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
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

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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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Nov 072014
 

Hard Time Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind – or eyes – off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance – a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

Well… What can I say, this is one smoking hot book!  When I first started reading it I was a bit sceptical about whether I would have any sympathy with a convict and thus be able to connect to the story. How wrong was I! Eric is sexy and romantic and it was very easy to fall in love with him myself, he was also more than a bit naughty with his words!  Five years in prison is a long time – did he deserve it? Well, I will let you make your own mind up, but I will say that this is not a novel of sweetness and light.

It is at times dark and dirty, other times sweet, sexy and romantic. Unlike some erotica out there, there is a story running through this one along with the sex, which is good as I like sex as much as the next girl but 400 pages of it gets a bit boring! There is a harsh reality about the story as well, that makes you appreciate your own family and life.

Annie is a woman who initially seemed like a bit of a wimp, but her past has made her wary of men in general and as things heat up, her personality and desires explode. There was plenty of well written emotion for both characters and I really believed in them and their experiences.

This book is definitely adults only, and make sure you have a fan or cold shower nearby while you read this because it doesn’t matter whether they are having sex through letters or as the real thing, the writing is very immersive.

As someone not usually into books labelled erotica, I enjoyed this very much and would definitely recommend.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Cara McKenna
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Nov 032014
 

The Girl With All The Gifts NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Oh my goodness, this is one creepy, thought provokingly brilliant book.  I’d heard good things about it but curiously I’d not heard much of what it was actually about.  I can understand that now.  The fall of civilization, apocalypse, zombie type creatures, are all part of it yes (or some time after the fall) but it’s actually about a young girl called Melanie who is very curious.

The focus is very narrow, kept to what Melanie knows in the beginning and doesn’t really spread out much further than that other than a couple of different POV scenes but all kept in close proximity.  I went through so many emotions, starting off as curious as Melanie but then feeling a bit uncomfortable led to dawning horror and then so much tension I couldn’t actually put the book down because I had to find out what was happening.  Almost like having to look at something awful, just to prove to yourself that it is actually that awful.  The pace is very much tied to the plot and as things progress, things speed up and get more intense and that does not stop until the end.  I actually finished the book with my mouth hanging open.

With a very small core cast, the obvious focus is Melanie who I loved, even with the creepy factor.  Secondly is Miss Justineau, her compassion and intelligence create for some very raw scenes.  The superb writing of Carey gave us the Sergeant who I loathed… then by the end I loved.  That’s a pretty impressive turnaround in not a lot of time and shows that what you see is very much not what you get.  Caldwell, the scientist, is cold but I’m stuck between necessity and hatred where she is concerned.  She may be the only one who can get the answer but her actions are abhorrent.  The lieutenant was just a bit a fish out of water and didn’t get in the way too much.

The answer to what is going on however is mind-blowing and so very horrifying.  Yet, it’s also fascinating and in an odd way, hopeful.

A brilliant yet creepy book that will leave you thinking.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: M.R. Carey
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Genre: Horror
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Oct 282014
 

Piatkus Halloween banner

Today is our stop on the Creepy Blog Crawl!!  The amazing Kate Ellis writes our piece and gives you your letter! Tomorrow head to Book Mood Reviews for the next stop and once you have all five letters, visit http://www.piatkusbooks.net/halloween-blog-tour/, submit that word and you’ll be entered into their competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.  Good luck!

ROOM TWO Kate Ellis

My heart thundered in my chest as I hesitated in the corridor. Which door next? I had to make some sort of decision so I stumbled towards the first door to my right. I turned the handle and when the door swung open all I could see beyond the threshold was a heavy darkness. But somewhere beyond that door I knew there’d be a second clue. I stepped forward and the door slammed behind me.

I stood there quite still, my legs weak with fear, and suddenly I realised I wasn’t alone. Something was in there with me. Breathing. Watching. The air felt dank and I could smell decay; the smell of the grave. There was a faint rustle, like dry dead leaves blown by a fetid breeze, and a light appeared in the far corner; the flickering flame of a tall candle lit by an unseen hand. Then I heard a sigh, like air expelled from the lungs of a corpse after death.

With a huge effort, I summoned the courage to take a step forward. Whatever was in there with me, I needed to find that clue.

In the dancing flame I could just make out a shifting shape in the darkest corner. And, as I stared, the candlelight reflected off dark, glossy plumage. Feathers. Crow black. Shining like wet blood.

It slithered slowly across the floor towards me and my body tensed. It was a thing of evil – half-bird, half-serpent – and I forced myself to watch as it glided over the splintery floorboards. It breathed. It moved. I couldn’t see its form but there was a sour odour of decay, growing stronger as it drew nearer.

As I backed away the candle guttered and in that moment of brightness I saw something terrible. It was a doll with staring eyes and rosebud lips, open to reveal a set of sharp white teeth. It wore a cloak of black feathers and it was standing a few feet away, watching me. I could hear its rasping breath and I knew it lived. Then I heard a voice, like a child singing softly to itself.

‘Here comes the candle to light you to bed. Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.’

The voice was brittle, sweet yet knowing. The thing had me trapped and it was gloating. The rhyme was repeated again. Then again. Each time a little louder than the last.

‘ To chop off your head.’

I tried to scream but no noise emerged. The candle was burning dimly now and the creature was still watching me with its cold glass eyes. I shuffled back and stooped to pick up the candle, hoping its feeble flame would guide me back to the corridor.

I could see a light beneath the door. If the thing didn’t strike at me I thought I could make it. As I clutched the candle I could hear it moving again, still singing, stalking like a predator.

I reached the door and fumbled desperately for the handle. To my relief it opened and I fell on my knees into the corridor, twisting round to slam it shut behind me. To shut out that evil thing and its terrible rhyme.

I was still holding the candle. The hot wax had dripped onto my hand but terror made me oblivious to the pain. Then I noticed something drawn near the candle’s base; a dark, malevolent bird – a raven with a human face. And just above it I saw the letter R carved into the wax. I had the second clue.

If you need a reminder of all the stops and dates, you can see them here.

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Oct 272014
 

Written in Red (Novel of the Others) While I enjoy any book by Anne Bishop, I haven’t been quite this excited about a series since her Black Jewels Universe stories came to an end (sob).

She has this amazing ability to create a world with characters that are unusual but so very appealing.  If I was explaining to someone what this series was like, I would say the Others are a bit like the Kindred in the Black Jewels but also, so much more.  Neither human nor animal, they are something… Other.  The Terra Indigene (Earth Natives) – Deadly, feral, guardians of the world of Namid. Humans live by their sufferance and largesse, and woe betide them if they trespass on land that does not belong to them.

Simon Wolfgarde is the leader of the Lakeside City Courtyard – a place of the Others to live, work, rest and play.  Human laws do not apply.  Trespass and you may be eaten, and they aren’t kidding.  Meg Corbyn is an enigma to the Others, obviously human, she doesn’t smell like them, but doesn’t smell like ‘prey’ either.  Appearing from nowhere half frozen, and running from something, she applies for the job as Human Liaison between the Courtyard and the human world.  And so begins a very confusing and enlightening time for the residents of Lakeside.

This book is just so full of charm, from Meg herself to the Others and their interactions with her, and with each other about her.  Often hilarious as they try to figure out what to do with this strange short human who is willing to interact with their kind and as she creeps into their hearts, they all crept into mine.

I suppose the closest thing to call the others is shapeshifters, vampires, elementals etc. but those labels do not do them justice.  The creation of the world and the Others place in it is brilliant and without having to use lengthy explanations, Bishop manages to give you a broad view of the way it works.  Humans are not the dominant species even though their nature is such that they don’t believe half of what they hear about the Others and that is always their first mistake.  And there are some horrible humans.  There are also some amazing ones but you come to think of them as part or extension of the courtyard.

There are so many characters to love here, Meg first and foremost.  She is just so loveable and her innocence could have been annoying but it’s not at all.  You just want to look after her.  Simon is a close second and his confusion over dealing with a human female that does not smell like prey is just priceless.  There are quite a few laugh out loud moments where that is concerned.  Tess and her ever changing hair is both scary and awesome.  Sam is just so adorable as a wolf puppy, your heart just goes out to him for everything he’s suffered.

The rest of the cast are numerous and each and every one has a personality that shines – not always in a good way, but in their experience of humans and their distrust, Meg is something entirely new.  Anne Bishop keeps it simple though and you can identify new characters quickly by their surname as to what type of Other they are.  Wolfgarde for wolves, Crowgarde for Crows etc.

The story is fascinating and even the simple details make for enjoyable reading.  Pace wise, it never moves slowly without good cause and makes perfect sense for the plot happening at the time.  When it speeds up though, it really gets going.

Whether the Others will match my fangirl love of the Black Jewels books it remains to be seen, but after one novel, it’s off to a fantastic start!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Anne Bishop
  • Series: The Others (1)
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Roc
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

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Oct 242014
 

Piatkus Halloween banner

This Halloween, follow five amazing authors through five fabulous book blogs for the chance to win a grand prize with Piatkus.

Christopher RiceKate EllisTim O’RourkeKristen Callihan and Darynda Jones have joined forces to write a spooky story. Every day from 27th to 31st October, each author’s section of the story will feature on a different blog. Each section of the story will contain a single highlighted letter. Follow the story through the blogs, collecting the highlighted letters as you go and on 31st October you will have enough letters to spell a single word!

The creepy blog crawl starts here (you don’t need to collect a letter from this section of the story):

You wake up at the end of a long, dark corridor. Someone slams and locks the door behind you. There’s no way to go but forwards. At the end of the corridor is a heavy wooden door.

In front of you is an envelope with your name on it. You open it with trembling hands. It says, ‘You have been brought here for a reason. Prove that you are worth saving. Work out the five clues if you want to live.’

You stand up, clutching the letter, and run for the end of the corridor. On the door is a keypad, containing all 26 letters of the alphabet. Knowing, deep down, that it won’t help, you try desperately to open the door. It’s firmly locked. Turning round, you see five doors in the side of the corridor. Three to the left and two to the right. Five doors, five clues. You know what you have to do.

Day 1, 27th October: Head on over to Chicks That Read to read the first installment of the story from Christopher Rice and to collect your first letter!

Day 2, 28th October: Go to Bookthing to read the second installment of the story from Kate Ellis and to collect your second letter!

Day 3, 29th October: Click through to Book Mood Reviews to read the third installment of the story from Tim O’Rourke and to collect your third letter!

Day 4th, 30th October: Head on over to Opinionated Cupcakes  to read the fourth installment of the story from Kristen Callihan and to collect your fourth letter!

Day 5th, 31st October: And finally go to Fiction Fascination to read the fifth installment of the story from Darynda Jones and to collect your fifth and final letter!

Visit http://www.piatkusbooks.net/halloween-blog-tour/, submit that word and you’ll be entered into our competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets.

Good luck!

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Oct 202014
 

His Makeshift Wife (Mills & Boon Historical) IS HE A RAKE TO TRUST?

Spirited Briony Winters can’t believe her ears! Her beloved godmother’s will pushes her into marriage – with notorious rake Luke Kingsley. But when her wickedly handsome husband-to-be promises not to claim his rights, Briony takes a deep breath and says, ‘I do…’ Luke is used to having secrets, and he’s keeping his true reasons for marrying Briony hidden.

Let her believe him merely another spoilt, indebted rakehell. Yet it’s increasingly hard to hide his real self from his ever more inquisitive wife…

A Mills & Boon regency romance involving a marriage of convenience in name only while both parties have their reasons for agreeing to it things never turn out quite as planned.

Romance, deception and intrigue all perfect elements of a regency romance along with  a spirited heroine and a super sexy male counterpart. One thing noticeably absent from this book is sex, the protagonists don’t even touch each other until the end and even then that is behind closed doors. Not really a problem though, it  just allows you to leave it up to your imagination but I do like a bit of romantic tension build up though and that was lacking a bit in this one.

I really enjoy reading Mills and Boon romances, regency ones in particular. You know how it will end, it is the getting there that is unknown and this one does not disappoint. I am just a sappy romantic at heart.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Anne Ashley
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon
  • Genre: Regency Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

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