Thursday 31 January 2013

Black City Review

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

I’d been dying to read Black City by debut novelist Elizabeth Richards for ages but I had to wait for release day as although she is a UK writer, it has not YET (note, I did say yet) been published in the UK.  Now that the movie rights have sold and a sequel is in the works, I fully expect to see this on British bookshop shelves in the near future though.

Now, admittedly it probably wasn’t the best idea to read this after reading Mystic City by Theo Lawrence as they had a similar theme running through them but it didn’t matter as thankfully, each book stood on their own merit.  The funny thing is, I had an urge to read a vampire story and so I initially passed on reading this book as I didn’t realise that it was about vampires (or Darklings as they are referred to in the book).

Black City is a post apocalyptic place with a crumbling infrastructure and a corrupt government.  There is a divide between humans and Darklings and you can kind of understand why but I think segregation has only made things worse and the Darklings now suffer in terrible poverty. As such, the city is on the brink of war and there’s a lot of political goings on.  As Ash is a twin darkling (half darkling, half human) he is allowed to live with his family on the human side of the fence although he never quite feels like he fits in.  Ash may be half human and whilst he does have a heart, it does not beat but meeting Natalie changes all that.  What follows is a forbidden relationship of the very best kind with the most life changing consequences possible.

Black City is full of action and tension, full of plot twists and revelations with one particularly GENIUS idea that I can’t talk about for fear of spoiling it for you.  I wasn’t entirely convinced by the romance at the end of the book because of a certain revelation (the GENIUS one) but I’m trying to keep an open mind about it.  Ash does try hard to convince Natalie that he loves her FOR HER and not for other reasons so I guess I have no choice but to believe him for now. 

I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t put it down and practically read it in one sitting. The characters are compelling and the world building draws you into the story and won’t let you back out until the end.  Speaking of which, I have to say that the ending made me cry (what a mean author) but it definitely sets up book two quite nicely and I for one, can’t wait to see what happens next.

Black City was published on 13th November, 2012.  To find out more about Elizabeth Richards and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

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 September Girls by Bennett Madison.  Here's the synopsis:

When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

I seem to be reading a lot of books lately where the main guy is called Sam (which is coincidental, of course) but this book has me intrigued as I'm immediately asking questions about the beach, why the girls are drawn to him etc etc.  The cover is cute too.  Yep, it's going on the wishlist.
September Girls is published on 21st May, 2013 in the US with no news yet of a UK release.

Monday 28 January 2013

The Prey UK Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be part of The Prey UK Blog Tour especially because of how much I enjoyed reading The Hunt (review here) and I can't wait to find out what happens next!  First things first though, here is a little bit more information about the book:

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.

Writing a sequel can be hard and so I am pleased to welcome Andrew Fukuda to the blog today to talk about his experience of writing the sequel to The Hunt...

Writing the bridge book of a trilogy is notoriously difficult. Every author knows that. I know that. But because I had a good mental outline for The Prey, and had a solid grasp of how to write the sequel, I believed I wouldn’t be afflicted by Sequel Syndrome.

Oh, blissfully-ignorant, naïve self.

Truth is, The Prey pawned me. All the classic author nemeses eventually reared their ugly heads: nagging self-doubt, writer’s block, anxiety, looming deadlines, pressures (self-inflicted and otherwise) etc., etc. Even as I made significant headway, even as I continued to believe in the vision I had for The Prey, these nettlesome worries continued to corrode away my confidence.  I think every author comes to this roadblock at some point with each new manuscript. At least that’s what I’ve read on countless author blogs. No matter the author’s prior successes, each new book brings with stunning indifference and regularity its own slough of despond. I suspect many actually revel in this kind of pressurized environment; it somehow catalyzes their creative processes. Other authors, I think, react in opposite fashion, caving in a little (or a lot); and their breakdown can be later detected in the white spaces of the novel like frantic, barely-audible whispers of panic.

For me, and for this book – because every book has its own unique difficulties and corresponding solutions – help came from unexpected quarters. The breakthrough occurred when reading a tweet by Marie Lu. In it, she quite cleverly and humorously imagined that when she wasn’t working on the Legend trilogy, she imagined her characters as movie stars lounging around the set and grousing about the director (or, in this case, the author). That tweet was hilarious and stayed with me. It had an unintended effect – it made me look at my own Hunt characters anew. It made me realize the level of affection I had for them. For Gene, for Sissy, for Ashley June, for the dome hepers.

And that’s what propelled me forward, got me past the slough of despond.  My characters. I really – at the risk of sounding hokey  – care for them. It’s not that they are mere extensions of my better self: artificially processed and perfected alter egos, and the act of writing them no more than a twisted form of narcissism. No; in fact, there are aspects of their personalities, and decisions they make, that positively make me cringe. They are flawed, scarred characters nursing galling insecurities. But they matter to me.

I made a resolution: I would not subject Gene, Sissy, and Ashley June to a stale filler sequel.  Instead, I would plunge them into a world where they would be able to breathe, where they would come further to life. Where they would be discoveries to themselves as much as to me (and by extension, the reader). I would do them right. This prospect thrilled me, and that’s not hyperbole. I veered from formulaic narrative structures and dared to venture onto paths that allowed them to come into their own. Whenever I came to a roadblock, I asked: what allows my characters to come to life? And that was the key. Together we came out of the slough and into a novel I’m delighted with.

The Prey is published on 29th January, 2013 in the US and 31st January, 2013 in the UK.  To find out more about Andrew and his books, please click here to visit his website.  Also, see below for the rest of the blogs taking part in the tour.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#38)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick (Unsolicited)
This is a story about forbidden love between a sixteen year old girl and her teacher.  The fact that the teacher is called Mr Anderson has me in fits of giggles, I suspect mostly because I watched The Matrix last night LOL.

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood (hardback)
This is a gorgeous hardback of a book I still need to read. 

Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Now, this really IS my kind of book and I did pre order this one back in August last year!  I love a good sci fi where you have to figure out the plot and so this is right up my alley.  Looking forward to reading it. 

 Parallel by Lauren Miller (Unsolicited)
It was quite a surprise to get this as I had no idea that it was being published in the UK. This is a YA version of Sliding Doors (of sorts) as it involves a parallel universe.  I'm curious about the book and had considered pre ordering a hardback.  I think because of the recent space issue on the shelves, I'm going to read the proof first and then decide.
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
I've been meaning to read this YA historical for a while now and I'm glad to see that it's being published in the UK. 

Dead to You by Lisa McMann (Unsolicited)
This is another book that I had no idea was being published in the UK.  The story is about Ethan, a boy who is abducted as a child and finds his way back to his real family at the age of sixteen.  Honestly speaking, I don't know if this is the kind of book I would pick up and read but I'm willing to keep an open mind about it.

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Oh my goodness, I did Squeal when I opened this package.  It's no secret that I adore this series and so I couldn't wait to get stuck right in.  I've actually just finished reading the book in the wee hours of this morning and it was fantastic.  I can't believe that Sentinel will be the last book in the series and whilst I'm desperate to find out what happens, it will be a bittersweet reading experience as it always is when it's the last book in the series.  Because of that, I'm almost happy to wait for it.  Almost.

 Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

I have a confession to make.  I've recently sorted out my bookshelves and I cannot remember for the life of me whether I had any books bought delivered last week as they've all been put away.  What I will say is that I am once again running out of space and finding it EXTREMELY difficult to cull the books.  I just can't seem to get rid of them :(


Hard to Love by Kendall Ryan (Bought)
This has a nursing student in it so of course I wanted to read about that as I've been there, done that.  Sounds like another good girl and bad boy plot but so what, I still want to read it. 

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary. E. Pearson (Bought)
I remember a book blogger once asking me if I'd read this series and that I ought to as it was really good.  I'm finally getting round to purchasing the first book.  I have no idea what to expect from it but I'm definitely curious.

Rule by Jay Crownover (Bought)
I've heard some good things about this book and the author has just released a newly updated version (presumably, it has been edited better).  I'm not sure whether it's mature YA or New Adult but I definitely want to find out. 

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) by Lola Salt (Bought)
How could I not buy this when I know that Sarah Alderson is behind it?!  Sounds like a fun read :)

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Bought)
I'll admit, I've never read a Malorie Blackman book but this seemed like a good place to start. 

On Thin Ice by P.J. Sharon (Free) 
This is a YA novel about an ice skater and an older guy.  It's perhaps not a story I would normally go for but it was free and so I thought I may as well give it a go. 

Bedding the Billionaire by Kendra Little (Free)
I'll admit that the only reason I got this was because it was free but what a little gem this book turned out to be.  I really enjoyed the story and all the misunderstandings and downright lies that fueled it.  I could not put this one down and whilst there were a couple of niggles about it, on the whole I enjoyed this :)

I've read some great books this week and have definitely got my reading mojo back even though I was going to try and take some time off from blogging - it may still happen but in the meantime I've got my blogoversary coming up in just a few days and so some sort of contest is in order ;)
I hope you all had a great week for books and please leave your links below.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Opal Review

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

I was so happy to see the kindle version of Opal release early and even though I’d pre ordered a paperback, I still bought it LOL.  I couldn’t wait to start reading as Opal is the third book in the Lux series and I’m a huge fan of Jennifer’s writing and the series itself of course.  I will admit that reading the book almost made me late for work, in fact ALL Jennifer’s books should come with some sort of warning!  It goes without saying that it you have not read Obsidian (review here) or Onyx (review here) then please do not go any further as you WILL encounter spoilers.

You may remember that in Onyx, Daemon rescued Katy from Will (her mum’s boyfriend) who used her as bait so he could get Daemon to heal him.  Will wants to be a hybrid and have powers in return for freeing Dawson.  Daemon did indeed heal Will but without the proper intent and both him and Katy are praying that the mutation won’t hold otherwise all their lives would be bound together.  So in conclusion, Will is missing, Dawson is present (at least physically), and the DOD are still watching - Daedalus (the government organisation overseeing human mutation) are by far the biggest threat.  They are the ones who have Beth and would probably like to get their hands on Katy and Daemon given half the chance.

Katy’s relationship with Dee is strained and that’s putting it mildly.  Dee is still upset about Adam and feels that if it wasn’t for Katy, he’d still be alive.  On the plus side, if it wasn’t for Katy then they probably wouldn’t have Dawson there’s that.  Now that Katy is a hybrid, she is a little worried about losing her humanity and in the midst of all the angst, her and Daemon are trying to retain a sense of normality by going on dates and talking about college applications.  I think I like the romantic version of Daemon.  Oh hell, that’s an outright lie, I like ALL VERSIONS of him ;)

There is so much plot in this book that I simply cannot talk about for fear of spoiling it but there are revelations and surprises galore.  The action is pretty much nonstop and the ending is pretty major but it had to be that way to continue the story.  Having said that, now I can totally see why Jennifer said her mum was mad with her after reading!!!  For the love of holy alien babies everywhere, I need the next book like NOW!

Opal was published on 11th December, 2012.  To find out more about Jennifer and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

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 Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. Here's the synopsis:

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Dirty Little Secret is a Jennifer Echols book which means it's an automatic pre order for me.  This lady NEVER disappoints and I'm serious when I say that I will read anything she writes.  I like the idea that this book is about the music industry and a hot musician is never a bad thing ;)  

Dirty Little Secret is published on 16th July, 2013.  

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Cover Reveal for Blurred


WOW, check out this beautiful cover for Blurred which is the sequel to one of my favourite books last year,  Inbetween by Tara Fuller (review here).  Here's the synopsis:

 Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

I adore this cover and this series, so much so that I have just hit the pre order button.  Blurred is published on 27th June, 2013.  To find out more about Tara and her books, please click here to visit her website.  She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.  

Fancy winning an ARC of Blurred?  Just enter here and good luck!  Also, if you win...please can I borrow it? LOL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday 21 January 2013

Touching the Surface Review

When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

     Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

     As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

“Being brave isn’t about not being scared.  
Being brave is what you do despite being scared”.

The first words out of my mouth after reading this book were “Beautiful. Simply beautiful”. It almost goes beyond words and you’ll see what I mean if you decide to read it.  Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini is an impressive debut novel that was a little different to what I expected as the book is set in the afterlife.  It tells the story of Elliot who’s a third timer – she’s lived and died three times now and obviously isn’t getting something right so she’s stuck at the Obmil (think spiritual rehab for the dead) trying to figure out who she was, how she died and her growth plan amongst other things.  Throw in some best friend issues, a guy called Oliver who she has an instant soul connection with and a guy called Trevor who hates her guts but doesn’t know why and you’ve got an interesting story on your hands.  The only way to figure it all out is to “delve” for their memories which is akin to slipping into a moment on earth and experiencing it all over again but will they figure it all out?  Can they learn from their mistakes?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was constantly driven on by the need for answers to those burning questions about the characters and how they were connected.  I can’t say too much about the plot for fear of spoiling it but some explanations will shock you and when it all comes together at the end; I was well and truly floored.  If you’re a spiritual person (note, I did NOT say religious), you’ll probably appreciate some of the content perhaps more than readers who aren’t but all in all, it’s a fantastic book that needs to be read and appreciated.

Basically, reading Touching the Surface is akin to slowly sipping and alcoholic drink and by the end, you’re drunk on life and realise you love everyone.  This was a fantastic standalone and very different to anything I’ve read so far.  If you’re after a different sort of YA read, THIS IS IT.

Touching the Surface was published on 30th October, 2012.  To find out more about Kimberly Sabatini and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#37)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson 
I'm not sure about the fact that this has the same title as another UK book by Leigh Bardugo but I'll let that slide for the minute.  This sounds interesting although from the description, I am wondering what's different about this novel from all the other paranormal books out there.  I guess there's only one way to find out...

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

Splintered by A.G. Howard
I really wanted to get a hardback of this beautiful looking book that I still haven't read yet but I'm looking forward to getting stuck in though! 

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
I've loved this series from the start, even when some of the characters frustrated me.  There were some pretty major reveals in the last book and I cannot wait to find out what happens in the final part of the trilogy. 


Safe with Me by Shaina Richmond (the entire series)
This is New Adult but it also billed as erotic romance so we'll see about that.  I've heard good things about it and when I saw that you could get the whole thing in one purchase, I clicked.  Bearing in mind, you can get the first part for free if you want to try it.  

Rock the Band by Michelle Valentine
I loved Rock The Heart and this is the sequel which was a must buy for me! 

Collide by Gail McHugh
A New Adult novel + a fresh start in New York + a playboy = yes please.

Midnight Sun by M.J. Fredrick (Free) 
This sounds awesome - a cruise ship, a chef, a sexy boss and pirates.  I love a good adventure :)

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
I've been hearing a lot about a book called "Beneath This Man" and it's a sequel, I looked up the first book which is this one.  I love stories where a girl/woman hates herself for feeling attracted to a playboy and fights her feelings the whole way through it, that kind of lusty tension is right up my street.

Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush
I've been meaning to get this for a while now, this is about a vampire hunter who is in college.  I can't help but think of Buffy but since I've never really watched Buffy, I don't have a problem with this.

Restoring Jordan by Elizabeth Finn
This is a New Adult/Adult novel about an intern and her boss.  I like the sound of it :)

Shallow by Georgia Cates
This is the sequel to Going Under which I haven't read yet but I knew I wanted this one. 

Blood of Anteros (The Vampire Agape series book #1) by Georgia Cates
Every now and then, I fancy reading a vampire novel and I have heard from others that this has a different take on the usual vampire stories so of course, I had to get it.

Blood Jewel (The Vampire Agape series book #2) by Georgia Cates
This is the sequel to the above.

Twisted by Amity Hope
This is a YA/New Adult novel about a damaged girl with a damaged upbringing. There is a love story in there somewhere and I think it's going to be emotional. 

This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath 
This is a New Adult contemporary.  

If I Can't Have You by Lauren Hammond
This is a book for mature YA readers featuring two brothers and one girl, what's a girl to do?! I love books with brothers :)

The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein
This is the follow up to Pretty Amy which sadly, I haven't read yet and I need to rectify that so I can read this one!

Wounded by Jasinder Wilder
This is an adult novel and a love story set in the middle of a war which has had nothing but five star reviews and at 49p, you can't argue with that.

Strength by Carrie Buttler (For Review)
I'm actually reading this one at the moment. It's a mature YA book and I'm not going to say too much until I've read the whole thing otherwise you'd just be capturing my thoughts for this moment right now. 

There's not been a lot of post this week what with the adverse weather conditions and I hope you're all staying safe.  If you don't have to work then this is the perfect time to cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book!!  Don't forget to leave your links below.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Wallbanger Review

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.

I am going to say outright that Wallbanger is one of my favourite adult contemporary stories of 2012 and I am so glad that I found out about it.  NEVER have I had a smile plastered on my face throughout an entire book before. It was fun AND funny with plenty of laugh out loud moments but it was also touching and uplifting at times too.  I loved every minute of it.

I probably don’t need to say much about the plot because I think the synopsis tells you everything you need to know. Simon is all kinds of hot although he is part of a *coughs* different sort of arrangement with three women at the start of the book. Obviously we come to learn more about him as the chemistry between him and Caroline ignites and he has second thoughts about his lifestyle choices.   

Speaking of which, Caroline was fantastic and the kind of girl we all need as a best friend.  She’s direct without being in your face, loyal to her girlfriends and she has a crazy cat called Clive who by the way provides some of the more hilarious moments in the book.  The book isn’t just about Simon and Caroline though as we’re introduced to his friends and Caroline’s girlfriends (cue a bit of match making) and all the while, Caroline and Simon are trying their hardest to convince everyone that they’re just good friends and neighbours.  Yeaaaaaah right.  

Wallbanger is pure fun and escapism, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and I’m actually a little sad now that I’ve finished it as it definitely put me in a happy place for a while.  I’m guessing this is a standalone but I have since bought all of Alice’s other books as she’s definitely made a fan out of me.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Wallbanger was published on 27th November, 2012.  To find out more about Alice Clayton and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

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 This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith.  Here's the synopsis:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?  

Can I make a confession? I don't actually care what this book is about, I just care that it's written by Jennifer E. Smith and I LOVED The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight so much that I already know I want to read this.  As it happens, I love the cover and the synopsis has piqued my interest, for sure.  I've heard that this is also going to be published in the UK (HOORAH!) and I can't wait to read it :)

This Is What Happy Looks Like is published on 2nd April, 2013 in the US and I'm hoping the UK date is the same.  

Monday 14 January 2013

Altered Review

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Like most people, I got a little caught up in the many “things to do” over Christmas and New Year and this put a firm hold on my reading activities.  So much so, that I’d gotten out of the habit and was having a hard time getting back into it (which is VERY unlike me, I hasten to add).  A reading/blogging life crisis if you will.  I was desperate and so I decided to pick up a new release in the form of Altered by debut novelist Jennifer Rush.  I mean four hot boys and a smoking hot cover? What’s not to like, right?  What I found was an amazing grab-you-by-the-balls-and-never-let-you-go story with interesting and complex characters, perfect pacing and a book that more than held my interest from start to finish.   THANK GOD.  I could have kissed Jennifer for that as I thought I’d lost my reading mojo there for a second!

Also, can I get a HOORAH for the cover which is not only visually stunning but actually highly appropriate to the story itself (you’ll see why).

Altered is the story as seen through the eyes of Anna, a teenage girl who lives with her scientist father.  Underneath their farmhouse is a laboratory that just so happens to be home to four young men who have been there for five years.  Not only do they have amnesia but they’ve been genetically “altered” as part of an experiment that neither we as the audience nor Anna as the protagonist is privy to.  This is not the typical laboratory set up though and Anna is more like a sister or friend to the boys, often sneaking in after hours to see them.  Oh and she just so happens to be in love with Sam.  The story starts by setting the scene and then before you know it, there’s no more walls separating them and Anna and the boys are on the run to discover who they are and why all of this is happening before the branch catches up with them.   There are many twists and turns along the way and so much more to the story than anyone realises.

In my eyes, this book is perfect in every way.  I really couldn’t find any fault with it at all and that’s rare.  I loved the relationship between Anna and the boys and how they were all individuals in their own right.  Trev is the academic, Cas is the easy going guy who acts first and thinks later, Nick is the surly one and Sam is the strong, silent type.  Naturally I have a soft spot for Sam but you know what makes him so attractive? It’s not his looks or his body but his mind.  He’s extremely intelligent and I find that a definite turn on.  You know what though? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what goes on in that boy’s mind and am hoping that one day we get to find out either from a dual perspective or a short novella (Oh dear God, I would LOVE that).

Anna might be the girl who’s in love with Sam but she also has a strength about her.  She lost her mother at a young age and takes care of the house she shares with her father.  She attends defence classes and has the potential to do some damage if she needed to.  I like the fact that she’s not overly strong though, she’s not a caricature.  She’s just a girl who could easily be you or me.

Altered is an impressive debut novel and I’m ecstatic to find out that there is a sequel planned.  Whilst the story doesn’t end on a cliff hanger (thank Goodness for that) there is definitely MUCH, MUCH more to come and I can’t wait to discover it all.   I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Altered was published on 2nd January, 2013.  To find out more about Jennifer Rush and her books, please click here to visit her website.  You can also read an excerpt of Altered on her blog.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#36)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

So, there's nothing like spending ages preparing this post and then having your computer crash and not save your work, then working a 14 hour shift and having to type the whole thing out again.  Yeah, that happened. 

Review Books

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This is one series I haven't tackled yet and it's funny but I was just saying the other day as I was wearing my "Who is Mara Dyer?" t shirt that I still haven't figured out the answer to that question yet! I do want to though!

Wool by Hugh Howey (Unsolicited)
This is a Sci Fi/Dystopian novel that's had a lot of great reviews considering it's not even been published yet.  I don't know what to make of it quite yet but I love the cover and the simplistic title that has me questioning WHY it's called Wool.
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
I actually squealed when I opened this package as I've been waiting forever to read this and find out what happens next!

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
This is a ghost story set in the early nineteenth century and quite frankly, it sounds awesome.

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
This was originally a self published book that got picked up by a major publisher.  I've heard good things about it from a friend of mine.
The Trouble with Fate by Leigh Evans (Unsolicited)
This is about a girl/woman who is half fae and I'm really not sure that it's for me so I'll wait to read a few reviews before making a decision.

Beautiful Creatures: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
I'm really pleased to get this as I love official movie companions and I can't wait to see Beautiful Creatures up on the big screen!

The Man from Primrose Lane by James Renner (Unsolicited)
This is a crime novel and I have no idea why it was sent to me.  I do however have a family member who would be interested in reading it so I'm passing it on to my dad. 

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
This is a Young Adult novel aimed at the older end of the audience I believe and I heard someone say it was really good and really funny.  
Thank You Publishers!!!!

Books Bought

Altered by Jennifer Rush
I have been dying to read this since I first heard about it (hence my pre-order) and it's the book that got me back into reading after slipping off the wagon over Christmas and New Year.  I'll always be thankful for that.  Look out for my review on the blog tomorrow. 

The Essence by Kimberly Derting 
I LOVED The Pledge and have been dying to read the sequel since then.  It's finally here and I'm actually tempted to re-read The Pledge just because of how much I enjoyed it. 

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
This is the sequel to Under the Never Sky, another book I loved.  Again, I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next and being back in Aria and Perry's world.

Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu
This was a recommendation from Twitter and not only is the cover beautiful but I knew I had to have it when I found out that it is a re-telling of The Snow Queen and this was my favourite fairytale as a young girl.


Nightingale by Dawn Rae Miller
This is the sequel to Larkstorm and I've already read and reviewed this hereDawn was kind enough to send me a paperback and I was shocked to find that I've been quoted on the back of it!  I'll be showing you some time soon ;)  Thank you Dawn!


Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I went to see this at the IMAX theatre recently and LOVED the movie.  I was ecstatic to win a copy of the paperback and a beautiful poster that I'm going to hang in my office.  Thank you Lyndsey!


Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson
This is the latest book from Entangled (Brazen) and I've pretty much read all the rest.  I like the idea of reinventing yourself at a speed dating event. 

The Proposal by Katie Ashley
I really enjoyed The Proposition and couldn't wait to read the sequel which was released early (HOORAH).  I actually started reading it the same day and finished it in one sitting.  Loved it. 

Miss Me Not by Tiffany King
A troubled girl and a book about sensitive issues.  It has a lot of good endorsements from other authors I recognise and so I'm willing to give this one a go.

Scandalous by H.M. Ward
A forbidden love? YES PLEASE.  I love the sound of this book. 

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
I've had my eye on this book for a while and recently the price dropped so I jumped on it.  The plot sorta reminds me of My Best Friend's Wedding but without all the funny, cute bits.  

Someone to Love by Addison Moore
This is a New Adult novel and what attracts me to it is the fact that it's about two people who don't believe in love...and then they fall in love and don't know how to deal with it.  I definitely want to read about that. 

Impossible by Komal Lewis
This is a Young Adult novel written by an Australian author (something different).

Never Say Never by Kailin Gow
I like the sound of this one about a girl who is the lead singer in a band.  On the verge of being signed by a major record label, one member drops out and in walks Danny Blue and her number one rule of not dating anyone in the band is suddenly thrown into question.  I like impossible romances :)

Love and Relativity by Rachael Wade
Set in an island off Florida and featuring a bad boy, that's all I really need to know to be honest.

Private Paradise by Jami Alden (Free)
It's an adult romance set in the Caribbean.  The setting alone has me wanting this book.  Or maybe I just want to go on holiday LOL.

Falling for the Ghost of You by Nicole Christie (Free)
This sounds great and it was free!

Mila 2.0 Origins: The Fire by Debra Driza (Free)
This is the prequel to Mila 2.0 which is a book I'm interested in reading when it comes out in kindle format.

I really don't know what to read next at the moment as I'm surrounded by so many awesome books!!!  I hope you all had a great week for books and please leave your links below.  I know some of you have said about Mr Linky and if I can ever figure it out and get it to work, I will add it.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Bared to You Review

Our journey began in fire...

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

I think it’s quite obvious that this is a very adult book with mature content and scenes of an explicit nature.  If that’s not your thing, then please look away now.

With the success of Fifty Shades, you can’t fail to notice the increase in amount of erotic novels adorning the supermarket shelves (in the book section obvs, they haven’t replaced all the food and drink with erotica). Bared to You by Sylvia Day was one of the first books to appear after THAT BOOK and is actually recommended for fans of Fifty Shades.    Let’s just say that the sex is a little tamer in this book but the sexual/animal/magnetic attraction was the same as Ana and Christian’s.  Whereas Fifty was fifty shades of fucked up and Ana had no real problems apart from being a virgin (which isn’t really a problem btw), what I liked about this book was that both of the main characters had their own issues and they both had to learn to adjust, compromise and work with each other to overcome them.  I say overcome them but again one of the good things about the book is that it does not have a clear cut happy ending, it’s more of a “we’re working on it” which I guess is a little more realistic.  

Gideon was very nice but sorry, he didn’t quite melt me as much as Christian did and I can’t imagine calling out “Gideon” in the middle of sex.  I’d probably just laugh and I’m sure no man ever wants to be laughed at during the more intimate moments.  Also, some of the dialogue made me cringe and actually laugh out loud at times. 

Having said all that, I did enjoy the book for the most part and would be interested in reading the sequel but it won’t be top of the pile. 

Bared to You was published on 12th June, 2012 in the US and 19th July, 2012 in the UK.  To find out more about Sylvia and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

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 Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Here's the synopsis:

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

I loved Pushing the Limits so much and have been pimping it ever since I first read it (FYI it's still only 20p for the kindle version which is a ridiculously cheap price for such a good book).  I see Dare You To as more of a companion novel rather than a sequel as it brings two of the secondary characters into the spotlight.  The cover is sexy as hell and I can't wait to read Beth and Ryan's story.  

Dare You To is published on 21st May, 2013 in the US and 28th May, 2013 in the UK.  

Monday 7 January 2013

About Last Night Review

Sure, opposites attract, but in this sexy, smart, eBook original romance from Ruthie Knox, they positively combust! When a buttoned-up banker falls for a bad girl, “about last night” is just the beginning.

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?

I want to start by saying that About Last Night by Ruthie Knox has a FANTASTIC cover and it’s definitely one of my favourites ;)  I think you can probably guess that this is an adult novel and as such, contains mature content and sexual scenes of an explicit nature.

Cath has the same routine and sees the same people every morning on the way to work.  She enjoys people watching and gives names and imagines back stories for the familiar strangers she sees and I can totally relate to this.  Anyway, Cath dets drunk with a friend one night, takes it too far and ends up waking up in her underwear at “City’s” place – a guy she sees every day at the train station but they’ve never officially met.  Until now, that is.  There's definitely an attraction between them and what follows is a steamy relationship where she’s constantly pushing him away as she doesn’t want to be “Bad Cath” anymore.  She’s scared to get involved and MAN DOES IT SHOW. CONSTANTLY.  Besides that, one of the main things that put me off a bit was the fact that City's real name is Neville.  Um, no.  Just no.  Let's just call him City from now on. 

It does frustrate me with these kind of books that the newly met couple have sex, it’s super-amazing-blow-you-out-of-this-world sex and THAT is the sole reason the guy at least wants to, no NEEDS to see the girl again.  I’m hoping it’s more than that, after all City does say he wants to get to know her and I'm hoping it’s not just bullshit to get her back in bed.  I don’t know, it’s the old fashionedness in me that thinks they’re doing everything in the wrong order.

Having said all that, About Last Night is an entertaining story that I read in an evening and one that I would recommend to contemporary adult romance fans.

About Last Night was published on 29th June, 2012.  To find out more about Ruthie Knox and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Letterbox Love (#35)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Dead Romantic by C.J. Skuse
I love C.J. both as a writer and as an exceptionally funny, witty human being who never fails to make me laugh and so I'm ecstatic to receive a copy of her latest book which comes out next month.  I love the fact that it reminds me of an eighties movie called "Weird Science" only this time it's the girls who create the perfect guy.  Looking forward to reading this one. 

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
This is one of the most beautiful covers I've seen in a while and I'm intrigued to read a story about a ballet dancer.  It reminds me a little of the movie "Black Swan". 
 Professor Gargoyle: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1 by Charles Gilman (Unsolicited)
The Slither Sisters: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #2 by Charles Gilman  (Unsolicited)
You can't tell from the photograph but these hardback books have a holographic cover that changes when you tip it towards the light.  They are pretty cool although as they are middle grade, I'm really not sure if I will read them or not.   

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books on Loan

Thanks to the very lovely Bookangel Emma who is as big a fan as I am of Jessica Shirvington's Embrace series, she has loaned me the next two books in the series which aren't even out in the UK or the US yet.  These are Australian copies and I think PROVES how obsessed we are and how desperate we are to read the next books! LOL.

Books Bought

The only books I've bought this week are Julie Kagawa books for my mum to take on holiday (she's become a huge fan of The Iron Fey series and I quote "I love that Ash character") and I also got her The Immortal Rules.  I bought my dad a couple of detective mystery books and I got myself a book on the human body (like I don't have a million of those, I know) but it is a visual guide and a Dorling Kindersley book so I know it's going to be good. 


Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller
I have actually already read and reviewed this here but I wanted my very own official copy and it was only 77p which quite frankly is a BARGAIN. 

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
This is another book that I already own in the form of a hardback and a paperback (which I've passed on to my sister now) but this was in the kindle sale and only 99p. 

Cruisin' by Sarah Mylnowski
This is a short story from the same author that brought us Gimme a Call and Ten Things We Shouldn't have Done.  

Radiant by Cynthia Hand
This is a short novella set inside the world of Unearthly - a series I STILL have yet to read.  

A Beautiful Lie by Tara Sivec
I can't wait to read this New Adult novel which sounds fabulous.  If you've not heard of it and you enjoy reading books in this genre, go look it up right now. 

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
I believe I have a paperback of this on the shelves but it was in the kindle sale and sometimes I prefer to read on my iPad. I've heard nothing but good things about the book.

Laced in Malice by Riley Gray (Free)
This is a book for the older Young Adult market and was free at the time of purchase. It sounds interesting and one reviewer said it reminded her of Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls, Heathers etc and if that many awesome movies get quoted, then it must be a good read.

All Over You by Emily Snow
This is the sequel to Devoured which I LOVED (I'm a little behind with my reviews but look out for this one!).  This is a New Adult series featuring a rockstar and the girl who broke his heart. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Consequences by Aleathea Romig
This book reminds me of Taken by Kelli Maine (minus the tropical island) and I'm intrigued as to the psychology behind the characters behaviour and I think it will be a good story. 

Believe It or Not by Tawna Fenske
After raving about Wallbanger by Alice Clayton, another blogger on Twitter recommended this author who writes in a similar style to Alice.  I thought I would give this book a go and see what i think. 

Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker
I've heard nothing but good things about this and to be honest, that's the main reason I bought it, besides the synopsis of course.  

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
I LOVE THIS BOOK - enough to write in all caps so that's gotta mean something! I have a hardback of it but I wanted a digital version for my iPad. 

Fight With Me by Kristen Proby
This is the sequel to Come Away With Me (review is coming) and although I had some mixed feelings about the first book, I still want to read the rest of the story!

The Valentine's Arrangement by Kelsie Leverich
I've heard so much about how good this book is and  it sounds awesome.  A military town, hot soldiers and an edgy female tattoo artist who doesn't believe in love.  I can imagine the fireworks already and I can't wait to read it. 

The Kiss Off by Sarah Billington (Free)
This is a Young Adult novel aimed at the older side of the audience and sounds like it might be a good read.  

I'm still reading Warm Bodies at the moment and in fact, I've really slowed down lately as life has taken over.  I'm even considering taking a break from blogging or at the very least slowing things down a little.  It's been nice not to feel the pressure as much for the past week or so, I have to admit.  Anyway, I hope you all had a great week for books and on my next day off, I promise to look into how to get the Mr Linky thing to work on these posts so you can link up properly.  In the meantime, feel free to leave your links/comment.