Monday, 29 February 2016

Act of Command by Mandy M Roth

Title: Act of Command
Series: PSI Ops (#4)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: 29th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Fine arts student Mae is stood up by her blind date Corbin and ends up kidnapped and held captive by the Corporation. Corbin was called away last minute and left a message for Mae but that doesn't stop the guilt eating away at him, particularly as he felt a strange pull towards another woman on the day of their date. But when he discovers that the woman he felt the pull towards was none other than the woman he stood up, Corbin knows that there is something more at play...

I really enjoyed being back in the PSI Ops world! There are several interconnecting series and with each book they seem to be becoming more and more entwined (meaning that old characters crop up in them, and it's always good to see how they're doing.

Mae and Corbin were interesting as fated mates. Mae sculpted Corbin before she'd ever met him and they both had the awareness of each other when they first saw one another. But then time passed because of Corbin's mission and Mae's imprisonment, which meant that when they met properly for the first time they were far less against the whole fated mates thing than other characters in the series have been.

It was really good to see a different side of Striker in this book, and I'm guessing that his will be the next book. Up until now he's been an over the top Scotsman (nothing against the Scottish!) but he definitely mellowed out a bit in Act of Command and he seemed to have a non-romantic soft spot for Mae. There was also the introduction of what I'm guessing is another future couple (though maybe from a different series).

I like the focus on friendship in the book too. Not only is there a strong bond between the various team members of PSI, but Mae also had two key friendships; Brad and Alice. Alice was her best friend since before the book started, and Brad was someone in captivity with her who befriended her. It was good to see that in a book.

I enjoyed Act of Command, I can't wait for more!

Bookish Resolutions (February Link Up Post)

2016 Bookish Resolutions

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

There is a #BookishResolutions Twitter Party on 12th March at 4pm EST


Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!)
    I've been living one review ahead and it's been horrible! I really need to get some serious reading done! However, I have had my March TBR list vote set up for over a month! 
  2. Reintroduce non-review content
    I've reinstated The Sunday Post and have plans to do more non-review posts!
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date
    The longest I've left it this week is 3 days, and as I was away at the time I feel that's reasonable!
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages
    Yeahhhhhh not done that yet, but I have changed the way I post to facebook!
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit)
    I did quite well, particularly this week!
Reading Goals 
  1. Improve Netgalley ratio by at least 10% (if this is achieved by the half way mark then it will be upped to 20%). I did succeed in improving my ratio in 2015 and was actually quite surprised to find I'd improved it by 7% (at the time of writing).
    I've gained 3% so far this year...so I could end up having to up this one!
  2. Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously)
    So far I've finished 2 series this year; The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson & Circle of Evil by Kylie Brant
  3. Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal.
    Well...I haven't failed this one yet. 
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.)
    I think I read 5 that count for this...but I did read a lot of new books this month!
Personal Goal
  1. Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)
    February has been my rest month for Cloaked, but next month means editing time!


You can link up here and share your progress!


Cover Reveal: Rock by JA Huss


Rock
J.A. Huss
Publication date: March 7th 2016
Genres: Rock-star Romantic Suspense
Welcome to RK’s rock star life.
I was living the dream, I was full throttle, all in, one hundred percent on top of the world. But it’s a hell of a long fall back down when you finally crash and burn.
Welcome to the delusions, the final act, the coming-to-Jesus moment when there’s nothing left to do but look yourself in the mirror and ask… How did I get like this?
I am RK’s living nightmare. I am RK’s empty soul. I am RK’s unchecked fantasy world that makes no sense to anyone.
I only have one thing left. Just one girl holding my broken pieces together.
And even she might be a lie.
Rock is a standalone rock-star romantic suspense by the New York Times bestselling master of twist, JA Huss.
001200_FINAL_PRINT_ROCK
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Every day this week JA Huss is giving away FIVE ROCK super swag packs on her Facebook page!
Enter HERE➔ http://on.fb.me/1MXMGHG
650ROCK_SWAG-PROMO
kiss_in_the_dark


Author Bio:
JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.
You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).
If you're interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Valiant by Cheyanne Young

Title: The Valiant
Series: City of Legends (#2)
Author: Cheyanne Young
From: Netgalley
Genre: Superheroes, Sci fi, YA
Release Date: 2nd February 2016 (Rerelease)
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

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

After being granted probationary Hero status, Maci Knight goes against Central's orders to find her twin sister, Nova. But Maci is sure that Nova isn't evil, especially after Evan's research on Maci's blood. But Supers are going missing, and it's up to Maci and her Hero friends, to find them...

City of Legends was a great read, and I hope that that showed in how soon after it I read The Valiant, and this one was no different. there's a good paced story laced with enough teenage problems to give Maci some real depth. Its the attention to detail in characterisation that really made this book for me.

I loved Maci and Nova's relationtionship (and to a less extreme extent their relationship with their brother Max, though that wasn't as complicated!) Though Maci is happy to have her sister back, and they do get on, he still feels some negative emotions about her (like jealousy). I think it worked especially with them being twins and with Nova being a new addition to her life. There was just something about Maci being jealous that made her that bit more real.

Evan also played a big role in Maci's life. After the events of City of Legends they are officially together and I like the contrast between the maturity their relationship has in some ways and the typical teenageness it has in others; things like Evan sneaking into Maci's room, and him being super nervous around her father. Also the ending between these two was perfect! It really made me smile!

There was plenty of action in the book, and it kept you guessing! Unlike in the first book though there was actually a known Villian at the bottom of what the Hereos were doing, which did make this different from the first book. The characters didn't always keep what they were feeling seperate and I think that Maci is really rubbing off on her brother a bit!

This was a great read, and I am definitely looking forward to finishing the series!

The Sunday Post (28-02-2016)

Sunday Post


Thank you to Kimberly @ caffinatedbookreviewer for hosting!



My Life This Week 

It's safe to say that this week has been loads less stressful than last week for the most part! After all I did spend Monday to Wednesday at a Spa with my Mum and Grandma (it was Grandma's Christmas/Birthday/Mother's Day Present), and having back massages and steam rooms is always good...not to mention the food!

The Brownies were true to form this week, and we did some activities based on World Thinking Day (which is celebrated by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all around the world!) The girls designed superheroes that's job is to make people happy and talked about what would make a good friend!

My little brother was super adorable and got me this box as a present for taking him to Butlins. Apparently he's had it for ages but had managed to keep it quiet! It's so sweet because he remembered I had a Chat Noir mug which I really liked (from when I lived in Paris) but I broke it about 6 months ago. He said he wanted to get me something to remind me of that because I didn't have it anymore!


My Writing This Week 

Hasn't happened...I had something else that occupied too much time! But my Mum did finally read Awakening (while I was with her at the Spa which was just weird for me!) Thankfully she's respected my wishes and not told me what she thinks!

Review copies of my novella, Awakening, on instafreebie. This is the first book in my on going Alventia series and is mainly a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (though Hansel and Gretel also get a look in, and the prequel Betrayed which is in the Amidst the Shadows anthology, is a Rumplestiltskin type retelling) You can get a copy here!

Reading This Week 

My reading has picked up a bit from the past few weeks (thankfully!) but I am still a bit behind, especially on my Goodreads challenge!

Sworn to Vengeance by Terah Edun (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
The Valiant by Cheyanne Young (Winter COYER 2015, 2016,  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
Panic by JA Huss (2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge, 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge, My TBR Meme
Aurora by JD Wright (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
Act of Comand by Mandy M Roth  (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge


On the Blog Last Week (and the Week Before) 

You can check out last week's Sunday Post here.

So this week (being the last week of the month!) say the publishing of two reviews for Memes; The Trouble With Being Wicked by Emma Locke for the Online Book Club, and Panic by JA Huss for Michelle @ because reading's My TBR List Meme!

Reviews went out for several new releases this week, including two from two of my favourite authors, Terah Edun's Sworn to Vengeance, and JD Wright's Aurora. I also read a new release from Nicci Cloke, Follow Me Back.

I also really enjoyed City of Legends by Cheyanne Young (and I've read book 2 this week!) and I read another book from Michelle M Pillow's Galaxy Playmates series; Diamond.


Online Book Club

This is a meme that I started with the intention that several people read the same book and then link back their reviews. This month's book is The Trouble With Being Wicked by Emma Locke, I hope you'll join me in reading the book and sharing your thoughts in the link up in this post

You can also now vote for March's book, and if you want to find out more about them than what's available in the voting thing, then you can check out the original post here
Create your own user feedback survey

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Panic by JA Huss

Title: Panic
Series: Rook and Ronin (#3)
Author: JA Huss
From: Rook and Ronin 7 Book Omnibus 
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Release Date: 15th October 2013
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

With her ex now out of her life and her relationship with Ronin on track, all that Rook needs now is to finish the TV contract at Spencer's shop and move on with her happily ever after. But the past is still haunting Rook and it's about to catch up with her. Can she over come her natural urge to run away and fight to be with the man she loves, or will she return to who she once was.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting for Rook and Ronin's relationship in Panic, because they seemed to be in a good place at the end of the previous book. I had my fingers crossed that the two of them weren't going to do something to sabotage their relationship.

What I wasn't expecting was for Rook and Ronin to spend so much time apart in the book. They both had their own projects to work on, and there were still some very steamy scenes between the two of them, so it did make sense. I did think it helped them both grow into the people that they need to be for each other.

There was a lot revealed about Rook's past in Panic and it just made me really want to give her a hug. Some of it was just so moving and sad. It's not a happy past, but it is important to the person she became in the series. There have been hints all the way through the books, especially when Ford made it clearer what he likes in a relationship.

I liked seeing more of Spencer and Ford, and especially the latter seemed to grow alot, particularly in how he was actually caring for other people. I'm still not totally sure why they all dislike each other, but then appear to be friends, but I'm excited to find out.

I loved Rook and Ronin's story, there was a lot of darkness in their pasts but the two of them are really good together!

MyTBRList

Friday, 26 February 2016

Aurora by JD Wright

Title: Aurora
Series: Everealm (#4)
Author: JD Wright
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 12th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

With magic returned to the magical women of Everealm, Bree and her friends are now faced with even more challenges. Not only are there imps now about tryng to suck the magic out of women, but King Silas of Sire is back in power and plotting his next move. Spurred on by the interference of Royal family of Labara, he sets in motion events that will completely change the face of Everealm...

I've had days to think about my  review of Aurora and yet I still don't quite know how to express my feelings about this book. I was excited to read it, excited while reading it and wanting more when I finished it. This series certainly has me in it's grips and does not want to let go.

The series has got steadily more fantasy based as it goes on. There's always been magic in the Everealm series, and it was very clearly fantasy, but there are a lot of magical creatures as well as the magic users. It makes it interesting and I loved learning more about the world around the characters.

Romance is a big part of the Everealm series and Aurora was no exception. Things are now settled between Bree and Rowan who have had four books to find their groove, and some of the other couples like Rhea and Reeve became more background characters (though still there). The reltionship switched focus more to the Labara siblings; Tristan, Xavier and Rianne.

Rianne and Zander continue their story from the previous book and they are super sweet together. Xavier and Dahlia's relationship definitely became more central and complicated (which is to be expected when neither of them revealed who they really were!) Tristan and Sera's marriage also came into focus and I liked that they grew together but still managed to make it difficult.

The couple that I loved the most though has to be Sarita and Cassidy. I do use the term couple lightly as they're both children but they were super adorable and I loved the back and forth between them. I can't wait to see where these two go in the future!

I love this series, and I can't wait for more!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Diamond by Michelle M Pillow

Title: Diamond
Series: Galaxy Playmates (#2)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Amazon
Genre: Erotica, Sci-fi, Space Opera
Release Date: 14th July 2010
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016 (on sale at time of purchase), 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

With her latest tour over, Galaxy Playmate, Diamond, returns home for a visit, hoping that she runs into her brother's best friend, Liam and can show him what he's missing now she's one of the universe's most desired women. But before she gets there she decides to have a little fun and singles out the most attractive man she could find; only for him to then call her Jane and reveals that he already knows exactly who she is...

Diamond contains a lot of sex, which I knew going into it but thought it was worth mentioning before I begin my review properly. It's the second Galaxy Playmate book that I've read (Quartz being the first) and can be read as a stand alone (proved by the fact I'm not actually reading them in order!).

I found Diamond/Jane was a lot more of a likeable character than Quartz was (she was a little bit of a spoilt brat in her book!). Diamond was more rounded and though she still had a lot of confidence and basically was very into her looks (she's effectively a stripper who is really into exhibitionism), she also had her moments of being more human, particularly when she felt a little shy and awkward.

There was good chemistry between Liam and Diamond, and their sex scenes really sizzled, but what I liked most was that there was more to it than that. They'd known each other for most of their lives and that came across in the book. The back story really added to them.

There was a definite sense of the space elements to Diamond too. Parts of the book were set on a space ship and there were some hints towards future technology. However if you're not a massive Sci-fi fan then you could still enjoy this book, they're background details and the relationship between Diamond and Liam is definitely the focus of the story.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

Title: Follow Me Back
Author: Nicci Cloke
From: Netgalley
Genre: YA, Crime
Release Date: 4th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

When Lizzie Summersall goes missing, Aiden Kendrick is a mess. The two of them used to be friends, and maybe even more, and yet since the summer they've barely talked. Along with Lizzie's friend Marnie and his best friend, Scobie, he tries to uncover where Lizzie has gone. The more that is unravelled the more complicated the plot gets and it's not clear exactly what happened. But with the police involved and things going down hill at school, as well as Lizzie's older sister Cheska using her disappearance as a plot line on a reality TV show, Lizzie's disappearance has a big effect on Aiden.

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the title and the second was the description, I love a good suspense and this one offered it with a modern twist of social media and the question of who are you really talking to online. I was glad I picked up this book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Interestingly I found that I didn't mind having a predominantly male first person narrative, though there were a couple of other POVs that broke up Aiden's narrative but they definitely added to the story and I thought they were good for the story. I was very concious that Aiden was a male narrator but it was definitely good for the story.

There were definitely a fair few moments that took me by surprise in Follow Me Back, including the culprit for Lizzie's disappearance, as well as the identities of a couple of the Facebook profiles that came into play in the process of the investigation. One of them particularly took me by surprise, and I definitely like it when that happened.

I wasn't completely sure on the ending of the book. Everything was tied up, sort of, but the last line left things very ambigous between a couple of the characters, especially considering their past. So while I felt that the mystery was all tied up there was something that left me slightly unsatisfied at the end.

I enjoyed Follow Me Back, its not like anything that I've read and it was definitely a good read!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sworn to Vengeance by Terah Edun

Title: Sworn to Vengeance
Series: Courtlight (#7)
Author: Terah Edun
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 23rd February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for other books in the Courtlight series*

Sent on a mission that could very well mean suicide, Ciardis Weathervane is put to the test. Along with her fiancé and bondmate, Sebastian, Prince Heir of Algardis, and her other bondmate, Thanir, Ciardis finds herself outside a city abandoned to plague and rumoured to not be as abandoned as first thought...

I can't explain my excitment when Sworn to Vengeance landed in my inbox, partly because it was part of a string of ARCs I was super excited about and partly because the next part of Ciardis' story was here, and it turns out I've missed her a lot! This is one of those series where as soon as you start reading, the rest of the books in the series come straight back (and if you're interested the last time I read a Courtlight book was March, so we're talking reading over 300 books between then and now!)

I love Ciardis, I already did before this book, but this one just added to it. She's a strong female lead and she keeps her men in line, but this book saw her develop more into the Empress-in-Waiting that she is going to become (which surprised a few of the characters I believe!) as well as developing more as a person. What I love about her is that not only is she a little bit of a bad a** but she is a total girly girl at times too; especially when it comes to baths.

I like that the love story isn't the main focus (though the already established one does simmer along nicely as a background plot) and the characters all have to work together (even if they don't always get along) regardless of any personal issues. This also allowed progression in the magic lore of Algardis which is always interesting!

It was great seeing a new location in the Empire, and it really showed Edun's strength as a world creator. Fifar was completely different to anywhere that Ciardis had been before and it caused potential issues that she hadn't yet faced either. It all worked well.

I loved every moment of Sworn to Vengeance, and it was a great read (not that I ever doubted it!)

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Trouble with Being Wicked by Emma Locke (Online Book Club February)

Title: The Trouble With Being Wicked
Series: The Naughty Girls Series (#1)
Author: Emma Locke
From: Amazon
Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: 18th December 2012
Challenges: Online Book Club (February), Winter COYER 2015 - 2016
Links: Goodreads Amazon

One of London's most infamous courtesans, Celeste Grey, has retreated to the country with her fellow pregnant  courtesan Elizabeth. The last thing she expected while there was to have a man capture her attention, and Lord Ashlin Lancester has done just that. The last thing that Ashlin wants is to follow the path of his father and take up with a woman that isn't his wife. While trying to keep two unruly sisters in hand at the same time as juggling his feelings about Celeste, Ashlin doesn't know what to do.

I'm not too sure what I want to say about The Trouble with Being Wicked. I enjoyed reading but there were some points that just seemed quite drawn out. It was clear that the two lead characters loved each other quite early on and yet it seemed to take them a really long time to do anything about it.

I loved the inverted trope of the woman being the more promiscous one (basically this was a complete flip of the rake-innocent trope, though Ashlin was less innocent than the traditional Regency woman). It put the two of them on a more even footing to begin with as well as bringing up questions of propriety as well as if they could get past the past.

I liked Celeste, even though she was rich (from her exploits as a Courtesan naturally), she was very much the kind of woman who would do what was needed when it was needed. Saying that she did seem pretty clueless when it came to reading into how Ashlin was feeling (not that he as very good at showing it either!)

The ending was fantastic though, it not only brought together the romantic story but those of family ties too. It left me with a smile on my face which is what this kind of book should provide!


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Sunday, 21 February 2016

City of Legends by Cheyanne Young

Title: City of Legends
Series: City of Legends (#1)
Author: Cheyanne Young
From: Netgalley
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Super hero
Release Date: 2nd February 2016 (Re-release)
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, Winter COYER 2015 - 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Maci Knight has one aim in life; to become a hero. With her brother, Max, and her best friend, Crimson, already heroes, she wants to join the ranks alongside her fellow Supers. But on the day of her Hero exam she gets devastating news; she's a twin. In a world where one Super twin always goes bad and no way to tell which one it will be, Maci's future as a Hero is put at risk, but when things start to go badly for the Supers it's up to Maci to prove her worth.

I can't remember exactly what attracted me to City of Legends first, but I think that it was probably the premise. I've not read that much fiction surrounding superheroes, but after loving Brandon Sanderson's The Reckoners series I thought I should definitely give it a go. And I'm glad I did, I enjoyed City of Legends and think that I'll enjoy the other books in the series more.

There were times when Maci annoyed me as a main character, she was just that little bit too entitled for me. She thought she deserved things just because she wanted them. However this trait did allow her to grow as a character and she did become more likeable as the book went on, and as a big fan of character growth this worked for me.

I loved Evan though. I think he was just about my favourite character. He was smart and according to Maci attractive, as well as being a conduit for a lot of the information about the Super world. It was good having a "smart" character around who progressed the story as well as explaining som eof the finer points of Supers and Heroes.

The world building was fantastic. I am still a little confused as to how Supers came to be or if they just were, but there was a good sense of how the power worked within the body and what could be done with it. I do look forward to learning more about that.

I'm looking forward to more in this series, and I have a feeling that this series is only going to get better.

The Sunday Post (21-02-2016)

Sunday Post


Thank you to Kimberly @ caffinatedbookreviewer for hosting!



My Life This Week 

I'm not even sure what I want to say here...my parents went to Dubai this week so I took my 7 year old brother to Butlins for the week and to say it's been stressful is an understatement. Which had nothing to do with him, he's been so good, but more not getting much reading time (aka time to myself!) in has had me stressed out!

On the plus side my Lent ban on book buying is going good! So far I haven't bought any books and have even ticked one off my list!


My Writing This Week 

I hate to admit this but being stressed out means I write absolutely nothing...so there's my progress for the week!

Review copies of my novella, Awakening, on instafreebie. This is the first book in my on going Alventia series and is mainly a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (though Hansel and Gretel also get a look in, and the prequel Betrayed which is in the Amidst the Shadows anthology, is a Rumplestiltskin type retelling) You can get a copy here!

Reading This Week 

So it's definitely been a slow reading week...I didn't actually finish a book until Thursday which is really bad for me, but it seems to be picking up now and I have some great books on my list to read next!

How to Be Singl by Liz Tuccillo (2016 Read the Books You Buy
City of Legends by Cheyanne Young (Winter COYER 2015, 2016,  2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge


On the Blog Last Week (and the Week Before) 

You can check out last week's Sunday Post here, and I've also been hosted on Because Reading is Better Than Real Life for Michelle's a Book Couple and Their Book Feature.

This week seemed to be a collection of new releases review wise! One of them, Georgie by Cherrie Mack, I even read last month! I got to continue two great series; Burning Rivalry by Aubrey Parker (Book 2 of Trevor's Harem) and Calamity by Brandon Sanderson (The final - and third - book in The Reckoners series). I also got to read Melissa Foster's newest release, Seaside Embrace, and very much enjoyed that one.

The last review of my Brandon Sanderson binge, Shadows of Self, went live, but I don't think it will be long before I read the next book in that series either. I also finally read JA Huss' Losing Francesca, and I very much enjoyed the different nature of it. There's also my review of How to Be Single by Liz Tucculio, which is still a book I'm not all that sure about!

Online Book Club

This is a meme that I started with the intention that several people read the same book and then link back their reviews. This month's book is The Trouble With Being Wicked by Emma Locke, I hope you'll join me in reading the book and sharing your thoughts in the link up on 22nd February! 

You can also now vote for March's book, and if you want to find out more about them than what's available in the voting thing, then you can check out the original post here
Create your own user feedback survey

Saturday, 20 February 2016

How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo

Title: How to be Single
Author: Liz Tuccillo
From: Tesco (Supermarket)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: 10th June 2008
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

The question all singletons dread answering: why are they still single. When Julie's friend Georgia wants a girls night out after getting divorced, she gets together her single friends, depressed Ruby, eco-concious Serena, and ex-lawyer-turned-professional-dater Alice, to have some fun. The events of that night leads to Julie embarking on a round the world trip to investigate singledom in different cultures around the world, while Serena embarks on a life of spirtuality as a swarmi and Georgia goes a little crazy in search for a new man...

So...the reason I read How to be Single: my friend was joking about me going to see the film (and me having been single so long that I already know how to be single) and when I saw the book I knew I'd have to read it to see what it was all about. So when I passed the book (unusually for me it was a paperback which took me longer to read anyway) on to her and she asked me how I found it I actually had to sum up my thoughts on a book in one sentence (which let's face it is a difficult one for me). And all I could say was that I had read better books and I had read worse ones.

There were some great moments in this book, most notably the sense of female friendship. Even though Julie's friends didn't actually know each other very well (they all knew her from different places) with Julie away they all pulled together and were there for each other and I liked that. I liked how they weren't instantly best friends either, but how events brought them together.

I also found moments of this book funny, and it was really interesting when Julie was talking to women from different cultures and countries about what it was like to be single there. It wasn't something I'd really thought about before that.

There was a slightly depressing note to some of the scenes though. I mean the characters are all 15 years older than I am but honestly by the end of the book I was despairing for all single women, which isn't really what I want a book to do. The love affairs in the book were all realistic, but lets face it...sometimes you want to live in a make believe world!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Shadows of Self
Series: Mistborn (#5)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Western
Release Date: 5th October 2015
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 Reading Assignment, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

When a group of the most prolific and uncatchable criminals is found dead, Wax and Wayne, along with new constable Marasi, are thrown into another investigation. Wax thinks his Uncle may be behind it once more but soon things are revealed that make him less sure and make the guilty party that much harder to catch...

I'll start with how much I loved the fact that Shadows of Self paid so much homage to the characters I loved from the original trilogy! The Alloy of Law did it a little bit but this one did it so much more. I'm tied for my favourite moment of links to the past, it's either Wax thinking that he wouldn't like Breeze at all or it's Soonie Cubs. The latter had me giggling away!

While you can read Shadows of Self without reading the original Mistborn trilogy (because that mainly serves as background for this later series) you can't really read it without reading The Alloy of Law. Not just because the latter book introduces Wax, Wayne and Marasi as characters, but because there are events in Shadows of Self that just wouldn't make much sense without the previous events.

I love the way that Sanderson has combined technology with magic and that his world hasn't just stood still (though Harmony was getting frustrated that the world hadn't moved on as fast as he thought it should). I don't think I've ever read something that crosses between urban fantasy, epic fantasy and western, and I can't imagine that many authors could pull it off.

It was also good to have some characters returning, and I don't want to say too much because it gives some of the plot away, but one of my favourite sidekicks returned and I loved him just as much as I originally did! Plus there's the God situation, which is interesting as well as showing some character progression on the part of the character (sorry saying more would give away a major plot point of the origianl trilogy).

I still think that Wax needs to wake up a bit and sort out his love life, though I found myself warming to his fiancée, Steris, in this book. However I do think one of the other characters may be warming to her as well, so maybe we'll see where that one goes!

I was definitely wrong to wait so long to read the second lot of Mistborn books, but I'm catching up now!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Calamity
Series: The Reckoners (#3)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: Netgalley
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Release Date: 18th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*SPOILERS for Steelheart and Firefight*

With the secret to turning Epics good, David and his team, including reformed Epic Megan, go on the hunt for their old team leader, Prof. While most of the team thhink they'll have to kill Prof, David is determined that he can turn Prof back to their side, but now that Calamity has David in his sights it could be more difficult...

Now where I thought that Firefight dropped it a little bit, Calamity picked it right back up. I didn't want to put this book down especially as it got closer to the end and to wrapping up the trilogy. The ending itself took me a little by surprise, I hadn't suspected anything like that would happen (except I heavily suspected David's specific revelation).

Calamity really expanded the world and the powers in it. Set in the third big city seen in David's universe, which was previously Atlanta, I once again encountered Sanderson's talent for creating something unique (all I'll say is that Atlantaa was renamed the city of salt in David's world). It worked really well, though I expected nothing less!

There was plenty of time given to the expansion of Epic powers in this book, mostly when it came to Megan and her power set. After her secondary character status in the previous book it was great to have her more on page. Particularly because her realism sometimes grounded David's idealism.

In fact Megan and David's relationship in general had really settled down. They'd basically decided they actually liked each other and so they settled into it. There wasn't a massive amount on page of their romance, but they were refering to each other as boyfriend/girlfriend and saying they loved each other. But even with this at the start of Calamity, their relationship was great to read and they bounced off each other well.

There were some great action scenes, and I loved how Sanderson managed to keep up the suspense in the book. I also liked the fact that actually he didn't introduce loads of new characters to the plot, and in fact managed to have less characters to focus on (partly because it was first person narrative from David so there were only the people around him that were seen). It worked really well and I loved every moment...not that I doubted I would!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Seaside Embrace by Melissa Foster

Title: Seaside Embrace
Series: Seaside Summers (#6) - Love in Bloom
Author: Melissa Foster
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 17th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Hunter and Jana are not relationship people and will do everything possible to avoid them. But even though Jana promised herself that she wasn't going to hook up with Hunter ever again, she still finds herself sneaking out of bed with him. No woman has ever made Hunter feel the way he does around Jana, and when he finds she spurs on his creativity he has to revaluate what he wants with her, especially when he looks at what his friend Clark nearly loses...

I think it's safe to say that Seaside Embrace is the hottest Seaside Summers book to date. There was still a good level of sweet and romantic in the book but there were also some very steamy scenes between the two leads, and it was clear that they not only had great chemistry but trusted each other a lot.

The original Seaside gang have become more secondary characters now, though they're still fun loving and have great personalities that shine through the writing, but it's good for newer characters like Hunter, Sky and Jana to take centre stage.

Though there are links back to previous books in the series, most notably Sky and Sawyer's book as well as Pete and Jenna's, Seaside Embrace can be read as a standalone. But this series melds together the chemistry, the friendship and the romanticness of new relationships that its great to read more than one!

Friendships were a big part of Seaside Embrace. For Jana this was mostly with Sky (who she was half avoiding because she's Hunter's sister) and the Seaside Gang, and it showed the great side of female friendships; the laughter, the support and the help. But the bit I liked the most was Hunter's friendship with Clark (and his relationship to his brother Grayson). It was good having a guy friendship in the book and that being centred around winning a woman back.

I knew this would be a good read and I wasn't disappointed!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Burning Rivalry by Aubrey Parker

Title: Burning Rivalry
Series:Trevor's Harem (#2)
Author: Aubrey Parker
From: Review Copy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Release Date: 16th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

Having been reinstated into the competition to become the wife of Trevor Stone, Bridget is determined to get to the next big mile stone and gain enough money to support herself. But complicating things is Daniel; whether he likes it or not he is captivated by Bridget and the last thing he wants is for her to touch anyone else, even if he's off limits...

I am well and truely hooked. I thought as much after finishing Burning Offer, but Burning Rivalry has me even more so. I need to know what happens next and I need to know how it will end, particularly now it's been made clear that some people know more than they should, and that there's mroe tensions brewing.

The chemistry between Daniel and Bridget is even stronger than it was previously, partly because of the rules that say they can't be together, and so the sneaking around adds to it. Bridget also became more aware of exactly what was doing it for her in the house, which again added another element particularly when Daniel laid claim to her.

It was interesting learning more about some of the male characters, particularly Trevor who only had a side role in the first book. He's a complete constrast to Daniel (the male lead) and seems a lot softer in some ways, which could be interesting going forward.

The POV was more evenly split between Bridget and Daniel in this book than it was in Burning Offer and I liked that. Now things are established it is interesting to see how the pair of them are taking the same events. Plus Daniel's POV gives more of an insight into what is really going on in the house.

There's a lot of questions I want answers for still, and I can't help but want the next piece of the story!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Georgie by Cherrie Mack

Title: Georgie
Series: Follow That Dress (#2)
Author: Cherrie Mack
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 1th February 2016
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (1 point)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Georgie made one mistake in college that has haunted her ever since, and when her almost fiancé, Adam, sees a video of her mistake she does the only thing she can think of; she runs. Finding a new home at a bar, Diamond Li's, But when the boss, Hank, becomes ill, his son Derek comes in to help run the bar, making Gee want things that she hadn't thought she wanted anymore...

Honestly, having read Crystal I thought I knew what to expect from Georgie and so it managed to take me completely by surprise. Georgie is nothing like Crystal as a character, other than that she too is a normal woman who had made mistakes and has to live with them.

It took a while for me to figure out just what it was that Georgie had done that she was so ashamed about, and the main reason for that was because I didn't think it was that bad. I was genuinely under the impression that it would be something like escorting (it isn't, and this isn't a spoiler by the way). Maybe its because I went to uni and my friends have our own share of similarly bad stories.

There was definite chemistry between Derek and Georgie, which showed both in their bedroom scenes and in their sexy banter. There was definitely something good going on there. Their emotionaly bonding also worked well, though I did feel that things happened a tad quickly towards the end.

I love the concept of this series, and the links to the previous book! It was a great quick read and I really enjoyed it!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Losing Francesca by JA Huss

Title: Losing Francesca
Author: JA Huss
From: Amazon
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, YA
Release Date: 1st July 2013
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

If there's one thing that Francesca is certain of it's that she's not Fiona Sullivan. On entering the US her face was recognised as that of a girl who had gone missing at age 6 and after lengthy court battles she is required to live with the family she was taken from until her 18 birthday. At first those 7 weeks couldn't go fast enough but she soon finds herself slotting into the Sullivans' world and experiencing family life in a way she never had before. And then there's Brody, who has mourned for the loss of Fiona, the girl he thought was his soul mate, for 12 years.

I'm not sure where to start with this. Losing Francesca is different from most of Huss' books simply because it lacks the sex element (though I'll get to the romance in a moment) and I can understand how some readers may be disappointed in that. However I loved this book. It was such a good read and had me completely hooked from beginning to end!

So the romance. It was definitely there, and there was definitely sexual tension between the two leads (even though they didn't act on it beyond kissing). However they acted their age (20 and 17/18) and talked about sex and wanting to take that step. I actually really felt like these were real teenagers! The tension was offset by the other aspects of the relationship, including some super sweet moments.

I found the focus on Francesca's identity. At the beginning she very adamently thinks one thing, but she does slowly begin to doubt herself and though it is hinted at that she has more of an identity than she lets on it isn't revealed until quite late in the book. It's the struggle that most people go through when finding themselves but magnified because of her situation. I liked that as a reader you were part of her finding who she was and beginning to find her independence.

There was also a lot of focus on family, and I liked that there was a more grey bad guy than Huss could have gone for. Because very few of the characters were blood related (which is revealed in the first two chapters so no spoiler) the real focus was on family being where you feel comfortable and who you choose that to be with. It's a very beautiful concept, and something I can definitely relate to.

This was a great read, it was gritty and real with a good level of suspense. Though I wouldn't change her other books, this one is certainly as good as some of her other works!

The Sunday Post (14-02-2016 )

Sunday Post

Thank you to Kimberly @ caffinatedbookreviewer for hosting!



My Life This Week 

Well last weekend I gave up most of my spare time to do training I needed for Girlguiding, and though some parts were interesting I don't think I learnt much that I hadn't already encountered in my 2 1/2 years with my unit, but oh well! Other than that it's been a pretty standard week. We're just gearing up for next week when I take my 7 year old brother to Butlins (a holiday camp) while my parents go to Dubai.

Oh also with the beginning of lent I had to give something up and after being told by my friends that my first idea wasn't acceptable because I'd already gone 40 days without, I've given up buying books. So until Easter Sunday I'm not allowed to spend a penny on books. Which is going to be really hard because there's so many I want to buy right now!

My Writing This Week 

So technically I haven't actually written anything this week, but I have been having a lot of ideas both for my Phantom retelling that's my current project, and for book 3 in Alventia; Reawakening. Saying that Reawakening (which is it's working title) is actually third on my list for being written at the moment as I have a book 2.5 in the works, which tells the story of the main characters' parents. It doesn't have a name yet, but it is important to the story!

Review copies of my novella, Awakening, on instafreebie. This is the first book in my on going Alventia series and is mainly a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (though Hansel and Gretel also get a look in, and the prequel Betrayed which is in the Amidst the Shadows anthology, is a Rumplestiltskin type retelling) You can get a copy here!

Reading This Week 

I've had a really slow reading week I must admit. Though it has been a really enjoyable reading week so there aren't many complaints here! With one exception...I DNF'd No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday by Tracy Bloom, though there wasn't anything glaringly wrong with it, I just didn't care about the characters so stopped reading. 

Losing Francesca by JA Huss (Winter COYER 2015-2016
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Winter COYER 2015, 2016, 2016 Reading Assignment, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
Burning Rivalry by Aubrey Parker (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge
Seaside Embrace by Melissa Foster (Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge

Forest of Demons


I'm not one to often do things like this, because I have strict rules with myself about promoting authors; I'll only do it if I can guarantee the product I'm promoting. Well I've loved a lot of Debbie Cassidy's work before (she is part of the writing duo Amos Cassidy) and I have read an early draft of Forest of Demons which was a great read, and so I'm going to ask for my fellow bloggers' help! Forest of Demons is currently up for a Kindle Scout contract, and it would be great if you could help nominate it! There's also a Headtalker campaign going on!

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/XCA3VZMEAL5P
https://headtalker.com/campaigns/forest-of-demons/

On the Blog Last Week (and the Week Before) 

Because I did last week's Sunday Post so quickly, I didn't include any links to anything from the week before. So I'm including them here! This is basically a recap of Feburary so far, so it includes my End of the Month Round Up for January and the launch of this month's Online Book Club and My TBR Meme (hosted by Michelle @ because reading)

I have been on a little bit of a Brandon Sanderson binge so far this month, so you can check out my reviews of Firefight and The Alloy of Law, and next week reviews for Calamity and Shadows of Self will go live, I'm completely hooked, not that I expected any less!

I also discovered a fantastic new author to me, Aubrey Parker, and I wanted more as soon as I finished Burning Offer (thankfully I've now read Burning Rivalry which releases next week, but I still need more!!) My review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is now live, and I can't believe it took me so long to read this book!

Slightly less exciting for me were The White List by Nina D'Aleo which was just missing something (not too sure what) and A Single Girl's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse by JT Clay, which just came across really preachy about veganism.

Other reviews included Michelle M Pillow's new release, Surrender to the Sea, and one of the three books I've read for my reading assignment so far this month, The Major's Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley, as well as ticking off another Netgalley book, Midnight's Surrender by Donna Grant. I definitely gave in to peer pressure and read (as well as loved) January by Audrey Carlan, and was surprised by The Lion and the Unicorn by Dara Fraser. I was also suprised by Heirs & Spares by J L Spohr, which wasn't what I expected, and enjoyed The Seduction 2 by Roxy Sloane (one of my COYER Secret Santa gifts...thanks Berls!)

My TBR Meme

This month's winner is Panic by JA Huss, which is also the JA Huss book that's on my Reading Assignment list!



Online Book Club

This is a meme that I started with the intention that several people read the same book and then link back their reviews. This month's book is The Trouble With Being Wicked by Emma Locke, I hope you'll join me in reading the book and sharing your thoughts in the link up on 22nd February! 

You can also now vote for March's book, and if you want to find out more about them than what's available in the voting thing, then you can check out the original post here
Create your own user feedback survey

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Challenge Sign Ups!

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Laura has read 0 books toward her goal of 365 books.
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preqseqbutton2016

I had fun with this one, though I may need to just try to beat my total of 327 points as my own personal challenge!
Rules: 
  • 1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
  • 2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
  • 10 points for completing and reviewing a full series (doesn’t require novellas)*†
  • **You do not get points for the first book in a series
Goal: 101+ Points (Veteran)

Falling For YA

Hosted by Falling for YA. I did super well this year with this challenge so it seems logical that I go for a big challenge!
Goal: 100 Books (Diamond)

Because Reading is better than real life

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading & Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun. I have just 4 books to go before completing the 2015 version of this challenge, without any passes or anything (just a little proud of myself there! So I'll still be going for 48 books (4 books a month) for 2016...May have to admit to having started my list some time around the start of November too...
I may also have used this list to make me read  a lot of the Netgalley books I have stored up...I doubt I'll ever managed to clear them all but I can at least try! (Though there are some books I've bought and some from other places!)
Goal: 48 Books (4 Books per Month) 


  1. Manic by JA Huss
  2. Panic by JA Huss
  3. Slack by JA Huss
  4. Taut by JA Huss
  5. Bomb by JA Huss
  6. Guns by JA Huss
  7. Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
  8. Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan
  9. Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
  10. Nearly Almost Somebody by Caroline Batten
  11. The Captain’s Blue Stocking Mistress by Erica Ridley
  12. The Major’s Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley
  13. The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley
  14. The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley
  15. Cutlass by Ashley Nixon
  16. Flintlock by Ashley Nixon
  17. Need by N Isabelle Blanco & K I Lynn
  18. Renegade by Erica Stevens
  19. Heat of the Moment by Lori Handeland
  20. Smoke on the Water by Lori Handeland
  21. 25 Perfect Days by Mark Tullius
  22. Wool by Hugh Howey 
  23. Shift by Hugh Howey
  24. Dust by Hugh Howey
  25. Tigress by J E Taylor
  26. Aberrant by Ruth Silver
  27. Moirai by Ruth Silver
  28. Pawn by Aimee Carter
  29. Angelbound by Christine Bauer
  30. The Bane by Keary Taylor (Also known as Eden for some reason)
  31. Ignite by Erica Crouch 
  32. Entice by Erica Crouch 
  33. Incite by Erica Crouch 
  34. Engage by Erica Crouch 
  35. The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L Higley
  36. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  37. Darkest Flame by Donna Grant
  38. Fire Study by Maria V Snyder 
  39. The Maiden at Midnight by Kate Harper 
  40. The Mistress at Midnight by Kate Harper
  41. Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard
  42. Sunset Rising by S M McEachern
  43. Remember to Me by Nina Croft
  44. Death Defying by Nina Croft 
  45. Temporal Shift by Nina Croft
  46. Blood and Metal by Nina Croft
  47. Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
  48. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Blogger Shame

Hosted by herding cats & burning soup and Addicted to Happily Ever After. I am terrible at keeping up with my review copies, so this is actually a really good challenge for me! I am going a tad conservative on my estimate here though!
Goal: 50 Books


2016 Bookish Resolutions

This is the challenge hosted by myself and Michelle @ Because Reading. You can check out the rules and sign up here!

Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!) 
  2. Reintroduce non-review content 
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date 
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages 
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit) 
Reading Goals 
  1. Improve Netgalley ratio by at least 10% (if this is achieved by the half way mark then it will be upped to 20%). I did succeed in improving my ratio in 2015 and was actually quite surprised to find I'd improved it by 7% (at the time of writing). 
  2. Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously) 
  3. Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal. 
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.) 
Personal Goal
  1. Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)


Because Reading is better than real life

It's COYER time again! Which is exciting in itself! This time around it's going back to basics, though I think most of my books from last time would still count! I'm going to try for my normal goal of a book per day of COYER
Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading & Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
Goal: 77 Books



Seeing as I did so well on this challenge for 2015 I don't think I have any choice but to go for the top option this time around either! 
Goals: 45+ Books - New Release Enthusiast   


Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2016 Badge

Hosted by The Book Date, I am a little late with this one, but I do think it's one that I really want to do! Obviously I'm aiming for 80% or above (based on books bought June 2015 onwards, and I'm hoping I can stick to that!