Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book: Behind the Scandal by M A Stacie

Title: Behind the Scandal
Series: Reluctance (#2)
Author: M A Stacie
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 31st July 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Taylor Reese has been banished to the family ranch in order to detox and get himself free of Cocaine. Though he starts off seeing the ranch as a prison, hard work and a feisty redhead called Libby start to make him feel differently. Alongside getting to know Libby, he gets to know her son Levi, and everything could change from his drug fueled existance in Sea Pointe...

Book 2 of this series kept on giving! Book 1, Beneath the Surface was a complex story centred around Taylor's brother but involved Taylor's downfall, and in that case I'd say it is best read first though all the information was included in Behind the Scandal so it could be read as a stand alone...except these books are good (as I right this I'm at least 2/3rds into book 3!)

The relationship between Libby and Taylor was sweet, passionate and deep. There was more to it than just attraction from the moment they met, and not just because there was a child involved. It just felt like more between the two of them. Sometimes people connect over bad situations, and in this case these two did.

Libby's past was quite uncomfortable to read at times if I'm honest. Particularly for me I think, but it was so well written that her fear came off the page. It added a real depth to both her character and the story, but it was uncomfortable at times!

The relationships between the Reese men were expanded on more in Behind the Scandal, making Taylor come across as much more likable than in the first book, though that was always going to be the case. I liked how the brothers' relationship wasn't just fixed by magic either, but in small baby steps.

This was an enjoyable read, this series is shaping into a good one!

The Sunday Post #21

Real Life

So.........things kind of got a bit more interesting this week. First work has been a bit more challenging, with some of the orders coming in really last minute. I like being able to prove I can do it. 

But the big news...remember I mentioned the guy I may or may not have a thing for...well he came back from uni for the weekend for a family member's party, which I'd been invited to. 6 hours of drinking and he walked me home (which is perfectly normal, my male friends do it all the time despite the fact that we live in a tiny, and safe, village). So then for some unknown reason we start talking about our past (together that is...its complicated). Then he starts talking about the present and something that sounded very much like a rejection (why I'm not so sure because I hadn't suggested anything anyway) and then he kissed me. So yep...confused as hell here. 

And I realised that I read far too many romance books because when I look at the situation it just makes me think its one of those scenes where the heroine annoys you cause she puts up with that sh*t and the hero annoys you cause he doesn't realise how awesome she is. Then I remember its my life and I get all confused again!

Author Stuff 

Review Copy Sign Up

Read This Week 

Costs of the Week: 

Should have spent: 
This Week: £15.05
April: £95.26
May: £5.07
Year to Date: £348.85
Acutally Spent: 
This Week: £0.00
April: £18.51
May: £0.00
Year to Date: £40.09


Cupid's Enchantment by Michelle M Pillow
Heaven's Vault by Pavarti K Tyler
Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster
Legion by Brandon Sanderson (Audiobook) 
Beneath the Surface by M A Stacie
Paranormal Payload by Mandy M Roth

Other Posts
My TBR List May Vote (help choose between the Virgin's Daughter, Howler's Night & Back in Play
End of the Month Round Up (April) (includes challenge update) 

Challenge Updates

Because reading is better than real life

I completed everything bar one of my resolutions for April but have decided to give up my classics resolution.


A Study in Ashes

Goal: 48 Books (4 Books a Month) 
Read: 16 Books

Falling For YA
Behind the Scandal
Beyond the Surface
A Study in Ashes
Goal: 75 Books
Read: 38

Beyond the Seduction 
Catching Cassidy
Goal: 31-45 Books 
Read: 21

Behind the Scandal (2 points) 
Beyond the Seduction (2 points) 
Cupid's Revenge (1 point) 
A Study in Ashes (12 points) 
Cupid's Favor (1 point)
Goal: 101+ Points
Read: 115 Points

Saturday, 2 May 2015

My TBR List May Vote

This is the first time I'm going to be taking part in Michelle @ Because Reading's Meme, but because I'm accepting less tours these days, I need something to structure my reading...and I'm going to give this ago! But I am quite nervous!

Title: The Virgin's Daughter
Series: Tudor Legacy (Sequel to the Boleyn Trilogy)
Author: Laura Andersen
From: Netgalley
Genre: Alternative History
Release Date: 19th May 2015
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Synopsis: What if Elizabeth the First, the celebrated Virgin Queen, had a daughter? For those who just can’t get enough of the scandalous Tudors, the author of the wildly popular Boleyn King series offers an enthralling new saga of the royal family, set in Elizabethan England. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.

Andersen explores the thrilling possibility of a Tudor heir, the daughter of Elizabeth I, in her new trilogy, a captivating continuation of the alternate history of the Tudors launched in the award-winning Boleyn King trilogy. With her originality and imagination, Andersen breathes fresh life into this ever-fascinating epoch. Peppered with realistic period-details and genuine historical figures to add dimension and texture to her captivating story, Andersen brings the seduction and glamour of the Tudor court to life in this spellbinding new novel.

Title: Back in Play 
Series: Power Play (#2) 
Author: Lynda Aicher 
From: Netgalley 
Genre: Romance 
Release Date: 11th May 2015
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

Synopsis: For Minnesota Glaciers captain Scott Walters, skating on a bum knee—and self-medicating to keep skating on it—is all part of the game. That the painkillers he's eating prevent him from having meaningful relationships is just one more sacrifice in a lifetime of them. He’s worked too hard to let his image be ruined by injury or dependency, so he hides the pain and fakes the rest—a girlfriend would only complicate matters.

High school teacher Rachel Fielding never needed a man in her life, but she also never intended to grow old alone. When she meets Scott while visiting her brother, she’s intrigued to find herself wanting him in her bed. For hours at a time, as often as possible. Scott is a giver, and just the memory of his attentions is enough to drive her crazy. Anything long-term is out of the question, though—the pills she finds in Scott's house indicate he's struggling with a lot more than growing older in a young man's game.

When what starts out as a what-the-hell weeklong fling turns into Scott and Rachel exploring each other outside the bedroom, Rachel hesitates. But Scott asks for her support to break his addiction, and hearing him admit his secrets has her ignoring her own rules—until he breaks her heart. With the Glaciers refusing to renew his contract and his future with Rachel uncertain, Scott has some big decisions to make and a lot to prove—especially to himself.

Title: Howler's Night
Series: Night (#3) 
Author: Marie Hall 
From: Amazon 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Release Date: 22nd August 2014

Synopsis: The Priest was back. Her home was safe. And Pandora had even managed to secure a powerful ally in the Zombie Queen. But in one fell swoop none of it mattered. She’s been abducted by a secret organization known only as the Triad, and they’re conducting experiments, treating her like a lab rat: cutting her open, dissecting her, and keeping her hostage. And she’s slowly going mad. Her demons are asleep, and no one knows where to find her. She’s completely isolated, and the Triad mean to break her. But for what purpose? And to what end? 

Desperate to get back to her life and the people she loves Pandora manages a miraculous escape... Or has she? All she knows is she's woken up in the woods, alone and terrified and with no memories of who she really is.

Only one thought keeps hammering away at her. The prophecy. A legend, that states Pandora is the key to unlocking Armageddon. The truth of who she is, of what the Triad has made her become, has been sealed in her memory banks. And if she can just remember, she knows she can stop whatever they've got planned. 

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him..."

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Book: Cupid's Enchantment by Michelle M Pillow

Title: Cupid's Enchantment
Series: Naughty Cupid (#1)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 21st July 2010
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Cupid must have his revenge on Lord Ilar of the Lycans, and to do so he will take the ugliest mortal he can find and make her irresistable to Lycans; the only way to rid the woman of her curse is for her to become lifemated to a Lycan herself. Lady Rhiannon has been locked away in a tower by her father in case her beauty stops her sister's suitors from accepting their marriage when Cupid finds her, but when he takes her to the Lycan court he never quite realised what he was putting in motion...

I loved this version of Cupid! He resented the fact that he was thought of as encouraging love and wanted to punish those who belittled him, all the while actually ending up helping those people that he is meant to be seeking revenge on. I thought it was a unique and very interesting way to look at a God who is very romantisied. It also led to a few misconceptions about what he considered beauty.

Rhiannon was a virgin, and though they can annoy me at times I actually found her innocence refreshing in Cupid's Enchantment. Rather than having her turn into a sex goddess at the first sight of a naked (or nearly naked) man, Rhiannon acted like a truely naive virgin and made a few observations that were kind of amusing (hiding a knife in a loin cloth maybe?). It meant that I warmed to her in a way that I don't always do!

The chemistry between the two leads was strong, though it wasn't all that clear how much of that was the enchantment placed on Rhiannon until later on. It was also left a bit of a mystery as to why Ilar didn't act quite as mindless as the other Lycans. Saying that the observations of Malak and Larus made it clear what was really going on!

The inclusion of secondary characters such as Malak and Larus was great, not only did it allow a more objective view of what was going on, but I really felt the friendship betweeb them and Ilar, mainly in their teasing and testing of him.

This was an enjoyable read, I look forward to more!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Book: Heaven's Vault by Pavarti K Tyler

Title: Heaven's Vault
Author: Pavarti K Tyler
From: Review Copy
Genre: Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 28th April 2015
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Maia always dreamed of spenidng time on Earth with her father and sisters. But instead she was kept in her cave, not allowed to interact with the humans, kept naive and innocent until her cousin Zeus takes what wasn't his. Now thousands of years later, Maia has made a trip down to earth, against the rules of her people. There she meets Jaren, who takes care of her regardless of her strange appearance.

Heaven's Vault is a short story with a very unique feel to it, like many of Tyler's works. Told in the first person narrative I felt that Tyler captured the wonder and confusion that would happen if a God came to Earth with no prior experiences. It actually had me thinking about things in a different way. So often confused characters appear to the narrator rather than being the narrator and I think that added something different.

The ending of Heaven's Vault was defintiely not what I expected. I thought it was actually really sad, and my heart almost broke for Maia and Jaren. Almost because it was kind of bittersweet and it was the right ending to their story.

There were very few characters in Heaven's Vault and the only two that really got time spent on them were Maia and Jaren, thought there were other people mentioned in passing. Even then the time spent on Maia and Jaren was around them meeting rather than on getting to know each other. Again I think that made this book unique and different!

I've enjoyed everything of Tyler's that I've read, and Heaven's Vault is no exception! Plus the cover is amazing!

End of the Month Round Up (April)

April?!?!??! When did that happen? Where did it go! 

This also my challenge update!

Costs of the Month

Since January I've been keeping track of how much I should have been spending on books (i.e. if the ARCs and review copies I'm lucky enough to receive actually cost me money) and how much I actually do spend. To be honest I'm already pretty shocked at how much I've saved. The total spent on books is higher than normal as I've bought an audiobook this month!

The Total Cost of Books I've Read in April: £93.74
The Total Spent on Books I've Read in April: £18.51

The Total Cost of Books I've Read This Year: £342.26
The Total Spent on Books I've Read This Year: £40.09

Challenge Updates

Because reading is better than real life

Resolution #1 Listen to 4 Audiobooks This Year
January: 0
February: 0
March: 1
April: 1
Resolution #2 Read 1 'Classic' This Month
January: 1
February: 0.5
March: 0 
April: 0
Resolution Failed
Resolution #3 Read 6 Netgalley Books This Month
January: 14
February: 7
March: 6
April: 10
Resolution #4 Read 2 Bought Books This Month
January: 5
February: 6
March: 6
April: 9
Resolution #5 Finish One of My Writing Projects
In progress...


I may have ended up finishing this challenge late in the month again...I do try! But sheer determination seems to get the books read on the last day!
Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
The Willful  by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway
Goal: 48 Books (4 Books a Month) 
Read: 16 Books

Falling For YA

Added this month: 
Party Girl by Tamara Morgan 
Mine to Serve by Mel Teshco
Dirty Secrets by Jane O'Reilly
Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
Beneath the Surface by M A Stacie 
Behind the Scandal by M A Stacie
Beyond the Seduction by M A Stacie 
A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway 
Goal: 75 Books
Read: 38 Books

I have completed this challenge, but will be carrying on, and hopefully working on a new goal based on what points I would have got last year.
True Violet (#9 Gilded Flower) = 2 points 
Tipping the Scales (#2 Stop Dragon My Heart Around) = 1 point
Rise of the Tide (#3 Lost Kingdom of Fallada) = 2 points
Mine to Serve (#6 ES Siren) = 2 points
Mine to Spell (#2 Mine) = 2 points 
Huntsman's Prey (#7 Kingdom) = 2 points
Beautiful Salvation (#5 Blood Prince) = 12 points 
Rumpel's Prize (#8 Kingdom) = 2 points 
Closer (#2 Loose Ends) = 2 points 
Act of Surrender (#2 PSI Ops) = 2 points 
A Study in Darkness (#2 The Baskerville Affair) = 2 points 
The Willful (#3.5 The Woodlands) = 1 point
Hood's Obsession (#9 Kingdom) = 2 points 
Behind the Scandal (#2 Reluctance) = 2 points
Beyond the Seduction (#3 Reluctance) = 2 points
Cupid's Revenge (#2 Naughty Cupid) = 1 point
A Study in Ashes (#3 The Baskerville Affair) = 12 points
Goal: 101+ Points
Read: 114 Points

Added this month: 
True Violet by Vivian Winslow
Dirty Secrets by Jane O'Reilly 
Closer by Kaia Bennett 
Beyond the Seduction by M A Stacie 
Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster
Goal: 31-45 Books 
Read: 21 Books

Read This Month: 

I'm going to stick with last month's system of by author! 

Bennett, Kaia
Closer (Loose Ends #2) 

Birch, Kate Jarvik

Blackstream, Jennifer
Beautiful Salvation (Blood Prince #5) 

Falor, Janeal
Mine to Spell (Mine #2)

Foster, Melissa
Catching Cassidy (Harborside Nights #1)

Hall, Marie
Hood's Obsession (Kingdom #9) 
Huntman's Prey (Kingdom #7) 
Rumpel's Prize (Kingdom #8) 

Hawk, Reagn
Prepared to Please (Cyber Sex #1) 

Heaton, Felicity
Covet (Vampire Erotic Theatre #1) 

Holloway, Emma Jane
A Study in Ashes (The Baskerville Affair #3) 
A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair #2) 

Micheals, Alicia
Rise of the Tide (Lost Kingdom of Fallada #3) 

Morgan, Tamara 

O'Reilly, Jane

Pillow, Michelle
Cupid's Enchantment (Naughty Cupid #1)
Cupid's Revenge (Naughty Cupid #2)
King of the Unblessed (Realm Immortal #1) 

Roth, Mandy M 
Act of Mercy (PSI Ops #1) 
Act of Surrender (PSI Ops #2)
The King's Choice (The King's Choice #1)
Paranormal Payload (Project Exorcism #1) 
Tipping the Scales (Stop Dragon My Heart Around #2)

Sanderson, Brandon

Stacie, M A
Behind the Scandal (Reluctance #2) 
Beneath the Surface (Reluctance #1) 
Beyond the Seduction (Reluctance #3) 

Taylor, Lauren Nicolle
The Willful (The Woodlands #3.5) 

Teshco, Mel
Mine to Serve (ES Siren #6)

Tyler, Pavarti K
Heaven's Vault 

Winslow, Vivian
True Violet (Gilded Flower #9)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bookish Resolutions Progress Report (April)

Blimey its the end of April...when did that happen! Anyway it is time to check that progress on the Bookish Resolutions Challenge! 

My Challenge: 
  1. Listen to 4 audiobooks this year
    I listened to 1 audiobook this month! Meaning I'm now at 2! Which is half way there and it isn't even June! Plus I am most of the way through the next one! 
  2. Read 1 'classic' book a month
    I think its safe to say that I've pretty much given up on this resolution...this just isn't happening!
  3. Read at least 6 Netgalley books a month
    As I'm writing this I've read 9, and when I finish the book I'm reading now it'll be 10, so that's pretty good going!
  4. Read 2 books a month that have been bought (which does include free amazon books) rather than given for a review
    I've read 9 so this is good going!
  5. To finish at least 1 of my writing projects Some progress on this but nothing major to report really...
How are your resolutions going? Add your post to the Linky and share it!