Monday, 2 May 2016

Mr Perfect by JA Huss

Title: Mr Perfect
Series: Mister (#1)
Author: JA Huss
From: Amazon
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 27th April 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Read the Books You Buy 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

For seven years Ellie's been doing the same job as a celebrity concierge, but when McAllistar Stonewell turns up she is completely perplexed, especially as she had no idea that he even existed. Ellie's been living a fantasy life by sending messages and pinterest boards to Mac's brothers phone knowing that they went least until Mac turns it on. Almost instantly Mac is intrigued by Ellie and will stop at nothing to make her his...

I'm not even in the slightest bit ashamed to say that I read this one release day (dropping the book I was reading at the time to do so). There's just something about Huss' writing that makes you really want to know what she's released now, and I had to wait ages to read Rock because of my Lent against buying books, so Mr.Perfect got the immediate reading treatment!

I loved Ellie! She was quirky and unique and she wasn't afraid to own it. Her little quirks and outbursts often had me laughing and they really helped me identify with her. I think it was also her fantasies and how they weren't massively over the top, instead they were just really sweet and normal. It humanised her.

The chemistry between Ellie and Mac was there from the start, though there was also the other level of them not quite looking at it in a just physical way (though at some points they both appeared to be a little bit clueless about it! But for me the two of them worked amazingly well as a couple.

There wasn't as much suspense in Mr Perfect as there has been in Huss' other contemporary books, and the darker elements are missing to some extent, but that gives this book (and the future books in the series) a different feel to them and I liked that.

Even if this wasn't Huss then I'd be reading the next book!

The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley

Title: The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway
Series: The Dukes of War (#6)
Author: Erica Ridley
From: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 1st December 2015
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Reading Assignment, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain minor spoilers to previous books in the series*

Clara Halton was almost ruined before she fled to America. Now she's thought to be dying. When Captain Blackheart is sent to collect her by her daughter's fiancé, he expects to be escorting an old woman. Much to his surprise he finds Clara to be of age with him, and more than that her fiesty and independent nature can't help but capture his attention in ways it probably shouldn't...

The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway ties in (and occurs somewhat parallel to) some of the events in two previous books in the series; The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (book 2) and The Major's Faux Fiancée (book 3). Unlike the other books in the series where for the most part it is just characters that overlap, in this case there are also events. However, this could still be read as a stand alone (but benefits from the other stories too!)

I loved having an older Regency heroine! Clara isn't naive or particularly innocent in the ways of the world, and that makes her a completely different kind of heroine. It also made her attitude towards men and attraction more interesting and allowed her to be more of the agressor than some of the past heroines.

There was more action in The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway than there was in the other books, mostly due to the fact that a lot of it was set on a pirate ship, though as far as I could tell they weren't illegal type pirates which was a bit different!

I also liked that this book humanised one of the characters who seemed like a bit of a baddie in The Major's Faux Fiancée. Originally I wasn't sure what to make of him, and though the ending of that book made me like hiim a bit more it was this one that really turned it around for me.

This was anoter great installment to the series, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else the author has in store!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

End of the Month Round Up (April)

Update on the Month 

So...this month has been a fairly bad reading month, mostly due to everything going on. My job's changed now after the woman whose maternity I was covering came back to work. So I've been trainging with the chef among other things. However due to another baby, I'll probably be going back to doing what I was there is that.

I've been pretty sociable this month too! I had a friend's engagement party at the beginning of the month and it was the first time all 6 of us from uni had been together in ages! (There's never all of us around at the same time!) So it was a fantasitc night. I also went to visit my bestie for a weekend and she treated me to the spa and dinner before we went for cocktails.

Writing wise this month has been really good. I finished my Phantom manuscript and my best friend now has it to help me rip it apart! I also finished my first round of edits for Cloaked and have been giving a lot of thought to what I want to write next!

Costs of the Month 

So this is basically the amount I should have spent on books, and the amount I actually did spend. I am ridicolously grateful for the existance of Netgalley and Review Copies it must be said! The prices I use is for the kindle edition of a book unless it isn't available or I read a paperback copy.

Year Total £328.42£46.56
January £82.18£5.45
February £89.17£18.83
March £88.41£5.95
April £68.66£16.33

Read This Month 

Aston, Jana

Bauer, Christina
Angelbound (Angelbound Origins #1) 
Scala (Angelbound Origins #2) 

Benson, Raymond
The Black Stiletto: The First Diary (The Black Stiletto #1)

Braswell, Liz
Once Upon A Dream (Twisted Tales #2) 

Carlan, Areudrey
February (Calendar Girl #2) 
March (Calendar Girl #3) 

Cherry, Alison

Davis, Siobhan
Beyond Reach (True Calling #2) 

Foster, Melissa
River of Love (The Bradens #15)

Hawk, Reagan
Performance Criteria

Huss, JA
Coming For You (Dirty Dark & Deadly #3) 
Meet Me In The Dark 
Mr. Right (Mister #1) 

Knight, E
My Lady Viper (Tales of the Tudor Court #1) 

McDermid, Val
The Torment of Others (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #4) 

Michaels, Alicia
Thin (Sharing Spaces#3) 

Pillow, Michelle M
Xena (Galaxy Playmates #4) 

Ridley, Erica
The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (Dukes of War #5) 
The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway (Dukes of War #6) 

Taylor, JE
Tigress (Night Hawk #2) 

Bingo Card 

Total: 14 out of 25
  1. Horse: Angelbound by Christina Bauer 
  2. Travel in the Book: Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
  3. In A Series: Angelbound by Christina Bauer 
  4. Fantasy: Angelbound by Christina Bauer 
  5. Goes for a Walk/Hike: River of Love by Melissa Foster
  6. Bad Boy Actually Good Guy: Coming For You by JA Huss
  7. Magic: Angelbound by Christina Bauer 
  8. Artist/Poet/Writer: February by Audrey Carlan
  9. Set on a School Campus: Red by Alison Cherry 
  10. Historical Fiction: My Lady Viper by E Knight
  11. Cop/Fireman: The Torment of Others  by Val McDermid
  12. Wedding: Coming For You by JA Huss 
  13. Recommended to You: February by Audrey Carlan
  14. Made into a Movie/TV Show: The Torment of Others by Val McDermid (TV Show = Wire in the Blood

Challenge Updates

FYI my Bookish Resolutions update will be seperate this year!


Goal: 101+ Points (Vetran) 
Points: 171
Status: Complete

  1. February by Audrey Carlan (#2 Calendar Girl) = 2 points
  2. Xena by Michelle M Pillow (#4 Galaxy Playmates) = 1 point
  3. Scala by Christina Bauer (#2 Angelbound) = 2 points 
  4. Coming For You by JA Huss (#3 Dirty Dark & Deadly) = 12 points
  5. March by Audrey Carlan (#3 Calendar Girl) = 2 points
  6. Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell (#2 Twisted Tales) = 2 points
  7. Thin by Alicia Michaels (#3 Sharing Spaces) = 2 points
  8. The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley (#5 The Dukes of War) = 2 points
  9. River of Love by Melissa Foster (#15 The Bradens) = 2 points 
  10. The Torment of Others by Val McDermid (#4 Tony Hill & Carol Jordan) = 2 points
  11. The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley (#6 The Dukes of War) = 2 points
  12. Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis (#2 True Calling) = 2 points

Falling For YA

Goal: 100 Books (Diamond)
Read: 42
Status: On Going

  1. My Lady Viper by E Knight 
  2. Angelbound by Christina Bauer
  3. Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
  4. Tigress by J E Taylor
  5. The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley
  6. Red by Alison Cherry 
  7. The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley
  8. The Black Stiletto: The First Diary by Raymond Benson
Because Reading is better than real life

Goal: 48 Books (4 Books a Month)
Status: On Going

Read List

  1. Angelbound by Christina Bauer (April)
  2. Tigress by J E Taylor (April)
  3. The Brigadier's Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley (April)
  4. The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley (April)

Blogger Shame

Goal: 50 Books
Read: 20
Status: Ongoing

  1. My Lady Viper by E Knight 
  2. Angelbound by Christina Bauer
  3. Tigress by J E Taylor
  4. The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley
  5. Red by Alison Cherry 
  6. The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley
  7. The Black Stiletto: The First Diary by Raymond Benson
  8. Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis

Goals: 45+ Books - New Release Enthusiast   
Read: 25
Status: Ongoing

  1. Right by Jana Aston (06/04/2016)
  2. Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell (05/04/2016) 
  3. Thin by Alicia Michaels (15/04/2016) 
  4. River of Love by Melissa Foster (20/04/2016) 
  5. Mr. Perfect by JA Huss (27/04/2016) 

Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2016 Badge

Goal: 80-100%
Read:  89 %

Status: On-Going

The list is books I have bought in 2016, when they're linked they are read!  I've not included free books, just those I have spent money on!
  1. Scala by Christina Bauer
  2. Calendar Girl Volume One by Audrey Carlan (FebruaryMarch
  3. Right by Jana Aston
  4. Coming For You by JA Huss
  5. Meet Me in the Dark by JA Huss
  6. Cleanskin by Val McDermid
  7. The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bookish Resolutions Link Up (April)

2016 Bookish Resolutions

You can check out the rules and stuff here! Bookish Resolutions is co-hosted by myself and Michelle @ because reading 

Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!)
    I've been doing alright at this, not great but alright. This month has been different for me because of my change in job (though through completely bizarre circumstances it might be changing back anyway)
  2. Reintroduce non-review content
    I've been taking part in a new meme, a Book's Genisis, which has been fun, but I really need to start posting more non review content.
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date
    I did accidentally leave this for over a week! But other than that not too bad.
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages
    I did update both this month!
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit)
    I've done terribly. I'm sorry guys, I will try to do better. 
Reading Goals 
  1. Improve Netgalley ratio by at least 10% (if this is achieved by the half way mark then it will be upped to 20%). I did succeed in improving my ratio in 2015 and was actually quite surprised to find I'd improved it by 7% (at the time of writing).
    I've gained 5% so far this year, so it's going ok! Though I didn't add to that this month! Ooops!
  2. Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously)
    So far I've finished 9 series this year; The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, Circle of Evil by Kylie Brant, Trevor's Harem by Aubrey Parker, Rook & Ronin by JA Huss, The Seduction by Roxy Sloane, City of Legends by Cheyanne Young, The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Galaxy Playmates by Michelle M Pillow, Dark Dirty & Deadly by JA Huss
  3. Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal.
    I've completed 1 so far (Prequel & Sequel) but I'm on track with the rest of them!
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.)
    I read 7 this month I think.
Personal Goal
  1. Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)
    I finished my first round of edits last weekend, and plan on doing the next round today & tomorrow, so this is on track!
How are you doing? Link up and let us know!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis

Title: Beyond Reach
Series: True Calling (#2)
Author: Siobhan Davis
From: Review Copy
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, YA
Release Date: 18th May 2015
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for the previous books in the series*

Having escaped from Nova, but left her mother, sister and fiancé behind, Ariana Skyee is torn. On the one hand there's the first love that she doesn't remember, Zane, and the new love she left behind, Cal, she also has to learn more about herself. The rebel movement, Clementia, is pressuring Ariana for the information given to her by her father but something is stopping her from handing it over, though she isn't too sure exactly what it is...

So I had to re-read my review of True Calling before writing this review because I had a niggle about what I think of Zane. Turns out my feelings really haven't changed that much; there's something about him that I really don't like that much and I can't quite put my finger on what. I do kind of go back to what I said in my review of True Calling and say that I'm pretty set when it comes to who I think should end up with who, so I take less of a liking to them.

It took me a little while to get into Beyond Reach, but I do think that was something to do with me not being in the right mood as opposed to anything about the book itself; this is definitely supported by how engrossed I was by the end and the exclamations of "NO! NOT THERE!" when I finished it. So fair warning it is one heck of a cliff hanger we're left on!

I like that the characters act their age. While Ariana, Zane and Cal all have mature things to worry about, their relationships with each other very much reflected the fact that they were still teenagers. There was uncontrollable lust, rage and jealousy going on and it all added to the authenticity of their relationships in a very enjoyable way.

There were a couple of twists in the book, one of which I had a feeling was brewing from the previous book, one was a complete surprise, and the other had a lot of little clues and niggles throughout the book so worked well but wasn't a massive surprise. It definitely worked to keep the suspsense going.

This was an enjoyable read, and the cliff hanger really has left me wanting more!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Red by Alison Cherry

Title: Red
Author: Alison Cherry
From: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 8th October 2013
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Felicity StJohn lives in Scarletville, a redhead sanctuary. But while it's a great place to be if you're a redhead, if you're not then life can get pretty tough. As the girl with the reddest hair in school, Felicity has it all; a popular boyfriend, great friends, and a shot at being Miss Scarlet, a highly coveted prize that only twelve girls from Felicity's year can participate in. Except that Felicity isn't a real redhead by Scarletville standards and has had her hair dyed to cover her true strawberry blonde colour ever since she was born...

I only just realised that Red was supposed to be a satire and that has made me feel a little silly. Going into it I kind of read it as across between a high school story and a slightly dystopian plot (because basically you're descriminated against if you're not a redhead) and honestly I do think that it works in that way. Probably better than it works as a satire.

There is the obvious theme throughout of being true to yourself and accepting who you are and what you look like, and these were done pretty well. I actually liked the fact that the ending was a little more realistic than some books would have it. *Slight spoiler alert in the next sentance* I was a little disappointed that Felicity didn't enter the pageant with her natural hair colour in the end, I was expecting something a little more Cady from Mean Girls from her.

I liked the budding romance between Felicity and Jonathan. As a non-redhead he did come across as a bit more real than several of the other characters and I felt that he and Felicity actually managed to build on more in common than some of the other characters. I'd go as far as saying that Jonathan is what saved Felicity from being a ridicolously shallow character. In contrast Felicity's jock boyfriend was incrediably annoying, and was basically a stereotype (which even she seemed to realise).

I will admit to still being a little confused about why Gabby was choosing to blackmail Felicity, especially as she said that it wasn't actually personal. Some of the things she got her to do didn't really seem to have the effect that she wanted them to. But at least it showed a character (albeit a brunette one) trying to rail against society.

I did enjoy Red, and I didn't ever feel like I should put it down, but I can't help but think that it could have been so much better!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Meet Me In the Dark by JA Huss

Title: Meet Me In the Dark
Author: JA Huss
From: Amazon
Genre: Suspense, Romance
Release Date: 15th April 2015
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Sydney Channing has waited 8 years for Merric Case to return for her like he said he would when she was 16. Merc is a freelance assassin, who had to make the choice between 16 year old Sydney, and another, younger, girl. Now Merc is going to finish what he started and find the man controlling Sydney before he kills her. But things don't necessarily go to plan and Sydney isn't the woman that Merc thinks she is. When things start to unfold they both find out things they weren't prepared for.

I'll start by saying that Meet Me In The Dark is definitely not for everyone. To say it's a dark read is probably an understatement, but it covers a range of potentially sensative subjects such as torture, mind control and drugs. However if you're willing to get that far this book keeps you reading because you have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next.

Meet Me In The Dark is technically a stand alone book, but I think that you really gain something by reading the other related books first. The later Rook & Ronin spin off books include Merc a little but, but it's Dirty, Dark & Deadly (Come, Come Back and Coming For You) that really help set the scene, particularly where the Company and how that works is involved. There are several cross over characters (mostly mentioned rather than seen though).

This book worked so well because for the most part there was only Sydney and Merc involved. It was told from their dual POVs, but they were alone in the wilderness for most of it. They both thought about (and in Merc's case talked to) other characters, but no one really appeared on page til much later on. This meant that there was more page time for Sydney and Merc's character growth, and how their interactions changed.

I would have to say that Sydney is probably one of the most messed up characters of Huss that I've read (and I started my Huss journey with 321 so that says a lot!) but that made her fascinating. She was an odd combination of strong and submissive (mostly due to events that happened to her before the book started) and yet it worked really well.

I think that's just about all I can really say without giving too much away, but this was a great (albeit very dark!) read and it kept me guessing the whole way.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

Title: The Torment of Others
Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan (#4)
Author: Val McDermid
From: Amazon
Genre: Crime
Release Date: 1st May 2005
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain minor spoilers for other books in the series.*

Having returned to policing after her undercover mission gone wrong, Carol Jordan is heading a serious crimes unit focusing on cold cases when there's nothing current on. Dr Tony Hill has tried to be an academic but realised it's not for him. Soon the two of them once again find themselves embroiled in the hunt for a killer in Bradfield, but this time it's not just Tony's demons they're having to fight behind the scenes.

I'll start off by saying that this was a re-read for me. I read the first four Tony Hill & Carol Jordan books back in my teens sometimes (so we're probably talking about 6-8 years ago). With the other two that I re-read recently (The Mermaids Singing & Wire in the Blood) I could remmeber the major twist, but with the Torment of Others I just kept pulling up blank. I could remember that there was one, and that it surprised me last time, but couldn't think what it was.

The Torment of Others kept me well and truely engaged and I didn't want to put it down once I'd started it. There's something about the characters that McDermid creates, as well as the mystery and suspense itself that just makes you want to keep reading.

Carol and Tony's relationship is the main thread linking the series together, and in this book they're probably the most honest they'd been with themselves about how they felt, but there was still more to it than that. Carol herself is still trying to move past the event of the previous book and that helps her grow as a character, whereas Tony has had his demons since the very beginning (but seems more at peace with them).

The murders are actually pretty gruesome (not sure what that says about McDermid's imagination!) and the events aren't sugar coated, just in case that would put anyone off. The whole book deals with the underground world of drugs, prositution and other crimes.

This was a really good read, the second time as well as the first, and I'm looking forward to reading on in the series, especially because now I have no idea what's coming at all!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Performance Criteria by Reagan Hawk

Title: Performance Criteria
Series: Cyborg Desires (#1)
Author: Reagan Hawk
From: Review Copy
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Release Date: 28th March 2016
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Watching the man she loves die in front of her was too much, but Dr Aeron Braxton has a plan to honour him. She spends years building a droid cross over which mimics Brad Fairbanks in everyway imaginable, even though she knows she can nver have him. Brad has known what Aeron's been doing almost since the beginning and has enjoyed her uncensored talks with him. But when an old friend remerges his jealous side emerges and he reveals to Aeron that he's more than just a droid...

I knew I'd like this book, but I must just have been in the right mood when I picked it up because I actually really really enjoyed it. It was fun and sexy, and it was good reading a book where the characters actually admitted what they wanted early on and went on to actually get it without that much hassle.

It was interesting having Brad as part human part droid. It was made clear that he remembered who he was and still had the same desires, but Hawk did manage to bring out the droid side of him too. The two sides of him worked well both as a character and as a plot point.

Aeron was a smart woman, and determined. I liked that there was very little messing about from her. She knew what she wanted and accepted what she wanted which made it interesting watching her when she was confused.

This was a good read, only a quick one, but it was fun!

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Brigadier's Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley

Title: The Brigadier's Runaway Bride
Series: The Dukes of War (#5)
Author: Erica Ridley
From: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain minor spoilers for previous books in the series*

Heartbroken and in need of a marriage to legitimise her baby, Sarah Fairfax is all set to marry Ravenwood, until her long lost love, Edmund Blackpool, makes an appearance very much alive as opposed to dead like his friends believed. Now Sarah and Edmund need to reconnect, as well as prepare for their unexpected arrival.

It was fairly clear from the other books that Edmund would reappear and save Sarah from a loveless marriage just in time, but the way it worked surprised me slightly. It put a real emphasis on the friendship and bonds between the men and what they'd do to protect something each of them cared about.

I liked that things weren't easy for Edmund and Sarah. They'd been a part for over 8 months and that's bound to have an impact, particularly when Sarah was grieving and Edmund was clueless about the pregnancy, and the added stress of parenthood added another dynamic as well.

While The Brigadier's Runaway Bride could be read as a standalone there is cross over to the rest of the series, and each installement offers something different. The women, including Sarah, are strong and willing to work for what they want, and the men often need knocking some sense into.

Ridley is a good go to for feel good Regency Romance. There's never any doubt that things would work out but the way in which it happens is what makes these books unique.