Thursday, 21 June 2018

Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay - Bella Osborne

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.


With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

My Review


Coming Home to Ottercombe BayComing Home to Ottercombe Bay by Bella Osborne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't read a book like Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay for quite a while. Although it has a romantic element, I think that I would be inclined to class it as 'chic lit' rather than a romance. I actually hate that phrase if I'm honest, but I think that it best sums up the style of this book. Daisy is a traveller, who has spent the last few years travelling the world and avoiding settling down. Now after the death of her Great Uncle, she finds that she has to return to her childhood home, that she left when she was 7 and face the demons of her past.
I enjoyed this book overall, it was a little slow in the odd part, but I think that matched the style of the storyline and characters. Daisy's Aunt and the dog Bugsy Malone were both entertaining and there was some light relief added by the next door neighbour, Tamsyn. Even if she was a little too over the top and out there at times.
There is a romantic element to this story, but it isn't the main point of the plot and I really liked that about it. There's little be upset or offended by and Daisy even tones down her favourite swear word to cock-a-doodle-do. This would be a great beach read in the summer or when lazing around and if you're looking for a relaxing and enjoyable read, you won't go far wrong with this.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Enchanted Waves book blitz

About the Book:
Tabitha Lock's mundane life changes when her future walks out of the sea into her arms.

Attorney Tabitha Lock has put her career before everything, including her love life. Exhausted from too many late nights, early mornings, and endless days spent in court, Tabitha is at the end of her rope. Add to that the sensual dreams and voices that haunt her sleep, and she's driven to the edge of her sanity.

Jax Aquila, Mer prince and son of Poseidon, is ordered to locate a mortal female in the twenty-first century. Although this woman is unaware of it, she has vampire heritage, but her immortality was forsaken to her due to the sins of her ancestor. Old hatred and prejudice toward vampires push Jax toward pursing his own agenda and avoiding his assigned task.

When Jax meets Tabitha, he has no idea this enticing woman is the one he was sent to find. The magic of their attraction drives him to pursue the beautiful woman. When he discovers the truth, can he accept Tabitha for what she is? And can Tabitha accept herself? As they struggle with the issues at hand, an ancient evil stirs, waiting in the darkness to reclaim their lost position among the immortals. When the evil ones make their move and Tabitha's life hangs in the balance can Jax find her in time, or will she be lost to him forever?

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt:

Calypso's breasts heaved with each breath she took beneath the supple black leather. Stretching out beyond the full-length windows, lightning ripped through the night sky as Calypso opened the french doors and stepped out onto the patio. The subtle glide of leather-overheated flesh sent shards of heat through her.

A fine shiver raced over her body and she gasped. Somewhere out there he waited…the culmination of all her lust. From behind her the sound of Angrail and his mate's passion could be heard and it fired her own. Long denied, her lust stirred, slithering through her body like some beast she longed to kill.

She closed her eyes, the image playing across her mind… Sweat slicked skin heaved with each swing of a massive blade. Thin, black lines danced across his chest, swirling down into the curve of a hip, the bulge of his shaft behind his pants teasing her. Muscles bunched and flexed with each step, each blow. Powerful, deadly, his essence called to her, seduced her with its warmth and need.

Calypso stepped to the edge of the balcony and peered over the ornate banister. Beneath her the roaring of the falls drifted upward in a silvery cloud of noise and mist.

She glanced over her shoulder, her fists clenching with emotion. Centuries of service, of loyalty, had been rewarded with freedom, yet she didn't yearn for such a gift. Nay, she yearned for what was beyond her. Angrail was content, he was loved, and out of her grasp. Accepting it hadn't come easy, long nights of bitter envy and tears had come before she'd realized it was necessary.

Come to me. As soft as the wind playing with her braid, the whisper slipped through the chinks in her armor and shot straight to her heart.

With a soft sigh, Calypso hopped onto the banister and inhaled a breath. Arms outstretched, she stepped into mid-air, years of training and skill set in her muscles. Fresh, sweet wind flowed along her body, wrapping her in a warm shawl of familiarity. Without a sound, she landed on the rocks below, her knees folding beneath her as her body coiled in to brace itself.

About the Author:
Welcome to Ciara Lake's World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.


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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

His Wicked Secret - Lauren Smith

When a lady decides to become a spy, she must resist all temptation…especially love.

Audrey Sheridan is London’s sweetheart¾a position that allows her access to the ton and all its secrets. As the enigmatic writer, Lady Society, she is wild, reckless, and speaks her mind. She matchmakes wicked rogues with their perfect wives. But there’s one thing she’s failed to find since her debut. A husband for herself. And there’s only one man she’s ever wanted. There’s just one problem…he doesn’t want her. What’s a lady to do to mend her broken heart? Run off to become a spy…

Jonathan St. Laurent is anything but a saint and certainly not husband material. He spent nearly his entire life as a servant to his half-brother the Duke of Essex. He’s trying to play the gentleman now, but it’s damned hard when he’s tempted by the ton’s darling spitfire Audrey. There’s something about her that makes him want to abandon the rules of polite society and show her just how wicked he can be…which is why it’s better to avoid the minx altogether.

When Audrey’s plan to be a spy is discovered, Jonathan knows he must move heaven and earth to protect her while guarding his own secret…


His Wicked Secret (League of Rogues #8)His Wicked Secret by Lauren Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the League of Rogues series by Lauren Smith and I've been (not so) patiently waiting for the next instalment in the series. We were teased with Her Wicked Longing last year, which was just a little taste of what was to come in His Wicked Secret.
Of all the League members, I have to admit that I was less interested in Jonathan's story. I think that is simply because we know less about him. While he is mentioned in the other books, we see less of his character than some of the other members. I do like Audrey though. She's headstrong, willful and a lot of fun. Fortunately, Jonathan proved himself to be her match.
This was a great read and I really enjoyed it, polishing it off quickly. I will admit though, I'm really hanging out for the last of the main league characters stories. Charles has always been an interesting chap and I have a few theories about who he's going to end up with. But, as I don't want to spoil anything, I'm not going to say what they are here.

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Sunday, 17 June 2018

The King's Justice - EM Powell

A murder that defies logic—and a killer still on the loose.

England, 1176. Aelred Barling, esteemed clerk to the justices of King Henry II, is dispatched from the royal court with his young assistant, Hugo Stanton, to investigate a brutal murder in a village outside York.

The case appears straightforward. A suspect is under lock and key in the local prison, and the angry villagers are demanding swift justice. But when more bodies are discovered, certainty turns to doubt—and amid the chaos it becomes clear that nobody is above suspicion.

Facing growing unrest in the village and the fury of the lord of the manor, Stanton and Barling find themselves drawn into a mystery that defies logic, pursuing a killer who evades capture at every turn.

Can they solve the riddle of who is preying upon the villagers? And can they do it without becoming prey themselves?

The King's Justice (Stanton & Barling, #1)The King's Justice by E.M. Powell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love historical murder mystery books, so when I spotted this on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. The opening setting of the book; a trial by ordeal in front of a crowd of baying spectators set the scene perfectly. Unfortunately, for me at least, the sense of time and place didn't quite continue to the same degree through the rest of the book. The bare bones were there, the characters were for the most part well written and complex, but for me, there was something not quite right.

I'm not sure if it was the two main investigating characters that did it. The two viewpoints making it difficult to get to know either character properly, or something else. There was also a very large body count, I did wonder if we would find out the murder by a process of elimination, with all other contenders being eliminated both from suspicious and life.

With the high body count I couldn't help but be reminded of a medieval Midsomer Murders and this wasn't the only place that there was a similarity. The book lacked the depth and sense of place that other books in the genre have. BUT it was an entertaining, fairly light read. I'm not sure if some of my issues with the book was just because I didn't 'know' Stanton and Barling and if with a bit more familiarity, they might not have been more enjoyable. I'd certainly be willing to read the next in the series to find out.

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

A Superior Spectre - Angela Meyer

Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with the shame of his desires, he runs away to remote Scotland with a piece of experimental tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.

In the late 1860s, Leonora lives a contented life in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature, her hands and mind kept busy. Contemplating her future and the social conventions that bind her, a secret romantic friendship with the local laird is interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh – an intimidating, sooty city; the place where her mother perished.

But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions that bear no resemblance to anything she has ever seen or known…

A Superior Spectre is a highly accomplished debut novel about our capacity for curiosity, and our dangerous entitlement to it, and reminds us the scariest ghosts aren’t those that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.


A Superior SpectreA Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When books are sold as being like a well known or well-loved book that you've already read, I'm always a little sceptical. A Superior Spectre was described on the NetGalley email, encouraging me to request it, as being similar to A Handmaid's Tale. I have to say, that although this is set in a dystopian future, it isn't really like it in any way. If it were like any of Atwood's frightening glimpses of a possible future, then it reminded me of the world the Oryx and Crake trilogy or The Heart Goes Last. Really, comparisons are pointless, this is a great read in its own right.

The book is really two stories, that are linked by technology that allows the futuristic Jeff to see into the mind of Leonora, a young Scottish girl from the 1800's. Jeff is dying and uses these journeys into Leonora's mind as a form of escape. The more he joins with her though, the more that his thoughts begin to break into her conscious and life. While Jeff battles his own demons and illness, Leonora struggles to find her place in life and questions her sanity. More than once I couldn't help but wonder if Jeff was a figment of Leonora's imagination, or that perhaps Leonora was a figment of Jeffs.

This is an interesting and engaging read. I wanted to follow the paths of both of the main characters and find out what would happen to them. It is in some ways a book with a science fiction setting, but to describe it as such really sells it short. The tech that allows this all to happen, isn't really the point, but it is about the two main characters and how they deal with their lives and situations.

A Superior Spectre is a fantastic read and I found it gripping from the beginning. I found myself involved in the storyline and just couldn't put it down.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

India Whose country is it anyway? - Book Blitz


About the Book:
India's rich diversity, both in its physical and natural aspects, is widely known. India has had a great past with achievements in literature, the arts, medicine and mathematics.

Indians were sea-faring and they spread their influence through their philosophy, religion and military conquest too. But Like a cosmic phenomenon, decline is every civilization is inevitable. Indian civilization too declined.

When a civilization rises, people are driven by idealism; when people are possessed of greed, it declines and falls.

Indians today are possessed of excessive, abominable, putrefying greed.

The author tells it all in an honest, engaging manner. He holds a mirror unto ourselves.


Book Link:

About the Author:
I hail from a middle class family. Son of a soldier, I did my studies in Bengaluru obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (from St. Joseph’s College) in Science and then in Law from a different college. 

Though not very serious about studies, I took to books with keen interest in social sciences history in particular, literature and natural sciences (in general) and current affairs. I am drawn wittingly towards that abstract thinking – that is, philosophy.

Worked in a Government-owned Insurance Company - United India Insurance Co Ltd - as a Salesman (designated as Development Officer) and retired voluntarily a decade ago.
I spend time reading and writing, travelling both within the country and outside. I ardently believe in community work; I concentrate on education of children, obviously from poor background.  

Nationalism – i.e. love of fellow citizens - is my creed. I am passionate about friendships, am devoid of all other -isms.

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Scars I Bare - J.L.Berg

The Scars I Bare (By the Bay, #2)The Scars I Bare by J.L. Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the By the Bay series and after meeting Dean in the first book (The Choices I've Made) While the book title seems to refer to the physical scars that Dean bears after the ferry accident that he was involved in, more importantly, are his mental scars. Since the accident, he hasn't worked, has been single and hasn't been able to move on. Cora is also mentally scarred. He marriage fell apart after her husband became abusive and now she is reluctant to trust.

Cora and Dean are both likeable characters and although they have problems to work through, it's clear that they belong together. I did like the way that they dealt with their problems. In too many similar books, the hero and heroine have something happen that throws them apart. This wasn't smooth sailing to a happily ever after, but it didn't feel forced or that the things that were stopping them from being happy were unnatural.

I really enjoyed this book and will be looking out for book 3 so that I can find out more about the characters that live on Ocracoke Island.

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