Monday, 25 May 2020

Wrong bed, Right Brother - Rebecca Brooks

Wrong Bed, Right BrotherWrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the way that this series centres around the hero and heroine somehow ending up in or on a bed together and that sets them off towards their romance and life together. In this case, Amanda thinks that she's getting into her friend and co-worker Luke's bed. But he's swapped with twin Noah. Noah and Amanda can't stand one another, but it's clear that once they let that fire between them burn into something other than annoyance and anger, they might actually be very right together.
This was quite a quick read and I enjoyed the romance and chemistry that built between Noah and Amanda. This is a relationship that gets hot very quickly, even if our main characters aren't entirely sure where they stand with each other to begin with. It's clear to us, if not to them, that they work well together as a couple and although they may not have got on well in the past, they didn't really see each other properly. I have to admit that I didn't think that I was going to warm to Amanda at the beginning, but she soon came into her own, particularly once she properly noticed Noah.
This was a good romance read. The characters worked well together and the romance was believable.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Count of Eight - Brynn Ford

Counts of Eight (The Four Families, #1)Counts of Eight by Brynn Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading Brynn Ford's previous Duo Blue and Switch I couldn't resist giving Counts of Eight a go. I knew that it was probably going to be a bad idea. Not because I wouldn't enjoy it, but because this is book one of a trilogy and the second and third parts are not due out until later this year and early next year respectively. I'm a glutton for punishment though and couldn't resist diving in and giving this a read.
This is a very dark read and won't be for everyone. I don't mind admitting that some aspects of it edge towards the end of my enjoyment. It's not that the storyline isn't gripping (it really is) but what the characters are put through is really so awful. The story is about Anya and Ezra, who are both talented dancers. They are also owned by an evil head of one of the four crime families mentioned in the series title. These families are involved in human trafficking and think nothing of keeping talented individuals as talent slaves and to satisfy their other dark desires. Anya has been living this life for three years, but Ezra is new to it. It's Anya's role to break him so that he will obey, the longer it takes her, the harder it is for her.
As mentioned this is an incredibly dark story and it ends on a cliff hanger. I'm not sure where it's going next but I don't mind admitting that I really want to know. If you enjoy dark romances and like to have your emotions battered as you read, then I think you'll enjoy this. Don't expect a happy ending, at least not at the end of this book. It's clear that Ezra and Anya have a great deal more to face and deal with first.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Tempting the Dragon King - Kiersten Fay

Tempting The Dragon KingTempting The Dragon King by Kiersten Fay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tempting the Dragon King is set in the same world as the Shadow Quest series, of which I've read the first book The Demon's Possession. I don't think it really matters if you have read any of those or not, although it does help to explain the world that this series takes place in.
Juniper, or June as she prefers to be known found herself trapped on an alien spaceship hurtling through space to who knows where. She didn't know that it was a space ship when she entered and she has no way of understanding the controls or getting home. She is intercepted by the king of the dragon shifter race who doesn't know if he can trust her or not. It soon becomes clear that there is something between them that draws them together.
Spaceships and the like aren't usually my thing, but I really enjoyed this story. June and Tristan make an interesting couple and lets face it a romance is a romance wherever it's set. As long as there's plenty of chemistry and you like the characters then it doesn't really matter where they live. That's certainly the case here. Tristan and June work well together and I enjoyed reading about their growing relationship.
This was a good read and I'd certainly be keen to read more in the series. The epilogue certainly suggests that there's more to come from this world.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 22 May 2020

He is Watching - Denise Carbo

He Is Watching (Deerbourne Inn)He Is Watching by Denise Carbo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He is Watching is a short story in the Deerbourne Inn series. I believe that these stories are all standalone stories written by different authors but set in and around the Deerbourne Inn. I didn't realise this with the first one of these books that I read, but I'd got it this time.
The story focuses on Julie Roy, a graphic designer from Boston. For months she's been stalked by someone unknown. Being sent photos from inside her flat to her work computer is the final straw and she flees with no real destination in mind. She finds herself staying at the Deerbourne Inn and it's there that she meets Joe Bascombe. Joe is drawn to her immediately, developing strong feelings for her. But Julie is battling her problems with her stalker.
I liked this short story, the romance between Joe and Julie works well and the chemistry between them is believable and enjoyable to watch. The stalking aspect of the story adds an extra level to things. This is only a short story, but it didn't feel that it was rushed or anything missed out. I really enjoyed it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Bait N'Witch - Abigail Owen

Bait N' Witch (Brimstone Inc., #3)Bait N' Witch by Abigail Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love Abigail Owen's books and Bait N'Witch is no exception. This is the third in the Brimstone series and picks up the story of Rowen, the witch that was forced to act against the wolves in the first book. You wouldn't have had to read either of the previous books to enjoy this one, although they are linked and the characters do pop up again here, this works fine as a standalone too.
I liked both Rowan and Greyson. They suited each other well and I liked the way that she brought out the best in him, even though they weren't willing to fully trust one another to begin with, it's clear that there's something between them from the start.
The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it could just have been a little bit longer. There were one or two things that I couldn't help but feel hadn't been fully addressed. (I don't want to give any spoilers away, but there were things that happened that were just accepted, I wanted to know more.) More than anything, I just wasn't quite ready to leave Rowan and Greyson by the end of the story, but I suppose that the aim of all authors, leaving us wanting more?
I don't know if there's more to come in the Brimstone Inc series or not, I'd certainly be keen to read more.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Forbidden Love - Lee Colgin

Forbidden LoveForbidden Love by Lee Colgin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forbidden Love is the second book in the They Bite series. I read book one, Forbidden Bond back in December, so when this one popped up on Netgalley, I couldn't resist requesting it. I have to admit though, that it did take me a little while to get into this one. This was mostly because for some reason (possibly my own stupidity) it took me a while to realise that the book actually starts in the middle of the last one. I eventually clicked and then everything made much more sense. It would have probably been better if I'd read (or re-read) the first book just before this one.
Nathan and Ben make a cute couple and I enjoyed their romance. They work well together as a couple and I liked the way that they addressed the issues facing their relationship. Ben did seem quite young at times, he's supposed to be 46, which is young for a vampire, but still, it didn't quite seem right to me.
This is quite a short story, but a lot takes place in it, there's plenty of action as well as the romance. I did think that there could have been a bit more said about the motives of the bad guy, it was kind of left once they knew who was behind it. There was a suggestion that they may not have worked alone, but nothing more was said. I do wonder if, like this book, a future book will pick up that story and take it further from another point of view?
This was a good read and I'd be keen to read any future books in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Game Changer - Kelly Jamieson

Game Changer (Wynn Hockey, #5)Game Changer by Kelly Jamieson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Game Changer is the fifth book in the Wynn Hockey series, but the first that I've read. I believe that previous characters do appear in this book, but it's not in a way that it would affect your enjoyment of the book if you haven't read previous ones. It certainly didn't reduce my enjoyment not to have read them. The story starts with the wedding of Molly and Steve, or at least it should be their wedding. But, after Molly discovered that he'd been cheating on her the previous evening, she decides to read out the texts that he shared with the other woman and leaves him at the altar. Jax, Steve's teammate comes to her aid and helps her to escape from the wedding and go into hiding for a bit to get over what has happened. The more time that they spend together, the more obvious it becomes that really they belong together.
I'm never sure about romances where one of the characters moves on from another serious relationship so quickly, but in this case, the chemistry just worked. Jax and Molly were friends before all of this happened and he wasn't particularly close to Steve, Molly's ex. I really liked Jax and Molly and they worked really well together. Although this isn't really a friends to lovers story in the usual sense, it has elements of that, which is something that I always enjoy. It was also interesting to read about Jax's grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. It was both very sad and dealt with well.
This was a very enjoyable romance. If you're heavily into sports romances, then this might not completely hit the mark, as there was little of that side of things, despite Jax being a professional player. This book is set almost entirely on the offseason. It's not something that I particularly look for in a book though, so didn't matter to me.
I really enjoyed Game Changer and I'd be keen to read more in the Wynn Hockey series if I get the chance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 16 May 2020

A Body in the Village Hall - Dee MacDonald

A Body in the Village HallA Body in the Village Hall by Dee MacDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a nice comfortable murder and this book certainly delivered on that. Kate Palmer, our amateur detective finds herself first on the scene at not just one, but two murders. Of course, she can't help but investigate who is behind the murders and starts to poke her nose into the business of everyone in the community that's connected with the two victims. She also strikes up a friendship/early relationship with the police detective inspector who is on the case.
This book fits neatly into the murder in a British village genre. We have a middle-aged woman who has recently moved to the area. As a relative outsider, just arrived in this little corner of Cornwall, she's ideal to go poking around as she doesn't have any long-standing ideas about who the various members of the community are and as she does her investigating, we can find out about them all alongside her.
I have to admit that I hadn't solved this one. By the time the murder was revealed, there really was only one suspect left that could have done it, but I certainly can't lay claim to any skill in getting there myself. Kate did make a few leaps as she figured things out, but there was nothing too far fetched or unbelievable. Unless, that is you count how willing Woody, her detective friend is to let her go poking around. Then again, he clearly fancies her, so maybe he would just let her crack on.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read that kept me guessing until the end. It's not edge of the seat stuff, but sometimes you just want a murder that's a little bit more gentle. I'll definitely be checking out more in this series if and when they come out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 14 May 2020

Every Little Piece of Me - Lexi Ryan

Every Little Piece of Me (Orchid Valley #1)Every Little Piece of Me by Lexi Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this prequel novella to this, Every Little Promise a month ago. I enjoyed that little story and was dying to know how it would end up turning out. You do really need to read the novella first I think, but don't panic if you haven't, it appeared at the beginning of this book anyway.
Every Little Piece of Me is a second chance romance. Marston and Brinley were crazy about each other as teenagers. Unfortunately, Brinley's family didn't approve and they went their separate ways. Now, years later they have run into one another again and after a night together in Las Vegas, they ended up married. The only problem is that Brinley ran away afterwards and it seems she can't remember as she's now engaged to be married to someone else.
I really liked Marston, it's clear just how much he loves Brinley, even if she can't see it. The two of them make a good couple and although Brinley has a number of things to deal with before she can see why Martson is the man for her, it's obvious that they are perfect together.
Although I had read the prequel, there were a number of things that I had assumed based on that that turned out to be wrong. There were plenty of surprises and revelation. Overall this was a great read and I can't wait to read more in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The Kiss of Love - Meara Platt

The Kiss of Love (The Book of Love, #6)The Kiss of Love by Meara Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I haven't read any of the other books in Meara Platt's The Book of Love series before now, I've read most of her other books but these ones somehow passed me by. It doesn't really matter though, although this is book six in the series, it's really a standalone novel and while it does mention characters from previously in the series, it also mentions characters from other series too.
Honeysuckle Farthingale has a secret, one which means that she fears that she will never be able to marry. She has fallen in love with the Earl of Wycke and thinks that if she can share just one kiss with him, it will give her memories for the rest of her life.
This is quite a cute love story. I wasn't completely convinced about her secret, but as this is what I think I would be more likely to call a 'fantasy regency' rather than one that is historically accurate, then that doesn't matter. In fact, Meara Platt specializes in fantasy regencies and very enjoyable they are too. The really interesting part of this story is that Thomas (the Earl of Wycke) is dealing with the declining health of his mother. I thought that the way that this part of the story was dealt with was very good.
The book of love which the series is named after is a book that seems to help each woman who has it find their true love. It's clear that this is a series with more to come as the book is passed on to it's next recipient by the end of the story.
Overall this was an enjoyable romance and one that I would recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Bad Boys Don't Make Good Boyfriends - Melanie A. Smith

Bad Boys Don’t Make Good Boyfriends
Melanie A. Smith
(Life Lessons, #2)
Publication date: May 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
From best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes the second book in a new series of steamy contemporary medical romance standalone novels about life lessons that break all the rules.
Even when you know better, sometimes it’s simply too tempting…
Hospital work isn’t for the faint of heart. Becca Dillon knows that firsthand, having worked as a medical assistant in the cardiac unit at Rutherford Hospital for longer than she cares to think about. What she does care to think about is having fun, gossip, and … guys. Her favorite of the three. And why stick to one, when you can sample them all?
That’s exactly her plan when a workplace crush on a mysterious bad-boy orderly unexpectedly takes a very steamy turn. But Vincent DeMarco turns out to be nothing like she expected, and before she knows it, she’s falling hard and fast. She wants him in ways she’s never wanted anyone before, but there’s something he’s keeping from her. Something that’s holding him back. And Becca is going to find out what.
Even though she knows that bad boys don’t make good boyfriends, he seems like he might be so much more. Will her quest unlock the truth behind who he really is? Or will it end their relationship for good? Either way, ready or not, Becca’s world is about to change.

Author Bio:
Melanie A. Smith is the best-selling author of The Safeguarded Heart Series and other contemporary romance fiction. Originally from upstate New York, she spent most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles for college. After that, she spent almost fifteen years in the Seattle Area, and now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her family.
A voracious reader and lifelong writer, Melanie’s writing began at a young age with short stories and poetry. Having completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s in business administration at the University of Washington, her writing abilities were mainly utilized for technical documents as a lead engineer for the Boeing Company, where she worked for ten years.
After shifting careers to domestic engineering and property management in 2015, she eventually found a balance where she was able to return to writing fiction.
Melanie is also a Mensan and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked up loud.

My Review

This is the second Life Lessons novel by Melanie A. Smith. This time it's telling the story of Becca and Vincent. Becca hasn't really been interested in relationships, having too much fun having a good time to worry about settling down. She can't help but be drawn to bad boy Vincent, but for some reason, she seems to want more with him than she's ever wanted before, even though bad boys don't make good boyfriends.

Both Vincent and Becca have things that they need to work through and accept if they want to be together. Vincent has a past that doesn't seem to want to leave him alone. For Becca, it's more about coming to terms with her ideas of men and relationships and accepting the baggage that she's accumulated with her family.

I really enjoyed this read. Becca is a great character, full of life and passion. Vincent, although appearing much more reserved and standoffish, really is her ideal match and they work so well together. What a great read. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Finding Mr Right Next Door - Sarah Ballance

Finding Mr. Right Next DoorFinding Mr. Right Next Door by Sarah Ballance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Friends to lovers is one of my favourite romance novel themes. In this story, not only are Lexi and Matt best friends, but they also happen to live next door to one another. They've been friends since they were small children and this is one of the reasons that they've never taken their relationship down a romantic path, they're already like a married couple and they seem to be the only ones that can't see that they really should be together. It isn't until Lexi starts to look elsewhere for a bit of romance in her life that they both realise what they stand to lose.
This is quite a sweet romance. There is quite a bit of heat between our hero and heroine, although they don't fully realise what it is straight away. There are some interesting secondary characters in this book, particularly Matt's grandmother who is growing old disgracefully and having a lot of fun in the process.
This is the second in a series and although I haven't read the first, that didn't really matter. I assume that there may be stories to come for the unattached firefighters in this book. I'd certainly be keen to read more about them.
Overall this was a good romance with a good dose of humour and fun. I really enjoyed it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 9 May 2020

Are You In - P.W. Steele

Are You In? (Powerhouse #1)Are You In? by P.W. Steele
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Are you in is the first book in the Powerhouse series. The series seems to be set in a gym and focuses around a group of four gay owners who are known as the quad squad. This first book is about Andy who wants to build his body up and goes to the gym. There he meets one of the owners Jack and is instantly drawn to him.
This is a very quick read, not necessarily a bad thing, but it did end with the feeling that this was just setting up for a bigger story. I don't know if future stories are going to be similar, or if this was just setting the groundwork for a bigger story involving Jack and Andy.
There is one sex scene in this, which in all honestly was a bit of an odd one. I did feel a bit as though I'd wandered into someone's personal fantasy. That might just be me though.
I'd be interested to read the next in this series to see where it's going to 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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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Keep Forever - Alexa Kingaard

Keep Forever
Alexa Kingaard
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2020
Genres: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
“Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ”
GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”
Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.
Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school. At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight. The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother. Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.
A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul. Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.
After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.
A True Story

ALEXA KINGAARD, a California native, currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.

October 13, 2011, was the day that changed her life forever when her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, took his life during a PTSD flashback episode. Inspired to share this tragedy that continues to rob husbands and wives of their spouses, children of their parents, mothers of their children, brothers and sisters of their siblings, and comrades of their friends, Kingaard relied on her own experiences to shed light on this crisis. The burden brought home is not partial to Vietnam, but is an insidious aftershock endured by combat veterans of all conflicts.

Kingaard continues to pursue her literary career, writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives. 

My Review

This is a book based on true life events, while it's not an autobiography as such, it's clear when you read it that the authors own life is mirrored in the pages. The story stretches from Elizabeth, our heroine's teenage life and follows both and her close family members as they face many challenges and difficulties.

I have to admit that this isn't really my kind of book. Memoirs are not really for me and not being American I failed to relate to much that the characters faced and dealt with. Unfortunately, for me, this combined with the fact that I didn't find the way the story was told to be particularly engaging, I struggled to feel anything for the main characters. 

I think for anyone who can relate to the experiences of both Elizabeth and Paul, this might be a fantastic read. It's a shame that I didn't really feel the connection, but it was still an interesting book to read. 


Tuesday, 5 May 2020

All I Wanna Do Is You - Dylann Crush

All I Wanna Do Is YouAll I Wanna Do Is You by Dylann Crush
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All I wanna do is you is a second chance romance. Reagan and Zach were together in high school, but Regan's father didn't approve of him and after an incident at a party, they split up and haven't seen each other since. Now, running into one another once again they can't resist the chemistry.
This isn't a bad little romance, so why only three stars? Perhaps it's a little harsh of me, but part of the problem was that I just didn't really take to Reagan. Uptight characters are one thing, but she was beyond that, no wonder her father had such an influence over her. I'm really not sure what Zack saw in her. The other issue what that Reagan's father is awful. It's one thing having an overbearing parent, but there was nothing nice about him at all.
Overall, it's a good read and nice romance if that's what you're in the mood for. Other people might well enjoy it more if they're not so annoyed by the characters as I was.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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