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.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Review: The Game of Lives

The Game of Lives The Game of Lives by James Dashner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When everyone was crazy about young adult dystopian novels, I decided to jump into James Dashner’s The Maze Runner series. If the truth is to be known, it’s my least favourite of the popular young adult dystopian trilogies. I like to think I’m a pretty nice reader, in that I give authors multiple chances before I decide they are not for me. Sometimes I’m surprised and realise it’s just a single series by the author that is not for me, other times I am shown it is the author who is not for me.

James Dashner seems to fall into the latter category. As my second chance to James Dashner, I decided to grab The Mortality Doctrine trilogy – it seemed interesting enough, offering something different to The Maze Runner series – yet the first book did little to win me over. The second book also failed to win me over. This third book confirmed what I’d already come to believe – The Mortality Doctrine was less enjoyable than The Maze Runner series.

The Mortality Doctrine is a series that seems interesting enough on the surface, but once you get into it you start to realise it isn’t quite all it could be. The Eye of Minds and The Rules of Thoughts failed to suck me in, but I did see where things could have been taken further. I held out hope The Game of Lives would be the book to finally take things that little bit further, but it wasn’t to be. In fact, I wanted to be generous and round this one up to a three-star rating, yet the fact I was never as invested as I could have been made it impossible for me to do such a thing – I kept waiting, hoping, for that little bit more, and it never did arrive.

The first book, at least, had a twist to the end of it that evoked a small emotional response from me – even if it was just anger for failing to notice the twist earlier – yet this final book failed to evoke any kind of response from me. Even things that should have raised something within me failed to do so. I think, by this point, I just wanted to see how it ended – Google would have worked just as well as reading the novel, if I’m honest.

At this point, having given two Dashner series a read, it is safe to say James Dashner is not an author for me and I will not be reading more of his work in the future.

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Review: My Duke's Deception

My Duke's Deception My Duke's Deception by Tammy Andresen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been hooked to Tammy Andresen since my first read by the author, and every chance I get to pick up another of her books I do. The majority of the Tammy Andresen books I have read are her historical romance books, yet recently I was introduced to the author’s young adult work. As excited as I am for the next book in Tammy Andresen’s young adult series, I couldn’t help but be excited to dive into My Duke’s Deception when it appeared on my Kindle.

Earlier this year, Tammy Andresen kicked off the Wicked Earls’ Club – twelve novellas by twelve different authors, with Tammy Andresen setting the bar high with her Earl of Sussex. My interest in the series was high, but even higher was my interest upon getting the news of a Tammy Andresen spinoff series – the Wicked Lords of London series. My Duke’s Seduction was the introduction, and it was a wonderful read – thus, my eagerness for My Duke’s Deception.

Know you do not need to have read either of the aforementioned books to enjoy My Duke’s Deception – it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel. We get to see characters from both Earl of Sussex and My Duke’s Seduction, but you do not need to know their stories to appreciate the role they play in this story. I would recommend reading them, though – it’ll give you a bit more understanding, and they’re great reads.

I always enjoy Tammy Andresen’s couples, she makes such great characters, but I think the couple in My Duke’s Deception are one of the best matched. Their development across the story is certainly one of my favourites from the author, sucking me in from the very start and guaranteeing I would fall in love with them.

As always, My Duke’s Deception is a quick and enjoyable read, offering what Tammy Andresen does best. You’re thrown into the past, you’re sucked into the romance, you’re pulled into the storyline, and everything will leave you wanting more. With drama, a bit of heat, amazing characters, a great storyline, and lots of other goodies, you’ll be unable to put the story down.

There is no doubt about it, Tammy Andresen has given another great historical romance with My Duke’s Deception. Not to mention, as always, Tammy Andresen has left me more than ready for the next book in the series. Bring on the third Wicked Lords of London book.

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Review: Romancing the Werewolf

Romancing the Werewolf Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fans of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series have been waiting for one story to play out for a very long time. With the glimpses given in The Custard Protocol, we only grew more desperate. Finally, the second of the novellas in the Supernatural Society series have given us what we have all be waiting for. You guessed it – we finally got our Lyall and Biffy story.

I doubt I need to explain how excited I’ve been waiting to grab this one. I know I’m not alone in shipping the werewolves. In fact, I’m sure if you asked any Gail Carriger fan what story they were most excited for they would respond with Romancing the Werewolf. There’s been so much build up for this one, it feels as though we’ve been waiting an eternity. To finally dive into it – well, it made me a very happy fan indeed.

Although I did enjoy this one, I will say I was a little bit let down by it. It was enjoyable, I cannot deny that, but I had been expecting a wee bit more from it. I think I’d hyped it up so much in my mind that I was never going to be as happy with it as I was expecting. If I’m being brutally honest, this one wasn’t quite a full four-star rating. However, it was so close I had to round it up – as I said, I think part of my disappointment was through building it up so much in my mind.

One thing you should know before going into this is that despite being labelled as a standalone novel, you will not understand a lot of the references unless you’re up to date with the Parasol Protectorate universe. You can dive into this one if you like, but I thought I would warn you – there are plenty of references to other events, things are built upon what we have already come to know throughout the books in the universe.

The story itself, has a solid start and end point, though. It gives us an entertaining story, one that sucks you into the universe and gives you an entertaining tale. I feel as though the romance took a backseat, though. I went in expecting a story of feels for Lyall and Biffy, yet their romance seemed to take a backseat to the mystery that occurred throughout. I cannot deny that it was an interesting little mystery, but I had been wanting more of the romance between the duo.

Overall, this was an enjoyable little tale to give fans more of the characters they love, but it wasn’t quite all I had been hoping for. Nevertheless, it had all you can expect from Gail Carriger – great characters, a bit of romance, steampunk London, a unique insight into the supernatural, and plenty of humour.

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Review: The Tattooed Heart

The Tattooed Heart The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Grant is an author who has caught my attention on many occasions. More than one of his series have whispered a ‘read me’ in the book store, yet I always found my attention pulled elsewhere. With how big a fan base Michael Grant has, however, I decided it was finally time for me to dive into his work. Thus, when I saw the two Messenger of Fear novels on offer, I decided to take the leap.

The first book, Messenger of Fear, was a decent enough read. I gave it a three-star rating, but in reality it was more of a three-point-five-star read. It kept my attention, it had me powering through the book in a single sitting, and I was left wanting more – proving it was not a bad book. My feelings towards The Tattooed Heart are pretty similar – in the same way book one was a rounded down rating, so too was book two.

As with the first book, The Tattooed Heart was a book I managed to work through much quicker than I’d expected. It took me slightly longer to read this one, but it was still an easy book to work through. Like book one, a part of this is how easily the book sucks you in – once you get going you find yourself turning page after page, working your way through the book at a rapid pace to see how things end.

Similar to the first book, however, I had to round this one down due to a lack of depth. There was more depth to this story than the first book, yet I was left with far too many questions by the end. The story seemed to focus upon certain elements, introducing other things and never explaining them in full. In many ways, it felt as though this book was an introduction for further books in the series, yet as far as I’m aware this is to remain a duology. What I really would have liked is another book that tied up all the loose ends I have, that finally explained those elements of the world building that were introduced but never taken as far as they could have been.

Overall, this was an enjoyable second book. There were too many open questions for me to be truly content, but it was a fun book to keep me entertained for a while.

There is no doubt I can see why Michael Grant has such a large fan base, and I’ll certainly be more willing to pick up his books in the future. I’m not going to go out of my way to do so, but I’ll certainly be considering his books more often.

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Cover Reveal: Playing for Keeps.




Title: Playing for Keeps
Series: Indianapolis Eagles #3
Author: Samantha Lind
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Cover Design: Juliana Cabrera, Jersey Girl Design
Photo: Shauna Kruse, Kruse Images & Photography
Models: Gina & Blake Sevani
Release Date: June 14, 2018



Blurb

Friends with benefits—it never works. Someone always ends up wanting more.

What happens when both want more, but neither will tell the other?

Richard Murphy has been in the NHL for fifteen years, playing the game he loves. But with retirement looming in the next few years, he’s ready to settle down and start a family. There’s only one woman he wants that with, but she’s put him firmly into the friends—with benefits—category. Can he change her mind and heart, and prove to her he’s playing for keeps?

Madison O’Neal has been a lover of sports since she was young. She and her dad bonded over them, both during and after her mother lost her battle with breast cancer. Her love of sports led to a successful career as a sports agent. As much as she loves her job, what she really wants is a family—and someone to call her own. But the one man she’s head-over-heels in love with has her in the friends—with incredible benefits—category.

Can Madison and Richard find their way through the murky waters of friendship and become the lovers they secretly want to be?







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Author Bio

Samantha Lind is a contemporary romance author. Having spent the first 27 years of her life in Alaska, she now calls Iowa home where she lives with her husband and two sons. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, watching hockey, and listening to country music. 


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Release Blitz: Brute.




Title: Brute
Author: SC Daiko
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 24, 2018



Blurb

Daniel Collins… hunky single dad… and my neighbor.
Arrogant, bad-mannered, and reclusive.
They call him the Brute.

I should stay away from him… except I can’t.

Not when he reveals his brokenness,
and I glimpse the pain in his eyes.
Not when his touch unravels me,
and the heat between us could set the oceans alight.

But play with fire, and you will get burned.

A fragile heart can easily be broken again.

**

A new standalone contemporary romance from award-winning international bestselling author SC Daiko, a beautiful love story with plenty of heat and angst. 








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Excerpt

My cottage backs onto woodland, and there’s a path leading through it. Birdsong and the scent of blackberries fills the air. I let Toby off his leash and he immediately starts foraging for anything edible… wild fruit being his favourite snack.
I leave him to it and stride on ahead, knowing he’ll catch up in good time. Soon I come to a glade where the trees have been thinned out. Oh shit, standing in the middle of the clearing is Daniel. He’s bare-chested and dressed in running shorts, doing stretching exercises braced against a fallen tree trunk.
I slow my footsteps, treading quietly on mouldy old leaves, and rake my gaze over him. His thick almost-black hair is dripping sweat; it falls down his face and the back of his solid neck. His beard is unkept and wild-looking. But it’s his powerful body that mesmerises me and I study the tats on his muscular arms, tempted to get closer for a better look. God, he’s beautiful, I suddenly realise. Beautiful but freaking scary at the same time.
I release a slow breath. Stop it, Cat. You shouldn’t be looking at him that way. The man in front of you is a brute. You need to keep your distance from him.
Slowly, my heart pounding against my ribcage, I turn around and prepare to make my way back down the path. Except, Toby comes bounding up and starts to bark.
Dammit!
Daniel freezes on the spot. His eyes crash into mine, and if I was scared before now I’m practically peeing myself. He straightens himself to his full height, still glaring at me, not saying a word.
Toby keeps barking, but he’s also wagging his tail. I grab hold of his collar and fasten the lead. “Sorry to disturb you.” I bite at my lips. “We’ll get out of your way.”
He arches an eyebrow. “So, you weren’t following me?”
“Oh, God, no. We were just going for a walk.”
I’m still staring at his tats, trying to decipher the intricate patterns. He catches my gaze, and I feel my face burning up.
“Get on with your walk, then,” he says through gritted teeth. “Leave me alone.”
My fingernails dig into the palms of my hands. “No need to be bad-mannered.”
He crosses his arms in front of his broad chest and lets out an edgy laugh.
“You are a prick,” I spin around, “the rudest man I’ve ever met.”
He laughs again and keeps laughing mockingly as I stride off down the pathway, Toby at my heel.





Author Bio

SC Daiko, aka Siobhan (pronounced Shivawn), is an award-winning, international bestselling contemporary romance author. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Italy with her husband and two cats.


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Release Blitz: Whatever It Takes.





Title: Whatever it Takes
Series: Healing Hearts #3
Author: Laura Farr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2018


Blurb

When Quinn Montgomery leaves the horrors of her past behind her, she never expects to run straight into the arms of a blue-eyed cowboy. Sneaking into the stables and getting caught in a life-threatening fire was never part of the plan. And neither was falling in love with the man who saved her life, Brody Parker. 

The two share an undeniable connection, and slowly Quinn begins to open up about her past. Putting her trust in the wrong person has burned her before, so when Brody asks her to stay at the ranch, she can't help but wonder if she’s about to make another bad decision by staying. A decision that could hurt everyone she’s come to care for. 

Will Quinn choose to run from the past that threatens to catch up with her? Or will she stay and fight, sacrificing whatever it takes for the man who sets her heart on fire?







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Laura Farr lives in Shropshire with her husband and two children. When she isn’t working, or being a Mummy she is pursuing her dream of writing. 

She is a romantic at heart and loves nothing more than writing stories with a happy ever after, even if there is the odd chapter of angst thrown in! Her desire to write came from her love of reading and when she isn’t writing you will find her attached to her kindle or spending time with her family.


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