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.
Sunday, 30 April 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Any Day Now is the second book in Robyn Carr’s Sullivan’s Crossing series, although it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel. I, personally, read it as a standalone novel, and whilst I now wish to go and read the first book in the series, the desire to read the first book is because I want to know more about the series and not because of a lack of understanding. Basically, my reasons for a desire to read book one, is because I fell in love with all of the characters, and I wish to know the story that resulted in the beautiful connection I saw between the characters in this story.
I’ll admit that it took me a while to fall in love with Any Day Now. For the first couple of chapters I had a feeling of ‘okay’, there was nothing overly dramatic in terms of how I felt towards it. Once I was part way through the story, though, I finally fell into the book. I fell in love with the characters, and as more was added to the story I found there was even more for me to love about it. By the time I was halfway through, I’d fallen in love with the characters and I had a clear indication of where the story was to go – I knew there would be some kind of action towards the end, I knew there would be events that would leave me completely engrossed in the story.
Throughout, I found the characters to be wonderfully realistic. They all have their own problems, their own baggage, and their own issues to bring to the story; yet, despite this, they have their positive traits too. The same in true for the relationships that are seen throughout – there was ups and downs, highs and lows, along with everything else you need to create a story that is both addictive and true to life. Moreover, I found the specific issues dealt with in this story to have been treated wonderfully. There were emotions attached and yet we did not get pulled down by them – there was feeling and a determination for the story to move forward. It wasn’t simply that life moved our characters forward; rather, they developed and overcame the issues they had faced in their lives.
The only thing that disappointed me somewhat was how quickly the action at the end of the book was over. We spent so much of the book with development and build up, that I had anticipated something a little bit more from the end. I enjoyed it, yes, but it wasn’t quite at the same kind of kick that I experienced from the deeply emotional way in which all the other aspects of the book was written. The emotion was still there, I cannot deny that, but it didn’t hit me in quite the same manner as I had hoped it would.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this one and I’ll certainly need to look into getting my hands on the first book in the series.
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Sneak PeekBy the end of Farren’s second week, she had just about gotten the hang of things. She’d had some opportunities to show Rayner a little of what she was capable of, and from what she could tell, he liked what he saw. She got the impression that he hadn’t thought she would know what she was doing, and had been surprised to discover she was quite capable. “You surprise me, Miss Fields,” he told her that Friday evening as she was packing her things to leave for the night. “I do?” she asked, stopping what she was doing to look up at him. She noticed he had taken his glasses off, and she had an unobstructed view of his eyes, which was a rare occurrence. The scar that divided his left eyebrow caught her eye again, and she vowed someday to ask him how he’d gotten it. “You do. I had my doubts, but you’ve exceeded my expectations and proven yourself at every turn so far.” He stood in her doorway leading to the hall, waiting for her to follow so they could walk out together. They had stayed late that evening putting the finishing touches on a program design. “I don’t get why it’s so surprising. I’ve been studying computer technology since before I was even in high school. It’s just what I’ve always done, what I’ve always known.” My escape, she added silently. “Maybe. You just don’t strike me as the typical computer geek,” he admitted. “What does that mean?” she cried defensively. She thought she knew what, but part of her wanted to hear him say it. He stopped at the front exit with his hand on the door handle, but didn’t push it open yet. Instead, he angled around to face her and replied, “You’re much prettier than any computer geek I’ve ever met.” That shut her up for a moment. She stood, frozen in his glare, surprised by the candid response. Was he just being nice? She wasn’t sure, but the way he was looking at her wasn’t helping. She lowered her gaze from his eyes to his lips, and she wanted to reach up and brush her fingers across the barely noticeable scar there. She was close enough to, and something in the way he looked at her acted as a magnet, an invisible pull that called to her, beckoned her to come closer, to touch him. “I… guess I could say the same for you.” Shit! She just admitted he was much prettier than any computer geek she had ever met. “That you don’t strike me as the typical computer geek, I mean,” she corrected. He smiled. His arm lifted to touch the smooth, bare skin of her neck, and his thumb brushed the line of her jaw. His hand was so warm, it soothed her, and her instinct was to lean into it. Was he about to kiss her? She could feel the quickening of her heart at the very prospect of it. What would it be like to kiss him? Maybe the more pertinent question should have been, what would it be like after kissing him? Did she really want to? She knew she didn’t not want to, which admittedly scared the hell out of her. She couldn’t kiss her boss! Could she? She could feel her tongue dart out to moisten her lower lip, the flesh of which she scraped her top teeth across in a nervous motion. She swallowed. She was frozen in place, unable to move, unsure of what to do next. And then, the moment was over. Rayner’s hand was gone from her skin, and his eyes broke their connection from hers. “I suppose you’ve got me there,” he said. “Well, goodnight, Miss Fields. Enjoy your weekend.” He opened the door and allowed her to walk through it, but stayed behind to lock up. “Goodnight,” she said as she passed him going out the door. “See you on Monday.”
Saturday, 29 April 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mayhem is the second book in the Twisted Hearts Love Story series, and I believe I enjoyed this one even more than I enjoyed the first. Yes, I had a lot of fun with the first book; however, I was even more addicted to this one.
The first book was a very dark and gritty read, and in comparison, this one almost feels light. It’s not a light read, though. It’s just a different kind of darkness to the first book. We still deal with the mafia world and the challenges attached to it, along with dealing with the darkness that can be found within everyday life. Honestly, I find the way in which the author combines the gritty nature of her stories and the romance together to be wonderful – the combination between the two is a thing of beauty.
From the start of this story, I was pulled in. Bedlam, the first book, pulled me in because of the voice of our leading lady. Whilst the voice in this one was just as great, I found it was the story that really grabbed me. Tick, who we were introduced to in the first book, developed into a full character in this one, and I found I loved him even more after finding out more about him. When the leading lady of Mayhem was introduced, I found I loved her just as much as I loved Tick, and I knew I was a goner. I needed to know how their story would come together; I needed to see how events played out.
Thus, I was addicted.
Putting the story down was an impossibility. We were pulled deeper into the mafia world in this story, with more being added that leaves me with questions of what will happen in the future books in the series. It wasn’t simply the factors surrounding Tick’s life that pulled me in, though. I was pulled into the drama of Cyma’s life. There was so much emotion to be felt there, and I was on the edge of my seat as I hoped for the best. Honestly, the overall story was so beautiful – there was so much emotion to be felt, so much happened. I feel as though the action I expected to find due to the first part of the book wasn’t quite to the level I had hoped for when it came to pass, but this in part is because it’s a very different kind of action to the first book and I found myself comparing even though I shouldn’t have been.
Speaking of the first book, it is not necessary to read Bedlam to enjoy this one, although I would suggest giving it a read. The two go together so well, yet we are provided with enough information to ensure those who haven’t read the first book understand all that is going on. Plus, through reading the first book you get to truly appreciate the way life has developed for the characters introduced to us in book one. It was so nice to see them again, to see how their lives had moved forward, and I was really pleased to find them playing an important role in this story.
I’m somewhat confused, though, and I fear I may have misread information in one of the books. I feel as though certain things that were said in this one went against information provided in the first book. It was never anything big, but there were little things where I was thinking ‘I thought this was otherwise in book one’. It was never anything that influenced the story, but I did find myself questioning information that I thought I already had.
Overall, though, this was a wonderful second book. I’m super excited to read the next book in the series, as this series is promising to be wonderful.
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This is my stop during the blog tour for The Lily Singer Adventures by Lydia Sherrer. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 28 April till 14 May, you can view the tour schedule here.
Start this series for cheap!
For a limited time book 1 and 2 in this series will be discounted so you can start this series for cheap. This discount only runs from 28 April till 30 April, so make sure to get your copies now! Find the whole series here on Amazon.
Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings (The Lily Singer Adventures #1)
By Lydia Sherrer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult/ Adult
Saving the world is such a bother when it makes you late for tea.
By day, book-loving wizard Lily Singer manages library archives. By night? She sleeps, of course. In between, she studies magic and tries to keep her witch friend Sebastian out of trouble. Much to her displeasure, he finds it anyway and drags her along with him.
From unmaking ancient curses to rescuing a town lost in time, Lily and Sebastian fight to avert magical mayhem. Meanwhile, Lily's mysterious past begins to unfold--a past hidden from her by those she trusts most. Will she be able to discover the truth despite them?
Beginnings is the first installment of the Lily Singer Adventures urban fantasy series. Full of unexpected twists and snarky humor, this story has been known to cause: loud snorts of laughter, inexplicable craving for tea, and loss of work productivity. If you enjoy magic-filled adventures like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch then you'll love Lydia Sherrer's delightful new series.
You can find Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings on Goodreads
Get Beginnings for free!
From 28 till 30 April you can get your copy of Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings for free on Amazon.
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Revelations (The Lily Singer Adventures #2)
By Lydia Sherrer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult/ Adult
The truth shall make you free...sort of.
Modern-day wizard Lily Singer prefers to stay tucked away in her library, studying magic and drinking tea. But with a troublesome witch friend and a past riddled with dangerous secrets, her chances of peace and quiet are slim.
Armed with only wits and magic, she must manage her argumentative cat, thwart a plot to steal a powerful artifact, and decide who, amid all this, she can trust. The past, both ancient and modern, is catching up with her. Will discovering its secrets reveal her future, or doom it? Perhaps some truths are better left unknown...
Revelations is the second book in the Lily Singer Adventures urban fantasy series. Full of unexpected twists and snarky humor, this story has been known to cause: loud snorts of laughter, inexplicable craving for tea, and loss of work productivity. If you enjoy magic-filled adventures like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch then you'll love Lydia Sherrer's delightful new series.
You can find Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Revelations on Goodreads
Get Revelations while it's discounted!
From 28 till 30 April you can get your copy of Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Revelations for a discounted price. On 28 April the book will be only $0.99, on 29 April the price will be $1.99 and on 30 April the price is $2.99. Before the book goes back to its normal price of $3.99 on 1 May. So make sure to get your copy while it’s discounted on Amazon.
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Allies (The Lily Singer Adventures #3)
What’s worse than fighting with allies? Fighting without them. To stop her father’s evil plans, wizard and archivist Lily Singer must reconcile old grudges, make questionable allies, and bend the law to fix a problem that's not even her fault. Can she and her friends work together to save the day? Or will they let their differences divide them?
Troublemaking witch friend and talking cat in tow, Lily Singer must pursue her father to England as he seeks to discover an ancient evil and steal its power for himself. But with a queen of the fae after the same thing, Sebastian’s past comes back to haunt him and the three friends have to think fast and act faster to defeat legends that are, unfortunately, no longer in the past.
All four books in The Lily Singer Adventures series are part of Kindle Unlimited.
About the Author:
Author of the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus magical adventure series, Lydia Sherrer is a fantasy author whose goal is to leave this world a better place than when she found it. With an urban fantasy series, multiple short stories and a novella under her belt, Lydia has been writing for over a decade and enjoys nothing more than a good book, a cup of tea, and a comfy chair in the sunshine. When not writing she loves to play her ocarina (think Zelda), and also enjoys traditional archery, cosplay, larping, and art.
Growing up in rural Kentucky, she was thoroughly corrupted by a deep love for its rolling countryside, despite the mosquitoes and hay fever. She was instilled with a craving for literature early on, and her parents had to wrestle books away from her at the dinner table. Though she graduated with a dual BA in Chinese and Arabic, having traveled the world she came home and decided to stay there. She currently resides in Louisville, KY with her loving and supportive husband, and their very vocal cat.
You can find and contact Lydia Sherrer here:
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Lily Singer Adventures. These are the prizes you can win:
- 1st place is signed paperback copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1 & 2 and ebook copies of Books 3 & 4 (US only)
- 2nd place is ebook copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1-4 (open world-wide)
- 3rd place is ebook copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1-2 (open world-wide)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Unchained Melody is the first book in the Love Song Standards series. This series grabbed my attention from the get-go: a series of books named after famous romance songs – of course, I was happy to read. In all honesty, can any romance fan deny such a gripping notion? The only downside this that there isn’t a book for every romance song in the world. Of course, such a thing is impossible, but it doesn’t lessen how wonderful the notion is. Thus, I was happy to jump into the first book – now, after finishing, I wish to jump into the rest of the books in the series.
I’m going to be completely honest, though, this book isn’t quite a full four star rating. It was a very enjoyable read, yes, but there were some things that prevented me from loving it quite the way I wanted to. These things, though, are a personal view, and I’m sure some of these things will be overlooked by other people. Moreover, these are things that could very well be different with the other books in the series, hence why I’m still eager to give them a read. Nevertheless, I thought I should point out that this wasn’t quite the full four star rating I gave it – close enough to round up instead of rounding down, but still worth pointing out.
Unchained Melody starts with a bang. We’re instantly thrown into the action, curious as to how things will play out. I always enjoy it when stories start with our characters come together in the manner that these characters did, with a drastic event pulling them together and creating some kind of bond between the two of them. It’s a lot of fun, and sets up so many possibilities for where things could go from there. With some kind of connection already in place, it is wonderful to watch as feelings transform into true love.
The events that follow the big bang at the start of the story were a lot of fun, although I feel as though they weren’t quite as developed as they could have been. A lot of things happened, and the level of depth across the events was somewhat unequal. Some events seemed to be given less attention than they should have been, and it saddened me that we lost the real emotional factor that some of the events could have had. I think, in part, this is because so much happened in such a short story. We focus upon the events happening and overlook some of the emotional backlash.
When we do get the emotional backlash, though, it is a thing of beauty. The end of the book, in particular, hit the spot with the emotional backlash. It was a bit on the predictable side, yes, but it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch things come together. I just wish the entire book had been given the same level of emotional depth. I love action, yes, but it starts to dull when the aftereffects are glossed over somewhat. This is especially true of romance: if anything, the emotion needs to overpower the action. You need to really feel all that is happening, and I didn’t always feel this way. When I was feeling something it was amazing, but these feelings were not as consistent as they could have been.
As a whole, though, I did really enjoy the story. It gripped me from the start, and I found it extremely difficult to put down. It was one of those stories that you needed to finish, you need to see exactly how things played out. Once it had a hold of you, you are completely pulled into the world with there being no chance of escape.
I will say, however, that there were a few things that needed to be caught in editing that pulled you out of the story. It wasn’t happening regularly, but there were a couple that pull you out of the story if such a thing does distract you. I just think people should be aware of this, as I know it does distract some people quite a bit.
Overall, it was a great start to the series and I’m excited to see what comes next.
As a final note, I would like to thank the author for contacting me for a review – it’s certainly left me wanting more.
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Friday, 28 April 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hearts Unloched is my second Claire Gem read, my first being Phantom Traces, and I found this one to be just as enjoyable as Phantom Traces. The enjoyment came from very different factors for the two books, but both were thoroughly addictive. After finishing Phantom Traces I was sure I’d be jumping into more of the author’s, and after finishing Hearts Unloched I know without a doubt I’ll be working my way through all the books she has written. Without a doubt, Claire Gem has captured my heart.
As with Phantom Traces, Hearts Unloched sounds like a romance in the paranormal world. That it is, but it is also so much more than that. We do have the paranormal element of the world, but the romance feels very much like that of the contemporary variety. I’ve found this to be the case with both of the Claire Gem books I have read, and I really enjoy this about her work. It is wonderful how the paranormal world is so well mixed in with the real world, that it allows the romance to read like that of a contemporary romance – it really is a wonderful skill to have. Throughout the story, Claire Gem offers us everything you would hope for from a gripping romance: development of the characters, tension, twists, and uncertainty of how things will end. Each element of the story – both of the contemporary variety and the paranormal variety – complement each other so well, and it is wonderful to watch the story develop.
Honestly, it is difficult to decide what held my attention more – the day-to-day drama or the specific paranormal drama. You see, throughout, we’re given plenty of both. The contemporary aspects allow for the jealousy and drama of the characters; the paranormal aspects allow for the mystery and tension of the overall story. The two go together so well that I could rant and rave about it all day.
Moreover, everything works together really well to bring about a wonderful mix of emotions. I especially enjoyed the way in which the story was linked back to the events of the past. The past plays a very important role in this story, and watching the emotions that were linked to it were wonderful. It wasn’t simply due to the paranormal elements that were highlighting these emotions – even though that was wonderful – but simply the way in which the interaction between individuals and the way in which the past was slowly brought to light that made it wonderful.
In all honesty, though, if forced to make a choice, I would say the paranormal aspects were my favourite part of this story. I was a little bit let down by the lack of spooks in Phantom Traces – I had wanted more events – and Hearts Unloched certainly delivered. The paranormal world pops up in so many wonderful ways, it is done so well, and I cannot wait to experience more of the paranormal in the author’s other works. It was so atmospheric, there were so many wonderful scenes, that I couldn’t help but fall a little bit more in love with the paranormal elements this time around.
What stopped me from giving a full five stars with this one was because of the romance. I came to truly love it by the end of the story, yet it took me a very long time to finally buy into the character’s relationship. For the first half of the book I felt as though it was simply convenient for the story. Although this aspect does play an important role for the overall story, I couldn’t help but feel a lack of interest about whether or not they managed to get a happily ever after. I was indifferent really, reading it more for the other aspects of the story. When I compare this to Phantom Traces, I cannot help but feel a bit let down. With Phantom Traces I was rooting for the romance from the very start, and I’d wanted the same feeling with this one. Instead, it wasn’t until I was a decent proportion through the book before I finally fell for their romance. From that point on, though, Claire Gem did pull out all the stops – the end in particular was amazing.
Overall, it was a wonderful read. As I’ve already stated, I’ll definitely be reading more of the author’s work in the future. She’s certainly someone I’m going to be watching, that’s for sure.
As a final note, I would like to thank the author for contacting me for a review of Hearts Unloched – it’s very much appreciated.
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Love is for suckers.
That's always been Hudson Farrow's take on it. His mother has practically made a career out of saying I do, which is why he's found himself in another upstate town, preparing to watch her walk down the aisle with another yacht club asshole, nursing his cynicism with Scotch at another lonely dive bar. A sassy siren that sets his blood on fire wasn't part of the plan, neither was a new stepsister, and now Hudson's a man with a problem because he's just found out they're one in the same.
Skylar Walsh never thought the one and only man she's ever brought home would turn into anything beyond a few orgasms. Until six-foot-four, sinfully sexy, talented and tattooed sweeps her off her feet--and right between his thighs--on his custom Harley. When Hudson demands her phone number before the night's over she knows she's in for a wild ride. When she runs into him at her father's wedding the next day she realizes she may have just made the biggest mistake of her life. A dozen sheet-clenching, toe-curling, and soul-shatteringly good times in the last twenty-four-hours.
Warning: Hudson is hellbent on his Sky, and he won't let a little thing like I do come between them. Filthy-sweet tattooed hearts, perfectly placed piercings that hit all the right spots, and love and fate inked so deep no force can keep them apart. Hold onto your hearts because Stepbrother Anonymous stole mine! xo Aria
“What?” I narrowed my eyes. “No, I’m just cautious.”
“Boring.” He arched an eyebrow.
“I prefer to think before I act.”
My cheeks flamed with anger. “And I don’t normally fuck strangers.”
His eyebrows shot up, that word eliciting the shock from him I’d wanted. “But…” His fingers slid between the cheeks of my ass, hovering so close I was preparing myself for his intrusion. “Best fuck of your life, right?”
My mouth popped open just as his finger made contact with the little rosebud of my ass, swirling and stretching until the tip was breaching me. “Oh God.”
He didn’t reply, only worked his finger against my asshole, sinking it a little deeper before I was full and overtaken by need, completely aching and desperate for more. Desperate for anything.
“I dare you to tell me it wasn’t the best, Skylar.” His other hand was working at the wet flesh of my pussy. “Because last night was fucking mind-blowing for me, and I know I’m not the only one who felt it. That pussy of yours was gushing like goddamn Niagara Falls. Your lips may be able to deny it, but that sweet, juicy cunt of yours was begging for my cock. You loved how full it felt with me inside you.”
For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn't take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!
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“Not that one.”
My back brushed the wall, the surface cool through the light fabric on my back.
I moistened my lips, my pulse fluttering so fiercely in my throat I almost expected to start spitting out butterflies. He’d coaxed me to say it before—the details of this first scenario.
Still the words made my tongue stick. I looked at him. Looked right into his midnight irises.
“I’m your wife.”
The fingers cupping the back of my neck flexed, and a rush of breath kissed my lips.
“You know I almost believed you that time.” His thick lashes drooped. “One more time. Who are you?”
My chest constricted. “I’m your wife.”
“That’s right, you’re my wife,” he said, no hint of a lie to taint his words.
He didn’t need to roll the statement around to test it the way I’d had to. He spoke as though he believed it.
As though it were true.
Made me think that to him, he and I and this fantasy of a future were simply a matter of time. Almost made me forget that this was only one scenario, and only one of Haithem’s plans for us. Few were so sweet, and not all resulted in us together through all of this.
“Let’s go over things one more time.”
My fingers twitched against his T-shirt. “I thought we were in a rush?”
“We can spare time to make sure.”
“I remember everything we talked about.”
His teeth flashed in that dangerous smile. “Could you remember under pressure?” His hand slipped from my neck and ran down my shoulder, skimmed my breast and gripped the thin belt at my waist. “Because if you need to repeat anything we’ve been through, you can bet you’ll be under pressure.”
Heat curled through my system. “One more time then.” Short breaths, almost pants, puffed between my lips. “And be sure to exert some pressure.
After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fuelled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.
She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.
Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.