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
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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)

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
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Rating: ★★★½☆ 

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
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Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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
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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)
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Nov 052013
 

The Proposal Amy Carroll is left heartbroken when her rich boyfriend dumps her just before Christmas.  A native New Yorker with no money to fly home, she faces a lonely Christmas.  Eccentric British aristocrat Georgia Hamilton has unfinished business in New York and puts an advert out for a companion to travel with her over Christmas. The solution to both their problems.

The story takes place in modern day with flashbacks to the 1950′s and Georgia’s days as a debutante. I didn’t realise we still had debutantes as late as that, I assumed it had all died out years previously. It was really interesting seeing snippets of what life was like for someone in that situation, and the descriptions were both vivid and colourful.

The story itself is quite simple – a tale of lost love, regrets, betrayal and ultimately new beginnings, but the writing is very descriptive and emotive. It certainly managed to make me cry. I will say the ending was not exactly what I hoped for, but it was good and I finished the book in a happy place. It’s always very important to me that books should leave me feeling satisfied!

The two female leads initially seem quite different but this book shows how alike they are and how young women in any generation have similar problems! Amy is awkward in Georgia’s wealthy world, just as in the 1950′s when Georgia was a debutante who did not really fit in.

The 1950′s story unfolds gradually as we are transported between modern day Manhattan and 1950′s London. Once the true tragedy of Georgia’s situation becomes clear, Amy is determined to do what she can to put it right.

This is primarily Georgia’s story but along the way Amy discovers herself and realises that she deserves more than she has been settling for. Both the characters are likeable and Georgia in particular is just how I would like to be as an old lady (but without the tragic past obviously!)

Overall, The Proposal is an emotional read which leaves you reeling and I defy anyone to not shed at least a few tears through this.

Book Information
  • Author: Tasmina Perry
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Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Sep 252013
 

New York To Dallas: 33 As a rookie cop with good instincts and a dose of luck, Eve Dallas was instrumental in bringing the notorious Paedophile Isaac McQueen to Justice. Twelve years on Eve is a decorated homicide Lieutenant when McQueen escapes, determined to carry on where he left off  – but this time it’s personal, this time he wants Eve. The action moves to Dallas and the monsters from her past have to be confronted head on, along with the monster of the present.

Wow, well what can I say that I haven’t already said about this series. This is a pivotal book in the Eve Dallas series and really lays to rest the story of Eve’s background that has been rumbling and revealed, piece by piece in the previous 32 books.

Eve is taken out of her New York comfort zone and has to assist in the investigation in Dallas.  While this gave a whole new host of characters to love, I did miss the old favourites back in New York. We do get to see snippets of them in the latter half of the book though and there are also some humorous moments as Eve comments on the differences between New York people and Dallas people.

This was a very intense and emotional book to read – there is a major link to Eve’s past revealed, and for once I saw it coming! Yay me! Eve and Roarke develop an even deeper relationship as a result of what happens and through dealing with the intense emotions that get brought up. Seeing the character development across the previous books is one of the great things about this series for me.

Unlike previous books there is no murder to investigate, at least not until the latter stages (and then we know who did it) but it is all focused on a kidnapping. As a homicide cop I am surprised Eve is able to take such a lead in another city, in an area she does not normally deal with, but McQueen makes it very personal.

If you have never read this series before and did not fancy reading 30+ books you could theoretically pick it up here and have a good idea of where the characters came from. You might even be better starting with the first book after this – Celebrity in death because New York to Dallas really feels like the end of an era. In fact if I did not know the story had continued I would be worried this was the end!

If you do start with this one be aware this is not really typical of the series. The usual stories are much more focused on murder and the solving of it although the character relationships do play a big part.

In summary I still love this series, this is the most emotional book yet and if you have read any of the previous In Death series you do not want to miss this one!

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (33)
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Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 272013
 

Origin In Death: 21 Well I have lived and breathed Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke for the last four weeks and I still can’t get enough of them!

The next ten books do not disappoint and all the characters continue to develop emotionally, not just Eve and Roarke. The stories continue to be interesting and different, and each time I pick up the next one I’m excited to see where it will take me.

I haven’t mentioned this before but there is often a humorous element in them; I particularly enjoy Eve’s comments on animals and how they will rise up and take over the world. It might sound a little stupid, but Eve has a way of saying it that makes me laugh and she clearly does not like animals and wide open spaces!

Eve’s relationships with everyone continue to develop and I love seeing her interactions with a certain infant that arrives in her best friend’s life – both terror and something else she cant quite identify!

Looking back, it is difficult to reconcile the Eve and Roarke we see now with the ones we first met in Naked in Death, their development really has been amazing but realistic at the same time.

Not really much more I can say except that as mystery series go, this is definitely my favourite and everyone should read them!

Books 21 to 30 are as follows:

  • Origin in Death
  • Memory in Death
  • Born in Death
  • Innocent in Death
  • Creation in Death
  • Strangers in Death
  • Salvation in Death
  • Promises in Death
  • Kindred in Death
  • Fantasy in Death

Note from Grete – I have to apologise for BookThing being so quiet lately but this is pretty much the reason why!  I have never read a series that grips you so completely that as soon as you finish one, you reach for the next.  They really are that good. Watch out though, you will get hooked on them and your purse may never forgive you – until the next one is released that is ;)  As a long running series progresses you expect some weakening of storylines or some repetition but I can quite honestly say they just get better and better!

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (21-30)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jul 112013
 

An Offer From A Gentleman: Number 3 in series (Bridgerton Family) Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of an Earl. While she was accepted into his household, her stepmother never let her forget she was a bastard. When her father died suddenly she was made to work as an unpaid servant, dreaming of what her life could be like. When the servants conspire to send her to the Bridgerton masquerade ball, her life changes forever.

Benedict Bridgerton is still single and avoiding the matchmakers as best he can. At his mother’s ball he is captivated by a stranger, falls head over heels in love, only for her to disappear at midnight leaving only her glove. Sophie is forced to leave her home the next day and Benedict searches high and low for the mystery woman to no avail. Two years on, no-one has stirred him like the mysterious woman until the day he rescues a servant from a fate worse than death.

Well what can I say, my favourite fairytale ever – Cinderella given a new twist. This book is the best yet in the Bridgerton saga and I loved it. Benedict is much more self assured and does not have the inner demons of his elder brother, the advantage of being the second son. Good job too because Sophie has enough secrets for both of them.

I felt like weeping for Sophie at times and at other times I wanted to knock some sense into both her and Benedict! I know they are only characters in a story but I find myself thinking about them as real people rather than characters. I became completely immersed in the story and the Bridgerton family. Towards the end when Benedict’s mother (Violet) gets the opportunity to speak her mind very frankly, I felt like shouting “you go girl” – totally inappropriate in Regency England of course!

This is pure escapism and of course the end result is a given, but as always, the journey there is never easy and the showdown in the jail towards the end is definitely worth waiting for.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Bridgertons (3)
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