Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Alpha's Promise - Rebecca Zanetti

Alpha's Promise (Dark Protectors #10)Alpha's Promise by Rebecca Zanetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is quite a big series, with at least one other related series. I've personally only read one other book before this one, but to honest, it doesn't really matter. While the various characters do all seem to be mentioned and crop up in each book, you can grasp what is going on, how they are all related and details about the world that they live in.
This time the story focuses on Promise, a mathematician. She lives and breaths figures and is working on solving the mysteries of the world (both this and other dimensions) using maths. As she is in danger Ivar is tasked with watching over her and keeping her safe. As the two start to spend time together, it becomes clear that there is something between them and that a relationship begins to grow.
On the whole, I enjoyed the book and the relationship between Promise and Ivar. I did find Promise a little difficult to relate to, she is very logic driven, although ultimately she does rely on faith and emotion.
I enjoyed this instalment and I'd certainly be keen to read more in the series. I'd be particularly keen to see what will happen with the two reluctant mates and also what will happen with the new Fae deamon hybrid that they have found, I assume we can guess who she will end up with?
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Their discovery - Rebecca Grace Allen

Their Discovery
Rebecca Grace Allen
(Legally Bound, #3)
Publication date: April 29th 2019
Genres: Erotica, Romance
Exploring their fantasies could save their marriage…or push it over the edge
Legally Bound, Book 3
Samantha Archer’s life has hit a wall. Her world is housework, homework and reminding her husband—the biggest kid in the family—to help out at home. Once she felt confident, powerful and sexy, but Brady doesn’t seem to notice her anymore, and now all she feels is invisible.
Brady has tried being the goofy guy who stole Sam’s heart, but it’s not working. He’s losing the woman he loves and doesn’t have a clue how to fix it. He’s keeping his darkest fantasies hidden too, sure they’re not what Sam wants, and his inability to please her cuts him deeper than she knows.
When Sam lands a new job at a law firm, Brady still won’t pick up the slack, and one night giving him orders unexpectedly reignites their missing spark. Sam discovers the Femdomme she didn’t know she was, kindling Brady’s submissive desires.
But while things heat up inside the bedroom, life outside it starts unraveling. Brady’s need to call the shots at work complicates his hunger to kneel for his wife, and Sam has longed to experiment in more ways than one. Their exploration of dominance and submission goes a step too far when they invite Sam’s sultry switch coworker into their bed, and the fallout could cost them everything.
Warning: contains a six-foot-five, ex-football player geek and a ballsy, badass redhead who’s learning to unleash her inner Domme. Scenes depicting humiliation, pegging and threesomes could disturb, or stimulate a thirst for adventure.

Author Bio:
Rebecca Grace Allen is an author of sweet, sexy and soul searching romance, emphasis on the sexy! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Literary Comparison, as well as a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education, both of which seemed like good ideas at the time. After stumbling through careers in entertainment, publishing, law and teaching, she's returned to her first love: writing. A self-admitted caffeine addict and gym rat, she currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, two parakeets, and a cat with a very unusual foot fetish.
Sign up for Rebecca's newsletter: http://www.rebeccagraceallen.com/newsletter

My Review

Reading a book that comes part way through a series is always a gamble. Some work really well as standalone novels and others do not. This one, fortunately, was one of the former and while I suspect it might be nice to see how previous characters are doing, not having come across any of the people in the book or their stories before didn't affect my reading pleasure.
This book is quite different from many other romance novels. Rather than a couple meeting and falling in love for the first time, this tells the story of a married couple who have found that life (and particularly children) has got in the way of who they are and how they feel about one another. One of the strengths of this book was how well it painted the picture of a couple who are feeling ground down by the day to day chores and have disconnected as a couple. There was plenty of evidence of this at the start and it was perhaps a little bit heavy-handed at times. On the whole, though it painted a picture that I suspect might be familiar to many married couples. 
Of course, being a romance story, we want our couple to find their way through this and back to one another. It might not be the most convenient way of getting there, but they do it. As with any relationship, one involving a bit of kink the way that this one does, or a run of the mill, more vanilla love story, they would have got on far better with more communication. 
I enjoyed this story overall, the beginning could have been a little shorter, as the day to day scene setting was a little laboured. Other than that, this was a relatable romance story and one that left me with a smile on my face. 


Friday, 26 April 2019

Duplicate Death - Georgette Heyer

Duplicate DeathDuplicate Death by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of Georgette Heyer's later murder mystery books, but it features some characters that appeared in an earlier one, They Found Him Dead. I read that not so long ago, so while some time has passed in the book world, the characters were still quite fresh in my mind. I remember with that book, being particularly taken with 14-year-old terrible Timothy. While he might now be a young man in his twenties, he, fortunately, didn't seem to have changed much in this book and was just as much fun to read about. The Chief Inspector, also featured in the previous book, although in that one he was a humble sergeant. He certainly had a soft spot of Terrible Timothy and overall he is one of the more entertaining and interesting detectives that you come across.
Like many of Heyer's murder mysteries, indeed like many from this period, this is quite slow moving, particularly at the start. It takes a little while for the murder to even take place. If you like your murders fast moving, then this might be a little gentle for you, but I loved this old fashioned story.
In terms of the mystery itself, I'm afraid that I hadn't a clue who the guilty party was. I had a few ideas about who it wasn't but didn't manage to establish who had actually done it. It was a very enjoyable read and I liked trying to solve it, even if I didn't get anywhere. Georgette Heyer is usually remembered for her Regency Romances, as much as I love them, I think it's a real shame that she doesn't get more recognition for these fantastic murder mysteries.

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Monday, 22 April 2019

America Witch - Thea Harrison

American WitchAmerican Witch by Thea Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book with a witch as the lead character isn't something that I usually go for. I recently read a different series that really captured my attention, so when I saw this one on Netgalley, I thought it might be worth checking out. Of course, as with all genre's the writer always brings something different to a story and I wasn't really sure what to expect with this one.
Like many 'paranormal romances' that I have read, the lead character is someone who is just discovering what they are and what their power is. Indeed much of this book is about that change and coming to terms with it and what it means, as much as it is a romance. What makes this book a little different to other similar stories, is that the lead, in this case, is a slightly older (not old) woman. She has a strength of character that is often missing and while she may be new to being a witch she is a woman who knows fundamentally who she is.
It was this part of the story that appealed to me most of all. Possibly as a woman of a similar age myself, I could relate to her slightly more than the teenagers and early twenties that often appear in this type of story.
I think that it also added a different element to the romance. Although our two lead characters Molly and Josiah are strongly attracted to one another, the fact that she isn't a wet behind the ears young thing means that she doesn't let him push her around. They are on a much more equal footing than you often read and I enjoyed that refreshing approach.
Overall this was a good read, there was some world building, but not too much. For the most part, the book was set in modern day America, but with people being aware that some people have magic, even if they have no involvement in it themselves. I believe that this is the first of a trilogy and I'd certainly be interested to see where the story will go next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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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.