New York Actually

 An agony aunt seen as an expert at relationships but with no relationship of her own and a cynical divorce lawyer who thinks relationships are a bad idea. Meet Molly and Daniel – what could go wrong!

Molly only has one love in her life – her Dalmatian Valentine and no interest in developing another. Daniel doesn’t own a dog but decides the only way to get to know the girl he sees with the Dalmatian is to get one. He borrows a dog from his sister and sets about getting to know Molly.

Sarah Morgan has again created a wonderful story with great characters – and I’m not just talking about the human ones. The interactions between the characters is believable and real and I love watching Daniel gradually turning into a dog lover against his better judgement.

As always there are some bumps in the road as secrets are inevitably uncovered as both characters are hiding some big ones! But the romance is perfect without being over the top and humour is threaded throughout. It is emotional in places and one of the things I love about Sarah’s books is her ability to make me feel everything along with the characters.

There are links with the authors previous New York trilogy but it is not required to have read them first. As someone who has read them however it is great to see snippets of how those characters are doing.

This book does not disappoint and if you are looking for an uplifting, feel good book to get you through the dark, cold winter days I highly recommend starting with this.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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

Some Kind of Wonderful

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.

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

 

First Time in Forever

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.

 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)

 

Maybe this Christmas

Christmas is a great time for romance and I love it. If you love romance too, you will love this book – read it snuggled up in a duvet on a cold winters night and prepare to be transported to the snowy mountains of Vermont.

 Brenna Daniels has been in love with Tyler O’Neil forever. After an accident ended his champion downhill skiing career he returned to Snow Crystal, and Brenna finds it harder and harder to work alongside him. Tyler is focusing on bringing up his teenage daughter Jess and coping with the loss of his career, but when circumstances force Brenna to move into his home he finds himself  thinking thoughts about his best friend that could ruin their friendship.

This is the final book in the O’Neil trilogy and I must say I think it is the best one. While all three books are stand alone, one of the reasons I enjoyed this so much is the way we have grown to know and love Tyler through the previous two books. I would therefore recommend reading the previous ones to develop that deeper connection with the characters but it isn’t essential!

I love the setting of Snow Crystal and can very easily imagine myself there – although I would definitely be in a cabin with a log fire rather than skiing. The imagery through the writing was really well done.

Tyler feels he is struggling with his teenage daughter and I loved the way their relationship developed. I also had a good chuckle at the embarrassment he felt when he realised why Jess needed to go to the store urgently. Tyler is also struggling with the loss of his skiing career, which in turn has an impact on his relationship with his daughter who wants to do nothing but ski.

Brenna is a character who comes across as confident in some situations but in actuality has very low self esteem and issues dating back to high school. Tyler being a man of course is oblivious to all this, and never thinks to compliment her on what she is wearing to boost her confidence. She is also very passive and allows people to rail-road her even when the situation makes her uncomfortable. Fortunately she does start to grow a set after she downed tequilas with the girls.

Of course the rest of the Snow Crystal family are in the book as well (including the dogs), and it was great to catch up and to see the resort doing so well after nearly closing the year before (I know it’s just a story but still…)

The ending for this book is so romantic, one of the more romantic ones I have read and a very fitting end for this couple. I loved the ending, loved it 🙂

Christmas is a great time for romance and I love it. If you love romance too, you will love this book – read it snuggled up in a duvet on a cold winters night and prepare to be transported to the snowy mountains of Vermont.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Series: O'Neil Brothers (3)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

The Notting Hill Diaries

 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 

 

2013 – A bookish year

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

Our Week In Books – Week 13, 2013

TraceyTracey

This week I found myself unable to let go of the Cynsters quite yet, so started with another couple of books which I enjoyed immensely.  The Perfect Lover and The Ideal Bride both get 4 stars from me.

I then decided to move on from the Cynsters but stayed with the historical romance genre and picked up The Devil’s Web by Mary Balogh. Usually I absolutely love Ms. Balogh’s books, but for some reason I found myself not liking the protagonists very much and as a result my enjoyment of the book was affected. I felt James was totally self-centred and selfish rather than as tortured as I think he was meant to come across, and Madeleine was just not likeable. The story however was okay and I would give it 2.5 stars. It was a much darker romance than I am used to so if you are not really into the hearts and flowers type romances, you may enjoy this one more. There were some very intense and emotional scenes especially towards the end when they accept their love for each other.

A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan was my next pick, a solid romance designed to make you feel warm and fuzzy (which of course it did). Sarah Morgan is probably my favourite Mills and Boon author, I always feel happy after reading her books even though she usually manages to make me cry at some point, and this book was no exception! 4 stars.

Then what should pop through my door except Lover at Last – well no prizes for guessing what my next book was.  I very quickly finished it and loved it, this series is showing no sign of fading. Watch out for a joint review later this week.

Until next time!

P1030285Grete

Yes, it’s time I finally joined in on this weekly blog post and while I’m not the demon speed reader Tracey is, I have been getting through some of the books I have badly wanted to.  My week has also been weirdly spaced out with my husband being on holiday although he has been enjoying some quality time with the xbox which has left me free to read.  I do confess I was caught up in some games too so it’s not ALL been reading *blush*.

With the final book of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) being released at the start of the year, I really wanted to catch up on the last four or five books, finish the series and find out how it all ended.  My memory for books just isn’t what it used to be so that means it’s re-read time!  I finished Book One, The Eye of the World, and was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I remember it being good but as I first read it in 1992 and a lifetime ago I wondered if it would stand up to today’s fantasy.  I will do a review for it soon as older books need love too.

A Graphic Novel came next – Dragon Age: Those Who Speak by David Gaider, Alexander Freed and Chad Hardin.  This is the collected sequel to Dragon Age: The Silent Grove and continues the story of Alistair, Isabella and Varric.  Just as good as the first one and a solid 4 stars.

Lover At Last by J.R. Ward arrived and I was so excited to read it!  I have been waiting for Blay and Qhuinn’s story for ages and it did not disappoint.  I couldn’t put it down and loved it SO much!  As Tracey said, our joint review will be up this week 🙂

I’m now reading The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, Book Two of The Wheel of Time and it is pretty good so far.

That’s it from me, see you next week!


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.