Thursday, 31 January 2019

The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer

The Convenient MarriageThe Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I haven't got around to reading more of Georgette Heyer's novels, as I thoroughly enjoy them when I do. The Convenient marriage is in many ways, more of a comedy than anything else, but it certainly also has its share of romance and I was left with a contented smile on my face by the end.
The hero and heroine are in many ways a complete mismatch. Horry is headstrong, immature and only 17. The Earl of Rule is quite a bit older and seemingly has no real need or wish for his wife. After Rule's sister suggests that he marries and Horry's family needs one of their daughters to marry well in order to save them from financial ruin, Horry and Rule enter into a marriage of convenience, with Horry promising not to interfere in Rule's life.
I know that many people are put off by the huge age gap. By today's standards, it's pretty big, but this is a story set over 20 years ago and people are a little concerned that someone just out of the schoolroom has made such a great match but don't seem to be too concerned about the age difference. Horry is a little bit young for Rule, but by the end of the book she has grown into her role as wife and they seem quite suited. If you can put aside modern sensibility, then I really don't think that the age difference is a problem.
I loved the humour in this book. Rule has a very dry wit and I found myself chuckling whenever he appeared. He clearly finds himself drawn to Horry's character and finds her frankness and direct approach delightful. I can easily imagine them becoming a close couple that understands each other very well as their relationship progressed.
This was a highly entertaining read, with many of the side characters adding to the humour, Pom and Pel, in particular, are very funny with their continued well-meaning, but ultimately hopeless attempts to help. I loved Horry and Rule and seeing how their marriage becomes more than a convenient one by the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Jeopardy in July - Barbara Venkataraman

Jeopardy in July (Jamie Quinn Mystery #5)Jeopardy in July by Barbara Venkataraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is, sadly, the last book (so far) in the Jamie Quinn series. I hope that it is only so far and that another is to follow soon as I've become quite a fan after reading the previous books. I think that I mentioned in previous reviews that each one just seems to get better and better and that was still the case with this one.
I am probably repeating myself here, but much of the joy of this series is the characters who appear in every book, rather than the mystery so much. Jamie herself is fantastic and I love reading about what she gets up to. Then there is the ever-growing cast of supporting characters, from the wonderful Duke, her tame private detective, to Jamie's best frenemy Nick. Each of them adds too much to the books and I'm as keen to find out what is going to happen with Jamie and her boyfriend/fiance-to-be Kip and with Jamie's father.
The mystery this time has to do with the residents of an old people's home (an assisted living facility I think is the current term) a number of whom seem to have got themselves mixed up in art fraud. Jamie, of course, is in the thick of it, even though she doesn't intend to get involved in these things, she seems to have a knack for it.
This was another great instalment in this series and I can't wait to read more if and when they come out.

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Monday, 28 January 2019

The Bayou Bachelors - Geri Krotow

Bayou Vows
The Bayou Bachelors #3
by Geri Krotow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 1/8/2019

Not even the wildest Bayou Bachelor of all can resist the right woman.

Jeb DeVillier has a lot of explaining to do. True, he did steal millions from the sailboat business he ran with his partner, Brandon, and disappear to South America. But Jeb has a good reason—Brandon’s sister, Jena Boudreaux. A decade ago, she broke his heart when she chose career over their relationship. Still, when he learns she’s being held for ransom by drug dealers, he doesn’t hesitate. He’ll save her life, no matter what the danger.
When Jena called Jeb out of the blue, it was to ask him to give her last words to her family. She knew the risks when she took one final mission for the CIA. Suddenly, Jeb’s riding to the rescue like her own personal Cajun knight. Yet now that they’re both safe in New Orleans, he refuses to give her a second chance.
That’s not good enough for Jena. Because when you find someone crazy enough to risk everything for you, the only sane thing to do is to hang on tight . . .

My Review

This third book in the series sees Jena and Jeb's story. They have a past, both when they dated in high school and then again as friends with benefits more recently. They can't seem to stay away from one another, but neither can they seem to commit to one another.

As in the previous books, much of the 'action' has already taken place and the book deals with the aftermath of all that has gone on. Out of this, the two tentatively move towards a romance and ultimately love. 

Of the three couples Jena and Jeb seem to have the most trouble sorting out what they mean to one another and ultimately accepting what they really mean to each other. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of their story before this book starts. Their relationship and how they deal with one another afterwards is interesting though. 

Bare Devotion

The Bayou Bachelors #2

Sweet and sultry, hot and wild…that’s desire, Louisiana-style. And there’s no one better to explore it with than one of the Bayou Bachelors…
Returning to her flooded New Orleans home to face Henry Boudreaux, the man she jilted at the altar, is the hardest thing attorney Sonja Bosco has ever done—even before she discovers she’s pregnant. Sonja backed out of the marriage for Henry’s sake. He wants to be part of his father’s law firm, and his parents will never approve of an interracial marriage. Better to bruise his heart than ruin his life.
Henry can’t forgive Sonja, and doubts that he can trust her again. But learning that they’re going to be parents means there’s no avoiding each other. Springtime on the bayou is already steamy enough…now they’re living in the same small space while their damaged house is repaired. And with each passing day they’re getting a little more honest. A lot more real. And realizing that nothing—not even New Orleans at Mardi Gras—glows brighter than the desire they’re trying to deny…

My Review

This is the second book in the Bayou Bachelors series. In the first book, we saw Sonja and Henry fail to get married and this story deals with the aftermath of her leaving him at the altar.
It seems that in both this book and the previous one, a lot of the 'action' has already happened or is 'off-screen' and then what we do see can be a little bit repetitive. 

I liked the way that Henry and Sonja learned more about each other and the reason that things had failed. I also liked the way that the approached the way that they would parent their unborn child. Of course, I was willing them to get together again.

Fully Dressed
The Bayou Bachelors #1

There’s nowhere hotter than the South, especially with three men who know how to make the good times roll. But one of the Bayou Bachelors is about to meet his match…
New York City stylist Poppy Kaminsky knows that image is everything, which is why she’s so devastated when hers is trashed on social media—after a very public meltdown over her cheating fiancé. Her best friend’s New Orleans society wedding gives her the chance hide out and lick her wounds...
Brandon Boudreaux is in no mood to party. His multi-million dollar sailboat business is in danger of sinking thanks to his partner’s sudden disappearance—with the company’s funds. And when he rolls up to his estranged brother’s pre-wedding bash in an airboat, a cold-as-ice friend of the bride looks at him like he’s so much swamp trash.
The last person Poppy should get involved with is the bad boy of the Boudreaux family. But they have more in common than she could ever imagine—and the steamy, sultry New Orleans nights are about to show her how fun letting loose can be…
New Orleans serves as a strong supporting character in Fully Dressed as Krotow gives an inside view on the sights, sounds, and tastes of the bayou.” —RT Book Reviews

My Review

This first book is about Poppy and Brandon. Poppy has recently lost everything, her fiance, her cool (flipping out about the break up very publically and then having everything splashed all over social and not so social media) and her business. Brandon (who for reasons that are never explained, is also known as Gus) has had a similar loss. His best friend and business partner Jeb has scarpered, taking all of the businesses money and now he faces losing everything too.

I think that the three books could probably be read as stand-alone stories, but there is clearly a lot of cross over. Or I assume that to be the case, this being the first book, I'm not sure how things will play out in the other two. The main romance story is contained well within this first book, but there are a lot of questions left about other events, which I assume are to be the main storylines in the next two instalments. I did find the timeline a little confusing throughout the book, things seemed to move along at what seemed an odd rate whenever the passage of time was mentioned.

As for the romance itself, I liked it. Poppy and Brandon work well together and I particularly liked Brandon as a character. Poppy was a little less likeable, but she grew on me as the story progressed. Overall, their romance worked and was satisfying.

Geri Krotow is the award winning author of more than thirteen contemporary and romantic suspense novels (with a couple of WWII subplots thrown in!). While still unpublished Geri received the Daphne du Maurier Award for Romantic Suspense in Category Romance Fiction. Her 2007 Harlequin Everlasting debut A Rendezvous to Remember earned several awards, including the Yellow Rose of Texas Award for Excellence.
Prior to writing, Geri served for nine years as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Geri served as the Aviation/Anti-Submarine Warfare Intelligence officer for a P-3C squadron during which time she deployed to South America, Europe, and Greenland. She was the first female Intel officer on the East Coast to earn Naval Aviation Observer Wings. Geri also did a tour in the war on drugs, working with several different government and law enforcement agencies. Geri is grateful to be settled in south central Pennsylvania with her husband.

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Sunday, 27 January 2019

Brothers in Arms - Penny Dee

Brothers in Arms (Kings of Mayhem MC, book #2)Brothers in Arms by Penny Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was keen to read this as soon as I could, after reading book one in the Kings of Mayhem MC series; Kings of Mayhem. While the first book focused on romance and Indy and Cade, who had broken up 12 years previously but never got over one another. This book had more of a thriller element to it.
It picks up straight after the last book finished and moved at a pretty rapid rate from then on. There is still a little bit of romance, again focused on Cade and Indy who quickly move from just being back together to becoming an established long term couple. The thrust of this book though is who has it in for the Kings of Mayhem. Is it a rival gang, or is there something else going on here? With more and more of the gang members being targetted, it becomes clear that no one is safe until they get to the bottom of what's been going on and who has a problem with them.
Cade is struggling with the loss of his cousin, who in every other way, was like a brother to him. Indy, although suffering from the loss herself tries desperately to ease his pain. If anything it helps to strengthen their relationship, in spite of Cade's bull-headed stupidity that he knows best.
There's a lot to go through here, with abuse, rape and murder all touched on in one way or another. If you are looking for a sweet gentle romance, then this just isn't it. As mentioned before, in many ways, this novel belongs more in the thriller category. Either way, it was a great read and one that I couldn't put down.
I don't know where book three in this series will take us? Back to a romance, a thrilling crime novel or something different. I can see that these books wouldn't be for everyone, but I am really enjoying them and can't wait to find out what will be next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 26 January 2019

Engaged in Danger - Barbara Venkataraman

Engaged in Danger (Jamie Quinn Mystery #4)Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series just gets better and better. I'm not sure if it's because I've got to know the characters more, or that the storylines are improving, I suspect that it's a combination of both. Either way, what was a very good series has developed into a very very good series.
This time, like in previous books, there's as much going on in the back story, in terms of Jamie's life and loves as there is in the main story of the book itself. This time there's even more of a mystery, with two elements for Jamie to look into.
There is a murder to solve, but that doesn't seem to happen until at least halfway through the book. It doesn't really matter though, as there's plenty to keep you guessing before that. I was so involved in all that was happening that I couldn't put it down.
I'm loving this series, that is on the cosy side of mysteries, but still with plenty of intregue and interesting storylines. Just what I was in the mood for. I can't wait to read the next Jamie Quinn mystery.

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

Sour Puss - Merricat Mulwray

Merricat Mulwray
Publication date: January 20th 2019
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, New Adult
Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.
Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene . . .
She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him.
Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.
In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.

My Review

I have to admit that I swung back and forth with this one. Initially, I wasn't sure about it at all and didn't know if I was going to even be able to finish it. This is a very dark story about American College life. It's not something that I know a great deal about, as it seems very different to the British University that I attended.

The characters in this book are not particularly likeable, which is one of the things that makes it a complex read and hard to identify with. But, this is a satirical book. I think if you go on with that in mind, rather than expecting an obvious dark comedy, you might get much more out of it. I think that's where I struggled to begin with, the description had me expecting a light, humorous read, but Sourpuss is certainly not that.

Rape culture, fraternities and sportsmanship all find themselves in the spotlight and under fire in this book. No punches are pulled, each is attacked by being pushed to the extreme. As I got further into this book and understood what it was trying to do, I enjoyed it more.

This isn't a perfect book. There are things that I think could have been improved, but if you approach this as a damning satire, rather than expecting a light comedy, then you might just find that it's quite an interesting read, just like I did. 

Author Bio:

Merricat Mulwray is the collaboration of two sisters. They live in Los Angeles where they hatch plans and develop schemes, sometimes these turn into novels.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A Song for the Stars - Ilima Todd

A Song for the StarsA Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I suppose that's obvious from the five-star review, I don't tend to give out many of those, but this story and the way that it was told earned it. I was captivated from the moment that I first started reading to the last sentence.
This is a love story. A romantic love story, where two people grow to love one another as they learn more about each other, but also a love story about the place that it is set. I have never been to Hawaii, but it was portrayed so clearly, that I could picture it clearly. I do have some experience in the Pacific, currently living in New Zealand and having visited a number of other Polynesian islands. Even for someone who knows little of the culture, it's so clearly explained through the eyes of Maile, who has never known anything different and John, who is a visitor to the shores.
I'm not sure if this is a more of a romance or more of a story about two different cultures meeting and learning about one another for the first time. Either way, both parts of the story weave together to create an overall fascinating and satisfying read. Maile and John learn that they have as much in common as they have differences and as they discover more about one another, they fall in love.
This was the kind of book that gripped me from the start, pulled me willingly along on the journey and then left with me with a contented sigh at the end. In many ways, it was perhaps inevitable that I would love this book. Historical fiction has long been a soft spot, combined with the Polynesian setting and a romance, what wasn't to love. What really brought this story to surpass all of this was the wonderful way in which it was told. I fear the only downside is that I may now be left suffering from a 'book hangover' for a while, where nothing else quite measures up and I feel the loss of the joy in its pages. Highly recommended.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 21 January 2019

Murder in Langley Woods - Betty Rowlands

Murder in Langley Woods: A completely addictive cozy mystery novel (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 8)Murder in Langley Woods: A completely addictive cozy mystery novel by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm getting through these Mel Craig mysteries at the moment, up to book eight already with book nine ready to go next. Like the previous books in the series, these are classic mysteries with a who done it to solve.
This time Mel finds herself drawn into the case after the disappearance of an old freezer from the house of a fellow resident of her village. To begin with, she thinks nothing of it, but when the freezer turns up twenty miles away complete with a dead body inside. Mel being Mel, she can't resist but find out what has happened and with the help of journalist Bruce, she begins to investigate further.
In the previous books, Mel has been involved in a relationship with ex-policeman Ken. She's kept him very much at arm's length and now he's pushing for more commitment. The main problem is that he doesn't like her getting involved in the investigations that she seems to find herself in the middle of.
The end of the book resulted in some changes or coming changes in Mel's life. I don't know yet what this will mean for some of the characters who have been regular so far. I am looking forward to finding out and seeing what mystery Mel gets involved in next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 19 January 2019

The Colour of Murder - Julian Symons

The Colour of Murder (British Library Crime Classics)The Colour of Murder by Julian Symons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second Julian Symons' novels that I have read. I have to admit that prior to seeing them on Netgalley, I hadn't heard of him. Although these books have a certain similarity in style to those of the golden age of murder mysteries, they are quite different too. They are written and set later, in the post-war era of the 1950s, but this is still 'old-fashioned' enough to us today to seem similar to the earlier books.
The story itself is told in two halves, with the first being the lead up to the murder, told by the accused, as he shares his story to a psychologist. The second half takes place in court, with the cases for the defence and prosecution. This means that it's slightly different to the usual classic puzzle types of murder mysteries, although there is still a question over who done it and why.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. Partly because it's a well-written look at both life in the late '50s in England, partly because of the way that the court scene is portrayed and partly because of the story itself. It's a little different to many other books of its genre and I suspect when it first came out it would have been something very new.
This might be my first two Symons' novels, but I'd certainly been keen to look out for some more. They are well written, engaging and a glimpse at an earlier time as well as being good examples of the mystery genre.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 18 January 2019

Shadow Walker - Anya J. Cosgrove

Shadow Walker
Anya J. Cosgrove
Publication date: January 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A newborn witch is rescued by two smoking-hot brothers. Can she unravel their dark secrets? Or will she lose her soul trying?
Alana sucks at witchcraft. Healing, telepathy, seeing through illusions… she can’t master any of it.
Sparring with the six-foot-three muscular Walker brothers doesn’t help her focus. Alana’s not about to let herself fall for a man—or a demon—especially not the ones that abducted her in an attempt to save her life.
When a bitter demon learns of Alana’s existence, he’ll stop at nothing to possess her and drive a wedge between the two brothers. If Alana can’t learn to use her powers, she’ll die. If she can’t discern illusion from reality, she’ll lose her mind.
Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows.
Demons, witches, forbidden love… visit the otherworld today.

My Review

When I'm talking about a new to me author, I often start by saying that this is the first that I've read by this author or that I haven't read one of their books before. While that is true in this case, that is also because this is Anya J. Cosgrove's first novel. Not that you would think it, it was an excellent read and while this might be the first of her books that I've read, I'm confident that it won't be the last. If nothing else, I'll want to know how the rest of this series pans out, now I've started it, I'm hooked.

The Bloody Hearts series is a paranormal romance series with a love triangle at the centre. I don't know how many books are planned in the series (I forget if it's actually been mentioned somewhere) but this is a slow burn romance and at the end of the book I'm not sure where it's going to go. I know where I want it to go, but I'm going to have to wait and see.

Alana's life has been turned upside down and she has to deal with her new found status as a witch, with only a demon, his brother and another witch to guide her. She's been interested in Thom since he turned up in one of her classes and now he and his demon brother are guiding her to come to terms with her powers.

I liked Alana and I enjoyed her antagonistic sparing with Liam. I have a fondness for love-hate relationships and that's certainly what we've got here. To be honest, we see less of Thom, who is there more as a solid presence when he's around, while Liam is unpredictable and wild (and let's face it, quite exciting).

I don't know where this is going to go next, but I'm really looking forward to finding out. There is a prequel novella available, which you can get by signing up to a newsletter. More than worth doing, as I'll definitely want to know when the next book in the series is out. I'll be reading the prequel shortly and waiting patiently to know what's going to happen next for Alana, Liam and Thom.

Author Bio:

Anya J Cosgrove lives in Québec 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!
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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Kings of Mayhem - Penny Dee

Kings of Mayhem (Kings of Mayhem, #1)Kings of Mayhem by Penny Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's a lot in this book that might put some readers off. In fact, I'd go further and say that there's a lot in it that would usually put me off. But, I really enjoyed it. The book opens with the hero with another woman. He's in a motorcycle gang and while they avoid drugs and guns, their business interests certainly lie on the more unsavoury side of life (brothels, strip clubs and pornographic films). Then there's the reason that this couple split up in the first place, 12 years ago...
For some reason though, despite all of the things that would normally put me off a little bit, I really enjoyed this book. The descriptions of both the club in the modern day and the scenes from Cade and Indy's childhood were great and really added to the story.
I loved both Cade and Indy and the way that the interacted as they rediscovered their feelings for one another. As a rule, I struggle a bit with second chance romances, which is what this is in effect, but somehow it really worked. I did want Indy to drop her defences a little quicker with Cade, but in some ways, the fact that she didn't added to the overall feel of the book and worked well.
Although I have some reservations about the setting, I did like that neither Cade nor Indy felt that had to change who they were or what they did.
There was one thing I wasn't so keen about this story though, the fact that it was left on a bit of a cliffhanger. Now I HAVE to read the next one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

One Day - A.M. Salinger

One Day
A.M. Salinger
(Nights, #9)
Publication date: December 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I will never tire of this man. Whatever he wants. Whenever he wants it. I will accept it all. All of him. Forever — Gabe
He taught me so much. How to love. How to laugh. How to fight and make up. And every day that I spend with him is another day I thank God for the gift He granted me when He gave him to me — Cam
With their wedding two months away, Cam Sorvino and Gabe Anderson receive an unexpected invitation from Gabe’s estranged parents to visit them in the US. But the trip doesn’t go as planned and Gabe leaves his family home with a bitter taste in his mouth, the memories of his past trauma fresh in his mind once more. Until Ethan asks him to join him on an incredible project, one with the potential to change Gabe and Cam’s lives forever.
With Ethan in charge of their secret bachelor party, Cam, Gabe, and their friends go on to enjoy the weekend of a lifetime, including one surprisingly hot and wicked night organized exclusively for them by the sexy bartender.
But as the countdown begins to their wedding, Cam can’t help worrying that Gabe is hiding something from him. Little does Cam know about the breathtaking surprises Gabe and Ethan have in store for him and Joe when they finally gather on the island where the wedding ceremony is to take place. And that’s not the only wonderful thing that unfolds in the beautiful surroundings of the tropical paradise.
Join Cam, Gabe, and all the couples of the Nights series in an epic finale that will have you crying, laughing, sighing, and cheering for all their happily-ever-afters.
Note from the author: this book is the final installment in Nights and cannot be read as a standalone. So, what are you waiting for? Get the entire series now and discover the hot, funny, sexy, wicked couples of Nights!
This is a novella length MF/MM romance with a collection of most splendid HEAs!

My Review

I've recently read all of the books in this series and I've really enjoyed them. The individual stories are fun, hot, quick reads and I really enjoyed them and getting to know the characters in them. This time we come to the end of the series with a book that brings everything together. 

Unlike the previous books in this novella series, this final book can't really be read as a standalone. It is really the large epilogue to all of the previous stories. In this, we catch up on all of the previous couples, so if you haven't read the earlier stories, this probably wouldn't do a great deal for you.

Again, as with the earlier books, there is lots of sex. Which, I suppose is to be expected, seeing as that made up the main part of the previous stories. I enjoyed this series as a whole and it was nice to finish off all the stories. I would have liked a bit more Ethan and Joe though. All in all a fun read.

Author Bio:
Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2018, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.
Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here and join her VIP Facebook Fan Group here.


Monday, 14 January 2019

Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman

Peril in the Park (Jamie Quinn Mystery #3)Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Jamie Quinn Mystery series. Each one so far has been better than the last and I really enjoyed this instalment. These stories are cosy mysteries and they are really on the cosy side. There is a murder in this one, but it's almost a minor part of the rest of the story.
In previous books, there hasn't been really much investigating or many suspects. This time around there were a few more potential suspects and it was more like a traditional mystery book. What I really love about these books is the characters and the background story. All of the recurring characters, from private detective Duke to Jamie's best friend Grace and boyfriend Kip are lovely and really add to the whole read.
There are some more books in this series and I'd be definitely keen to check them out.

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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Guardian Angel - Ruchi Singh

Guardian Angel Ruchi SIngh

Guardian Angel

A thrilling tale of unconditional love amidst danger and certain death.
Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

The Man 
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 

The Angel 
Should an innocent man be left to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.

My Review

I don't mind admitting that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I didn't really know what to expect going in, but I was engrossed within minutes of picking the book up and I polished it off pretty quickly. I always enjoy a good un-put-downable read and this one certainly fell into that category.

The characters in this book and the story as it progresses soon drag you quickly along. I believe that Nikhil has been introduced in a previous book, The Bodyguard, but unfortunately, I haven't had the pleasure of reading that as yet. We meet him in this book in mortal danger. He has been injured in a bomb blast and now finds himself blind and bandaged. He has no idea where he is or what has happened to him to end up there.

His only assistance is from the young woman who tends to his wounds each day and patiently feeds hi via a straw. She won't talk to him and when he hears her speak it is in a language that he doesn't understand. 

I really don't want to give too much away about this book and what is going on. I'd hate to give away any spoilers as there are twists and turns in the plot of this book that I didn't spot coming. Needless to say, if you are looking for an exciting and thrilling read with a good dose of romance thrown in for good measure, then I would highly recommend this one. Give it a read, I don't think that you will be disappointed.

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Murder at Larkfield Barn - Betty Rowlands

Murder at Larkfield BarnMurder at Larkfield Barn by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm rapidly becoming a big fan of the Mel Craig mysteries. The more of them I read, the more that I enjoy.
This instalment, number seven in the series, is in some ways slightly different from the previous books. Where Mel has found herself in the thick of investigations, usually against the wishes of her policeman boyfriend Ken, she takes a less active role in investigating this time. It still works well though and I liked the bigger role that Ken played.
I wasn't sure about the relationship with Mel and Ken and wasn't sure if it was going to work or not. Things had changed a little by this book. Ken is no longer with the police service but has set up his own investigation service. He is away a bit seeing to other cases that he his working on, but much of the mystery this time is shown through him. Although Mel is still a little standoffish with him, I think that they will work things out in the end.
Again with this one, I had more or less solved it all by the time that they had. It worked and was enjoyable to read about, which ticks the big boxes for me with murder mysteries.
As I said, this book had a different feel to the others in some ways, but it was still a really good Mel Craig mystery. It goes without sayI received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my that I'm looking forward to the next one.

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

Stolen Goods - Kay Marie

Stolen Good Blog Tour

Stolen Goods

Stolen Goods by Kay Marie.Catch Me If You Can meets Tangled in this funny and feel-good adventurous romance, new from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie.

Addison Abbot is a dreamer—she dreams of owning her own cake shop, of traveling the world, of finding Prince Charming. But when it comes to actually following any of those dreams, she's a little, well, stuck. So when a devilishly handsome stranger saves her from two robbers with guns and pulls her into the adventure of a lifetime, she's determined to find her fairytale ending—until she realizes he's the most wanted criminal in America, that is.

Thaddeus Ryder was just another run-of-the-mill international art thief until his latest heist went south. Now, his face is on every news station, his name is making headlines, and his partner is working for the feds. Talk about a bad week on the job. His only option is to flee the country. But when hitmen for the Russian mafia interrupt his getaway, Thad gains an accidental companion—a baking beauty who might be too tempting to resist.

When a good girl meets a bad boy, sparks are bound to fly. But this con man is about to discover the only thing he can't steal is her heart...

**To Catch a Thief is a romantic comedy series that's one part humorous and one part heartfelt, with a dash of adventure, a hint of criminal activity, and a whole heap of fun! Each book is a stand-alone romance with a HEA.

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My Review

This is the second book in the To Catch a Thief series and having read both, I'd have to say that this is my favourite so far. This time we have Addison, who is one of the three online friends who all share an interest in baking. We met Jo in the first book, she has kept her true identity and the role that she's played in her father's criminal activities. Now, Addison finds out all about what Jo has been up to and finds herself plunged right into the thick of things.

Thaddeus has been Jo's partner in all of these criminal activities, although he knew more of what was involved with it all. Now he's on the run and needing to get in touch with Jo, he breaks into Addison's bakery and tries to use her to reach Jo. Things don't quite go to plan and before she knows what happens, she's on the run with America's most wanted criminal.

Thaddeus and Addison work well together and although Addison is quite a fluffy and soft type, she has a bit of a backbone to her, which is always good to see. The story reminded me a little bit of French Kiss, the film with Meg Ryan in from the 90's, although it was different in many ways.

Like the first book, I didn't see how the happily ever after was going to be able to come about with Addison and Thaddeus, but of course, everything worked out in the end. I won't give anything away and explain what happens, but I enjoyed it.

There's another book to go in this series, with the third member of the baking group set to get her story. I'm looking forward to giving it a read.


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Sunday, 6 January 2019

The case of the Killer Divorce - Barbara Venkataraman

The Case of the Killer Divorce (Jamie Quinn Mystery #2)The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second in the Jamie Quinn mystery series. I think I said when I reviewed the first a day or so ago that this was a classic cosy mystery. In many ways it is, it's an easy read with fun and quirky characters and although there is a murder, it's of a very 'gentle' variety (I do realise how odd that sounds when talking about a murder). In other ways though, it's not really a cosy mystery at all. While the cosy part holds true, there isn't really a puzzle type mystery to try and solve. There are only really two people who could be the 'murderer' and it's fairly clear who the guilty party might be. To be honest though, for me at least, that didn't really matter.
In many ways, the murder plays a secondary role to that of Jamie's life. In the course of this story, she gains not only a boyfriend, but we find out a lot about her long-lost father. In many ways, what would probably be the sub-plot in other books, becomes the main storyline in this and the mystery is secondary.
I actually really enjoyed this quick read. I like the main recurring characters. Jamie is great, as is her friend Grace and there seems to be potential for love interest Kip. By far and away the most entertaining member of the cast is private detective Marmaduke, who, for probably quite obvious reasons usually goes by the shorter version of his name; Duke.
I'm enjoying this quick little series. The plots aren't taxing on the little grey cells, but they are certainly entertaining. I'll no doubt be dipping into the next one soon.

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Saturday, 5 January 2019

Death by Didgeridoo - Barbara Venkataraman

Death by Didgeridoo (Jamie Quinn Mystery #1)Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't read a proper 'cosy mystery' for quite a long time. This is quite a short book and a quick read, but if I'm looking for an easy mystery read then that's what I prefer. Death by Didgeridoo is the start of a series and I think that there is potential here for the series to develop well.
Jamie Quinn is a lawyer who works in family law but finds that her family calls on her whenever they have a legal problem. When her cousin gets accused of murder, of course, she gets called on to help him out.
There isn't a complex puzzle to solve here, the mystery more or less is spelt out for you as you read, but for a bit of light escapism where you don't want to spend too much brain power, then it' perfect. As well as Jamie herself, there's a cat that she hates and an alcoholic private detective who looks as though he could become a fun character. In many ways this is a good start and I'll be interested to see how this series develops in future books.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Outside the Veil Boxed Set - T.J. Shaw

Outside the Veil Boxed Set (Books 1-3)Outside the Veil Boxed Set by T.J. Shaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, I feel a little mean not giving this more than a four-star score, I was in two minds whether to give it five or four, but decided to go with four. There was a lot I loved about these books, but I suspect that there's room for even more in future instalments of this series, so I decided to go with four.
I had intended to read the three parts of this boxed set separately, possibly reading something in between each one. This time, that just didn't happen. With each part, I couldn't put it down and was dying to know what was going to happen in the next. I was warned that the first two books would finish on cliffhangers, but I still didn't expect to be so caught up in the story.
Both Jaxon and Amari were fascinating and I loved how they were together. Finding out how they managed to navigate their way through the problems that faced them and their finding a way for Amari to become who she should be. I also really liked the other members of their cardre and I hope that we see more of them in future books. This is the start of a series I believe and there is certainly scope for plenty more storylines. Amari's sister Lizbet has got her own issues to face in the near future, as well as dealing with the shadowy villain of the piece. I suspect that we have only seen a small amount of this person so far, their motives or what they are ultimately trying to do hasn't really become clear as yet.
The setting of this book means that there is a fair amount of world-building to be done. This doesn't get in the way of the story or the action and our understanding grows as the plot develops so that you almost don't notice it, but certainly know far more about the world in which they live by the end of the books.
There is romance here and I loved the interaction between Jaxon and Amari as they at first find themselves drawn to one another and then as their relationship and love begins to grow and develop.
If you are thinking of giving Outside the Veil a go, then I would suggest going straight for the boxed set. You probably won't be able to put it down so you might as well get all three to begin with. Highly recommended.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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