Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake

Crave the Heat (The Smokejumpers #2)Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in Marnee Blake's Smokejumpers series. I have to admit that I am a bit of a firefighter fan and stories about the elite smokejumpers that parachute into out of the way locations to deal with wildfires are always going to be something that I'm interested in.
In this second book, we learn more about Dak, who appeared as Lance's friend in the first book. Lance and Meg, who were the main characters in book one do make a small appearance in this book, although most of the story focuses around Dak and Heidi, who has just arrived in the area to investigate who has been setting fires around the area. There is a bit of a mystery/thriller dimension to this story, although I will admit that I had worked out who was setting the fires long before they did. I didn't really get to the bottom of why they were doing it, however, but then neither did any of the characters in the book.
Overall I liked both Dak and Heidi, they seemed to work well together and there was certainly chemistry between them. I'm not sure that I'm that into the dysfunctional family idea, especially seeing as that played a major part of the plot in book one and then here we are with another in book two.
This was an enjoyable read and I'd be keen to continue with more in 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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My Way To You - Lyndell Williams




My way to you

Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and good at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s little sister, Regina. Intrigued by her beauty at first sight, he’s increasingly enthralled and risks his friendship with Marcus to have her in his arms.

Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into an affair knowing that she chanced angering big brother and the less tolerant of her followers. Many will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian .

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep the world at bay.

My Review

Well, this was a story and a half. If you're expecting your bog standard, basic romance, then that isn't what you are going to get, but even so, I don't think that you'll be disappointed in this one. In many ways, the events of this book could have filled a whole series. That's not to say that the book is either overly long, or rushed, it isn't, but there's an awful lot going on.
There isn't just romance to deal with here, but race, prejudice and what happens when love runs into that. Simon and Regina have a lot to deal with, much more than many other couples have. Some of it was a surprise. I know that things are different in the US, not to say that there isn't racism in the UK or here in New Zealand, but it certainly seems that 'inter-racial' relationships are much more of a big deal in America. In fact, I will admit that of the people I know who are in one (and now I think of it, there are quite a few) I'd never really considered them to be in something different. I don't know, but I don't think that many people are that bothered about it, certainly, nothing like Simon and Regina have to deal with, it's sad that that should be the case in 2018.
I liked both Simon and Regina, although I wanted to shake them both at various points. As is often the case in romance novels, things would be much easier if they would talk more. Sometimes that would mean that there was no story left, but in this case, there would be still plenty of drama. The only thing that stopped this from being a five-star book was that very occasionally the dialogue just didn't quite seem to flow naturally. I'm possibly being a bit picky here, but that means that there's room for the next book from this author. I'll certainly be making sure that I read it.


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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Fianna's Awakening - Rod C. Nieto


Fianna’s Awakening
Ron C. Nieto
(Warriors of Myth and Legend, #1)
Publication date: November 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Outcast. Betrayer. Chosen.
After five years being a Fianna, Aisling O’Malley still has to prove herself every day. The sins of the father weigh heavily on her shoulders, and no matter what she does, her fellow warriors regard her as the undeserving one. It doesn’t help that one of the four mythical treasures of Ireland has turned up under her nose, leaving her none the wiser. If by any chance the touted Spear of Lugh up for auction is indeed the legendary Spear of Victory, she needs to get her hands on it before anyone else does—and be spectacular enough about it to make the rest of the Fianna forget she almost missed the artifact in the first place.
Exile. Betrayer. Forgotten.
After spending twice as long undercover as he ever lived at home, Ronan no longer knows where he belongs to or where he’s actually exiled from. He can’t return to his people, not unless he collects the four artifacts of power the Tuatha Dé lost when they were forced to leave Ireland, and three millennia after the fact, he’s pretty sure they’re going to remain lost. Except one of those ancient treasures has landed in his lap—or could land in his lap, if he brings himself to work with the spunky young woman who wants to hire him to consult on the Spear’s authenticity.
Can two broken people learn to trust one another? And even if they can, will it be too late to save Ireland… or themselves?


Author Bio:
Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and decided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself.
If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website.




My Review

This book was a little different to the ones that I usually go for, in all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect. This is the first book in a series that follows Fianna Aisling O’Malley and Ronan, who appears to be an expert on Irish myth and legend at the local university, but is perhaps much more. When a legendary spear that allows the owner to be undefeated in battle turns up, they try to track it down and get hold of it, but they are not the only ones who want it.

There is a lot of world-building to be done here.  For the most part it's well done and enjoyable. I was wondering how Aisling found herself as a Fianna, but there isn't a great deal of detail. I found out, after reading the book, that there is a prequel novella that tells this story and I wish that I had read this first.

I thought that both Ronan and Aisling were interesting characters and I'd be interested to see how their story develops and plays out over time. Clearly, there is much more to learn there. Overall, it's an enjoyable read and a good start to a series. 

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Saturday, 8 December 2018

Murder at the Manor Hotel - Betty Rowlands

Murder at the Manor Hotel (Melissa Craig #4)Murder at the Manor Hotel by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying these Melissa Craig mysteries. Unfortunately, I've missed out on book number three in this series, but I don't think it really matters and I can go back later. Like the previous books that I've read this is another classic murder mystery. This time with the added threat of some other criminal activity (I won't go into details, as Melissa doesn't find out about it until later in the book).
These stories are marketed as being cosy mysteries. I personally am not a fan of the term and I think in this case it sells the story a little short. Most that fall into that genre are a little more humorous and light-hearted than this. That's not to say that this is some gritty dark tale, but there's more to it than a throwaway read in my opinion.
Melissa is again involved in the thick of the action and looks to find out more. I also like the development of her relationship with some of the other characters. Her next door neighbour is as always an entertaining side character, although she doesn't have a central role in this book and the same can be said for her cleaner. There is a little more of her tame policeman friend too and I suspect that he may feature a little more in future books.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, although it doesn't really matter if you read this as a one-off or part of the series. It certainly works as a stand-alone novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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Thursday, 6 December 2018

My way to you release day blitz


About the Book

Title: My Way To You Author: Lyndell Williams Genre: Romance Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself. Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man. As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.    

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer as well as a multifaceted editor, romance scholar and author. She is a managing editor and columnist for various media platforms and serves as a content editor for a select group of clients. She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series. Lyndell is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.  

Links

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Monday, 3 December 2018

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery - Leonard r. Gribble

The Arsenal Stadium MysteryThe Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard R. Gribble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that this is the first mystery novel that is set in the world of football. You could probably write everything I know about football on a postage stamp and still leave room for a margin, which is a bit pitiful for a Brit, it being our national sport. Still, that didn't really matter when it came to reading this book. Although football and more particularly the gunners gave the scene for this story, it didn't mean that a non-football fan couldn't still enjoy it and get a lot out of it.
Like many of these classic mysteries from the golden age of the genre, the mystery revolves around a small cast of characters, many of who seem to have a motive for killing the person who meets their untimely end. As often is the case in books like this, the victim, Doyce, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, which means that not only could there be a lot of people who want to do away with him, but also you can't really mind too much that he is killed off.
I don't want to go into the various motives or do anything that might give the identity of the killer away. I will say though, that I did manage to solve the mystery, although I did think that some of the background was a little bit far fetched.
Overall, this is an enjoyable mystery read. If you like classic mysteries, even if football isn't usually your thing, I think you'll enjoy this.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

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Thursday, 29 November 2018

The Billionaire's Last Chance - Leslie North

The Billionaire's Last Chance (The Beaumont Brothers, #3)The Billionaire's Last Chance by Leslie North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Beaumont Brother's series and I have read all three. They work fine as stand-alone stories and there is no need to have read the first two before diving into this one. That said, I enjoyed the first couple of books and so was looking forward to reading the final one.
I really liked Connall and in many ways enjoyed his story more than those for his brothers.
Unlike the two previous books, Connall doesn't have a pretend partner and then fiance. He falls for Bernadette quickly and properly, but he still needs to be married in order to meet the terms of this grandfather's will. Unfortunately, Bernadette doesn't know that this is what he needs to do and when she finds out, she feels used.
I liked both the growth of their relationship and how they dealt with the problems that they faced. Like the previous stories, this was a very quick read and in an ideal world, I would have liked a little bit more. Both in terms of Connall and Bernadette's story and more of the characters from the previous stories. That said, it didn't really detract from this one and it was a great, quick read.
I'm a bit sorry that the series is over, but I'm really pleased I got to read it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

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