Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Death at Hazel House - Betty Rowlands

Death at Hazel House: An utterly addictive cozy murder mystery (A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 1)Death at Hazel House: An utterly addictive cozy murder mystery by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very sad when I read the last of the Melissa Craig novels, I needn't have worried, as I now have the Sukey Reynolds series to work my way through.
If you have read and enjoyed Betty Rowland's Melissa Craig series, then I think that it's highly likely that you will enjoy these too. There is something that is familiar with the books, while at the same time they have a new and different feel to them. Unlike Melissa, Sukey actually has a reason to get involved in crime and trying to work out who done it. She is a scene of crime officer, primarily a photographer, but she also seems to take fingerprints and other similar jobs. In addition to having this role herself, she also has a relationship with a local policeman. This is the first in the series and at this stage, they seem to be more friends than anything. I suspect that this will develop into something more as the series progresses.
This story is perhaps a little more modern than the Melissa Craig books. Characters have mobile phones and other 'modern' inventions. It still has that charm that made the other books so appealing. Sukey herself is an interesting and engaging character and it's the little things, such as her relationship with her teenage son that add to the appeal and readability of the book.
I have to admit that I didn't solve the mystery this time. I had a few ideas that were in the right direction, but I hadn't got it all. This is less like a puzzle mystery to solve though, the story unfolds and there is a mystery, but there is more to it than that.
All in all, this was a great start to a series and I'm looking forward to reading more about Sukey soon.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 14 April 2019

Witch's Honor - Anya J Cosgrove

Witch's Honor (Bloody Hearts, #2)Witch's Honor by Anya J. Cosgrove
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm only giving this book four stars, which is a bit harsh as I loved it. But, I have a feeling that book three in the series is going to be even better, so I need to leave the top score for that. This book ends on a cliff hanger which I love and hate all at once, so again, I can't quite bring myself to give it the full five stars. It's a good four and a half though.
This book picks up where the first book Shadow Walker ended. I've been looking forward to reading this one since reading the first and it didn't disappoint. Alanna now has more idea about what she is and can do, but there is still a lot for her to find out. While this book uncovers a lot of secrets, it's clear that there's more to find out.
Once I'd started reading there was no putting it down. Alanna, Liam and Thom are still trying to work together, but still keeping secrets from one another. The feelings between them are complicated and they all struggle to come to terms with what they want. Alanna is torn between Thom and Liam (I have no idea why, clearly Liam is the one to go for, even if he is a bit messed up, to put it mildly).
The problem with books like this is that you rush through them, unable to put them down, but then hate it when they end. I couldn't help but greedily consume this one, desperate to find out what was going to happen next and how the story would play out. Now I'm left with a serious book hangover. I want to keep reading, but nothing that I've got interests me as what I really want to read is the next book in the series. Sadly, I've got just over a month to wait for that.

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Pirates Pleasure - Lisa Kessler

Pirate's Pleasure (Sentinels of Savannah, #3)Pirate's Pleasure by Lisa Kessler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Initially, I was really into this book. Despite not having read the previous two books in the series, it seemed to work as a stand-alone story and I liked the characters. I have to admit that the further on I went, the less that it worked for me sadly.
I liked John and the other members of the Sea Dog crew. I couldn't quite gel with Harmony though. I'm not sure if she was just a bit too hard or spikey to really get a feel for and I just couldn't warm to her. That of course, didn't help my feelings towards the romance element with John.
There was a lot going on in this book, both in terms of characters and the artefacts that they were protecting. I have to admit to getting a bit lost as to who was who in the later part of the book when there were agents, psychics and crew members turning up left right and centre. I don't know if part of the problem was that I hadn't read the previous books.
It's a bit of a shame that I didn't like Harmony, as the rest of the book did work for me. I'd be interested to read others in the series as I may get on better with the characters in those.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Off the Grid - Kay Marie

Off the Grid

Off the Grid by Kay MarieAgent Leo Alvarez is on his way to Hawaii when his partner calls in a favor—the mob is after a pastry chef in NYC, and he's the only one who can get to her in time. With his dreams of Mai Tais and sandy shores ruined, Leo rushes to her rescue. But when he arrives at her apartment, he's greeted by an upturned nose and an icy blue stare. This damsel in distress doesn't need saving. Good thing he's a retired marine who never backs down without a fight.

After a childhood racked by scandal, McKenzie Harper has learned to loathe surprises. So when a strange man knocks on her door, interrupting her morning routine, she has no choice but to politely shut it in his face—no matter how deeply his hazel eyes might pierce. She has places to go, pastries to bake, and promotions to secure. Or she did, until three masked men kidnap her and throw her into the back of a van... Suddenly, that white knight doesn't seem so scary. 

He's a cocky Fed with a killer smile. She's an uptown beauty with a biting tongue. If they want to survive, they'll have to learn to work together—assuming they don't kill each other first. 

My Review

I've read all three books in this series now and I have to say that I think Kay Marie was saving the best until last. Not that I didn't really enjoy the previous books in the series, I did, but this one was even better and I enjoyed the romance between the two main characters immensely. 

This time we had the story of Leo and McKenzie. They both seem themselves as damaged and I think that this was what helped the connection between them grow. I have to admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for romances that start out with a bit of conflict and a love-hate dynamic. Leo and McKenzie take a great deal of pleasure in winding one another up and I really enjoyed that side to their relationship.

This was a great read and a great finish to the series. I loved reading all about each couple, if you haven't read the other books yet, then give them a go. This one does work as a stand-alone novel though, so if you want to dive right in here, go for it. It's a good read and I honestly don't think that you will regret it.  

Buying links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MQ6B83J
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MQ6B83J
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07MQ6B83J
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07MQ6B83J

Monday, 8 April 2019

Biker Baby- Penny Dee

Biker Baby (Kings of Mayhem MC, book #3)Biker Baby by Penny Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am really enjoying this series, I'm perhaps being a bit stingy not giving this one five stars, because it's worth more than four, but I'm just going to hang off that final one, as I think that there is potential for the series to just keep getting better and better.
After the first two books which followed the story of Indy and Cade, we are now turning to Cade's younger brother Caleb. This book was more like the first book in the series, where book two was more of a thriller than a romance, Biker Baby is heavy on the romance with a thrilling secondary storyline. Caleb has no intention of getting involved in a relationship, or anything that looks like commitment, but after spending an amazing night with Honey (no really) he can't stop thinking about her. When she shows up at the clubhouse, he's determined to find out more about her, which he quickly does when he discovers that she's pregnant with his baby.
I really enjoyed the chemistry between Caleb and Honey. He might be a hairy arsed biker, but he is actually incredibly sweet. In this book, there is far less of the MC than in the first two books, Not that it bothered me either way. But it could have worked with or without that element, to be honest.
There were one of two extra twists that possibly weren't needed for the storyline, but they weren't so much as to ruin the story or put me off, I still really enjoyed it.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series and seeing what else the Kings of Mayhem have to offer.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Still Burning - Leora Gonzales

Still Burning (Braving the Heat, #3)Still Burning by Leora Gonzales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While this is the third book in the Braving the Heat series, it is only the second that I have read. This book focuses on a second chance romance. Jack and Sasha were once very much in love and living together, but when Max, Sasha's brother and Jacks best friend was killed in a fire, Sasha ran away from her life, her future and Jack. Unable to face the idea that she may one day lose him in the same way, as both Max and Jack are firefighters, she decides to leave him there and then. Fast forward four years and they suddenly find themselves in each other's lives once again.
I do enjoy second chance romances, depending upon the reasons that they had split up in the first place that is. In this case, I think that it works for the most part. Apart from Sasha running away, there is no real betrayal or thing that can't be worked around. Sasha and Jack work well as a couple and the chemistry on the page between them is good.
There was again, a small mention of 'pole bunnies' and the way that Jack's ex-girlfriend that he was seeing while he and Sasha were apart was a little uncomfortable. Yes, psychos do exist, but there is a habit in these type of books to paint all women that are not the 'chosen' woman but have been in a man's life as disposable. There is also a tendency to keep the women 'pure' while they are single, while the men can do what (and who) they like. A small gripe and one common to much of this genre, not just this book.
Overall this was a really good read and I'd be keen to read the next in the series, which we were given a small taste of at the end of this 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, 3 April 2019

Her Name Was Rose - Claire Allan

Her Name Was RoseHer Name Was Rose by Claire Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been sitting in my to be read pile for months now, but somehow with all the books I've had to review, I don't always seem to get much chance to read those I've bought. It was a shame really that I've put this one off for so long as it was a great read. It's actually the second of Claire Allan's books that I've read, the first being Apple of My Eye which I was lucky enough to get an ARC for.
Her Name Was Rose is a gripping thriller that quickly drags you in once you start reading. There are twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and to keep you guessing until the very end. The story is told from the point of view of Emily, a messed up young woman who finds herself the witness of a shocking hit and run accident that kills a young mother. I think that had the story been told from anyone else's point of view, then it may have been a struggle to understand what Emily was doing and why, so it was quite interesting to see the world through her eyes.
The book deals with abusive partners, social media and the image we project to the rest of the world. In many ways this a book of its time and much of it just wouldn't have existed ten or twenty years ago.
Overall this was an engaging and gripping read. Once I had started I was keen to know what was going to happen to the main characters and what had happened to Rose in the first place. Definitely worth a read.

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The Stars in Her Eyes - C.M. Albert

The Stars in Her Eyes
C.M. Albert
(Love in LA Quartet, #1)
Publication date: March 26th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Reverse Harem, Romance
Love in LA just got a whole lot hotter!
One woman. Three men. Some things are best kept secret.
“Hands down the best reverse harem I’ve ever read!” Goodreads Reviewer M. Simmons
When Creslyn Knight auditions for the role of a life time, she never expects three things:
1. To know the casting director—intimately.
2. To be insanely attracted to the three stand-in actors at the audition.
3. That she’d soon be putting her morals to the test when her resolve weakens.
Acting is in Creslyn’s blood, and she’s focused her sights on one thing: landing the role of a lifetime. But she’s always been told that everything comes at a cost. The casting director names his when he tells her she must make him believe she can surrender to a harem of men, or he can’t justify giving her the lead role.
Determined to prove him wrong and show him she can tap into a passion that deep, Creslyn throws herself into rehearsals. But the fine line between script and reality soon starts to blur, leading her and three men into unchartered territory. The only problem? She has a jealous roommate, a disgruntled mother, and a string of paparazzi hot on her trail, making Creslyn question the cost of everything.
In a world where some things are best kept secret, is the price of fame too high when it comes to the heart?
The Stars in Her Eyes is book one of the Love in LA Quartet and is a new adult, steamy contemporary romance reverse harem LOVE STORY that can be read as a stand-alone or as an introduction to the series. All the heat you’ve come to expect with a reverse harem, AND a storyline worthy of a contemporary romance love story. Finally, the best of both worlds!
On sale for $2.99 for a limited time!

Author Bio:
USA Today Best Selling Author C.M. Albert writes heartwarming romances that are both “sexy and flirty, sweet and dirty!” Her writing infuses a healthy blend of humor, inspiration, and high-heat romance. She’s a sucker for a good villain but is a die-hard believer in everlasting love. In her spare time, she and her husband wrangle their two kids and enjoy spending time outdoors. When not writing or kid wrangling, C.M. Albert is also a Certified Medical Reiki Master, chocolate chip cookie aficionado, kindness ambassador, and seeker of naps.

My Review 

While this book was billed as a reverse harem, personally, I felt that it was something a little bit different to that. Yes, there were plenty of scenes involving our lead character and two or three of the men that she was interested in. Unlike most reverse harem books, this one led to a final couple, with the other men that she had been interested in left as just friends. The storyline dealt not only with the relationships between all four of the main characters (and a couple of other male characters as well) and there was plenty of jealousy and questioning of how people felt, as well as acceptance for what was happening.

The main character, Creslyn, could do no wrong and it seemed that everyone, whether they be part of her temporary harem, or otherwise, seemed to think that she was perfect. I'm not entirely sure why, but I supposed that it was needed for the storyline. Certainly, everyone seemed to be very hung up on her, which was one of the reasons she seemed so torn between the various men on offer.

This was an enjoyable read. It's not quite what I was expecting, but once I'd realised where it was going, I was happy with that.


Saturday, 30 March 2019

The Rookie - Abigail Owen

The Rookie (Fire's Edge, #2)The Rookie by Abigail Owen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been waiting for the chance to read this book since I read the first in the series last year. It didn't disappoint. This time we have the story of one of the younger members of the group, Aiden. While the first book dealt with the leader Finn, Aiden is at the other end of the scale. Part of the same clan as Finn and his brother Fallon, Aiden is also an outsider. His parents were killed some years before and as orphans are often mistrusted, Aiden is doing everything to ensure that he can become part of the team and hold a position of trust. Although he has been drawn to Sera since first meeting her, he knows that as she is a human, they have no future and he can't afford the distraction.
It was clear in the first book that Sera and Aiden had some kind of connection, but I wasn't sure how that was going to play out, especially as Sera already has a young son. Fortunately, Abigail Owen is a particularly good storyteller and I was hooked from the first chapter.
I've read a few of Owen's other books since reading the first in this series. Something I particularly like about her books is that the series' tend to have a story arc that develops over the course of the series, as well as the main story in each book. That's certainly the case here. I think that I was left with even more questions than I started with, I can't wait for the next book to find out more.
As well as the usual elements that you expect from a paranormal romance book, the Rookie also offers much more. With not everyone getting the happily ever after that they dream of and how they deal (or not) with that. One particular part of the story in this regard was quite emotional to read. It also has a few 'bad guys' that are far from entirely 'bad' and have reasons if not justification for being the way that they are.
I really enjoyed this book, I just hope that I won't have to wait for too long for book three...
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Murder in a Country Garden - Betty Rowlands

Murder in a Country Garden: A completely addictive English cozy murder mystery (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 12)Murder in a Country Garden: A completely addictive English cozy murder mystery by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I feel quite sad. This is the last in the Mel Craig series. I've been enjoying reading them over the last few months and now it has come to an end. Actually, that's not quite true, I missed book three in the series and will be going back to that. Even so, it seems to leave me feeling a bit emotional to get to the end. I suppose that there is a limit to how many bodies that Mel could fall upon and she is Melissa Martin by this book.
The storyline this time revolves around the seemingly accidental death of a local man after he was stung by his bees while beekeeping. After another similar death and details emerging about what kind of man the first victim was, it becomes clear to Mel and her new husband Joe that there might be something sinister at work here.
The manner of death in this story was a little unusual, being stung to death seems like a pretty horrid way to go! I have to admit that I didn't manage to solve this one. Not because I was blaming the wrong person, but simply because I hadn't a clue who had actually done the murder.
This was another great read and instalment in the Mel Craig series. I'm quite sad that it's come to an end, but I have really enjoyed reading them all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 25 March 2019

Sanctity of Sloth - Greta Boris

Sanctity of Sloth by Greta Boris

About the Book

Title: The Sanctity of Sloth
Author: Greta Boris
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Series: The Seven
There's one thing more dangerous than testifying to a crime—staying silent. 
Locked in the ruins of a California Mission, Abby Travers watches helplessly as a girl dies outside her window. As she struggles between her moral obligation to come forward as a witness, and her commitment to a Medieval religious practice that requires her to retreat from the world, the situation spins out of control. 
Abby's hesitation starts a series of catastrophes. She finds herself at the centre of a deadly cover up where every minute counts and indecision could be fatal. She questions all her beliefs and everyone she knows becomes suspect. To save herself and those she loves, she must break free from her self-imposed prisons of stone and fear. 
The Sanctity of Sloth is a taut, psychological thriller that answers the question: What happens when a good woman does nothing? Fans of Paula Hawkins and A.J. Finn will enjoy this third book in Greta Boris's Seven Deadly Sins Series. 

Author Bio

Greta Boris was raised in Greenwich Village, New York by an opera singing, piano playing, voice coach and a magazine publisher. Her original life plan was to be a famous Broadway actor, singer, and dancer, but when she moved to Laguna Beach, California, she changed her plans due to the commute. Today she writes to inspire, entertain, motivate, and so she can afford nice wine.


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My Review

The premise of this book is 'what happens when a good woman does nothing?' It's an interesting question, but not one that I'm convinced this book answers. Why? Because I'm not particularly of the opinion that the main character, Abby, is a good woman. I'd go as far as to say that most of this book is populated with characters who aren't particularly likeable. That doesn't mean that it is a bad story, or that I didn't find myself totally gripped by it.

Abby is spending forty nights locked in a small room that her father has built in the side of a Californian mission. I'm not really sure what missions are, but obviously some kind of religious structure, Google tells me that they were used by the Spanish for converting the native population to Christianity. Her father hasn't done this as a punishment for Abby, or anything like that. Instead, she is trying to write a book about the Anchorites who lived in small cells in the walls of Churches and Cathedrals in medieval Europe. She does this without the permission of the people who run the Mission, putting her father's job in danger. She also pressures her father, who is against the whole idea, into helping her and doesn't tell the man that she is thinking of marrying that she is doing and where she is going. So far this 'good woman' seems to be self-obsessed and only bothered about what she wants to do.

When she sees a young woman, who is clearly in a bad way, dumped on the grass outside of her cell, she does nothing. While she couldn't have got out, she doesn't try particularly hard, she doesn't shout and scream on the off chance, however remote, of getting help. She stays quiet when the now dead body is discovered and the police arrive. She then pressures her father into claiming to have seen everything that happened. These actions then lead on to the thriller aspects of this book as we try to discover who the girl was, why she was left and by whom.

I was gripped by this story. I have to admit that I wasn't convinced who, if anyone, I wanted to win through. Abby, as I've mentioned is a childish, self-obsessed type and her father enables this behaviour. Her boyfriend Carlos was a little more likeable, but I couldn't really see what he saw in Abby. In any case, I did want to know what was going to happen and where the story would lead. I thought that the idea behind the storyline and the way that the plot played out was very interesting and the book itself was a thoroughly enjoyable read. 

Quinn's Resolution - Katie O'Sullivan

After Hurricane Nina: Quinn's Resolution: (Hot Hunks-Steamy Romance Collection, Book 5)After Hurricane Nina: Quinn's Resolution: by Katie O'Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a short stand-alone novella, which is part of a series where the other books are related, but you don't have to read them all. Rather than containing characters that appear in each book, the idea here is that an event leads to the storyline for each one. In this case, it is a cyclone which has an impact on the various heroes of the stories. Quinn's Resolution tells the story of an up and coming rock star; Quinn MacDonald. He doesn't actually experience the cyclone himself, having had to return to the US for a family funeral. His band members are caught in the natural disaster and much of this storyline focuses on him dealing with the aftermath of this.
I liked the fact that the story wasn't directly about someone who was involved in the storm but rather focused on how it might impact those who were involved less directly or left behind. It was also interesting to see how the record company dealt with Quinn after everything had changed.
I liked him and Phoebe as a couple and there was plenty of chemistry to their romance. This was a good quick read. If there was anything that leads to it getting a slightly lower star score than it might otherwise have had, then it was that it was a bit short. I don't mind novellas, but things seemed to jump forward once or twice in this. It didn't really matter, but it did mean that we didn't see the development or growth of a character or relationship that would have resulted in a longer book.
Overall this was a good read. I'd be interested to read others in the series to see how they dealt with the cyclone and its effects.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

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Thursday, 21 March 2019

A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer.

A Blunt InstrumentA Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do enjoy Georgette Heyer's mystery novels. They are of a different time, but there is something that is still so very satisfying when you read them. Like many books of this period, there is a small cast of characters, all of whom potentially have a motive for doing away with the murder victim. Part of the fun is then trying to work out 'who-done-it'.
This particular story was quite ingenious, I did actually guess who the murderer was, but had decided that I must be wrong and barking up the wrong tree. When the big reveal came, I was fairly surprised to discover that I hadn't been mistaken after all.
I think one of the things that make Heyer's novels, both her murder mystery and Regency novels, so enjoyable, is her sense of humour. More than one of the characters in this book appears to be a caricature of a particular type. One of who takes himself very seriously and the other who does not at all.
This was a great read and I really enjoyed following Hemmingway and Hannasyde's attempts to get to the bottom of who the murder was and why. I have a few more of these books still to go, I seem to be reading them in no particular order, but I am looking forward to enjoying another one soon.

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

The Playmaker - Cathryn Fox

The Playmaker (Players on Ice #1)The Playmaker by Cathryn Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes I'm really in the mood for a good romance story and this one certainly delivers on that. This book has two of my favourite romance tropes; big brother's best friend and enemies to lovers. This was definitely just what I was in the mood for.
Cole or the Cockey Cannon as he's known when he's playing Ice Hockey hides behind the brash, full of himself exterior that his fans love. He has long had a love-hate relationship with his best friends younger sister Nina. It's pretty clear though, that he has always had a soft spot for her and has hidden it well beneath teasing and joking around. She has had similar feelings but is sure that they hate one another. When she needs his help to learn more about hockey, in order to write a romance series, she is reluctant to turn to him but feels she has no choice.
Although both Cole and Nina claim to hate one another, it soon becomes clear that this is far from the truth. I enjoyed the chemistry between them as they came to terms with their attraction and feelings.
In many ways, this book is far from original. It has many of the themes and conflicts that often appear in romance books. Sometimes though, that's just what you are looking for. The characters were well written and the chemistry worked well. The ending was a little cheesy, but really, what else are you expecting or looking for with this type of book?
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Cover Reveal - Witch's Honor

Witch’s Honor
Anya J. Cosgrove
(Bloody Hearts #2)
Publication date: April 11th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
First rescued by two smoking-hot brothers and now torn between them, what’s a witch to do?
Be good? Or wicked…
Alana is still a long way from mastering her magic when she embarks on a journey to save other witches. Jealousy and secret fester as she can’t help but fall for the two insanely similar but drastically different men in her life.
She has to choose between light or dark. Human or demon. Thom or Liam.
But her alluring roommates will soon be the least of her troubles. From deadly angels to uncovering her legacy as a Garrett witch, Alana’s life is about to change once again. And the maniacal demon that almost devoured her is still alive, biding his time…
Sequel to:

Author Bio:
Anya J Cosgrove lives in Qu├ębec with her husband, her beautiful son, and two mischievous cats. She works as a veterinarian by day. She’s a travel and Disney junkie and is passionate about her favorite paranormal series.
What would Buffy do? Kick ass!
Read it first! http://bit.ly/anyaslair


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Her Wild Ride - Heather Van Fleet

Her Wild Ride: An addictive, steamy biker MC romance suspense novel (Red Dragon MC Series Book 1)Her Wild Ride: An addictive, steamy biker MC romance suspense novel by Heather Van Fleet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Her Wild Ride tells the story of Niyol and Summer. Niyol has just been released from prison, for something he didn't do. He's now leaving his life and Motorbike club behind. His stepsister was going to drive him across the country, but when she isn't able to, her best friend Summer steps in.
Of course, this being a romance book things don't quite go to plan and their journey is full of life-altering experiences for both of them.
Niyol is quite sweet, despite his bad boy persona, it's obvious that there's a nice guy underneath (which is of course why bad boy romances are so appealing). He does hide it well from Summer and despite their obvious attraction for one another, he blows hot and cold. This actually happens more than once, which could be quite annoying, but the rest of the story made up for it.
As well as the romance angle, there's a lot more going on here. With Niyol (or Hawk as he's known to his MC brothers) having to decide who he wants to be and what is important in his life. He also finds out things that had been hidden to him since he was little. The book ends with the conclusion of this story, but it's obvious that there's more still to be told, both with the single members of the MC gang, but also with what will happen to the MC.
All in all a good read and I'd be interested to read more in the series when they come out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Born of Nothing - Jill Ramsower

Born of Nothing
Jill Ramsower
(The Fae Games #4)
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
It was over before it began.
A druid woman and a Fae man—we were two people from different worlds, only by chance did our paths happen to cross. He was beautiful and damaged and totally captivating. If only I could have continued to buy into the propaganda of fear and hate my people had taught me about the Fae, then maybe I would have believed him to be the savage he appeared to be.
Instead, I offered the cryptic man my help. The time I spent with him allowed me to see the man he was behind the chiseled, formal exterior. What developed between us was tender, intimate, and totally unexpected.
My druid family was not as enlightened as I was. My mom didn’t want me near the Fae; she certainly never would have understood that I had developed feelings for a Fae man. I tried to keep my private life a secret. I tried to keep the peace, but my mother’s threats and intolerance left me with no choice. I had to make the hardest decision of my life. I had to leave the only family I’d ever known. I just never imagined what I’d face when I didn’t make it out in time…

Author Bio:
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 an attorney, travel junkie, and voracious reader.

My Review

We first met both Fen and Cat in the first two books of this series, although at that point they hadn't actually met one another. Fen has lived for centuries in exile, losing just about everything, but his mind in the process. Cat, on the other hand, has lived a very sheltered life, with her mother and some of the other druids controlling almost everything that she does. In many ways, they seem like an odd match, but from the moment that they meet, there is something that draws them together. 

In many ways, this is quite different from the other books in the series, indeed, it is quite different from many romance books that you might come across. When Cat tries to challenge her family in order to be with the man that she loves she is taken and subjected to terrible abuse. I have to admit that it wasn't something that I had been expecting and took me a little by surprise. But, the story was well written and it worked well. I won't say that it was an 'enjoyable' read because that's not really the right turn of phrase for something so horrible, but it was a good read.

Of course, this being a romance, you know in the end where things are likely to go. There is plenty to keep you guessing in the meantime. I've really enjoyed this series so far. I don't know if there are more planned, (although I hope so) this is a great addition to the other books so far.


Monday, 11 March 2019

Heartlands - Kerry Watts

Heartlands (Detective Jessie Blake #1)Heartlands by Kerry Watts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I thought that I wasn't going to get on well with this book. To begin with, I found the huge amount of characters that were introduced in such a short space of time quite confusing and with quite a few of them, there wasn't anything obvious to make them stand out. I found myself flicking back and forth trying to decide who was who. It's a bit unfortunate really, as I suspect that this might put some people off, which would be a real shame as once you get past that initial phase, the story moves quickly and develops well.
Heartlands tells the story of a missing teenage girl. As the detectives start to investigate it becomes clear that there are plenty of secrets being hidden in the small community and the disappearance is causing them all to be revealed. Alongside this, is the story of a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier. There are parallels between her and this current missing girl story. I did assume that it had happened in the same place and couldn't understand why more people hadn't seen the similarity, but I realised later that it was in the North of England, while the rest of the story takes place in Scotland.
This book works well on many levels. Not only do you have the main mystery itself, but we also see how the missing girl twenty years ago affected both her family and the people involved in her murder. There are a few twists and turns in this one, most of which I saw coming, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. I did think that some of the people acted a little oddly. I'm not sure if I was dealing with any life-changing experiences that they were, I would have had the emotional energy to help out friends who were going through similar, but different experiences.
This was a very good start to a series and I'll be looking forward to finding out what will happen next for Jessie, the lead detective in this book. She clearly has a back story and past that I suspect will be catching up with her in the near future in perhaps the next book.
This isn't an easy light read, there are a lot of characters to get your head around and plenty happening in this fast-moving storyline. Don't let that put you off, because you will miss out on a good read if you do.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Come Undone - Penny Dee

Come Undone (A Hockey Romance)Come Undone by Penny Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not going to pretend that I know much (anything) about ice hockey. I have actually watched a couple of games before (once back home in Nottingham and the other time, randomly, in Moscow) but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Not that that stopped me from enjoying this book. Jake is a professional Ice Hockey player who has had the worlds worst luck, with just about everyone in his life dying. He is no longer playing and plans to shut himself away in a cabin in Canada. Enter Mackenzie, who takes him on as his agent and follows him to Canada to try and convince him not to give everything up.
Of course, the more time that Jake and Mackenzie spend together, the more they are drawn to one another and start to fall in love. This is a romance novel, so there are plenty of classic conflicts, situations and misunderstandings. With everything from being snowed into a feeling of betrayal and even an evil bad guy waiting in the wings. It could be a little cliched if it weren't for the fact that Penny Dee is such a good writer that you get pulled right into the story. It wasn't quite a one sitting read, as I had things to do, but it didn't take me much longer than that.
Jake was lovely, despite how damaged he was, he came off as relatively normal. Mackenzie was very likeable and they worked well together as a couple. I particularly enjoyed the jokey relationship that they developed right from the start, with the autocorrect on Jake's phone sparking off a flirtatious exchange.
I've read a few books by Penny Dee now and I'm quickly becoming a fan of her romances that offer a little more than a lot of similar books on the market.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Forbidden Passion Excerpt

Forbidden Passion
Sea Hardt
Publication date: October 20th 2018
Genres: Erotica, Romance
During Sara’s journey of passionate self-discovery, she meets two gorgeous men, Franco and Jayden.
In the midst of her sensual adventures, she is torn between her two lovers, but before she has the chance to make a choice they both slip away.
Eventually, their paths cross again but now Sara’s passion has turned to bitterness and she’s hell-bent on revenge.
Will she fulfill her vendetta or will her heart choose love?

Author Bio:
Sea Hardt lives in a cottage on the stunning island of Cyprus surrounded by the mediterranean waters. The gods have been kind to Sea and have graced her with a happy marriage complete with two boys. She has a plethora of interests including foraging second-hand bookshops for poetry and any other books she can curl up on the couch with a glass of red wine. With the support of her husband, she finds great fulfillment in writing steamy romance novels.

Website / Goodreads


It was over a glass of ruby red wine that I had poured for both of us that I learned more about Jessica. She was a young girl doing her art studies at one of the New York art universities. 
Her constant life pursuit was arts and that is what brought her to NY where there was a plethora of universities. 
Her Full Name was Jessica James. 
Her mom was of Welsh descent and her father was a Jamaican that initially visited Wales on contract to produce a music album. He ended up meeting Jessica’s mother and in a very short while, they had their one and only child.  
She looked like she came from a wealthy family judging by her clothing and her accessories. Hardly in need for any financial assistance, she was never the less determined to not depend on her family for their money. 
She further revealed that she was very smitten for a certain married French man. Obviously not happy with the predicament of her choice, she was frustrated and unsure what the next step was. All she then knew is that she wanted to be around him always. 
Even in the shadows of his wife.” She confided in me while looking momentarily down.  
When not at the university dorms, she stayed with her Aunt who lived on a horse ranch just outside NY. 
Her striking eyes were softer and showed less hardness than I remember from a few days ago.  
On her summer breaks, for extra money she did photo shoots of all types and was very comfortable in front of the camera, even doing a few shoots for a lingerie magazine.  
What I found extra interesting was that she was also an affiliate to a large sex products company.  
Yes!!!” I said sitting up while playfully overdramatizing my act. 
That's intriguing,” I said feeling like I was getting onto a more personal level with her.  
Tell me exactly what you do.” I enquired encouraging her further. 
She looked down into her velvety wine before she halfway gazed back up at me. The effect and drama of her look was both playful and intoxicatingly sexy as her lips broke out in a naughty smile.  


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Murder in the Dining Room - Betty Rowlands

Murder in the Dining Room: An absolutely gripping British cozy mystery (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 11)Murder in the Dining Room: An absolutely gripping British cozy mystery by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Mel Craig book as a little different to the previous ones in the series. This time, rather than Mel getting involved in a mystery and investigating what had happened, her mother was in the thick of things. Mel was reunited with her estranged mother in the previous book, after the death of her father. Now in a residential home for the elderly, which is more like a hotel than anything, while she waits for the extension to be done to Mel's house, Sylvia finds that she the death of a dog, followed by her owner makes her suspicious that a murderer is at large.
I did find it quite funny that Mel did her best to stop her mother from investigating when in previous books she's been the one nosing into things and ignoring everyone else. Of course, her mother doesn't listen and before long both Sylvia and Mel are independently trying to get to the bottom of what happened.
This was another really enjoyable mystery. Sadly, this time I didn't quite manage to solve it all before the reveal, but that never detracts from the enjoyment of a book like this. I think that there's only one more Mel Craig book to go, which is a bit of a shame, as I've been thoroughly enjoying them.

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The Sweetest Match - Abby Tyler

The Sweetest Match - Abby Tyler

The Sweetest Match

She hid secret messages in frosting, thinking no one would notice.
The Sweetest match by Abby Tyler

Abby Tyler welcomes you to the witty, well-meaning busybodies of Applebottom, Missouri, where the community takes its pies -- and its matchmaking -- very seriously.
When Sandy Miller emerges from her shack on the edge of town after eighteen years, she finds a job making tea cakes for a little shop on Town Square.
But then everyone starts spotting secret words of love and longing on her cakes.
Andrew McCallister is the first to admit that he never got over Sandy Miller when she dropped out of high school and disappeared. But now she’s back.
He just has to get the guts to talk to her.
When the town summons the pair to a meeting to plan the school’s centennial bash, Andrew and Sandy discover they are the only two members of the committee. As they attempt to rekindle the long-lost flame, they realize the community must come together for more than an anniversary party. For their new relationship to flourish, the old guard must learn to support their most vulnerable members even when times get hard.

Abby Tyler loves puppy dogs, pie, and small towns (she grew up in one!) Her Applebottom Matchmaker Society books combine the sweet and wholesome style of romance she loves with the funny, sometimes a-little-too-truthful characters she remembers from growing up in a place where everyone knew everybody’s business.

Author links:

My Review

What do you get if you take a humorous cosy mystery and then remove the mystery element but add a little more romance? This book. That might seem like a bit of an odd thing to say. After all, surely all mystery books without the mystery are something else? But in this case, it's all there. The small community, the interesting and quirky busy body characters, all it needs is a dead body or two. But this is, after all, a romance, so perhaps it should be called a cosy romance?

The love element of the story is nice. Two people who knew each other back in high school and have always held a candle for one another finally get together. They're helped along the way by the plotting and scheming of the local townspeople, who do all they can to throw them into each other's path. In many ways, this is an old fashioned romance, with barely even a kiss taking place. It is very conscious of this though, with the two main characters joking about chaperones and carriages.

I enjoyed the light-hearted humour of the book and I liked the connection between the characters. It isn't the kind of book that I usually read, but it mead a pleasant change. I assume communities like the one described must exist somewhere, but not in any world I've ever lived in. Still, it was good fun. I think that there are more romances to come in this series and if the author ever gets bored of writing them, she can always throw in a corpse or two for a change. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Kane - Jen Davis

Kane (Cooper Construction, #2)Kane by Jen Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn't resist starting this, the second on the Cooper Construction series, after finishing book one; Brick. Although this second book is about a different couple, Kane and Amanda, it still has the same characters as appeared in book one. It also gives a little glimpse at some of the members of the Cooper Construction team that we didn't meet in the first book.
This is the story of Amanda and Kane. In their early 20's they were in love and expected to spend the rest of their life together. Until something, or someone came between them. It isn't clear, to begin with, what it was that caused them to split up, but as the book progresses, their past is explained.
I enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters, that they had been together once was believable and for the most part, the reason that they split up worked. Particularly as it didn't present an insurmountable barrier to them being together once more.
Like the first book in the series, there is a very dark element to these books. This time Kane is part of a motorcycle gang. While he doesn't particularly enjoy much of their activity, he is tied up in that world and has to deal with it in order to allow he and Amanda to get together. Amanda's father is also an 'interesting character' and lives a somewhat shady life.
These first two books have been a great start to a new series and I'm looking forward to seeing what book three will bring, as well as finding out who's story it has to tell.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 25 February 2019

Brick - Jen Davis

Brick (Cooper Construction, #1)Brick by Jen Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is quite a dark romance story, or perhaps that should be romance series as book 2 is also already available. There's something about a bad boy in romance stories and Brick is certainly one bad boy. Used and abused by local crime boss since his teenage years, Brick hates that life that he leads. He can see no way out, while his boss holds the threat of what might happen to his grandmother over his head, so finds himself being the kind of man that would have other people running scared. Olivia, who has just recovered from cancer, is perhaps the ideal woman to take on Brick, as she is all about living life to the full.
The two main characters work really well together. Despite his very dark lifestyle and actions, there is something that is immensely likeable about Brick. The idea of he and Olivia falling in love doesn't seem to be completely impossible and the two of them together work. He worries about how his life might impact on Olivia and how she might be used to control him even further.
Despite the really horrible things that Brick has done and continues to do throughout this book, he is written in such a way that you can't help feel for him and really want he and Olivia to get together. It's easy to have sympathy for his situation and that made this a really satisfying read. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the next book in the series straight away.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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A body in the Lakes by Graham Smith

A Body in the Lakes (Detective Beth Young #2)A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I went into this book with such high hopes and I really wanted to love it. Sadly, it just wasn't for me. It's a real shame, as I usually particularly enjoy British crime novels and the idea of one set in the lake district really appealed.
Half of my problem with this book was that I just didn't like any of the characters. The main detective, Beth, just hadn't really got anything likeable about her. She also didn't seem very believable as a person. One of my other major issues was that much of the mystery was dealt with by jumping to conclusions from nowhere. More than once someone was arrested on the flimsiest of evidence and everyone spoke as though everything was solved and wrapped up. For example, in the first couple of chapters, a man is arrested and all of the police officers talk as though he is guilty and don't seem to be interested in any other lines of enquiry based on nothing more than a missing credit card and a letter that someone has written to the police accusing them. I don't think so somehow!
The mystery itself was interesting and there was a lot of potential here. For me, though it was just not very well executed, which was a shame. Add to that the really misogynistic attitude to rape from all of the characters and it was the final nail in any chance of enjoyment. I don't know if it was the writer's intention to wheel out all of the cliche's that re-enforce rape culture, but that's certainly what he did.
There seem to be plenty of high scoring reviews for this book, so some people certainly enjoyed it, so perhaps you will too, it just wasn't for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Missing Pieces: A White Creek Novel - Tori Fox

Missing Pieces
Missing Pieces by Tori Fox

At least that's what I keep telling myself.
Divorced at 26 and driving to Florida to move back in with my parents.
Until my car breaks down in Smalltown USA.
Not the place meant for a city girl.
Until I meet the cocky asshole that is fixing my car.
I should probably stay away but the pull is too strong.
He was just meant to fix my car but I think he might fix my heart.

My Review

Missing Pieces: A White Creek Novel (The White Creek #1)Missing Pieces: A White Creek Novel by Tori Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good 3 1/2 star read.
I've read a few books set in small towns in America, where someone from the city comes and then falls in love both with it and someone who lives there. This one was one of the better-written ones.
I have to admit that to someone who grew up in the UK and now lives in New Zealand, the idea of being stranded in a town because your car has broken down and needs thousands spending on it for repair is a bit of an odd concept. A day or so maybe, but not long enough to take a job in order to pay for the repairs. Does public transport just not cover these areas? I'm guessing that it's mostly down to scale, America being so much bigger and taking longer to travel across.
I liked Harper, she had been royally screwed over by her ex-husband and is running home to her parents' post-divorce. Of course, this means that she's also carrying lots of emotional baggage. Her new love interest, mechanic Eastern, also has similar baggage, so they make a good pair. There's always a danger with this kind of pairing, that they are too damaged for one another, but it seemed to be a good balance.
There was quite a bit of going to and fro, particularly for Harper. Would she stay there or not. At one point it seems everyone thinks she has changed her mind (including her) and they get angry with her. It was a little odd because as far as I could see, there was no indication that she was going this way before it all blew up. Like many romance books, much of the upset and hurt could have been avoided with more communication. I know that there might not be a story with no misunderstandings and conflict, but in this case, I think that a little more talking would have helped the storyline.
I'd certainly be interested in reading the next book in this series.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Murder by Matchlight - E.C.R. Lorac

Murder by MatchlightMurder by Matchlight by E.C.R. Lorac
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great golden age mystery, again from another writer that I haven't come across before. I used to think that I was quite well read when it came to those classic British mysteries from early to mid last century, this series from poisoned pen press just keeps on showing me how wrong I was about that.
This story is set during London in the second world war. This adds a special twist to the mystery itself, with much of it taking place in darkness, in the middle of the blackout. In fact, in many ways, what makes this a mystery to puzzle out, only works because of this setting, with two people witnessing the murder, but due to the blackout, not really being able to see much at all.
One of the joys of these books has been the way that it shows the period in which they are set so clearly. If you were interested in wartime history in England but were not that bothered about mystery books, I think that you would still get a lot out of this. It sets the scene so well.
I have to admit that I didn't solve this one until right at the very end when it all became obvious. It worked well as a mystery and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 16 February 2019

Murder at the Old House - Betty Rowlands

Murder at the Old House (Melissa Craig, #13)Murder at the Old House by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this series. Each one just gets better and better. This time, the story takes place away from Melissa's village. Her father has been murdered and her mother is the prime suspect. Mel hasn't seen her parents for over twenty years (possibly nearly thirty?) as they threw her out when she got pregnant with her son Simon and wasn't married.
Although the story is a murder mystery (one which I didn't actually solve this time, I was barking up the wrong tree completely) much of the actual story is about Mel and her relationship with her parents. We have been told that they are estranged previously and why, but it has only really been mentioned in passing. Now we not only get to meet her mother, but we find out more about both Mel's past and her parent's relationship.
We also see much more of Mel's agent, Joe in this book. He has been a background character in previous stories, particularly because Mel has wanted to keep him at arm's length. In this book, he not only features quite prominently but Mel herself come to rely upon him more.
There are another two books still to go in this series and I have one earlier one to go back and read. I'm loving them and I'll be disappointed when they finally come to an end. The Mel Craig series is highly enjoyable.

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Friday, 15 February 2019

Kill for me - Rebecca Bradley

Kill For Me (DI Hannah Robbins #5)Kill For Me by Rebecca Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It seems a long time since I last had the pleasure of reading a DI Hannah Robbins book, in actual fact, it's only been five months. However long it is, it's always a please to tuck into one of these well-written mysteries, that have the added bonus of being set relatively locally to where I grew up.
I have thought with previous books that I hope that Rebecca Bradley never decides to go on a murderous rampage. She seems to have an uncanny knack of thinking up some of the most devious and disturbing ways to commit murder. Not, in this case, at least, the way that the murder actually was done, but the background that leads to it. She also likes to tell stories that push seemingly ordinary people beyond the limits to act in a way that they never dream to be possible.
This time around, I did wonder a few times if people really would go to these lengths? I really don't know. It was a gripping read in any case and I really enjoyed it.
If you haven't read any of the series as yet, then I really would recommend going back to the beginning and reading all of them. It doesn't really matter though if you'd prefer to start with this one, it's a great read and works just as well as a standalone novel. I'm looking forward to finding out what Hannah will face next time.

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The Heart of You - Cover Reveal

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Heart of You 
(A Geeks of Caltech Novel)
by Aarti V Raman

Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.

What he doesn't know how to do is fight for himself...

... Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.

Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.

She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.

When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily - he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend - it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.

And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.

But it isn't just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It's her adorable son, Bret.

Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.

Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.

But, survival no longer seems enough.

Can they take a chance on each other, on their hearts... On a love that braves The Heart of You?

The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!


About the Author:
Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.
She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.
She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.
Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances - all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.
She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook Page * Twitter * Instagram

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