Tracey

Tracey

I'm a 40 something avid reader of pretty much anything, have 2 kids, a cat and a husband along with a 2 seater convertible (mid life crisis car!). While I read pretty much anything I particularly enjoy paranormal romance, historical romance and general romance - guess I am sucker for a happy ending.

Sep 132014
 

Dragon Bound: Number 1 in series (Elder Races) Pia Giovanni has spent her life trying to keep a low profile, so why did she steal from one of the most feared members of the elder races? She is running for her life knowing it is only a matter of time before he catches her, but she doesn’t plan on making it easy for him.

Dragos Cuelebre is a very powerful dragon and is furious to hear someone dared to steal from his hoard. He has only one thing on his mind – to kill the thief, that was until he caught her.

This book was absolutely fantastic, as good as any other paranormal series out there, and with so many characters there will clearly be lots of books in this series.

I was drawn in pretty much from page one and was glued to the book until I finished it. The descriptions were vivid, the sex was smoking hot, and the female protagonist doesn’t take shit from anyone.

Dragos is your typical alpha male but I loved the way his character developed the more time he spent with Pia especially as she verbally slapped him a few times. The author’s imagery was very good and I had no problem imagining Dragos as a dragon soaring through the sky, but it was equally easy to picture him very clearly as a man.

Pia is fantastic, she was able to hold her own with both Dragos and his sentinels, although the latter probably because they didn’t dare go against Dragos! Her inner dialogue was at time very funny and I did have a few chuckles to myself while reading. We get an indication at the beginning of the book that she is something special among the Wyrkind but I definitely did not see the revelation coming.

All of the secondary characters are brilliant and I am already invested in them and their stories yet to come. The world building was superb and I look forward to finding more about the different elder races.

If you enjoy paranormal series’ like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Demonica and Midnight Breed you will love this. Sorry for the gushy review but I cannot stress enough how good this is – buy it, read it and fall in love with a whole new world – I did!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Thea Harrison
  • Series: Elder Races (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Sep 102014
 

Trust No One (Vista Security Book 2) When reality is a web of lies and the truth endangers all you hold dear- trust no one. 

MJ Thornberg is an ex secret agent who retired after being betrayed by her former partner. Ben Walker is an agent struggling with his own demons, sent to pull MJ back into the game when her ‘sister’ (Tasha) goes rogue. They are forced to work together to find the truth of what is happening, confront the demons of their past and remain alive at the end of it!

This was a great book with strong characters and a fast paced plot. Twists and turns abound and it was a real page turner. MJ may have retired from the secret agent life but you never forget those skills it seems, as she can still kick ass when required and takes no rubbish from anyone. She is a strong woman but Tasha is stronger, and when the two of them finally meet up, the fun really begins. I am definitely looking forward to reading Tasha’s book as, while she had a big role in this one, there is  clearly more we need to know. I did feel sorry for Ben a few times, as he really didn’t stand a chance against both MJ and Tasha – not that he is a wimp, far from it. MJ is definitely the softer of the two women and I liked that she did start to feel guilty about the way she was treating Ben, but trust is not something she gives lightly. It is clear that her year out of the game has changed her priorities while Tasha is still knee deep in it.

There was also humour to go with the suspense and I snickered a few times – quietly to myself of course in case anyone thought I was mad! I started to get an inclination of what was going on while reading, but in all truth there are so many twists you could easily lose track, and the title of the book really makes sense!

While this is book 2 I have not read book 1 and do not feel it was necessary to enjoy this one. There are however a number of loose threads at the end of this story that are clearly designed for another book which has not yet been published. I would have  liked some of the threads to have been tied up tighter and do not think it would have detracted from the next book.

Overall an excellent read which ticked all my boxes and kept me up until it was finished!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Diana Layne
  • Series: Vista Security (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)

Sep 012014
 

Thankless in Death: 37 Murder doesn’t stop for Thanksgiving. As the household of NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke prepares for an invasion of family and friends, an ungrateful son decides to stop the nagging from his parents – by ending their lives. Soon Jerald Reinhold is working his way through anyone who has ever thwarted him in his path to an easy life.

This is the 37th full length offering from J.D. Robb and it does not disappoint. Yet another murderer cutting down people for his own twisted pleasure, but in this story we spend a lot of time inside the murderer’s head as he justifies his actions – what a selfish sick bastard he is. There is no mystery as to who has done the killings, the plot is all about trying to catch him.

This book is much more about the main police story and does not focus so much on the relationships of our favourite characters, although we do get to see Eve and Roarke in their home environment and of course they have sex!  Eve has a big decision to make in this book and comes to an acceptance about herself and her role in the NYPSD.

As always, the author manages to inject emotion into the story and I found myself laughing and crying at some points particularly towards the end when we have Roarke’s entire Irish clan descend, along with some characters from previous books.

It is really difficult to keep coming up with things to say about this series as each book is as good as the last. There is little to no romance in this book, just Eve and her team doing good police work and as always having just a bit of luck – although at times it seems luck is very much with the perpetrator and against Eve.

Overall another great ‘In Death’ story with smatterings of humour that do not detract from the main story and indeed the books would not be the same without the quirks that make up Eve and Roarke’s life.

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (37)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

Aug 202014
 

How To Marry A Marquis: Number 2 in series (Agents for the Crown) Take a woman who needs to marry for money, a Marquis in disguise, a “rule-book”  for landing a man and an interfering old lady, mix it with Julia Quinn’s distinctive writing style and you get a fantastic story full of humour, romance and of course a happy ending.

Elizabeth Hotchkiss has three siblings to support and decides she must marry for money. Finding ‘How to marry a Marquis’ in her employer’s library seems to be a sign and, against her better judgement, she allows her sister to talk her into reading it.

James Sidwell, the Marquis of Riverdale has been summoned by his aunt to search for a blackmailer but he must go incognito as her estate manager. His primary suspect is his aunt’s companion Elizabeth, but he soon finds himself intrigued and distracted by her – particularly when he finds her with that ridiculous rule-book.

I love Julia Quinn’s writing style which is quite different from a lot of other writers of historical romance, her sarcasm and wit simply fly off the pages. I love the interaction and banter between the characters and really feel for James who at times is bursting to tell Elizabeth who he really is, particularly when she says “Don’t say any more”, she said laughing. “Really James, one shouldn’t strut like an aristocrat if one cannot carry it off”.  This just after he had used his best aristocratic voice and stare on her.

The aunt in question here is Lady Danbury and those of you familiar with Ms Quinn’s work will recognize her from previous books. She is a fantastic character and really comes into her own in this story. Elizabeth has been with Lady Danbury long enough to give as good as she gets which makes for some funny conversations

The story definitely has some flaws and Elizabeth in particular is a bit of a martyr at times which I can imagine would annoy some readers, but for me, I absolutely loved it so have given it 5 stars. Not because it is perfect, but because for me it is one of those books that just clicked – not entirely sure why but there it is.

If you have read other books by this author you will definitely enjoy this one.

Book Information
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Agents for the Crown (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

Jul 232014
 

Loving Rose: The Redemption of Malcolm Sinclair: Number 3 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair) Miraculously spared from death, Malcolm Sinclair erases the notorious man he once was. Reinventing himself as Thomas Glendower, he strives to make amends for his past, yet he never imagines penance might come via a secretive lady he discovers living in his secluded manor. Rose has a plausible explanation for why she and her children are residing in Thomas’s house, but she quickly realises he’s far too intelligent to fool.

After the disappointment of the previous book in this series, Ms. Laurens has returned to form with this one. The only thing I didn’t like was the confusion over Thomas Glendower/Malcolm Sinclair. I gathered he had appeared as a villain in a previous Cynster book (I later discovered it was the ‘Taste of Innocence’), but as it was not one I’d read I found it a bit confusing over what he had done that was so bad. I therefore started the book feeling like I was missing half the story. It would have been useful if the book blurb had stated where we first met him, so readers could go back to that book if they chose.

Once I put that aside though, it didn’t take me long to get into the story and I really enjoyed it. The first half of the book is very much about Thomas and Rose, their developing relationship and the secrets they both hold. Rose is guarded and unwilling to trust but finds it difficult to resist Thomas, particularly with how he is with the children. Thomas is also surprised at how quickly he feels protective towards them, and seeing his younger self in Homer, he seeks to guide him as he himself never was.  Once Rose trusts Thomas with her problems they move to London, and that is when Barnaby Adair and his (growing) team get involved to solve the mystery. For me this book is a perfect blend of intrigue and romance, and focuses very clearly on the protagonists whereas the previous one didn’t.

Ms. Laurens does not disappoint with her bedroom scenes – steamy as always! But at least this time they focused on the characters that matter.

Overall a great book and having prepared myself for this one to be another thriller with little romance as in The Masterful Mr Montague, I was very pleased to find that was not the case.

Book Information
  • Author: Stephanie Laurens
  • Series: Casebook of Barnaby Adair (3)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Jul 142014
 

Concealed in Death: 38 There is nothing unusual about billionaire Roarke supervising work on his new property – but when he takes a ceremonial swing at the first wall, he uncovers the body of a girl. And then another – in fact twelve dead girls in all. Luckily for Roarke, he is married to the best police Lieutenant in town, Eve Dallas…

Another good story from J.D. Robb,  I am amazed at how she continues to think up different stories 38 books in.  While I don’t think this was as good as some of the other ones in the series, it is still up there. The story was much slower paced than usual and it was clear who the murderer was well before the end of the book – even I guessed it! There were the inevitable parallels with Eve’s childhood when it turns out the building was a centre for delinquent teens, but fortunately this is glossed over rather than made into a mountain.

I love Eve and Roarke, they are one of my favourite fictional couples, they are very settled in their relationship now and this is evidenced by the interactions between them in this book. One thing I did miss though, was the inclusion of the larger cast that we’ve grown to love – very little even with Peabody. On the plus side there were some new characters introduced (both shady and not so shady!) who I think will be featured in later books.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and J.D. Robb remains one of my must read authors, anyone new to the series could easily pick up here with no problems and enjoy it. I would definitely advise making time to read the earlier books in the series however, to truly appreciate the individuals that are Eve and Roarke.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (38)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Jun 052014
 

The Notting Hill Diaries: Ripped / Burned The Notting Hill Diaries consists of two stories – Ripped and Burned. In Ripped, Hayley is rescued by the very sexy best man, following a major wardrobe malfunction in her bridesmaids dress. In Burned, her sister Rosie has to cope with ‘the one that got away’ becoming her boss – her very sexy new boss.

Whew, what can I say – these are hot! I love Sarah Morgan’s usual romances, and I have to say I also loved these extra spicy ones. It was as much about the anticipation and build up as the actual sex that made these two stories so good. It wasn’t just mindless, graphic sex for no reason other than page filler which is always a relief and there was also laugh out loud humour in both novellas, but particularly in Ripped.

The men in these stories – well, I am totally in love (or is it lust?), either way I was drooling while I was reading. Like the heroes, the women have come through some tough times to be as strong and independent as they are, but they still have their insecurities, as do we all.

My only criticism would be the format of the stories was very similar, probably only an issue because they were in the same volume and I read them one after the other.  Still, as I love the author’s writing, it didn’t really matter much to me and did not spoil my enjoyment.

If you have read and enjoyed Sarah Morgan’s other romances I can guarantee you will love this – go on, live a little and come over to the super spicy and sexy side!

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

Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

May 222014
 

The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (Bridgerton Family Book 9) The Bridgerton family stories are told in a series of eight books, all humorous, emotional and above all romantic. They are some of my favourite historical romances ever, and I highly recommend you read them. Once you start you won’t want to stop until they are all done!

The great thing about these books is that every one has an epilogue looking into the future but I always want more. I want to know how the children grew up, and if everything is still going well in Bridgerton land. That is why I was thrilled to discover this collection of ‘second epilogues’, an opportunity to look  further down the line and see what has happened since we last met.

This collection of stories does not disappoint, from the pall mall game (even better than the original scene in The Viscount Who Loved Me) to the elusive jewels and so much more. There is even a short story about the great matriarch of the family Violet. The author has a little note at the beginning of each story to jog your memory, so if you had not read the original books for a while it would not matter.

I would definitely recommend reading the rest of the series first, as it is intended as a follow up and you cannot truly appreciate the characters without that background knowledge. Having said that, you could get away with not having read every single one, as long as you were acquainted with this unconventional and powerful family.

I loved this collection, love the Bridgertons and love Ms. Quinn for writing the stories that I, and I’m sure so many of her readers, were desperate for. Thank you!

The Bridgerton Series in Order :

The Duke and I
The Viscount Who Loved Me
An Offer From a Gentleman
Romancing Mr Bridgerton
To Sir Philip, With Love
When He Was Wicked
It’s In His Kiss
On The Way To The Wedding
The Bridgertons: Happy Ever After

Book Information
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Bridgertons (9)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

May 072014
 

The Masterful Mr Montague: Number 2 in series (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair) Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally … and personally

Montague is a character who has appeared in most of Ms. Laurens books as a Man of Business for the wealthy, so it was nice to be able to delve a little more into his character and background. This book is part of the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series and was focused much more on the mystery aspect than the romance between Montague and Violet. As you know I’m a big lover of romance and am a bit disappointed there wasn’t more of it between those two throughout the book, however, their relationship followed what I would imagine to be the socially accepted strictures of the time. Fortunately, as far as romance and steamy scenes go, we did get to see more of Barnaby Adair and Penelope.

The mystery aspect of this book is very good, there are red herrings galore and I didn’t guess who the killer was or the reason for him becoming so, until it was all revealed! This is what saved the book for me, from a lower rating. I felt like this was the Adair and Stokes show with Montague and Violet being a side story rather than the main couple.  This wouldn’t have been an issue at all if it hadn’t been billed as Montague’s book, because the story is good.

Anyway enough of that, Montague is a character who has always seemed a bit ‘nerdy’ and unassuming but, as with all the author’s heroes, he has hidden depths and his masterful side does come out towards the end. Violet is no mild miss and throws herself into helping with the investigation along with the wives of Stokes and Adair, much to the consternation of Montague. As characters I liked them, neither of them are in the first flush of youth (Violet is 34, a veritable old maid!) and therefore both of them know their own minds and who they are.

Overall a good story, if you like Ms. Laurens writing and go into this accepting that it’s primarily a mystery with a side order of romance, rather than romance with a side order of mystery (as with most of the Cynster novels),  you will enjoy it. I look forward to the next Casebook of Barnaby Adair story with that in mind.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Stephanie Laurens
  • Series: Casebook of Barnaby Adair (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Apr 222014
 

Opal Fire (A Stacy Justice Mystery Book 1) 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)