Tuesday, 10 December 2019

What I did for love - Mickey J. Corrigan

What I Did for Love
Mickey J Corrigan
Published by: Bloodhound Books
Publication date: October 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
What happens when a teacher falls for her student?
After her seventeen-year-old student fails to live up to his potential in class, Cathriona O’Hale conducts a parent teacher meeting with the boy’s widowed father. He is attractive, intelligent, and exceedingly wealthy, everything an unmarried middle-aged woman would normally find appealing.
But Cath is not your average forty-something. She’s a wild card who has a crush on the man’s teenage son.
Cath finds herself juggling father and son while battling the true source of her lust and forbidden love. So when the father of the object of her obsession proposes, she has a choice to make:
Love or crime?
And when her decision is made, the consequences might just be deadly…

Author Bio:
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes pulp fiction, literary crime, and psychological thrillers. Her stories have been called “gritty realism,” “oh so compulsive” reads, and “bizarre but believable.” Her novellas and novels have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Salt Publishing in the UK released her satirical crime novel about a school shooting in 2017. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com

My Review

When I started reading this book, my first thought was Lolita. Except, in this case, we have a middle-aged female teacher who lusts after her students. The book tells the story of her love for one of her 17-year-old students and the relationship that she develops with his father. Unsurprisingly, the author notes that Lolita is one of her favourite books. That's not to say that What I Did For Love is a retelling, instead it takes its storyline in its own direction.
Cathriona tries to make us sympathetic to her situation. Of course, if you stop and think about it for all of a second, you know that there is nothing to be sympathetic for here. There is nothing in her plan that is 'right' from the seduction of the older man to get close to the son, the playing with the son's emotions and then her ultimate plan so that she can be with the son. Of course, the joy of it is that you do find yourself being swept along with it until you consider what it is she is doing. 
I think that I was left with as many questions as answers by the end of the book, but I suspect that was intentional. She tells us what the Dad's plans are, but really we have only her interpretation to go on. She's an unreliable narrator at best, but as someone who tells us frequently that she longs to be an author and has drafted versions of the story with parts changed or added to, who knows what the truth really is. There are a couple of points towards the end of the book that made me wonder if that was really what the other characters intended or felt or just what she wanted to believe or see. I won't give specifics to avoid spoilers.
This book won't be for everyone, mostly down to the subject matter. But if you can get past that and really I suggest that you try, then this is a really good read. Thought-provoking, interesting and gripping you will find it hard to put down, I did. 


Friday, 6 December 2019

Tough Guy - Rachel Reid

Tough Guy (Game Changers, #3)Tough Guy by Rachel Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this might possibly be the sweetest hockey romance that I have ever read. Not that I've read many, but I've come across a few. Ryan is a gentle giant, despite his reputation on the ice. He loves men who are the complete opposite of him; confident, delicate and beautiful. He fell for Fabrian as a teenager although he never acted on it. Fabian doesn't have a particular type, but e also fell for Ryan when they were teenagers. It's only when they meet again now that their feelings for one another are revealed.
In many ways, Ryan and Fabian seem like an odd couple. But it soon becomes clear that they work really well together. I don't know a great deal (anything) about ice hockey, having seen a grand total of two games in my life. Ryan's job on the team is as an enforcer. He fights in order to protect other members of his team. Unfortunately, it's not a position that is easy to deal with and Ryan struggles in this story. I did a quick google and found an article about three young enforcers who had all died due to their struggles with mental health and the toll that the game took on them. I thought that this aspect was dealt with quite well in the story. Fabian struggles to reconcile the sweet and caring man that he has fallen for, with the aggressive side he shows on the ice.
Of course, this is a romance story and we know that we all read those for the happily ever after, the ability of the characters to work through their differences and be together. Tough Guy delivers on that front and I'm sure that you'll be left with a happy smile by the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Liar's Daughter - Claire Allan

The Liar’s DaughterThe Liar’s Daughter by Claire Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The latest book from Claire Allan is another edge of your seat, can't put it down read. Told from the point of view of various different characters as the story unfolds, this book deals with child abuse and paedophilia. As the story progresses, we're left trying to guess what really happened in the past and who is to blame for the events of the present.
I have to admit that I did guess where this one was going. It didn't really matter though, although there are twists and turns in the plot and there is a mystery to be revealed, that isn't really the main driving theme of the book. Instead, this book is all about the way that abuse can shape who someone is and the far-reaching effects of it years later.
The Liar's Daughter is a gripping read. I managed to get through it in one day, not because it was short, but just because once I started I couldn't put it down. I'm becoming a big fan of Claire Allan's books and this one certainly measures up to the previous ones that I've read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Colombiano - Rusty Young

ColombianoColombiano by Rusty Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Colombiano, a gripping and confronting read.

Colombiano is a big book, I mean that in more than one way. First of all, it is physically massive (I actually read it on my kindle, but the dots to show the length of the book and how far you've got through it spread across the whole screen). But it also deals with some very large events. The story itself is based on the stories that Rusty Young was told when interviewing ex-child soldiers. I don't know how much of it is 'real' and how much is fiction, it all felt very real.
The book itself, despite its length, is easy to read. I mean that in the sense that the chapters are very short. The story is so engaging that it's a good thing. Short chapters meant that you can keep reading just one more, while longer chapters would have been more likely to make me wait until I actually had time to read. Told from the point of view of Pedro, who witnesses his father's murder and sets out to gain what he claims is justice, but is actually revenge, we follow him as he progresses through the ranks of the Autodefensas. The things that Pedro witnesses and overtime is more of a part of, are brutal. This is a dirty gorilla war, brutality is expected. The confronting part of this book is that as we are following Pedro on his journey, we can't help but sympathise with his situation and why he does something. More than once I found myself rooting for him only to wonder how I could even for a second buy into what was happening.
I came into this knowing next to nothing about Columbia beyond the thoughts of cocaine, coffee and South America. I don't know that I 'know' much more now, but it's certainly a country that I would like to know more about. I hope that over time its wounds can be healed and its people find peace. Especially the likes of Pedro and his friends and enemies who lost their childhood to horror and bloodshed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Unravel You - Diana A Hicks

Unravel You
Diana A. Hicks
(Cole Brothers, #1)
Publication date: November 18th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
UNRAVEL YOU is the enthralling sequel to LOVE OVER LATTES and can be read as a standalone. It is also book one in the Cole Brothers series, a new family saga, binge reading experience: 5 brothers, 5 full-length novels in 5 months.
College graduate Valentina never expected to fall for the hot as hell and intimidating Derek Cole when she accepted his offer to rent his property.
From cottage to mansion, Valentina is certain she doesn’t deserve the fairytale unfolding. But Derek gets what he wants… and he wants her.
He’s “the one” for her, but before she says I do, she has to survive a month long trip to his family’s estate in Atlanta. Gaining approval from four brothers and an over-protective mother might just be her hardest test yet.
For billionaire Derek Cole, this homecoming is a chance to mend the damage he caused when he walked away from the family business.
Just when they think they have a handle on their happily ever after… their past and future collide.
Note: This is a steamy romance with explicit sensual scenes, happily ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger. Can be read as a standalone.
“Hicks’ first installment of her Desert Monsoon series is confident and assured with strong storytelling, nuanced characters, and a dynamic blend of romance and suspense…A sexy and irresistible tale for fans of contemporary romance.” – Kirkus Reviews
Don’t miss out on this suspenseful and seductive series.
Unravel You, Book 1 (Derek and Valentina) – 11/18/2019
Provoke You, Book 2 (Matt and Ela) – 12/16/2019
Escape You, Book 3 (Tyler and Mia) – 1/13/2020
Unleash You, Book 4 (Wesley and Anabelle) – 2/10/2020
Defy You, Book 5 (Zack and Rebecca) – 3/9/2020

Author Bio:
Diana A. Hicks is an award-winning author of steamy contemporary romance with a touch of suspense. Book two in her Desert Monsoon series, LOVE OVER LOGIC, won the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Romance – Suspense genre
When Diana is not writing, she enjoys kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.

My Review

I didn't realise when I started reading this one that it was actually a follow on story from a previous book. I don't know how much difference it would have made to read the first in the series, but I don't think that it reduced my enjoyment too much. Unlike most romance books, this isn't the story of a couple getting together, but a couple working out what they are to one another once they've already got together but are looking to get married. 
Despite this being a follow on, it is actually the start of the Cole Brothers series. We do briefly meet the other four brothers in this book and I think at least two of their love interests. The main story focused on Dereck and Valentina. They have both had an interesting and volatile romantic past, but are happy with one another. Although their respective ex-partners are the ones causing them trouble now.
On the whole, I liked Dereck and Valentina as a couple. My only slight reservation was that Dereck was a little too controlling and overbearing for my taste. He really oversteps the mark at one point, by not only keeping Valentina in the dark about the danger and she and her son are on, but also by moving her son somewhere safe, but not telling her or letting her know that he can't be contacted. For me, that would have been a deal-breaker, no matter how much chemistry I had with someone. 
Overall this was a good start to the series and I'd be interested to see how the rest of it pans out.


Sunday, 24 November 2019

Hero's Haven - Rebecca Zanetti

Hero's Haven (Dark Protectors Book 11)Hero's Haven by Rebecca Zanetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's always a danger that when you get to the eleventh book in a series, that it might become hard for new readers to follow what's going on. Although I have read some of the others in this series (the last two) I don't think that's the case here. You could come into the world at any of the books and not be lost in what's going on. That's not to say that there aren't links with the previous books. The characters appear across the series and play various roles.
There is an overarching storyline here and each book does seem to lead a step closer to what I assume will be the final conclusion. But you aren't left feeling that the book isn't a complete story itself and as a standalone, these all work fine.
Hero's Haven deals with Quade and Haven. Haven has grown up thinking that she's mad. The family that adopted her have abused her in an attempt to change who she is. What she didn't know is that she is a fae demon hybrid. She has been visiting Quade for years in her dreams, not realising that he has existed in another dimension and not simply been part of her imagination. Now that they finally meet for real, she struggles to trust him and to believe that there can be anything between them.
I loved Quade, in some ways he seems like an overgrown kid. He's been exiled for centuries away from the earth, so much is foreign to him. He even keeps eating toothpaste because he likes the sweet minty flavour. He's full-on and overbearing, but this type of hero often is. I'm not sure I'd want to cope with someone like that in real life, but he's fun to read about in a book.
I'm not sure where to next for this series, but I'm looking forward to reading more and finding out.
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 November 2019

The Enforcer - Abigail Owen

The Enforcer (Fire’s Edge, #3)The Enforcer by Abigail Owen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the Fire's Edge and Inferno Rising series from Abigail Owen. This is the third book in the Fire's Edge series and it builds into what we have already seen and there is a cross over with the first Inferno Rising series (which seems to take place at roughly the same time as this one and there are some cross over events). This book does work as a stand-alone, but really you should read the other books first, just because they are so good.
The Enforcer is Drake, he's never found his mate and now he's slowly dying, even though the degeneration shouldn't have started to take place for another couple of hundred years. Not wanting to endanger his 'family' the Huracán team of dragon enforcers, he leaves them, becoming a rogue dragon. There he meets Camilla, a woman that he had saved previously, not realising that she was a dragon mate.
I loved the romance between Cami and Drake. She not only gives as good as she gets but quite often has the upper hand where Drake is concerned. He's a grumpy old sod and really needs someone who is able to push him out of his comfort zone and challenge him. Of course, being his mate there is a happily ever after here, but they both need to work for it and really find out that they are 'the one' for each other.
I can't wait for more in this series and in Inferno Rising. I think I know who were are going to read about next in both series. I just hope that I haven't got too long to wait until I can.
received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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