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! 



Tour: Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster

Title: Catching Cassidy
Series: Harborside Nights (#1)
Author: Melissa Foster
From: Review Copy (Blog Tour)
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Release Date: 28th April 2015
Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

College graduates Cassidy and Wyatt have been best friends for seventeen years...and yet something between them has changed. Despite the termoil caused by the death of Wyatt's parents, neither of them can stop looking at the other in a way that is more than friendly. With his twin sister struggling to cope with her grief and her sexuality, the last thing that Wyatt wants to do is risk his friendship with Cassidy, but somethings are just too strong to ignore, particularly when Wyatt needs Cassidy the most.

I'm pretty sure that Catching Cassidy is my favourite Melissa Foster book yet! Though I've loved her books since picking up the first one I read, Catching Cassidy offered me a connection to the characters that I haven't had in the previous books to the same level, simply because of the characters' ages and place in life. Rather than just romance, this is a book about growing up and accepting yourself.

So the reason I connected more was really simple; the MCs were both my age, had both just finished college (well uni in my case) and were trying to figure out what to do with their life, at the same time as going through the more stressful stuff than I have to deal with it must be said, but those factors made a big difference. Connecting with Wyatt and Cassidy meant I enjoyed this even more than I normally enjoy Foster's books (which if you've seen my reviews is a lot!)

I really liked the way that their friendship was a part of their decisions. These weren't characters that just rushed into things, or ones that got drunk and slept together. Instead there was a long dance between them of will they and won't they, that may have felt like it lasted a long time, but felt right because of it.

I also really liked how there were other issues for the characters to work through, and how because of their friendship, Wyatt and Cassidy never actually whined about how their problems were worse. Catching Cassidy actually had me reflecting on how horrible it would be to lose my parents and I felt that the emotions captured were right for the circumstances.

There were plenty of side characters to get to know in Catching Cassidy as well, and some side chemistry between several of them. The main developed secondary character was Delilah, Wyatt's twin, and her struggle to come out as well as dealing with her parents' death. I really want to find out more about her (and the other characters) which gives credit to how real they all felt!

Defintiely a great read, I think it captured a lot of emotion along with the romance!


Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster
Series: Harborside Nights: Book 1
Release Date: 28th April 2015
Pages: 280
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents.  Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to deal with his parents’ death and to try to figure out his next step.
Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands—but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home—but she never expected to begin seeing Wyatt as more than a friend. Or has she been ignoring her feelings all along?
It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22842020-catching-cassidy?from_search=true

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Audiobook: Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Legion
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Oliver Wyman
From: Audible
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Release Date: 2nd October 2012
Challenges: Bookish Resolutions
Links: Audible - Goodreads - Amazon

Stephen Leeds is a mysterious recluse, who interacts with the many 'aspects' of himself. Depending on his needs he can interact with linguists, scientists, pscychologists or navy Seals. When Monica turns up looking for a theif he works with several of his aspects to solve the crime...

Legion is the first audiobook that I've listened to completely as an audiobook (rather than switching between audio and reading) and may I just say that Oliver Wyman completely made it for me. I can now truely appreciate the awesomeness of audiobooks, whereas before I was still a little undecided. The voices he used for each other characters, and indeed his voice anyway, really added to it and I found that I didn't want to stop listening!

The story itself was pure Sanderson. Completely different to anything else I've ever read and completely captivating in the story. I loved the way that different aspects of Stephen interacted with each other and with the people around Stephen, this went right down to the creation of a new aspect, which really added to the story.

I'll be honest when I picked Legion I didn't actually read the blurb, rather I said to myself 'it's a Brandon Sanderson book, I'll love it' and I was completely right (though it did mean that when the story started I was a bit shocked, partly by the first person narrative and partly by the contemporary ish setting). Its actually made me reconsider a book of Sanderson's that I was slightly reserved about reading.

This wasn't a long audiobook, but it was definitelty entertaining. There were several moments when I laughed (and got funny looks cause I was at the gym at the time!)

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Tour: Beyond the Seduction by M A Stacie

Title: Beyond the Seduction
Series: Reluctance (#3)
Author: M A Stacie
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 23rd April 2015
Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Trace Jacks had it all; a girlfriend and a young daugher he adored...until he discovered that none of that was really his. When his sister, Dale, arrives to cheet him up, he ends up helping take his young niece, Ella, to dance class, where he is almost immediately taken by Shae Bennett, the teacher. Shae's father has always been difficult but now even more so, and with a distraction such as Trace in the mix, things could become more manageable...or not.

Each of the books in this series has involved a couple who are reluctant to face what they mean to each other, and Beyond the Seduction is no different, though the situations are! I think the main point in Beyond the Seduction was that actually Shae and Trace weren't in the right place for a relationship but they had met each other anyway.

Because of everything that was going on in their 'normal' lives, their relationship got complicated. It was a classic example of 'no strings' turning into 'lots of strings' (and I wonder why I'm such a romantic really!) but it was well done, in a way that felt realistic for the circumstances.

Aas with the other books there were plenty of well considered side characters, including some of the old characters like Dale and Kyran from book 1 (reading in order is an advantage but not 100% necessary) and a brief appearance from the characters from book 2 (Taylor and Libby) but again these appearances made sense (Dale being Trace's sister, and Taylor being Kyran's brother). But the charcters had their own friends and I liked that.

This series has been kind of addictive! I've enjoyed reading all three of them, they were easy to read, captivating and full of strong relationships, as well as friendships and family tensions!


Monday, 27 April 2015

Book: Beneath the Surface by M A Stacie

Title: Beneath the Surface
Series: Reluctance (#1)
Author: M A Stacie
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 29th August 2013
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

The last thing Kyran Reese was ready for was Dale Porter walking through his door. Dale is starting a new job as Taylor Reese's assistant, but it is his brother than truely captivates her attention. With the attraction between them string from the off sset they quickly fall into bed, but when their lives start entwining more and more things start to go wrong...not all of those things being within their control.

Beneath the Surface definitely captivated my attention. I liked it simply because it was a messy relationship. There was no easy way out for Kyran and Dale, they really had to work for it. Even better they worked for it over time and wasn't just an instant thing. Seeing their relationship progress over the course of the book made it feel more real.

One thing that went well for Kyran and Dale was the sex, and there was something that I picked up on that I really appreciated because of it's rarity and that was the use of condoms. A lot of the time in romances characters seem to get carried away and forget them, whereas these two actually made a concious decision not to have sex because they didn't have one. And I didn't think that that detracted from the mood of the scenes either.

Though the main focus of the book was on the relationship between Kyran and Dale, there were several side plots going on at the same time. There was complicated families, both Kyran's brother Taylor and Dale's family history, and the drama that went along with that. It added more to their relationship and the story in general.

The secondary characters were well thought out and I found myself liking some of them more than others. Clara I actually really liked, whereas Taylor I didn't and honestly I wasn't all that sure about Trace. Though saying that I do think that my opinion may change in future books.

I really enjoyed Beneath the Surface, it was complicated and realistic and that made it for me!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Book: Paranormal Payload by Mandy M Roth

Title: Paranormal Payload
Series: Project Exorcism (#1)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera, Romance, Paranormal
Release Date: 3rd July 2009
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Sevan has been having dreams of a woman for 6 months, not realising that Lorelei was dreaming of him too. Even knowing that he has a true mate out there, he doesn't expect to find anyone better than Lorelei and in their dreams they agree to mate. When Sevan's ship is in danger, he asks for the help of a nearby planet, not realising that it is the one planet that contains his mate. When Lorelei and Sevan meet in the flesh sparks fly, and tensions rise as they must defeat forces that want Lorelei dead.

Just when I thought Roth's books couldn't get better I read this series! I was thrown right into Lorelei and Sevan's dreams (which like the rest of the chemistry between them were sizzling!) and right into the story. I felt drawn into it and needed to know exactly who and what was going on.

Once the two of them met physically there was a change in the atmosphere between them. It wasn't just about the sexual chemistry between them, but there was an aggrivating banter that worked well. There was never a point where Sevan looked down on Lorelei either, which was good, though she had her moments when she considered him a 'mere human'!

There was a lot of focus on the central pair as well as on the other people around them, and it seems that there is a good set up for future books and future pairings, and I liked the fact that Roth set these up well, it left me feeling llike I was starting to get to know the future main characters already.

Plus there was a great bad guy! And great background to him. It was pretty much explained why he was bad at the same time as leaving plenty of mystery to him. It all also tied in with the name of the series (Project Exorcism) which I definitely liked.

This was a really good read, I'm looking forward to more!

The Sunday Post #20


Real Life

Oooops so I kind of missed two Sunday Posts. That should mean that I have loads of exciting things to say, but actually I'm kind of drawing a blank! I took my brother to the Sealife Centre (he loves the Sharks) and we actually won the pub quiz, but somehow that seems like a very boring three weeks!

Author Stuff 

Review Copy Sign Up

Read This Week 





Read Last Week 



Read The Week Before





Costs of the Week: 

Should have spent: 
This Week: £33.52
Last Week: £12.89
The Week Before: £21.49
April: £82.77
Year to Date: £331.29
Acutally Spent: 
This Week: £11.07
Last Week: £0.00
The Week Before: £0.00
April: £18.51
Year to Date: £40.09

Reviews 

Covet by Felicity Heaton
Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice by Michelle M Pillow
Hood's Obsession by Marie Hall
The Wilfull by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
Act of Surrender by Mandy M Roth 
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch 
Rumpel's Prize by Marie Hall 
Closer by Kaia Bennett
The King of the Unblessed by Michelle M Pillow
The King's Choice by Mandy M Roth
Prepared to Please by Reagan Hawk
Beautiful Salvation by Jennifer Blackstream 
Huntsman's Prey by Marie Hall 
Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor
Act of Mercy by Mandy M Roth
Dirty Secrets by Jane O'Reilly
Mine to Serve by Mel Tescho
Rise of the Tide by Alicia Micheals 
Maiden and the Monster by Michelle M Pillow
The Party Girl by Tamara Morgan 

Other Posts
10 Facts you may or may not know about Me
Sunday Post #19

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge: I actually downed this from 450 books to 400 books, the first just doesn't seem possible anymore!

Because reading is better than real life

I listened to an audiobook this week!

2015HWLogo

Mine to Spell
A Study in Darkness
The Willful

Goal: 48 Books (4 Books a Month) 
Read: 15 Books


Falling For YA
Mine to Serve
Dirty Secrets
Perfected
A Study in Darkness
Beneath the Surface
Goal: 75 Books
Read: 35


Dirty Secrets 
Closer
Goal: 31-45 Books 
Read: 19

Rise of the Tide = 2 points
Mine to Serve = 2 points
Huntsman's Prey = 2 points
Beautiful Salvation = 12 points
Rumpel's Prize = 2 points
Closer = 2 points
Act of Surrender = 2 points
A Study in Darkness = 2 points
The Willful = 1 point
Hood's Obsession = 2 points
Goal: 101+ Points
Read: 97 Points

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Book: Covet by Felicity Heaton

Title: Covet
Series: Vampire Erotic Theatre (#1)
Author: Felicity Heaton
From: Amazon
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 14th January 2012
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

To touch another Vampire's bonded human is a death sentance, one that will cause harm to the human with every touch. Despite knowing he is playing with fire, Javier can't help the draw that he feels for Lilah. When he comes across her in a box watching a show, his barely constrained restraint fractures. But will the two of them coming together cause his death and hers?

Covet is most definitely paranormal erotic fiction, and there were several scenes that had a definite heat level. I read Covet because reviews of Felicity Heaton's books keep coming up on fellow bloggers' blogs and I needed to try one of her books, Covet is just the first one that I have. And am I glad I did!

When the book wasn't focusing on sex, there was a well thought out and explored back story, including the mythology and other details relating to vampires and the humans they interact with. Each author seems to have a different take on vampires, and I enjoyed this blend of the violent side with the more romantisied side.

There were few side characters in Covet, and other than Javier and Lilah, not many of them got particularly expanded upon. However I have found myself now intrigued by them and want to know more about them, particularly Javier's partners in the theatre.

This was a good read, I'm glad I listened when other bloggers enjoyed Heaton's books!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Book: Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice by Michelle M Pillow

Title: Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: 14th January 2013
Challenges: N/A
Links: Amazon - Goodreads

When Lady Della discovers that she is to be married only one thought comes to mind; that her hatred of Vikings willl never lead to a satisfactory marriage. Brant can see that his wife to be is an attractive woman, but what draws her to him more is the challenge she presents; Brant is convinced that the nickname Della the Cold is not in fact the truth. With secrets between them, and other plots afoot, can Della and Brant's marriage work? Or is it doomed by Della's past?

Once again I was drawn into the rich Historical world that Pillow has created. Though not a series, Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice was set in the same time and place (well ish) as Maiden and the Monster, which I felt helped with the overall feel of the setting.

I really liked how Pillow managed to get the balance with Della right. There was no way that she could be a modern woman in her own time really, but Pillow managed to make her strong at the same time as fitting in. Part of this was due to her reputation, but a lot was also to do with herself.

The main twist revolved around Della's past trauma, and it worked twice. The first was to do with Brant's finding out about the past, and the second Della finding out the truth about what happened. Though I had taken a good guess at the end result, I wasn't quite right and I do like it when endings take me a bit by surprise!

The chemistry between Della and Brant was good, the road through their marriage was by no means easy, and they were both incrediably stubborn, but ultimately I thought that they complimented each other well, and the chemistry both in the bedroom and out of it was good.

I really enjoyed Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice, defintiely a good read!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Book: Hood's Obsession by Marie Hall

Title: Hood's Obsession
Series: Kingdom (#9)
Author: Marie Hall
From: Shifters After Dark Box Set
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: 23rd July 2014
Challenges: 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

With his master, Rumpelstiltskin's son in danger, Giles sets out to find a magical chalice alongside Lilith Wolf, the daughter of the Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood. Lilith has a problem; her wolf is in heat, attracting male shifters to her no matter what her opinion on the matter. Headstrong and independent, the last thing she needs is to be guarded, but as their mission grows tougher, Lilith and Giles have to work together and trust becomes key...

I love this series! It just keeps getting better and better, and I love the little ways in which the stories are now intertwining. Though technically each book can be read as a stand alone, I do think that there is benefit in reading the books in order, especially now that the characters from previous books are reappearing (such as Giles who played a key role in Rumpel's Prize).

I loved Lilith, she was a strong female character who didn't necessarily need rescueing,  but on occasion may have wanted to be. I thought it was both sweet and realistic. Plus she accepted her faults! It was also great to have a female shifter as the alpha focus, it happens so rarely that this felt like a real treat!

I was a little worried that Giles story would be quite similar to Rumpel's, simply because they were the same species, but that was completely unfounded. Of course the addition of Lilith's wit and the adventure outside of the castle certainly helped with that!

There were also more secondary characters in Hood's Obsession, including Lilith's brothers (which excited me! Got to love shifter males even if an alpha female was unusual and welcome!) and I thought it complimented the two leads rather than detracting from them!

I'm definitely looking forward to more from this series!
Series: 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Book: The Willful by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Title: The Willful
Series: The Woodlands (#3.5)
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
From: Amazon
Genre: Dystopian
Release Date: 17th October 2014
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Esther loves her husband Pelo, even if she can't accept the risks he takes for his ideals. But when her daughter, Rosa is born, she starts to become more and more concerned about Pelo's outspoken ways and the attention it draws to her family. No matter how she feels about her husband, Esther must do what is best for her daughter no matter the consequences.

The Willful is the story of Rosa's mother, which actually reveals a lot about the main character of The Woodlands series. Even though it has been absolutely ages since I read The Wanted, and even longer since I read The Woodlands and The Wall, the characters and the story is one that I have no where near forgotten and in fact has completely stuck with me. It is definitely one of the best dystopian series that I've read!

The Willful filled in a few gaps about how society worked, up until this point there's only ever been the insights gained by Rosa, and very occassionally by Joseph, but now there is the view point of someone who is on the inside, and who appears to want to be on the inside. Or at the very least accepts it. I couldn't actually decide what Esther's true viewpoint was, she seemed to admire her husband (and to a lesser extent her daughter who was very young in The Willful) but not altogether agree.

It was interesting to see the main events that shaped Rosa as well, particularly from another point of view. As she was a child at the time I don't think Rosa could remember some of the events clearly, and so seeing them from another point of view really helped.

I've loved this series from picking up the very first book, and would definitely recommend it!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book: A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway

Title: A Study in Darkness
Series: The Baskerville Affair (#2)
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
From: Netgalley
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Historical
Release Date: 1st January 2013
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Though Evelina Cooper, and her Uncle Sherlock Holmes, were in the good graces of the Gold King, Keating. When Keating finds Evelina in a position that could destroy her, he makes her work as his spy in Whitechapel, where Jack the Ripper has begun his reign. Searching for the Blue King's maker, Evelina comes across more than she expected, including at least some sort of acceptance, dark magic and intrigue...

Evelina went from strength to strength as a character, both in her intellegance and her emotional journey. She was never particularly shallow, but her priorities definitely shifted in A Study in Darkness. She also figured out what (and who) she really wanted, which helped with that journey. I loved having a female character that made mistakes, but was determined to get herself out of them, and not always in the most logical way.

One thing I did notice about A Study in Darkness was that there were actually very few characters newly introduced. The vast majority were the same as in the previous book, and they were all intertwined as enemies, friends, love interests and allies, and not always necessarily in the same way.

But oh my the ending. I don't even know what to think now (other than I need to read book 3 very VERY soon). It wasn't just Evelina's ending that left me needing to know more, but Imogen and Nick's as well. There was just so much going on that I have been left with a definite need to know more.

A Study in Darkness made something interesting happen...it made me completely change my mind about which way a love triangle should go, which I think is a testimony to how well Holloway writes her characters. It probably helped that I spent a lot of the first part of the book going 'Oh Tobias you didn't.' to change that to 'Oh Tobias you idiot.' But then I managed to come to terms with it and started to see how the situation was better.

I loved the introduction of Jack the Ripper, though there was a moment where I very suddenly realised who the culprit was and exactly what was going on. Very defiintely a Eureka moment and it tied up a lot of loose ends and speculation! It also wove together several different parts of the story which definitely worked well!

A Study in Darkness was a fantastic read, full of suspense and intrigue, mixed with passion, love and loyalty. It was a book that actually kind of haunted me when I wasn't reading, and made me want to keep turning pages when I was. It also made me giggle in a few places (particularly one quote:
"Or at least without more than what the French so poetically term the little death." 
Its times like this that I love speaking French and knowing what the reference means!)

A quote which I thought summed up Sherlock Holmes and his views well:
"Ladies don't spy. They gossip. Copiously. Bring me back something useful about Keating's activities."
There was also a quote that most definitely sums up books!
""Lovely, aren't they?" Magnus strolled accross the room to pat a fat tome. "And almost as necessary as food and drink to those who love them."" 
While reading comments: 
I know I don't normally do this in my reviews, but I can't help it with this one. I'm currently about 20% into the book and a few things have caught my attention:

  • I can't help but find that Holloway has done a great job of characterising Sherlock Holmes so he does come across like his original counterpart (there wasn't enough of Sherlock as a character in the previous book to truely draw a conclusion) 
  • (No spoilers, this is all clear within 2 chapters and as the characters aren't together that is 2 introductary chapters anyway) Nick still loves Evaline, Evaline still loves Tobias, Tobias seems to have been a bad boy (though I do think that that isn't what it seems, maybe hope!). This isn't going to end well.

Monday, 20 April 2015

10 Facts You May or May Not Know About Me!

I'm saying that in case you do know, in which case, hopefully there's some new ones!


  1. I carry around a notebook with me where I end up jotting down ideas for plots/books etc. Yes I know this may be going a little too far, but I already have 7 different projects started (and I really need to finish some of them!) so its necessary, there's a lot that goes round my head! Most of it at inopportune times.
  2. My (current) chosen career path makes my degree completely obsolete. Well ignoring the fact that all things considered its a fluke I even managed to get my degree (extenuating circumstances gets you quite far apparently!) I want to be a Restaurant Manager, so my Business and French degree probably isn't that useful...though least I can say Sauvignon Blanc right, people pronouncing it wrong is one of my pet peeves.
  3. My favourite piece of classical music is Canon by Pachabel. I just think it is beautiful, despite the love-hate relationship I had with it at school. I was a part of the orchestra, and the strings/woodwind sections actually practiced seperately (due to space) which was great, until we discovered that the strings section played it slower. So Canon, at a quarter of the speed with a bar of hemi-demi-semi-quavers...basically a flautist's nightmare! But I still love it!
  4. When I was at school me and my friends wrote a sketch show based on a Frenchwoman opening a restaurant and employing a Spanish waiter, an Italian Chef and an English Food Critic (yep I'm not sure either). Looking back I think we may have been stereotyping just a bit, though I still remember enjoying banging on a table yelling 'you stupid beetle' at my friend playing the Italian Chef. We weren't normal. We still aren't.
  5. I absolutely suck at playing Monopoly. In fact last time I played was with the same friends mentioned above. Wasn't even proper Monopoly, it was Junior Monopoly. Me and one of my other friends failed so badly that we started building an illegal settlement in the middle of the board, complete with crack den and brothel. Did I mention we're not normal?!
  6. When I'm really nervous I play out confrontational conversations in French in my head. Not too sure why, especially as a grand total of none of those conversations have ever been in French but I do. Actually the most confrontational French I've ever spoken got me a free pizza so I could do it! 
  7. I hate recommending books to people in my 'real' life. I know I have a book blog, and I know that technically that is recommending books to people, but for some reason I absolutely hate doing it in real life. Mainly cause I'm so worried what others might think of my book taste! 
  8. I love blueberries. I can sit there and eat an entire packet with no problems. They're just so tasty! 
  9. I have real problems with the differences between American and English wording. (SORRY!) It's ridicolous I know, and when I'm reading I don't mind it so much, but speaking I just can't stand trousers being called pants, purses being called wallets, bags being called purses, jam being called jelly...yep you get the picture, I'm totally weird! 
  10. I hate anyone touching my feet apart from my dog. For some reason he's fine! He does like to put his toys on people's feet to get them to play with him though, so maybe that's why!

Book: Act of Surrender by Mandy M Roth

Title: Act of Surrender
Series: PSI Ops (#2)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: 6th September 2014
Challenges: 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Since being rescued from the torture of the corporation, James Hagan has been left unable to transform, though all the evidence points to the fact he's an improved version of what he was before. When PSI Ops starts looking into the Corporation's people of interest, James starts working on Hacker, Laney, someone who doesn't want to be found but seems to have forged a connection with James via online gaming. But when they meet everything changes around them...

It's now official, I love this series! I enjoyed Act of Mercy (book 1) and Act of Surrender just got better! Its the story and the interconnections as much as the characters...after all who doesn't like the idea of incrediably attractive supernaturals saving the world?

I loved Laney, she was quirky and different for sure, but she also didn't need anyone to take care of her, and was more than happy to do things on her own, and on her own terms. When she saw things that should have made her freak out, she held her own, and lets not forget she can literally kick ass!

There were quite a few mysteries in Act of Surrender, some of which didn't actually become clear until the end, but I liked that, and I do wonder how some of them are going to fit into the story as a whole (namely Casey).

I liked the romance between Laney and James. They'd been talking for about a week on their online game (via headsets) and each felt drawn to the other, but they seemed to have the real get to know you talks. When they were in person and the action started there was less time for that, which made the original get to know you stage worth it!

I loved Act of Surrender, I didn't want to put it down!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Book: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Title: Perfected
Series: Perfected (#1)
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Release Date: 1st July 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Ella is a pet. A genetically modified human that is designed to be kept by the elite to show status. All she has to do is look pretty and display her talents, which for Ella include her true passion; the piano. When Ella is selected by the Congressman she is taken from the Kennels into a world completely alien to her, and quickly finds herself with a new playmate, Ruby. But more than that, she finds herself drawn to the congressman's son, Penn, in a way that she never even thought possible...

Perfected is one of those books that's been sitting on my kindle for a while, and then I read Berls' Review and it made me curious again, so I hunted it down and read it! And I must say, that I agree with Berls, though I did find evidence of a sequel (called Tarnished) so I'm now happy with the ending, whereas before I was a bit like: What?!?!? No not there!

The big thing about Perfected is that it is a really creepy concept. Ella is kept in luxary, with special food, special clothes and nothing to really have to do, she's a pet and it really comes across that she is one. The concept is so well done though that it gets to the point where you wonder exactly why you're ok with it as a reader. And at one point it even had me questioning the morality of keeping pets at all (then my adorable Cavalier King Charles came to find me for a cuddle).

At the end of the copy of Perfected I read, there were a few of the key scenes from Penn's point of view, which I think were good for two reasons. The first was that it made clear what his feelings were (though it had been pretty clear all along, this just clarified it) but also that it made him sound like a normal teenage boy. The things he did to help Ella weren't being done just to help Ella, but rather because of his wants as well, which felt realistic.

The relationship between Ella and Penn was a slow growing one. There was an attraction between them, but as the first person narrative only told Ella's side (until the bonus content) most of the focus was on her coming to terms with what she was feeling, especially as she was never 'taught' what to do in that situation.

There was a point when I was worried that Perfected was going to fade into the background because of the other book I was reading at the same time (A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway) and how enjoyable that was, but I thought that in the end it really held its own and was a great story, with a well done, but incrediably creepy, concept!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Book: Rumpel's Prize by Marie Hall

Title: Rumpel's Prize
Series: Kingdom (#8)
Author: Marie Hall
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: 26th March 2014
Challenges: 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Rumpelstiltskin has a reputation, but not one that he's overly keen to uphold at times. Now he needs Shayera Caron to perform tests in order to save somoene he loves, and yet there is a chance that he could end up in an even more complicated situation with her. As a siren, Shayera has tried to stay away from any man that is not a blood relative, yet there's something about Rumpel that draws her to him, even if she isn't too sure whether it is her, or her charms that attracts him to her...

Of all the ways that I saw a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin going, that was not it. Though there are some elements of the original in Rumpel's Prize, most notably the deals, this is a story all of its own and I liked that. Especially because following the normal tales it can be quite difficult to empathise with Rumpel, whereas in Rumpel's Prize  made Rumpel not only easy to emphathise with, but likeable.

Rumpel and Shayera's relationship was complicated to say the least. There was attraction there, but for both of them there was something else. They appreciated and enjoyed each other's company and then moped when they didn't see each other. The banter and teasing between them came easily and made their friendship more believable.

I did spend most of the book wondering exactly what was going on. There were hints here and there but until the reader actually has the full picture some of them are hard to make out. I really enjoyed the not knowing, and not knowing how it would work out for the characters.

Rumpel's Prize was a great next installement in Kingdom, I am looking forward to more!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Tour: Closer by Kaia Bennett

Title: Closer
Series: Loose Ends (#2)
Author: Kaia Bennett
From: Review Copy (Blog Tour)
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Release Date: 31st March 2015
Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

After their explosive week of passion, Gabriel and Nicole decided to keep things casual, though any time they were in the same town they've been hooking up. When Gabriel's band gets offered a record deal the first person he calls is Nicole, not only has he got that good news, but he'll be in town for months on end. But both of them have something to face, and being closer may mean that they have to accept how they feel.

Having read book 1, #1 Crush,  I figured I half knew what to expect from Closer, and in part I was right. There was a lot of sex in Closer and considering that that was the basis of their previous relationship that did make sense, but there were several other things in the book that took me by surprise, namely events that didn't necessarily turn out for the best. Closer isn't the kind of book you read with a happily ever after in mind.

The sex in Closer was a main part of the story, and the chemistry between Gabriel and Nicole was off the charts. One thing that wasn't necessary in Closer was learning each others' bodies, so this was to the next level. Not everything was as 'vanilla' as it had been previously and Gabriel definitely showed his dominant side which at some points was a little shocking.

The main difference between #1 Crush and Closer was time (and not just the time that had passed between books which was fairly substantial) but the first book was set over a week, whereas Closer took place over months. This introduced a lot of the more common relationship problems, such as when to become exclusive, love, jealousy, clashing schedules etc. This added a bit more substance to the book, particularly in the last few chapters .

The main complication was Meredith, who I went from disliking, to neutral, to hating that I actually like her, to really disliking her. A lot of this went along with how Nicole felt about her, but also there were some other sides. But in the end her true colours showed. However I don't think it was all her fault really.

Closer is basically the story of a relationship getting messy. Though the sex between them always seems great, it takes more than that to make them work.


Closer Tour Banner
Closer
by: Kaia Bennett
Loose Ends #2
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Genres: ContemporaryEroticInterracialRomance
Amazon - Nook - KoboiBooks - Smashwords

Synopsis:

After a whirlwind week of hot sex and growing affection, Nicole and Gabriel were forced to part ways and to return to real life. For a while they danced around each other, meeting up when they could, the distance between them rivaled only by their desire to be together again.
Now these lovers are no longer star-crossed. They’re in the same city at the same time and can finally indulge their insatiable passion. At least until Gabriel’s increasingly popular band goes on tour.
But the ticking clock of his budding music career isn’t the only obstacle to contend with. A blast from Gabriel’s wild past, a guy that kept Nicole warm in Gabriel’s absence, and fear of what the future holds all converge just as they’ve begun to realize this might be love…
Author's Note: This book contains strong language and sexual content with dark elements, some of which readers may find uncomfortable.
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Other Books in the Loose Ends Series...

#1 Crush Cover
#1 Crush
by: Kaia Bennett
Loose Ends #1
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Genres: ContemporaryEroticaRomance
Amazon - Nook - Kobo - iBooks - Smashwords
Synopsis: Nicole Langley’s #1 Crush has always been Gabriel Roberts, but settling for being a friendly acquaintance has had to be enough.
Gabriel has always seen Nicole as his good friend’s very pretty, but extremely off limits baby sister.
Then a hot summer day and an even hotter discovery pushes them over the lines of friendship, over the lines of unrequited desire, and into each other's arms.
Will they indulge and move on? Or will this crush turn into something more, something deeper? Something that leaves loose ends begging to be tied…
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About Kaia Bennett


Kaia Bennett
Kaia Bennett is a native of New Jersey, a college graduate and U.S. Army veteran who loves music, movies, astrology, tattoos, martial arts, animals and, of course, the written word. She heard the siren call of the writer as a teenage girl, but took her sweet time answering it until she had lived and loved enough to share her work with the masses.
She is an erotic author who loves to write stories with diversity, depth, realism and viscerally hot encounters that flirt shamelessly with the taboo. A lover of all genres and a voracious reader, she aims to write stories that are transformative for her characters and readers alike.
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