31 March 2015

Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Hey everyone,

I thought it'd been a while since I’d read a New Adult romance and decided that needed rectifying as soon as physically possible, therefore I dived straight in Clipped Wings by Helena Hunt this weekend.

The book:

An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever.

When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?

My thoughts:

It was okay. I didnt loved Clipped Wings but I certainly didnt hate it. I think my major problem with it was I didnt understand why the characters acted the way they did. Particularly Tenley, I understand she lost everyone important to her and that would be beyond horrible but some of her actions just didnt make sense. Unless the author was just using her actions to move the plot along.

28 March 2015

Top 5 M/M Romance books

Hey everyone,

In my recent March Wrap Up it became clear that I read a lot of M/M. Seriously, it made up around 50% of the books I read this month! Therefore I thought it was about time I did a post about one of my favourite Romance sub-genres. After all I’ve been reading and loving M/M for about five years now and over that time I’ve sample the great, the good, the bad and the down-right kinky this sub-genre has to offer.

I found it extremely difficult narrowing down this list to just five books, and clearly this is all personal preference, but below are my Top 5 M/M Romance book recommendations. Whether your new to the genre, and old veteran or an up-and-coming connoisseur I hope this list has a little something for everyone.

Stuff by Josephine Myles

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.

If you love quirky characters, charming Britishisms and general mayhem then Stuff is the M/M for you! An opposites attract story, with a slight GFY Stuff is full of Josephine Myles usual combination of heartfelt emotion, witty dialogue and sweet yet sexy romance. Perry and Tobias personalities although so different work so well together; Tobias brings Perry out of his self-imbosed hermit lifestyle and Perry provides Tobias with stability and self-believe.

25 March 2015

Signs by Anna Martin

Hey everyone,

If you read my March TBR post you'll know I was super excited by this book. I was so intrigued by the characters, the premise and the use of social media in the novel. Also I’ve read Anna Martin before and she has yet to disappoint!

The book:

After spending most of his life in special schools, Caleb Stone now faces public high school in his senior year, a prospect that both excites him and threatens to overwhelm his social anxiety. As a deaf teenager, he’s closed himself off to the world. He speaks a shorthand with his parents and even finds it hard to use American Sign Language with people in his local deaf community. But Caleb finds comfort in his love of photography. Everything he can’t express in real life, he posts on his Tumblr. 

Struggling to reconcile his resentment for his father's cruelty with the grief of losing a parent, Luc Le Bautillier scrolls through Tumblr searching for someone who might understand his goth look and effeminate nature. When Luc reblogs a photo by Caleb, sparking a conversation, they both find it easier to make friends online than in person. 

Luc and Caleb confront their fears about the opinions of the outside world to meet in New York City. Despite Caleb’s increasing confidence, his parents worry he’s not ready for the trials ahead. But communication comes in many forms—when you learn the signs.

My thoughts:

Signs is one of those brilliant quiet books. Nothing dramatic happens. It isnt full of angst and intense emotions. But its real, and incredible and full of heart. The novel is driven by the love between Caleb and Luc, two teenagers who have both suffered and are just looking for someone to understand and accept them. 

22 March 2015

Axel’s Pup by Kim Dare

Hey everyone,

Lots has happened since we last spoke, firstly I’ve started a Youtube channel... I know I could be insane but after months of searching for a Youtube channel dedicated to romance books and not finding one I decided to start my own. Don’t worry though I will still be blogging just a regularly. The Youtube channel is merely an extension of this blog.

The other exciting thing that has happened is I got my hands on Kim Dare’s latest book Axel’s Pup and became completely obsessed with it. To the point I cancelled seeing a friend yesterday just so I could finish it... Clearly my priority are completely messed up.

The book:

As the landlord of The Dragon’s Lair and leader of The Black Dragons Motorcycle Club, Axel Carmichael has seen it all and done it all. He’s a respected and experienced dom. Nothing shocks him any more, and nobody catches him off guard.

When Bayden rides up to The Dragon’s Lair on a bike worth more than most men earn in a year, and immediately demonstrates that he has far more attitude than sense, it’s easy for Axel to write him off as a silly little rich boy who’s about to get himself killed.

But, there’s more to Bayden than meets the eye. He’s no silly little boy, rich or otherwise, and werewolves aren’t easy to kill.

My thoughts:

Set in an alternative world where wolves and humans have known about each other for centuries Axels Pup is a romance about the joining of two different cultures.

19 March 2015

Romance Reading Stereotypes

Hey everyone,

The romance genre and the people who read it are a misunderstood bunch. Were maligned by the press, public and publishing houses alike, despite being an industry worth $1.4 billion. Therefore I thought Id share some of the questions Ive received over my favourite genre.

People: Aren’t romance books just all about sex?

Me: No, unless you’re reading erotica.

People: Romance, like Fifty Shades of Grey?

Me: Did I say I was reading badly written, mis-informed BDSM erotic romance?

People: Isn’t that just all Mills and Boon, you know the charity shop books?

16 March 2015

Nightfall by Ellen Connor

Hey everyone,

Today I’m going to review Nightfall by Ellen Connor, an apocalyptic romance book that I’ve had on my to-be-read pile for far too long. I love dystopian romance books so I went in with high expectations, particularly as this one seemed to have an unusual twist on the sub-genre.

The book:

Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought in her wildest nightmares that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her--one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.

The mysterious ex-soldier named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna's father. Skilled and steadfast, he's ready for the prophesied Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and mutant dogs attack--vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.

When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion--a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.

My thoughts:

My feelings are divided over Nightfall because some aspects I loved and thought were amazing, but unfortunately other parts I couldn’t stand.

13 March 2015

Love Byte by David Atkinson

Hey everyone,

This week I’ve been reading Love Byte by David Atkinson, a  book described as a contemporary romance that follows recently widowed Andy Hunter, who has been receiving emails from his dead wife. What would you do if your dead wife emailed, offering to find you a new girlfriend?

The book:

Andy Hunter is a single father trying to balance the demands of a 2-year-old daughter, an interfering but well-meaning mother-in-law and a job he is always in danger of losing. So, when he receives a series of delayed emails from his late wife Lindsay telling him to date, it seems like a good idea.

With Lindsays emails spurring him on, Andy weaves a path of disharmony and chaos amongst his close friends and family, but soon discovers he is not cut out for modern dating.

Filled with laugh-out-loud situations and moments of soul-searching, this heart-warming, moving romantic comedy set in Edinburgh, is a bitter-sweet tale of second chances and self-discovery.

My thoughts:

This book started out with so much promise. Although I found the first 30 pages difficult to read as it dealt primarily with Lindsay’s losing battle with cancer I understood why the author had included it. I felt the connection between Andy and his wife Lindsay, this experience was an important part of Andy’s character development as it showed he was a man in grieving not just for his wife, but also for his daughter, for his family and for the life they would have had together.

10 March 2015

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

Hey everyone,

Am I the last person to read Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James? Possibly. Is that going to stop me from reviewing it? No way! As soon I finished reading this book I wanted to talk and obsess about it and due to a lack of IRL friends who read romance I have instead turned to the online community.

The book:

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose...

His fierce and lawless heart.

My thoughts:

I had high, and I mean HIGH, expectations for this book. Eloisa James is one of my favourite authors and her Desperate Duchesses series in my opinion is her best. Also I had heard a lot of people say that Three Weeks With Lady X was Eloisa James back at her finest (not that I ever noticed a drop).

7 March 2015

My Dear Bessie by Simon Garfield, Chris Barker and Bessie Moore

Hey everyone,

This last week I’ve taken a break from reading Romance and have instead become absorbed with My Dear Bessie, a non-fiction book edited by Simon Garfield. I was draw this this book because it contains some of the five-hundred plus letters exchanged by Chris Barker and Bessie Moore during the course of WWII.

The book:

In September 1943, a twenty-nine-year-old postal clerk from North London named Chris Barker found a spare hour to write to a work colleague named Bessie Moore. His letter was innocent enough, but Bessie's response was unexpectedly enthusiastic. By their third exchange, it was clear to both of them they had ignited a passion that would not easily be extinguished. Within a few months, the couple had agreed to marry.

But there were complications, such as not actually seeing each other. Barker was serving as a signalman in North Africa during the war, and their passionate romance through the mail would have to survive three years of unusual obstacles, including ruined cities, enemy capture, disdain from friends and the army censor. The couple exchanged more than 500 letters, and this book distils the most alluring, compelling and heartwarming. 

My thoughts:

I loved reading My Dear Bessie for the romance it contained, for the way it humanised the War experience and for the glimpse it offers the reader into the past. When Chris and Bessie first start corresponding they are merely friends and yet it was Bessie’s first crucial reply that would change both of their lives forever.

4 March 2015

My March TBR List

Hey everyone,

So if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I have recently become obsessed with Booktubers and in particular their Wrap-Up and TBR videos at the start and end of each month. Therefore I decided why not do a post in that vein, after all I find them fascinating (cause I’m a nosy nora) so hopefully others will to! Below is the list of all the books I hope to read in March:
  • My Dear Bessie by Chris Barker, Bessie Moore and Simon Garfield

This is a non-fiction book that chronicles the growing relationship between Chris and Bessie through the letters they exchanged during World War Two. They started as friends and became so much more.