3 December 2015

Unmasking Zach by Edie Danford

Hey everyone,

Why do I keep picking series up half-way through? I swear since getting a kindle five years ago I never read series in order anymore! Unmasking Zach is the second book in Edie Danford's Ellery College series and I discovered it on Netgalley. I mainly requested it due to the opposites attract nature of the storyline and I can never resist a New Adult m/m story!

The book:

The missing piece of the puzzle might be the one piece he can’t keep.

Before heading for grad school, Zach O’Malley needs downtime from his superhero-worthy schedule. Painting houses seems like the perfect summer gig for some mindless mellowing out.

There’s just one wrinkle in Zach’s Zen plan. Coworker Kirby Kurtcehajic, a hippie kid who starts hitting on him with happy and hardcore voracity three seconds after they meet. And has the ability to make his mind and body leap with a single smile.

Kirby would be the first to call himself a cockeyed optimist, but even he admits he’s had a tough year. After busting his knee, losing his cat, and accidentally demolishing his Vermont house, seducing way-too-serious Zach is the ideal distraction.

But when another spectacular mishap lands Kirby in crisis, Zach puts on his superhero cape to come to the rescue. And as boundaries dissolve, Kirby realizes he may be in too deep. Because the end of summer is coming, when Zach will be moving on, and Kirby will have to continue his quest for independence—alone.

My thoughts:

I was drawn to Unmasking Zach due how different the two heroes sounded on the blurb with Kirby being an hippie kid and Zach being an up-tight graduate student. Yet something about the characters didn't quite work for me. I struggled to understand the motivation behind Zach and Kirby's actions.  I understood why Kirby's difficult childhood would leave emotional scars and result in strange behavior and fears. I was a little less convinced about Zach's childhood trauma and his need to be the all powerful superhero who could save everyone. Whereas Kirby's childhood had forced him to rely on no-one but himself, Zach's childhood made him want to save everyone. In my opinion this is a deadly combination for a relationship.

A big reason I'd said yes was because I'd wanted to be close to Zach. I was more than a little in love with him. Despite all the big, fat, loud, glaring warning signals telling me he'd never be able to return my feelings, I'd let myself keep hoping

30 November 2015

Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Hey everyone,

I love this series. So when Nalini Singh releases a new book in her Psy-Challenging series I have high expectations. This was no different for Shards of Hope. Also the reason I didn’t read it sooner is because I wanted a solid block of undisturbed time so that I could absorb it properly.

The book:

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

My thoughts:

This is definitely not a series someone can just jump into because with each new book Nalini Singh adds another brilliant layer to an already rich and complex world. Shards of Hope is no different. As two main characters are both prominent Arrows who helped lead the revolution in the squad, with Aden being its Leader, it is no surprise that Shards of Hope offer a more thorough look at the reclusive Arrow Squad. At the start of the knowledge arguably we are witness to a squad in chaos. One being held together through the squads love for Aden and the hope of something better. Even Zaira struggles to see her place in the new Arrow squad. Believing herself too damage and dangerous to ever truly let go of silence. 
“You deserve better.” Rough, broken words. 
“There’s no one better than you.” 
“I’ll be the best soldier you ever have,” she repeated in a shattered whisper. 
“I know.”
It would have to be enough.

26 November 2015

Crossroads by Riley Hart

Hey everyone,

My TBR pile is down to 21 books! Considering it was 89 books a few months ago (April) I’m pretty proud of myself. So as a reward I decided to buy a new book… I realise the irony but I don’t care. After browsing Amazon I stumbled across Crossroads by Riley Hart, an m/m romance with a double GFY plot line! How could I resist?

The book:

After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner… 

Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else. 

Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that's determined to trip them up at every turn.

My thoughts:

I’ve never been particularly drawn to the GFY books but the blurb of Crossroads intrigued me enough to indulge. Our first hero Nick Fuller is a recently divorced chef whose life mainly revolves around his restaurant. Yet he’s determined to start over and enjoy his single-hood. Enter our other hero Bryce who’s never settled down and is considered the flighty one by his family. Jumping from one adventure to the next without a care. On paper Nick and Bryce couldn’t be more different. Nick is all about responsibility and doing the right thing, Bryce is about living in the moment. After all why waste time being miserable?

You’re the only risk I’ve ever taken, Nick. Nothing else could hurt me except you. 

23 November 2015

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Hey everyone,

As you know, if you’ve been following this blog and my reading antics I’ve started to explore the world of YA fiction… Mainly the romantic YA fiction but what else would you expect?! In that vein I recently rented Cinder by Marissa Meyer from the library and loved it so much I quickly brought Scarlet & Cress from Waterstones. I finally got around to reading Scarlet this weekend, despite it regularly appearing in my Instagram feed for weeks!

The book:

This is not the fairytale you remember.

But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

My thoughts:

For those unfamiliar with Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series Scarlet is book two and is a loose re-telling of Red Riding Hood. It is also finishes exactly where Cinder left off. Yup this is one of those series that has massive cliff-hangers at the end of each book. Making it one of the few series I’m forcing myself to read in order! Whereas Cinder focused on the Cinder Lihn and Emperor Kai, whose plot-lines where by no means resolved, Scarlet focuses on Scarlet Benoit and a mysterious stranger called Wolf. Although Scarlet and Cinder have never met, and in fact live in different continents, they are inexplicably linked in the fight for Earth’s survival against Queen Levena.

Amusement touched the corner of his lips. ‘Animals love me.’
‘Oh, I'm sure they do,’ Scarlet said, beaming with fake encouragement. She shut the door before muttering, ‘What farm animals don't love a wolf?’

20 November 2015

Not Safe For Work by L.A. Witt

Hey everyone,

When I read the blurb Not Safe For Work by L.A. Witt on Netgalley I immediately wanted to read it. It has BDSM of the bondage variety, features two guys who’ve been around the block a few times and revolves around a taboo relationship. Could it be any more my type of book? 

The book:

They’re a match made in the dungeon…until their secret gets out.

Bored senseless in a meeting, architectural modeler Jon McNeill amuses himself with a kinky dating app on his phone. Then the app matches him with another user…who’s six feet away. Suddenly Jon finds himself on the same page as someone way above his pay grade: millionaire property developer Rick Pierce. His firm’s biggest—and hottest—client.

The app isn’t kidding either. They’re a perfect match. Jon’s a Dom, Rick’s a sub, and bondage is their thing. Both guys are well into their forties, know their way around the bedroom, and definitely appreciate a good suit. And the best part? They’re a match outside the bedroom too.

But office relationships aren’t easy to keep a secret. When the truth comes out, Jon is certain he’s about to get fired. Instead, his bosses throw him a curve ball—an ultimatum that puts both his job and his relationship in jeopardy.

My thoughts:

If you didn’t already guess from my mention of Netgalley I was sent Not Safe For Work by the publisher in return for an honest review. Always best to get the legal stuff out of the way first, wouldn’t you agree? Now down to the nitty gritty. I adored the start of Not Safe For Work, particularly the opening few chapters. In these early chapters Jon has just discovered that the super important client is not only a sub but also interested in him. I loved the sexual tension between Jon and Rick, which was heightened by the need for secrecy.

‘I can’t focus. Not at work. Not anywhere.’ I took a breath and reached up to rub a phantom crick out of my neck. ‘I can’t... I can’t think. If he’s there, he’s all I can think about. If he’s not there, I want him to be. I-’  

16 November 2015

Talk of the Ton by Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagan Lee and Jacqueline Navin

Hey everyone,

I actually brought Talk of the Ton by Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagan Lee and Jacqueline Navin during my travels around Canada. I completely fell in love with the bookshops in Canada and the incredible romance sections they had! I even started reading Talk of the Ton in Canada, but only finished it a few weeks ago... 

The book:
Nothing sets tongues wagging like a scandalous dalliance...

In the salons of the ton, no tidbit is more delicious than a rumour of amour - the more outrageous, the better. Rakes and rogues, ladies of high station and low morals are all choice fodder for society’s gossips. Now, four of today’s most popular Regency authors titillate the ton with tales of how untoward talk can fan the flames of passion...

My thoughts:

A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James tells the story of Emma  Loudan and the Earl of Kerr (Gil) who have been engaged since childhood. Yet in those years of engagement Emma has hardly ever seen her finance, but boy has she heard about him. In particular she’d heard about his love of French woman. So what does any scorned English woman do? Why pretend to be French of course! More specifically pretend to be a French lover from her husband’s past. Not to win Gil’s heart, however, but instead to win control and force him to finally get married.

“I have to win the challenge,” Emma explained, “because otherwise Kerr will see no particular reason not to continue in his indifferent ways. I think it best to take him in hand before we marry.”

10 November 2015

Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands

Hey everyone,

I’ve read so many books recently but haven’t had time to blog about any of them so be prepared for lots of reviews coming your way! One book I read this week was Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands. It is number eighteen I believe in her Argeneau / Rogue Hunter series.

The book:

Valerie never gave much thought to the legends of vampires. That is, until she's kidnapped by a fang-wielding psychopath and kept hostage in an underground dungeon with six other female-dining companions. Able to escape using her martial art skills and her wits, she's picked up by the Argeneau rescue team - and the sexy Anders - only to discover that her captor got away...and is on the hunt again.

When Anders discovers Valerie battered and bruised under a bush, he's not expecting to meet someone capable of defending herself against a vampire attack - or his psychic influence. Immediately taken by this fierce beauty, he's determined to find the vamp responsible for her abuse...and make him pay.

My thoughts:

I remember renting this series from the library when I’d just discovered the romance genre. I use to love this series but in more recent years I haven’t kept up with it. Now I tend to just drop in and out whenever I see one for sale. For me it works because I don’t think this is a series you need to read in order. Of course as Lynsay Sands has now written eighteen books in this series a lot of characters from the previous novels are around. Some of who I honestly couldn’t remember anymore... But I did remember the Vampire mythology and the general premise of these novels. It’s all about the life mates people!

Anders eyed the offering, but didn’t at first open his mouth. She was just about to give up, sit back and eat it herself when he suddenly did. Valerie moved the spoon between his open lips, watching silently as he closed his mouth around the spoon and ice cream.

3 November 2015

Twilight Reimagined: Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer

Hey everyone,

Guess who started a new job this week? Exciting isn’t it? I will try and keep the posts as regular but I can’t promise anything. Anyway on with the book review! I’ll be honest when I first heard that Stephenie Meyer was releasing a new book I wasn’t interested, but then I found out she had switched the genders. I was intrigued enough by that idea to at least give Life and Death a go.

The book:

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.
Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.
My thoughts:

Now I know this book has already been reviewed, and by most condemned, yet I’m hoping I have something slightly new to add. Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer is almost the exact same story as Twilight. Apart from the fact that all characters, except from Renee and Charlie, are a different gender. I actually liked the introduction by Stephenie Meyer mainly because she explained why she didn’t change Renee and Charlie’s genders. 

“My face was burning, and I knew I must look like a gorilla on a greyhound.”

28 October 2015

Masters For Hire by Ginger Voight

Hey everyone,

I saw Master for Hire by Ginger Voight on Netgalley and as you may know I can’t resist a book about escorts, particularly male ones. Do not ask me why! We don’t need to do any deep psychoanalysis of my reading tastes, thank you very much. 

The book:

By all appearances, Coralie Cabot seems to have it all. Pedigree? Check. Money? Check. The right boyfriend, a ‘nice’ guy hand-picked by her father? Check. Everything is going along according to plan. There’s only one problem. It’s not her plan.

Coralie’s safe, predictable life has all but been decided for her, and that leaves her itching to take a walk on the wild side. 

Enter Devlin Masters, an elite male escort whose sole purpose is giving Coralie whatever her heart desires. As though he knows her down to her core, Devlin says and does all the right things—far better than her so-called Mr. Right back home. Hello, Mr. Wrong!

For a price, she can sow her wilder oats with this sexy ‘bad boy,’ no strings attached. Pretty soon the question isn’t, “Should a good girl have sex with a naughty hottie for hire”. It’s, “Will she ever want to stop?”

My thoughts:

I’ve never read a book by Ginger Voight before so I went into Masters For Hire a little blind in terms of what to expect. It had such promise as book but it unfortunately fell just a little short in my opinion. Probably in part due to the questionable formatting, some sentences were split in different chunks of texts. Also don’t get me started on the random use of hashtags throughout the books to show Coralie’s emotional state.

“Devlin,” I tested, and his name dripped like honey from lips even though my voice shook. Part of me hoped he wouldn’t notice. Part of me hoped he did.

25 October 2015

Midnight in the Harem by Lucy Monroe, Carol Marinelli and Susanna Carr

Hey everyone,

I have been known to delve into the world of Mills and Boon on occasion and when I saw this collection at my local library I thought why not. As the title would suggest Midnight in the Harem is three short stories that all revolve around the idea of Harems.

The book:
Angele’s dreams of a love match with Crown Prince Zahir have been dashed – she must release him from his promise. But on one condition: that the proud sheikh gives her the wedding night she has dreamed of! 

Playboy Sheikh Rakhal Alzirz’ reckless fling with Natasha Winters appears to have consequences. Now Rakhal whisks her to the desert. If she is pregnant, they’ll be married. If not? Then there’s room for her in his harem! 

Zoe Martin has endured six years as a slave – now she’s been sold into marriage! Being given to the Sheikh could mean freedom! But she doesn’t expect the sizzling heat a single glance from Sheikh Nadir can cause...

My thoughts:

As this is three stories I thought I’d do a mini review of each to give a better overview of the whole collection. Firstly comes For Duty’s Sake by Lucy Monroe, which was possibly my favourite of the three. I really liked the character development of both Angele and Zahir. Engaged since childhood Angele has always admired and loved the man she was arranged to marry. Yet when she discovers that Zahir isn’t the pinnacle of manhood she had believed, Angele feels she has no choice but to let him go.

She wanted to call him a chauvinist. Tell him he was arrogant beyond belief. But most of all, she wanted to ask what he meant.

22 October 2015

Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan

Hey everyone,

Firstly can we talk about the beautiful new cover for Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan? It is absolutely gorgeous! Secondly I loved the new introduction Heidi Cullinan has given this novel as it put Dance With Me in a historical context. Highlighting how much as changed for the LGBT+ community in the last few years! Still a long way to go but progress is progress.

The book:

Sometimes life requires a partner.

Ed Maurer has bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semipro football career. He hates his soul-killing office job, but he loves volunteering at a local community center. The only fly in his ointment is the dance instructor, Laurie Parker, who can’t seem to stay out of his way.

Laurie was once one of the most celebrated ballet dancers in the world, but now he volunteers at Halcyon Center to avoid his society mother’s machinations. It would be a perfect escape, except for the oaf of a football player cutting him glares from across the room.

When Laurie has a ballroom dancing emergency and Ed stands in as his partner, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Dancing leads to friendship, being friends leads to becoming lovers, but most important of all, their partnership shows them how to heal the pain of their pasts. Because with every turn across the floor, Ed and Laurie realize the only escape from their personal demons is to keep dancing—together. 

My thoughts:

Dance With Me is about two broken people finding each other and learning to dance to the rhythm of life. Well wasn’t that a corny way to start a review? But it is true. Laurie is mentally and emotionally closed of from life. Scared to dance in public. Scared to move on. Scared to live his life for fear of what other people will say and think. Yet dancing is part of who he is.

You don't just feel the rhythm," he'd told him. "You must feel the soul, both of the dance and of your partner. The tango isn't something you dance. It's a story you create with another.

19 October 2015

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Hey everyone,

Apparently I’m reading this series by Stephanie Perkins backwards, but so far it hasn’t been a problem. When Lola and Cricket made a cameo appearance in Isla and the Happily Ever Afters I wasn’t sure what to expect from their story. They seemed so zany and wacky, and for some reason I imagined them in circus dress... Do not ask me why! In contrast to Isla and the Happily Ever After  Lola and the Boy Next Door is  set in San Francisco, which is my opinion made a nice change of setting. 

My book:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion... She believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit - the more sparkly, more wild - the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.

That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My thoughts:

Do you know what I loved about Lola and the Boy Next Door? The boy next door, Cricket! He was fantastic. Throughout the book it was obvious he had feelings for Lola, and yet he didn’t become moody and aggressive due to her rejection of him. Instead he was happy to be her friend, a genuine I care about you but understand you have a boyfriend friend. I loved that Stephanie Perkins didn’t even mention the friend-zone. Instead she offered a healthy, interesting and charming view of both unrequited love and male-female friendship among teenagers.

I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.

16 October 2015

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Hey everyone,

This book has been languishing on my to-be-read pile for far, far too long. Nearly a year! Thankfully I’ve been making a concerted effort to cut down on the amount of books I’ve been buying recently, so I finally found time to read Wallbanger by Alice Clayton.

The book:
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise.

So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighbourly...

My thoughts:

I thought it started out really strong. I almost immediately loved Caroline as a character and I’ll be honest Simon seemed hot-as-hell! The banter between them was funny and had just the right amount of sexual tension. I even understood why Simon had his ‘Harem’ considering his past and the amount of travelling he did due to work. It seemed believable and added an interesting initial conflict to Caroline and Simon’s story.

“The smirk reappeared and he said, “Sweet dreams.
He thumped the wall one more time, winked, and went inside.
Huh. Sweet dreams and thin walls. Sweet dreams and thin walls...
Mother of pearl. He’d heard me.” 

13 October 2015

Reawakened by Odette Beane

Hey everyone,

Before spying this at the library I had no idea that one of my favourite TV series even had accompanying books. I’ve been a fan of Once Upon A Time since discovering it on Amazon Instant during my last year of university, so I borrowed this from the library without reading the blurb. Would I have still borrowed this if I had?

The book:

Emma Swan's life has been anything but a fairy tale. She's been on her own since she was abandoned as a baby--that is, until the night of her twenty-eighth birthday, when Henry, a ten-year-old boy, shows up on her doorstep. He's the son Emma gave up for adoption, and this surprise visit turns her life upside down.

Henry takes Emma back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine, where, Henry claims, all the residents are actually fairy tale characters who can't remember their true identities. And if Henry's right, that means that his sweet-natured, lonely schoolteacher Mary Margaret Blanchard is really Snow White, the iconic princess ... and also Emma's long-lost mother.

In Fairy Tale Land, we meet Snow White as a bandit on the run, forced into exile by her stepmother, the Evil Queen. Snow's a young woman learning to become a hero, who will do anything to live happily ever after with her one true love, Prince Charming.

The closer Emma comes to Henry in Storybrooke, the harder it is for her to ignore the dark curse that haunts this small New England town and binds her to Mary Margaret. If Emma can learn to accept her destiny as Storybrooke's savior and break the curse, she just might get the family reunion she's dreamed about her entire life.

My thoughts:

In all honesty I probably would have because I love these characters, I love both Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke and most of all I love how the show twists these well-known fairytales. Yet by reading the blurb I would realised that Reawakened isn’t an expansive of the Once Upon A Time universe. Instead its a written version of Season One.

“Look, dude. The cocoa is a nice gesture. And it’s impressive that you were able to guess that I like cinnamon on my chocolate - not many people do - but i’m not here to flirt.

10 October 2015

Like A Lover by Jay Northcote

Hey everyone,

It wasnt until about three chapters in that I realised Like A Lover is part of a series that I have actually been reading in order. For me this is miracle. I never read series order and it isnt for a lack of trying. Like A Lover is book two in Jay Northcotes Housemates series, which as the series name would suggest revolves around a group of housemates. 

The book:
Josh has a plan: get through uni with a good degree and no debt. Focused on his goals, he pays his way by working as an escort. He enjoys the no-strings sex because he doesn’t have time for a relationship. Falling in love definitely isn’t part of the deal—especially not with a client.

When Rupert meets Josh in a bar, he’s smitten on sight. He’s never paid for sex, but when Josh propositions him, he can’t resist. He should’ve known one night would never be enough. Luckily for him he has an inheritance to fund his addiction to Josh, because his job in IT support wouldn’t cover the cost.

With each encounter the lines get blurred, creating something that feels more like a relationship than a business transaction. But they come from different worlds, and to go from client-and-escort to lovers seems impossible. If they want a future together, Josh and Rupert have a lot to overcome.

My thoughts:

Maybe I’m developing a problem because I can’t seem to stop reading m/m books. Like A Lover caught my eye because it revolves around an escort falling in love with one of his clients, and vice versa. This is one of my all time favourite tropes and I’ve been reading it in one form or another since I first discovered mistresses in historical romance books. Also I’m pretty sure this series is based in the UK, which always makes for a nice change!

“A sex worker. An escort, to be precise. Hooker, rent boy, you get the gist. I’m an expensive one too. But my clients think I’m worth the money.”

7 October 2015

Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Hey everyone,

I’ve being reading the Maiden Lane Series since it first came out, in fact it was one of the first books I ever reviewed. You could say we’ve being going steady for a while now... Too much? Okay, I’m sorry. Shall we just continue with the review?

The book:

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe—and won't back down . . . 


Artemis Greaves toils as a lady's companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She's even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .


Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn't without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?

My thoughts:

The Duke of Midnight came out in 2013?! Can’t believe how far behind I’ve fallen with this series. Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favourite historical romance authors and I’ve always loved The Maiden Lanes series because its focus wasn’t on the aristocracy and instead on normal people just trying to survive. Sure its featured aristocrats in the past but St Giles has always felt like an important part of the story. In my opinion the Duke of Midnight departs from this setting.

“No! You must go to London. You must get him out. You must save my brother because if you don’t, I swear upon everything I hold holy that I’ll ruin both you and your illustrious name. I’ll—” 

4 October 2015

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Hey everyone,

I mainly read this book due to the insane amount of love it receives from the Tumblr book community, fondly known as Booklr. Since joining Tumblr Ive become more and more intrigued by YA books and when I saw The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater at my local library I couldnt resist picking it up.

The book:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

My thoughts:

I spent the majority of the book confused and waiting for the plot to start. Now I know people love this book and the characters but I just couldnt get into it. Was I intrigued by Blueprophecy? Yes. Did I want to know more about the Welsh King that Gansey was obsessed with? Yes. Did I care about any of the characters? No, and that dear reader, is the crux of my problem with The Raven Boys.

My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.

1 October 2015

Psi Hunter by Jaye McKenna

Hey everyone,

Ages ago I read Gremlins Last Run, which turned out to be book two in the Guardians of the Pattern series by Jaye McKenna. As I enjoyed the second book I thought it was about time I read the first one in this science-fiction m/m romance series. So without further ado lets talk about Psi Hunter by Jaye McKenna.

The book:
In a future where humanity has spread out among the stars, those few possessing psychic abilities are looked upon with suspicion at best and murderous intent at worst.

On Aurora, one of the more tolerant worlds of the Federation, Pat Cottrell works for Federation Security as a psi hunter, tracking down and neutralizing dangerous psi criminals.

Kyn Valdari works for the Institute for Psionic Research, running search and rescue operations, in which psions in distress are offered the chance to learn how to control psychic abilities that can threaten sanity and ruin lives.

Kyn and Pat used to be best friends, closer than brothers. Three years ago, one passionate night that never should have happened left both of them shocked, confused, and desperately wanting more.
They haven’t spoken since.

Now, the silence between them must be broken. Kyn and Pat have been ordered to investigate a string of murders that may have been committed by a psion powerful enough to kill with a thought. In order to succeed, they will have to work together to save an abused, traumatized young psion from being taken advantage of by the very organization that is supposed to save him.

My thoughts:

This is definitely a series that on reflection I should have read in order. The world created by Jaye McKenna, the amount of characters introduced and the amount of storylines developing in parallel meant at times I was a little confused. Not helped by my brain trying to connect what occurred in Gremlin’s Last Run with the storylines and characters being introduced in Psi Hunter. Also although this is the first book in Guardians of the Pattern series it works on the assumption that you have read the prequel novella Facing the Mirror.

“Trevor told me that I didn’t get to do that. That you don’t get to just start over. That life is about living with all that’s happened to you and instead of letting it beat you down, you accept it and know that you’re stronger because you survived it”

28 September 2015

The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter

Hey everyone,

I adore Gena Showalters Lord of the Underworld series and have always had a tiny soft spot for Torin. None of which explains why it has taken me so long to read The Darkest Touch, but Im reading it now and thats the important thing!

The book:

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win. 

My thoughts:

I never realised how funny Torin was before this book. It felt like his character came alive; he wasnt just the tormented one who couldnt touch anyone. I mean I basically fell in love with Torin because he was the tortured one unable to touch anyone, but in this book I learnt he was so much more. He has a wonderful sense of humour, he can be selfish, is often impulsive and nearly always protective of those he loves.

Princess, your temper tantrums make you as defective as an open-ended condom.

25 September 2015

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Hey everyone,

Today I’m reviewing an audiobook, it feels like ages since I’ve listened to a book, so my holiday in Spain felt like the perfect time to start The Duff. Now Ill be honest I mainly brought this book because I wanted to watch the movie, that and I had a bunch of credits left on Audible.

The book:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff—the designated ugly fat friend—of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. 

My thoughts:

I found The Duff an interesting if at times irritating read. The reason for this conflict was mainly down to the main character, Bianca Piper. In many ways I loved her independence, her loyalty to her friends and family and her honesty. She wasnafraid to be different than those around her, to form her own opinion rather than trusting the word of others.

“I shook my head. "Don’t bother making excuses," I said. "Don’t waste your time because, the fact is, I am the Duff. But so is everyone else in the world. We’re all fucking Duffs.

22 September 2015

The World As He Sees It by A. M. Arthur

Hey everyone,

I said the reviews would be coming in thick and fast didn’t I? Well here we go with another contemporary M/M romance, in fact I’ll let you in on a little secret, I read The World As He Sees It by A. M. Arthur and Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger on the same day. I blame it on the plane journey! My friends and family would blame it on my addiction to books and reading.

The book:

Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.

Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications. 

Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he’s compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him.

Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders. 

A month after Tristan’s embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them. 

Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory—if the side effects don’t kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk…

My thoughts:

Small disclaimer to start, I was sent The World As He Sees It by Samhain publishing in return for an honest review. If your like me when you read those disclaimers you always assume the reviewer has been just let little bit more generous in their comments and rating. Maybe I’m a massive cynic or maybe its human nature. Yet I can honestly say, hand on heart that The World As He Sees It is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Then again it contains so many of my favourite tropes so the odds were in its favour.

“What sort of desperation had sent Tristan into the bar alone, knowing sooner or later hed forget where he was and why?

And why the hell cant I stop thinking about him?