Sunday 19 October 2014

Not currently blogging

Despite the fact that I haven't posted anything since May, I'm still getting review requests.  I've just added some text to my review policy stating that as I am not currently blogging, please do not send review requests.  At this point, I'm not sure I will ever return to blogging in this format but I will let you know when I make any final decisions.  Thanks :)

Saturday 31 May 2014

WIN We Were Liars

 A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

So I've been meaning to do this for a while now and I'm only just getting round to it! EVERYONE is talking about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and I was fortunate enough to be sent a US ARC by a complete stranger. After being turned down on Netgalley, I thought I would have to wait for the UK version to come out but someone in America did me a massive favour and sent me the book.  I didn't even know it was coming and it was a lovely surprise. I'll always be grateful because I saw it as an act of kindness.

Unfortunately, having now read the book, it really disappointed me.  The writing is good but it wasn't my kind of style, my kind of story or my kind of book.  I guessed the twist early on I'm afraid and only finished the book because I wanted to find out if I was right.  I was.  Now, that's not to say that YOU won't like it as everyone has been raving about it.  Maybe it's just me *shrug* maybe I'm the freak that doesn't like it, I mean there has to be one, right?!

Anyway, I want to share the book love around and so in my own act of kindness, in a pay it forward kind of way, I'm giving away the ARC to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is answer a few questions to be in with a chance.  Don't worry, it's only to tell me what country you live in, your email address (so I can get hold of you) and why you desperately want to read the book.  One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 8th June.  This contest is open internationally. Good luck!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Time Out

You may have noticed that I've not been so active on the blog lately and that's because I need a bit of time out.  Life is very busy at the moment and to be quite honest, we're still dealing with the effects of the flood that happened 4 months ago and forced us to uproot our lives.  I'm driving myself crazy trying to do ALL THE THINGS and have realised that rather than failing at all of them, I'd like to do less of them and achieve the things I am doing.  It's not necessarily forever, it's just for right now but I'd rather stay sane than try and kill myself trying to do everything and please everyone.  So for that reason, I need a bit of time out where I don't have to worry or stress, especially about the blog and I know that life will still go on regardless or whether I'm blogging or not.  I can't tell you how much time I need or anything like that but thank you for supporting me and the blog. 

Wednesday 30 April 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 Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini. Here's the synopsis:

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

I'm so excited to find out that Josephine Angelini has a novel coming out soon that I don't even care what it's about, I just know that I have to read it!  Having read the synopsis however, I am DEFINITELY interested.  Salem? Crucibles? Sounds a little witchy to me and I love me some witchiness.  I'm also intrigued about being in an alternative universe and knowing Josephine, there has to be a little romance in this ;)  I can't wait to read it!
Trial By Fire is published on 2nd September, 2014.  To find out more about Josephine Angelini and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 9 April 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 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Here's the synopsis:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

Honestly speaking, I would probably never pick this up because I'm not that interested in things that remind me of The OC and things like that BUT this book is getting such buzz from the US at the moment and everyone is saying that the writing is captivating, the plot is brilliant and the twistyness is inspired.  So yes, I'm more than a little curious and yes, now I DO want to read it.  I just hope it can live up to the hype!

We Were Liars is published on 13th May, 2014 and will be published in the UK by HotKey Books.  To find out more about E. Lockhart and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Sunday 6 April 2014

Bloggers supporting authors (Please help Sarah Daltry)


I'm not a huge fan of Facebook but I like the funny GIFs, catching up with friends and family, and connecting with authors as well as finding out about book news. What I saw in my feed today saddens me beyond belief and it concerns a published author with several books to her name - SARAH DALTRY.  I will start by saying that I do not know her at all and I've never read or reviewed any of her books although I believe there are a couple of them in my TBR pile. Rather than copying and pasting, it's easier to link you to Sarah's final blog post which I urge you to read.  If you can, open it up in a new window so that you can come back here...

Closing Time
It's not clear to me but it sounds like this author is a victim of bullying which has probably contributed to some serious depression.  Because of this, she has given up on her dreams and is no longer going to write.  She has said that she will withdraw all her books in the next few days and there will be no more.  Ever.  My heart breaks for this woman and I desperately want to reach out to her but she is retracting from all forms of communication and deleting all her social media accounts.  The only way I can think of to support her is to buy her books and so that's what I've done.  I urge you to PLEASE show your support by doing the same.  PLEASE show Sarah that people really do "give a fuck" as she thinks that no one does.  PLEASE let her know that the blogging community really does care about authors because I know that we do.

Thank you
Sarah Daltry's Amazon page in the UK
  Sarah Daltry's Amazon page in the USA

Divergent Movie Review

In 2011, I was one of the first UK book bloggers to read and review an unknown novel entitled DIVERGENT by debut author Veronica Roth and back then, I knew it was something special.  The book was so compelling that I spent a whole day reading without showering, dressing or even brushing my teeth.  I realise that sounds somewhat gross but I could. Not. Put. It. Down.  Fast forward to the present day and the movie has just been released in the UK.   I went to see it on Saturday night (one day after the official UK release) and with all YA book to movie adaptations that have come out recently, I admit to having been slightly nervous.  Would the movie live up to my expectations?  Would it be true to the book?  Did they get the casting right?  Ultimately, would I be disappointed? The answer is this...


The casting was SPOT ON for all the characters, and Shailene Woodley and Theo James were surprisingly PERFECT as their respective characters, Tris and Four.  There was one particular scene where Shailene almost had me bawling.  I only held it back because I hate crying in public but it was hard!

Every single scene in the movie looked exactly like I saw them in my head when I read the book, and I might have squealed when I saw Veronica herself make a cameo in the movie (if you’re wondering where, I believe she was in the zip lining scene).   Just as an aside, I’m going on holiday later in the year and have the opportunity to do a bit of zip lining myself.  I’m terribly afraid of heights, we’re talking deer in the headlights kind of afraid, but I’m hoping to channel my inner Tris to conquer my fear.

DIVERGENT was pretty much perfection and there was nothing I would change particularly apart from the very last scene.  In the final scenes of the book, Four spoke one of my most favourite lines ever but sadly, it wasn’t used.  I can see why that wouldn’t work so well on screen but that’s the only criticism I have. 

DIVERGENT was outrageously good, I’m desperate to see it again and whilst I haven’t actually bought any of the other YA adaptations on blueray/DVD, I will DEFINITELY be buying this one.   In fact, I’m pre-ordering RIGHT NOW.

My advice to you is go and see this movie, even if you haven’t read the book because it’s highly entertaining and not just “another teen movie”.  DIVERGENT asks a lot of questions about choice, leadership qualities, what it means to be brave, and if it’s possible to create an idealistic society.  It doesn’t do the thinking for you, it makes YOU think.  DIVERGENT had an impressive opening weekend in the states, so much so that the sequel INSURGENT has already been given the green light to be made by Summit and quite frankly, I can’t bloody wait!

DIVERGENT was published in the UK on 23rd April, 2011. The movie was released in the UK on 4th April, 2014. To find out more about Veronica Roth and her books, please click here. If you’re interested in my book review of DIVERGENT, please click here and if you want to read about the time I met Veronica Roth (and Shailene Woodley walked into the room) then please click here.

Wednesday 2 April 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 Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper. Here's the synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whale men safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother, the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic, stole Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape from her mother before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roes’ power.

When Avery awakens from a dream foretelling her own murder, she realizes time is running short—for her and for the people of her island, who, without the Roes, will lose their ships and the only life they know.

With the help of Tane, a tattooed harpoon boy from the Pacific Islands, Avery plots her escape from her mother and unravels the mysteries of her mother’s and grandmother’s pasts. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected—one she might not be able to make.

Firstly, I LOVE the cover for this book.  Simple, elegant and to the point.  Secondly, this book has witches, islands and a tattooed boy, what's not to like?  I think it sounds like a refreshing YA novel and one that I would certainly like to read. 

Salt & Storm is published on 23rd September, 2014 with no news at present of a UK release.  To find out more about Kendall Kulper and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

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.

Thursday 27 February 2014

Cover Reveal: Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

Advance Praise for DROWNED:

"A resourceful and smart heroine and a society literally on the edge of survival. Take a deep breath, once you start reading you won't be able to stop!" -Maria Snyder, author of Poison Study

"It's difficult to find a really unique premise in today's crowded literary front, but Cyn Balog has done it in Drowned! This is a world like you've never seen before but with themes and issues that strike surprisingly close to home. A society where you literally earn your safety twice a day when the tide comes in and submerges everything? I admit, I wish I'd thought of it first. A thrilling, brilliant read!" -#1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike

 "A gripping and romantic tale featuring a truly original heroine facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I loved it!" -- Morgan Rhodes, NYT Bestselling Author of Fallen Kingdoms.
A very long time ago, I had the absolute pleasure of beta reading this book and I instantly fell in love with the story and the characters.  I begged Nichola (aka Cyn Balog) to publish it because I wanted it so badly to be on my shelves and FINALLY, it is being published and I couldn't be more thrilled.  Seriously you guys, this is so original that it stands out in a sea of YA books (no pun intended) and I urge you to read it.  And that cover? PERFECT. Just how I imagined the world to be.

Drowned is published on 24th June, 2014.  To find out more about Nichola Reilly and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Monday 17 February 2014

Why I'm No Longer Adding Books To My Shelves

When eBooks were first introduced into the wild, never in a million years did I think that I could get on board.  Quite frankly, I felt insulted.  I have loved libraries my entire life, having been a librarian in school and spending many hours in them as a kid, and a young adult.  I admit to loving the look, feel and smell of printed books, and how each hardback feels like a treasure that I’ve collected. Although I buy a lot of printed books online nowadays (mostly due to price and availability) I love book stores and especially places like Foyles, Waterstones and The Works (UK) where you can buy three paperbacks for £5.  Bargain! 

Slowly I came around to the idea of eBooks when I saw a use for them – travel.  Weight restrictions for luggage have become stricter and stricter over the years and eBooks meant that I could go on holiday and not be weighed down by hefty hardbacks.  Around the same time, I discovered a wonderful site called Netgalley  where publishers uploaded books for avid readers and reviewers.  Both of those ideas led me to the belief that I needed to buy a kindle.  So I did. 

I can’t remember exactly when I read my first eBook but like most things you do for the first time, I do remember that it felt weird.  And then I started to like it.  I started using Netgalley more and more and publishers really got on board with the idea which made the number of books available to read and review increase.  Also, the diversity was wonderful. 

To tell the truth, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moving over to reading eBooks exclusively and it took a really horrible event to make that happen.  Most of you know that my apartment recently got flooded.  We lost most of our furniture and basically everything at ground level but thankfully the majority of my books were saved as they were high up on shelves.  I’ve never been so relieved in my entire life.  The damage and destruction meant that inevitably we had to move out and do you know how long it took just to move my book collection? TWO FULL DAYS and that’s with two other people helping me at one point.  Do you know how much room those books are taking up now I’ve lost my shelves?  A LOT. 

I think you know where I’m going with this but I’m going to lay it all out for you anyway.  Reading eBooks exclusively makes sense on so many levels...

1.    eBooks are generally speaking, cheaper.
I’m aware that there are exceptions to this rule but still, you can’t buy a paperback for 20p or 49p anymore, not even in a charity shop.  I remember seeing the eBook version of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt on sale for something ridiculous like 99p at one point whilst the hardback was a lot more expensive.

2.    eBooks are instantaneous. 
No more waiting around for the postman or arranging re-deliveries that you’ve missed because you were at work.  No more getting frustrated when your pre-order for the book you’re desperate to read doesn’t show up on your doorstep on release day.  With eBooks, it’s right there when YOU want to read it.

3.    The only space eBooks take up is hard disc space. 
We’ve all experienced it, that devastating moment when you realise you’ve ran out of shelf space.  And even worse, the moment when you realise you’ve ran out of room to add more shelves.  Then the nagging boyfriend who asks you not to leave books everywhere and asks you just how many of them you’ve actually read.  And what about if you keep your ARC’s because you can’t bear to throw them away? I LOVE the idea of having my entire book collection on one device that I can take with me wherever I go and I can free up some space in my office/library so I can actually use it!

4.    E reading devices have never been better. 
With the introduction of retina displays, electronic text has never been sharper and clearer than it is now.  I’ve seen them in the stores, I’ve played with them and they are BEAUTIFUL.  No more reading with the torch as a tablet (if that’s what you choose to use) has a built in backlight that you can adjust to suit your own needs. 

5.    Novellas are often released in electronic format. 
Don’t you find it annoying when your favourite author releases a novella electronically when you’ve collected the rest of the series in hardback or paperback?  I do.  By having all my books in electronic format, I can avoid this formatting issue.

6.    Covers often change mid series. 
This is a real bug bear of mine but when you read eBooks, suddenly it doesn’t matter anymore as they don’t need to look so pretty on the shelves.

7.    You can still get your books signed. 
Did you know this?  By using Authorgraph, you can request to have your books signed, without ever leaving your living room.  I can save a fortune on trips to London and what if your favourite author is somewhere you can’t get to? NO PROBLEM.

8.    If your e reader gets destroyed, your book collection doesn’t. 
I can only talk about the kindle because that’s all I have experience of but your kindle collection goes with you from device to device.

I’ve given you a lot of pro’s here and a lot of reasons why I’m choosing to read eBooks only from now on but obviously, there are also some cons.  It would cost a small fortune to replace all my hardbacks with the electronic versions and there’s no way I’m going to just get rid of all my books.  I suppose I could sell them but I’d never get back what I paid for them and I’d be sad to see them go.  So I’m proposing to keep the hardbacks I’m most attached to and only buy new books on the kindle from now on unless it’s a series that’s part way through and I have the rest of the books on the shelves. 

The insurance money for the flood has just come through and after everything we’ve been through in the past couple of months, I’m treating myself to an iPad Air.  I can download the kindle app for free and my digital book collection will instantly appear.  With its beautiful retina display, what’s the point in spending all that money and not using it, right? ;)

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Out of Action

Depending on how well you know me or if you follow me on Twitter, you might or might not know about the disaster that hit me recently. Basically, we woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning to frying electrics and the entire apartment was flooded in two inches of water. It might not sound like a lot but it's enough to destroy everything and disrupt my life considerably. It's a move out job and the disruption will go on for months. Currently I have no bed tomorrow night and so you can probably see where this is going. The blog is going to be out of action for some time (I have no idea how long) and I'm likely to miss my blogoversary :( I'm going to try and rescue my books tomorrow so wish me luck and thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll be back when I can.

Monday 6 January 2014

Forever & Always Review

If you want to read the official synopsis, click here to visit Goodreads as I can’t be bothered to copy and paste it all out here as it would take half a page.

This is the first book I’ve read from author, Jasinder Wilder and the first book I’ve read in 2014 thanks to my good friend, fellow book blogger and book twin Emma who sent me this for Christmas.  The synopsis for Forever &  Always really sucked me in and that’s why I chose it as my first read of the year. Basically, two teenagers meet at camp and whilst there’s a mutual attraction and definitely a connection, nothing really happens between them but they decide to become pen pals.  They’re brutally honest through their letters, journaling everything that happens to them and seeking solace in each other when tragedy strikes not once, not twice but multiple times.  In some ways, the story is predictable but I’m okay with that because I WANTED them to be together.  It was the journey that was important.

Forever & Always was an entertaining read although it started as a Young Adult book and ended as a New Adult book which is definitely something new.  I enjoyed Cade and Ever’s journey, how they grew up over the years, and how that was reflected in their letters to each other (talking about first kisses, first love, first everything).  It reminded me a little of a relationship I had with a guy when I was a teenager and we wrote each other all the time, being brutally honest with each other.  Sadly, there was no attraction on my end and he was a bit older so it was only just friendship for me but we’re still friends today, years later.

Anyway, I digress.  I loved the fact that Ever was a twin and I enjoyed reading about the relationship with her sister and how different they were, each striving for their own identity.  The blossoming relationship between Cade and Ever was beautiful to watch at times, especially when they communicated using their shared passion – art.  I’d even go far as to say that at times, Forever & Always had a touch of The Notebook about it which is just one of the best romantic movies ever, so there’s that.

Now for the things that irked me.  Personally, I just don’t think that a fifteen year old would use the word “vapid” let alone know what it means and yes this is a generalised sweeping statement (and there will always be exceptions) but still.  I also didn’t like the way Ever felt the need to explain the hashtag phenomenon to Caden.  I believe this was more for the benefit of the readers perhaps but for me, it didn’t work as it’s common knowledge and I'm sure he would have already known about it. #inmyopinion.

Whilst the book was a cute read, and it was a little longer than it could have been perhaps, it was the ending that really disappointed me.   I won’t go into details for fear of spoiling it for those who want to read the book but I’m not even joking when I tell you that I wrote the ending in my head before it happened and then watched everything play out exactly as I had foreseen.  Also, beware that this book ends on a cliffhanger that’s supposed to shock but like I said, unfortunately it didn't work on me. 

There were also some grammatical errors in the book (which sadly, is becoming more commonplace nowadays) and I really wish I could ignore them but there are professional copy editors out there being paid to do my dream job and I’m the one picking up the errors?  Some of them were so blatant that I’d be surprised if it went through copy edits at all before being printed which is a shame.

Ultimately though, I do think Forever & Always is worth reading, especially if you’re a fan of the author but I wish it had been a standalone as opposed to being part of a trilogy as I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the series. 

Forever & Always was published on 15th December, 2013 and the sequel After Forever was also published on the same day with the third book coming in February.  To find out more about Jasinder Wilder and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Tears of Tess Review

A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and non consensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.

“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

Firstly, make sure you’ve read the first line of the synopsis to decide whether or not this is the book for you.  If you’re still with me, I’ll tell you outright that this is a really difficult review to write and I’m going to attempt to tell you why.  Tears of Tess was certainly an entertaining read and I enjoyed every minute of it, so much so that I would sneak away from family over the Christmas holidays just so I could read a little bit more.  So there's that.

BUT (and it’s a pretty big but)

I know I would have enjoyed it far more had I not read Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts first.  Captive in the Dark is a far superior book and deals with the same subject matter (human trafficking) albeit in a slightly different way.  It's incredibly written and has become one of my favourite dark stories ever.  Where Captive in the Dark is a dark and disturbing read, Tears of Tess is somewhat lighter and perhaps more suited to a New Adult audience but sadly, it just wasn’t as good and once you’ve tasted chocolate, vanilla just feels a little ordinary (no puns intended). 

With Tears of Tess, I also had an issue with one of the main characters “Q”.  He was definitely a man of contradictions and I couldn’t understand him all the time.  At first, I thought he just liked to be a bit naughty in the bedroom but I will never understand feeling joy or pleasure at hurting another person. Sorry, I just don’t get that part of things and I never will.

All in all, I did enjoy the book and I think I would recommend it to readers who think that Captive in the Dark might be too much for them, although I highly recommend Captive and you would be missing out if you didn’t read it.

Tears of Tess was published on 30th August, 2013 and is currently on sale for 49p.  To find out more about Pepper Winters and her books, please click here to visit her website.