Saturday, 30 December 2017

Kingston Court - Holly Kammier

I had the chance to read Kingston Court, after reading Choosing Hope a month or so ago. Both books are set in a similar place with some of the same background characters. I really enjoyed that book, so was looking forward to giving Kingston Court a go.

Kingston Court

What happens when you take middle-aged, stay-home-moms, and throw them back into the workforce and dating? A modern twist between Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City, Kingston Court follows the love, lies, and friendships of two wealthy Southern California women.
Samantha and Natalie are at a crossroads. Gorgeous, over-the-top Samantha, hangs her status and her happiness on her “perfect” husband. That is until she learns his secret.
But she’s not the only mother on the block struggling. Natalie, nurturing and careful, is thrust back into the workforce after her husband barely survives a horrifying car crash. However, it isn’t just her new job co-hosting a national morning news show that keeps her busy. Alik, the hot young production assistant, does everything in his power to seduce the woman he loves.
Death and misfortune in the span of a single year force these two women to rediscover their inner strength and make life-changing choices. Kingston Court is full of scandal, temptation, and all of life’s juicy little secrets.

My Review

If you're looking for a light and fluffy romance with a neat happily ever after ending, then this isn't the book that you're looking for. No, Kingston Court is so much more than that. Yes, there's romance and sex. But that is only a small element of this book. Firstly, there are two main characters; Natalie and Samantha. They live in the same place and are both suddenly finding that their lives have been turned upside down, but their storylines are two distinct narratives. I loved the way their stories unfolded through the pages of the book, parallel and similar in many ways, but not really linked.

Natalie is faced with returning to work and trying to save her family after a car accident leaves her husband recovering and in many ways completely changed. All that she has known and believed for the last twenty years is thrown into question and she has to ask herself what she really wants for her life and her future. 

Samantha's life is devastated in a completely different way, but the end result is no less traumatic. She too is faced with questioning who she is and all that she really feels and believes. For both women, a new life is on the cards, whether they want it or not.

I think one of the things that I liked most about this book, similar to Choosing Hope, is that it didn't try to suggest that there was an easy answer to anything. Although, in some ways, the ending was quite neat and brought a good end to the story. Life is complex and messy and fragile. I thoroughly enjoyed Kingston Court and would highly recommend it. 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Skin Deep - Cassie Leigh

I was looking for a fun romance to read over the Christmas holiday and Skin Deep ticked all of the boxes.

Skin Deep

Mr Right Now is planning on forever…

Gigi Duval doesn’t do relationships, especially with her heart and career on the line. She values two things–her image and a good time in the bedroom. Watching men lie and cheat her whole life hardened her against “happily ever after”. When she interviews with Roman Bishop, the sexy co-owner of Ink Spinners Tattoo, she begins to wonder if he might be more than a casual fling. Only one thing is certain: Roman is off limits. Gigi can’t possibly add her best friend’s brother to her little pink book. Or can she?

My Review

Sometimes you are really in the mood for a particular type of book. In the busy run up to Christmas I really fancied a nice romantic read, with a bit of heat, to lose myself in for an hour or two. Skin Deep was just the right book. It helped that it was a well-written romance, with likeable and believable characters. I would probably have really enjoyed it in any case.

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like the book. Gigi is, to be honest, a little bit annoying and vacuous to begin with. But it soon becomes clear that this isn't really who she is. She might come across as a pink loving, good time girl, but really it's all a front.

Roman (why are they always called Roman, I've never come across a Roman in real life, but have read many romances where the leading man is called Roman,) was very likeable. Although there is the 'blip' on the road to true love and happily ever after that often happens in similar books, he is on the whole just a really nice guy.

I liked the growing romance between Gigi and Roman and the way that were together. I thought that this was a fun and enjoyable read and I'd quite like to read the next in the series. I suspect that we've already met the main characters in this story.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Power Struggle - Carolyn Arnold

Power Struggle

One hitman who’s back for revenge.
One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hitman Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

My Review

I have read and reviewed a Madison Knight book before. Last time it was In The Line Of Duty. I had intended to read more in the series before now, but haven't had the chance. This is the latest book, so in terms of a timeline, comes after the last one I read. I would suggest that despite being part of a series, this can very much be read as a standalone novel. Having said that, I should perhaps mention that most of the action in this book is a result of something that happened in a previous book. I haven't read the book in question, so I don't think that it really mattered and it certainly didn't reduce my enjoyment of the story overall.

What I particularly enjoyed about this story was the way that Madison had to deal not only with the threat that she and her loved ones faced but also with the relationships that she has. Madison is living with Troy, but still hasn't fully committed to their relationship. She has to fight the drive to deal with everything alone. This isn't just with Troy, there is also her partner Terry who is there for her, the police chief, who also happens to be Troy's sister and her family. Madison clearly has a difficult relationship with her mother and this becomes clear in this book.

This was a really good read that I really enjoyed. I did find that the end was a little rushed, but I'm not sure if that was the book itself or my reading. If you enjoy a good detective story, particularly a police book, then you can't go far wrong with Power Struggle.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Bound to the Bad Boy Series - Alexis Abbott

The Bound to the Bad Boy series is a series of three books that follows Bruno and Serena and their journey to happily ever after. Although it is spread over three books, this is a series that has to be read in order. The books aren't stand alone novels and would make little sense if you read just one or out of order.

Bound for life


I sacrificed everything for her. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. She never even knew what I traded for her.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.


It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.

Bound to the Mafia


They stole her from me. I killed to keep her safe so that we can build a life together.

Now I'm rotting in prison. But these bars can't hold me. Not when Serena is on the other side of them. I'll tear down the walls with my bare hands, crush the skull of anyone who gets in my way until she's mine again.


I thought our pain was behind us. How am I going to survive without him? Because I have a bad feeling that this is going to get a whole lot more dangerous very soon.

Bound in Love


I've lost everything. He sacrificed himself to keep me safe.

But I'm not safe.

Our baby isn't safe.

Now, more than ever, I need my hero. I need Bruno.

My Review

We follow Serena and Bruno from when they are first reunited and find their way one another once again. In the first book, we find out that Bruno and Serena had fallen in love when they were just teenagers, but life and the Mafia, came in the way. Bruno found himself caught up in a life that he had tried to avoid and decided that it was best to stay away from Serena in order to keep her safe. Now, things have changed and they are thrown together once again, only to find that their attraction is stronger than ever.

By the second installment quite a bit of time has passed and Serena and Bruno have been apart again. They can't stay apart for long though and once again they find their way back together. I don't really want to give too much away, by talking too much about what happens in the second and third book.

Over all this was a good, well paced read. The characters were well written and I liked both Serena and Bruno. I did think that Bruno was slightly too good to be true, at least in what he was able to do physically at times. I thought that the reasons that Bruno had been drawn into the life he led were interesting. It helped to make him into a character that you could care about, rather than being someone who seems to be violent for the sake of it.

This was a good read and I enjoyed all three books in the series. If you enjoy mafia based romances with a bad boy who really has a soft side and a heart of gold, then I don't think that you will go far wrong with this one. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Scottish Lord For Christmas - Lauren Smith

Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2017


The best gifts come wrapped in a kilt... Beautiful Lady Rowena Pepperwirth can have any man her heart desires. Unfortunately no gentleman has elicited even the slightest flutter—until she meets the brooding Lord Forres at a holiday house party. With just one look at the dashing Scottish lord, Rowena suddenly knows what she wants for Christmas. Quinn MacCauley, Lord Forres, is in need of a wife. When he meets the lovely Lady Rowena, he knows she'll be a good mother to his daughter and a capable household manager. But Quinn doesn't count on Rowena being the most tempting woman he's ever met. He's determined not to risk his heart, but Rowena's just as determined to give him the greatest holiday gift of all—a chance at true love.  


 My Review

I've enjoyed the two previous books in the Sins and Scandals series and this was no exception. We met Rowena in the previous novella, where her sister met her match. Now Rowena is alone and looking for love. Quinn MacCauley attracts her from the moment that they meet, but his past loss make him reluctant to give his heart.

This is quite a sweet little story.Which is perfect for a Christmas tale and I enjoyed it a lot. It was quite a quick read, ideal to tuck into on a lazy Christmas afternoon, when you're letting your Christmas dinner settle. 

The characters in the story were both believable and likable. The only small thing that I would say, is that at times I couldn't remember when this was set. It is, I believe Edwardian, but in many ways it just seemed to be 'in the past' at some point. That might be more due to me being used to Lauren Smith's regency books, so getting myself confused. Over all this was a really good story and I really enjoyed it.


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An Earl by Any Other Name (Sins and Sandals – Book 1)
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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, Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.  

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