These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Girl of Blood

Girl of Blood Girl of Blood by Norma Hinkens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Girl of Fire was a wonderful read, introducing us to the Expulsion Project and leaving us wanting more. Girl of Stone was a fun read, working to answer plenty of our questions whilst leaving us excited for the final book. Girl of Blood brings the trilogy together so well, offering a conclusion that will please the fans of the series.

From the first book, I’ve adored the cast of this series and couldn’t wait to see how their stories progressed in this one. Bringing together all the characters we have got to know so well throughout the series, we get to see as our favourites are put through some difficult situations as they attempt to make everything right once again. Throughout, we have our emotions pulled, leaving us unsure as to whether all the characters will make it through the story, forcing us to feel a range of emotions.

The situations and events vary so much, with a lot happening in this one. We deal with so many different aspects, bringing together all the different elements of the overall story along with giving us a few new things to worry about. In many ways, it’s like travelling back through the series – we revisit so many people and places, allowing us a glance at the things we loved in the prior books, giving us the answers we require as we work our way through space.

Both the expected and the unexpected occurred within this one, taking us on a wild ride throughout. Honestly, I could sit and explain all the details of this book that I loved so much, but to do so would be to give far too many spoilers. Just know the story is non-stop, we experience so much, and it is a wonderful end to the trilogy.

Although this brought everything together so nicely, I am sad to see the characters go. I would not be opposed to short stories or spinoff series telling the tales of the characters in the future, as I really did become so invested in all their lives.

Without a doubt, a great trilogy. I cannot wait to see what Norma Hinkens brings us next.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: Lair

Lair Lair by James Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been excited about reading The Rat series for quite some time, and although I wasn’t crazy about the first book, I was eager to dive into Lair. Personally, I enjoyed Lair a lot more than I enjoyed The Rats.

Lair takes place a few years after The Rats, dropping us back into the wonderful horror of the monstrous creatures. It takes all the creepy aspects of the first book and amplifies them, taking what we were introduced to in the first book and making it even creepier. It is more than just the overgrown rats in this story, as the mutation we were introduced to at the end of The Rats also plays a role in this story. As I said, the horror is amped up in this one.

With a new set of characters and a new location, we're quickly pulled into this story. I feel as though Lair had a bit more depth to it than the first book - whilst the first book had all the creep I could desire, I failed to connect with the characters and events. It was different with Lair, and I found myself falling deeper into the story.

I think a large part of it was that I enjoyed these characters more than I enjoyed the characters from the first book. Whilst we do have one character from the prior book in this one, and references are made to the events of book one, it was nice to be introduced to a fresh cast. It was only a little thing, but I do believe it played a big part in my enjoyment.

Overall, I enjoyed Lair a lot more than I enjoyed The Rats. I was eager to dive into Lair because of a curiosity as to what came next, whereas my eagerness to dive into Domain is based upon an investment in the story.

A great look back at the peak time of horror, and a great example of what James Herbert's capabilities as a horror writer.

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Review: Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart

Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart by Tammy Andresen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My introduction to the Taming the Heart series came from book two, and I quickly worked my way through the rest of the series whenever the chance came about. Despite moving forward with the storyline, I never did work my way back to book one. I kept telling myself to, yet my long to-read list meant it remained a long way off. Fortunately, I have amended my error – I’ve now gone back and read book one and confirm it was a solid read.

Each book in the Taming the Heart series tells the story of a different couple, yet they are all linked through the characters. Links exist in the form of friendships, allowing us to follow the characters. In Taming a Duke’s Wild Rose, I was introduced to Piper and Barrett and quickly found myself interested in finding out more. Throughout the rest of the series – Taming a Laird’s Wild Lady, Taming a Rake into a Lord, Taming a Savage Gentleman, and Taming a Rogue Earl – I got to see more and more of them, getting to watch their relationship develop. Still, I had not read the story of how they came together.

You can imagine I entered this story with some pretty big expectations due to this. I’d read the next five books, constantly being shown snippets of their life. I had some pretty high standards for this story, and a part of me feared it wouldn’t live up. It’s not that I doubted Tammy Andresen – having enjoyed the five other books, I knew I would enjoy this one – it’s simply that I had created so many possibilities in my mind.

Fortunately, this one more than delivered.

Taming a Duke’s Reckless Heart was exactly what I hoped for from Piper and Barrett’s story. For anyone who has yet to read the series, this is a wonderful introduction of what to expect; as someone who has already read the rest of the series this was a wonderful dive into the past. It had all I had hoped for – the romance, the drama, and the great characters.

Whilst it is not my favourite book in the series, it’s certainly in my top three. Being slightly longer than some of the later books happen to be, this one digs deep into the drama surrounding Piper and Barrett’s love story. There is plenty to keep us entertained throughout, though, leaving you more than willing to finish this one in a single sitting. From the very start, their story pulls us in, leaving us wanting more, and unwilling to turn away until we know how everything plays out.

A wonderful read, more than worth it for anyone who enjoys historical romance. It’s a series I’d recommend for any such fans, with this book being a wonderful gateway drug into the stories.

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Review: Prescription For Love

Prescription For Love Prescription For Love by Zee Monodee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earlier this year I read Zee Monodee’s Edge of Danger, and found it to be a wonderful read. I wanted more of the author’s work. Initially, I’d planned to dive into the rest of the Corpus Agency series; however, when the chance came to read Prescription for Love I was happy to dive in.

Prescription for Love is the first book in the Destiny’s Child series. These are standalone stories where a child brings together two characters. I’m always tentative about such reads – aware such books will fall on one extreme end of the spectrum, whereby I will adore the child or I will feel as though they’re nothing more than a forced element of the story – but I found Prescription for Love to be an enjoyable read.

I’ll be completely honesty by saying I wasn’t completely won over at first. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I wasn’t pulled into the story for a couple of chapters. I was interested in a number of elements, but I wasn’t pulled under the spell. I cannot pinpoint when this changed, but it wasn’t long before I found myself lost in the story. It won me over and I found it to be a story I could not put down – I was pulled into the lives of the characters, I was pulled into the romance, and so many events had me wanting more.

Without a doubt, it’s a wonderful romance that will quickly win you over. Going back to my statement about the use of children in books, I enjoyed the way this one dealt with an older child than I’m accustomed to in such stories. Often the children are really young, but this time the child character is on the edge of those dreaded teenage years – it added a different kind of drama, and I really liked this.

In addition to the drama added through the child character, there is plenty of other drama thrown in. It’s a somewhat quick read, but there is plenty thrown in throughout. Numerous elements that throw a wrench into the works, things that will leave you questioning whether or not the happily ever after will work out – and if it does, you cannot wait to see how they reach the point of such happiness.

Without a doubt, this was another great Zee Monodee read. Edge of Danger left me with the desire to read more, and Prescription for Love has left me certain I will be reading yet more of the author’s work.

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Review: Season of Atchem

Season of Atchem Season of Atchem by Jennifer Arntson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Season of Atchem is the first book in Jennifer Arntson’s Scavenger Girl series, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book. This first one has pulled me completely into the world, leaving me super excited to find out what comes next in this wonderful story.

Whilst the book is labelled as young adult fantasy, I believe such a thing does the book a real injustice. It is so much more than your standard young adult fantasy novel, offering more depth than you tend to see. This is not an attack on other young adult fantasy novels – I’m a big fan of the genre and am well aware of the many wonderful reads that can be found – but many of my recent young adult fantasy reads do pale in comparison to this one. In many ways, I feel as though this book is closer to adult fantasy. It’s the age of the main character that has given it the young adult label, when in reality it is a much more mature read. I do not mean this in the sense of the book having numerous explicit scenes to bump it into new adult or adult, as seems to be the trend in young adult fantasy as of late, rather I feel as though the depth and the messages sent are more in line with a more mature reader. Young adults can certainly enjoy it, yet the older readers should not shy away due to the young adult label.

What we’re given is a fabulous story, with so many layers and so much hidden depth. I could go on and on about each of the different elements, writing an extremely lengthy review that covers every single tiny details, but to do such a thing will fail to convey the wonderful way in which all the different elements of this story interact.

We’re given a new world to deal with, a rather dystopian society. As the story progresses, we get to see more and more about the world. Although we only get to see a small snippet of the entire world, we get to experience so much in this one. Moreover, there is so much promise about what we’ll get to see in the future books. I feel as though a lot of the things we were introduced to in this one will become more prevalent in the future books, and that we’ll get to experience so much more than we did in this first book.

We’re given a wonderful cast, multidimensional characters. At first, I was unsure about some of the characters, feeling as though they existed merely to add a certain element to the story, but as things move forward all of the characters grow and develop. Everyone had a role to play, everyone was important. Love or hate a character, you will come to enjoy the interactions. Not to mention, there are plenty of unknowns left at the end – things you’ll believe about characters but will be unsure about, things you’ll want to see, things you’ll hope will be avoided, and so much more.

Holding the world and cast together is a gripping storyline that introduces you to so much. It is clear this book is the first in the series, as there are many things introduced in this one. When so much is happening in a story, sometimes things can become a bit confusing – but such is not the case here. Everything flows so well, details being introduced and merging with what we already know. There are so many different elements to this story, guaranteeing something will pull you in.

My only disappointment was that I wanted a little bit more action. As I stated, this is the first book in the series and it does a lot of introducing, yet I feel as though it overshadowed the potential for action. There were many twists thrown in, lots of things are given, and I hope this means we’ll get even more action in the future books. This, of course, is just a personal preference – it’s a brilliant book without the action, yet I’m somewhat biased towards the action sequences.

Overall, this was a wonderful read. It is a brilliant debut book, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. It’s certainly a book that people need to pick up, a series I need to follow.

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Review: To Prevent World Peace

To Prevent World Peace To Prevent World Peace by Emily Martha Sorensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To Prevent World Peace is the first book in Emily Martha Sorensen’s Magical Mayhem series. It’s an extremely short read, one you can complete in under an hour, but it will leave you interested in finding out more.

For me, I felt as though this had an anime feel about it. It was as though I was reading an anime rather than watching it, noticing quite a few of the elements of high school magical girl anime within this novel. Without a doubt, it’s certainly something that will interest people who enjoy such anime – it’s short and sweet, straight to the point, pulling you in as it leaves you wanting more.

Although it is an extremely short read, we get plenty of information across the four chapters to have a general understanding of the world and what is to come in the future books. Ideas will form in your mind, but you will be left unsure as to what will actually happen. It certainly leaves you wanting to dive straight into the next story, curious as to what will come next.

The only thing that prevented me from truly enjoying it was something that is a personal preference of my own. I prefer to understand magical worlds and systems, and with this one we’re simply thrown into it. There were some comments made to give us a bit of an understanding, but I’m hoping these details will be explained in the future stories. Certainly, for a story of this length, I can understand why the details weren’t given in great depth – and, as I said, it’s mostly just a personal preference of mine anyway.

Overall, this was a nice little read to pass a short time period. It’ll leave you excited to jump into the next story, curious for what comes next.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Review: Saving Brad

Saving Brad Saving Brad by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, time to confess, Siobhan Davis won me over: I am a Brad fan now.

Saving Brad is the fifth book in the Kennedy Boys series, and the second book to work as a standalone novel. As with the prior book, Loving Kalvin, I do believe it works best if you read the Kyler books prior to reading this one. In fact, I’m of the belief each and every book in this series needs to be read for the best experience. Whilst each relationship arc is wonderful alone, there are snippets seen throughout all the books. We get ideas of what is to come for the relationships in future books, we get to see how relationships from the prior books have developed, and these things work to make the standalone books all the stronger.

That being said, the Kyler books will not be for everyone. I completely understand why some people will enter on one of the standalone novels. However, for those to be following the series, this book will work to make a lot of fans happy. As my starting line stated – I’m now a Brad fan. Brad is one of the favourite characters in the series, and I believe the high demand for his story worked towards it being published early into the series, yet I was never a fan. It’s probably one of the most unpopular opinions surround Siobhan Davis, and yet I could never bring myself to like him all that much. His story intrigued me, I cannot deny that, but I never really liked him.

As you can see, things changed in this one. I went in tentative about it being Brad’s story, yet the snapshot we were given at the end of Loving Kalvin had me eager. It was a complex mix of emotions. So much excitement, yet it was somewhat reserved compared to my excitement for the other books. The more negative emotions, however, were quickly pushed away. Siobhan Davis pulled her usual trick – she hooked me early, and I found myself unable to put the book down. The characters, the events, the drama – the entire story – managed to dig deep into my very being and I could not put the book down.

Loving Kalvin was an emotional read on a number of levels, yet it pales in comparison to Saving Brad. They’re both deeply emotional in many ways, yet the situations dealt with in Saving Brad are much heavier. From the moment we were introduced to Racheal I had a few ideas about how her story would play out – things she said, things she had done, had me believing certain secrets would one day come to the forefront. When I found out she was to be the leading lady in Brad’s story, I wasn’t at all surprised when the synopsis pretty much confirmed my belief. Nevertheless, I was waiting on the specifics of the situation. Very quickly, we get to see how Racheal has a dark past and secrets that will rip anyone apart. I worked out the specifics of the situation quite early, but that failed to lessen the impact when the reveal came about – it was dark, it was emotional, and it worked so well in this story. There have been hints of darkness throughout all the books in this series, but I believe this one to deal with the darkest of issues. In other words, it is not a story for the faint of hearts. It will be a trigger for some, and it will leave emotional scars.

Whilst Racheal’s story is the darker element, Brad’s story is also highly emotional. As I’ve stated, his story has interested me throughout the series. I’m so glad we finally got to see how everything came together in that regard. It was emotional in completely different ways, working to pull your emotions in so many directions as each element of the story was presented. A lot of Brad’s story works to add the lighter tone to the story. There are still many dark moments to be found, but a lot of the elements are in the classical Kennedy drama sense.

As for the relationship between the two of them, I came to ship it more than I’d expected. They played off of each other so well, their different personalities and individual stories making for an explosive read. Alone they were both characters I was never crazy about – together, I lost myself in their story. It hit me hard in so many places, and it left me emotionally raw by the time I was done.

There were two things I wasn’t crazy about, if I’m honest, but I realise these things are a personal preference.

The first is some of the choices made by certain members of the Kennedy family. I’m really not going to say too much, due to spoilers, but certain things felt like a bit too much. When we return to the Kennedy home, I found myself surprised by the turn of events. I understand the choice, but it felt a bit too much to me – I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. I understood, but it felt too much. The other is something to do with a reveal made by one of the characters towards the end of the book. Again, it was something I understood, but I wasn’t sure if I felt it was the right choice – at first I thought it was just the shock, but as I thought about it, I felt it jarred slightly with the image I had of the character. Both of these are things I can understand, I can rationalise the choices, but I felt as though it wasn’t what I ever expected to see of the family.

The other thing I wasn’t overly crazy about was the ending. Whilst there was closure, I felt as though things happened rather suddenly. I’m not going to go into detail, and I know why things played out the way they did, but I’m not sure if I was completely happy. To me, the latter part of the book had an almost romantic suspense feel about it. I love a good romantic suspense, and I set my bar rather high. I know this wasn’t a romantic suspense book, but the way elements towards the end slipped in that direction meant my expectation towards the ended was lifted. It did have the emotional impact of the rest of the book, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat as action sequences of this sort usually leave me. I’m not quite sure what it was, but it hit me emotionally yet it failed to get my heart pumping.

Overall, however, I loved this one. I’m both surprised and glad that Siobhan Davis managed to win me over when it comes to Brad, as I honestly wasn’t sure whether it would be possible. Siobhan Davis managed it though, and I’m grateful. He may never be my number one favourite character in this series, but I’m certainly a bigger fan that I was prior to this one.

As a final note, I’m even more excited for the future books now. I’ve been a big Keven fan from early in the series and he completely stole my heart in this one – the sooner I get my hands on his story, the happier I will be. Honestly, he was a total babe in this one – my love for him has only grown. The snippet provided into Kaden at the end of this one has left me excited for his story also – I feel as though we’re going to get a Siobhan Davis spin on another popular trope, and I cannot wait for it.

Bring on the future Kennedy Boys!

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