Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis. Here's the synopsis:

Everyone has a theory about what’s wrong with Nolan. He has hallucinations. He has seizures. He has an overactive imagination. Or is what Nolan sees whenever he closes his eyes impossibly, fantastically real?

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every single time he blinks, he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl in another world. As a mute servant who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess, Amara lives a life of magic and danger and pain; she’s completely unaware that Nolan can see through her eyes.

Until he becomes more than an observer. Until he learns to control her—and the two of them communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then furious. She’s already spent a lifetime as property and punching bag. The last thing she needs is another force controlling her.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive . . . and discover the truth about their connection.

I absolutely LOVE the sound of this book and I have a good feeling that I'm going to love it.  I'm very excited about the release and if I could pre order it for kindle, believe me I would have already.  Cannot wait. 

Otherbound is published on 17th June, 2014 with no news at present of a UK release.  To find out more about Corinne Duyvis and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Recklessly Royal Review

Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly—men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . .

When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?

You need to know right off the bat that Recklessly Royal is the second book in this series so if you haven’t read Suddenly Royal, you may encounter some spoilers.  If you’re interested, my review for Suddenly Royal is here.

I adored the first book and couldn’t wait to read the sequel but as it turns out, Recklessly Royal is not a direct sequel, but more of a companion novel featuring Princess Catherine or Cathy, who is Alex’s younger sister.  Do not fear though, what I liked immediately about this book was that although it was Cathy’s story, we still got to find out what happened to Samantha and Alex.

The story is told from Cathy’s point of view.  She’s a good girl and has done exactly what has been expected of her since birth.  She knows how to be a princess but she doesn’t know how to relax as someone is always watching.  When it comes to men? That’s pretty much a no go area as she is afraid that guys will just use her to land a princess.  In a lot of ways, I felt sorry for Cathy because although she leads a very privileged life, it certainly has its downfalls.  Samantha and Alex are getting married and one of Sam’s friends, David, has been invited to the wedding.  There’s an instant mutual attraction (and one funny scene were Cathy gets unexpectedly drunk) and suddenly, Cathy feels like being more than a little reckless where David is concerned.

Recklessly Royal is a cute read and I enjoyed seeing things from Cathy’s point of view not just as a person, but as a princess.  Her relationship with David was more cute than hot but I liked it just the same.   The only thing that irked me was a decision they both made toward the end of the book which blatantly went against everything she was ever taught to believe and everything David was telling her.  It was something so stupid and I really thought Cathy was smarter than that.  I’m still not sure it was a massive oversight from the author or whether maybe it’s a set up for a future storyline but either way, it was a small omission that would have made all the difference.  I will say though that I read an advanced copy so perhaps this has been changed in the final copy, I have no idea.

If I’m honest, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book and I’ve been trying to figure out why ever since I finished reading it. Maybe it’s because the dashing prince isn’t there anymore because it’s the princess who’s narrating.  Regardless, I still liked the book and I will read the next book which will no doubt feature Alex and Cathy’s brother, Prince Max. 

Overall, Recklessly Royal is a cute story and I’m glad I got the chance to read it.

Recklessly Royal is published on 25th March, 2014.  To find out more about Nichole Chase and her books, please click here to visit her website.

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Review

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I have a confession to make.  This is my first John Green novel.  I’ve heard so many good things about this book but knowing it was a book about a girl with cancer, I’d put off reading it since it was published.  There was never a right time to read the book – I’m feeling sad at the moment, I’m on my period, it’s not a good time etc.  And then I ignored all that and read it anyway, mostly because the movie is about to be released and I really wanted to read the book first.  I hadn’t intended to read it all in one sitting but that’s exactly what I did one Saturday morning. 

Hazel has cancer but she’s on some kind of wonder drug that has shrunk her tumours.  She’s still terminal but this has bought her some time.  Her lungs don’t work properly and she’s forced to carry around oxygen wherever she goes as a constant reminder of her illness but Hazel isn’t all “woe is me” though.  She’s a teenager who is quite rightly a bit pissed off at having cancer and lungs that don’t work properly.  She’s sarcastic, but smart with it and thoughtful.  She’s just trying to live her life the best way she can.  Her mother however thinks that Hazel is getting depressed and so she sends her to a support group which is where Hazel meets Augustus (Gus).  He’s a cancer survivor but lost a leg in the process.  Together, they share the same sense of humour and a way of looking at the world but Hazel keeps Gus at a distance because she knows there’s no future for them.  But love won’t be denied. 

I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything new to what’s already been said about this book but it was definitely a great read and surprising since I wasn’t sure I would like it.  There were quite a few laugh out loud moments in the book, especially through something Gus would say and I fell in love with the characters “slowly, and then all at once.”  John Green is obviously a very intelligent writer with an extensive vocabulary that quite frankly intimidated me at times.  This was mostly through one character in particular who was meant to be a pompous ass but even the teenagers used big words at times and I wasn’t entirely convinced of the authenticity of that.  I didn’t know what some of the words meant now, let alone when I was seventeen and I consider myself to be well educated! Anyhow, what I liked the most about this book was how the characters dealt with having cancer.  It didn’t become them, it was just something annoying that they carried around with them.  I have to applaud John Green on his portrayal of cancer sufferers because he didn’t dress it up or only show you the nice parts.  He showed you the reality, warts and all.

The Fault in Our Stars has got to be one of the best books I’ve read about teenagers with cancer and one that will stay with me for a very long time.  Do yourself a favour and go read it before the movie comes out.

The Fault in Our Stars was published on 10th January, 2012. To find out more about John Green and his books, please click here to visit his website.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Winterspell by Claire Legrand. Here's the synopsis:

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

A book inspired by The Nutcracker? This I have to read!!!  I think Winterspell sounds like a fantastic fairytale-esque kind of book and one that you can truly get lost in over the Winter months.  Sounds like a me kind of book and I'm hoping it is.  

Winterspell is published on 30th September, 2014 and a novella entitled Summerfall is published on 26th August, 2014.  To find out more about Claire Legrand and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Given Review


For Merrick and Rachael, Turtle Tear Island has become their own private paradise with days of unimaginable bliss and sizzling nights in the bedroom-and beyond. But Rachael and Merrick's happiness is shattered when his daughter, Nadia, suddenly becomes increasingly demanding of his time and devotion. It soon becomes clear that Merrick will have to make an agonizing choice: the woman whose love saved his tortured soul or the daughter he never knew existed . . .

Rachael can't stand the thought of losing Merrick after everything she's sacrificed to be with him. She had thought she and Merrick were done with secrets, that the passion that burned so brightly between them had forged an unbreakable connection, but she begins to wonder if she ever really knew the man at all. Now the love they've fought so desperately to protect may not be enough to save them . . .

Given is the third and final (ish) book in this series which I absolutely adore. If you’ve not heard of these books before, bear in mind that these are adult novels with adult themes and must be read in order otherwise you will encounter spoilers and you won’t know what the hell is going on.  You can find my review for Taken here, No Take Backs here, Taken by Storm here and Take Me Back here.

If you’d have told me that by the end of this series I’d be metaphorically high-fiving Joan of all people, I’d call you a liar but that’s exactly what I was doing by the end.   I loved the fact that Kelli totally made me change my mind about her (okay, not completely as this is JOAN after all) but quite frankly, Nadia (Merrick’s daughter) makes Joan look like a saint.

Basically, Given centres around Merrick going after his daughter Nadia on some kind of misguided rescue mission.  Nadia is currently with her mother (who Merrick thought had been dead for twenty years) and his father, Enzo. Believing that Nadia can’t get away from them, Merrick follows them to Paris and brings Rachael along for the ride – especially after she insisted that he NOT shut her out, even if he wants to protect her.  What follows is a trip to Paris, some communication problems between Merrick and Rachael (no surprise there then) and basically Nadia is the biggest obstacle between them and continues to be for most of the book.  I’m not going to say anything more but I really enjoyed the story and the outcome.

Interestingly, you may recall that Rachael has always been the narrator in these books, writing in a second person POV.  However, in Given, we’re finally privy to the mind of Merrick Rocha as he and Rachael take turns narrating via alternating chapters.

Given is a must read for fans of the series, especially as Kelli drops the bombshell to end all bombshells in this book, something that was  hinted at in the last novella in a kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of way.  I will admit that it came to me within the first part of the book but I was still a little unsure until it was confirmed.  It’s the curse of the writer brain, I’m afraid.  That being said, my Goodness did I enjoy this book.  I love going back to the island and that’s one of the reasons that I think this series makes a PERFECT Summer read. 

For all the fans who are sad that this series is ending, I believe there is one more novella entitled Take This Man coming on 1st April, 2014 which should wrap things up quite nicely but don’t read the synopsis until you’ve finished reading Given. You have been warned!

I’ve enjoyed every minute of reading this series and want to thank Kelli Maine for writing it.  You want a sexy, Summer read? You’ve just found it but start with Taken and see if you can stop reading.  I’ll bet you can’t.

Given was published on 4th March, 2014.  To find out more about Kelli Maine and her books, click here to access her Goodreads page.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Take Me Back Review

Rachael DeSalvo is haunted by the past. She's come home to her beloved Turtle Tear Island, where she looks forward to happy days and bliss-filled nights in the arms of Merrick Rocha. But when she finds a trunk full of old photo albums and handwritten notes, Rachael soon realizes that the island has not given up all its secrets . . .

For long before Rachael and Merrick made Turtle Tear Resort their home, this historic island was a haven for sensual, forbidden affairs. As Rachael and Merrick work to restore the grand hotel to its former glory, they will be caught in the perfect maelstrom of desire - and deadly passions.

I’m a huge fan of Kelli Maine, and this series which I absolutely adore.  If you’ve not heard of these books before, bear in mind that these are adult novels with adult themes and must be read in order otherwise you will encounter spoilers and you won’t know what the hell is going on.  You can find my review for Taken here, No Take Backs here, and Taken by Storm here.

Take Me Back is a 25,000 novella and probably my favourite novella of the series yet.  I read it in about forty five minutes and it was like slipping on an old pair of comfy shoes.  I was immediately transported back to the island (Turtle Tear) and the characters feel more like family at this point!  I loved this novella because it continued the history of Turtle Tear and Rachel’s passion with finding out all about Archibald and Ingrid Weston.  I loved everything about what happened (which I cannot tell you about), and I can’t wait to read the next book.  Oh, wait.  I don’t have to. *Picks up Given and starts reading*.

Take Me Back was published on 4th July, 2014.  To find out more about Kelli Maine and her books, please see Goodreads.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick. Here's the synopsis:
Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

It's not an original plot, yes folks this has been done before and I can think of several movies along these lines BUT this book has my name written all over it and I can't wait to read it. 

Black Ice is published on 7th October, 2014.  To find out more about Becca Fitzpatrick and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Best Kind of Broken Blog Tour (Review, Interview & Contest)

I am truly honoured to be part of the Best Kind of Broken blog tour, especially as I beta read this book back when it was just a sparkle in Chelsea's eye.  Below you will find my review, an interview with the lady herself as well as a contest to win signed books and more!

Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

It’s no secret that Chelsea Fine is one of my favourite authors, I love her writing and I love her guts!  If she wrote the phone book, I’d read it.  So what is it that I love so much about her books? Well, not only are they *my* kind of stories, but I feel like I’m reading about characters that I want as my best friends.  Also, Chelsea has an extraordinary gift of pulling you right into a story from the get go – no warm up needed; no reading a few chapters to get into it and it’s ALWAYS highly entertaining.  I knew from the very first line that I was going to love this book.

Best Kind of Broken is Chelsea’s first foray in the New Adult world and it definitely won’t be the last.  Pixie and Levi have known each other since they were kids.  He was her hero, she was his to protect.  As they grew older, they started to see each other in a more romantic light but something big came between them and they haven’t seen or spoken to each other in a year before they are thrust back together in comedic circumstances.  Pixie and Levi are the epitome of sexual tension which is falling off the pair of them in huge, great tsunamis and to stop things from getting weird and awkward, all they do is fight.  Fight with each other and fight with themselves to stop the overwhelming attraction they have for one another. But the question is, can they overcome the incident that rocked both of their worlds to the core and changed things forever?

Obviously you know I’m going to say that I loved the book, because I did.  It was brilliantly executed, well written and to be honest, the words flow so naturally that Chelsea makes it look easy.  Damn her.  I loved the relationship between Pixie and Levi, and I understood what made them act the way they did.  I GOT the characters, I GOT the story and I couldn’t have asked for more.

The only criticism I have is regarding the title.  I don’t know about you but I’m super tired of reading books (especially NA books) about broken characters and if it hadn’t been for the fact that Chelsea wrote this, I may not have picked it up.  I’m pleased to tell you that this book is different from all the other broken character stories – for one, it has a very decent amount of humour in it, bucket loads of sexual tension, and an original story, and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on an awesome story because of any preconceived ideas I may have had after reading the title.

Best Kind of Broken proves to me that Chelsea Fine can write in any category she chooses, be it Young Adult, New Adult or Middle Grade and no matter what she comes up with it, I’ll be first in line to read it.

Best Kind of Broken was published on 4th March, 2014.  To find out more about Chelsea Fine and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

I recently grilled Chelsea and asked her all of the questions that I wanted answers to so without further a do, here's what she had to say...

1.    You’re known for your YA books primarily and we know that you’ve got an MG book coming out soon.  What was it like writing for the New Adult market?  (We all just want to know how embarrassed you were when you wrote the sexy times).

Haha. You know, it wasn’t as awkward as I’d anticipated. I think we all like reading a little sizzle in our books and writing sizzle is just as much fun. You don’t really have to hold back or think about a “better way to phrase” something so I enjoyed it.

2.    What do you think about the New Adult market, do you read any and who are your favourite authors/books?

I’m a big fan of the new adult market. I like the NA genre because it’s about those lost years in between high school and real adulthood so I have an easy time relating to the characters. I read a lot of different books and authors. But two of my favorites are Abbi Glines and J.Lynn (or Jennifer L. Armentrout) because their voices seem very realistic to me.

3.    I loved the Archers of Avalon series with a passion (and still do) and what we’re all DYING to know is – will there ever be a Chronicles of Heather spin off?

YES! That is my plan, anyway. I really loved writing Heather and letting her personality take over scenes, so I’m hoping to write a book where Heather is one of the main characters. I’ve actually already outlined a spin-off series…so we’ll see. ;)

4.    You said that one day you’d write a sequel to Sophie and Carter.  Can you give us any update on this?

This will happen. I know it’s ridiculous because I’ve been saying “the sequel is coming!” for years, but it really is. Honestly, I just haven’t had time to go back in and finish the sequel. But I’ve penciled it into my writing schedule for this fall, so that’s where I’m at right now.  

5.    What are you working on next?

I’m finishing up the remaining two books in my Finding Fate new adult series. Then after that, I’ll be working on my MG again. And hopefully the Sophie & Carter sequel will be after that. 

6.    Tell us about the sequels to Best Kind of Broken? Are they more companion novels? 

They are stand-alone novels based on characters from Best Kind of Broken. Book two, Perfect Kind of Trouble, is based on Daren and a girl named Kayla who have to handcuff themselves together and go on a scavenger hunt to find some inheritance money. And book three, Right Kind of Wrong, is about Jack and Jenna heading on a cross-country road trip to New Orleans. I’m really excited about all of them!  

7.    Did you do anything special to celebrate the release of Best Kind of Broken?

I went out to dinner with my family and spent the rest of the night playing games. It was really fun!

8.    Who was your favourite character to write in BKOB and why?  I loved Pixie because she rambles and she’s kind of a mess and I can totally relate to both!!

Haha. I loved rambling Pixie so she was pretty fun to write. But I think my favorite was Ellen. I like how she’s like the “cool aunt” but has important things to say. Ooh! And I loved Mable when she hit Levi with the spatula.

9.    Will you write more NA books in the future?

Maybe! I have a few ideas for some so we’ll see where my passion drives me. But I think I’ll always be drawn to it as a genre.
10.    How long did it take you to write BKOB?  What inspired you to write it?

I first wrote Best Kind of Broken as a novella. It was 30,000 words and it took me three days. But my agent encouraged me to make it a full-length novel (which made it so much better) so I spent another five or so months revising it to be the story it is now. :)

11.    What’s the one question that you wish someone would ask you so you could answer (and please answer it)

Haha. Oh I love this! I always like it when people ask, “What’s one thing about you that would surprise us?” because I like to hear the responses when I confess that I can’t type without looking at my keyboard. Haha. I seriously can’t. I never learned how to type, professionally, so I have to stare at the keys while I’m typing. It makes the first drafts of all my books very messy, haha.  

 Thank you so much to Chelsea for appearing on my blog today and for putting herself in the firing line by agreeing to an interview!  I highly recommend all of Chelsea's books and I hope that you'll take a look or just browse my reviews page for them.

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Losing Logan Review

What if the one thing you never meant to hold on to, is the one thing you can’t let go of?

Normally finding a hot guy in her bedroom wouldn’t irritate Zoe so badly, but finding her childhood friend Logan there is a big problem. Mostly because he’s dead.

As the only person he can make contact with, he talks Zoe into helping him put together the pieces surrounding his mysterious death so he can move on.

Thrust into his world of ultra popular rich kids, Zoe is out of her element and caught in the cross-hairs of Logan’s suspicious ex-girlfriend and the friends he left behind, each of whom had a reason to want him dead. The deeper they dig to find the truth, the closer Zoe gets to a killer who would do anything to protect his secrets. And that’s just the start of her problems because Zoe is falling for a dead guy.

If you believe the publishing world, paranormal fiction – be it Adult, YA or MG is dead.  If you listen to the reader, you’ll know that it isn’t anywhere near dead and WILL NEVER BE dead.  But Logan Cooper sure is.  Welcome to the world of Losing Logan by Sherry D. Ficklin, whose debut novel Extracted (a steampunk, time travel affair) was published in December of last year. This is Sherry’s first foray into the YA contemporary world and what an entrance she’s made with this book.  Losing Logan is a FUN book and thoroughly entertaining.  Yes, there’s murder, a killer on the loose and some unfortunate, untimely deaths but there’s also a lot of laugh out loud material in the form of witty banter between main characters Zoe and Logan.  You see the thing is, they rub each other up the wrong way and have done since they stopped being friends back in junior high.  But as luck would have it, now Logan is dead, Zoe is the only person who can see and talk to Logan so she’s kind of stuck with him.  At least until they figure the whole mess out of how he died in the first place as he can’t remember and something is a  The deeper they delve, the more dangerous things become and Zoe is at risk of not only losing her life, but her heart too.

Zoe is the sassy and sarcastic narrator in the book.  She’s smart for sure but not smart enough to keep her big mouth shut which means that besides her cat, her gay best friend Carlos is her only friend.  She’s not mean, she’s just honest and really, not everyone can handle the truth.  Especially high school students. 

Logan is (or was) Mr Popular who has a lust for life. Well, until he died.  We learn about him through Zoe’s eyes and he’s more than a match for her.  His best friend Kyle Bruno has always had a crush on Zoe but has never quite worked up the nerve to ask her out, until Logan suggests that it would be a way for Zoe to penetrate the popular crowd and find out what really happened to him.  But, as it happens, Kyle is a pretty decent guy and I had a little soft spot for him throughout the novel.

Losing Logan is a highly entertaining read with plenty of laugh out loud moments and witty dialogue mixed in with a bit of mystery, romance and thrills.  I couldn’t turn the page fast enough to find out what happened next and I enjoyed every minute of it.  This is a standalone novel that will quench that paranormal thirst you’ve had for a while so go on, take a sip.

Losing Logan is published on 6th May, 2014.  To find out more about Sherry D. Ficklin and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. Here's the synopsis:

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

You must know that I can't resist a good time travel novel, especially when there is even a hint of romance. This book looks to me like it's got my name written all over it (figuratively speaking of course) and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

The Here and Now is published on 8th April, 2014 with no news of a UK release at present.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sing Sweet Nightingale Review

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

I love it when my book radar hones in something that I just know I’m going to love.

And I love it when I’m right.

To say I was excited to read Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron is a bit of an understatement as it sounded like the perfect book for me and believe me when I tell you, it totally was.  I mean a book about a girl who meets the man of her dreams (literally) every night in their own private paradise? COUNT ME IN.  But Paradise isn’t as heavenly as it seems and Mariella is in danger of losing more than her heart.  Thank God for Hudson who’s also had his own dreams of a girl in terrible trouble.  Trusting his instincts, he tracks her down but convincing her that Paradise doesn’t exist isn’t going to be easy especially when the lie is so appealing.

I want to get something out of the way first.  I’ve seen some reviews classify this book as a mix of genres, including horror.  For those of you that are too much of a wuss to read scary books (and I include myself in that category) please rest assured that I did not think this book fell into the horror category AT ALL.  I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise and it didn’t scare me so I’m sure it won’t scare you, okay? So you can relax on that front.

I don’t want to talk too much about the plot but it’s just fantastic and my favourite part was something I can’t even talk about for fear of spoiling it for you but let’s just say – GIRL POWER and leave it at that ;)

Sing Sweet Nightingale is one of the most original books I’ve read in some time and I just absolutely loved it so, so hard.  One of the tests I have when I read and review a book is to ask myself - would I buy it?  And the answer is HELL, YES.  I’ve already pre ordered my copy and I urge you to do the same.   This is a page turner and a half, there’s no cliff hanger and while this book is satisfying enough to read as a standalone, the potential for more is definitely there and I’m told there will indeed be a sequel.  It can’t come fast enough for me.

Sing Sweet Nightingale is published on 4th March, 2014.  To find out more about Erica Cameron and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Received from Spencer Hill Press (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Locked Review

Who is Sebastian Lock?

The bar Sophia Pearce is in doesn’t look like much. The wine is bad and the decor worse. But when a sudden attack of curiosity leads her to sneak past security and into the back room, she discovers something unimaginable. The most lavish party she’s ever laid eyes on, in the most unlikely of places.

But that’s nothing compared to what comes next, to the man she meets back there. Sebastian Lock. Gorgeous, commanding, and radiating charm, he is exactly the sort of silver-tongued rake Sophia has sworn to avoid. Unfortunately, he doesn’t care much for her promises.

Every instinct tells her to run, but the chemistry between them is as inescapable as gravity. Soon, he’s opening her eyes to a whole new world of pleasures, pleasures she never thought she’d enjoy.

There’s just one problem. Sebastian is more than he seems. Between the famous company he keeps and the almost paranoid secrecy of his employers, he’s a puzzle Sophia can’t quite solve, and his insistence on keeping things casual forces her to confront the demons of her past.

Can she learn to trust again? Or will Sebastian’s privacy tear them apart?

I’d been meaning to read LOCKED by Maya Cross for ages and when I finally did, I forgot all about the fact that it’s a 35,000 word novella and so it only took me an hour to read.   I don’t mind short stories but to be honest, I felt short changed as a reader, especially when I realised there were more books in the series.  Why write a third of a story when you could spend time writing an entire book and publishing it all in one go?  There’s a cynical answer to this but I’m not going to go there.

The thing is, I did actually enjoy the book.  I thought it was really well written and very well edited (I did not spot one mistake at all) but ultimately I was disappointed for two reasons, one of those I’ve already explained. The second reason was a major problem I had with Sophia’s actions towards the latter half of the book.  Sophia had only met Sebastian a handful of times, usually when he turned up unexpectedly at her workplace or a social gathering she had attended and when their relationship became intimate, for me it was too much, too soon.  Sophia was blindfolded, gagged and bound by her wrists and her ankles, and it was only the second time she had been intimate with this guy.  Now, either that’s a terrifying hostage situation that nobody wants to be in, or it’s a consensual act between adults who TRUST each other, and these two just didn’t have the time to build up that kind of trust.  Sophia might be hot for Sebastian but she barely knows him and quite frankly, anything could have happened to her.  It made me think that she wasn’t just blinded by lust, but that she was stupid and that’s a real shame. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to the likes of Sebastian Lock, he was charming, polite, courteous, sexy and also downright kinky!  I know attraction can take over and make you do outrageous things but I just wasn’t feeling it in this book and I think that’s because of how short the book was.  It pains me to say this but had it happened later on, it would have worked.

Having said all that, I’m still going to give the sequel LOCKOUT a go because I’m curious and I believe in giving authors a second shot.  Keep your fingers crossed.

LOCKED was published on 25th March, 2013.  To find out more about Maya Cross and her books, please click here to visit her website.