Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sworn to Sovereignty by Terah Edun

Title: Sworn to Sovereignty
Series: Courtlight (#8)
Author: Terah Edun
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 25th June 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, Summer COYER 2016, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Ciardis Weathervane has one simple rule – win the first fight, then move on to the next. But she’s finding out that the citizens of Sandrin have other plans in mind.  When she returns to the imperial capital city, she finds that nothing is as she left it. Only a week has passed and yet chaos reins. Vana Cloudbreaker has been attacked and surprisingly, she did not come out on top.  The woman Ciardis thought was invincible stands a broken shell of what she once was and Ciardis isn’t entirely sure what or who was the cause of the fabled assassin’s derailment.  To top it off, the revolutionary party is determined to make itself known, starting with a call for an impostor emperor to vacate his throne. They couldn’t have chosen a worse time to start their revolution. Right when the noble societies at court are ready to throw their support to the prince heir and princess heir-in-waiting against the blutgott itself.  Now revolutionaries and courtiers are at odds, but even stranger—the duchess of Carne stands among the revolutionary guard. Ciardis is faced with the predicament of saving an empire and sacrificing a revolution, all while facing down a clock that has run out of the time.  The gods are here and there’s nothing that she nor anyone else can do to stop them.

Review may contain minor spoilers for previous books in the Courtlight series. Sworn to Sovereignty is definitely not meant to be a standalone book (nor would you want it to be because Edun's writing is so good!) It definitely relies on events from the previous books, and as there are no new characters (major players in the plot that is!) you need to know them already! (However if you've never read Sworn to Raise - book 1 - then go do it! This is an amazing series!) 

While reading this I couldn't help but think how much Ciardis has grown as a character (though through 8 books that was going to happen!) the best bit was that she herself realised it as well. She'd always been an independent character, but I thought that she really gained her strength and her voice in this book. There's a lot resting on one woman. 

There were several mysteries added in this book...I had a theory about what happened to Vana, and then I carried on reading and now I'm really not sure, but I love the way that the story twisted and turned to get me to that point. In fact I actually have several theories about various characters, but am too nervous to share most of them! 

The love story is sort of a background plot in Courtlight, but provides a source of strength for Ciardis and her Princes (it's complicated, but I don't want to ruin anything!) The three of them now seem to have reached an accord and working together seemed more of an option. Saying that I definitely still have a decisive way that I want it to end for Ciardis in the love department. 

Sworn to Sovereignty does have a pretty big cliffhanger. I'm now desperate to find out what happens and can't wait for the next book! This is definitely worth a read if you love fantasy!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Bookish Reslutions Half Way Giveaway



2016 Bookish Resolutions



Bookish Resolutions is a challenge I co-host with Michelle @ becausereading.com! I can't believe it's June already and we're half way through! 

This months update is very important because we have the halfway giveaway to put in what goals you have finished halfway and if you completed any goals (remember this need to also reflect at the end of the year to entire the end giveaway, for example if you reached your netgalley goal of 80% you need to keep it at 80% to enter into the grand prize giveaway at the end, only completed goals will count). Below you will find the giveaway. Just mark what you have accomplished and put a link to your post so we can check it out (put your post link in every entry). If you have more than five goals halfway completed, don't worry you can come back the next day and enter in those. Also applies with the completed goals, you can add it twice but come back the next day and enter in two more. You have until July 29, 2016 to get all your goals and post links in the rafflecopter. 

The halfway mark also has a few changes that Michelle and I thought would make things a little more helpful. We are allowing you to change a few of your goals and also delete some. (this is harder than it would looks)

Here is how it will work. 

If you have 5 goals you are able to delete 1 and tweak 1
If you have 10 goals you are able to delete 2 and tweak 2
If you have 15 goals you are able to delete 3 and tweak 3
Do you get it. Every 5 you add 1 and 1. 
Then just link below your updated resolutions post with what you deleted and what you tweaked. Thats it. We know that after working so hard half the year some of the goals just don't seem to be working as well as you wanted or some just don't apply anymore, for example, if you wanted your goal for Netgalley to be 65% and you are now at 70% and want to get to 80% instead. You can tweak it. It will still count on the giveaway this month since you can mark as completed but to be able to enter into the giveaway at the end you must get to that 80%. 


If you have any questions about this change, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. Resolutions are hard, they are a big change but we also want this to be fun and not frustrating so we thought this would help, plus it will be added into next years challenge. 

Giveaway Time! Remember any completed goals can only be used once! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to Link Up and include what (if anything!) you've changed!


An InLinkz Link-up

My Bookish Resolutions Progress (which is way behind where I should be!)

Blogging Goals 
  1. Schedule posts before the day they are 'due' (especially for challenge updates!)
    I'm back on track with this one! My job has changed (yet again!) back to what it was which has given me more time to sort this out!
  2. Reintroduce non-review content
    And this one I've completely gone awol on, so I'm going to change this one to: Post a detailed update on everything on the first Sunday of each month
  3. Cross post Blog Posts regularly, preferably in under a week since post date
    Back on track with this one too! Nearly there guys
  4. Tidy up the Trips Down Imagination Road Facebook & Twitter Pages
    This one is going, mostly because I decided I was pretty happy with where I'm at with it. 
  5. Visit other blogs regularly (I used to but this dropped off the radar a bit)
    I actually did visit a few blogs regularly this month (though I will admit to a bit of silent stalking! But hopefully COYER starting again will help me with this!
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 gone up 6% this year, which is pretty decent going considering how many unread Netgalley books I have on there! Not quite the 10% I'd hoped for at this point, but still on track! 
  2. COMPLETED: Finish 10 series this year. (I get distracted a little easy! I can have already started the series previously)
    So far I've finished 12 series this year; The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, Circle of Evil by Kylie Brant, Trevor's Harem by Aubrey Parker, Rook & Ronin by JA Huss, The Seduction by Roxy Sloane, City of Legends by Cheyanne Young, The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Galaxy Playmates by Michelle M Pillow, Dark Dirty & Deadly by JA Huss, The Dukes of War by Erica Ridley, Everealm by JD Wright, I Am Just Junco by JA Huss
  3. Complete 3 year long challenges (may change the number depending on how many I sign up for). Bookish Resolutions does not count for this sub-goal.
    I've completed 2 so far (Prequel & Sequel) & 2016 New Release Challenge but I'm on track with the rest of them!
  4. Read 3 books a month that were already on my kindle at the start of 2016 (can be from Netgalley, Amazon etc.)
    I think I've read 7 
Personal Goal
  1. Finish Cloaked (the sequel to my published Novella)
    Cloaked has a Cover now so this is almost complete 

White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson

Title: White Sand Volume 1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Artists: Rik Moskin, Julius Gopez
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Release Date: 29th June 2016
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Kenton is determined to prove himself as a Sand Master, even if he can only command one thread of sand. But when an invasion leaves Kenton as the only survivor he has to form an alliance with a Darksider named Khriss. But Khriss has secrets of her own, including that she's searching for sand mages.

I'll be completely honest; I've never read a graphic novel before. I'm not a very visually imaginative person really. I'd prefer to read something than to watch it, and I think that translates to graphic novels as well. The reason I decided to read this one is because it's Brandon Sanderson, and I love Brandon Sanderson so it was a pretty safe bet to go on.

I did enjoy it, maybe not as much as if I'd been reading a traditional novel, but the story came through and the artwork really did help illustrate what was going on. The artwork in the novel was fantastic, and even on my phone screen looked really detailed. It was clearly well thought out and adapted.

I'm definitely left wanting more though! I realise that because this is volume one there is nowhere near the full story in it, but that doesn't help! I love Sanderson's worlds and I want to know more about the characters already!

The magic system was yet again completely unique; I don't think I've ever read anything like it, but it worked and was sufficiently detailed to answer questions without bogging down the small amount of prose. One advantage of having the artwork though was that I could actually see how Sanderson intended the magic to work rather than imagining it in my head.

This was an enjoyable foray into graphic novels, and I would read the next one, though not convinced I'm in a massive hurry to try one that isn't linked to one of my favourite authors!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Fix Up by Tawna Fenske

Title: The Fix Up
Series: First Impressions (#1)
Author: Tawna Fenske
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 14th December 2015
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, Summer COYER 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Uncovering this sexy geek's charm is easy. Keeping her hands off of him is impossible.  While he may look like the love child of a movie starlet and an NFL linebacker, Ben Langley has the people skills of a half-drowned porcupine. Why socialize when there are chemistry labs and bad sci-fi flicks? If he has any hope of taking the helm as CEO of the family business, Ben needs an image makeover. Pronto. Enter Holly Colvin, owner of First Impressions public relations and branding firm, and the woman who just saved Ben from the clutches of an over-attentive sales clerk. Holly's rebranded hundreds of companies in her career, but she's never rebranded a person. The guy clearly needs help, though, and she's just the woman for the job. With the clock ticking for them both, Holly and Ben face off over wardrobe malfunctions and business jargon that sounds a lot sexier than it should. But can Holly make Ben into the man he thinks he should be without losing the man she's starting to love?

The Fix Up was just what I'd expect from a Fenske book. It was fun, flirty and sweet, one of those books that you know there is definitely a HEA at the end of it, and though it may be slightly surprising how the characters get there, its not something you ever doubt. 

I loved the relationship between Holly and Ben. They were working together, but that led to a good level of banter between them. That back and forth also felt unique to them as they were using business terms (and some science ones) that worked because of where they worked and what they did. This led to a natural feeling relationship between the two of them. 

It was good having the female character being the more reluctant of the two about relationships too. So often it's the male character that is the one who wants to run away, but not in this case. Even then in her thoughts Holly knows that she doesn't, but that inner struggle is definitely a key moment for the story. 

Ben was so far off a bad boy too! It may sound like a silly thing to even mention, but a lot of romances include reformed bad boys, or bad boys that change after meeting the woman for them (and don't get me wrong, I love me a bad boy hero sometimes!) But Ben was a decent guy before he met Holly, she just made him even better, and to me that really worked. 

This was definitely a great read, I'd recommend it!

Cover Reveal: Concealed by Christina Bauer


Concealed
Christina Bauer
(Beholder #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
As a Grand Mistress Necromancer, Elea commands the ultimate power over spirit and bone… Magick that she’ll need in order to rescue her friends from the evil Vicomte Gaspard. In a matter of days, Gaspard will kill thousands of Necromancers by draining their magick, along with their life force.
To find and free her fellow mages, Elea must venture into some of the most dangerous places in the realm. What starts off as a rescue quest could easily turn into a suicide mission. And with the handsome mage Rowan along to help, Elea may be risking more than her life. Her growing feelings for Rowan might put her heart on the line, too.
Concealed
Sequel to:
29547423


Author Bio:
Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

XBTBanner1

Monday, 27 June 2016

The Maiden at Midnight by Kate Harper

Title: The Maiden at Midnight
Series: Midnight Masquerade (#2)
Author: Kate Harper
From: Amazon
Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: 29th February 2012
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment, Summer COYER, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Isabella Hathaway has had the most awful year; her father committed suicide after gaming away the family fortune, her brother has been lost in the ongoing skirmishes with Bonaparte and her fiance jilted her. Little wonder her spirit is bruised. To provide for her two sisters, she must find a suitable husband, no easy thing when she has been living under a cloud of scandal. When Isabella is kidnapped from a masquerade ball, she thinks she is surely ruined. But that is before she comes to know the scatty, good natured Earl of Stornley and his devilishly handsome best friend, Harry Carstairs. Isabella and Stornely hatch a plan that will get her out of trouble and land him the girl of his dreams. With Harry's far from willing help, Isabella makes plans to secure a respectable match and put her problems behind her. She is sure it will all go just as she plans - if she can avoid the lure of the the wonderfully womanizing Mr. Carstairs who makes it clear he is not in need of a wife, although not at all adverse to getting to know Isabella a lot more intimately...

The Maiden at Midnight is exactly the kind of thing I want from a Regency, there was the guaranteed HEA, the pagentry of the Season and the rules that bind the young people. But there was a little bit more to this book than that, and I found myself completely enthralled by the world in this book. 

At first I was a little worried that Joss and Isabella were going to be the romantic pairing in this book, especially after Joss mistakenly kidnaps Isabella in the beginning, and so I was very pleased when Alora came into play for Joss and something started to build between Isabella and Harry. 

The relationship between Isabella and Harry had a very modern feel to it. They worked together because they were intellectually equal, and both had a similar desire to speak what they feel and it worked. Though they also both had the stubborn streak which meant they refused to accept that they loved each other, or even felt affection for each other. 

I liked that Isabella was a strong female character in a world where it was frowned upon. She wasn't afraid to be herself and luckily she made friends who accepted her and had an understanding family. What was better though was that she realised this, and accepted that it was abnormal. 

This was definitely a good Regency romance, I really enjoyed it. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Death Defying by Nina Croft

Title: Death Defying
Series: Dark Desires (#3)
Author: Nina Croft
From: Netgalley
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Release Date: 25th November 2014
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Reading Assignment, Summer COYER2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Captain Tannis of the starship El Cazador is part snake, part human, and--according to some--all bitch. She is one job away from her lifelong goal--to achieve the immortality she craves. The assignment: protecting the most powerful man in the Universe. After five hundred years, Callum Meridian, founding member of the Collective, is bored out of his mind. Until he realizes he's physically changing--into what, he isn't sure. Callum is determined to discover the truth, but his own people will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming out. With a coup brewing and the crew of El Cazador close to tossing him off the ship, Callum turns to Tannis. Sparks fly as they work together to make it out alive. But can Callum really trust the one woman hell bent on using him? Defying death has never been more dangerous, more sexy, or more fun.

I had completely forgotten how much I loved this series! The characters, the setting and the excitement. I do feel bad for leaving it so long between reading book 2 and book 3, but it was really easy to slip back into the crew's story and to remember key events from the past books. While the romance itself is standalone, the build up to the events of Death Defying came from the previous two books in the series and I do think they need to be read in order. 

I loved the relationship between Tannis and Callum. They admitted they were attracted to each other really early on, but it took time for the two of them to actually act on it properly. There were events from Tannis' past in the way, and that made it more real between them. 

There was more information given about the Merridian treatment and the Collective, which were introduced in the first book, and I thought that the things revealed about the treatment made it highly unique and gave the book a different dimension. 

There was plenty of action in Death Defying, as there was in the previous books, and that not only kept the plot moving, it helped develop the characters too. What I liked most was that Tannis, and the other female characters, were just as involved as the male characters and it made them equal in a lot of ways. 

Death Defying provided several twists and turns along the way, some of which I saw coming and some of which I didn't. There were even some that I really hoped was wrong but apparently isn'y. It definitely made for an interesting read!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Mr Romantic by JA Huss

Title: Mr Romantic
Series: Mister (#2)
Author: JA Huss
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Release Date: 22nd June 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Charm is the key to the world. Charisma, magnetism, sex appeal—that ‘it’ factor that can’t be described. Nolan Delany has it is spades. The infamous Mr. Romantic. And maybe he is out of my league… But I’m going to give it the old college try anyway. Because I didn’t travel two thousand miles for a job interview at his request just to be put out like trash. Don’t underestimate me, Mr. Delaney. I’m really not as innocent as I look.

I finished this book days ago and I'm still not sure I've fully processed it's awesomeness. I knew I was going to enjoy it, because this is JA Huss, and her books have a great blend of characters, suspense and twistedness that works perfectly...not to mention the heat and chemistry between the lead characters. 

Now...Nolan. I actually loved Nolan as a character. True he's a bit of an a*** in the beginning, but actually I thought it was fairly easy to see past that and into his true self. In a weird, but undeniable, way he kind of lived up to his monkier...even if he was a little bit creepy about splitting his personality between Nolan and Mr. Romantic! 

There was amazing chemistry between Ivy and Nolan, the two of them worked really well together, and while some of their bedroom tastes strayed into kinky territory, it never felt that they weren't gelling. Of course during the later scenes there were a few moments of doubt over something between them, but that just showed how good Huss was at weaving the story. 

While Mr Romantic is a standalone story, there was more added details to what happened at Brown with the Misters, and what's going on with them now. There was also a bit more information given about some of the Misters themselves, including some great news for existing fans of JA Huss! 

This was such a good read, and so different from Mr Perfect, but I do think it's now one of my favourite Huss books!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Mick by Melissa Foster

Title: Mick
Series: Bad Boys After Dark (#1)
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 22nd June 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Indulge your inner vixen...Meet the Bad Boys... Four sinfully sexy, fiercely loyal, uber alpha brothers about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies. If dirty talk, cursing, or raw, passionate sex turns you off, the After Dark books are not for you, because everything's naughtier after dark. In BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: MICK...Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she's researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She's waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action--and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party. Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn't do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup. Amanda thinks she's hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man--until she discovers the man she's made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick's already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction--no strings, no regrets, and for goodness' sake, come Monday, no quitting--the tables turn, and Mick's totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides. 

What I like about Melissa Foster's books is that you know what you're going to get! There'll be a strong romance, and the characters will care about their family. Foster writes great and believable relationships between family members and it gives each of the characters a little something else. What you get with the After Dark books is an added level of heat!

The chemistry between Mick and Amanda was through the roof. They didn't do anything that I would consider risqué sex scene wise, but they were definitely hot together. There wasn't a moment, even when you could read their thoughts, where the passion stopped and it really worked. 

What worked even better was how much more there was to their relationship than just the physical. There was a good back and forth between them, and because Mick and Amanda had already known each other for three years, there was also that knowledge of each other. In other cases it may be creepy but because they worked closely together it came across as sweet. 

I loved Amanda's relationship with her sister Ally too (who has her own book Wild Boys After Dark: Heath). I remember liking the pair of them in that book too, but this one cemented the sisters in my head even more. 

Basically another one of Foster's books to love! Not that I'm in any way surprised about that!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Certificate by Priscilla Masters

Title: The Certificate
Author: Priscilla Matthews
From: Netgalley
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 6th June 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): ‘Plain Jane’ Ziegler has been a district nurse all her life... All her life, she has been overlooked by difficult patients, disinterested colleagues and even her own family. So when she discovers a way to commit the perfect crime, Jane seizes the opportunity and begins deliberating who of her many patients is most deserving of her murderous attention. And when elderly James Walsh tries one to many times to proposition her, Jane seizes her chance. Although Walsh’s mother seems unconvinced by Jane’s explanation of his death, no one else, least of all Jane’s fellow doctors, seems the least bit surprised. As the days past, she can’t help thinking that she may indeed have escaped suspicion. Driven by this knowledge and with a new-found taste for murder, she soon turns her mind to her next victim. However, when a formal complaint is made against her by bad-tempered Clara Blatter, it seems that she may have picked the wrong woman. Soon, Jane finds herself under investigation and when she carries out her second murder, the net begins to close in tighter.When her normally unassuming boss starts to become suspicious, Jane resorts to drastic measures to avoid detection, as her perfect crime quickly turns into a nightmare that could cost her everything. The Certificate is a heart racing medical thriller that will leave you begging for more. 

That seems to be a very long synopsis for a book that wasn't actually that long (which I knew before reading. It was actually one of the reasons I picked it up. I fancied something a bit crime-like and have a little bit of a back log to get through, so something like this was perfect. 

The Certificate defintiely kept me reading. There was something about it that definitely hooked the reader, which I think could have been that the narrator kept a lot of things in the dark. The suspense did grow through the book, but I kind of thought that the ending let it down a little bit. 

Jane was a very difficult character to like (which I'm supposing is very much the point). She was very critical of herself (so as a reader you would probably imagine that she isn't quite as bad as she seems to think she is) but she also does some not very nice things. On the other hand she is very real. Her responses to the people around her, and the thoughts in her head, all resonated as true. 

This was an interesting quick read, not quite what I expected though!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Title: Pawn
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion (#1)
Author: Aimee Carter
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 26th November 2013
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Synopsis (from Goodreads): YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING. 
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

I picked up Pawn at a point where I didn't actually know what I wanted to read, but I'm glad I chose this one. I was completely hooked from the first page to the last. The world that Carter created was riveting and the characters worked well for me. 

I liked Kitty. Even at the beginning of the book she was a bit of a go getter. She wasn't happy with the system and felt she'd been cheated but more than that she was willing to do something from the very beginning about changing her life. There was none of the accidentally changing the world thing, she knew what she was doing and went with it. 

I'm still a little unsure on the guy front...I'm not even sure there is a love triangle as such, though there were certainly some games going on! On the one hand there was Benjy, Kitty's childhood friend and boyfriend, who was steady and kind but seemed a little bit naive. On the other hand there was Knox, who seemed a little bit more mysterious. As a character I preferred Knox to Benjy, but for Kitty I'm not so sure. 

I really liked this book, It was a great read and I look forward to reading more in the series soon!

Blitz: Mr Romantic by JA Huss


Mr. Romantic
J.A. Huss
(Mister #2)
Publication date: June 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Charm is the key to the world.
Charisma, magnetism, sex appeal—that ‘it’ factor that can’t be described.
Nolan Delaney has it is spades.
The infamous Mr. Romantic.
And maybe he is out of my league… But I’m going to give it the old college try anyway. Because I didn’t travel two thousand miles for a job interview at his request just to be put out like trash.
Don’t underestimate me, Mr. Delaney.
I’m really not as innocent as I look.
ALL BOOKS IN THIS SERIES CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE!
Mr. Perfect
Mr. Romantic
Mr. Corporate (Releases 8-17-16)
Mr. Mysterious (Releases 10-12-16)
Mr. Match (Releases 12-7-16)
While you’re at it, grab your copy of Mr. Perfect!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo
300PERFECT_EBOOK_FINAL
You can also pre-order Mr. Corporate today!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo
2300CORPORATE_ebook
13458733_10209414236783675_1440334672865048641_o
MR. ROMANTIC SNEAK PEEK:
“What do you think so far? Do I live up to the hype?”
“Not really.”
“No?” He chuckles as we walk past the pool. “Why not?”
The whole thing becomes surreal for me in that moment. The emptiness of the resort. The heat and the sun. I am two thousand miles from home and I’m clutching Mr. Romantic’s elbow like we are lovers taking an evening stroll.
“You’re a little bit quiet so far.”
“Is that right?”
“Your sister is the bigger personality. I’m surprised she wasn’t accused of something inappropriate in college. I think she has it in her.”
Nolan laughs. “That’s kind of true. She’s a handful to most, but she’s been good to me. She’s very protective.”
“She called you dangerous.”
“What?” He stops walking and looks down at me. “When?”
“Today. She told me to stay away from you. Didn’t you know that?”
“What exactly did she tell you?” His mood has changed. Not a lot, but there’s an edge to his words.
“She said something like…” I struggle to remember her exact words, but can’t. I shouldn’t have said anything. He’ll probably confront her and use me as an example.
“Like?” Nolan pushes.
“You’re not romantic. Something like that. They called you Mr. Romantic when all that stuff happened because it was a joke.”
“And the dangerous part?” His words are low and when I look up at him, the easygoing expression has changed into something else.
“I don’t know why she said it. She was telling me to stay away from you all day. And I was angry that she was so dismissive of me. She said I was here by mistake. So I told her I was going to do my best to get the job anyway. And while I agree those men you hired are far more qualified, it was not fair of her to dismiss me so quickly. I’m not as innocent and inexperienced as I look, Mr. Delaney. I have ideas and I’m smart. Hiring everyone in the applicant pool but me was about the most humiliating thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Nolan continues our walk, silent for a few seconds. “You’re lucky.”
“I am?” I ask, a small laugh escaping. “How so?”
“You’re lucky that you’ve never been humiliated the way I have.”
Oh, shit. Way to go, Ivy.
“Do you think I’m dangerous?” Nolan asks, staring down at me in that way he does.
It makes me uneasy. “Maybe.”
“You’re willing to take that chance?”
“Maybe.”
“Well, good,” Nolan says. “Let’s have a nice dinner and I’ll tell you why I sent Claudette away and kept you here against her wishes.”
He did what?
My heart starts to beat faster. Why would he do that? Maybe Claudette was right to warn me? There’s hardly anyone here at the resort. Especially now that all the construction people have left for the day. The main pool is empty when we pass, and even the desk clerks are missing when we enter the lobby.
The dining room has two couples eating dinner and Nolan greets them by name as he leads me to the rear part of the restaurant. Back into a dimly lit room with a single table, white linen tablecloth flowing over the sides. Candle glowing in the center. Set for two.
“This is… unexpected.” My mind is filled with possibilities. And even though I came here with the intention of getting his full attention, possibly losing my virginity to him—and even though I’ve talked myself into feeling ready to take on a man like him, both professionally and personally—I am not excited. I am suddenly scared.
There’s not enough people. There’s not enough noise. There’s not enough of anything to make me forget just who I’m having dinner with.
Mr. Romantic. A man accused of raping a woman ten years ago. A man who was not prosecuted for that crime because the woman died before she could testify. A man who might be guilty.
Nolan pulls out a chair and waits for me to sit, sliding it in perfectly the way a gentleman does, before taking his seat across from me. “I like the unexpected, Miss Rockwell. Get used to it.”
I am in way over my head.
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Author Bio:
JA Huss is the 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 blog, New Adult Addiction (www.jahuss.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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Friday, 17 June 2016

COYER Sign Up Post

Goal: 50 Books

Maxon by Christina Bauer

Title: Maxon
Series: Angelbound Offspring (#1)
Author: Christina Bauer
From: Amazon
Release Date: 12th May 2015
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain slight spoilers for the Angelbound Origins series*

Thrax High Prince Maxon is known for his women and for fighting demons, but recently he seems to have lost his lust for battle. Elemental apprentice Lianna has spent her life on the run since she escaped from the demon that kept her prisoner. As soon as the two of them meet something springs up between them. But Zephyr, the Monarkki of Air, is hunting down the other Monarkkis for their power, leaving Maxon and Lianna to face him or lose everything they care about.

Maxon is technically a standalone book, and it happens 19 years after the end of the Angelbound Origins series and focuses on the main characters' (Myla and Lincoln) son, Maxon. However I do think it was better having read the Origins series first, not only because it puts Maxon's demons (aka Armageddon) into context, but it also gives more background for the world in which Maxon and Lianna lived.

As a narrator Maxon did have some traits of Myla, which I definitely liked as it showed the relationship between them. Even before Myla actually turned up in the plot there was little doubt in my mind that the two of them were mother and son. However he did also have his own voice, and as with the other books I did find myself laughing at times.

Lianna was also a narrator and I liked her a lot. She was a strong female character. but she wasn't one of those that insisted on working alone, and she would work with others. She had fighting spirit and it helped a lot with her relationship with Maxon.

The elemental and Monarkki lore was new to the Angelbound universe and I liked the exploration of a new magic system. It was interesting and like nothing else I've ever read about (which is how I like my magic systems!) Maxon also took a step away from Purgatory, and as such gave more information about some of the other Thrax houses.

The relationship between Lianna and Maxon really worked for me. There was plenty of chemistry between the two of them but there was more than that too. There was admiration and respect for what each other could do and at no point did they doubt each other. For me it was truly a partnership.

Maxon did seem to me a little bit more mature than the previous books. Both Lianna and Maxon knew what they wanted and thought about it, and there was some bad language. I certainly didn't mind it as I thought that it showed a maturation of the story.

This was a great read, not that I was expecting any different though!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Wolf's Surrender by Mandy M Roth

Title: Wolf's Surrender
Series: PSI Ops/Shadow Agents (#1)
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 16th June 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain some spoilers for Act of Command, book 4 of PSI Ops, a linked series*

Brad has been in captivity for almost a year being tested on and forced to try and breed with the women also held in captivity, his will power being the only thing stopping it. When part succubus Alice arrives in his facilitty he is driven to protect her despite just having met. When everything kicks off at their facility their only choice is to run and hope no one will follow.

You can read Wolf's Surrender as a standalone, especially as it is the first book in a series, however there is definitely something to be said of reading other books in the Immortal Ops world before (there's also PSI Ops & Immortal Outcasts series). One of the books in the PSI Ops series, Act of Command, has events that run almost parallel to Wolf's Surrender, and I liked the over lapping characters, especially Ezra. I also loved Brad in Act of Command so was happy he got his own story.

It was interesting exploring how Alice's succubus side worked, there was more to it than the standard need sex thing, she was more in control of it than that. She didn't focus on just jumping people's bones, instead she stood up for herself and her principles. I liked having a strong female character in the lead.

There was great chemistry between Brad and Alice, and I liked that he attempted to be a gentleman about it, even when he didn't actually have to be! Even though their relationship was quick (true mate style!) there was a depth to it, as well as sweet moments and a lot of heat.

I loved being back in the Immortal Ops world! It's great returning to characters and a mythology that were familiar!


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher

Title: The Harder He Falls
Series: Kick (#1)
Author: Lynda Aicher
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, LGBT
Release Date: 7th June 2016
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

After a rafting accident that left one person dead and Grady's cousin, Finn, in a coma, Grady has been consumed by guilt. When he visits Finn in hospital he meets Micah, someone who wants to give back to coma patients after being one himself. The instant attraction between them leaves little doubt that they're meant for each other, but both of them have baggage that they need to move past before they can truly move on.

I haven't read many gay romance books, mainly because I'm straight and female so the male/female romance is more relateable for me, as opposed to anything else. However I've read several of Aicher's books before (including one m/m one) and so I knew that I'd enjoy it and be in safe hands.

Compared to the other books of Aicher's that I've read, The Harder He Falls, is BDSM light. One of the major themes is how Grady sees himself and his potential role as a submissive. It's a little flirting with the line really. There are some moments where the two of them dabble but they are just a normal couple for the majority of the book, and they had great chemistry.

Both Grady and Micah had issues that they had to deal with, Grady's past had left him drifting and a little bit trust wary, whereas Micah had medical issues to deal with. The two of them worked well together in a way that negated their weaknesses and it really moved their relationship on.

This was a good read, The romance was basically the same as a m/f one for me, just with the sex cenes being a bit different, but Aicher creates great characters, and it's them that really get into the reader's head!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Title: Dance of Shadows
Series: Dance of Shadows (#1)
Author: Yelena Black
From: My Bookshelf
Genre: Paranormal, Ballet
Release Date: 12th February 2013
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

15 year old Vanessa has just started at an elite ballet school, the same school where her sister disappeared when she was Vanessa's age. While Vanessa doesn't have her sister's passion for ballet, she is talented, and that talent gets her noticed. She, along with her friends, realise that there's something amiss at their school but can't put their fingers on what. Add into that that the school hotty, Zep and the mysterious Justin trying to warn her away.

I'm still not totally sure how I felt about Dance of Shadows. On the one hand I did keep reading til I finished, on the other hand for most of the book I was on a plane without my kindle and with a dead phone, so that doesn't necessarily say that much. I kept being anxious for this book to turn out really good and have a twist, so I couldn't help but be a little disappointed when nothing like that happened.

While it was clear from the prologue that there was something paranormal going on, it took so long to actually kick in in the plot that I found myself hoping the story would go in a more thriller like whodoneit direction. Honestly I think that would have worked out better given the plot line up until then.

The romance between Vanessa and Zep fell a bit flat for me. And not just because I found it a little weird with Vanessa being 15 and him 18 (or at least that seems about right given he was a senior and that was three years above Vanessa). It wasn't so much the age gap as me being suspicious of why he'd want to date someone younger. Add to that they didn't seem to have much chemsitry and it just didn't work for me. The chemistry between Vanessa and Justin was a bit better, but I still didn't 100% buy into it.

The concept itself, when it was revealed in the finale, was interesting and certainly could have been done brilliantly. Unfortunately I didn't feel like the excecution was quite strong enough. It was a real shame, especially as the cover is so pretty! (I'm pretty sure that's why I picked up this book in the first place, as shallow as that sounds.)

Monday, 13 June 2016

Return by JA Huss

Title: Return
Series: I Am Just Junco (#5)
Author: JA Huss
From: Amazon (I Am Not Junco Omnibus)
Genre: Sci-fi
Release Date: 2nd December 2013
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the I Am Just Junco series*

With everything seeing to have gone wrong, the whole plan seems to hang in the balance, and it all relies on Junco carrying out a single order. Tier knows what he has to do, even if it means leaving the one thing he wants behind. Everyone seems to be playing their own game, but Earth's hopes are resting on this plan.

Oh that ending! It was so right. I was welling up at how perfect it was for the characters involved. After everything they'd been through it worked well. I'm honestly not that sure what to write in this review though, because I really don't want to spoil anything!

There were a few moments in the book where I wasn't too sure how it was all going to work out for Junco & co. I knew that it would, but as is Huss' way, there were twists and turns aplenty and things from previous books started to tie together and led towards the finale.

Junco has grown so much as a character over the series. At the beginning I wasn't convinced I even liked her as a person (hats off to Huss on writing her character so well there!) but by Return I loved Junco and was definitely hoping that things would end well for her (and for Tier.)

The romance in I Am Just Junco is only a side plot. But Tier and Junco are defintiely perfect for one another. They're both incrediably loyal, and this book in particular removed any doubts (even if they were small) about how the pair of them felt about each other. However the romance only really played a part as a motivator for them, and wasn't the main push of the story.

Return actually answered some questions about Lucan too, and I liked the way that the Avians own mythology, as well as some elements of Christina mythology, tied together in the story to make it happen. Of course it had the author's own spin on it though!

This is a series you really get sucked into and the characters really grow on you!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Dynasty by J D Wright

Title: Dynasty
Series: Everealm (#5)
Author: JD Wright
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 30th May 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (12 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

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

With the threat of war hanging over them from Sire, the rulars of Everealm, Bree, Tristan and Cassidy, know that they have to take the fight to Silas. But others have their own plan, including Silas' daughter, Dahlia. and soon everything starts pulling together and Everealm could finally be at peace...

It was really weird that I was thinking the other day that I needed an Everealm fix and then Dynasty landed in my inbox (thank you JD Wright!) and of course that meant I needed to read it as soon as possible! Naturally I'm super happy that I did, but gutted the series is over! Though at least there's a linked series still to come!

I liked that there was the most focus on characters we'd already met in Dynasty! There have been a lot of them over the past four books, and it took the time to catch up with them, though luckily they were often in the same place! Some loose ends were tied up and for the most part it focused on the characters happily ever afters! Though I swear I need a family tree to keep track sometimes!

I believe I said it after Aurora, but I absolutely love Sarita and Cassidy's budding relationship. Sarita is her parents daughter (even at about 10 like she is in this book!) and fiersely independent, whereas Cassidy (at 11) is a King in his own right and detetmined to make her his. Except their relationship works in a childlike way, it's less about the romance and more about the bickering and the challenge. Even though they're living in an adult world, particularly in Cassidy's case, you can't forget that they're children and that's something not many authors seem to be able to capture sometimes.

I love how the couples in this series don't always have perfect relationships! Whereas Rowan and Bree's relationship had calmed somewhat, there were still disagreements from some of the others, but it just made their relationships seem more real.

There was also a great set up for the next series, and Sarita's role in it, which I'm definitely looking forward to! I'm already missing Everealm though!


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Flintlock by Ashley Nixon

Title: Flintlock
Series: Cutlass (#2)
Author: Ashley Nixon
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 26th April 2015
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for Cutlass*

With his uncle the King having revealed his true colours, pirate Barren Reed wants to protect the Orient from him. But there is dark magic afoot and he has to carry secrets close to his chest, not even revealing them to Larkin, the woman he loves. As political players change and true colours are shown, Barren, Larkin and the rest of the crew have to constantly watch their backs...

Well that was a rollarcoaster and a half! Not even too sure where to start on downloading my thoughts! Flintlock was even more action packed than Cutlass was and definitely upped the ante in the fantasy department. The books definitely aren't stand alone, and though there are refreshers of the previous book's plot scattered around (as needed!) I think you definitely need to start this series at the beginning.

In the months since the first book the relationship between Larkin and Barren seemed to have evened out (without either of them losing any of who they were). They became a good team for the most part. But as the book progressed the two of them stuck to doing what they thought was right, even if that meant keeping secrets from the other and even doing things that could look bad. Ito worked to move the story along at a good pace as well as giving their characters more depth.

The back story of Barren's father (as well as Larkin's father and some of the other older characters) got more fleshed out in Flintlock, as did the lore surrounding the Lyrics (Elves with magic). It really added to the world that the book was set in and made reading such an immersive experience.

The main cast of characters didn't expand much, which I liked (though there were some new ones!). It meant that the reader spent the time getting to know the people who'd already been introduced better. Of the new characters, Sara is definitely my favourite, she's the right combination of woman and bravery (in a completely different way to Larkin!)

After all the twists and turns of book one I should really have expected some of the plot twists in Flintlock, and yet Nixon still took me by surprise on more than one occassion! Definitely a series worth reading so far!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Perfect State
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi
Release Date: 31st March 2015
Challenges: 2016 Read the Books You Buy
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

In a world where each person is nothing more than a brain in a tank and living their own virtual reality, Kai is a God-Emperor for his land, and he is mostly at peace, having unified the kingdoms and started unraveling the magic of his world. Except that his nemisis is trying to invade again, and the Wode, who control his existance, require him to go on a date. Not wanting to conform too much, Kai picks the woman from the bottom of the list; Sophie. But she's a rular to her own world just as much as Kai is to his...

As I may have stated on multiple occassions...I love Brandon Sanderson books. This is only a short read, but it has all the hallmarks of a Sanderson classic. While Kai's magic system, "Lancing" is only touched upon a little bit, it comes across as unique and I really want to know more about it. What works best though is the way that the genres are seamlessly crossed.

It was hard to pick out a genre for this one originally, mainly because there are strong elements of both fantasy and science fiction. The various worlds spoken about, and even most of the characters, are created by code (which is revealed very early on so is in no way a spoiler!) and it worked well with the fantasy elements.

The cast of characters was small, as was necessary in something this length. I loved the interactions between Kai and Sophie, I felt that though they were opposites in a lot of ways, they brought up good points with their conversation and it did flow smoothly.

Now there was a twist in Perfect State and I didn't see it coming at all! But this was a great short read, especially if you're a fantasy/sci-fi fan!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Armageddon by Christina Bauer

Title: Armageddon
Series: Angelbound Origins (#3)
Author: Christina Bauer
From: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 14th October 2014
Challenges: 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

*May contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

Years have passed since Myla banished Armageddon back to Hell, and life has been going pretty smoothly since then. Now married, Myla and Lincoln are King and Queen of Antrum, as well as Myla being the Great Scala and being parents to a supernatural 3 year old, Maxon. But when a threat to Maxon is revealed, Myla and Lincoln have to face hell itself to get him back, and they will stop at nothing for their little boy.

Wow...I mean this series was great already, but Armageddon was such a great addition to the series (and it's even better because I just discovered there's another book coming that takes place between book 2 and this one!) It's set years after the end of book 2 which meant that the realms could have moved on in some ways and become more at peace, which helped for the plotline of the book.

Myla herself had definitely matured. She was still sassy and had the same amount of spunk as she did in the previous books, but her priorities had shifted slightly. There was less of the relationship with her Mom and her best friend, because her main focus was on her own family; Lincoln and Maxon. The Mommy-gene that she kept referring to worked brilliantly too. At no point did she forget that she was a mother, and to her it was one of the most important things, and I definitely liked that.

Lincoln had also matured, but just like Myla he was the same character as he'd always been and that helped progress the story. And little Maxon! He was unbelievably sweet. (tail-snuggles is just the cutest thing!) I can't imagine a reader not loving him. He was the perfect mix of a future leader and fearless boy, as well as having the softer and more scared side of him.

There were some new characters added into the mix too. I liked what I saw of Hildy, and hope that there is more of her in the other Angelbound books, I also hope she gets a good ending because it doesn't sound like she's had a good beginning. There was also Anubis and Nefer, whose story was wound into the existing mythology really well.

I already liked the way that Bauer represented the different realms, including Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. For the most part the mythology seemed to be based on Christian beliefs, but there are other systems involved, and it all wove together to create a rich and believable world.

Basically I loved this, not that there was any doubt that I would! And I'm really looking forward to more from Bauer (which is good considering there's the Angelbound Offspring books too!)