Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Darkest Hour - Lauren Smith

The Darkest Hour (The Surrender Series Book 4)The Darkest Hour by Lauren Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I often think about what I'm going to write in these reviews before I start them. I had been going to say that it felt as though I'd been waiting for a long time for Royce's story in the Surrender Series. I thought that it might be worth looking how long it's been, I read the last in the series The Gilded Chain back in November 2015, so very nearly three years ago. It's not only felt like a long time, but it has also been a long time. Some things though, are worth the wait.
I probably should have reread the previous books, to get my head around who is who and how they fit into the storyline. It didn't take long for things to come back to me and I soon remembered who was who. I remember being keen to read Royce's story, as I liked his character and I wasn't disappointed in this book. Royce and Kenzie seemed like the perfect match. The only real question was how they had managed to keep their hands off one another whilst colleagues previously.
The sparks fly in this book, both between our hero and heroine and as they deal with Rusian Fossil smugglers. I don't think I've ever thought about trade in fossils and bones before, but I'm sure if there's money to be made then there will be people who will exploit it. The Russian setting added a bit of a different feel to this book and there was even a little cameo from the lead from another of Lauren's books. (Rurik)
This is a sexy, fast-paced story with lots of action. It's easy to get swept up in the danger than Kenzie and Royce find themselves in. If I were being completely honest, I would have prefered to find out more about what happens between them after they return to America and have to keep their relationship under wraps. It didn't detract from the story really to miss that though.
This book is well worth a read and a great addition to the Surrender series.

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Monday, 17 September 2018

The Boss - Abigail Owen

The Boss (Fire's Edge, #1)The Boss by Abigail Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For some reason, I seem to be reading lots of books with firefighters in them at the moment. I have to admit that I didn't even realise that this one was. To be honest, that isn't really what the characters in this book are though, they are actually dragon shifters and they use firefighting as both a disguise and because they are able to control fires in the way that people can't.
If you had asked me a couple of years ago if dragon shifter books were my thing, I'd probably have laughed. This is the third dragon shifter series that I've started and really enjoyed, so clearly, I knew nothing.
I loved the characters in this book. Delaney and Finn seem to make a really good couple and they work well together. I loved the humour that came through in their relationship. It seemed very natural and made them 'work' The sparks really fly between them and it's pretty obvious from almost the beginning that they are supposed to be together, even if it's something that they don't immediately see.
This is the first in the series and sometimes first books suffer as they are too busy building the world and introducing characters. With The Boss though, although there was much to introduce, it didn't allow the story to get lost.
I really enjoyed this fun, sexy read and I can't wait for the next in the series. There's lots of potential for some interesting stories with some of the other dragon shifters that we've met in this book. Bring them on!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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Your Echo - Katia Rose

How do you teach a rock star how to meditate?
Your echo Katia Rose


The number one question on Stéphanie’s mind sounds like the start of a bad joke, and life would be a whole lot easier if she actually knew the punch line. 

Her meditation coach job description said nothing about private lessons for the most infamous lead singer in Montreal, but somehow Stéphanie still finds herself sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, right next to a pierced and tattooed music legend who’d rather be anywhere else.

Meditation classes are Ace’s final chance to convince his record label that the last bender he went on really was his last. The demons that have sent him to the bottom of countless bottles might not give a damn about ‘soothing rhythmic chanting,’ but it’s either this or game over for his career.

He’s not what she wants. She’s not what he’s looking for. Yet somewhere amidst all the incense fumes, the lines between student and teacher get blurred.

Even as their deep breathing exercises become nights filled with panting and gasps, Stéphanie can’t ignore the darkness that never quite leaves Ace’s eyes. It’s a darkness she knows far too well, and if she’s not careful, the cost of helping Ace find his way might just be losing herself.

Your Echo is part of the Sherbrooke Station Quartet, a series of steamy rock star standalones from author Katia Rose.

Your Echo review sherbrooke station

My Review


Your Echo is the second in the Sherbrooke Stations series, you can find my review of the first book; your rhythm here. The series follows the members of Canadian rock band, Sherbrooke Station as they each find love and romance. This time we see the lead singer and guitarist Ace, battle his demons and come to terms with what has shaped him and drives him, and find his love in the process.

Stéphanie has just as many issues as Ace and is struggling to come to terms with events that have happened in her own past. Both she and Ace have a wild and dark side that they struggle with, rather than accepting and controlling. Perhaps by coming together, they can actually turn it into something beautiful.

After reading the first book, I wasn't sure that I was going to like Ace or enjoy his story. As is so often the case though, when the story is told from a character's viewpoint and you learn more about them, you often find that you change your mind about them. It didn't take me long to decide that I did like Ace and I was hoping that he would sort himself out and find love with Stéphanie.

I did see one of the key points in the plot coming. I don't think that it really mattered, but if it was intended to be a twist, then it was, for me at least, pretty well signposted from early on. Having said that it did work and I thought that it played out well.

I really enjoyed this latest installment in the Sherbrooke Station series and I'm really looking forward to reading the remaining two band members, J-P and Cole's stories.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Eight Goodbyes - Christine Brae


Eight Goodbyes
Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown
When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.


Author Bio:
Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.
Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.
Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

My Review

This is not your usual romance, there's more to it than that. I liked the clever way that the romance grew over a series of meetings which in turn lead to each goodbye. There was sexual tension, romance, love and all that you expect from a romance novel, but by using this series of meetings to tell the story, it added an extra dimension to your usual romance novel.

I liked both the main characters and I liked the way that they were together. I did have a small quibble. Simon is supposed to be English, but to me, he just didn't read like an English person. At one point he claimed he'd never seen the ocean before, (not the sea) which is pretty unlikely in anyone from the UK, to be honest. He also referred to something that happened in grade school, whatever that is. It's just a minor thing, but I do like characters to be authentically the nationality that they are supposed to be. It didn't detract from the romance between Tessa and him though.

In many ways, this is quite a bittersweet book. The title should give you a clue to that though. That's not to say that there's not a happy ending, there is, but perhaps a more realistic one than many in the genre offer. I really enjoyed this book and found it a refreshing alternative to many books I've read recently. I'd definitely recommend it.

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Friday, 14 September 2018

Your Echo - Blitz


Your Echo
Katia Rose
(Sherbrooke Station, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
How do you teach a rock star how to meditate?
The number one question on Stéphanie’s mind sounds like the start of a bad joke, and life would be a whole lot easier if she actually knew the punch line.
Her meditation coach job description said nothing about private lessons for the most infamous lead singer in Montreal, but somehow Stéphanie still finds herself sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, right next to a pierced and tattooed music legend who’d rather be anywhere else.
Meditation classes are Ace’s final chance to convince his record label that the last bender he went on really was his last. The demons that have sent him to the bottom of countless bottles might not give a damn about ‘soothing rhythmic chanting,’ but it’s either this or game over for his career.
He’s not what she wants. She’s not what he’s looking for. Yet somewhere amidst all the incense fumes, the lines between student and teacher get blurred.
Even as their deep breathing exercises become nights filled with panting and gasps, Stéphanie can’t ignore the darkness that never quite leaves Ace’s eyes. It’s a darkness she knows far too well, and if she’s not careful, the cost of helping Ace find his way might just be losing herself.
Your Echo is part of the Sherbrooke Station Quartet, a series of steamy rock star standalones from author Katia Rose.
SNEAK PEEK:
And that’s how I end up singing ‘I’m On Fire’ in a Montreal KTV bar, stone cold sober, while people whip out their smart phones and I try not to think about all the places this video is going to end up. I just stare at Stéphanie from the raised platform that serves as a stage, watching her watch me as the rest of the crowd cheers. At first I’m only fucking around, adding an extra rasp to the words and playing up the sexuality in the lyrics to the point that it’s funny, but something changes the further I get into the song. The slow build of the synth—the tension that rises and rises but never quite breaks—catches up with me, and by the time I get to the long, wavering howls at the end, I can see Stéphanie’s chest heaving even harder than mine.

Review to follow tomorrow...



Author Bio:
Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Taming Fire - Leora Gonzales

Taming Fire (Braving the Heat, #2)Taming Fire by Leora Gonzales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun, hot read and for the most part, I enjoyed it. Louise (which apparently in the US is an old person's name, which amused me, seeing as there's a huge amount of Louises around my age in the UK) is her families dogs body. She runs around after them getting very little in return. Nix, a local firefighter comes around to her house after her nephew called the fire brigade thinking that the firepit at the back of the house was a house fire. Things soon get pretty hot between them.
I liked the characters in the book. I liked the more relaxed attitude toward alcohol, no clutching of pearls because she was drinking while looking after her four-year-old nephew. We all know most four-year-olds lead to the odd bottle of wine after all. I also liked the way that she didn't completely bow down to Nix, who, to be honest, could be a bit of an arse.
What I wasn't so keen on, was the dismissive way he spoke about women who had been his conquests in the past. 'Pole bunnies' who were only after a good time. They were continually talked about as though they were nothing and that they didn't have any feelings. Fine, if they're all on board for just a good time, but throw away comments by the likes of her sister Maggie/Rose that she thought she might have been in the right place and the right time for more commitment combined with how jealous these women seemed to be, would suggest that they didn't just see it as fun and games. It's a minor point in what was otherwise an enjoyable story, but I don't like it when male characters are so disparaging of female characters who are just like they were until recently.
Overall, this was a good read. I hadn't read the previous books and while these characters were mentioned, it didn't detract from the book to have not read the rest of the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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Monday, 10 September 2018

Out of Splinters and Ashes - Colleen L. Donnelly

Out of Splinters and AshesOut of Splinters and Ashes by Colleen L. Donnelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book had a lot of promise. a lost romance, political intrigue, a mystery to uncover and the discovery of love in the next generation. Unfortunately, for me at least, it didn't quite live up to this promise.
Although the storyline was interesting it got lost somewhere in the pages and the plot seemed to swirl around lacking any real cohesion. Although everything was revealed at the end, I spent much of the book scratching my head and struggling to keep a grasp on the characters or what was happening.
The other problem with this book was that I didn't really care about any of the characters. The original love story between the runner and the writer that forms the basis for the whole story didn't really shine through and I couldn't become emotionally invested in it. In the modern day storyline, I couldn't make myself feel much sympathy for either the Grandmother and Grandfather or Cate and Dietrich. I don't know if it was me, but ultimately the book just didn't come together and drag me in.
It wasn't an awful read, but I went in expecting much more than it ultimately delivered and I was left feeling a little flat. This one just wasn't for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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