Sunday, 29 November 2020

The Protector - Abigail Owen

The ProtectorThe Protector by Abigail Owen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was torn between wanting to make this one last, to savour every little bit and just wanting to greedily read it and find out what was going to happen. You may notice that with the date of starting and finishing being the same, which one of these two won. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Fire's Edge series and the associated Inferno Rising series, I just can't help myself.
Not only are these gripping reads, but I was particularly looking forward to Lyndi's story. It's been obvious in previous books that she has some pretty serious heat and unresolved passion with Levi. Being a female born dragon, she isn't valued as a member of society. She is sterile and as such will never have a mate, the way that the male dragons dream of. Still, the connection and draw she feels towards Levi simply can't be ignored. They've spent the last two hundred years sniping at one another and trying not to get too close, but now, when it looks as though Levi might have to leave, they can resist one another no longer.
I loved this story, it was all that I had hoped for and featured some things that I had hoped that it might. This is part of a series, I have read them all, but I'm still fairly confident to say that it would work as a standalone. That said, these books are so good, that I really think that you should go back and read them all if you haven't already. You won't regret it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Night Train to Paris - Fliss Chester

Night Train to Paris (A Fen Churche Mystery #2)Night Train to Paris by Fliss Chester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the first Fen Churche mystery, A Dangerous Goodbye and was very excited when I spotted this second instalment was due out. If you've ever looked at the kind of books that manage to get five stars, it's generally the historical murder mysteries, but only if they are well written. There's something about that genre that just does it for me. The Fen Churche Mysteries definitely fall into that category. Night Train to Paris, the second book in the series, is, fortunately, just as good as the first.
Fen is now in Paris, her new friend and ally, James Lancaster has joined her for the journey and together they find themselves plunged into another murder mystery. I have to admit that Fen, (and this goes double for James) was a little behind in this one. I had a good idea who and done it and why from quite early on in the book. Not that it reduced my enjoyment at all, I still really enjoyed the unfolding story.
This was a brilliant read and I can't wait to see what's next for Fen. I have one or two ideas where she might find herself ultimately, but who knows if I will be right or not. Either way, I'm looking forward to reading more of her adventures and hope that I don't have to wait too long.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 21 November 2020

Custom Built - Chantal Fernando


New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando

brings you Fast &;Fury: A sexy new series fully loaded with intense emotions and edge-of-your-

seat suspense.

After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream, and having an all-around cruddy year,

Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even

though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles. But taking a job isn’t the same as

keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hard-headed, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on

the eyes, but he runs with an MC, and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has

a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is

herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than

she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just

become her greatest strength.

My Review

Custom Built is the first in the Fast and Fury series. Although this is a new series, it is actually linked to another series of Chantal Fernando, The Knights of Fury. It reads fine as a standalone novel, but if you have read any of those books, then you will meet some familiar characters here. Rather than focusing on The Knights of Fury motorbike club, this time we're in one of their businesses, a custom bike garage called Fast and Fury. In this first book, our hero is a member of the bike club as well, but I don't know if that will be the case in future books and might well be the reason for the new series.
This story focuses on Bronte and Crow. Although this is a romance and about them getting together, in many ways that's not really what this book is. Unlike so many others in this genre, this isn't a book where the hero and heroine have lots of issues on their path to being together. Instead, they get together quite easily, it's all the other issues that Bronte faces that make the story.
This was a very enjoyable read, and the change in style from the usual angst between lovers made a refreshing change. Crow is a complete sweetheart and it's not hard to see why Bronte falls so hard and fast for him. I'm looking forward to finding out what else Fast and Fury might have in store for us.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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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.

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Thursday, 19 November 2020

Counterfeit Lover - J.C. Farmer

Counterfeit Lover
J.C. Farmer
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: November 24th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

Darrin Clark is an impoverished young man, madly in love with his long-time friend Janie. He is desperate for a job, and any way to win Janie’s affections. Then a Hollywood studio promises to make him a movie star—if he will submit to a face-modifying procedure they are developing.

Darrin’s love overcomes his fear, and he allows the movie studio to alter his face. Soon his dreams come true. He is extraordinarily handsome, rich, and popular, full of the confidence he needs to earn Janie’s love. Yet, changing faces doesn’t seem enough, and the studio wants him to sacrifice more of his identity than just his appearance.

His plan to win Janie’s heart becomes complicated when she unexpectedly joins the cast and changes her face too. Now a gorgeous star, she’s pursued by prominent, powerful men, and beneath the glitz and glamour, Darrin finds himself in a world of death and deceit, where anyone can have any face.

Several of his friends have been murdered by a mysterious killer, and the ability to alter appearances seems to make the criminal invincible. Soon, Darrin abandons his pursuit of Janie, simply hoping to keep her alive.The only way to outsmart the ruthless villain is to risk everything. How drastic a transformation is Darrin willing to make for love?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

Jerome Connelly Farmer has had a successful career as an engineer, inventor and technology consultant. He has three engineering degrees from Stanford and an MBA from the Anderson School. He has several patents and spent many years managing engineering teams and consulting for high-tech firms, movie studios, and Fortune 500 companies.

J.C. was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. He is an airplane pilot, sailor, scuba diver and avid traveler; he has explored Tibet, camped in the Australian outback, canoed through the Amazon River, and retraced segments of Ernest Shackleton’s famous rescue in Antarctic. J. C.’s passion for wildlife photography has taken him to all seven continents, including searching for Komodo Dragons in Indonesia, wild macaws in the Peruvian jungle, endangered species in the Galapagos Islands, Duck-billed Platypus in Australia, and White Rhinoceros in Botswana.

J.C. is the author of the romantic thriller Counterfeit Lover and the children’s book Santa’s Dashboard. Writing combines his love for adventure, invention and exploration.

When he is not traveling, J.C. lives in Solana Beach, CA.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

My Review

Counterfeit Lover is an unusual book, I think that I would call it a thriller over and above anything else, but even in this, it is very different. The story is about actor Darrin Clark, he's been in love with his close friend Janie for years and years. He finally gets the chance to win her over and become a well-known actor when he actually becomes a famous actor from the past.
The whole premise of this story is unusual and very interesting. There is a lot going on although it's not really clear why people are doing what they are doing or indeed who is behind everything. This book really keeps you guessing throughout. Even worse than that, you don't even get to find out at the end. I saw that this was book one, but didn't realise that it was the kind of series that follows on and leaves you on a cliffhanger at the end of the book.
There is a romance of sorts, although it really isn't a big part of the story and I have to admit that I didn't fully connect with this side of the story. I do wonder if this is something that will play out in more depth in the next book.

I was kept guessing the whole way through this story and I have to admit that I still have not idea where this one is going. This is a really interesting and different read and I really enjoyed it.


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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

To Be Your Only - Rae Kennedy

To Be Your Only (To Be Yours #4)To Be Your Only by Rae Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the third book in this series, To Be Your Last, that I was quite excited to read this one. Although this is a series, the books work well as standalone stories. In this case, there are links to the previous book, but it really won't matter if you haven't read it or if you read this first and then go back.
In many ways, this is a completely different book to the last. Kyla is the kind of young woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and says exactly what's on her mind. For some people, she might be a little bit too much, but for Eric, it's clear that she perfect. I loved the humour in this book which worked really well, enough to put a smile on your face without the fear that it was all trying too hard.
While she sets out to woo her crush of many years, Wes, it's clear to Eric and us the reader that actually she's going after the wrong man. It isn't long before she sees who is really in front of her and they manage to move towards a happily ever after.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
There were several things that I particularly liked about this book. The slight role reversal in terms of experience was fun, particularly when it didn't mean that anyone was completely innocent. I also just love friends to lovers stories and this one is that and more. There wasn't a huge amount of angst or misunderstanding either, which I particularly liked.
This was a brilliant read and I'd be keen to find out what Rae Kennedy comes up with next and possibly going back to read the first two books that I've missed.

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Monday, 16 November 2020

A Body in Seaview Grange - Dee Macdonald

 A Body in Seaview Grange
A body in Seaview Grange by Dee Macdonald

Practice nurse Kate Palmer is ready for some peace and quiet in her little Cornish village, but there’s soon to be a murder on her doorstep…

Kate’s retirement in Cornwall hasn’t quite gone as planned – Lavender Cottage is in need of substantial repairs and her sister Angie’s fondness for gin does rather stretch the purse-strings.

So when Kate is asked to do some nursing at the luxury retirement flats in Seaview Grange, she jumps at the chance. The old Victorian house has stunning views of the sea and the retirees are a peaceful bunch. That is, until Edina Martinelli, a glamorous ex-opera singer, is found poisoned in her home.

Edina’s death is ruled an overdose by Digoxin, the same medication she had been on for years. But Kate is sure the woman she met was not suicidal, and with the reputation of her practice on the line, she decides to do some digging. Luckily she’s got the newly retired Detective Inspector Woody Forrest to help her…

It’s not long before Kate discovers evidence of foul play, and there’s no shortage of suspects. Was it the besotted vicar? The ill-tempered stepson? Or perhaps Edina’s neighbour finally had enough of her constant warbling. It seems everyone had a motive, but who amongst them had the stomach for murder? And will they kill again?

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!  

My Review

A Body in Seaview Grange is the second book in the Kate Palmer Mystery book. I enjoyed meeting her in book one and was excited to go back and see what she got up to next.
This time, Kate has been working at upmarket retirement flats, Seaview Grange in her role as a nurse at the local GPs. After her first visit, she hears that one of the women fears that someone might be trying to kill her. To begin with, she doesn't pay any attention to this until the same woman is rushed to the hospital and later dies. Kate can't help but get involved in the mystery and tries to find out what happened and who might be a murderer.
I do enjoy a good mystery read and this book certainly falls into that category. There are plenty of red herrings and clues to keep you guessing. Kate seemed to be able to get to the bottom of everyone's secrets, finding out who might have a reason to commit murder. It did keep me guessing until we were almost at the end. I was a bit more onto it than Kate though and spotted both who done it and would have avoided getting myself into quite so much trouble in the process.
This was a really enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to finding out what Kate manages to stumble across next. 

Seaview Grange blog tour

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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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Illegal Formation - Shanna Swenson

Illegal Formation (The Gods of the Gridiron, #4)Illegal Formation by Shanna Swenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Illegal Formation is the fourth book in the Gods of the Gridiron series and also perhaps the darkest. Our hero and heroine, Quillan and Vada have both been hurt and faced pain in their past. They seem themselves as damaged and it takes a while for them to realise that while they might be broken when they are together they are complete once more.
I have to admit that I struggled with Quillan at times, I'm not a huge fan of overbearing controlling types and he clearly shows lots of characteristics of this type of character. This book also deals with abortion, which can be quite a contentious topic. This probably isn't the place to enter into my thoughts on the topic, but it is quite a brave thing to talk about in a book. There's always the danger that by putting your characters into either the pro-choice or controlling women's bodies categories, then it might make readers who hold alternate views off that character.
Quillan is quite sweet when he finally understands what Vada is coming to mean to him. He does have to go through a few stages of trying to control her. I'm not entirely sure that someone as strong as Vada would have willingly agreed to all that he wants. It all works out in the end and for the purpose of an enjoyable read, I can let it go.
I liked Vada and Quillan as a couple, they both have a darkness that is part of who they are, but that also means that they work well together and make a good couple. I enjoyed this final instalment in the Gods of the Gridiron series.

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