Saturday, 28 December 2019

Forbidden Bond - Lee Colgin

Forbidden BondForbidden Bond by Lee Colgin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read quite a few books that just haven't quite hit the mark, it was great to finally come across this one that ticked all the boxes. Forbidden Bond is the first book in the They Bite series, based on this one, I don't think that it will be the last that I read.
In this world, supernaturals have come to an uneasy truce, but they are far from friendly with one another. Sinclair, an as yet still living vampire, wants to attend a werewolf university and learn more of the history of the various species. His family are against it, but as he is in his mid-twenties and an adult there's little that they can do about it. (Although, he does appear to be younger than that somehow.) The alpha wolf who looks after the pack at the university, Mitchel is not happy about his arrival, to begin with, but he soon finds that he not only likes the young vampire but is also very much attracted to him.
I enjoyed the romance between Sinclair and Mitchel and the story around humans learning about the existence of paranormals and how they were all trying to deal with it was great. The book did leave me with a few questions, the relationship between Sinclair and Mitchel was unheard of and as nice as it was to see them cement that connection properly, I think that I would have liked to see a little bit more after that. I'm guessing that as more books from this series come, we'll start to learn more about the situation with both wolves and vampires. Perhaps the reason for there being less information here is simply because it's something that will be dealt with in later stories.
Overall this was a great read and as I mentioned before, I'm keen to read more from this world.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Taking the Lead - Tara Eldana

Taking the LeadTaking the Lead by Tara Eldana
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is 3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4 stars read.
I loved the idea behind this book, identical twins, with one woman being attracted to both despite them being quite different in a number of ways. Between them, they decide to go for a bit of an unconventional approach to the relationship and of course this leads to the worries, jealousies and concerns that you would expect.
There was a lot to deal with here, juggling the emotions of all three and how that might lead to something that they could all live with. For the most part, it was an entertaining and interesting read. There were a couple of things that for me at least, stopped this from being a full four stars. The characters, particularly the twins weren't different enough to make it obvious who you were reading about, which was a bit annoying. I also found that there seemed to be quite a few sudden leaps in ideas. (Everyone suddenly decides that Jessa is a switch, with absolutely nothing to suggest that she's anything to be honest before they're all proclaiming it.) The ending was a bit odd too, I sort of see why things unfolded as they did, although I wasn't totally on board with it, there was no need for four or five chapters that were two months later, six months later, a year later etc.
Overall this wasn't a bad read and had quite a bit I did enjoy, but the execution of the plot wasn't quite there and it just stopped it from being a really good read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Hard Justice - Pamela Clare

Hard Justice (Cobra Elite, #3)Hard Justice by Pamela Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one get's 3 1/2 rounded up to 4 stars.
I haven't read the previous books in the series, but I think that this one worked well as a stand-alone. This is a romantic suspense with a bit of a murder mystery to get to the bottom of along the way. There's plenty of action and plenty of heat in the romance department.
Set in Scotland with a Glaswegian lead, lots of the book is written with a 'Scottish' dialect which for the most part was fairly well done. The author had clearly done quite a bit research and other than the odd little slip-up, but these were mostly little random things that just slip in there (things like going to a paediatrician's office which is unlikely in the UK). I do struggle a bit with things written in dialect, often it's overdone a bit, as the person writing is less used to the accent. For the most part, this was well done and worked.
I enjoyed the suspense element of the book and although I thought I knew where it was going, it didn't make for a boring read. As for the romance, I think that this might be slightly where things fell a little flat for me. I just didn't fully buy into the chemistry between Quinn and Elizabeth. I also found him calling her Lilibet really cringy. I don't know if it's because the only time I've heard that name ever used before is because it's what the Queen is known as to some people and came about because she couldn't say her own name. It's such a babyish name and not something you could imagine lovers using. It's a shame because I think that it was the romance element that made this less than a four-star read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Monday, 23 December 2019

Not home for the Holidays - Isabelle Drake

Not Home for the HolidaysNot Home for the Holidays by Isabelle Drake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know how sometimes you're just in the mood for a nice, feel-good romance? Well Not Home for the Holidays ticks all the boxes in that regard. This isn't a long or intense read with heaps of issues for the various characters, instead, we have quite a sweet little read that leaves you with a smile on your face and a satisfied feeling inside.
Emma hasn't had a great deal of success with romance, but she has been doing rather well with her online chicken business. When she becomes a finalist for a social media competition with an advertising agency, she gets the chance to head to the big city and possibly a life of a bit more excitement.
This is quite a quick read, which is perfect for this kind of story. The romance wasn't drawn out with lots of misunderstanding and confusion. There were some things for the couple to work through and get to their happily ever after, but it didn't feel as though this was being added for the sake of it, or rather the sake of adding some conflict. This was just the kind of book I as in the mood for on a lazy Sunday morning.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Case for the Temptation - Robyn Grady

The Case for TemptationThe Case for Temptation by Robyn Grady
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Case for Temptation is a little different to some of your other romance novels. It begins with our hero and heroine getting together for the night. As the book progresses they try to decide if they can fit into each other's lives, particularly when it comes to dealing with the baggage from each other's past.
There is a lot going on in this novel, with both Jacob and Teagan questioning if they want a relationship with one another and if they can make it as a couple. There are a few occasions where we suddenly get a summary of things that have happened, but that we don't actually see. I'm sure that this is to help keep the story moving and at the right pace. The only downside with this is that it doesn't make for the most gripping reading. It didn't really matter, but it was one of the elements that stopped this from being a four-star read.
I liked the relationship between Jacob and Teagan. I did think that towards the end he was a little cruel, there were reasons for it, but I don't usually like my 'hero's' to be like that.
This was a good romantic read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Friday, 20 December 2019

Fell Murder - E.C.R Lorac

Fell MurderFell Murder by E.C.R. Lorac
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to reading Fell Murder since I requested it on Net Galley. I've read one or two of her novels before and really enjoyed them, but more importantly, I have a huge soft spot for the part of the country that this book is set in. It may have been fifty years after the time of this book that I lived in Lancaster and knew the lune valley, but I could still recognise the landscape that appears in the pages.
The murder mystery comes about after the return of a son who has long been away from the area. Although he doesn't visit his family, it soon becomes clear that a number of people in the area know of his arrival. It's not clear at first how his arrival causes the murder to take place, but the fact that he's suddenly there is the spark for the events that follow.
I enjoyed this murder mystery, I did guess the murderer right before the end of the book, but it was a guess and I wasn't completely sure that I was right.
I really enjoyed the book, both because of the mystery element but also because of the obvious great love for the area that the author had. If I wasn't on the other side of the world, I have no doubt it would be enough to send me on a visit back to Lancaster and the surrounding area as soon as possible.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Provoke You - Diana A Hicks

Provoke You
Diana A. Hicks
(Cole Brothers #2)
Publication date: December 16th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hotel heiress Ela LeBlanc is ready to take control of her life. Waking up handcuffed to a former marine and the news of her step-dad’s plans to sell the hotel is just the wake-up call she needs.
With only thirty days to prove he has no claim on the property, Ela has to enlist the help of her sexy as sin bodyguard.When things take a dangerous turn, and Matt becomes the only person she can trust, she can’t help but wonder… can she trust him with her heart?
Former Marine Matt Cole came to New Orleans for a fresh start, a chance to make amends. After accepting a job as the chief of security for a wealthy hotelier, he quickly realizes that life in the Big Easy is anything but.
Matt’s greatest challenge is keeping his distance from the tempting Ela LeBlanc, his boss’s gorgeous and very off limits step-daughter.  Surviving Ela is just the beginning. As things unfold it becomes clear that it’s not just his heart on the line, but their lives.
PROVOKE YOU is book two in the Cole Brothers series. A new family saga binge reading experience: 5 brothers, 5 full-length novels in 5 months.
Continue reading on December 16th, January 13th, February 10th, and March 9th. Don’t miss out on this suspenseful and seductive series.
Note: This is a steamy romance with explicit sensual scenes, happily ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.

Author Bio:
Diana A. Hicks is an award-winning author of steamy contemporary romance with a touch of suspense. Book two in her Desert Monsoon series, LOVE OVER LOGIC, won the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Romance – Suspense genre
When Diana is not writing, she enjoys kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.

My Review

Although this is the second in the Cole Brothers' series, you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy this one, it works well as a standalone. That said, I have read the first book and very briefly met the Cole Brothers before. This book deals with adopted brother Matt and his relationship with Ela.

Ela is the heiress to a fortune, but her stepfather doesn't think that she is ready to take over. All that she really wants is her Father's love and attention, but since the death of her Grandmother everything seems to have changed and in a failed attempted to get his notice, she has spiralled into a self-destructive path. In recent years, Ela has finally sorted herself out, but it seems that it's not really what her father wants. When he sells the hotel that she loves out from under her feet, then she knows that she needs to do something.

There's quite a lot going on in this story with action and suspense abound. It also has it's lighter moments, Ela first knowingly meets Matt when she wakes up from a bender handcuffed to him. I thought this balance of action and fun worked well together as did Matt and Ela as a couple. There are hints of the other stories to come in the series, but nothing that means that you have to read any of the others or that they even have to be read in order.

Provoke You is a fun and exciting romance which delivers on lots of levels. I'm looking forward to finding out what else the Cole Brothers' series has in store for us.


Tuesday, 17 December 2019

The Way of the Brave - Susan May Warren

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue #1)The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm giving this one three and a half out of five, rounded up to four. I struggled a bit to know what to give it, but I think that's a fair rating. What I didn't realise when I started reading it, was that it was a religious romance. I cottoned on fairly quickly when various characters started referring to God as though he were an off-screen character that they all knew well. Perhaps that's how they and the author feel? I don't know, it just wasn't what I had been expecting.
The book itself deals with a mountain climb and rescue. I have to admit that I've not done much climbing and certainly no mountaineering. I can't tell you how accurate it was, but it certainly seemed to contain plenty of detail and made for a fascinating and exciting read. It even had me looking up Denali online and looking at some photos. In many ways, the romance and the connection to the characters came as secondary to this adventure storyline.
The characters themselves all seem to have had terrible things happen to them in the last few years. It's really hardly surprising that any of them seem to need to use religion as an emotional crutch, I think anyone would struggle to cope with that kind of things thrown at them. If I had a criticism about the adventure element of the book, it would be that that side of it was relentless, with a number of things happening one after another that they needed to face and deal with.
The romance worked well, it was in many ways a second chance romance, although Orion and Jenny hadn't actually been lovers before. It did seem to be very much secondary to the other events in the book, but that didn't really matter.
There were a couple of things that I didn't like, which is why it doesn't receive a larger rating. Firstly the constant religious discussions were just a bit much. If I had known that this was a religious book, I'd have probably given it a miss for that reason. The other thing that bothered me a bit was the way some of the characters acted. A doctor with a suspected broken ankle and other injuries won't let someone examine her, she's halfway up a mountain and she's worried it wouldn't be right to let him see her stomach and lower chest. Really? Then there's a scene where one character overreacts (completely) because another woman has invited a man back to her room when she's always said before that she would 'wait'. It's a really really odd scene and just doesn't ring true for characters that are supposed to be adults.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, more as an adventure read than anything else.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Out of a Dark Reflection - Lexie Conyngham

Out of a Dark Reflection (Murray of Letho, #8)Out of a Dark Reflection by Lexie Conyngham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I meant to spend a few days reading Out of a Dark Reflection, but as soon as I started reading I couldn't resist keeping going. Fortunately, I've been quite busy with work lately and could do with a bit of time doing very little, so it didn't matter too much that I spent the whole day reading.
I love the Murray books, particularly those, like this one, that also feature his good, but rather eccentric friend Blair.
Murray is spending the season at home in Letho, with his (horrid) wife due to give birth soon. He's not the only one who seems to have given the season a miss. When an old woman is killed in her home, the whole village soon starts to tear itself apart looking for witches and it doesn't seem that anyone is unaffected in one way or another by the hysteria.
I have to admit that I didn't manage to get to the bottom of this one. I had a few ideas that seemed to be in the right direction, but I certainly didn't unravel everything. That isn't really why I read these books. I do enjoy the mystery element and that's what I came for initially. What I really love is Murray himself, the other characters that make up his world (both servants, friends and passing acquaintances) and the historical setting. I don't know if Murray's house is based on a particular real-life house, or rather an amalgamation of them, but I can certainly think of houses that I know that are similar.
There is a short novella that follows this book, I've already downloaded it and will be reading it soon. I'm sure that it won't be long until I return to Murray and the next in the series.

View all my reviews

Friday, 13 December 2019

Everglades Wildfire - Isabelle Drake

Everglades WildfireEverglades Wildfire by Isabelle Drake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After spending a summer working together and having a passionate love affair, neither Rick nor Amber thought that they would ever see one another again. They have not been able to forget about each other and when Amber returns to get Rick's agreement to use their research for her graduate degree, they soon find that they can't resist one another. Amber agrees to act as Rick's pretend fiance and before long they are swept along with his family's hopes.
This was a bit of an unusual story. The characters had a past, but a fairly recent one. It's clear right from the start that the chemistry between them is explosive and that they are not going to be able to resist one another. The story itself is quite short to be honest, which doesn't matter too much as being as these two have already got a past, there isn't a need for that initial get to know you phase. Both Amber and Rick have a past that has made them both wary of getting involved in a relationship, yet yearning for a place to belong and the chance to be properly part of a family.
I liked both Rick and Amber and I think that their relationship worked well. The idea of a couple deciding to pretend to be married is perhaps a little far fetched, but in the context of the story, that really didn't matter.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Between Friends - Elsa Miles

Between Friends (Old School Romance #1)Between Friends by Elsa Miles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know that you should never judge a book by its cover, but when I saw this one and it immediately reminded me a of a certain series set in a high school with twins in it that I used to read as a young teenager, then I couldn't resist. Between friends sets itself as an Old School Romance, the romance is the story, rather than some other plot that carries much of the story with a romance burning alongside.
I actually really enjoyed this read. Tessa and Jordan have been best friends for years, but never lovers. Of course, everyone else thinks that they are going to end up together and although they are against that, to begin with, it soon becomes clear that they have always really been in love.
I liked the way that the romance unfolded, with both Tess and Jordan trying (and failing) to resist the pull between them. I did think that Jordan could have been slightly nicer at points. I sometimes get a bit tired of the virgin and the player making a perfect match. I don't mind the male character has been around a bit if the heroine also has. It's just small niggle though and it didn't really stop me enjoying this fun friends to lovers romance. Sometimes all you need is a bit of Old School Romance and I'd be more than happy to check out others in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Sweet Revenge - Jennifer Hanks

Sweet Revenge (Sinners MC #1)Sweet Revenge by Jennifer Hanks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie could be forgiven for never wanting to have anything to do with a Motorbike Club again, after the abuse that she suffers at the hands of Snake. When she escapes from his clutches and is taken in by the Sinners she soon starts to trust them and even finds the chance of love with the sweet Gunner.
Like many MC romances that I have read the book doesn't shy away from the darker side of MC, but it does push the idea that the Sinners are different and have been doing what they can to sort themselves out and clean up. I suppose that's to be expected, as who wants bad boys that have no redeeming features? Where this one is possibly a little different is that there are no punches pulled when it comes to the darker side of other clubs. The rival club, the widows seems to be full of truly evil people.
I enjoyed reading Maggie and Gunner's story and I liked the way that it developed. I did find Maggie a little difficult to connect with to begin with. But she improved as the book progressed, I'm not sure what the difficulty was, but it may have just been me. It does mean that I'd be inclined to give this one a 3 1/2 rounded up to 4 stars. Overall it was a good start to the series and I'd be keen to read about more of the MC members.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

What I did for love - Mickey J. Corrigan

What I Did for Love
Mickey J Corrigan
Published by: Bloodhound Books
Publication date: October 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
What happens when a teacher falls for her student?
After her seventeen-year-old student fails to live up to his potential in class, Cathriona O’Hale conducts a parent teacher meeting with the boy’s widowed father. He is attractive, intelligent, and exceedingly wealthy, everything an unmarried middle-aged woman would normally find appealing.
But Cath is not your average forty-something. She’s a wild card who has a crush on the man’s teenage son.
Cath finds herself juggling father and son while battling the true source of her lust and forbidden love. So when the father of the object of her obsession proposes, she has a choice to make:
Love or crime?
And when her decision is made, the consequences might just be deadly…

Author Bio:
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes pulp fiction, literary crime, and psychological thrillers. Her stories have been called “gritty realism,” “oh so compulsive” reads, and “bizarre but believable.” Her novellas and novels have been released by publishers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Salt Publishing in the UK released her satirical crime novel about a school shooting in 2017. Visit at

My Review

When I started reading this book, my first thought was Lolita. Except, in this case, we have a middle-aged female teacher who lusts after her students. The book tells the story of her love for one of her 17-year-old students and the relationship that she develops with his father. Unsurprisingly, the author notes that Lolita is one of her favourite books. That's not to say that What I Did For Love is a retelling, instead it takes its storyline in its own direction.
Cathriona tries to make us sympathetic to her situation. Of course, if you stop and think about it for all of a second, you know that there is nothing to be sympathetic for here. There is nothing in her plan that is 'right' from the seduction of the older man to get close to the son, the playing with the son's emotions and then her ultimate plan so that she can be with the son. Of course, the joy of it is that you do find yourself being swept along with it until you consider what it is she is doing. 
I think that I was left with as many questions as answers by the end of the book, but I suspect that was intentional. She tells us what the Dad's plans are, but really we have only her interpretation to go on. She's an unreliable narrator at best, but as someone who tells us frequently that she longs to be an author and has drafted versions of the story with parts changed or added to, who knows what the truth really is. There are a couple of points towards the end of the book that made me wonder if that was really what the other characters intended or felt or just what she wanted to believe or see. I won't give specifics to avoid spoilers.
This book won't be for everyone, mostly down to the subject matter. But if you can get past that and really I suggest that you try, then this is a really good read. Thought-provoking, interesting and gripping you will find it hard to put down, I did. 


Friday, 6 December 2019

Tough Guy - Rachel Reid

Tough Guy (Game Changers, #3)Tough Guy by Rachel Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this might possibly be the sweetest hockey romance that I have ever read. Not that I've read many, but I've come across a few. Ryan is a gentle giant, despite his reputation on the ice. He loves men who are the complete opposite of him; confident, delicate and beautiful. He fell for Fabrian as a teenager although he never acted on it. Fabian doesn't have a particular type, but e also fell for Ryan when they were teenagers. It's only when they meet again now that their feelings for one another are revealed.
In many ways, Ryan and Fabian seem like an odd couple. But it soon becomes clear that they work really well together. I don't know a great deal (anything) about ice hockey, having seen a grand total of two games in my life. Ryan's job on the team is as an enforcer. He fights in order to protect other members of his team. Unfortunately, it's not a position that is easy to deal with and Ryan struggles in this story. I did a quick google and found an article about three young enforcers who had all died due to their struggles with mental health and the toll that the game took on them. I thought that this aspect was dealt with quite well in the story. Fabian struggles to reconcile the sweet and caring man that he has fallen for, with the aggressive side he shows on the ice.
Of course, this is a romance story and we know that we all read those for the happily ever after, the ability of the characters to work through their differences and be together. Tough Guy delivers on that front and I'm sure that you'll be left with a happy smile by the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Liar's Daughter - Claire Allan

The Liar’s DaughterThe Liar’s Daughter by Claire Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The latest book from Claire Allan is another edge of your seat, can't put it down read. Told from the point of view of various different characters as the story unfolds, this book deals with child abuse and paedophilia. As the story progresses, we're left trying to guess what really happened in the past and who is to blame for the events of the present.
I have to admit that I did guess where this one was going. It didn't really matter though, although there are twists and turns in the plot and there is a mystery to be revealed, that isn't really the main driving theme of the book. Instead, this book is all about the way that abuse can shape who someone is and the far-reaching effects of it years later.
The Liar's Daughter is a gripping read. I managed to get through it in one day, not because it was short, but just because once I started I couldn't put it down. I'm becoming a big fan of Claire Allan's books and this one certainly measures up to the previous ones that I've read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

View all my reviews