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”