fister’s trials come to mind there (you will know what I mean when you get there!).

I loved the way Caesar is portrayed, perhaps slightly out of convention with history but it worked very well for me.  His famed journal being an account of what he wanted to show he did rather than being what he actually did and his penchant for referring to himself in the third person was brilliant.

Felix, ahhh, Felix.  You were a surprise and I could quite happily see you go through every one of the torture methods mentioned and not shed a tear.  I really hope you get your comeuppance!

Characters aside, the story is well crafted with Watson’s own take on that period of history and it flows well and kept me reading.  Betrayals, heroism, horror, despair and gory battles are all ingredients for a decent fantasy novel but Angus Watson’s talent for writing those with realism and humour amidst it all is what raises this series from decent to fantastic.

Bonus points for the inclusion of a few famous Gauls.  I utterly, utterly loved that!

Bonus points taken away for making me cry at the end!

Overall this was a brilliant, exciting and engaging second book and I can’t wait for the third now, to see if some things are permanent and if so, how the remaining characters will give Felix and Caesar the punishment they so richly deserve!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Angus Watson
  • Series: The Iron Age Trilogy (2)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Genre: Fantasy
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Apr 212015
 

The Liar When her husband Richard dies in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But his death reveals a horrible truth – Richard was a liar and a cheat. Now Shelby is left with the consequences – huge, terrifying debts and mounting proof that her late husband betrayed her in every conceivable way.

Heart-broken but unbowed, Shelby is determined to fix her problems – if only for the sake of her gorgeous little daughter Callie. Returning home to Tennessee and the family she thought she’d lost for ever, she discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the handsome form of carpenter Griffin Lott – a straight-dealing man who couldn’t lie to her if he tried. 

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard’s shady business, it becomes clear that she is not safe from him, even in death. With her life in danger, Shelby must face the lies of the past – or lose everything.

I think Nora Roberts is incapable of writing a bad book! This is another good one with believable characters who just drag you into the story.  The story is slow to start as we get a lot of description and background with Shelby, but it is necessary for the rest of the story and gets you rooting for her from the start. I also have to confess to shedding a few tears! One of the great things about this book is seeing Shelby’s character development – moving from an abused cowed woman to one who knows what she wants from life for her and her daughter, and is determined to get it.

Griffin is of course hot, as with all the author’s male leads but in this case, he is the one who seems struck by lightning at their first meeting, rather than Shelby (although the attraction is definitely there on her side too!) The interactions between him and Callie are wonderful and I love them. There is a great cast of supporting characters and I loved Shelby’s family and the small town gossip.

This is a completely stand alone book, but I would love it if the author wrote another novel with these characters.

The suspense element moves along a bit slower than with some of Nora Roberts’ other non series books, and while I guessed where it was going quite early on, it didn’t ruin it for me.

Overall another good book from this very prolific author and while some people may think the suspense element is too slow to develop and easy to guess at, the romance and small town goings on are more than enough distraction while the plot develops.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Format: Hardback
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Feb 242015
 

First Time in Forever (Puffin Island trilogy - Book 1) When Emily Donovan’s sister Lana, a high profile actress is killed in tragic circumstances, Emily becomes guardian to her orphaned niece, Lizzy. Puffin island is the last place anyone would look for the daughter of a Hollywood actress, but Emily’s problems run far deeper than just avoiding the press. She doesn’t know how to talk to a child and she is terrified of the sea and the sand. But when sexy local businessman Ryan Cooper starts paying Emily attention, things change. Could she really begin to build a life there?

Sarah Morgan is back with another great romance (first of a trilogy) in another beautiful setting.

Emily doesn’t do love of any kind, feels she is incapable of it, she is terrified with the responsibility of a child and is scared she will not be able to love her like she should. She has many issues linked mostly to her childhood, and finds it very difficult to trust anyone, intending to stay as isolated as possible until she is ready to leave Puffin island. A small island community and a 6 year old child make that pretty much impossible and before she knows it she is pulled into island life.

Ryan has his own issues,  one of which is having given up most of his teenage years to look after his siblings, having children is definitely not on his to do list but something about Emily and Lizzy draw him in.

I love the way the author (aided and abetted by a 6 year old and a grandmother) drags these two damaged people kicking and screaming into a relationship neither of them thinks they want.

Sarah Morgan as always describes an idyllic setting so clearly and the characters just come to life right off the page. The great thing about having a series set on a small island is the character development that I know will appear in future books. I love getting peeks at characters from previous books as well.

This is not just a story of romance, it is also about friendship and accepting that sometimes when life turns you upside down the way forward is not always what you thought you wanted.  At the core though it is a sweet love story, easy to read and I look forward to the next one in the series.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Series: Puffin Island (1)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Feb 182015
 

Obsession in Death A crisp winter morning in New York. In a luxury apartment, the body of a woman lies stretched out in a huge bed. On the wall above, the killer has left a message in bold, black ink: For Lieutenant Eve Dallas, with great admiration and understanding.

Thus begins another case for Eve Dallas and the gang; another great book with all the characters we know and love and a strong plot-line. How does J.D. Robb manage to consistently bring out such great stories?

This time, Eve is struggling with the fact that the killer is someone who wants to be her best friend – she has enough trouble keeping up with the friends she has without a murderer wanting to join the ranks. Despite outward appearances, Eve takes murders that happen on her watch very personally, and even more so when it is claimed they are done in her name. There are some difficult moments for Eve while trying to reconcile this but she still manages to kick ass and plough on.

Having to worry about her friends more than usual makes Eve once again try to reconcile her desire for a quiet life, with the number of people she has acquired! There are instances here where Eve lets her softer side shine through more so than usual.

The regular gang are all present and Peabody is definitely coming into her own now, more confident in her role as Eve’s partner rather than aide. Some of the interactions between them are golden.

besides” – on impulse she slung an arm around Peabody, cuddled her stunned partner in – “my partner’s got the better tits.”

Roarke is of course ever present and as usual he and Eve remain the at the centre. Never mind Eve though, where can I get me a Roarke?  Always there reminding Eve to eat and look after herself, knowing what she needs almost before she does. The dynamic between them does not get old (neither does the sex!) despite the 40 books they have been in, and if anything was to happen to him I would be devastated.

J.D. Robb is an amazing writer and despite this series having so many books, you could easily pick up here and not be disappointed. I would urge anyone who might be daunted by reading 40 books to catch up – just don’t. Read this one then you will want to go back and read the rest.

I love this series, I love these characters and I will eagerly await the next book. I cannot get enough and really, really, encourage people to read it.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J. D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (40)
  • Format: Hardback
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Crime
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

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Dec 102014
 

It’s almost Christmas, and another year has flown by.  Long time readers may remember this post from last year, around the same time.

Everything I said then is true now, and it’s come to that time of year when Greté’s illness often gets on top of her and she isn’t able to give the site, reviewing or even reading the time she would like.

So we ask you to bear with us for the next month or two, and we’ll be back and posting content again in 2015.

Until then, I hope you all have a great Christmas, and a very happy start to 2015.

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