Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Du Lac Princess - Mary Anne Yarde

When I first came across the Du Lac Chronicles a few months or so ago, I was immedeately hooked. I quickly read the first two full length books and the novella. When I heard that there was a new installment due out, I couldn't wait to read it. Fortunately I got my hands on an advanced copy, so I didn't have to.

The Du Lac Princess


The multi award-winning series The Du Lac Chronicles continues:

War is coming…

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.


My Review

I really love this series. The first two books were fantastic and this latest installment lived up to them. Armandine and Merton both believe each other to be dead and this leaves them not knowing where to turn or what to do. 

Merton is a shell of his previous self and all he can think about is getting revenge on Phillip. He is no longer the warrior that he one was, he is a cripple, unable to hold a sword let alone fight with one. He tries to make his way to Brittany and finds on the way that perhaps life isn't as hopeless as he may have first thought.

Armandine is friendless, left behind in Brittany. She find that with barely any contact with people that she can trust, she finds herself questioning all that she's believed and not knowing if people are really as they seem to be or not. 

At the same time, the Du Lac Brothers are all trying to establish how they now relate to one another and if they can work together. Alden and Merton are both dealing with so much guilt that it is pulling their close relationship apart. Non of the brothers really want anything to do with Budic. Newly arrived Garren is struggling to find his way back into his family and to earn their trust.

I love the complexity of the characters in this book. They all have many dimensions and solutions to problems are not always simple. They don't overcome their immediate problems and find themselves completely whole and happy. 

I don't know what's going to happen next in this series, but I'm looking forward to reading the next book and finding out. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Love on the Forbidden Side - Mariah Ankenman


Love on the Forbidden Side 

Assistant District Attorney Julie Ryder plans to hide out at her brother’s ranch house in Peak Town, Colorado after a killer she put away escapes. Hoping for a little peace and quiet, what she gets instead is hot and bothered when she discovers the good sheriff is gone, and his sexy best friend is house-sitting.
FBI agent Liam Graham is on medical leave after a career-jeopardizing injury. He's taking the time to rethink his professional choices while watching his buddy’s place, but he never expected to watch the guy’s sister, too. Julie is a fiery ball of sweet temptation he's been denying himself for years. When she finally reveals the real reason for her visit to Peak Town, Liam does everything in his power to keep her safe. But with his focus on protecting her body, Liam fears he may lose his heart.

My review

There are some series where the books work as stand alone novels and others where they don't. As I haven't read any of the other books in the Peak Town Colorado series, I was glad that Love on the Forbidden Side, worked really well as a stand alone. Having said that, it has whet my appetite sufficiently, to possibly go back and read the previous books. 

I liked both the leads in this book. Unlike some romance novels, this isn't an instant attraction that comes out of nowhere, but slow sexual chemistry that's been simmering away just under the surface for years. Somehow there's something a little bit more interesting and exciting about that kind of love denied, finally finding an outlet.

I did want to give Liam a good shake at quite a few points early in the book, as really it's him putting blocks in the way of happiness, that he really didn't need to. But fortunately, Julie has far more idea about what's good for both of them and manages to sort him out.

I enjoyed this book, it was a quick read, mostly because I didn't want to put it down and raced to the end. I'll be interested to check out the other books in the series and keep an eye out for any others that might be released.

Buy links:

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Grigori - Lauren Smith

Release Date: October 3, 2017
 

Synopsis

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline … Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia. She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world… Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

My Review

As I'm sure you'll already know (or at least if you've read my blog before you will) I'm a bit of a fan of Lauren Smith's books. Grigori is the first in a new series, Brothers of Ash and Fire. I have to admit that supernatural romances, aren't usually my genre of choice, but for an author I like, then I'm happy to give them a go. I actually really enjoyed Grigori, despite it being something different to the books that I usually go for.

One of the things that I really liked about this story, was that although Grigori himself is very strong and dominating, (he is a dragon after all) the female lead in this book is no wilting violet. In fact, it soon becomes clear that not only is she drawn to him in some inexplicable way, but there's more to her past and herself than first meets the eye.

I really enjoyed the first book in this new series and I'm looking forward to reading about Grigori's brothers and their stories. Lauren Smith has created a great world and characters and I'm looking forward to enjoying another story with them.

Goodreads

 

 

Purchase Links

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card
 
 
 
 
 

About the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling author LAUREN SMITH is an Oklahoma attorney by day, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

 

Connect with Lauren

 
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Monday, 25 September 2017

Beautiful Revenge - Sienna Blake

Beautiful Revenge

a standalone romance by Sienna Blake

is LIVE!!! 

BIG GIVEAWAY INCLUDED

TWO PRIZES, TWO WINNERS 




My name is…was Alena Ivanova.

Five years ago, I made a mistake. A big one. One that cost me the only man I will ever love.

Now in the lonely moors of north England, I live with my cold, cruel husband. My only friend is his daughter from a previous marriage. At least I didn’t starve to death during the bitter Russian winter.

When my husband arranges for a potential investor to stay with us, a mysterious self-made millionaire by the name of Mr. Wolf, imagine my shock when he walks in… 


My name is…was Dimitri Volkov.

Until she broke me.

Five years I’ve worked for this moment.

Five years I’ve dreamed of revenge.

Bit by bit, she will watch her charmed life crumble to the ground.

Then when she needs me the most, when she is desperate, scared and alone like I was all those years ago… 

I will destroy her.

Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel.



My Review

I've fast become a big fan of Sienna Blake's novels. This is a little different to the Dark Romeo trilogy or the Bound books. This time, the story is set in Russia and England, which adds a completely different dimension to the story. 

Dimitri is a man who has been hurt and like a wounded animal is dangerous and likely to lash out. He wants revenge and to hurt where he has been hurt. Alena made a mistake, she found herself with an opportunity that seemed to tempting to resist. She soon discovered that perhaps not everything is worth the price that you pay for it. 

I loved the characters in this book. Dimitri in particular is complex and compelling. You feel his pain as you read the book. In his quest to ease his pain, he seems intent on destroying everyone and everything in his path.

I think that one of the most appealing things about Sienna Blake's books, is the way that nothing is easy and straight forward. The characters that populate the pages are complex and their problems and situations don't have an easy answer to solve them. She explores the way that people react to circumstances and their situation. As in the Dark Romeo series, there isn't a clean line between the good and the bad. No one is wholly a good or bad person.

I really enjoyed this book. If you haven't read any of Sienna Blake's books before, then this would be a good place to start. Highly recommended.




Beautiful Revenge Excerpt



I sneak into Dimitri’s bedroom after dinner, making sure I’m not seen. He’s standing by the side cabinet pouring himself a drink. His eyes darken when he sees me, rejection flashing in them like lightning. “What do you want?”
I close the door behind me and walk towards him, my steps shaky. My hands are clammy and I have to keep wiping them on my skirt. I have to stay strong. “I’m here to ask you, no…to beg you—”
“Alena Ivanova is begging me?” Dimitri leans against the wall, a cruel glint in his eyes. He lifts his drink to the air as if to salute me. “Do go on.”
“Please,” my voice warbles, “leave.”
“Leave this room?” he asks with mock surprise.
Bastard. He knows very well what I’m asking. “Leave this house. Do business with my husband if you must, but please, leave me,” and Emily, “alone.”
He stares at me, the right side of his lip lifting in a horrible half-smile. “Get on your knees.”
What?
“If you’re going to beg, do it properly.”
Dimitri drops to his knees in front of me. His face has cracked wide open, but it’s not anger showing raw and naked on his face.
It’s desperation.
“Alena,” he grabs my hand, “I beg of you, don’t do this.”
“Dimi, I—”
“Don’t marry him. Marry me.”
My breath catches in my lungs. Dimitri watches me from across the room over his scotch glass. From the darkness in his eyes, I can tell he’s remembering the same thing.
I stiffen. “You can’t be serious.”
“You want me to leave? Get. On. Your. Knees.”
He wants to crush me. To wound my pride like I did his. He is crueller than ever.
You did this to him.
I’ll do it if it will get him away from me, then I can just go back to my life. It was empty but at least I had Emily to love. Now, with him here, I can barely love her.
I slide to my knees. His eyes flash with fiery triumph. “Please, Dimitri. Please, leave.”
Dimitri places his drink on the side table and pushes off the wall, striding towards me. My breath turns to stone in my throat as he stands right before me. I am well aware of the suggestive position I am in. His cock is at eye level. I force myself not to look at it. Instead I look up, locked into the intensity of his stare. I know he wants to demean me. To embarrass me. My body burns with the indignity of it. Heat pools between my legs.
I gasp when he places his fingertips on my cheek, a riot of sparks cascading from his touch. He brushes my hair off my face almost tenderly. My heart skitters with hope.
His perfect lips pull into a smile. “No.”
The bastard. I leap to my feet, my hands in fists by my side. “You told me you’d leave if I begged.”
“No,” he says in a bored tone, “I told you to beg on your knees. I made no promises as to the outcome of your begging.” He turns away as if to dismiss me.
My body shakes with rage. I grab his arm and whip him around to face me. “I’ll tell my husband who you are. He’ll kick you—”
“You tell him who I am and I’ll tell him we slept together.”
I gasp. “You wouldn’t.” My contract. If I’m deemed to have been promiscuous I lose everything. More than lose everything, I’ll owe my husband a hundred thousand pounds. It’s a debt I can never hope to crawl out of.
Dimitri’s eyes glitter with mad pleasure. He has me over a barrel. And he knows it. “Do you wish to test me?”
He would do it too. I can see it in his eyes. “Edgar won’t believe you,” I try.
Dimitri grabs my upper arms with his hands, gripping me tight as vices. “Really? What are you doing in my room, Mrs Worthington?”
I struggle against him. “Let go.”
He pulls me closer, crushing me against his hard body. “Go on,” he says, “scream. Alert your husband to your presence in my room.”
Bastard.
I hate him. I struggle to knee him, to kick him. My damn skirt is in my way and he’s too close to get any leverage.
He’s much too close. All those old aches and wants flood back into my body. Five years I’ve dreamed of being this close to him again. His familiar touch, his familiar smell, his presence around me swilling like a poison. His touch burns me. He seeps into me. He sinks his teeth into my soul.
I am lightheaded. I need oxygen. I part my lips as I suck in air. His eyes dip to my mouth. Something flares in his eyes. Despite everything, he wants to give in to me too. I involuntarily lick my lips. His stare turns…ravenous.
He lets out a small hum, his lips vibrating along my skin as he traces them across my cheekbone towards my ear. “Mrs Worthington.” His voice is like liquid. “Alena,” he whispers, almost tenderly, sending me back to five years ago. I can feel his grip loosening on my arms but he doesn’t pull away. The ache coils tighter in my stomach. His hands move up my arms, his thumbs tracing the outer swell of my breasts sending shivers through me. This soft Dimitri is dangerous, more dangerous than the cold stranger. He appears too much like the old Dimitri, the one I love. I feel my self-control unwinding, my fingers curling into his shirt, as he presses his arousal against my hip. I bite down on a moan. Despite everything, my body screams to give in to him.
“Well,” his breath tickles my ear, “if I’m going to accuse you of being a whore, you might as well be one.”
I shove him back. He lets go of me, laughing.
“You bastard.” My breath heaves out of my lungs, my neck and cheeks flaming red. He’s playing with me. Toying with me. I want to strangle him.
He smirks at me and shrugs. “At least I can admit what I am.”
His words reach into my chest and wring my heart. “If you won’t go, at least leave Emily alone.”
“She is the one who won’t leave me alone.”
You kissed her.”
He smiles at me, cold and hateful. “Are you jealous?”
“Why are you like this? How could you be so cruel? Why do you want to torment me?”
“Why? Why?” His face cracks apart. “You broke me,” he roars. “You destroyed me when you chose him over me. You filled me so full of bitter hatred, it is all that I taste. It’s all I breathe.” His voice trembles with anguish.
My heart breaks right there. His eyes so open and raw, I can see right into his charred soul. The pieces of his heart that I broke all those years ago are still jagged and sharp. With every breath he takes, they cut him, making him bleed from the inside.
“I’m sorry, Dimi. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s too fucking late for sorry. It’s five years too late.”
It can’t be too late. It can’t.
Love can triumph over hate. It can.
I reach out for him. My voice is pained as I beg—as I beg— “Dimi, please…”
“Get out,” he spits, causing me to snatch my hand back. “It would be very cruel for your husband to find you here alone with me in my bedroom. We wouldn’t want him to get any wrong ideas.”
“I am not a cheater, Dimitri. Don’t you dare insinuate that I am.”
“Just a whore, then.”
His words slap me across my face. Pain spreads from where they strike me. “Fuck you.”
“No, you never did get to give that to me, did you? You gave that pleasure to your worthless husband.”
When Dimitri arrived at Worthington Manor, my hope took flight. To see him again, after all these years, to know that he found me, that he came here for me. Even after I realised that he wanted revenge, I still believed. Even after every cruel word, I still hoped. I thought that I could get through to him. That he couldn’t stay angry at me forever. I thought deep down that we would finally get our happily ever after.
But I have flown too close to the sun, allowed my hopes to soar too high. Hope has melted and my heart has plunged towards the ground, swirling and twisting, until finally crashing on the sharp, jagged rocks.
He still wants me. He hates me more.
He will never forgive me.
He will never love me again.




Purchase NOW!

Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon CAAmazon AU

Also available for Kindle Unlimited readers

 

Meet Sienna Blake



Sienna Blake is a storyteller & ink slinger, word spinner of love stories with grit, and alter ego of a USA Today Bestselling Author.
She loves all things that make her heart race — roller coasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.
If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.
Sign up for my newsletter and get Paper Dolls, a full-length romantic suspense as a thank you gift. You'll also be the first to hear about new releases, sales and giveaways ► www.subscribepage.com/SiennaBlake
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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Accidental Lawyer - Kim Hamilton


I love murder mystery books, so I'm always on the look out for a new author. When I was offered the chance to read and review Accidental Lawyer by Kim Hamilton, I jumped at the chance.

Accidental Lawyer

Set in the brilliant and diverse city of Baltimore, Accidental Lawyer, is a humorous, often irreverent portrayal of the dubious practice of personal injury law. Jessica Snow has a crisp new law degree, a grinding ambition, and a pesky moral compass that is often at odds with her new job as an ambulance chaser. Her face and name appear on billboards and buses throughout the city, and if that isn t enough to embarrass her mother, there s a television commercial in the works. Her elevated status has her wrangling with a local mob boss, duping a drug dealer, and confronting phony clients. With the help of her bold and brassy sidekick, Kari, Jess develops a remarkable proclivity for this ignoble profession by wrapping up difficult cases and finding new business in unexpected places. When trumped-up murder charges are brought against her boss, she faces her biggest challenge yet tracking down a killer. Along the way, Jess builds a new kind of family for herself, her own tribe, made up of friends, colleagues and clients, many of whom are sure to raise eyebrows at her mother s dinner table.

My Review

You can't beat a good, funny, crime fiction book. Accidental Lawyer is all of these things. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and found my self giggling out loud as I made my way through it. Jessica Snow is an ambulance chaser, who, while being good at the job, isn't entirely convinced that it's what she wants to do. She has been hired so that her law firm can use her face (with a little bit of photoshop work) on their adverts around town. 

The characters in this book are great. There's Jessica's fantastic next door neighbour with her mob connections. Then her assistant and sidekick, Kari, who doesn't let much stand in the way of drumming up businesses. Her boss, Dawson, who doesn't even let a murder charge get in the way of his ironing. There are no end of well drawn, funny, and entertaining characters in this book.

I really enjoyed Accidental Lawyer. A great quick read, if you're looking for something funny and fun, then I don't thin that you'll go far wrong with this.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A Gentleman Never Surrenders - Lauren Smith

It's always a good day when a new Lauren Smith book comes out, which means that today is a good day. Book two in the Sins and Scandals series, a series of romantic novellas set in the Edwardian period, comes out today.

A Gentleman Never Surrenders

Love is worth a little scandal.
Owen Hadley needs a wife. Preferably a wealthy one. Alas, there aren't a great number of heiresses willing to marry a rogue of no particular fortune---luckily, if there is ever a gentleman capable of melting a lady's chilly heart, it's Owen. 
Milly has had enough of the marriage mart. If matrimony means giving up her freedom for a foppish husband, then society can take their idea of marital bliss and toss it. But when the ton's most notorious rogue mistakenly makes his way into her bedchambers, Milly finds herself unexpectedly and unwillingly at the altar . . . 

Yet the more time she spends with her new husband, the more Milly starts to wonder if the marriage she never wanted may be the best thing that's ever happened to her. Now it's up to Owen to convince Milly that what started as a mistake is anything but---and that every night with him will be more wonderfully scandalous than the last.

My Review

I'm not usually a fan of novellas, I don't think that they give enough time for the characters to develop or a full story to emerge. From time to time though, I'm pleasantly proven wrong and find myself thoroughly enjoying this shorter form. A Gentleman Never Surrenders is one such case. Despite it's short length, it's still a good read and I really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed seeing the development of both Milly and Owen's characters as they learnt more about one another. To begin with, they each have a few of the other that is in fact, a long way from how they actually are. Neither is the type of person that the other would wish to marry, but it soon becomes apparent that they are perfect for one another. 

This was a great read and I really liked both Owen and Milly and the development of their relationship. It was quite a quick read, but that was in part due to the fact that once I started, I just couldn't put it down. Recommended.


Purchase Links
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Monday, 11 September 2017


The Smallest Thing
Lisa Manterfield
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?
Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

My Reveiw

I'll have to start by saying that I absolutely loved The Smallest Thing. I will admit that I was predisposed to like it. I grew up in Derbyshire and the story of Eyam and it's villagers is one that was already well known to me. I have to admit, that it didn't occur to me at first that this was a modern retelling of the story. I was a little confused as to why the villagers hadn't got more to say about something like this happening for a second time in one small place, but I soon realised that that was because in this version of the story, it hadn't.

The fear and helplessness that Emmott faces, seems all too real. How would you cope if you found yourself trapped in a little village with a deadly disease infecting everyone around you. At the start of the story, Emmott is a teenager with a little bit of an attitude, who is desperate to escape the life that she has always known. To get out of her village and see the big wide world in London. She soon discovers that sometimes things don't quite go to plan. We see her character grow from a self absorbed child, to an adult who sees her role and place in the wider world.

It wasn't just the story line and subject matter of this book that drew me in. It was well written and the characters, both the minor players and main characters, were very well drawn and believable. I really really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.



Author Bio:
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. A Strange Companion is her first novel. Learn more at LisaManterfield.com.

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