Monday, 27 July 2020

Common Goal - Rachel Reid

Common Goal (Game Changers, #4)Common Goal by Rachel Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Game Changers series. Although there are some links between the various books, with previous (and future) characters popping up, these are really standalone stories. This time there was quite a bit about the couple from the first book, but having not read it, I didn't really know much about them.
Kyle and Eric have quite a sweet relationship. They are doing their best to not get involved. Kyle knows that he hasn't got the best track record when it comes to relationships with older me and is doing his best to avoid men like Eric. Eric can't help but feel that fifteen years is too big an age gap and that he shouldn't be interested in Kyle. It doesn't help that he's also coming to terms with the fact that he plans to retire from hockey and this will be his last season.
The more time that Kyle and Eric spend together, the clearer it becomes that they really are perfect together. I don't really want to give the wrong idea here. When I say that they are sweet together, this still has plenty of heat and sex. It's just that the two characters are quite sweet with one another as they fall in love, even though they are trying their hardest not to fall for each other, it's clear that it's a lost cause and that they cannot resist. I enjoyed this latest instalment in the Game Changers 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, 22 July 2020

Two Week Seduction - Kathy Lyons

Two Week Seduction (Secret Desires, #3)Two Week Seduction by Kathy Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two-week seduction is a fairly fun and quick read. Alea has been in love with her brother's friend John since they were sixteen years old. Now he's finally back for two weeks and she's determined to see if there can really be something between them. John has also always had feelings for her, but as he's convinced that he's just not good enough for her, he's done his best to keep her away.
I enjoyed the interaction between Alea and John. It's clear that they are really into one another, although he does his best not to let things happen. There is a little bit of silliness towards the beginning where they try and wind one another up at a bar, but it was just that, a bit of silliness and didn't detract from the story.
My only complaint would be that this was quite a short read. Once they've decided to give things a go, everything moves quite fast and the obstacles that they were facing seem to get swept out of the way quite easily. I usually prefer a little bit more depth around that kind of thing. This was a fun and quick read though, so it doesn't really matter.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 20 July 2020

Guardian's Grace - Rebecca Zanetti

Guardian's Grace (Dark Protectors, #12)Guardian's Grace by Rebecca Zanetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read a few books from the Dark Protectors series now, I have been waiting to find out how things would unfold with Grace and Adare. They have popped up time and time again, as they are reluctant mates, not properly connected. I thought that it might be fun when they finally got together and that's what they have in this book.
I've enjoyed seeing their relationship, or lack of it, at a distance in the previous books. Now we finally see them finding out what they might mean to one another. It clear that despite their distance, they really do have feelings for one another. I liked the way that they are together. Adare is a little overbearing, as most of the male characters are in this series, but Grace is able to hold her own. That said, there were a couple of times that I think he went a little too far, although I would like to think that he would learn to trust her and treat her as more of an equal. I prefer storylines where there is more equality.
With all of these books, there is the overarching storyline that involves Hope and her future role in bringing an end to the conflict in their world. We did see some more of this in this book, with whole chapters devoted to Hope and her friends. I'm looking forward to seeing where that will go.
This would probably work as a standalone if you haven't already read any books in this series. I think that you would get far more out of it if you were to read the other books first. It also sets up for the next book, which I assume with involve Benny.
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 July 2020

The Night Whistler - Greg Woodland

The Night WhistlerThe Night Whistler by Greg Woodland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Night Whistler is set in Australia in the 1960's. Despite being a Brit, living in New Zealand in 2020, there was something about the writing that sets that time and place very vividly. We're not just told that's where and when it is, but you can feel it too. The story focuses on what starts as a pet killing and nuisance caller and progresses into murder. Told from the point of view of disgraced detective Mick and young teenager Hal.
With much of the story being told from a younger person's viewpoint, there's always the danger that it becomes simplistic or childish, but that wasn't the case here. Hal's discoveries worked alongside Mick's as the story unfolds.
I have to admit that I hadn't worked out who was behind it all by the time everything was revealed. Mostly because I'd actually forgotten about this one character, he was quite shadowy and in the background with other people pushing him out the way. I think that this was probably intentional.
This was a great read and once I started I wasn't keen to put it down. This is a gripping read that draws you in completely with a well-drawn setting and compelling characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 16 July 2020

This is So Happening - Amelia Kingston

This is So Happening (So Far, So Good, #2)This is So Happening by Amelia Kingston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been reading quite a few darker books lately, but sometimes, what you really need is something a bit more light-hearted. This is So Happening ticked all the boxes on that front.
Jessie always has too much on her plate, she can't say no to anyone and always has a lot of things on the go. When she meets Devin (which seems to be pronounced like the county, although it's spelt differently) she can't resist trying to win him over and becoming his girlfriend. Devin doesn't want a relationship, particularly with sunny Jessie, he has a lot of baggage from his parents and his upbringing and he's reluctant to get involved with a woman whose interest is likely to be only fleeting.
I loved the contrast of gruff Devin and lighthearted Jessie. It was clear that despite their differences, they were actually a really good match. I also quite liked the way that she did all the chasing. I don't usually like to see such a miss-match, but it was fun seeing her try to win him over, while he tried to push her away.
As romances go, this is more to the light-hearted, romantic comedy end of things, which isn't always my kind of thing, but I actually 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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Diamond in the Rough - Skye Warren

Diamond in the Rough
Skye Warren
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance

I’m on my way to meet my birth parents when it happens. A white van. A dark hood. Every woman’s worst nightmare. Now I’m trapped in an abandoned building. The man who took me says I won’t be hurt. The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie. I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls. I’ll need every single one of them to survive.

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren. Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her new book ESCORT is out now!

“ESCORT is perfection only Skye Warren can deliver—a poetically erotic tale of exquisitely damaged characters, devastating secrets, revenge and redemption.” – Samanthe Beck, USA Today bestselling author

“Hypnotically romantic…this book reads like a sensual dream and I didn’t want to wake up.” – Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author

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My Review

I'm going to start this book with a warning. This isn't the end of the story and it ends on a cliff hanger. You have been warned. Not only that but if you're anything like me you'll be dying to know what's going to happen next for Holly and Elijah and you'll have to wait. This, of course, means that I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to hearing what's next.
Elijah and Holly met in the novella Hidden Gem, which is also included in the front of this book if you haven't already read it. Back then they were teenagers, she was 16 and he a few years old. Elijah was already tied up in all kinds of trouble and their brief time together was just a small interlude in this life. Now thrown together again, they are both in all kinds of danger.
I loved this story. Holly is feisty and brave, despite being a little nieve. Elijah is world-weary and believes himself to be incapable and uninterested in falling in love, in having a connection with a woman. Although the circumstances in which they find themselves are a little unusual and strained to say the least, the chemistry between them is intense and they cannot ignore it.
I do enjoy dark romances and this certainly falls into that category. I'm only sorry that I have to wait to find out what will happen next!

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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Falling for the Tycoon - Aurora Russell

Falling for the Tycoon (Anywhere and Always, #1)Falling for the Tycoon by Aurora Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three and a half stars rounded up to four. I enjoyed this love story and the connection between Remy and Annalise. After initially meeting at an exclusive resort in Mexico, where they are the only guests, the chemistry between them is off the charts and they can't keep their hands off one another. Six months later, their paths cross again and it's clear that there is unfinished business between the two.
When Annalise and Remy are together, it's clear that they can't resist one another. There is certainly plenty of heat here. What stopped me from giving a higher review was that there was just something a little lacking overall. Alongside the romance aspect of the story, we have a suspense element. Someone is targeting Remy's family and he has become convinced that it is someone connected to Annalise's company. It's never really explained why and how he has come to this conclusion and I think that it is connected with this that just stops the story from reaching the excellent level. With this aspect of the storyline, there are a number of things that we are told, but that are never explained. I understand that this is the start of a series and the author may well not want to give too much away yet, but I think a little more really wouldn't hurt and would just help with this story overall.
I did enjoy the romance and would still recommend this book. I would be keen to read the rest of the series as I feel that this might be one that gets better as things unfold.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 12 July 2020

The Blood King - Abigail Owen

The Blood King (Inferno Rising, #2)The Blood King by Abigail Owen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first found Abigail Owen when I read The Boss a
nd fell in love with the world, the characters and the storyline. I've since read quite a few of her other books, but I have to admit these dragon shifter books are my favourite. The Inferno Rising is a different series, but they all take place in the same world, are connected and in some cases have characters that cross over.
The blood king deals with new Blue Dragon king Ladon Ormarr. He needs to solidify his position and mating a Phoenix would be the perfect way to do that. When he meets Skylar, it doesn't hurt that the chemistry between them is just about off the scale and he wants her in ways that he hadn't expected.
Skylar and Ladon are a great match. Although he is a strong male character, he has far more understanding of how they can work as a team. It takes them a little while to find their rhythm with one another, but once they get there, they work well.
I love these stories and this world. There's clearly another two stories to come in the Inferno Rising series. We're given a glimpse of the next at the end of this book. I think I could make a good guess as to who will appear in the forth too. I can't wait to read them and would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dragon shifter romances.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 11 July 2020

The Dangerous Son - Zoe Hill

The Dangerous SonThe Dangerous Son by Zoe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do enjoy dark romances and The Dangerous Son certainly falls into that category. There are warnings at the beginning of the book that this book deals in some subjects that might be difficult for some people to read. Even so, I think it's worth mentioning that again. There are themes of child abuse, rape, as well as violence.
Spencer and Poppy are both broken, having suffered sexual abuse as children, their whole lives have been shaped by the experience and although they are now adults, neither of them has really come to terms with what they faced. Thrown into one another's paths, they find that perhaps the way to accepting who they are is through each other.
This is the first book in a group of books about a criminal outfit called the Coalition. I believe that the books can all be read as standalone novels. Having said that I think we got glimpses of at least two characters that will be in future stories. This is a dark series that has an overarching storyline.
I like books that push the boundaries of who is good and who is evil and this book does that. We are given reasons why many of the characters are the way that they are and why they behave as they do. Even at the end of this book, it's isn't completely clear if everyone is as they appear to be. This was an enjoyable read that I couldn't put down. I'm keen to read more from this series and find out the secrets that might ultimately bring the coalition down.
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 July 2020

Where Loyalties Lie - Jill Ramsower

Where Loyalties LieWhere Loyalties Lie by Jill Ramsower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think that one of the things that I'm enjoying the most about these five families stories from Jill Ramsower is the way that the lines between good and evil blur. While this story isn't directly about members of the five families, it deals with Tamir, who we met in the last book Blood Always. He is a Krav Maga instructor and in the previous book, it was in this role that we saw him, working with prickly Maria. Now he gets his own story when he is thrown into the path of Emily, a woman with a price on her head.
Tamir and Emily both have secrets and I think it is possibly partially this that makes them work so well together. Neither of them is all bad and they are certainly both far from all good. I liked the way that they learn who each other really is and how that affects their feelings towards one another. There is obviously a huge amount of chemistry between them right from the beginning and they need to find their way past that to find out how they really feel about one another.
As I mentioned the lines between good and bad are blurred here. I think that it's testament to what an enjoyable and well-written series this is that you can't help but like and find yourself championing characters that in other circumstances you might see as the bad guys.
This is a great story connected to a great series. I'm looking forward to reading what's next from the five families.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Chance of Love - Meara Platt

The Chance of Love (The Book of Love 7)The Chance of Love by Meara Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a book starts with a naked hero just getting out of his bath, having been disturbed by the heroine who has wandered in on him by accident, then I think you get an immediate feel for where the book is likely to go. Like the other books in this series, once the book of love comes into the hands of our heroine, her future happiness with the hero and their trip down the aisle is bound to follow.
This time we have young widow Holly. Although she married young, she really has very little experience with men. Her young husband was never interested in her as a woman and she's barely even been kissed before never mind anything else. After the disaster of her marriage and the guilt that she feels for the way things turned out after her husband died at sea, Holly believes that she doesn't deserve to find love. Meeting Joshua changes all of that.
Joshua and Holly seem to be well matched. While Holly is reserved and keeps things to herself, she isn't a weak character. Joshua seems to be able to draw her out and they work well together. Overall this is a fun regency style romance with a bit of adventure thrown in.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Risky Proposal - Marie Tuhart

Risky Proposal (Deerbourne Inn)Risky Proposal by Marie Tuhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read a few of these Deerbourne Inn novellas now. While all are set in and around the Deerbourne Inn, being by different authors they are all different styles and types of romance story. This time the story focuses on Joshua, who has moved back to the town after the death of his father. Not only has he inherited the hardware store, but he is also in the process of setting up a BDSM club on his property. Claire, who is on holiday and staying at the Inn is interested in kink and that kind of lifestyle but doesn't really have any experience of it. They are both instantly attracted to one another and it isn't long before they find the sparks between them flying.
I enjoyed the romance between the two characters. They seemed a good fit and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. In the course of this book, it was mentioned more than once that some authors of BDSM books haven't really done their research and I think that the author was at pains to show that she was. This did mean that this was more like an introduction to BDSM, rather than the more involved stories that some similar books portray.
Overall this was a good if quick read that I enjoyed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Awakening - Evelyn Montgomery

AwakeningAwakening by Evelyn Montgomery
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading Resurrection, I quickly went on to read the second book in the duet, Awakening. The first book was mostly a story of learning to love after loss and the guilt that goes along with that, particularly when the characters perhaps felt that what happened was in some way their fault and that the relationships in question were perhaps not as wonderful as they had made them out to be. Awakening goes off in a completely different direction.
Now, we are faced with romantic suspense. As the story unfolds, it's clear that there are things that both Justin and Rose believed that just weren't true. For me, after the depth of the previous story, this just fell flat. It took what had been an engaging and interesting story of people coming to terms with their past and facing the future, into a high stakes thriller and for me, it just didn't work. Added to that was that we learnt more about what had happened in the past, but things were just dropped in with no real explanation or reasoning. It was such a shame.
The only reason that I'm giving this three stars, is because I enjoyed the start of Justin and Rose's story and they did at least reach a conclusion. It's just a shame that it had to be in this rushed, over the top and honestly ridiculous setting.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Resurrection - Evelyn Montgomery

ResurrectionResurrection by Evelyn Montgomery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Resurrection is the first in a duet of books, the second being Awakening. This first book tells the beginning of the relationship between Rose and Justin. They have both suffered a great deal of pain. Rose is still struggling through the depths of loss and grief. Justin appears like a saviour who can help her to overcome her past, but it soon becomes clear that he has as much from his own past to deal with.
I loved the growing relationship between the two. The way that they actually made each other stronger and supported each other as they came to terms with all that they have faced. As the book neared the end, it was clear that something was going to happen to disrupt everything. Not because it was necessarily needed, but more because everything between them had moved fast and there was another book still to come. It was at this point that the whole thing seemed to suddenly change into a completely different type of story.
I have to admit that this ending took me by surprise, it seemed out of step with much of the rest of the book. That said, I'm keen to know what is going to happen next for Rose and Justin.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 3 July 2020

A Body in the Village Hall - Dee MacDonald - Blog tour

Kate Palmer is more than ready for the quiet life in Lower Tinworthy, Cornwall. But within weeks of
her arrival, a woman is found dead in the village hall, stabbed to death with her own kitchen knife…

The victim is Fenella Barker-Jones: chairwoman of the Women’s Institute, doyenne of the amateur dramatic society, and reigning champion of the WI cake-baking contest. But whilst she may have been at the centre of village life, there were plenty who had reason to dislike her – as Kate is about to find out.

As a practice nurse and one of the first on the scene, Kate can’t help but get drawn into the investigation. Her patients are only too eager to tell her about the victim’s extra-curricular activities and, the more Kate hears about Fenella, the more the list of suspects grows: it seems half the village wanted her dead.

Kate’s sister Angie tells her to leave it alone, but Kate can’t resist piecing together the clues. Especially not if brings her closer to the handsome Detective Inspector ‘Woody’ Forrest, who is near to retiring himself and determined to crack his last case.

But when someone breaks into Kate’s home and leaves a warning note on her pillow, it becomes clear the murderer is prepared to do anything to keep their identity hidden... Will Kate and Woody work out who’s responsible, before she becomes the next victim?

If you love murder mysteries by Agatha Christie, Faith Martin or Joy Ellis, then this page-turning novel will have you reading late into the night!

Author Bio:

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years.

She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70!

Married twice, she has one son and two grandsons.  

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My Review

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.