Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Review: A Veil of Vines by Tillie Cole

****4 Stars****


Ah, I really enjoyed this book. It's a story of family, heritage and obligations, twisted together with true love and sacrifice.
Caresa is a great female lead. Strong in her own way, she's loyal to her traditional family. 

Thrust into a world she grew up knowing would be her destiny, she finds that nothing is as she expected.

As a bonus, if you're a wine lover, you'll love the setting of this tale. Tillie Cole paints such a vivid picture that you can almost smell the earth and vines.
This is a great read that's lighthearted and enjoyable. Another triumph from this author.

Reviewed by Vivienne Kauffer


To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.

But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth. 
For some, they are real life. 
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set. 
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more. 
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille. 
And everything changed.



Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2gyINu9



Review: When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

*****4.5 Stars*****


Many moons ago, Jayne Ann Krentz was my first foray into Romantic Suspense (I started out my romance reading life as a historical romance addict) and I am happy to say that over the years, her talent for penning a compelling and intriguing story in the genre has not diminished.
Charlotte is picking up her step-sister, Jocelyn's mail while she is vacationing and discovers a note from her sister's friend Louise. She heads to her place to pick up some documents she wanted Jocelyn to have only to run into Max, a PI. Louise is apparently dead and her cousin has hired Max to investigate. When Charlotte tries to get a hold of Jocelyn to inform her of her friend's death, she realizes she is missing. Concerned, she is left with little choice, and partners with Max to unravel he mysteries of Louise's death and Jocelyn's disappearance.
Krentz draws us in immediately with the first chapter where we have a supposed hunting accident unfold before our eyes. Immediately you'll find yourself asking who is murdering who and why. That kind of suspense and unknown mystery kept me on my toes for most of the book. As secrets and betrayals are unraveled I found it hard to put this book down.
In addition to the wonderful suspense story-line, we have the developing relationship between Charlotte and Max. I really enjoyed both characters. Charlotte lives her life on the straight and narrow, taking very few risks and Max is a jaded PI trying to simply make ends meet. These two are complete opposites on the surface, but as they work together, it becomes obvious they are perfect for each other. I will note that the romance does take a back seat to the suspense plot at points, which works here very well. This was a very enjoyable read and I think fans of the genre will enjoy this greatly.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil


Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth...


When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...



Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2grQuCr 

Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2grLi1d




Monday, 28 November 2016

Review: Pretty Lost Dolls (Pretty Stolen Dolls #2) by Ker Dukey & K. Webster

*****5 Stars*****


I am not joking around when I say this book will leave you wanting to heave the acid bile from the dark pits of your stomach retching up into the tunnel of your throat and projectile vomiting from your mouth!
Benny has his dirty little dolly back but his dirty little dolly has vowed to fight until the very end but not before he vows to break her mind into tiny fragments of obedience for her master but whether he can or not remains to be seen. Jade has been stolen again from right under Dillon's nose and he will never forgive himself, so he vows to find her and won't stop until he does. It's realised though that Jade's sister Macy is heavily involved now in what Benny does meaning her mind has been warped and corrupted into believing that everything evil and doll like is normal behaviour. Macy is a naughty doll though and likes to tick Benny off so he punishes her in the hopes he will love her back. Benny doesn't want Macy the broken doll though, he only ever wanted Jade the dirty little doll which makes Macy rebel against him. Benny also has Jades ex boyfriend Bo and isn't happy because he has been with Jade. I don't want to go into much plot detail but you must read book one before you can dive into this one. It's a battle of the strongest and smartest to survive and there's no telling how things will turn out so you will just have to read to find out. 

As usual there are quite a few gruelling plot twists to keep the readers mind racing through the pages and that ending omg what was that. To live in these authors heads would be the making of horrendous nightmares keeping you awake until daylight made an appearance. This book and series is not rainbows and unicorns so definitely not for the easily offended. Good job ladies, good job!


Reviewed by Claire Lamb


Benny had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick. 

Just like him, his dolly needed darkness as a fix, fix, fix. 
So they tormented and hunted and played tricks, tricks, tricks. 
Together their sins a lethal mix, mix, mix. 

Until Benny missed his dolly who was lost, lost, lost. 
He needed to find her and love her at any cost, cost, cost. 
Not wanting him and his dolly to be alone, lone, lone. 
He made plans to bring his dirty dolly, home, home, home. 

Have you ever touched another’s soul with the essence of your own, breathed them in so they become apart of you? 
I have. 
Finally starting to live, feel and fall in love, amongst all the chaos surrounding me. 
Dropping my guard and letting another into my heart. 
I left my soul open. 
I left my heart open. 
I left the door open. 
And he stole me. 
Dillon…I’m sorry. 



Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2fGEZdc 

Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2fGF3cW




Review: The Heiress and the Hothead (Sinful Suitors #1.5) by Sabrina Jeffries

****4 Stars****


One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to read holiday themed romances! An entertaining quick holiday read is Sabrina Jefferies' new novella, The Heiress and the Hothead. This is a novella in her Sinful Suitors series but can definitely be read as a standalone. I'll also note that this was previously published in the holiday historical romance anthology, What Happens Under the Mistletoe.
This was fun story about two people who have very firm opinions about each other and, is the way of many a romance, discover upon actual meeting that much of what they thought is not true. Stephen is a hardheaded and suborn journalist. Amanda runs her family's coton mill in America. She is in England wanting to learn more about how mills are run there. He is hoping to interview her and expose the injustices she is committing against her workers.
Stephen is sure she is a terrible person and unfair cotton mill owner. Amanda is sure he is a terrible person who spends all of his time spouting off about things he knows nothing about. After a case of mistaken identity leads to a stolen kiss they find themselves engaged in a passionate battle of wills that was a joy to read. Jefferies always writes such interesting characters and some of the best witty dialogue you will read. There is much ado by readers/reviewers over the burning mill love scene (yes, they make love in a mill as it is on fire). While it seems to be a very ill placed love scene, I'm going to go against the norm here as I think it actually fit with these characters and their hotheaded passion pretty well.
This was a short read (about 90 pages) and as is always the case when I read novellas, I wish their story could have been longer. Definitely entertaining and a great short holiday read for fans of holiday romances!

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil


Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead.


Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2fC5kJ7 

Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2g34qWz




Sunday, 27 November 2016

Review: What If It's Right? by J.B. Heller

****4 Stars****


It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in one sitting so I was pleased that this one pulled me in and kept me there right through to the end. I really enjoyed everything about this book which some may consider a taboo read but I think it was tastefully done and as such I don’t. I found this to be a quick read and I can’t decide if that was just because I was so sucked into the story as I read it in a couple of hours. 
We meet Victoria at just eighteen having fun with her nephew, Finn, at the fair being the fun auntie before their lives and the dynamics of their relationship are tragically changed forever. This book was as much about the relationship between Tory and Finn and as such we follow their journey through the years as Finn grows up with Tory as his guardian putting her life on hold to do her best for him. I like the way the author paced the story that felt like a slow build initially but it soon picked up speed.
Weston is quite a character and at times I didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe at his teenage cockiness and comments. I think the author did a fantastic job in moving Weston on from the kid next door to a mature adult that you feel for in his feelings for Tory. I was so desperate for her to throw caution to the wind but the slow burn of this book is what kept me turning the pages. I loved the way all the characters evolved, the banter between them and the shift in their relationships too. 
This is my first book by this author but I am already looking at her back-list as it seems I have some catching up to do. 


Reviewed by Vikki Ryan


WESTON
I have a problem.
A big freaking problem.
Her name is Tory Dixon.
I’ve been in love with her since I was seventeen.
The problem, you ask? She’s kinda my best friend’s mum.

VICTORIA

I have a six foot, three inches tall, twenty-two-year-old problem.
His name is Weston Banks.
I’ve been pretending he doesn’t have feelings for me for the last six years.
You see, fourteen years ago, I became my nephew’s guardian.
And Weston, well, he’s my nephew’s best friend.
Which makes him ten years my junior and oh so deliciously complicated.



Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2fC9ssj 
Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2gsbMUb



Review: Two, Three, Four: The Complete Series by S.C. Daiko

*****4.5 Stars*****


SC Daiko has combined her emotional and sexy story of Lauren, Max and Steve into one convenient boxed set with an added prequel that tells us the previously untold story of how Lauren and Max first met.
In Three, we meet Lauren. Lauren has been having a hot and heavy online affair with her boss Max. The virtual bdsm is hot and he has a regular staring role in her nightly fantasies. When he invites her to travel to Italy to work with him in person she jumps at the chance. A gorgeous Italian Vila with a sexy Dom she plans to have lots of casual and off the charts hot sex with. What could possibly go wrong? Enter Steve, a colleague of Max also staying at his Vila. If one sexy man is good, two sounds even better. Before long, all three are engaged in a passionate affair that has them engaged sexually in every combination imaginable and it isn't long until more than just their bodies become entwined.
In Four, Max, Lauren and Steve are back and just as hot as they were in Three. Four picks up right where Three left off. Our trio have been living the dream in their passionate and unconventional relationship. They are deeply in love and making plans for the future, which include trying for a baby. Things could not be more perfect, but as we all know, life and love rarely go exactly as planned. Enter, James, an old friend of Steve. He's in town and he comes with an agenda that could tear the lovers apart. Soon, the Steve they know and love changes into someone almost unrecognizable. Can their love and passion keep their relationship strong or are some things destined to not last?
A wonderful addition to this trio's story is Two, the new prequel novella that tells the untold story of how Lauren and Max first met. If you, like me, were curious about what happened before Three began, you will just love Two! It covers the two month time span when Lauren first moved to Rome and we see how their initial friends with benefits relationship began. I really enjoyed getting some more insight into Lauren and Max's beginning and getting a closer look into their thoughts.
Two, Three, Four is a wonderful menage read. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys emotional stories filled with steam and loves their menage with a heaping dose of m/m and bdsm elements.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil


Max Conti. One of the most eligible bachelors in Rome. Hot as f*ck and my boss. 


Why am I crushing on him? 

I don’t do crushes. 

And I definitely don’t do falling in love. 

But when Max proposes a “friends with benefits” relationship, and introduces me to his favorite kink, I find I can’t resist. 

And then there’s Steve. Open to anything and a total hunk. 

I shouldn’t want two men in my bed. 

Except I do want them. 

I want them so bad I can’t keep my head straight. 

It’s lust, simple as that. No strings… just two guys, a girl, and a whole lotta sex. 

I can handle that. 

Sure I can. 

It’s no big deal. 

It’s not like I’m gonna fall for them or anything, right? 

***

Sexy Italian Max has the starring role in some hot dreams and wild nights for Lauren when she leaves her life in Seattle behind to work for his company in Rome, Italy. There she’ll meet gorgeous Englishman Steve, and soon crazy ideas start to form in Lauren’s mind about having both men in her bed. When Lauren’s fantasy becomes reality, the two sex gods take her to such heights of kinky pleasure she never imagined possible. So what could possibly go wrong? 


***

TWO THREE FOUR includes the never before published prequel, TWO, an updated version of THREE, and FOUR. A panty-melting emotional read. 18+only.


Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/2grKJ7M 

Amazon USA - http://amzn.to/2ggogLR



Review: An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

*****5 Stars*****


Suanne Laqueur is an author that for me just doesn't get enough credit. Her books take you on a complete journey, with characters that are so perfectly flawed, you just can't help but be totally absorbed into the world this author has created.
At first glance, I thought this book was huge, being made up of 550 pages. However it was clear from the first few pages that I didn't want this book to end.
The book spans several decades from 1973 - 2007 and touches on two particular poignant events, the first being Pinochet's atrocities in Chile and the second being the 9/11 terror attack. Both subjects were handled, I thought, beautifully if that is even the right word, but having such incredible characters and seeing these events through their eyes made this an intense, emotional read.
This book is told in several characters points of view, but the main ones being Alex, Val and Jav. These three characters, through several coincidences end up coming together throughout the years and their relationship (in a non sexual sense) was incredibly touching. I have to say though that I did find Alex to be my favourite. His life experiences really got to me, but by the same token, Jav's life definitely wasn't plain sailing.
I could write about this book forever, but one thing that Suanne seems to be so good at, is writing a sex scene, that I can only describe as insanely classy. You know that characters are having sex, you can picture it vividly in your mind, but there's no gratuitous explanations and that makes it such a refreshing read.
Finally I want to end my review by pointing out a particular point in the book where Val was describing a book Jav had written; "Was this good?" she asked. 
"Insanely good," Val said "Jav writes so seamlessly , you forget you're reading." This dialogue absolutely sums up this book for me, but if I had any criticism it would be that I do think there's more to the story for some of the characters and I really really hope Suanne brings us more in the future.


Reviewed by Louise Dale


September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.

September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.

Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.





Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Review: Words I Couldn't Say (Promise in Prose #1) by Tessa Teevan

****4 Stars****


This is a new to me author and while this is a spin-off of the author's Explosive series, it can be read as a standalone. This was a good slow burn second chance romance that will have you glued to the pages as soon as you open it.
Ava Banks and Tucker Manning have known each other their whole lives and have been inseparable and the best of friends all through their childhood and into their teens. When their friendship finally blossoms into something more, tragedy strikes and changes everything. She left him behind to pursue her dreams while he stayed behind to do what was right. Five years pass without not a word between them, both of them living them dream but lonely and miserable without the other. Tucker has put all of his pain and misery into writing her a love story in hopes that she will read it someday and hear the words he couldn't say all those years ago. When Hollywood comes calling, he makes sure she gets the role as leading lady. No better woman for the role than the inspiration behind the whole thing. Now he finally has a second chance to make everything right, show her what's always been in his heart, and hopefully finally get the girl of his dreams after all these years.
Ava and Tucker have insane chemistry between them and I really felt for them with what all they went through. I loved the flashbacks every once in awhile to their past to let us better understand what happened. I loved how they were both so sweet with one another. All the secondary characters were an amazing addition and I know most of them have their own books so I'm going to have to go back and read them all now! Especially Jeremy and Sierra, Ava's parents. I can't wait to see what else the author has for us next.

Reviewed by Ashley Ziegler


You know the old adage “if you love something, set it free?" 
It's the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. 
The dumbest thing I've ever done. 
I loved her. I lost her. Hell, I let her go. And then spent five miserable years without her. 

To cope with the loss, I put pen to paper and wrote her a love story, knowing when she was ready she’d hear the words I couldn’t say all those years ago. 

Turned out, not only would she hear them, but when Hollywood came calling, I made sure she got the lead role. After all, no one else could portray the character whom she’d inspired. 
Now she's within arms' reach and finally, she'll know the truth in my heart. 

Because that other cliché, “Actions speak louder than words?” 
I’m going to prove it. 
My words may have brought Ava Banks back into my life; I have to be enough to make her stay. 





Monday, 21 November 2016

Review: Vice by Callie Hart

*****4.5 Stars*****


I first encountered Cade Preston in the Blood & Roses series and from that point on his story intrigued me so so much and to say I was excited to read this book is an understatement.
Now firstly this book definitely has a stand alone feel to it, which is entirely deliberate on the authors part. However I do think the fact that I had some knowledge of Cade's background helped and the reason he finds himself in a certain situation is all the better having already been privy to his story.
The romance element of this book also took a back seat for a large portion of the book and I was actually beginning to wonder if there was to be any romance at all, but in all honesty a lot of the book was about Cade and the truly evil psychopath, Fernando Villalobos. This guy was truly sickening and unreadable for the most part. He actually reminded me in so many ways of Christoph Waltz's socipathic character in the film, Inglorious B@st@rds.
When the romance part of the book did finally happen, boy did it happen. Seriously Cade has got some serious moves girls and definitely gives Zeth and Rebel a run for their money.
This book was written entirely in Cade's point of view so I wasn't able to get inside Natalia's head. It was hard to understand what made her tic, apart from Cade of course. What I do know is that she was perfect for him and I really do hope we get something from her perspective in any future books.
Overall I really enjoyed this book despite the lack of romance for a large portion and whilst this hasn't been my favourite of Callie's books, I can honestly say the lady has a talent for writing incredibly hot sex scenes and that this book should have come with a warning with one scene in particular and that is all I'm going to say about that.

Reviewed by Louise Dale


In war, there are only three rules. 


Obey orders. 

Protect the guy standing next to you. 

Stay alive. 

Cade Preston left the military a long time ago, but he has never ceased to live by the laws of combat. As vice president of the Widow Makers Motorcycle club, he’s been loyal. He’s fought tooth and nail to stay alive. He’s shed blood to save the lives of those who matter to him. 

And now he’s gone and done something he swore he would never do. 

He’s fallen for the one girl he can’t have. 

Cortina Villalobos is an untouchable. The daughter of one of Ecuador’s most notorious cartel leaders, she is beyond Cade’s reach in every way. Fernando Villalobos is a murderer and a madman. He will kill anyone who dares look twice at his daughter, and yet Cade can’t walk away. 

Will he disobey orders? 

Will he abandon his club? 

And will taking on the House of Wolves cost him his life?

Note: Vice is a standalone novel, with a complete beginning, middle and end. If you would like to read more about Cade Preston, you can find him featured in both the Blood & Roses series and the Dead Man’s Ink series. However, you do not need to read those books in order to enjoy this one.






Review: Out of Bounds by Lauren Blakely

****3.5 Stars****


Now I love Lauren Blakely's books, but me being British, I'm not a huge fan of American Football themed books. I accept that is down to my own lack of knowledge, however there was far more focus on the football aspect than I would have liked, which did sadly prevent me from being totally immersed into this short book/novella.
I loved how the book started and the whole surfer thing Drew had going on was a great opener.
The characters themselves were your pretty typical hero and heroine. None of which had any particular baggage or drama that made this story stand out from lots of others. But they were likeable and both had an instant attraction to the other which made things pretty sexy.
The book overall was enjoyable and not a bad read, but I do think it's more suited to someone who has a greater understanding of the American Football world or someone that just wants a quick, hot, little read.

Reviewed by Louise Dale


The first rule of football--don't screw with a streak.


My career is finally looking up, and I'm leading a new pro team down the field every Sunday. No way will I mess with that. But when I meet the most stunning and captivating woman I've ever seen, I tell myself one night will have to be enough. 

But it's not. And now I can't get her out of my mind. Even when I'm playing. Even when I need to focus. Even when I’m on the hottest streak of my life. 

And it turns out, she's not just some random woman I met. She works for the team. My team.

***

I only have one goal this season--do my part as the team's lawyer to keep them out of trouble. Help rebuild their reputation on and off the field. There's no room for error and certainly no room for a secret tryst with a player . . . even if he's the quarterback.

Right?