These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Friday, 23 February 2018
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Alex Marwood is an author to have caught my eye a couple of times in the past, but it’s only when I needed another book to complete a deal that I picked up The Killer Next Door. As the book had caught my attention a few times, I decided it was time to take the leap and see if it was what I was hoping for.
In truth, I was rather let down by this one. If I’m being brutally honest, this book spent a lot of time sitting around the two-star rating. It was more of a two-point-five-star rating in the end, and a part of me decided to round up – if only because it was marginally better than the books I usually hand out two-star rating to.
I think my biggest issue is that I went in expecting something completely different to what I was given. The title alone was enough to put ideas into my head. Unfortunately, the attention to the killer next door – the part of the story I was interested in – seemed to get lost under all the other stories going on. This was less of a thriller, and more of an insight into the lives and secrets of those living within an apartment building. It just so happens that one of these people, to spice things up a little, is a serial killer.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of attempts at the thriller aspect. Not only do we have a serial killer, we also have a run in with a gang. However, neither really lived up to the full potential. I wanted to be sucked into this one, yet I was more than capable of putting the book aside and doing something else.
Partly, it’s because I did not care for the characters. None of them interested me all that much. Partly, it was because of the writing. We seemed to shift from third person to first person within chapters, from perspective to perspective within chapters. It wasn’t the type of writing for me.
However, I can appreciate how things came together in the end. That is what had me rounding up to a three-star rating. It may not have been the explosive read I had been hoping for, but it came together better than I’d expected.
Although I have a mild interest in another Alex Marwood book, I doubt I will be picking it up any time soon.
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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gods & Monsters grabbed me from the moment my eyes landed upon the book. It screamed out to me, begging to be read. It sounded like the perfect book for me, and I went in with extremely high expectations. I expected a romance that would touch my soul, one that would leave me thrusting the book towards every romance reader I know… Only it didn’t play out like that.
First off, if you’re looking for a paranormal read, you’ve come to the wrong place. Despite the title, there is no paranormal to be found. Your next thought may be priest romance – it is not that, either. This is a story of forbidden love, a story between two individuals from a small-minded town.
In truth, my feelings are rather mixed when it comes to this book. There were some parts where I felt as though I was done with the book and did not wish to continue, yet there were other parts where I wanted more and could not stop turning the pages. In most ways, I was experiencing dichotomous emotions with this one. I was being pulled from one emotional extreme to the other, feeling both positives and negatives towards this one.
I’ll start with the good, as it’s probably easier that way.
The writing is one of those good things. There were quite a few beautiful lines within this one, many lines that were worth re-reading. It wasn’t a case of every word being a thing of beauty, but there were enough throughout for my mind to pick up on the wonderful way the author can weave words together.
The small-minded town was another element I enjoyed. The nastiness inside of the town, the way people focused upon certain things and blew them out of proportion, and the way there was a focus on the history really grabbed me. It’s the kind of thing we hate in real life, yet in the literary world we really enjoyed. It was really well done with this one, and I found myself loving the way I hated the town.
However, the is a bit more to be found in the list of things I disliked.
The biggest thing is our characters. Our female lead was so naïve. I found myself wanting to shake some sense into her. I know this plays into her small-town experience, but I found myself unable to care about her. At the start I felt some interest, but the more I read the more I disliked her. The same is true for our male lead – the deeper into the story we got, the more I disliked him. I enjoy an alpha hero like any other, but this seemed to cross the line in a-hole category. I’ve had a-hole male leads win me over in the past, but such was not the case here.
Another element I didn’t enjoy was the way their story played out. I kept waiting for the good, that moment that makes it all worthwhile. Except it never seemed to arrive. I love a gritty romance, a dark romance, but even those have moments where I feel my heart fluttering. With this one, I was just waiting. Waiting for something, for anything, that would hit me emotionally. As it was, things were rather predictable and failed to pack the emotional punch.
This saddened me even more because there was such potential with some of the events. There was an element in this one that you do not see that often, something with the potential to have been shocking. As it was, no single scene stands out in the mind. Things happened, but nothing was overly memorable. It’s one of those stories where it will fade into a single blur of information when people ask me about, rather than having anything specific I want to gush about.
Throughout, the story was trying to send a message. When there were beautiful lines the message started to sink in, but it was mostly lost under the events that failed to pack the potential punch. Perhaps I went in with my expectations too high, perhaps this simple wasn’t for me, whatever the case, this one wasn’t all I had hoped it would be.
I’m sure many will enjoy this, but I had been hoping for something more.
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Thursday, 22 February 2018
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A couple of years ago, when I first started to dip into romance, I picked up Ruth Cardello’s Maid for the Billionaire. It was an enjoyable enough read, one that left me willing to try more of the author’s work in the future. Although I have both Come Away with Me and Always Mine sitting on my Kindle, I have not worked around to reading them. I found other romance authors I was more interested in reading. I think, mostly, it was just a case of easing myself into the genre – had I picked up Maid for the Billionaire once I was deeper into the romance genre I’m sure I would have felt differently.
Thus, when the chance to read Insatiable Bachelor came about, I was more than willing to give it a try. Being the first book in the Bachelor Tower series, I was more than willing to see what Ruth Cardello’s new series was offering.
It turns out, Insatiable Bachelor has me wanting more. There is no doubt I will be picking up the second book in the Bachelor Tower series, as I’m desperate to see where everything goes from here. I’ll be honest and admit this isn’t quite a full four-star rating, but I was so addicted and intrigued I had to round up.
The notion of this one requires you to suspend your belief somewhat. An apartment building exclusively for men and a woman with a plan to give the entire system the middle finger sounds like a lot of fun, if somewhat unbelievable. Yet that is what this story boils down to. Sure, there is much more to it than that, but at the basics this is why you need to suspend your belief. Once you do such a thing, you’re quickly sucked into the story.
I’ll be completely honest, it’s not the most original of stories. Neighbours who don’t really get along; playboy who changes his way; love conquers all. By this point, romance fans know what to expect. However, when the story grips you, you’ll keep reading – and such was the case with this one. I found myself sucked into the characters, found myself sucked into the bigger picture, and I found I was working my way through this book at a rapid pace.
It’s a story that sucks you in, one that leaves you wanting more – with my biggest disappointment being that it wasn’t longer. I wanted to stay with these characters, I wanted more of their world – and such is why I’m planning to grab book two.
There’s no doubt this is looking to be an interesting series.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Marrying Mr Valentine is the second book in Laura Barnard’s One Month Til I Do series, and I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Book one was enjoyable, but this one seemed to have an extra spark.
Following one of the characters introduced to us in Adventurous Proposal, Marrying Mr Valentine gives us more of the characters we got to know and love in the first book. Although this one has just as many laugh out loud moments, it also has a more serious undertone to it. There’s a heavy emotional aspect, one with the potential to break many hearts. It’s hard to mix a heavy topic in with humour, yet Laura Barnard does it wonderfully – it was emotional, yet I was still able to let out plenty of chuckles.
I’ll be completely honest, I was a bit nervous when I read the synopsis. I was interested in finding out more about the characters, but I feared this would be a story filled with cheating. Such is not to my taste, so I was more than happy with the way in which the story unfolded. I’m not going to give any details away, but know those with my original worries can dive into this one with the knowledge that things play out really well.
Honestly, I adored this one. There was so much emotion throughout, and I couldn’t help but finish it in the space of a couple of hours – I was turning page after page, needing to know how everything came together. Without a doubt, this was another wonderful Laura Barnard read.
I’m also hoping we get stories for some of the other characters – there’s one story in particular I’m hoping we get to see play out in the future – as I’m loving this group of friends.
Well worth the read, especially if you enjoyed the first book and are desperate for more.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read and enjoyed Laura Barnard’s Babes of Brighton books, I knew I needed more of her work. Thus, I was more than happy to jump into the One Month Til I Do books. Like my other Laura Barnard reads, Adventurous Proposal was a fun quick read that will leave you wanting more.
I’ll be honest, this is one of those books where you need to suspend your belief. When you read the premise, you will do one of two things – roll your eyes at the silliness or be sucked in by the potential. If you find yourself in the latter category, then you’ll have a seriously good time.
Filled with lots of laughter, Adventurous Proposal is a seriously addictive feel good read. You’ll be turning page after page to see what happens next. You’ll be sucked in by the little things, all the details that come together to make this short read so gripping. With plenty of steam, drama, and endless laughs, you’ll fall in love with the storyline. In fact, you’ll want a story as outrageous as this one to call your own love life.
Without a doubt, this was another great Laura Barnard read. As soon as you’re done, you’ll want to dive straight into Marrying Mr Valentine.
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Dalton: Women are a perk of my lifestyle. I work hard. I deserve to play harder. But I didn’t get on the Forbes List of Rising Entrepreneurs by getting lost in the baggage and disruption that comes with dating. I’ve seen dozens of men fail when they fall in love. Pathetic.
That's why I chose the Bachelor Tower. It was designed by a genius, my hero: the late, Garry F. Sinclair. He created an all-male haven for ambitious men who want to live like kings and play by their own rules. Casino nights, a fully equipped gym and lap pool, cigar and Scotch bar, and a media room with screens the size of the average movie theater. The list is endless. I easily network with men trying to launch their careers or those at the top who want to stay hungry. The best part: the tower attracts women, beautiful women who hang out in the lobby bar and vie for an invite upstairs. Easy, like fishing in a barrel.
Until Sinclair dies and Penny Fuller moves into the apartment next to me because the new owner doesn't share his vision.
Everyone agrees Penny can't stay. I don't want to get involved, but she doesn't understand the lengths my fellow building mates will go to to get her out. She's not only irresistibly sexy and painfully optimistic, she's also in real danger.
Siding with her would be career suicide.
Betraying her was never my intention.
Release Date: February 22, 2018
To everyone in town, Abel Adams was the devil's spawn, a boy who never should have been born. A monster.
To twelve year-old Evie Hart, he was just a boy with golden hair, soft t-shirts and a camera. A boy who loved taking her picture and sneaking her chocolates before dinner. A boy who made her feel special.
Despite her family's warnings, she loved him in secret for six years. They met in empty classrooms and kissed in darkened church closets. Until they couldn't.
Until the time came to choose between love and family, and Evie chose Abel.
Because their love was worth the risk. Their love was the stuff of legend.
But the thing about legends is that they are cautionary tales. They are made of choices and mistakes. And for Abel and Evie, the artist and the muse, those mistakes come in the form of lights, camera, sex.
NOTE: This is NOT a paranormal or a priest romance.
Saffron is a big believer in love (obviously). She believes in happily ever after, the butterflies and the tingling. But she also believes in edgy, rough and gutsy kind of love. She believes in pushing the boundaries, darker (sometimes morally ambiguous) emotions and imperfections.
The kind of love she writes about is flawed just like her characters. And she hopes by the end of it, you’ll come to root for them just as much as she does. Because love, no matter where it comes from, is always pure and beautiful.
She is represented by Meire Dias of Bookcase Agency