Apr 222014
 

Opal Fire (A Stacy Justice Mystery Book One) Stacy Justice is an investigative reporter related to the Geraghty Girls, older women who are known around town as the local witches/nutters.  Stacy would rather concentrate on her everyday life than being branded a witch, but her aunts just won’t let up.  Her life takes a turn for the bizarre when her cousin’s bar is torched, seemingly to hide a sinister secret. Stacy’s curiosity gets the better of her and before she knows it dead bodies are turning up everywhere she goes, and her witchy powers just keep poking through.  With the help of her faithful Great Dane, well meaning if irritating relatives and to the annoyance of her chief of police boyfriend, Stacy follows lead after lead in an effort to find out what the hell is going on.

It took me a while to get into this book but once the story took off I enjoyed it. Not a romance which is my preferred genre but it had a good smattering of comedy and suspense so the story line kept me interested. The plot-line kept me guessing although I did suss who did it before the reveal, but not by much!

The female characters were generally good, although some of the decisions they made beggared belief and I found the male characters very irritating at times. Stacy’s boyfriend might be the chief of police but he really seems to have no way of maintaining order and Mario made me want to puke! I think I agree with Stacy in that the only male she can rely on is her dog! I loved the older Geraghty girls who seem totally nuts in their own way and Thor is so cute!

This was an easy read and although a lot seemed to happen it was easy to keep up with the plot, the ending was satisfying and threw up a new mystery that made me want to go get the second book – so I did!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Barbra Annino
  • Series: A Stacy Justice Mystery (1)
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)

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Apr 032014
 

Watch Your Back A cold case reopened. A murderer re-emerging more deadly than ever before…
 
Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, despite it all, she’s still a fighter. When she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target.
 
It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. Since the minute he first saw her, Clay has wanted to protect the wounded officer, and he started loving her not long after that. So when Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide…

Wow, this was one breathtaking, heart stopping, gut-wrenching ride!

Stevie is a character I have loved for the longest time and have been both frustrated and tearful both with her and for her.  Clay is just a sweetheart and is no different in this book.  When he does the powerful man thing though, it makes my knees quite weak!

I think this might be the final book focussing on this grouping of characters – I hope I’m wrong because I love them dearly but I’m not sure what direction it would go in now.  Having said that, Karen Rose does have the most amazing ability to connect characters and story-lines across books so there may well be some mention to see how they are doing.  I can only hope!

The story was fast paced and I thought it was extremely well judged to keep me right on the edge of my seat. The plot reveals came thick and fast and I don’t think I could have stopped reading even if I’d wanted to – there was just so much I had to KNOW.  I lost count of the number of times my heart was in my mouth and my husband had to keep checking I was OK, as I would make an audible sound (not that I was aware of it!).

The bad guys were actually really bad and Ms. Rose cleverly wove several elements from previous books into this one and the big reveal at the end – I thought I knew, but wow, I really didn’t.

Just phenomenal and as usual I am desperate for her next book, even if it does involve different characters.  In fact I think I need to read them ALL again!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karen Rose
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Mar 262014
 

Made in Nashville: HarperImpulse Contemporary Romance 10 years ago Honor Blackwood was Nashville’s brightest country music star until an attack on stage left her with scars both physical and emotional.

Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall hears Honor singing and wants her on his tour but she hasn’t sung publicly for 10 years and is determined not to start now. Will he wear her down, and is his interest in her, or her voice?

Well at the end of this I was melted in a puddle on the floor and wanted me a Jared of my own!

This story has everything I could wish for – romance, sex, emotions both high and low and of course more romance.  Oh yes, plus a very sexy guy!

Jared and Honor are both flawed emotionally and their development throughout the story is believable and emotional. They seem to get together fairly quickly and all seems to be going well then bam, you get hit from left field with something. There were two moments in the story I didn’t see coming at all (and I’m not going to give them away and spoil it) but I will say that one part was so cleverly done, it had me expecting something totally different.

I love Jared, he is hot, sexy, a total romantic and a bad boy – what’s not to love? Honor could easily have become an irritating character who was a bit of a wuss, but as her self confidence increased, so did her spine and she grows into a great character.

At the heart of Made in Nashville is the romance, but it becomes so much more with the angst and strong emotions running through it. I went through all the emotions you could possibly think of but, importantly for me, I finished the book in a very good state of mind.

Some people might be put off because it’s heavily based in the country music scene in America, and the book blurb talks up the country music angle. Well I am from the UK and know nothing about country music and I loved it.

Overall, this really is a great story – I cried, I laughed, I sighed and I smiled and I could not put it down (I was even reading while cooking tea). This is the first book I’ve read by Mandy Baggot and I need more!

As at 26th March 2014 the Kindle version is only 99p on Amazon – go buy it if you love romance.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mandy Baggot
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)

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Feb 172014
 

Truly, Madly, Deeply From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an unforgettable romantic adventure where love really is all you need.

This is a collection of 24 new stories from some of today’s best romantic authors including Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson. There really is something for everyone here, but I must confess I did not like all the stories, and some authors that were new to me and I will not look to read again. However, there were also a number of authors who I had never read before that will definitely have me looking for more of their work – Nikki Moore (she made me cry!), Alison May and Heidi Rice to name but three.

I have to say I’m not a big fan of short stories like this, as there is not enough time to really develop characters or a story. Having said that, I am amazed at how well some authors could drag me into their story in only a few pages.

I am also an extremely quick reader so short stories like these can take only a matter of a couple of minutes to read. Probably why I prefer a longer story I can get my teeth into. I do like a drawn out romance :)

This is however a great collection of stories and if you are the sort of person who likes to read in bite sized chunks this is perfect. Romance abounds and as mentioned you may discover some new authors to add to your reading shelf.

Please note this is a review of the paperback version, the e-book contains a number of bonus stories which I have not read.

Book Information
  • Author: Sue Moorcroft
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

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Feb 032014
 

Just For Christmas When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another girl, all she wants to do is to be alone – and as far away from Edinburgh as possible. Moving to a Cornish Cottage, which comes complete with the world’s scruffiest dog, Alex finds that her new neighbours are determined to involve her in their madcap Christmas festivities. Then she meets her sexy neighbour Ruan and somehow Alex doesn’t want to be alone this Christmas after all.

I picked this book up because I love Christmas stories and it seemed like a perfect book to curl up with on a cold winters day.  I really enjoyed it and it met that criteria perfectly – it was romantic, funny and emotional.

The cast of characters are likeable and everyone from Buoy the dog to Lucy the barmaid have their own stories and personalities that shine through. This is not just a story about Alex and Ruan, it’s a story about life in a tight knit community and the people (and animals) who get under your skin before you know what’s happening.

Of course nothing is plain sailing and there a few misunderstandings along the way along with one huge problem when Alex’s reason for running to Cornwall turns up – what a jerk he is!

I love Ruan, fell in love with him the minute he stormed into the pub soaking wet looking to kill the new harbour master. The description of him was so perfect I wanted to move down there myself (but not to be a harbour master!)

Away from everything she knows, Alex has an opportunity to find herself and realises she’s not the person she and everyone else thought she was for so many years.

Ultimately this is a feel good romance perfect to escape with for a few hours and leaves you feeling very satisfied. I will definitely be looking for more by this author

Book Information
  • Author: Scarlett Bailey
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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Jan 222014
 

Styxx (Dark-Hunter World) So another year is behind us and in spite of the personal life stuff going on resulting in the dearth of reviews, reading was still going on behind the scenes.

So what books made us sit up and beg?

Grete

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett – The fantastic third book in the Demon Cycle.

Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole – Military sci-fi with superheroes.  This second book was an excellent addition to the Shadow Ops series.

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey – This series needs to be on either the big or small screen – any screen!  Until then it’s an amazing sci-fi story and this third book was a brilliant addition to the Expanse.

Parasite by Mira Grant – An amazingly creepy but riveting novel. If you liked her Newsflesh trilogy, you are going to love this!

Kevin HearneThe Iron Druid Chronicles was a series that entranced me so much, I ended up romping through and didn’t take time to review.  It’s a fantastic series and one I will be re-reading, slower this time, so I can actually do reviews!

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione – The first in a new series by Larissa and just as exciting as her Demonica/Lords of Deliverance.  Speaking of which, the next book in that series, Reaver, is on this list too as it was utterly fantastic and had my jaw dropping several times as things were revealed.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones – This is another series I love so much that I keep racing through them and end up not reviewing.  It’s a habit I really have to stop as my memory is just not up to it these days!  Charley Davidson is one of my favourite paranormal heroines and I just can’t get enough of her!

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I loved, loved, loved this book.  I cried, I laughed, I may have shouted a few times.  A worthy companion to Acheron and a brilliant addition to the Dark-Hunter’s series.  It does take you through the wringer though!

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty – I absolutely loved this light hearted approach to the paranormal and look forward to the next one, out this year!

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan – A gritty and powerful epic fantasy debut.  I loved the magic system he devised and I hold high hopes for the second book.

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin – First in a new series by Gail and it’s off to a promising start.  I loved her two previous series a lot so it had a lot to live up to!  Looking forward to book two!

J.D. Robb – Thanks to Tracey, I discovered the In Death series and devoured the whole lot one after the other.  It amazed me how good they are and how, even 35+ books in, they are still extremely enjoyable and great reads.

Watch Your Back by Karen Rose – So many of Karen’s books have characters that appear or are related to people in other novels and this one felt like it had been a long time coming.  It was utterly amazing and prompted me to go back and read ALL the previous books!

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – This book honestly surprised me and I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t do a review after I read it, as it so very much deserved it.  It’s an amazingly gritty fantasy, written with a single focus and I urge anyone who loved David Gemmell’s work to pick this up.  I will be re-reading this (and reviewing this time, dammit)!

Unseen by Karin Slaughter – Every time I think Karin has outdone herself, she releases the next book and raises the bar even higher.  I can’t get enough of Will Trent and Sara Linton!

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward – The latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was hotly anticipated and I was not left disappointed!

Tracey

While my list has some similar ones to Grete, I also have some totally different genres to her.  Being much more of a romantic sap, it will come as no surprise that I have a number of romances on my list.

The books I share Grete’s love for are :

Styxx of course – the most anticipated book of the year for me and one that did not disappoint. Probably my book of the year!

Reaver by Larissa Ione – another eagerly awaited novel that ticked all the boxes for me.

The In Death series by J.D. Robb – I read all 35 books in 4 weeks and absolutely loved them.

For me though the year was all about romance! There were books from my favourite romance authors: Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean and Sarah Morgan.

I really cannot express all the books that I loved this year, I read well over 100 of them! Since I tend to read books I know I will enjoy, it is so hard to only pick a few.

If I was to recommend a few books to other readers I would go with the following:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan – I have been a fan of Ms. Morgan for many years, reading all her Mills and Boon books and it was great to have a longer book to enjoy. This is romance at its best and a great start to a new series.

Nora Roberts has featured heavily in my reading this year but a trilogy I particularly enjoyed was the Key Trilogy – Key of Light, Key of Knowledge and Key of Valour. This has a paranormal slant with Ms. Roberts’ usual excellent romance story.

Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels series is recommended reading, particularity if you enjoy historical romance. I have loved all the books in this series and look forward to the next one hopefully coming in 2014!

Will definitely be doing more reviews this year, even if only a few lines, there are so many great books I want to share my love of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 172013
 

Hi Readers & Book Fans.

As we approach the end of 2013, I just wanted to write a short post to let you know how things are going, both with the site and in life.

In life, things have been up and down for Greté recently in terms of her health.  She suffers from long term depression (dysthymia specifically) and despite the support and medication there are days, and sometimes weeks, where she is just not able to deal with reading, or writing reviews.  At times, reviews from other folk who contribute will pile up in the background on the site, and Greté’s illness will just prevent her from reading them, approving them and publishing them.

Greté is very much dedicated to the site, and is very much dedicated to getting back and posting some more content.

The website has been Greté’s hobby for a few years, and she is proud of what she has built, and grateful for your readership, support and comments.  As soon as she’s feeling well enough, she’ll be writing reviews and posting them again.  Thanks again for your support and understanding, and here’s to a better 2014.

In closing, here’s hoping you have a very Merry Christmas, and an awesome New Year.

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Dec 052013
 

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (Rules of Scoundrels) For twelve years ‘Temple’ has been known as the killer Duke. Having no memory of the night his life changed forever, he has accepted the moniker and forged a life as one of the proprietors of the notorious casino ‘The Fallen Angel’.  When his ‘victim’ Mara Lowe turns up offering him the chance for absolution, he is determined revenge will also be his, but the best laid plans and all that…

This is the third book about the men of The Fallen Angel and I love it. These books are about a seedier side of Regency London and Ms. MacLean certainly knows how to bring it to life.

We have been introduced to Temple – in reality William Harrow Duke of Lamont – in the previous books in this series but this is the one where we really find out what makes him tick. I love him as a character, he has so much depth and is just desperate to be loved and have a family of his own… and of course just oozes sex appeal!

I found it hard to warm up to Mara to start with after the really crappy thing she did to Temple, but as the book progressed and we got more of her back story, things started to make sense and I was rooting for their happy ending. I did find it irritating the way she refused to tell Temple about that night, although I guess his words “Nothing you could say would make me forgive” made her feel there was no point. After all, she had to think of what impact telling him the truth all in one go would have on others.

This is definitely a darker book than the previous two and emotions are running high throughout. There were some very tense and dramatic scenes and of course some very romantic ones, and I really enjoyed it. At times you are reminded of how lethal the men of the Fallen Angel are when one of their own is threatened – no matter who the aggressor may be!

Passion and emotion just flew off the pages and once I’d warmed up to Mara I was totally drawn in. Of course you know it will all be okay in the end, but the journey certainly had its ups and downs!

Overall an excellent addition to the Rules of Scoundrels series, full of drama, emotion and of course romance. Only Chase left to go now, and I cannot wait for his story.

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah MacLean
  • Series: Rules of Scoundrels (3)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

 

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Nov 262013
 

Sleigh Bells in the Snow Workaholic Kayla Green hates Christmas and just wants to hide until it’s all over, so when she needs to go to snowy Vermont to woo a potential new client over the holidays, she jumps at the chance.  Jackson O’Neill is desperate to save the family business and hopes marketing hotshot Kayla is just the person to do it. Kayla soon realises that far from avoiding Christmas and families, she is about to face her biggest challenge both personally and professionally.

Romance and Christmas – two of my favourite things, so what could be a better combination in a book, and this story does not disappoint. Kayla and Jackson are great characters, complete opposites in their outlooks on life and work which leads to sparks flying both sexual and emotional.

It was good to see how much Kayla developed as a character, as Jackson and his family started to get under her skin and breaking down her barriers. I think her changing emotions were well written. She could also be a bit clueless at times which led to some humorous moments – I mean heels in snow!

Jackson is gorgeous, my kind of guy and if I could have him wrapped up for Christmas I would be happy (but don’t tell my husband!).

There are some truly romantic moments in this book and at the end I had a smile and a satisfied sigh. The setting is perfect for a Christmas story and the imagery created by the author’s writing is so good, I felt like I should have a log fire and snow boots!

I defy anyone to not be feeling christmassy at the end of this book, probably not so good in June, but at this time of year – perfect.

The rest of the O’Neill family are introduced and there are some real characters in there. I’m looking forward to finding out more about them in future books

The author has created a cast of characters I cannot wait to find more about and a setting that I cannot wait to return to. I have always enjoyed Sarah Morgan’s books and this longer novel is a real treat, a must for fans of romance and Christmas and at 99p for the UK Kindle edition (November 2013) what are you waiting for?

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Nov 132013
 

The Sum of All Kisses: Number 3 in series (Smythe-Smith Quartet) Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

This is the third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet and another great book from Ms. Quinn. Something I always love about her work is the way she wraps romance and humour around a great story-line.

The prologue refers to the same event as the prologue in the previous book but it’s told from the other point of view, and the fall out from that comes to a head towards the end of this book in a dramatic fashion.

Sarah is a complete drama queen and does everything in the most dramatic fashion possible, Hugh is a bit of a nerd and the sparks that fly when they interact are anything but boring. Hugh has a damaged leg and emotional scars but an imperfect man is always more loveable!

Of course no book in this series would be complete without the usual references to the annual musicale and it’s hilarious watching Sarah and her cousin Iris trying to dissuade Daisy from performing an impromptu performance.

The minor characters in this book are as great as the protagonists, in particular Sarah’s youngest sister Frances who steals the show at times.

Overall a great book with equal parts humour and romance, a must for fans of Julia Quinn.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet (3)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

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