Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Review: Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton

*****4.5 STARS*****

Whenever you pick up an Alice Clayton book, you know you're about to embark on a good time. Buns is the last book in her Hudson Valley trilogy and is Clara's story. Clara dedicates all of her time to her job rebranding failing hotels. She's good at it and enjoys it, but deep down she's always longed for a family and the roots she never had growing up in foster care. That probably has a lot to do with her fascination of family run resorts. The traditions they have give her a taste of the family traditions she has always longed for. When she is told she's up for a promotion if she does well on her newest project she is ready to jump right in, but the owner of her newest rebrand project is not quite what she was expecting.

Archie is the fifth generation owner of Bryant Mountain House. He will do whatever it takes to save it, but he has serious doubts about the hot shot rebrander his father hired. He doesn't want to get rid of 150 years of tradition to turn his family legacy into the newest hot spot for the young and hip crowd. Despite his feelings on the matter, when some of her ideas start to turn things around for the better, he's forced to re-evaluate his initial impressions.

I enjoyed Clara, Archie and their romance tremendously. This was fun, steamy and kept a continuous grin on my face (there was one or two moments that caused me to tear up as well). Clayton has a kind of magic to her stories that is uniquely her own. I also loved seeing characters from her other series make appearances here!

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil 

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Review: Down & Dirty by Tracy Wolff

****4 STARS****

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sport romances. I don't actively seek them out, but if an author I enjoy writes one, I'm all in. Having read several Tracy Wolff books (I especially loved Lovegame), I was excited to read Down & Dirty. A famous football player and a real estate agent? Can't say I recall that combination before which has me even more excited.

Right from the first scene I feel a bit in love with both Emerson and Hunter. Not so steller first impressions definition make for a fun and entertaining start to a romance. I adored how Emerson didn't let him get away with much. Hunter is so used to pulling out his fame and charming good looks to help him get whatever he wants and get away with anything, but Emerson seems completely immune which leaves him off balanced and intrigued.

Pretty quickly these two find themselves in a hot and heavy affair. Wolff writes really steamy scenes and they were here in full force. They both have pretty intense personalities which lead to some fabulous dialogue and situations I ate up. There was just enough drama added to the plot to keep things interesting without it getting to be too much. Tracy Wolff always writes a steamy sold romance and this was no exception. While not my favourite by her, I definitely enjoyed it and look forward to her next book.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil 

This hard-bodied football star is used to scoring. But he needs all the right moves to get past a fiery redhead’s defenses in a steamy standalone novel from the bestselling author of Ruined.

Emerson: Talk about bad first impressions. I have too much riding on this job to show up late on my first day looking like the winner of a wet T-shirt contest, all thanks to an arrogant quarterback who drives like he owns the road. Hunter Browning thinks that because he’s famous, he can fix everything with a smile and a wave of his hand. He’s too bronzed, buff, and beautiful for his own good. Or mine. I can’t let on that I’m a fan . . . no matter how much fun we’d have in the sack.

Hunter: Hitting that puddle was my best play since winning the Super Bowl with a touchdown pass. Sure, it’s not my preferred way to get a girl wet, but I’ll make an exception for Emerson Day. She’s got a sharp tongue and a red-hot temper, even with her soaking clothes plastered to her every curve. Now I know exactly what my next play will be: hire Emerson as my personal real-estate agent, save her job—and see if I can take her off the market.

Review: The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander

****3.5 STARS****

I'll admit, in addition to loving historical romances, I wanted to read this story especially for the title! What a fun title and the concept was fun too, basically a Victorian road trip book. Derek's aunt runs a traveler's society which is not completely on the up and up and when India threatens to go to the authorities because of her missing cousin who is a member, he stalls her by taking her to Paris to help her look for her. Once there, he insists on her seeing the sights and soon she finds herself enjoying not only the trip, but developing feelings for Derek.

The story setup was definitely unique. There were several especially funny moments and I greatly enjoyed a number of the secondary characters. Sadly, a few things kept me from loving this book as much as I hoped. It had a very slow start. It dragged at the beginning and while towards the halfway point it picked up and became a much easier read, I wish the beginning had a little more of the magic and charm to it found later in the book. My other issue was that I found it very hard to like India for most of the book. I don't think that you necessarily have to love a main character to enjoy a book, but added to the slow start, it made reading a bit of a struggle.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil 

Embark on the breathtaking romantic adventures of The Lady Travelers Society in the brand-new series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander 

Really, it's too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders's favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what's a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he's escorting the world's most maddening woman to the world's most romantic city to find her missing relative. 

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she's certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

Mass Market PB Buy Links: 

Review: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

*****4.5 STARS*****

First of all let me say this was my first time reading a Liliana Hart Book and I can honestly say it won't be the last. I didn't know what to expect going in and was asking myself a million questions about Liliana's writing style, flow, chemistry, would I like it etc etc.. I needn't have bothered because it ticked the right boxes but then that's all the usual things a reader thinks about when trying out a new author to them and sometimes you just got to jump in with both feet and take that chance.

Deacon Tucker, a former black ops agent under with his new identity is dead to everyone in his past life and they watched him being buried in his coffin 6 feet under. Don't fret he's not really dead though. like others in his team he was drugged then buried alive only to be dug up again by the Grave Digger's. The Grave Diggers aren't exactly what they seem though. Undercover working in Last Stop Texas working at the funeral home they are a team of ex special ops agents and not even the government know's about them and they are tasked with saving the world from terrorists or at least die trying.

Deacon has worked under Tess Sherman at the funeral home for 2 years now and has always wanted her but had to wait for the right time until he thought she was ready. Tess hasn't had it easy in life with a thieving mother and a slimy ex who called off her wedding in public and declared his love for another woman, of that isn't mortification then I don't know what is. Deacon's boss Eve seems to think Tess is of use to the team due to her knowing old Russian language but there's one problem, Tess isn't aware of the special operations going on under her nose. Deacon has a decision to make, if he wants her then he is going to have to let her in and tell all which may run the risk of losing her completely before it's even begun!

This book was a different to anything I have ever read and when I say different I mean it was original in it's plot and that made it a breath of fresh air to read. I loved the chemistry between Deacon and Tess and their story has the right amount of ups and downs to keep the reader invested. The only gripes I had with this book is that I found at times it was a little to wordy in the descriptive department which gave it a really slow start and when it did pick up I felt the book ended to quickly because everything went into fast forward mode. Overall this was a really good read and I can't wait to get stuck into book 2 to read Miller and Colin's story.

Reviewed by Claire Lamb 

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise...

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

Review: Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan

****4 STARS****

When Charlotte Freemonte's extremely fancy and expensive car breaks down in the middle of nowhere the only place to get it fixed is in the sleepy laid back town of Shady Grove. Leaving the car at the garage she decides to go in search of food she ends up in What The Cluck family restaurant and the only seat available is sitting with the Wilder twins Luke and Duke and their sister Morgan. Not getting off to the best start when Charlotte insults Luke's skills he retaliates by telling her she has a stick up her A** , however Charlotte can give as good as she gets and that seems to turn Luke on no ends. By the next day Charlotte receives the bad news from the mechanic that her car will take at least a few days to fix and there's nothing she can do to speed it up. Being such a small town there is no avoiding Luke so accepts the fact that a fresh start with Luke is in order but soon realises how attracted to him she is. One problem though she's hiding a huge secret but doesn't think it's important since she isn't planning to be in town long. Luke also has trust issues due to a past relationship going wrong so could they make it work?

This is hot, fast paced and an extremely enjoyable little read. The characters are strong and deliver the chemistry and steaminess we all love along with a great story. It was maybe a little too fast for me but still satisfying all the same. Kendall Ryan has a knack in keeping the reader invested with her writing, I mean who doesn't like a little hot, hard and fast when it comes down to it. Luke is sweet and considerate but can get all alpha when it comes down to it. Charlotte is not just intelligent but can hold her own and give as good as she gets. 

This was an enemy to lovers story but for me it was 5 minutes of enemy and the rest as lovers which isn't a bad thing especially in such a fast paced story but I would liked to have saw more drama thrown in to equal the balance.

Overall I definitely need to pick up more books by Kendall Ryan as I have only read a few of her books and so far have enjoyed what I have read. This is one that Kendall's fans will love and I urge everyone else to give it a try too.

Reviewed by Claire Lamb 

From New York Times Bestselling author Kendall Ryan comes a sexy and sizzling, enemies-to-lovers romp with bite. 

He's rude. Arrogant. And too hot to handle. 

And she's stranded with him for an entire week. 

He knows the sexy stranger doesn't belong in his small town, but he's determined to keep her there. The second she opens her smart mouth, he wants to swap a whole lot more than insults with her. She’s got a secret. But he’s got his own agenda. 

Buckle up. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Review: Dirty Daddies by Jade West

*****5 STARS*****

Michael takes his job as social worker very seriously. He has always wanted to make a difference and through his work he hopes he makes an impact on the children who end up on his books. Sometimes, though, he feels unsuccessful. Take Carrie Wells. Michael has been seeing her for five months and she turns 18 soon which means she'll be off his books. He is determined to try and help her before that happens, but he has not had much success. She is rash, impulsive and most people call her and her actions crazy. She's moved from foster home to foster home most of her life, never finding anyone willing to put up with her special brand of crazy.

Days before her 18th birthday, she runs away from her most recent and final foster home. She knew they would be throwing her out on her birthday and overhearing what they thought of her, she decided to end things immediately. Michael is beside himself when he finds out she's missing. Her foster parents consider it a blessing, the police can't be bothered, he is the only one who seems to care or be concerned. He knows he cares too much. It's the Carrie Wells effect. One look into those crazy and beautiful eyes and he was a goner. Even his best friend Jack is concerned about him and worried he'd get himself into trouble while he was away on business.

Jack had the right idea, because once Michael finds Carrie, he can't just turn his back on her. He leaves her at Jacks. He tells himself he will stay away from her and just help her find some kind of government housing arrangement. Afterall, his work is too important to risk and his moral compass is too strong to be tested by a girl half his age. When Jack comes home early from his trip because of a bad feeling, he is shocked to find Carrie in his house (a house that lost a fight with a crow she was trying to save). Mike has a lot of explaining to do!

It isn't long before Jack too falls victim to the Carrie Wells effect, but he notices something Mike hasn't quite grasped. Carrie needs help, but it isn't the soft kind Mike tries to give her. She needs someone to lay down the law and use a firm hand to show her that she can push as much as she wants, but not everyone will be pushed away. Mike and him are the perfect people for that job, if he can just convince him to let go of his morality and preconceived notions.

I love Jade West novels. She has a knack for writing insanely hot smut that toes that line of taking things far enough to make you uncomfortable. Dirty Daddies was a bit of a different read for me. I was expecting something filthy without a ton of substance, but this story had a lot of debt. In fact, there wasn't any actual sex until almost 70% which actually worked here because of Carrie's age and the trauma she has gone through during her short life. The slow build up and tension between Carrie, Jack and Mike made everything so much better once they finally crossed that line. Jack was probably my favorite character. I wasn't sure about him at the very beginning, but once he returned from his trip, I was all in for him. He was outspoken, told things like they were and was not afraid to be dirty if that was what the situation called for. Mike was more buttoned up, though Carrie definitely got through his defenses and soon even he was getting in touch with his hidden darker desires. This wasn't your typical run of the mill Daddy book and i highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil 

Some bad girls need a firm hand to keep them in line.
I’m bad enough to need two.

Two older men who can teach me a lesson when I misbehave.
Two hot bodies to keep me warm in bed at night.
Two best friends who can learn to share a filthy-mouthed little brat like me.

After all… dirty girls need very dirty daddies. 


Carrie Wells is nothing but trouble.

She’s wild and difficult. Not worth anyone’s time.

Carrie Wells is a beautiful little brat. She’s also a vulnerable young adult on my case list.

She’s half my age and totally off limits. I’m breaking every rule in the book by giving her somewhere to stay when she’s out on the streets with nowhere to go. And I’m breaking every rule of friendship by holing her up in my best friend Jack’s house while he’s away on business.

I thought life was difficult enough when I fell for the girl, but it gets a whole lot harder when Jack comes home early and finds a beautiful stranger causing chaos in his house. 

And a whole lot harder still when he falls for her too. 

He’s the one guy on this planet I’d share my last supper with. I’d share it gladly. 

I’m just not so sure how I feel about sharing Carrie Wells. 

Review: Somebody Else's Sky (Something In The Way #2) by Jessica Hawkins

*****5 STARS*****

5 Million Stars

We fast forward to a year after book one ended and Manning is a year into his 2 year sentence for a crime he didn't commit. Other than that I can't tell you any more about the actual book because it's one of those books that anything said would be a spoiler. (Read book one first because that's an absolute must).

Tiffany has stood by Manning throughout his time inside and has actually tried to better herself or at least tried a little, but to be honest I still hate her guts and the sly crafty way she goes about things. I wanted to make a voodoo doll and torture her slowly and painfully.

Manning has gotten a lot stronger as a man both mentally and physically but then a stretch inside would do that to a person. He is torn in half but he just tries to do whats best for both Tiffany and Lake and believes that he's made the right choice. However on quite a few instances I wanted to hate him and scratch his eyes out for sticking his head in the sand.

Lake is growing up fast but still has that young immaturity to her, she wants things she can't have because both her Dad and her Sister like to control her life. I really wanted to see Lake stand up for herself and take or do something she wanted for a change. We do see her fighting ever so slightly towards the end of the book but I wanted to see her taking complete control of her life, not caring whether it hurts anyone in the process because all they have done is rule her with an iron rod and it's tearing her apart inside.

Right now I am still in a bad mood with this book and not because it wasn't good but simply because it didn't go the way I wanted it to so I am extremely grumpy and stamping my feet! My emotions were all over the place reading this because it has so much feeling. I was angry, sad, heartbroken and very indecisive with my thoughts. To date I think this is the only book that has evoked so much anger in me but that's not necessarily a bad thing, to me it simply means the author has done her job by evoking any sort of feelings from a reader. It's no secret that Jessica Hawkins likes to provoke a reader with angst and heartbreak whilst providing a story that has meaning in every single word and this one was no different and I have loved everything she has ever written. I was so hooked on this and couldn't put it down, my family were lucky they actually got fed at some point! I now need to wait on book 3 which I await with bated breath. I need so much of the thoughts revolving round my head to come to their conclusion and offer me solace. Congratulations Ms Hawkins you have funked me once again!

Reviewed by Claire Lamb 

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

Book two in the Something in the Way series.