Wednesday, 30 September 2015

End of the Month Round Up (September)

So I'm really not sure what happened to September...both where it went nor what happened with my reading! For whatever reason I haven''t done all that well reading, it's just not been productive for me. But I am being published again a Halloween Anthology, so that's exciting! In life news, I'm now seeing someone, so that's exciting...he even commented (but didn't insult) my book collection, so going good there! Work is still work and not that exciting, but Brownies has started back now after summer, so there's plenty to do!

Costs of the Month

This year I've been keeping a bigger track of what I am spending, and what I should have been spending, on books. It's mostly for curiosity but I have been quite shocked so far by what I've actually managed to save!

The Total Cost of Books I've Read in September: £56.56
The Total Spent on Books I've Read in September: £3.98

The Total Cost of Books I've Read This Year: £767.08
The Total Spent on Books I've Read This Year: £90.93

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
May: 3
June: 1
July: 0
August: 1
September: 0
Resolution #2 Read 1 'Classic' This Month
Resolution Failed
Resolution #3 Read 6 Netgalley Books This Month
January: 14
February: 7
March: 6
April: 10
May: 10
June: 8
July: 9
August: 8
September: 7
Resolution #4 Read 2 Bought Books This Month
January: 5
February: 6
March: 6
April: 9
May: 11
June: 3
July: 7
August: 9
September: 5
Resolution #5 Finish One of My Writing Projects
I am very nearly finished with my projects for the Halloween anthology!

2015HWLogo

I did super good this month! I didn't have to rush to finish any of my reads!
  1. Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes 
  2. Dual Domination by Pavarti K Tyler
  3. Magic Study by Maria V Synder 
  4. Demon by my Side by Victoria Davies  
Goal: 52 Books (4 Books a Month) 
Read: 32 Books
Status: On Track

Falling For YA

Added this month: 
  1. The Future of Sex by Lexi Maxxwell
  2. Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant 
  3. Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes
  4. Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin
  5. Demon by my Side by Victoria Davies
  6. The Empress of Hearts by E Barrington
  7. Hooker Heels by Ryan Ringbloom
Goal: 75 Books
Read: 80 Books
Status: Complete



I have completed this challenge, but will be carrying on!
  1. Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster (#25 Love in Bloom) = 2 points
  2. Magic Study by Maria V Snyder (#2 Chronicles of Ixia) = 2 points
  3. Block by JA Huss (#3 Social Media) = 1 point
  4. Dual Domination by Pavarti K Tyler (#3 The Sugar House) = 1 point
  5. Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin (#5 Alpha Girl) = 2 points
Goal: 101+ Points
Read: 221 Points
Status: Complete 


Added this month: 
  1. Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster (12/08/2015)
  2. Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin (22/09/2015)
  3. Hooker Heels by Ryan Ringbloom (01/10/2015)
Goal: 31-45 Books 
Read: 58 Books
Status: Complete


COYER finished on September 4th, and I can't believe it's over! Luckily the FB group is still going strong!
Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster 
Goal: 70 Books (though this is down from the original 90) 
Read: 71 Books 
Status: Complete



Read This Month: 

Barrington, E
The Empress of Hearts

Batten, Caroline
#Forfeit

Brant, Kylie
Chasing Evil

Cassidy, Amos
Scarlett's Path

Davies, Victoria 
Demon by My Side

Erin, Aileen 
Alpha Unleashed

Foster, Melissa
Seaside Nights 

Grimes, Shaunta
Viral Nation

Huss, JA
Block

Kovit, Kennedy
Crazy For You

Luedke, Travis
Concubine

Maxxwell, Lexi 
The Future of Sex

McDermid, Val
Clean Break

Ringbloom, Ryan
Hooker Heels

Synder, Maria V
Magic Study

Tyler, Pavarti K
Dual Domination

Wilson, Sariah
The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

Clean Break by Val McDermid

Title: Clean Break
Series: Kate Brannigan (#4)
Author: Val McDermid
From: My Physical Bookshelf
Genre: Crime
Release Date: 18th March 2003
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

When Private Investigator and co-chief of a security firm, Kate Brannigan, is called by one of her clients to look into the robbery of a Monet from his country home, it takes her on a journey across Europe and links the theft to a spate of other robberies across the UK. Meanwhile a large cleaning chemical company are struggling to discover the culprit of  death caused by one of their products, and call Kate in to find out the truth...

I enjoyed Clean Break, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed other works by Val McDermid. I'm not sure if that was because the others were more murder related, because Clean Break used a first person narrative, or just because of the mood I was in at the time (which is possible really!)

Kate was a good character, though she didn't always think things through, and I liked that there was a flaw in her personality, it made her more likeable. Interestingly as well was the fact that she wasn't a member of the police force, and as such wasn't quite confined by the rules like officers are.

I also liked that there were bits of Kate's real life in the book, particularly her relationship with Richard, and her friendships with the other people she worked with. It gave her more of a personality and really pushed through the book.

I enjoyed Clean Break, and I do look forward to reading more McDermid!

Bookish Resolutions Progress Report (September)



I can't believe September is over..it doesn't seem like 5 minutes since it was January!!! Exciting news though...me and Michelle have been talking about 2016 Bookish Resolutions, except next year we're going more interactive! 

So September has been a kind of slow month for me so I am a little worried to twork out how I'm doing Progress wise...so here goes nothing! (This is as it stands at 28th September, so I can do something about it if I failed a resolution!) 
  1. Listen to 4 audiobooks this year
    January: 0 Audiobooks
    February: 0 Audiobooks
    March: 1 Audiobook
    April: 1 Audiobook
    May: 3 Audiobooks
    June: 1 Audiobook
    July: 0 Audiobooks
    August: 1 Audiobook
    September: 0 Audiobooks
  2. Read 1 'classic' book a month
     RESOLUTION FAILED
  3. Read at least 6 Netgalley books a month
    January: 14 Netgalley Books
    February: 7 Netgalley Books
    March: 6 Netgalley Books
    April: 10 Netgalley Books
    May: 10 Netgalley Books
    June: 8 Netgalley Books
    July: 9 Netgalley Books
    August: 8 Netgalley Books
    September: 6 Netgalley Books
  4. Read 2 books a month that have been bought (which does include free amazon books) rather than given for a review
    January: 5 Bought Books
    February: 6 Bought Books
    March: 6 Bought Books
    April: 9 Bought Books
    May: 12 Bought Books
    June: 3 Bought Books
    July: 7 Bought Books
    August: 9 Bought Books
    September: 5 Bought Books
  5. To finish at least 1 of my writing projects 
    Oh exciting news on this front! I'm being published in a Halloween Anthology, so I'm nearly there with one of my projects!

HOW ARE YOU DOING? Link up and let us know!

An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin

Title: Alpha Unleashed
Series: Alpha Girl (#5)
Author: Aileen Erin
From: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 22nd September 2015
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 New Release Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

With Luciana still on the loose, Tessa knows that there is only so much they can do to stop her. When she has a vision of the future she begins to worry about what it holds, and what it could take from her. With Luciana upping her attacks, not just on the wolves but also on the witches and other humans, the supernatural community finds itself forced to come out to the human world...with Tessa as its spokesperson.

I love this series. I just think that it keeps getting better and better. Alpha Unleashed kept me engrossed just as much as the previous books in the series, and I really didn't want to put it down (also my excitement showed in the fact that I read it before release day - though my review hiatus has pushed it's review back - as that's something I barely ever find myself doing).

Tessa and Dastien's relationship did move majorly forward in Alpha Unleashed, which was partly due to her cousin, Claudia's, return from Peru and the events in Bruja. I have found myself really engrossed in the characters and really care about them, so I was really pleased to see them happy.

Tessa is a great character, I like that she's a go getter and wanted the best for everyone. Even if she didn't 100% know what she was doing she would try to fix things. She was also a true team player, and went about things with her friends by her side.

The action in Alpha Unleashed was well written and really kept the pace of the story going. It flowed well and was interspersed with the rest of the story. The balance was definitely there and it worked well.

I've loved this series so far, and I really hope that this isn't the end for Tessa & co!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Release Day: Scarlett's Path by Amos Cassidy


Do not stray from the path.
There is magic in the forest, a serenity that calls to your soul.
The woods may turn your head, they may keep you forever…
Scarlett knows no peace. Fear and disappointment are her constant companions and hope is simply a word. A stepfather who watches her every move with desire, a mother who spends her days and nights in an alcoholic stupor, and a cottage too small to escape from it all. The forest is the only place Scarlett can breathe, the only place to run, until the final straw, until the final betrayal. Scarlett makes a choice that will change her life…
She steps off the path…

“The woods can turn your head… It’s easy to lose yourself in amongst the trees and you, my sweet Scarlett, are a delicious treat the woods would love to keep forever.”


Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KGDnuK
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1igk9Q5
Nook: http://bit.ly/1F23BoX



Concubine by Travis Luedke

Title: Concubine
Series: Angel 6.0 (#1)
Author: Travis Luedke
From: Amazon
Genre: Sci-fi, Erotica
Release Date: 24th March 2015
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Angel is a genetically enhanced human, created to be perfect in every way. When the Gran come to collect their slave clones, one of them sees Angel and insists that they have her too. But Angel is not a worker, and getting the Gran, catlike humanoid aliens, to accept that doesn't seem to work. Even running doesn't make her free of their attention, and Angel quickly found herself traded for the lives of others.

I had high hopes for Concubine on the sci-fi front, and there were several points where I thought that it might deliver. However I did end up feeling a little underwhelmed by the whole thing. I thought that the concept was there, and genetically engineered humans and the ethics surrounding it were explored a little bit, but could have done with more.

One thing that I really thought made me iffy on my feelings about this book was Angel's seeming obsession with two things; firstly with pain (and enjoying receiving it) and also with her apparent like of crushing delicate parts of the male anatomy during fights. I didn't think that it was actually necessary for that to happen once, never mind more than once.

I was also a little unsure about how the sex scenes were written. Angel liked sex and was happy to act on that, but I didn't think that the scenes themselves clicked into place for me.

I'm disappointed that this book didn't work for me, especially because I thought that it did have some potential.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Dual Domination by Pavarti K Tyler

Title: Dual Domination
Series: The Sugar House (#3)
Author: Pavarti K Tyler
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Release Date: 14th November 2014
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Caitrin and Donovan have loved each other for years, but have always been reluctant to act on it and ruin their friendship. But that's no longer enough for Donovan, particularly since they gave in and had sex in his car. Meanwhile the problems experienced by the Sugar House escalate and all the help possible is needed, including Caitrin and Donovan's.

I really enjoyed the first two novellas in the Sugar House series, but there was something about Dual Domination that didn't quite click with me in the same way. I say that but I did keep reading and it didn't take me that long for me to read, so it's sat in a weird place on the scale. There was something about it that  kept my attention yet it didn't quite click into awesome category.

It was interesting to see a book that explored the BDSM world where both main characters where dominant. It meant that thought the background remained in that world, the relationship between Caitrin and Donovan was more equal than that (in terms of in bed). It was a different dynamic and one that was interesting.

There were catch ups with previous characters which was good, I like seeing what they got up to and how life has moved along in the story. It did feel like Dual Domination tied up the loose ends, and I like that in the end of a series. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

Title: Magic Study
Series: Study Series (#2), Chronicles of Ixia (#2)
Author: Maria V Snyder
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 1st October 2006
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points), My TBR List (September) Meme
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Banished from Ixia, with the threat of execution over her head if she returns, Yelena travels to Sitia, where she can be trained in the arts of being a magician. On the way she rediscovers the family she lost as a child, and learns more about herself than she previously knew. When Yelena is drawn into the disappearance, torture and murder of young girls, her independence and determination drag her into the dangerous search for a killer.

Why do I wait so long between books! Especially when they're good ones like Magic Study! I remember really enjoying Poison Study, but for whatever reason it has taken me 18 months to read the next book in the series. Though I do have Fire Study on my physical book shelves, so hopefully I'll get onto that book soon.

I really like Yelena as a character, she isn't afraid of admitting her limitations, but at the same time she likes to think outside the box. The most obvious solution wasn't always the one that she went for and for the most part it worked. She was a highly independent character, and sometimes refusing to ask for help led to trouble. On the flip side she never seemed to be worried about asking Valek to help.

Valek and Yelena's relationship was really sweet. He risked his life just to see her, and the way they act around each other makes you forget that they're both able to kill with ease. Though when they were alone together they were sweet and very obviously into each other, when they needed to be all business they could be, and worked well together in that respect too.

I liked to see Yelena's budding relationships too, both with fellow students (particularly Dax), with her Mentor Irys (as well as some of the other Master Magicians) and with her family. Her relationship with her brother was particularly complex and I am looking forward to seeing where that goes.

One of the best relationships though was between Yelena and her horse Kiki. I loved Kiki, she didn't feel like a human character, she really felt like an animal character and I liked that. Because of Yelena's magic she could converse with Kiki and that added a real level.

I felt that there was also a lot of foreshadowing in Magic Study, and I really liked that. Its made me excited to read the next book in the series!

MyTBRList small

Friday, 25 September 2015

Crazy for You by Kennedy Kovit

Title: Crazy for You
Author: Kennedy Kovit
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 13th August 2012
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Meredith is home again, ready to settle down in her small town and open the antique shop she’s always dreamed of owning. She’s had enough of powerful men trying to use her and wants to simply fade away from the dating scene and enjoy life. When she runs into the diner’s new owner, she quickly realizes her master plan might have been premature. Landry left life in the fast lane for life on Main Street. He’s sworn off women for a while. They’re nothing but trouble. Meredith is no exception. In fact, he’s pretty sure she’s not quite right in the head, but for some reason he gets her offbeat, whimsical behavior and craves being around it, not to mention she’s smokin’ hot and oozes sex appeal. It’s hard to fight nature’s pull even while chanting, “I’ve sworn off women.”

I'm not too sure what I was expecting when I started Crazy for You, it's one of the advantages of picking books at random from my TBR list. What I got was a romance that was simultaneously cute and deep, with more than a hint of sexy. 

Meredith and Landry's relationship was a slow burner, though it was clear from the very beginning that they were never going to be just friends. I liked that about them, it meant that the chemistry really built up between them and when things happened between them it felt like a natural evolution. I like romances like this, I think it keeps things fresh with that hint of realisticness. 

There seemed to be a lot of twists and turns in Crazy for You, and some of them I definitely didn't see coming. They didn't all come at once either, and they flowed well with the various parts of the story. I was actually surprised by just how many twists and turns the author managed to get in there! 

Meredith was definitely a quirky character, and I really liked that about her. It gave her an individuality that I don't think many female characters truly achieve for the most part. Her relationships with the various people around her also meant that another depth was added to the story and the character! 

I really enjoyed Crazy for You!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Title: Viral Nation
Series: Viral Nation (#1)
Author: Shaunta Grimes
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi, Young Adult
Release Date: 2nd July 2013
Challenges: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

When the world is ravished by 'the virus', a time portal is found and a cure brought back from two years in the future. Administered to everyone each day, order and civilisation are restored and life goes on, with everyone working and living off the bare minimum. When autistic Clover goes for her interview to study at the Academy, she is instead drafted into working as a Messenger for the Company, going forwards into the future to retrieve information.

I'd like to start by saying that I read an ARC of Viral Nation, and as such the formatting was quite frustrating at times (there were numbers everywhere), however as soon as I was into the book (which didn't take long at all), I barely noticed them and basically devoured the book. I wanted to point this out, even though I normally wouldn't bother, because I think it shows the strength of the story and the characters.

The main character, Clover, was definitely different to other YA female characters, potentially because of her autism and potentially simply because of Grimes' writing style. Whatever the reason I really enjoyed her as a character. Another aspect of her character was her service dog, Mango, who was partly an extension of Clover and partly his own character, and I loved having an animal in such a prominent position.

The time travel element of the book was fascinating. At first I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but actually I really thought that it did. I liked how the characters were aware that they could (and in some cases were) caught in time loops. I also liked that they were aware of how the paradoxes were affecting them. It made the whole thing much more believable (well as believable as time travel is anyway).

The dystopia was well formed, with the act of controlling the population being the most prevalent part of it. Interestingly there were still some mysteries left regarding exactly what was going on, particularly in the Company. From what could be gathered, the dystopia spanned more than just the one city, but I am interested to see how this could progress.

Viral Nation was interesting and different, I would definitely suggest it to YA dystopia fans.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant

Title: Chasing Evil
Series: Circle of Evil (#1)
Author: Kylie Brant
From: Netgalley
Genre: Crime, Suspense
Release Date: 20th October 2015 (re-release)
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

When the bodies of dead women are found in graves that aren't theirs, Agent Cam Prescott and forensic psychologist, Sophia Channing, are called in to try and catch the guy behind it. Attempting to work together, despite their previous brief relationship, they are tested to the limit trying to find the man behind the murders and when Sophia mysteriously vanishes Cam has his work cut out to find her before it's too late.

Wow. I absolutely loved Chasing Evil, it was engaging and really made me want to keep reading. To me there was only one real issue with it, and that was that the ending seemed to just stop. Though that has made me want to read book 2, so maybe it did it's job!

I liked that things weren't simple for Cam and Sophia, it was clear that they (well mainly Sophia) didn't know how they felt about each other, and having their previous relationship as part of the chapter openings worked well to show how they were together. I'm looking forward to seeing how the two of them interact in the future.

The suspense was consistent all the way through Chasing Evil, and it really kept my attention. I also liked that it wasn't just from Cam's side, hunting down Sophia, but from Sophia's as well. I also liked that Sophia, though scared, didn't admit defeat and was just as focused on getting out of her situation as Cam was in finding her.

The crime aspect, and the murders, were actually quite disturbing, and had clearly been thought out well (not sure what that says about the author there!) and played a part in the story. Though the murderer wasn't revealed early on, there was some parts of the story from his perspective, which I thought added to the sense of danger.

Chasing Evil was a very enjoyable read, and I am looking forward to continueing the story soon!

Monday, 21 September 2015

#Forfeit by Caroline Batten

Title: #Forfeit
Author: Caroline Batten
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance, Chick Lit, Humour
Release Date: 31st July 2014
Challenges: N/A
Links: Amazon - Goodreads

Daisy Fitzgerald's life has been better. Her high profile split from her ex-husband and her lack of a home, make teaching privileged teenagers a chore. Xander, a disgraced chef with a penchant for unavailable women. But Daisy changes all that, and Xander starts playing the long game to win her heart. One night, having drunk too many cocktails and drugs, the pair find themselves playing the ultimate game of dares; Forfeit. But things soon become more and more outrageous and the group start doing things they'd never thought they would...

Its only on re-reading the blurb of #Forfeit that there were parallels to The Great Gatsby, which was a book I was never really keen on. But #Forfeit brought it into the 21st century, partying and social media included. I liked the updated version a lot in fact.

I thought that the book really managed to capture the messiness of life; the not having a clue what to do with yourself, not always liking the people you're around, drinking too much, making bad decisions...it was all there. Along with the good stuff and the little sweet things that the characters did for one another.

I was laughing aloud at some parts of #Forfeit, Daisy was a good main character and there were others that came out with equally good one liners and conversations. The mix of  some maturity (the characters were all early-mid twenties) like jobs, mortgages and lives, contrasted with the partying and childish behaviour was an interesting twist, and did have me feeling slightly worried about how much of my friends I could see in there!

There were times where I found myself a little nervous about how things would end for the characters, they did seem to make some dodgy decisions. I liked that it wasn't clean cut but did like how things panned out in the end!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sorry I've gone awol

Normal posts/reviews  will start again on Monday...For some reason I ran out of steam a bit so I've decided that I'm having a week off posting (though I do have some reviews to catch up on!)

I am keeping busy though! I'm happy to announce that I'm contributing to Amidst the Shadows a Halloween anthology so I am being productive and writing!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

TBR List Winner (September)

MyTBRList

This month's books (and sneakily all 2015 Reading Assignment books):


Thank you to everyone that voted! The winner with 45% of the votes is: 


With Grave Mercy last with 22% and Crown of Midnight in the middle with 33% (numbers are obviously rounded up!) So none of them did badly!




Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Future of Sex by Lexi Maxxwell

Title: The Future of Sex
Series: The Future of Sex (#1)
Author: Lexi Maxxwell
From: Netgalley
Genre: Sci-fi, Erotica
Release Date: 18th December 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Chloe is considered young and naive by the heads of the O corporation, the forerunners of the sex industry. As a legacy, Chloe is guaranteed an interview, but after that she is on her own. Using her ability to read people and situations, Chloe does everything she can to ensure that O Corporation takes notice...and to give her clients everything that they desire.

The Future of Sex was fascinating, there's no other word to really describe it. There were some graphic scenes of sex acts in the book, but I did feel that there was far more to the story than that, and that Maxxwell really delved into what could happen to the sex industry in the future.

Though effectively the story revolved around how sex workers (like Chloe) would interact and perform (because I can't think of a better word to describe what they do in the book) there were also touches of what could happen to the porn, erotica and accessory markets. Which I'll be honest, I've never seen done before.

I'm yet to make up my mind if this is simply sci-fi or crossing the realms into dystopia (though there is another series tightly linked to this one called The Beam which I intend to read soon). It was certainly an interesting concept and I'm interested to find out how things work for 'normal' people.

I enjoyed The Future of Sex, it was something a bit different!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France by Stephen Clarke

Title: Dirty Bertie: An English King Made in France
Author: Stephen Clarke
From: Netgalley
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
Release Date: 15th July 2014
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 Reading Assignment
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Edward VII: Ultimate European diplomat and Parisian to the core. Known for his women and his cancan dancers, what is it that makes this English King such a powerful European figure even before his ascent to the throne.

I don't normally read biographies, but this one was written by Stephen Clarke, and for me that was enough to read it! I've never really given much thought to Edward VII (my interests in history are older than that in general) nor in pre-World War 1 history, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dirty Bertie. Saying that because of the non-fiction nature of the book, and the fact that I don't normally read biographies, I did find that I dipped in and out of this book and it took me a couple of weeks to read.

As with Stephen Clarke's previous books (or at least the previous ones that I've read) I found his way of presenting the facts to be amusing and there were several moments where I found myself laughing aloud at some of the turns of phrase. I think that Clarke truly has a talent for making information come alive.

The sequence of the chapters worked well for me, rather than chronologically (though there was some sense of this), the chapters focused on different things, and rather than having a lot of different asides, Clarke directs readers to relevant chapters as well as using a limited number of footnotes. These didn't overwhelm and in the kindle edition they were clickable and situated at the end of the chapter.

I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed this book, Clarke has a wonderful way of writing and I already know that I like it, and I found that I not only learnt more about Edward VII but about France and Paris as well (though already having a working knowledge of some things was helpful too!)

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Kiss in the Dark by Lisa Fox

Title: A Kiss in the Dark
Author: Lisa Fox
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 18th June 2015
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Playboy boxer Ryan has the dream life. One full of nameless women and the perfect job. When he gains his first client after only 6 months working at the Web Designers he gets more than he bargained for. Author Grace needs a website and she needs it now. Sent to one of the best she is assigned to Ryan, little realising that he could also be something that she needs. Battling with her father's illness and the stress of writing to a deadline, someone to lean on could be the answer.

I needed something romantic, and something quick to read and A Kiss in the Dark definitely provided that. I've read a Lisa Fox book before and knew that it would be sweet and romantic in all the right places, and I was right. This book definitely gave me what I was after when I picked it up.

Though for the most part the book was sweet and romantic, there was one heated scene between Grace and Ryan, though I felt that because of the rest of the book and the tone of the story, this worked well...even if it ultimately did result in a rather quick love situation.

It's literally taken until I sat down to write this review (which is days after reading the book!) to actually figure out why it is called A Kiss in the Dark. More so, now I've figured it out I actually feel really silly because it is a good name for the book and actually makes a lot of sense...ooops!

I liked Grace as a character, I think part of me could relate to her well, particularly with the stress and the deadlines she put on herself for her writing. There was also the way that she cared for her father, just the whole combination worked well for her as a character.

I enjoyed A Kiss in the Dark, it was precisely what I wanted it to be!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Linnea's Arrangement by Michelle M Pillow

Title: Linnea's Arrangement
Series: Divinity Healers (#3)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance, Erotica
Release Date: 10th December 2010
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge  (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

Linnea is an anomaly. Something in her body means that she is unable to have the anti-chaos chip implanted meaning that she can't follow her dreams and become a doctor. When she is forced to become a dignitary to Plane 187 she meets Sam Swift, a doctor of the highest degree. Sam can't help but feel connected to Linnea, and as things take a turn for the worse with the Medical Supreme he finds himself wanting to keep her close...

Linnea's Arrangement really pulled together the rest of the series for me. All three of the stories worked together to produce an ending that both satisfied and felt complete. To a great extent it was definitely an easy Happily Ever After, though there were a few parts where I did wonder how that would happen.

It was good to have an intelligent female lead who knew that she was intelligent (even if she was held back) and insisted on being recognised as so by men in the same area. It may have taken Sam a while to fully accept Linnea's capabilities, but actually once he did I loved seeing the two of them working together as a team intellectually.

The chemistry between Sam and Linnea was strong, there was no denying that. And the sex scenes between them were particularly steamy. The two of them worked well together and didn't seem to have any of the angst that occurred with Cecillia in the previous book (making each story unique).

This has been a great series, highly enjoyable!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Book Club Meme (October Voting & Intro!)

trips down imagination road

This is my working logo (and if you look a really closely a nosey at a part of my book shelves!). Firstly thank you to everyone for your input when I pitched the idea! I honestly thought I might be completely alone in wanting to do something like this! 

So...

How It Works
On the 1st of the month (or in September's case the 8th!) I'll be posting a vote consisting of three books, all different genres. The winner of the vote will be posted on the 1st of the following month...

i.e. Today I'll post a three book vote, the winner of that vote will be announced on 1st September along with the three book vote for November's book. 

There'll be a linky to post reviews to in the last week of the month (so in September's case this would be the 23rd-30th if we had a book, whereas October will be the 24th-31st) and in that time we can start chatting about the book on twitter ( #internetbookclub - I checked the hashtag and its used once every few months by one person! So we should be ok!) 

For the first couple of months I'm sure I'll be streamlining anyway, so any suggestions then fire away :-) 

The Books: 

Dress Code: Red by Rowena Kitchen (Goodreads)
This is the none-free book on the list (I'm aiming to have one none-free book on each vote).
Genre (according to Amazon): Romantic Comedy
Release Date: 30th July 2015

Sloane is planning parties with her four best friends so she should be in total and utter heaven as most of their clients have limitless budgets and limited imaginations allowing the girls to create some pretty wonderful events. Suddenly someone is out to ruin their reputation and even better see them dead. Scrabbling to keep ahead of the mayhem means some quick thinking from the fabulous five. The threats begin to get really scary and really real when they are confronted with a murder. Where will it all end? Will the girls ever be able to look at a cupcake ever again? 
Planning a party does not necessarily mean everything will go to plan. 
Doing what you love for a living should make each day a joy so why are the girls running scared? 
As far as Lola knew she had not put murder on the menu for this fabulous summer party. 
Some say doing everything in high heels is more of a challenge. 

Halloween Magic & Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson (Goodreads)
This is a free book. 
Genre (according to the synopsis): Paranormal Comedy
Genre (according to Amazon): Horror > Occult
Release Date: 2nd January 2014

How on earth did I end up here? I was supposed to be at a party kissing the boy of my dreams, instead I’m dancing naked on the town common, on Halloween, with a Coven of strange women who might be witches, a bunch of zombies that I have to return to their graves, a talking crow, and my pet ghost thrown in for good measure. Just yesterday I was an ordinary teenager… 
On her sixteenth birthday Emily Rand discovers that she is a witch. Unable to control her spells she unwittingly raises zombies, and corporealizes the ghost haunting her house. She finds herself in a race against time to put everything right if she has any hope of getting to a certain Halloween party and seeing a certain boy again. 
Halloween Magic and Mayhem is a young-adult paranormal comedy romance. Magic & Mayhem Series, Book One 

The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe (Goodreads) 
This book is free. 
Genre (according to Amazon): Fantasy
Genre (according to sub-title): Post Apocalyptic Fantasy 
Release Date: 16th September 2011

Start your adventures with Malja in this action-packed, post-apocalyptic fantasy! 
In a parallel world destroyed by magic, one woman fights all odds to survive and find the answers behind her mysterious past. 
Malja searches for the two magicians who stole her at birth, trained her to be a killing machine, and then tossed her away at ten. She wants to know why this happened and most importantly, who she really is. 
But facing unrelenting challenges - crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts - she pushes through with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear. 



The Vote! 



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If you want to grab the button then you can use this code:
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trips down imagination road

Thanks :-) 

Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Mitosis
Series: The Reckoners (#1.5)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: Amazon
Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, Young Adult
Release Date: 3rd December 2013
Challenges: Summer COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Having defeated the allegedly undefeatable Steelheart, David and his fellow Reckoners have come out and taken over the town of Newcago. Even with the new logistical problems to contend with, they still find themselves plagued with Epics; both those wanting to destroy them, and those wanting to discover how Steelheart really died. David could find himself in one of the most dangerous situations yet when he faces one such Epic; Mitosis.

Mitosis is definitely a short story that needs to be read after the first book, otherwise I think there'd be a gap of understanding, not just between what happened originally to cause the events in Mitosis, but also the lore surrounding Epics and Calamity, as well as an understanding of the characters themselves too. Mitosis is only a quick read though, so if you have read Steelheart then I'd say it was definitely one to read!

I liked the way that even in it's short length, Mitosis managed to give an update not only on the lives of the heroes of the story, but on how Newcago is coming along. The removal of power has been done and this is what comes afterwards; something that I think a lot of books just skip over.

Because of it's length, I didn't feel that Mitosis was quite as good as Steelheart, thought there were still elements of the old story and it was still good. As a bridge between Steelheart and Firefight (which I'm yet to read) I think it works well though!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Seaside Nights by Melissa Foster

Title: Seaside Nights
Series: Love in Bloom (#25)
Author: Melissa Foster
From: Review Copy (Blog Tour)
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 12th August 2015
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt, 2015 New Release Challenge, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: :Goodreads - Amazon

Everything is going well for Sky, now she has her own tattoo shop away from her over protective brothers and friend Blue. Then along comes boxer, Sawyer. Sawyer's been told that one more blow to the head could leave him with permanent brain damage, but he has to win one last fight to provide his father with the the support he needs in his life. Not one to support violence, Sky has a problem with the idea of Sawyer fighting, but if she can get past it then she could find something amazing...

When I picked up Seaside Nights I found myself shocked by just how long its been since I read a Seaside Summers (part of Love in Bloom) book! Its so easy to fall back into the world of the characters, especially when so much had happened since the last book! It really does feel like going back to friends! (Plus who wouldn't want to go Chunky Dunking!)

There was definitely chemistry between Sawyer and Sky and I liked how the two of them did things at their own pace, there was no sticking with 'dating' rules, nor was there peer pressure to adhere to. I think that made this feel like a maturer romance, even though the characters weren't that old.

I absolutely love the way that Foster portrays female relationships. A lot of authors gloss over them or have one close female friend, but Foster has a group, and that group does all the little things that groups of female friends do, from picking out clothes to gossiping about dates and teasing each other. I really buy into it.

I also really like the way that characters from previous books play a big role in Seaside Nights, and it is clear that there are future characters in the books too. I love how intertwined they all are!


SEASIDE NIGHTS
BY MELISSA FOSTER
Fall in love with Sky Lacroux and Sawyer Bass in Seaside Nights, the fifth book in the Seaside Summers series!
Sky Lacroux has finally realized her dream and opened her own tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She’s happy as can be, renting a cottage in the Seaside community while renovations to her new apartment are being completed and preparing the shop for its grand opening. The only thing missing is the one thing she longs for, and has no control over—love.
Sawyer Bass, a professional boxer, plays his guitar to escape the painful reality of his father’s failing health and a recent health warning of his own. But when he spots a stunning brunette across the room, escaping reality goes out the door—and the beautiful woman becomes the focus of his next song—and maybe even the rest of his life.
When Sawyer walks into Sky’s tattoo shop and sees the woman from the bar—Sky—the chemistry between them is instant. Sawyer is everything Sky could ever hope for in a man. He’s honest, loving, sensitive, and potently virile—but boxing goes against everything Sky believes in. The closer they become, the more she realizes that her alpha boxer is waging his own emotional battle—only the battle she thinks he’s waging isn’t the one that threatens to tear them apart.

BUY LINKS



ABOUT MELISSA FOSTER
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Authors Links:
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GIVEAWAY
The giveaway will be the previous book in the series SEASIDE SECRETS
a Rafflecopter giveaway