Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Rogue Wave - Isabel Jolie

Rogue Wave
Isabel Jolie
(Haven Island, #1)
Publication date: April 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes opposites don’t just attract — they collide with all the violent passion of a rogue wave.

Tate
I sailed every ocean, saw the worst that humanity had to offer, and accomplished… nothing.

The world is just as screwed up now as it was when I set out to save it. The futility of it all left me disillusioned. Numb.

Then an idealistic beauty burst into my world, shining a light into all the dark corners of my soul.

The last thing she needs is a summer romance with a burned-out wreck like me.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do…

Luna
When I look at Tate, I see a legend. He’s done it all, seen it all — lived my dream.

Too bad he doesn’t see what I see.

He thinks he’s all wrong for me. Too old.

But age is just a number. In our souls, where we’re both one with the sea, we’re the same.

He says I shouldn’t want him.

But I do…

They clash in every sexy, dangerous way imaginable. But is attraction — and maybe even love — enough to overcome all that stands between them? Or will their happily ever after remain elusive?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Isabel Jolie, or Izzy to her friends, is an Amazon bestselling indie author with an unquenchable thirst for a good, sexy love story. Izzy’s heart pumps faster for stories with strong heroines, down-to-earth realism, and an unexpected twist.

When she’s not writing or reading, she can often be found with a glass of wine in hand relaxing with her husband, daughters, and good friends lakeside.

Izzy fills her Instagram feed with funnies, inspirational “brain candy”, and anything that meshes with her mood of the day. #mood.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


My Review

You might be excused for thinking that you are in for a light romance when you pick up Rogue Wave. While it's true that there is a romance woven through these pages, there's also a bit more to it than that. Tate has seen a lot of the world and it's left him weary and scarred. He is lost and doesn't really know what he wants out of life any longer, only that his youthful optimism is long gone. Luna is all that he was in his early twenties and so much to young for him, both in a literal and figurative sense. What he doesn't realise is that she is possibly all that he really needs to find himself again.
While it's obvious to us that Luna and Tate belong together, Tate isn't sure that they should be. He worries about the age difference (13 years) and the difference in what they want out of life. As often happens, Luna, the younger member of this partnership, is much more mature in her approach to everything.
I really enjoyed this story. The romance was strong and worked well. The passion that they both had for sea life, fishing and human trafficking and slavery also went to make a gripping read and one that I couldn't put down. This is the first book in a series set on Haven Island and I can't wait to read more. 

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Saturday, 3 April 2021

Dare to be a Duchess - Sapna Bhog

 


He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…


Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay.
The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her.
Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed.
Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves...



Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com


Quotes from Dare to be a Duchess:

“Here, right at this moment, I’m giving you an ultimatum: Find someone from the ton to marry in the next six months or I will choose someone for you.” – Duke of Wolverton

“Well then the plan is simple, ‘Divide and Rule.’” – Lara Ramsay

“You’ll be surprised that a gentleman with the best intentions can behave like a rake when faced with temptation.” – Duke of Wolverton

“I think, Wolf, that you go on and on about my undesirability and my unattractiveness as a way to convince yourself more than me. The fact is that you kissed me because I am desirable and I am very attractive indeed.” – Lara Ramsay.

“You know very well that I’m accepted in the ton, albeit grudgingly, thanks only to you. No man wants to marry me, and I don’t want to marry any of those men.” – Lara Ramsay.


Read an Excerpt from Dare to be a Duchess:

Wolf crossed his arms and glared at Lara. Despite being at fault, she was as unrepentant as ever. Her absolute nonchalance drove him mad, always. 

“It is my concern. Getting into trouble is second nature to you, so I’d be lying if I said that it gave me any pleasure to be the one to help you out.” Wolf scowled at her. “Paxton is not a fool. He only has to think closely as to whose identity I would desperately want to protect and then remember your dark hair and he will come up with your name. You truly have no sense at all.”

“Well then you shouldn’t have bothered coming to my aid,” Lara retorted. “I could have handled the situation perfectly well by myself.” 

Wolf put his hands on his hips. “And how may I ask would you have done that?”

“I’ve heard that a well planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You’re crazy to think that you could have deterred Paxton that easily.”

Lara merely stared at him, her head held high, further fueling his temper. 

“What, nothing to say?” he snapped. “Which brings me back to my first question. What in the world are you doing here in this depraved place?” 

Lara continued to watch him with those deep blue eyes, her lips set in a mutinous line. Her lack of response irked him even more. 

“Answer me,” Wolf demanded, his tone sharp.

She met his gaze head on. “We had no inkling this place would be so bad. And nothing untoward has occurred, so stop shouting at me.”

 “Unbelievable,” he growled. “Do you know how bad this place can be for two innocent girls like yourselves? Behind their masks and costumes, the men here have only one thing on their minds when they look at you, and you, as usual, don’t care that you could be completely ruined if discovered, let alone taken advantage of, in this den of vice. You are wild and irresponsible and you give no thought to your actions or the consequences thereof. And you 

brought Anne here? Just because you don’t care about your reputation doesn’t mean you can play fast and loose with hers.”

Lara’s eyes blazed with fury. “Anne is not a child. She is a grown woman who has a mind of her own.” 

“And that is justification for you to come here?” Wolf countered.

“I, too, have a mind of my own,” she shot back. “And I do not appreciate you telling me what I can and cannot do.”

His nostrils flared. He was the Duke of Wolverton, one of the most powerful men in England. No one defied him. And yet this one woman stood against him at every turn. Why couldn’t she understand the potential danger for her or Anne here?

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram



Sunday, 28 March 2021

Fighter - Anna Ray

 True love sounds great until it shows up on your doorstep wrapped in a warning label.



When Tristan walks back into my life, he’s not the childhood friend I remember. He’s harder, dangerous, angry. But he’s gentle with me. And he wants to know why I gave up my dreams of being an artist. 

An underground fighter with a track record of leaving is the worst person I could fall for. But he keeps showing up at my door, telling me that my paintings are amazing and I’m even better. My head says, “No,” but my heart says, “Yes.”

He thrives on violence. I’m desperate for security. 
He’s angry and lost. I know exactly what I want, if only I dared reach for it. He’s on a dark, self-destructive spiral. I’ve already lost one person. I refuse to do it again.

Wonderfully written and delivered with remarkable love! I adored it. - Elsie, booksprout

Will the passion they’ve found together burn out in the light of day? Or can they change enough to find real happiness? 

My Review

I'm not always a huge fan of romance novels where the lead characters are so young, but in the Fighter, it works. Tristan and Kaia are both students in their very late teens (18-19). They knew each other as youngsters, but have lost trust. In the time, they've both gone through some difficult times. Tristan found out that he was adopted and Kaia's mother died from an overdose. Now they are both studying, but neither really wants to do the courses that they are doing. Kaia loves art and Tristan spends his time taking part in illegal fights.
I liked this love story between this pair of old friends. Something that often puts me off them is that the characters are sometimes treated as though they are still children. Fortunately for the most part that didn't happen here. Tristan and Kaia both need to find the courage to follow their dreams and for Tristan, he also needs to face up to who he is.
They worked well as a couple and I enjoyed their story. All in all a good read. 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Fearless - Kaylene Winter

Fearless
Kaylene Winter
(Less Than Zero, #3)
Publication date: March 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Family is everything, I protect mine with my life..

Connor McGloughlin had it all, a great family, a college scholarship and music.
Tragedy forced him to grow up too fast.
When his life finally is on track, Ronni Miller appears like a dream.
Kindred spirits in the most unlikely of circumstances.
There’s only one thing in the way—
Her dark past he’s determined to protect her from.

When your innocence is stolen, trust is a precious gift..

Actress Ronni Miller tasted fame at a young age.
But her path to stardom was riddled with tragedy.
She never imagined falling for Connor McGloughlin, a rogue, Irish rock star.
The thing is? Ronni’s got revenge on her mind.
Regardless of the risk or the consequences.
Or losing the one thing in her life that makes her feel alive.

Connor has only ever asked Ronni for one thing: her heart.
But when her bravery is couched in lies?
She risks losing the man who would do anything for her.
Unless she finally realizes being fearless means placing your trust in true love.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990's, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter / Instagram

My Review

Fearless tells the story of Connor and Ronni. Like the previous book in the Less than Zero series that I have read, this book takes place over a long period of time, with the timeline flitting backwards and forwards as we learn more about their story. Although this is part of a series, you don't have to have read the others, although the characters do reappear and feature in each of the stories.
I really enjoyed this story. The connection between Ronni and Connor is strong and deep, even if it isn't always easy or straightforward, when is love ever? It also is much more than this. With elements of #metoo and some of the awful things that stars and want to be stars are sometimes subjected to in order to achieve their dreams. Ronni is an incredibly strong and determined character, and you can't help but cheer her on, even when it's at the expense of the sweethearted Connor.
This was a fantastic read and I'd love to read more in this gripping series. 

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Sunday, 14 March 2021

A New York Secret - Ella Carey

 

She looked at the telegram in horror, the words blurring in front of her eyes. She dropped to her
knees, feeling that her entire world was ending. The paper slipped from her hands as she put her head in her hands, sobs wracking her chest…


1942, New York. As war rages in Europe, Lily Rose is grateful for her perfect life: the love of her wealthy uptown parents in their beautiful brownstone overlooking the park and her dream job as a chef at one of New York’s finest restaurants, the art deco dream that is Valentino’s. But in her heart, Lily is drawn towards the bohemian Sicilian community in Greenwich Village, where gorgeous fresh fruit spills onto the pavement and the smell of freshly baked cannoli tempt her inside every Italian deli.

Part of the attraction is Tom Morelli, a talented chef and handsome grandson of Sicilian immigrants, whose deep brown eyes call to her and set her heart on fire. As wartime rationing bites in the city, Lily and Tom stay up late, dreaming up delicious meals that will see Valentino’s through the war and distract New Yorkers from the threat of sons and sweethearts being called up. Lily knows he has found the key to her heart.

Then Tom receives a devastating summons that changes everything: he is drafted to Italy. He must return to his beautiful homeland to fight a desperate war.

Suddenly alone, with only the memory of Tom’s last kiss, Lily turns to her parents for support. But when her mother finds out about her relationship, she is furious. When the war ends, Lily’s duty is to marry the man picked for her, raise children and never work again. They give her a heartbreaking ultimatum: end her relationship with Tom and give up her job or lose her family and inheritance forever.

Lily knows she must follow her heart to Valentino’s and to Tom. But when Tom is declared missing in action, Lily is totally heartbroken. If she pursues her dreams, will there be anything left for her when the war is over?

From top-ten bestseller, Ella Carey comes an utterly heartbreaking historical novel, inspired by true events, about the courage, love and friendships that sustain us in the darkest of days. Fans of Fiona Davis, Rhys Bowen and The Nightingale will be captivated.

Author Bio:

Ella Carey is the internationally bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.


Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her Facebook page and on her website.


http://www.ellacarey.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ellacareyauthor/

https://twitter.com/Ella_Carey


Buy Link:

My Review

I loved this story from the moment that I picked it up. I'm not sure if it was the setting; wartime New York, or the storyline itself that first grabbed me. Either way, it was the characters, particularly Lily Rose, our heroine, which had me turning the pages. Like many women during the war, she finds herself doing the jobs that have always been for men and follows her dream of being a chef. Along the way, she also falls in love and questions what she really wants out of life, something very different to what her parents dreamed of.

I read this book quite quickly, desperate to know what was going to happen to Lily, Tom and their friends and family. I got drawn deeply into their story and was desperate to know what was going to happen to them all. 

I also enjoyed the fact that the story was about wartime America. It's something I know nothing about and despite having learnt a lot about the war at school, being British it was always from a British, Commonwealth or European point of view. This was an interesting alternative.

I loved this story and right up to the end I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how it was all going to play out. Highly recommended.



Saturday, 13 March 2021

The Long Road Home - Sapna Bhog Blitz

 


Losing the boy she loved nearly destroyed MEHAK KHANNA. But letting him in a second time can be more dangerous for her. Rishi Sehgal has left a steady stream of broken hearts in his wake and if Mehak is not careful then she may just end up becoming the next victim of his dashing charisma. But Rishi is everywhere with his charm, his wit, and that devastating smile. Now Mehak has to fight a daily battle to not fall for him again.
RISHI SEHGAL has never forgotten Mehak, the girl who broke his heart when he was very young. Thanks to her, he has his rules—no relationships, no staying the night, and no promises. But all his hard rules fly right out of the window when Mehak returns into his life. Now Rishi has to decide if he can open his heart to Mehak a second time. 
Some things, however, are written in the stars and sometimes you have to move beyond the past and choose to believe in love.
However, what destroyed their relationship the first time will once again test their love. Will they survive a second test, especially with Mehak’s life on the line? Will Rishi and Mehak learn that true love is worth fighting for?
Find out more in this tale of young love and second chances.

Book Links:
Goodreads

Book Trailer:



Meet Mehak Khanna from The Long Road Home


Calm, poised, a woman of few words and a complete introvert, MEHAK KHANNA, works as the Director of Graphic Design in QubeCore. Her corkscrew curls are a cause of dissent between her mother and her, but Mehak is done with going for hair straightening treatments ever again in life. Her one experience was a disaster which she’s happy never repeating. 

At 29, Mehak has only one aim in life which is to succeed at her job. Her work is her religion and her life is set on the right path or so she thinks, until a chance meeting at her workplace with Rishi Sehgal changes everything. He’s the first boy she ever loved and who crushed her heart so many years ago. 
But this time around being with him feels different. He seems changed and the more she meets him, the more she realizes that maybe she ought to forget and forgive.


About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers. So do give her a shout on


Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram



Friday, 12 March 2021

Absolute Silence - Jill Ramsower


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The Lion’s Den club was better than I ever imagined and my worst nightmare, all combined.

 

I thought I was going to explore my darkest fantasies.

Gain a better understanding of myself and see what I’d been missing in life.

 

Instead, I made a deal with the devil.

 

I had hoped I wouldn’t see anyone I knew at the club.

Coming face-to-face with Filip De Luca was a worst-case scenario.

 

Filip was effortless power seething beneath a playboy exterior.

A host of sharp edges disguised behind a cavalier grin.

Inescapably alluring and devastatingly dangerous.

 

He promised he wouldn’t tell my father about seeing me at the club.

I had his blessing to dip my toes into the dark waters of deviancy.

 

The catch?

Filip would guide me on this journey.

He would control every aspect of my exploration.

Set every boundary and command my obedience to his rules.

 

I thought I could live with his terms.

Gain the experience I wanted from a partner I could trust.

 

What a na├»ve fool I’d been to think our bargain could ever be so simple.


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I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of Jill Ramsower's Five Family series and this latest instalment is no exception. This time we have Camilla, who due to some things that happened to her when she was younger, has developed some slightly specialists tastes in the bedroom. When she joins a private sex club, she doesn't expect to run into her cousin's brother in law, Filip. Once she starts to spend time with him, the emotion and connection between them is off the scale and it's clear that there's a future for them both together.
This book isn't just about the romance and sexual side of their relationship. Camilla and Filip both have baggage from their childhood. In Camilla's case in particular, this has made her very much the woman that she is today and rather than avoiding that part of herself, she embraces it and encourages Filip to do the same. There is also a threat from Filip's past, which will test both of them.
This was a gripping and thrilling read with plenty of romance and heat. I believe that there's another book left in this fantastic series and I for one can't wait to get my hands on it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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The club was exactly what I needed—I’d never come so quickly in my life. The confirmation of my suspicions both relieved but also troubled me. A part of me had desperately wanted to be normal, but it appeared that wasn’t in the cards.

In my heart, I’d known I wasn’t the same as those around me. Maybe that was why I chose to go blonde and stand apart from my sisters and parents. I’d wanted to be as outwardly different as I felt on the inside. I’d told myself that no matter what had gone on in my past, I was still the one in control—I was the developer of the landscape of my life. One hour at the Den proved that was only so true.

There was an insidious desire inside me that I couldn’t deny. It wouldn’t be quashed or ignored.

A taste for darkness.

I found pleasure in things that others shunned. I craved deeds only performed in the shadows of society. I should have known there was no escaping it.

Once an addict, always an addict.

I needed Filip’s brand of seduction like I needed my next breath. The small taste I’d been given wasn’t enough. I needed more, and I would get it, one way or another.


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Read the First Chapter HERE!


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Enter the Release Giveaway HERE!

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Within a year of self-publishing her first book, Jill Ramsower quit her job as an attorney and dedicated her days to churning out romantic adventures. She likes to think of her books as contemporary romance with a touch of fantasy—at its core, her writing is about the connection between two people. Sometimes that connection involves a little magic…

With Jill’s books, you can count on confident heroines, plenty of steamy tension, and deliciously assertive leading men. There are no guarantees in life, but with her books, you know everything will work out in the end. However, a perfect ending would not be nearly as satisfying without a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Jill loves to add plenty of adversity in her stories, creating unforgettably dynamic characters and sneaky plot twists you will never see coming.

Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she's a travel junkie and loves to read when she is not lost in her own stories.

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