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!

25 October 2014

Beauty and the Bookworm by Nick Pageant

Hey everyone,

I mainly brought Beauty and the Bookworm by Nick Pageant for the title because I can't resist reading books about bookworms. Also I love opposite attracts stories Mason and Shane are as different as chalk and cheese!

The book:

Mason Leery is a bookworm and he thinks he might just be able to get through life simply by reading about it instead of living it.

Until he meets Shane Beaumont. Shane is the opposite of Mason in every way, he's beautiful, athletic, and lives his life to the fullest.

Sparks fly when the polar opposites come together, but it will be up to the bookworm to shut down his e-reader and go after the beauty if he wants to love someone outside the pages of a book.

My Thoughts:

Beauty and the Bookworm is based around the concept of opposites attracting, which is incidentally one of my favourite tropes, and I thought it was a good book. I enjoyed the character of Mason with his hilarious inner monologue was hilarious that had me laughing out loud numerous times. It earned me some very strange looks from my family. Mason is cute, funny, socially awkward, a complete bookworm as the title suggests and just a tiny bit crazy. Due to a series of events he attracts the attention of Shane Beaumont, a sporty, health conscious, good guy who’s just a little bit kinky.

“Who hasn’t declared their interest for someone they really aren’t interested in when they were chemically compromised?

21 October 2014

To Please a Lady by Lori Brighton

Hey everyone,

The book:

Eleanor wanted a night of passion. James just wanted to survive. Instead, they found an unexpected and forbidden love that threatens all they hold dear.

With her stunning beauty and impeccable reputation, Lady Eleanor Beckett is a society darling to emulate, respected by everyone in the ton. But Eleanor’s seemingly perfect life is marred by a dark secret. Determined to know happiness and passion just once, she travels in disguise to a place she’s heard whispers about for years: the infamous Lavender Hills Estate, a brothel that caters to women. There, she meets the surprisingly kind, strikingly handsome, and completely inappropriate James McKinnon, a man who may be just what she needs to melt the ice surrounding her broken heart.

Despite their stations, Eleanor and James can’t extinguish the passion they’ve ignited. Will they be able to break through the confines of London society, or will their forbidden love and complicated pasts destroy everything they care about—including each other?

My Thoughts:

I feel like the book gods and goddesses (no sexism here thank you very much) have been blessing me lately as I’ve been on a roll of amazing books from a range of romance sub-genres and To Please a Lady was no exception! This is the third book in Lori Brighton’s Seduction trilogy and reintroduces the reader to the world of Lavender Hills, a brothel that caterers the wealthy women of the Ton. Although our hero is a male prostitute this is not an erotic historical romance, but instead a beautiful love story about two damaged people. Neither have perfect lives and both are scarred by their pasts. Lori Brighton did a great job of making me care about Eleanor and James, both individually and as a couple. This is a story about escaping your past, about the healing power of love and being able to embrace your future.

18 October 2014

Stuff by Josephine Myles

Hey everyone,

The book:

When Mr. Glad Rags meets Mr. Riches, the result is flaming fun.

Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.

When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his worlds starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.

Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.

He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.

My Thoughts:

Perry and Mas sitting in a tree K I S S I N G, first comes love, then comes crazy followed by a statue in a clothing store. Okay so the rhyme didn’t work that well and anyone outside of the UK will probably think i’m crazy but it just felt appropriate for this book. Stuff is the second book in Josephine Myles Bristol collection and follows the character of Mas who appeared in Junk (another awesome book you should totally read). Myles books always draw me in; the characters are unique, always standing out from the crowd.

15 October 2014

Wife Number Seven by Melissa Brown

Hey everyone,

I realise Wife Number Seven has been reviewed a lot, however, I’m going to add my pennies worth of thoughts to the pile. Because a romance story about a married mormon woman has to be discussed! I’ll admit this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally loved it. The story is mainly told from the perspective of Brinley, who as the title suggests is married to a man with a lot of other wives, not exactly a dream come true for most of us, or the heroine Brinley.

The book:

Lipstick. Bright, red lipstick. Nothing but lipstick. 

Even though it’s against our faith to wear a color that screams of sexual promiscuity and deviant behavior, I’m not allowed to protest. 

But, I want to. 

So badly. 

You see, there’s more to me than the braid that spills down my back. 

More to me than the layers of heavy fabric that maintain my modesty. 

And so much more than the oppressive wedding band that adorns my finger--the same band that each of my sister wives wear. 

So much more. 

To protest would be sinful. 

I must keep sweet, that is my duty. 

So I’ll wear the lipstick. I’ll do as I’m told. 

And I’ll do my best to silence the resistance within me, to push him from my mind. 

If only my heart would do the same.

My Thoughts:

This book is a romance, obviously, and I loved the interactions between Brinley and Porter but for me the main reason I loved this book was due to Brinley’s journey from unhappy mormon wife to freedom with the ‘damned’. The book is mainly from Brinley’s POV and because of this you really get to know her us a character. You understand how conflicted she is about her faith, her marriage and even her feelings for Porter. I loved Brinley’s inner dialogue, it was dramatic and thoughtful and intense and it made me extremely happy reading it!

12 October 2014

Sold to the Enemy by Sarah Morgan

Hello everyone,

I’m back from Malta and during the course of the holiday I managed to read ten books so lots of reviews coming up! And yes I did leave the hotel and see some of the sights while I was there. Anyway today I’m reviewing an audiobook I finished on the first night of the trip Sold to the Enemy by Sarah Morgan. Also for those in the UK (not sure about other countries) Audible is currently having a weeklong sale on romance books for its members, everything is around £5.99 so there could be some deals to be had!

 The (Audio)book:

Stefan Ziakas might be her father's most hated business rival, but he's the only man who has ever made Selene Antaxos feel beautiful. So, needing to make a new life for herself, Selene apprehensively turns to Stefan for help. Except the dark-hearted tycoon is nothing like the white knight she remembers! Selene realises it's not always better the devil you know... She's sold her soul - and her heart - to the enemy!

My Thoughts:

This book has been out for quite a few years, however, it has only been available in audio format for a couple of months. Having said that I haven’t actually read the book and don’t plan on. Is anyone else like that? You read a book and then won’t listen too it and vice versa? Anyway enough of my rambling and onto the review!

I really enjoyed Antonia Beamish’s narration of Sold to the Enemy, I thought the male and female voices were really good, particularly the Greek pronunciations. This is a story that kept me gripped, something I wasn’t expecting from a Mills & Boon romance. I started listening just before bed and couldn’t stop until about 1 am when common sense and tiredness finally won the battle. I found the novel a strange contradiction between light hearted comedy and grittier romance, personally I think the blurb shies away from mentioning some of the darker themes presented within this book.

3 October 2014

Gentlemen Prefer Curves by Sugar Jamison

Hello everyone,

The book:

Stuck. At thirty years old Belinda Gordon felt her life was at a total standstill. With her love life in the dumps, her best friends happily married and her parents smothering her, she decides her life needs a little bit of shaking up.

Just when Belinda is about to make a move, her estranged husband and the last man on earth she ever wants to see, Carter Lancaster, comes storming back into her life. And this time he's not taking no for an answer. Armed with his sweet daughter and a take no prisoners attitude, he's determined to win his wife back.

Can Belinda let go of their rocky past and let love in? Or will she let it prevent her from finding her happily ever after?

My Thoughts:

Do you know what I loved most about this book? The fact that Belinda being bigger didn’t define her. Sure, she has insecurities about her weight, moments of sadness or self-doubt, but for me this just made her more relatable without making her unlikeable. She was confident, sassy, empowered but human. I read this as a stand-alone and now I want to go back and read the others in the series.