Friday, 24 April 2020

Passion Awakened - Katherine Diane

Passion Awakened: A Vampire Romance (The Hush #1)Passion Awakened: A Vampire Romance by Katherine Diane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Passion Awakened is the first in a new series and I have to say that it's a strong start. The book tells the story of Kyr, who leads a group of vampires who defend their kind against demons. Known for his strength, both of character and physically, he hasn't thought to look for a mate. From the moment that he meets Mira, it's clear that there is something between them. Mira is a psychologist, tasked with breaking past the walls that Kyr and the other members of The Hush have put up. But she finds that she can't resist Kyr either.
I enjoyed the world-building in this story and the growth of the relationship between Kyr and Mira. They work well as a couple and although their relationship moves fairly fast, it didn't feel forced as often happens in this type of story.
The only thing that slightly annoyed me was the constant use of the word 'male' I realise that it was used rather than 'man' as these are vampires that we are talking about so not human, but at points, it was really overdone. So much so that had it been 'man' that had been written, even that would have been too much. I did worry that it was going to spoil my enjoyment, but once I got into the story, I was able to let that go, even though it was used an awful lot.
I enjoyed Passion Awakened and would be really keen to find out what next for the members of The Hush. I'll be looking out for the second book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 19 April 2020

The Demon's Possession - Kiersten Fay

The Demon's Possession (Shadow Quest, #1)The Demon's Possession by Kiersten Fay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that space set sci-fi-ish books aren't usually the kind of thing that I reach for. In some ways, this is more of a cross between sci-fi and paranormal in any case. The main characters are much like you would find in a paranormal romance (demon, magical gifts and the like) they just happen to come from different planets.
There's a lot going on here, in terms of world-building and setting up for the larger story arc that is going to play out through the course of the series. Although this book does cover the story of Sebastian and Analia, it doesn't conclude the overall story and I can only assume that they both have more of a role to play in future books.
I liked Sebastian particularly. He's a strong character, but he doesn't completely dominate and overrule Analia. He wants to protect her, but still respects what she wants, needs and is able to do. Analia has spent all of her life that she can remember in captivity as a slave and she has a lot to learn as she discovers life beyond that. On the whole, I liked her characters and strength and I think that she worked well as a couple with Sebastian.
This is the first book in a series, I will be keen to read more and find out what will happen to the other characters that we have already met. I will be reading the next book in the near future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Blood Always - Jill Ramsower

Blood AlwaysBlood Always by Jill Ramsower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you've read either of the two previous books in Jill Ramsower's The Five Families series, as I have, then you'll know that Maria is a bit of a difficult character. The oldest of the three sisters, she is the last to get her story. In the previous books, she's been tough, standoffish and very different from sisters Alessia and Sofia. I was interested to know why Maria is as hard as she is and if there is a softer underbelly underneath her armour.
A character like Maria needs a strong man and in Matteo, that's certainly what she gets. The marriage between them may be arranged for political reasons, but from the moment they meet, there's plenty of fire and passion.
In some ways, I found this an odd story. There are secrets between the two and it takes a while for them both to admit to their feelings and to what they are hiding, but in many ways, this was almost in incidental part of the storyline. The feelings between them, their relationship and the Mafia family setting take a much more prominent role in the story.
I really liked Maria and Matteo together, he didn't dominate her or control her, even though he is used to being the boss. In many ways, they were much more of a partnership and equals than you might first expect. She also managed to show a more vulnerable side, without losing any of that strength.
I really enjoyed Blood Always and I'm looking forward to more in the series. I believe that we have three cousins to hear from yet.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Temper - Chantal Fernando


Temper


Title: Temper
Author: Chantal Fernando
Series: Knights of Fury MC series, #3
Length: approx. 60,000 words (256 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press
eBook On-Sale: April 20, 2020
eBook ISBN & Price: 9781488054037, $4.99 USD
MMP On-Sale: April 28, 2020
MMP ISBN & Price: 9781335215932, $8.99 USD
Book Description: New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando returns to the Knights of Fury series with her most complicated hero yet. He may be the epitome of cool, but this MC president isn’t called Temper for nothing…

Every year, the hot, tatted biker comes into Abbie’s bar, orders whiskey and asks her out. Every year, Abbie turns him down. After all, dating a man that goes by Temper seems like a really bad idea, no matter how attracted she is to him.

But this year is different. Abbie’s different. Older, wiser and tired of being stuck behind the bar in a sleepy town. This year, she’s ready for whatever adventure the sexy but sweet biker has in store for her.

Or so she thinks…until an elegant candlelit dinner ends with a dead body.

Now Abbie finds herself on the ride of her life, whisked away to the big city in Temper’s protective custody. She should be scared, but—despite his nickname—it’s clear the last thing Temper would ever do is hurt a hair on her head. And when danger catches up with them, Abbie soon realizes that holding tight to her man while straddling a Harley may be the safest place of all.

My Review


Despite his name, temper is quite sweet. I have read the first book in this series, but I honestly can't remember if he showed more signs of the reason for his name in that or not. Either way, even though he shows flashes of the reason behind his name there's usually a good reason for his anger. When it comes to Abbie, then although he can be a little overprotective, it's clear right from the first time that we see them together, he's got some deep feelings for her.

Abbie has been waiting for her life to start, or perhaps more accurately, she's letting it pass her by and is settling for what she thinks is her lot in life. When she finally decides to take a chance on Temper and throw caution to the wind, then everything changes for her.

I don't really like the way that Temper takes control after their first date. I'm not sure that dragging a woman off against her will can ever really be justified, but perhaps that's part of Temper learning how to be part of this relationship. It isn't too long before he manages to give her back some control and work towards a partnership.

I liked the relationship between Abbie and Temper, particularly once past that first awkward taking her away from home. I also enjoyed the way that they became a team and Abbie was able to give at least as good as she got. This was a very enjoyable read and I'm sure that I'll be checking out more from the Knights of Fury in the future. 

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About Chantal Fernando
Chantal Fernando is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series, the Cursed Raven Motorcycle Club series, and the Maybe series, along with several other novels. She lives in Western Australia, where she is working on her next book. Find her online at AuthorChantalFernando.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.
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Friday, 10 April 2020

Blue by Brynn Ford

Blue (Black Ties, #1)Blue by Brynn Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this book is probably worth 4 1/2 stars, I'm not going to round it up to five for one reason. This is book one of a duet and the very fact that it's left me with a cliff hanger means that I'm just going to hold onto that last half star for now.
This is a story about love and about pain. It's about physical pain in the form of a BDSM relationship, or rather some relationships. It's also about the pain of loss and love. I probably should have included this at the beginning of the review, but it's worth noting that the storyline features a stillbirth and the loss that goes with that. In fact, it's this that drives much of both Desi and Vaughn's actions as they struggle to come to terms with the death and loss of their daughter. This is also a book that more than flirts with cheating and something that is more than an emotional affair. That said, this was a great read.
I couldn't help be pulled into Desi, Vaughan, Law and Ris's world. So much so that I read this book in one day, despite it not exactly been a short read. I've also had to buy book two in the duet because I just have to know what happens next. I'm going to see if I can resist diving straight in, just because I don't want it to end too soon. I doubt I'll last though. This is definitely a greedy read storyline.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 9 April 2020

My Pulse - Hanna Dale

My PulseMy Pulse by Hanna Dale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Pulse is a romance with a hint of a suspense element to it. When Tristan moves away from the city to a small town, she finds that it's not just a new life that's waiting for her. From the moment that Owen Gallahanger sets eyes on her, he knows that she's the woman for him. There is a story in their family that when they meet their one, they always know instantly. Owen has always dismissed this idea, but as soon as he sees Tristan he knows that she's it for him.
I got a little bit confused at the beginning of the book. I've not come across a female Tristan before, it's always been a male name with any that I've known, so I thought to begin with that she was a he and it wasn't until I was a little way in that I got my head around who was who and what was what. To confuse things even further, her best friend is called Dylan. Again I assumed we were dealing with a (somewhat camp) male friend, but no, Dylan is also female. Once I'd got my head around all of that, we were into it.
A number of bad things happen to Tristan and it becomes clear that someone is targeting her. It's interesting that she didn't think of who it could be, but I was fairly sure. In many ways, that's a minor part of the storyline with the relationship taking much more of the centre stage.
Things move very quickly between Owen and Tristan. Tristan is reluctant to get involved as quickly as Owen would like and her past gives very good reasons for that. Even without her past, I think most people would be a bit nervous about moving forward so fast with a relationship.
Stella, Tristan's three-year-old daughter was an absolute delight. Often in books, I find that a child character can come off as either much older or younger than they are supposed to be. For me, Stella came across exactly as a three-year-old with the right level of precociousness balanced with a more childlike quality. She was lovely.
This was a really good read and I assume that it's the first part in a series. I hope so as I'd love to read more about the Gallahangar family. I can already see who the next two couples are likely to be.

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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

My Brother's Girl - Sienna Blake

My Brother's Girl


Darren O'Sullivan

Reason #3 To Dislike Kayleigh Scott: she laughed far too loud.

Reason #2 To Really Dislike Kayleigh Scott: her giggle was even worse.


I didn't need her working for me, her damn strawberries and cream shampoo cutting through the smell of petrol oil in my mechanic garage. I liked being on my own in the darkness under the hood. I deserved to be alone.

I didn't need her fingers brushing mine as she passed me the wrench. Didn't need her trying to change things, fix things, to fix me.

I didn't want her around my family, enchanting them with her dimpled smile, her infectious laughter. Didn't need them to fall in love with her... especially not my baby brother, Eoin.

Reason #1 To Really, Really Dislike Kayleigh Scott:

...she was my brother's girl.

My Review

When you start a Sienna Blake book, you always know that you are going to be in for much more than a simple romance story. My Brother's Girl is no exception to this. Darren has a great deal of baggage and it has stopped him from trying to find happiness, believing that he doesn't deserve it. Family to him is everything, so when he finds that he has feelings for his younger brother's girlfriend, he knows that he has to stay away from her. 

Kayleigh also has her issues. The way her parents have treated her as she grew up means that she is frightened to cause problems or to speak up for what she actually wants. This is why, when Eoin sweeps her off her feet, she goes along with the relationship, even though she doesn't feel the same way that he does.

This is a good and thought-provoking read. I felt for Darren throughout the book, struggling between doing what is right and what he wants. I have to admit that I wasn't as keen on Kayleigh. I think that the way that she goes along with Eoin and the relationship even letting him taking it further is awful. Yes, she has issues that make her like this, but ultimately the way she behaves around both men is cruel and at more than one point I thought that they would both be better off without her.

The end of this book is ultimately satisfying. I still wasn't that keen on Kayleigh, but Darren clearly is, so I can let that pass. Overall, this was a good read and I really enjoyed it. 

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Shift Out of Luck - Abigail Owen

Shift Out of Luck (Brimstone Inc., #2)Shift Out of Luck by Abigail Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We met Marrik and Tala, albeit briefly, in the first Brimstone Inc book The Demigod Complex. Shift out of Luck starts with the arranged mating of Tala and Marrik and then follows their attempts to unify their packs.
In some ways, this story is quite unusual, as Tala is already an alpha in her own right, she knows what she is capable of. This isn't a story about her finding her place, but rather about Marrik accepting her as an equal and of them finding a way to work alongside one another.
I liked the interaction between Marrik and Tala, as they did their best to work the new situation out. I also really liked what a strong character Tala was. It was clear that although they were going to be able to work together in the future, they weren't always going to see eye to eye.
This was a fairly short story, but still an enjoyable read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Heart of Darkness - Kay Doherty

Hearts of Destiny (Chevalier #4)Hearts of Destiny by Kay Doherty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is quite a short and quick read, but that doesn't mean that there's not a lot happening. This is book four in the series and I suspect that there has been a lot of world-building and explanation in previous books. I think that I managed to get the gist of things in this book, although there is plenty of reference to characters who must have appeared in previous books and had their romance told.
I liked both Matthias and Ean (pronounced like Ian? I'm not sure but that's what I went with in my head). For the most part their romance was good, with Matthias rejecting Ean to begin with and trying to deny his feelings, but ultimately doing the right thing. I wasn't entirely convinced or onboard with Matthias keeping calling Ean 'little boy' but I think that it was meant as a counter to being called 'old man' but I would have prefered if he hadn't. Context is everything, but you still can't escape the negative connotations, even if they weren't meant.
I think that this is one that would work better had you read the rest in the series, but I still enjoyed it. I should perhaps go back to the beginning and start there for a real feel for it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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