28 December 2014

Campus Cravings: Higher Learning MM Anthology Review

Hey everyone,

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas? Before you ask I myself had a wonderful time with my family. As I had slightly more time over the festive season than I would usually I decided to read Campus Cravings a seven-hundred plus pages long MM anthology all focused around the imaginary Cathia University. In my personal and humble opinion this is an anthology with some okay, good and great stories but keep reading for a more detailed review!

The book:

Nominated for 2014 Goodreads M/M Romance Group Member's Choice Award

Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, including sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

My thoughts:

This anthology has nine stories in and is I spoke about each one it would take ages and potentially get a bit boring. To avoid both those issues I'm going to focus on my favourite stories from this anthology and then give a brief summary of my thoughts on Campus Cravings towards the end.

My favourite story from this anthology was Artistic Endeavour by Whitley Gray. I loved it! Arguably this is the story most detached from Cathia University life, as it features an ex-alumni and the new Fine Arts Professor and much of the story takes place in the surrounding town rather than the University Campus. For me this story was brillant due to the two leading male characters, Michael and Cobey; particularly Cobey. Introduced through Mutual friends Michael is asked to guide twenty-five year old virgin into the world of gay sex.

Given that premise this story was sex heavy and was in fact incredibly sweet as we learn why Cobey has reached the age of twenty with next to zero experience. Michael was a complete sweetheart and the perfect guy for shy and nervous Cobey despite being initially presented as a player.

Another brillant story in this anthology was Winning Bracket by Annabeth Albert, a romance between two dorm advisors and best friends. Edwin and Ollie stole my heart from the first chapter of this story! A story of two friends who are suddenly seeing each other in a diffferent light.

Edwin was an adorable nerd with some self-esteem issues whereas Ollie was a confident party guy with an obsession with jocks. Throw in a sporting event and a bet equals the perfect recipe for a great university mm romance.

Another one of my favourites from this anthology was Lessons Learned by Dalton Diaz a story of second chances between PhD student Adam Warren and soon-to-be graduate Tyler Ford. The two are reunited during a summer class taught by Adam about psychology in sports. This story had a little bit of angst in it, as both Adam and Tyler tried to overcome the ghosts of their past relationship.

Although at time I felt like the fact that Adam was studying psychology was shoved in my face a little too much I though Diaz did a good job of showing how the couple dealt with overcoming pasts mistakes. I particularly liked the use of flashbacks and thought for such a short read it was really well flesh-out and detailed.

The final story I want to talk about individually is Switching Leads by Mia Downing, which revolves around the Equestrian team at Cathia University and in particular the Coach and his assistant. I really liked this story as even though it was short and concise it dealt with a lot of serious issues that added a depth and realism too the story that I personally really enjoyed.

John and Finn use to date when they both attended Cathia University but a bad break-up led them down completely different paths. For me this was a story of forgiveness and love as it dealt with an arguably already established couple. Although it had a University setting it felt more mature and ‘adult’ than some of the other stories in the anthology.

Overall I really liked Campus Cravings and would happily re-read five or six out of the nine stories offered to us. I will be honest like most anthologies I thought some of the stories were a little flat and underdeveloped but generally I have only good things to say. I loved the university setting and subtle cross-overs between the stories that made them feel connected without being forced. Highly recommend this anthology especially considering the price.

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!

22 December 2014

The Hidden Women Series by Stella Knightley

Hey everyone,

This will be my last post before Christmas and as such I have decided to make it my virtual Christmas gift to anyone who has read this post and others from my blog over the last few months. I'm amazed how many of you, and from so many different countries have actually tuned in and read my rambling words about my favourite book genre in the world. Thank you.

I'm going to keep it short and sweet as I know this is an incredibly busy time for people around the world, and for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas just think of this as a lovely December gift from me to you.

Well I hope you all think it's lovely, if you don't just do the fake smile and quickly move onto a better gift trick, I'll pretend not to notice don't worry!

My gift is in the form of a reccomendation but instead of a single novel I offer you a whole series to enjoy over the Christmas period. The Hidden Women Series by Stella Knightley is potentially my favourite series read this year and I would highly, highly recommend it! For a start the covers are simply beautiful

Each books in the series follows Sarah Thomson a historian who appears to focus on the forgotten women in history. The ordinary women in history who lived extraordinary lives. In each book she is based in a different city for research purposes; first Venice, then Paris and finally Berlin. The cities are almost a character in themselves and become such an integral part of the story both past and present.

19 December 2014

The Christmas Widow by Jillian Eaton

Hey everyone,

In keeping with the festive season, today I’m reviewing The Christmas Widow by Jillian Eaton, a sweet historical romance novella set during Christmas. So without further ado I give you...

The book:

Known as “Mad Lady Bea” by the townspeople of Blooming Glen, Lady Beatrice Tumbley has not left her estate since the tragic death of her husband on Christmas Eve. Terrified of the outside world and the dangers lurking within it, she lives in complete seclusion, determined never to love again. 

Until one cold, snowy night a handsome stranger comes knocking… and shows Beatrice her heart is not quite as frozen as she believes it to be.

My thoughts:

I want that dress. It is so pretty that I don’t even care that I have absolutely no where to wear it. I could dance around the house and pretend I was a princess from the olden days... Anyway enough with my insanity and on with the actual review for The Christmas Widow by Jillian Eaton.

16 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - The Romance

Hey everyone,

Yesterday I went to see The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and it was potentially the best film I have seen this year. I loved it! Although this is hardly a surprise as I am a huge Lord of Rings and The Hobbit fan. I loved it so much I decided why not write a post about The Hobbit and the romance within it.


Also before I start, if you haven’t guessed I will be focusing on the romance elements present in Battle of the Five Armies. I loved the film for lots and lots of reasons but for this post I am merely focusing on this element. If you didn’t like the romantic additions to the film feel free to stop reading here.

Now we all know that Peter Jackson made quite a few changes to The Hobbit story, one of these being the romance between Kili and Tauriel. Now I know some people will have hated this, others will have been indifferent and then others, like me, will have LOVED these two in The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug. From witnessing the Jail scene in DoS I was shipping these two, I wanted them to get together and have Dwelf babies. I mean just look at face, even by this point he was clearly in love.

So knowing the changes Peter Jackson had already made I was hopeful that Dwelf babies, or at least the possibility of them would happen in The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies. I mean why add this romance plot just to take it away again?

13 December 2014

Romance, Chick Lit & Saga!

Hey everyone,

So I have something slightly different for you all this week, rather than a book review I’ve decided to do a expose style thing on the differences between Romance, Chick Lit & Sagas. 

Now as some of you may know, I don’t really like Chick Lit despite having read quite a lot of in my teenage years, and I have never read a Saga in my life! So to help me with this post I’ve invited two of my closest friends in the world to help. Like any good romance blogger I convinced these two to try the romance genre and since then they have found their own sub-genres to enjoy. So without further ado I’ll let them introduce themselves.

Hi there! So I’m Rachel, I met Lucy at university and as an avid reader myself, we soon became firm friends. I had never intentionally picked up a romance book before meeting Lucy, but I increasingly do so now although I tend lean towards historical Sagas.

Hey, I’m Catherine, like Rachel I met Lucy at university, and as expected with these two enjoy reading. I rarely pick a Romance for the romance, but instead the sub category, with paranormal and regency being my favourites. I have to say that Lucy has opened my eyes to the romance genre, though I still adore my non-romances.

So now everyone is introduced I think it’s time to get on with the topic in hand. Now when I first started exploring the romance genre I would often accidentally pick up a Chick Lit or a Saga thinking it would be a Romance. I know some people will happily switch between Romance, Chick Lit and Saga without any problem, but for me their has always been distinct differences.



10 December 2014

David’s Selfie by Daisy Harris

Hey everyone,

As we are now firmly in the Christmas period I decided it was time I read and reviewed a Christmas themed romance. Seasonal romance aren’t usually something I love, however, when I saw that Daisy Harris had released a new book, called David’s Selfie, that was set during the Christmas period I couldn’t not buy it as she one of my favourite authors.

The book:

When David, a single father, vows to get laid just once before the year ends, he doesn’t figure on losing his cell phone—and with it one very revealing picture. Lucky for him, his phone is found by a disarmingly handsome man who might be perfect for the kind of casual Christmas fling David is after.

Go-go dancer Craig never would have guessed that the guy with the cute cock shot would turn out to be a doctor. Or that he’d find himself lying about his night job and worrying David will find out the truth. To complicate matters, each of their hook-ups requires days of planning. Yet before he knows it, Craig has a new boyfriend, and possibly a whole new family.

David’s ready to dive head-first into something new, but if Craig’s going to commit, he’ll need to come clean about his job, his past, and—most of all—the naughty picture that drew him to David in the first place.

My thoughts:

This book just made me smile. It was a happy, lighthearted, funny, sexy m/m contemporary romance with two great main characters. David is struggling to balance fatherhood with dating after the death of his wife and at the beginning of the book is braving the world of online dating. Luckily for David (and Craig) his intended ‘date’ turns out to be a little on the kinky side for our nervous, nerdy doctor, leading to his eventual meeting with Craig. I loved David as a character; he was so nervous and unsure about some things but so confident, kind and understanding in other ways. As the man himself states:

7 December 2014

The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne

Hey everyone,

I wasn’t originally going to review the audiobook version of The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne, it was a book I purely listened to because I enjoyed the story. When I pick a book to review I feel I to have something intelligent to say about the book. I need to make a note of what I did and didn’t like and although it doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of the romance genre it does change how I approach reading it.

This week I felt like taking a reading holiday, I just wanted to read books I enjoyed rather than ones I thought were appropriate to review (basically I try to review more recently published books and keep the genres varied, nothing sinister before you get the wrong idea). But as soon as I finished this book I wanted to talk about it, I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions, despite how long ago it was originally released, or the fact that its already been hugely successful and has loads of reviews. So these are my thoughts and opinions on The Vintage Girl and I apologise if I just end up repeating what thousands have probably already said.

The (audio)book:

When Evie Nicholson is asked to visit Kettlesheer Castle in Scotland to archive the family heirlooms, she jumps at the chance. Evie's passion for antiques means that, for her, the castle is a treasure trove of mysteries just waiting to be uncovered. 

But in each heirloom lies a story, and in the course of her investigations Evie stumbles upon some long-buried family secrets. Add handsome, gloomy heir Robert McAndrew and a traditional candlelit gala to the mix, and Evie's heart is sent reeling with an enthusiasm that may just extend beyond the Kettlesheer silver....

My thoughts:

Time to let you all in on a little secret, I heavily dislike chick lit, and I hope i’m not the only romance reader to think this. It isn’t that chick lit is bad (although really can we pick a less insipid name) it just isn’t my cup of tea and I dislike how romance and chick lit are often paired together, as if the two genres are interchangeable, when as any reader of either genre will know they have subtle but significant differences. In many ways The Vintage Girl leans slightly more towards chick lit than I would usually be comfortable with, and if it had been a book rather than an audiobook I proudly wouldn’t have brought it.

4 December 2014

Rover Defiant by Anna Markland

Hey everyone,

I know, I know I'm an awful person who totally didn't post yesterday! In my slight defence I was in bed all day with flu but I realise this is a pitiful excuse so you have my full and humble apology. Today I'm reviewing The Rover Defiant by Anna Markland, a romance between a Viking noblewoman and a former Thrall or slave.

The book:

Torstein is a free man, but the Viking nobility will never forgive or forget he was once a slave. The high-born woman he loves has too much pride to give herself to a former thrall.

My thoughts:

I brought this because firstly I love viking romances and secondly all the reviews were highly positive and raved about its excellence. So despite my misgivings about the covers (too much flesh/mascara) and the shortness of the blurb I decided to give it a go. I can’t say this is a decision I regret but I also doubt this is a book I will re-reading or recommending. The plot of The Rover Defiant revolves around Torstein’s and Sonya’s forbidden love due to differing social class. I love forbidden love stories, it is one of my favourite tropes and this book had it in spades. Torstein in particular had a lot of insecurities due to his former position as a slave.

30 November 2014

Roomies by Lindy Zart

Hey everyone,

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the black Friday weekend, I know the UK has embraced it in a big way this year! Luckily for us bookworms lots of books were also on offer this weekend and one such book that I found was Roomies by Linday Zart. To be honest I brought this book almost entirely for the cover, I love it and think it works perfectly for a contemporary romance book.

The book:

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let's move on.). He's also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines. 

I love him. I mean, I'm pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit. 

And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he's the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he's leaving soon, and Graham's the one I want. I shouldn't have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn't have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I'm something yummy and he's starving. 

Here's a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.

My thoughts:

I’m finding Roomies a tricky book to review; probably because I have conflicted feelings about it. Some parts of it of I loved, for example Kennedy’s crazy, unique, wonderful personality. She was a mess and she didn’t always say or do the right thing. She had insecurities without having an insanely dark past. Her humour and inner monologue was for the most part very amusing. Her voice was unique and her personality best described as quirky.

27 November 2014

Semper Fi by Keira Andrews

Hey everyone,

Hopefully you are all liking the new blog design and are enjoying the holiday season. As I currently work in retail I realise how hectic it can be this time of year so it’s always nice when you can relax, put your feet up and read a good book. Semper Fi is a historical m/m romance that I’ve had my eye on for a while and I finally got around to reading it this week.

The book:

The war is over. The battle for love has just begun.

As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.

But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming—or children—but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?

My Thoughts:

If you want a love against all odds love story Keira Andrews should be your go to author. Semper Fi tells the epic love story of Cal and Jim, two men brought together by the horrors of the Second World War when they both joined the Marines. I think my favourite aspect to this book was the dual timeline between Cal and Jim’s experiences in the Marines and also the time they spent together after the war on Jim’s farm, Clover Grove. While in the Marines they became best friends as well as brothers in arms; they helped each other survive the war despite all the pain and suffering they witnessed.

24 November 2014

Not Dead Enough by Mina Carter

Hello everyone,

The hero is a zombie! You all know I love zombie based romances, I blame The Walking Dead, but I’ve never read one where the hero was a zombie. Therefore I couldn’t resist reading Not Dead Enough by Mina Carter.

The book:

Brett Perkins was a soldier until the Project killed him. Now he's finding that life after death isn't so hot. With the Project base destroyed, he and his team have been tasked with running down and destroying a group of rogue Bloods. Unfortunately the vampires always seem to be one step ahead. Then they start kidnapping women...

Thanks to her soon-to-be ex-husband, Julia Collier is despised and reviled in the small town of Greenwood. His stories have painted her as everything from an air-headed gold-digger to a nymphomaniac serial killer. She can't even shop in the local store without suffering abuse from her fellow townsfolk, and that's before the late night calls or her ex's bully-boys following her.

When her home is broken into Julia assumes it's her husband making good on his threats to 'deal with her for good'. She never dreams that it will lead a descent into another, terrifying world. One inhabited by werewolves, vampires... and zombies. Or that zombies could be so damn hot. Especially one certain example who makes her heart pound and all her common sense disappear over the horizon. After all, what woman in her right mind would fall for the undead?

My thoughts:

Why couldn’t this book be longer! It was one of those books that I couldn’t stop reading but didn’t want to finish. Mina Carter has reinvented the zombie, making them hotter, stronger and faster; instead of the sluggish brain-eating monsters of popular culture. Brett and his friends were part of a top-secret government project but have since gone rogue and are now hunting down a group of Bloods (vampires) that are kidnapping women. Our heroine Julia is one of these kidnapped women but manages to escape and runs straight into the arms of Brett.

“Electricity arced between them at the first touch of her fingers. He gasped, the air snatched from his lungs as the darkness, the non-human part of him that craved blood and death, surged forward as though pulled towards her’.

21 November 2014

Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin

Hey everyone,

A slightly later than usual post as I’ve been working since 9 in the morning and have only just found the time to sit down and write. This week I want to talk about Gunpowder Alchemy a steampunk romance novel set in China. I mean if that doesn’t make you a teeny tiny bit intrigued I don’t know what will. I certainly was and pre-ordered Jeannie Lin’s novel despite never having read anything by her before. Also the cover is simply beautiful!

The book:

Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. But her meager savings are running out, leaving her with no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions—her last memento of him.

Only, while attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. Unlike his father, the Emperor, the Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to once again unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies—many who have turned rebel—to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause.

But after the betrayal of her family all those years ago, Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City—even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her husband…

My thoughts:

I think my favourite aspect of Gunpowder Alchemy was the setting of historical China and the amazingly rich detail the author included. Although I have visited Asia and even have friends in China I am shamefully ignorant of the culture, history and customs but after reading this book I feel I might know just a tiny slither. Before I get carried away on the history and culture of China I feel it is important to state that this is Steampunk and although clearly based on well-researched history of the Opium Wars Jeannie Lin admits that she has fictionalised certain elements, a big one being the technology present in the book.

18 November 2014

Gremlin’s Last Run by Jaye McKenna

Hey everyone,

The last few days i’ve been struck down with illness, which has meant a lot of time in bed but little time for reading. While ill, however, I realised it had been ages since I’d read a true, set in space, science-fiction romance so after some rooting around on Goodreads I came across Gremlin’s Last Run by Jaye McKenna. The cover and blurb instantly intrigued me so despite it being the second in a series I quickly hit the buy now button on amazon. This story set in Earth’s far flung future when we’ve spread across the galaxy, although a specific time frame was never given. Oh, and did I mention its an M/M romance?

The book:

Rhys Tyler, captain of the Gremlin, is no stranger to living on the edge: the edge of solvent; the edge of legal; the edge of sane.

An empath so sensitive that he cannot bear human touch, Rhys makes his living hauling cargo through the deep dark, the interstellar emptiness between populated star systems. And if keeping his aging freighter in working order means resorting to smuggling, well, a man does what he has to in order to survive.

Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent in trouble. Everything that could have gone wrong with his latest mission has. He's been ambushed, kidnapped, imprisoned, and forced to participate in an illegal experiment that has crippled his psi and left him bonded to an ancient artifact that has already proved itself deadly.

When Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin, all he's looking for is a way home so he can report to his superiors. He's not expecting to find a psion in desperate need of training. And he's sure as hell not expecting to fall in love.

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this book, whenever, you buy a self-published book it can always be hit and miss and lately I had been DNFing quite a few books. In contrast Gremlin’s Last Run grabbed me from the very beginning with the suspenseful first chapter where Alek is attempting to escape captivity from an unknown enemy. I loved the world created by Jaye Mckenna, particularly the concept of Psi who are humans with special powers.

15 November 2014

Honor Among Thieves by Elizabeth Boyce

Hello everyone,

Hopefully you’re all enjoying the weekend and have managed to find some time to relax with a good book. I myself spent the morning reading while my two dogs sprawled out my bed like they owned the place. The book I read was Honor Among Thieves by Elizabeth Boyce and as soon as I finished it I knew I had to write a review of it.

The book:

Grave robbing ain’t no job for a lady… 

To pay off her recently deceased brother’s debts, however, Lorna Robbins must take drastic measures. When she happens upon a resurrectionist gang stealing his corpse, she does the unthinkable and joins the criminal outfit to save her family estate and her younger sibling. For the first time in her lonely, duty-driven life, Lorna finds herself leading a treacherous and exciting double existence. By day, she becomes a popular lady of the ton, relying on society gossip to help her body-snatching gang. By night, she becomes the grave robber known only as the Blackbird.

Surgeon and anatomy teacher Brandon Dewhurst relies on resurrectionists to bring him the specimens he needs to further his research on pregnancy. When his usual suppliers become unreliable, and then downright sinister, he’s reluctantly drawn further into the black market. As Lorna and Brandon both target the same body—a pregnant woman who is still very much alive—they find themselves powerfully drawn together time and again while trying to maintain their own respectable facades. But this daring duo is courting danger, and romance is a complication neither can afford.

My thoughts:

I know this is a book that will stay with me long after I finished reading it. The writing, the character development and the plot were all superb but these are not the main reasons why this book will stick in my memory. It was the world that Elizabeth Boyce chose as her setting for Honor Among Thieves, the underbelly or dark-side to Edwardian medical advances.

12 November 2014

All or Nothing by Kendall Ryan

Hey everyone,

Hopefully your weeks are all going swimmingly and if they’re not you’re half way through so keep your chin up until the weekend. This week I’m reviewing All or Nothing by Kendall Ryan a hot contemporary romance. I loved the cover and blurb but what did I think of the book? Let’s find out...

The book:
As one of the world’s most sought-after male models, Braydon is no stranger to the finer pleasures in life. The last thing he wants to do is limit himself, especially when it comes to women. His best friend, Ben, might’ve settled down, but Braydon doesn’t want to waste his youth on the messy complications of commitment. He wants fun. He wants easy.

Ellie isn’t looking for a casual relationship, but her tough and sassy personality instantly attracts Braydon, who proposes a “friends with benefits” arrangement. Unable to resist the powerful pull of the charming bad boy, Ellie eventually relents, though she longs for all-consuming love.

As the two spend more time together, Ellie soon realizes that Braydon’s posing skills extend off the runway. His carefully crafted façade masks a secret hurt that he’s reluctant to share with Ellie, even as they embark on a passionate affair that sends them hurtling toward a fate neither expected. Can Ellie risk her heart while she waits for Braydon to let her in, or will she be forced to demand all or nothing?

My thoughts:

Firstly I should probably admit that I haven’t read the first two books in Kendall Ryan’s By Design series and as such for the a little while I had very little clue what was happening, who people where and how they knew each other. It was obvious that our hero and heroine, Braydon and Ellie, had met before and had some sort of history but what that history was I had know idea. It made it a little confusing to understand they’re familiar but caustic reactions to each other, however, this quickly passed and I soon immersed in their story. Kendall Ryan’s writing is seriously addictive; I just couldn’t stop reading this book, because I needed to know what would happen between these two characters. I was hooked from the first page where our hero and heroine prevent anyone interrupting their friends from having, an intimate moment shall we say, on their wedding day.

“Sex noises seemed really out of place in a church. Call me old-fashioned, but I was certain of two things: One, doggie style should be reserved for the bedroom, and two we were all going to hell”.

9 November 2014

Mr. Jaguar by K.A. Merikan

Hey everyone,

As promised a second blog post in a single weekend, don’t say I never spoil you! A slight change in genre from yesterday as Mr. Jaguar by K.A. Meridian is a contemporary MM romance. This book was written as part of the Love’s Landscapes event created by the M/M Romance group on Goodreads and is therefore inspired by a photograph, but thats enough background about the book. Also if you missed Saturday’s post feel free to check it out!.

The Book:

Mike Miller’s life has gone to shit. The formerly popular high school quarterback now works at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. The last thing he needs is meeting the guy he used to bully at school and seeing him all polished up. James is now the proud owner of an amazing silver Jaguar and a self-made millionaire. It seems that the day couldn’t get any worse for Mike, but James ‘Lovelace’ Austin might just turn out to be his golden ticket out of the job he hates.

When James Austin meets Mike Miller, his high school crush and tormentor all in one, working at an old, dirty gas station, it feels as if the stars have finally aligned in his favor. He wants to finally get his revenge on the guy, but when Mike turns out to be gay, the whole afternoon takes a turn for the surreal. Instead of just humiliating Mike at his workplace, James decides to hire him for a weekend at a conference he’s attending. A hot guy by his side is the only accessory James needs to rub his success in the faces of his frenemies.

My Thoughts:

Mr. Jaguar was so much more than I expected an amazon freebie. This is a fantastic portrayal of the enemies to lover’s trope, with both Mike and James learning to look beyond their high school knowledge of each other. Since leaving education they have both grown beyond the stereotypes of the quarterback and the nerd. Yet in many ways, like in real life, the experiences they had in school have helped define their personalities. Particularly James who is still socially awkward around people, despite being a successful businessman; he lacks confidence around his peers in the industry, hence his decision to hire Mike for the weekend.

8 November 2014

Tempted by a Rogue Prince by Felicity Heaton

Hey everyone,

Firstly apologies for the lateness of this blog post, life as been crazy hectic this week both at work and at home leaving very little time for reading. To make up for it this will be two post weekend, so feel free to come back tomorrow and check out that book as well. Anyway enough of my excuses and on with the reason we’re all here the book Tempted by a Rogue Prince by Felicity Heaton a hot paranormal romance about an elf and a witch.

The Book:

An elf prince on the verge of losing himself to the darkness, Vail is maddened by the forty-two centuries he was under the control of a witch and forced to war with his brother. Now, he roams Hell seeking an escape from his terrible past and the heads of all who bear magic. When demons of the Fifth Realm capture him, he sees a chance to end his existence, but when he wakes in a cell to a beautiful female, he finds not death but his only shot at salvation—his true fated mate. 

Captured by the enemy of the Third Realm when the war ended, Rosalind has spent months in the cells of the Fifth Realm with her magic bound, forced to heal the new king’s demon warriors, and haunted by the lives she has taken. When she’s brought to heal an unconscious man, she discovers her only hope of escape has come in the form of her worst nightmare and the first part of a prediction that might spell her doom—a devastatingly handsome and dangerous dark elf prince.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It is one of the best paranormal romances I have read in a long time. When I first brought the book it was merely due to the fact it was about an elf because unless I’ve been living under a rock this is not a common species to write about in the paranormal world. It’s usually demons, vampires, shifters, ghosts but not elves and being a huge Lord of Rings fan I just had to read it. I mean have you seen Legolas in those films, if he doesn’t convert you the wonder of elves no one will... Well expect perhaps Vail. The most perfectly tortured hero who is maybe just a teeny tiny bit insane.

3 November 2014

My Wildest Fantasies by Julianne MacLean

Hey everyone,

This book was first published by Avon a few years back and I’ll be honest I wasn’t even aware of its existence. In fact it was quite a few years later that I randomly stumbled upon the newly released audio version on Audible. After the reading the blurb and listening to the sample (an essential step IMO) I immediately brought In My Wildest Fantasies

The Book:

Julianne MacLean's thrilling Pembroke Palace Series begins when a young and innocent aristocratic lady is rescued from a runaway coach by a heroic stranger on a horse-who appears like a phantom out of the mist in a fog-shrouded forest.

Lady Rebecca Newland cannot forget the captivating nobleman who saved her life, and she sets out to meet him again when she is of an age to be courted. Unbeknownst to her, her timing is impeccable, for Devon Sinclair, the future Duke of Pembroke, has just been informed by his mad father that he must take a wife before Christmas in order to thwart a family curse and preserve his inheritance.

Lady Rebecca is everything Devon could want in a wife - she is beautiful, charming, and she desires him openly. But can a marriage built on fantasy succeed, or will the lovers be forever entangled in the seductive web of their mutual passion for what occurs each night the marriage bed?

My Thoughts:

A historical romance with a strong heroine, a gothic influence is a book I wanted to love and for the first half I did, however, for me it all went down hill after the marriage took place. At the start I loved Rebecca and Devon, the chance meeting in the foggy forest had me hooked. Rebecca seemed intelligent, curious and brave; Devon was strong, heroic and noble. The sparks were instantaneous, only destroyed by Rebecca being seventeen and therefore far too young for Devon.

31 October 2014

The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

Hey everyone,

So its Halloween and being British and a slight cynic it isn’t a holiday I celebrate; I mean I may have baked a chocolate cake, opened a bottle of cider and read an amazing book but that’s not celebrating. For a start there are no costumes, scary or otherwise in sight! Secondly I have yet to have a single trick or treater, however, I appreciate this holiday is extremely popular in America and perhaps in other parts of the world (Is it? Does anyone know? I’ve never even thought about it before) so happy Halloween everyone and as a gift from me to you I give you a review of The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory. I’m nice like that... Well some of the time at least.

The (audio)book:

The tiny nation of Swansgaard is a lovely place with abundant natural resources, including the royal family, which has been blessed with twelve daughters and a son. As this boisterous baker's dozen approaches adulthood, the king and queen lovingly tell their daughters, "You must make your own fortune, for we cannot enrich you without impoverishing our people or leaving our lands defenceless, and that we will not do."

Clarice, an expert swordswoman, is the first to depart. Disguising herself as Clarence, she signs on for a voyage to the New World. The captain is vile and blackhearted, and the crew soon mutinies. Clarice becomes first mate - and finds her heart captured by the new captain, Dominick, who is, to his own surprise, increasingly attracted to Clarence.

Now outlaws, Dominick and his crew turn to piracy - though their hearts are not entirely in it. They soon run afoul of the Pirate Council, who orders them to retrieve the Heart of Light. All who have searched for this great treasure have vanished, with neither ships nor crews ever seen again and no sign of their fates ever discovered. But none before have carried with them the sorceress Shamal, who stakes a claim of her own on Dominick's heart.

My Thoughts:

Pirates, magic, romance and fantasy all combine in The House of Four Winds to the wonderful narration of Emily Sutton-Smith. As soon as I read the blurb I was desperate to read this book, so much so that I rashly brought the audio version as it wasn’t available in Kindle format in my country. I am so glad I did. This story swept me away into a world of intrigue and adventure upon the high seas. Set in a fantasy world that was arguably similar to our own in the 17th and 18th century it follows the story of Clarice, a Princess who must make her own way in the world, who chooses to make her fortune as an expert swords(wo)man. To do so she disguises herself as a male and goes by the name Clarence; the cross-dressing trope is perhaps one of the oldest in the romance world, I mean just look at Shakespeare’s comedies. Yet Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory pull it off beautifully.

28 October 2014

Her Purrfect Match by Milly Taiden

Hey everyone,

The book:

Alyssa Moran is tired of being the old cat lady with no man. She has very specific needs and goes to visit Mrs. Wilder at the Paranormal Dating Agency. Shockingly enough, she is promised a man who likes cats, wants kids, likes curves and will be wild in bed. 

Grayson Green needs a mate. Fast. But he refuses to be pushed into anything. That is, until a curvy funny woman shows up in his territory saying she’s there for him. Who is he to argue with someone as delectable as Alyssa decides she wants to give herself to him?

Of course, not all is at it seems and some people want Alyssa gone and Gray dead. If Gray mates, the future of his pride will be sealed and no one can argue his place as leader. Unless it can be stopped before they ever get a chance to make some cubs. He will have to work hard at convincing a human she’s the only one for him or lose his pride and his mate.

My Thoughts:

Lately I’ve been reading so many dark, intense, angst filled books and frankly although they always had HEA it was starting to depress me. I needed something light-hearted, funny and easy to read luckily Her Purrfect Match delivered on all accounts!