Monday, 15 July 2019

In Skates Trouble - Kate Meader

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #0.5)In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the intro to a series that was released a few years ago now. I believe that it originally appeared as part of an anthology, but is now available as this novella. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but I have recently read the first book in a spin-off series, Good Guy. I was interested to come back to this first series, after reading that.
This is a fairly quick read. Actually, I read it in one day, it would have been one sitting but some of us do have work to do, sadly. The story centres around divorcee Addison, who is in the process of setting up a lingerie business and hockey player Ford. What I did particularly like about these two is that unlike the pairings you often get in romance books, Addison was older than Ford and had been married before. It's such a refreshing change to not have the young virgin or fairly inexperienced girl who gets taught the ways of love by an older, more experienced man.
We get straight into the action, so to speak, when Ford overhears Addison and her friends discussing disappointing sexual partners. Before they even meet properly, the couple is enjoying one another's company, in more ways than one. I quite liked the way that that was done, it was unusual and entertaining. With this being a novella, getting to the action quickly was always going to be important.
Addison and Ford worked for me as a couple and there was certainly chemistry there. It's always difficult with a shorter story, as some things can be a bit rushed, but this wasn't too much of an issue here. It also set the series up well, which is what I assume the whole point was.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Death under the Apple Tree - Betty Rowlands

Death under the Apple Tree (Sukey Reynolds, #7)Death under the Apple Tree by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only problem with this Sukey Reynolds series is that I am running out of ways to say how much I am enjoying them. Not that that is going to stop me from writing these reviews or reading the books for that matter. There is something that is just so enjoyable about the series. The characters of course help. Over the course of the previous six books, we've seen Sukey's son Gus turn from a young teenager to a young man who is off to University in this book. Her relationship with Jim Castle has rumbled along quietly, with moments of passion for our amateur detective in-between the odd bout of disapproval for her snooping ways. I did wonder if they were going to move to a more permanent arrangement now that Gus is away at university, but that doesn't seem to have happened as yet.
The mystery this time was not one that I was able to solve. Sometimes I seem to get there long before Sukey has a clue, but this time I was completely in the dark. The important thing with a murder mystery for me isn't my ability to solve it or not, but really how well it works and how easy the solution is. Fortunately, in this series, the mystery is believable and never too obvious.
I'm keen to read the next book and find out what is in store for Sukey. Will she finally become a detective for real? Will Jim finally be willing to be more open about their relationship? Will Gus become so skilled through his university course that he can solve all of the mysteries for them? I can't wait to find out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 12 July 2019

Million Dollar Marriage - Katy Evans

Million Dollar Marriage (Million Dollar, #2)Million Dollar Marriage by Katy Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun and entertaining story this was. Not only was it a cute love story with plenty of heat and steam, but there was also great subtle humour that ran through the book.
The couple who feature in the story, Penelope and Luke are complete opposites. Forced together, in more ways than one, in the name of a reality tv show, they have to overcome their prejudices and work together in order to will a million dollars. This was a fun and interesting take on the opposites attract and enemies to lovers themes. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two lead characters. It did take a little while for Penelope to relax and trust Luke, but I liked the way that they began to see the best in each other as the story progressed.
I thought the idea of having the story set as part of a reality tv show was great. It does seem like the kind of crazy thing that they have people doing all in the name of entertainment. I'm not entirely convinced that either Penelope or Luke would be convinced to take part in one. I'm not sure either that they would be a couple in real life, but in books like this, that really doesn't matter. For me, the chemistry worked and I enjoyed seeing them discover just how right they were for one another and the way that they each saw things in the other that they themselves hadn't realised.
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read the first in the series, but I'd be keen to go back and check it out. This book works fine as a standalone and while I think the previous characters were mentioned, it wasn't something that impacted my enjoyment.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 11 July 2019

Saint - Chantal Fernando

Saint (Knights of Fury, #1)Saint by Chantal Fernando
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Saint is the first in a new series set in a Motorbike club known as the Knights of Fury. I have to admit that I didn't know that I would enjoy MC set books, but I've read quite a few now and on the whole, I do enjoy them.
This book tells the story of Skylar, who was raised, at least for a time, as part of a Motor Cycle club, until a huge bust-up between her mother and stepdad resulted in them leaving never to see the men in the club again. Skylar as a teenager had a crush on one of the guys in the club, Saint, who is five years older than her. Once she's all grown up, they meet again and she falls in love with him properly.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book. In all honesty, I did think that Saint's character was a little flat. He quickly falls for Skylar, but there's almost something just missing from him. I don't know if it's because we see everything from Skylar's point of view rather than his? Skylar is a little immature. She's supposed to be 21 and considered quite with it and tough, but the way that she reacts to some things is quite childish. Perhaps that's because she has been raised by an awful mother and had a very dysfunctional childhood? I'm not sure.
This was an entertaining read and I'd be happy to read more about the Kights of Fury. I suspect that I know who will be the couple in the next book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Good Guy - Kate Meader

Good Guy (Rookie Rebels, #1)Good Guy by Kate Meader
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I believe that this book links to two other series by Kate Meader while at the same time being the start of a new series. I haven't read anything by Meader before, but this one certainly made me interested to go back and try the other books.
This book follows the 'in love with my best friend's woman and now he's dead' theme. I have come across this theme before a couple of times, but this was a fresh take on it. That combined with the good writing, likeable characters and the additional slant of Women working in a male-dominated world, made this a great read.
I liked both Levi and Jordan and their romance and relationship was believable and had plenty of chemistry. Levi really is the good guy, almost too good to be true at times, but he doesn't believe it himself.
Although Jordan's husband, who also happens to have been Levi's best friend, does cast a shadow between them, it isn't all that is important in this story. In many ways, I enjoyed the woman reporter storyline even more. Jordan is a little bit unwilling to push too hard and is accepting at times, but as we all know, that often is the reality of being a woman in that kind of environment. Even the most confident and forceful of us are conditioned to accept far too much.
This was a good read with a satisfying romance element and a thought-provoking look at women and equality.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Death on a Summer Morning - Betty Rowlands

Death on a Summer Morning: An absolutely gripping cozy mystery novel (A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 6)Death on a Summer Morning: An absolutely gripping cozy mystery novel by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been a little concerned that as these books progressed, Sukey's going against her boyfriend and the police, in general, to investigate on her own might get a little much. Surely someone can't just keep doing that. Fortunately, in this instalment at least, that little issue has been dealt with to some extent. While Sukey does get involved in her own investigations again in this book, it's really quite reluctantly and she does, on more than one occasion try to involve Jim with her thoughts and ideas.
I do enjoy these mysteries. Sukey is a very likeable character and I enjoy reading about her attempts to get to the bottom of various mysteries. This time she gets drawn in after the seemingly accidental death of a man, while his fiance and daughter won't accept that he wasn't murdered. Sukey manages to solve at least part of the mystery, but not get to the bottom of things completely. (Although I did this time.)
I'm looking forward to the next in this series. I am really enjoying them.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 7 July 2019

Control Freak - Brianna Hale

Control FreakControl Freak by Brianna Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Years ago I used to have a cartoon strip that I had cut out of the paper at school. It was about a girl who walked around on her head and couldn't find love, then she met a man who walked on his head too. I always liked the idea that although you might not be perfect for everyone, there's someone out there that's perfect for you. In many ways, that is the theme of this book.
I do feel as though I need to say a couple of things at the start. Firstly, while this is a book with a heavily sexual element, in fact, a heavy BDSM element (which should be no surprise if you look at the title and the cover) that's not really what it is all about. Often this type of book is pure escapism and fantasy, but that's not really the case here. Our lead female character, Lacey, is anorexic or recovering from anorexia. Much of the storyline focuses on her attempts to deal with the hold that it has over her and the way that it controls her life. Stian offers her a different type of control and structure that helps her to deal with her issues.
I am often quite sceptical about books where there is a huge age difference and seemingly a difference in power between the two characters, but I'm not sure that that is the case here. At the same time, I'm not totally sure that it isn't either. Stian does help Lacey with her demons, but he isn't there to cure her, they just are right for one another in many ways.
For me, much of this book raised as many questions as it answered and while I loved every second of it, I'm left thinking about it long after the close of the last chapter. I found it well written, gripping and ultimately hugely satisfying.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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