Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Eye of the Storm - Amy McKinley

Eye of the Storm
Amy McKinley
(Gray Ghost #2)
Publication date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Deep in the untamed wilderness of the notorious Darien Gap, a soldier wakes. Injured, he has no memory of who he is or why he is there until a beautiful woman tells him his name. But can he trust her?
When Mari Dias stumbles upon Chris Shaw in the jungle—a place many risk but few survive—she enlists his help to escape a country ruled by the very family who hunts her.

Author Bio:
Amy McKinley is the romantic suspense thriller author of the Gray Ghost Novels, the Five Fates paranormal romance series, and several standalone books. Her edge of your seat books are filled with surprising twists and just the right amount of heat and danger. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two daughters, two sons, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at

My Review

Eye of the Storm is the second book of the gray ghost series. I haven't read any of the other books, so I can tell you with confidence that this works well as a stand-alone novel. I certainly enjoyed it and didn't feel that I was missing out on anything by not having read any of the other books. 
This book is mostly set in the jungle. Mari is on the run from some men who want to get hold of her, Chris doesn't know who he is or how he has got there, but together they have to try and survive and escape the dangerous environment.
This was a bit of an unusual romance. There is a great deal of action and at points, the romance takes a second place to that and at others, it's more important, but the action is still very much present. I found that I couldn't put this book down, wanting to know what was going to happen for the couple and if they would be successful. I have to admit that I'm a little bit sceptical of stories with larger than life 'hero' type characters who seem to be able to do things that are physically impossible for the rest of us. Both Chris and Mari seem to have almost superhuman survival and fighting skills, but in all honesty, I didn't actually mind that. I enjoyed reading about the growing feelings between the two of them as well as their attempts to escape the danger.
This is a thrilling and exciting read that drags you in quickly. I really enjoyed it and if this is what the other books in the series are like, I'd be keen to read those too.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Year I Left - Christine Brae

The Year I Left
Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
“A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”
Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.
Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.
An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.

Author Bio:
Christine Brae is a senior executive with a full time career, 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. Christine has written six books since her first release in 2013. She is the author of The Light in the Wound and His Wounded Light (2013), Insipid (2014), In This Life (2016) and Eight Goodbyes (2018).
Her latest book, The Year I Left is scheduled for release in August, 2019.
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 & Fountain Literary Management.

My Review

Sometimes when I'm reviewing books I struggle to know where to start. I have to admit that The Year I Left is one of those times. The book tells the story of Carin and her dissatisfaction with life. She meets a younger man through work, who she is drawn to irresistibly and her life begins to unravel around her as she tries to find her way again. 
I think part of my struggle with the review is not that I didn't enjoy the book, I did, but rather I didn't really like the main character. While I understood that she wasn't happy and felt for her feeling so trapped, there was also a lot that I didn't like and didn't really understand. I don't want to give away the things that happened in the course of the story, but on more than one occasion it was hard to understand why she acted the way that she did, or why she didn't just follow her heart without making a huge and drastic change. 
The story is beautifully written and it was next to impossible to put down, particularly in the second part of the book. I couldn't see where it was going to go and how things were going to be resolved, which of course kept me turning the pages. The storyline as a whole is thought-provoking and I can certainly see what the author was doing, it was just a shame for me at least, that I couldn't relate to the main character and didn't really have a lot of sympathy for her. Having said that, I was left satisfied with the end of the story and did warm to her a little eventually.
This was a great read, it dragged you along, pushing your emotions all the way and I think was ultimately attempting to get you to question what was really important. I'd definitely recommend it.


Sunday, 18 August 2019

All I Want - Tamara Lush

All I Want (Paradise Beach #2)All I Want by Tamara Lush
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying this series from Tamara Lush, this is the second Paradise Beach book that I've read in the last few days and I don't think that it will be the last. While the first book focused on Damian and Kate who fall in love after reconnecting years after they knew each other at high school, this second book is about Damian's brother Max and Kate's best friend Lauren.
Max is a workaholic who owns a real estate business in New York. Lauren is a social media influencer. After an accident at Paradise Beach, Lauren finds that she has to stay there for a while and as they spend more time together she and Max fall for one another.
This is quite a fun, lighthearted series. Having said that, despite it being lighter, it does at least touch on some more weightier issues. Lauren is dealing with (or it might be more accurate to say not dealing with) having an addict for a parent and how that has made her who she is. It also talks about the way social media projects lies and that much of it is fake. The combination of this fairly easy read, with something a little deeper, makes for a very interesting and entertaining read.
This is a romance and there's plenty of that. Max is a sweetheart and Lauren lovely, they work well together. I think that one of the things that I like about this series so far is that although they all have issues to deal with, the conflict doesn't feel contrived or over the top, as can happen in this type of book. The characters don't spend pages battling with their feelings or not really understanding what they are beginning to feel for the other person, even if they don't know how they feel. Somehow it's all much more natural than some other books.
I really enjoyed Lauren and Max's book and I suspect that we will see more of them in future books. Kate and to a much lesser extent Damian appeared in this one. All in all this a great series that I'm really enjoying.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

All I know - Tamara Lush

All I Know (Paradise Beach #1)All I Know by Tamara Lush
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In many ways, this is a very American story, I'm not sure that it could take place anywhere else. Not because of the characters so much, but the things that happen to them. Firstly our two main characters Kate and Damien have known each other (and been in love with each other since high school). After rumours and gossip that more than a kiss happened between them back then, Kate kept her distance, leaving for college and Nate joined the marines. I can't imagine anything like this happening back when I was at school, of course, there were rumours and of far worse than this, but no one would have cared.
The other thing that makes this a very American story is that after getting together, Kate and Damien decide to get married as she is sick and doesn't have health insurance and can't afford her medicine. I'm not going to make a comment on the politics of this, but I think it's fair to say 'only in America.'
The romance is quite sweet, although there's certainly plenty of chemistry there, Kate and Damien don't fall into bed together the instant that they get together. Instead, they actually go out together and do things before getting there. In fact, other than the getting married so quickly, this is quite a believable romance. They are reluctant to admit to each other how they feel, but I think that just adds to it. This is quite a sweet story and they clearly really care for one another.
What I really liked about this is that although there is a happily ever after here, there's still room for plenty more to come and I believe that they are going to get another story further in this series.
I really enjoyed this book and it made me keen to read more in the Paradise Beach series, probably a good thing as I have book 2 ready to go soon.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 15 August 2019

The Debt - Jackie Ashenden

The DebtThe Debt by Jackie Ashenden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The thing about a good romance is that even though you ultimately know where it's going to end up, it's the getting there that is so enjoyable. The Debt certainly was a good romance and I enjoyed every second of it.
I have to admit that I like a damaged hero and Ash is certainly damaged. Not only has he got a face marred by knife scars from his youth, streetfighting, but rejection from his father and a fallout with his half brother has left him emotionally damaged. Ellie has her own issues with the loss of her mother at a young age and a father who is at best emotionally stunted (actually, he's an arsehole, if the truth be told). But when they come together, the passion between them helps them move beyond their past.
I really loved the chemistry between these two. It was easy to see how drawn to one another they were. Ash tried hard to be ruthless and uncaring, but underneath his bravado, he was clearly nothing of the sort. I also really liked how they were both able to bring out the best in each other.
This was quite a quick read, but one that I really enjoyed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Magnetic - Anya J Cosgrove

Who said life was a fairy tale? Because I’d gladly slice that jerk’s head off. 
I’m Vicky, though that’s not really my name.
Magnetic by Anya J CosgroveI never expected to end up half-naked in the woods with my guts hanging out. I didn’t plan to stumble upon the most powerful shifter clan in North America and three of the sexiest men I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Dominic, the fun and reckless new wolf. 
Sam, the hot doctor with glacial-blue eyes.
And Gabriel, the intense, secretive alpha who wants nothing to do with me.
My real name is a one-way ticket back to hell, and my secrets need to stay buried like the girl I used to be.
Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Red Riding Hood—I can be all three.  I can use my powers to earn a place in their werewolf town, away from the bite of my past mistakes. I can use them—and their bodies—to survive.
The only thing I can’t do is fall for them. 

My Review

Having read and loved the bloody hearts trilogy, I couldn't wait to read Anya J Cosgroves next book, magnetic. This is set in the same world and features Vicky, who was a minor character in that series. I was interested to see how Vicky's character would develop, as to be perfectly honest, I wasn't that keen on her. Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed, either in the way that this story was told or Vicky herself.

There's a lot going on in this book, with the story of Vicky's past coming out alongside her present situation with the three werewolves that she finds herself living with. Seeing things from Vicky's point of view certainly helped me to relate to and sympathise with her. 

This is a reverse harem romance, so there are not one, but three male leads. That said, they, all being different, have different roles to play and we see more of Sam and Dom than we do Gabriel. In fact, most of the action takes place between Vicky, Dom and Sam until later in the book.

If I had to find a small fault with this story, it would be that for me, it was all over a little bit too quickly. That's partly because I greedily read it all as soon as I could, but also because I think I'd been a bit spoilt with the last books being a trilogy. Even so, this was a really enjoyable read. I think that there might be more to come from this small community of werewolves and certainly hopefully from this world. I'm certainly looking forward to reading more books from Anya. 

Buy Links (kindle unlimited):

Teaser: attached

Author Bio:
Anya J Cosgrove lives in Qu├ębec with her husband, her beautiful son, and two mischievous cats. She works as a veterinarian by day. She’s a travel and Disney junkie and is passionate about her favourite paranormal series. What would Buffy do? Kick ass!

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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Steal My Heart - Aimee O'Brian

Steal My Heart
Aimee O’Brian
Published by: Tule Publishing
Publication date: August 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When a fantasy turns into a cold reality
Lexanne Harris had a plan down to the last sexy detail. Never did she think her attempt to spice up her love life with her boyfriend would involve her in a burglary with a sexier than sin thief whose emerald eyes and serious between the sheets skills are impossible to forget. As a police detective she is expected to stand on the side of the law and fight for justice. But what happens when the lines of justice blur and what’s wrong becomes way too tempting?
The situation might be challenging but Lexanne is determined to get assigned to the case, recover the jewels and catch the culprit.
The question is: What will she do with her sexy cat burglar when she catches him?

Author Bio:
Having lived in both California and Texas, Aimee O’Brian now resides in the beautiful wine country. With her three children grown and experiencing their own adventures, she and her husband are free to explore the world. When she’s not reading, writing, or planting even more perennials in her garden, she can be found stomping through ancient ruins and getting lost in museums.

My Review

This is quite a short little romance, but don't let that fool you into thinking that there's nothing here, far from it. I will admit that I read this in pretty much one sitting, but sometimes so instant satisfaction is just what I'm looking for.

What is a little unusual about this one, is that we only really get things from the point of Lexanne, in fact she doesn't even know who her mysterious lover is until a few chapters into the book. In many ways, the idea of accidentally having sex with someone, thinking it was someone else could be quite creepy. Fortunately, the mystery man is quite the gentleman and clearly doesn't fully realise that she thinks that he's someone else. It also helps that the man she had intended to sleep with is a creep of the highest order.

Although our couple do meet each other and get together, when they know who each other are, there isn't really a lot of time for them to get to know one another. It doesn't really matter, the chemistry is there and the connection between them doesn't come across as forced or contrived.

Steal My Heart is a fun romance, ultimately satisfying and exactly what I was in the mood for.