Category: 3/5 Stars

Blog tour: London Soul by Nana Malone

Book: London Soul

Series: London Royal #2

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 19 November 2019

Main characters: Abena Nartey, upcoming photography student, struggling to get away from her controlling family. Alexi Chase, her smitten paramour, and super rich royal, harbouring deep secrets.

Blurb:

Before her, I was:

Rich.
Entitled.
A possessive pain in the ass.

Who am I kidding? I still am.

Love wasn’t for me.
I’d come to terms with that a long time ago.

And then I met her. I was this close to freedom. But one look at her and I was caught in a web I couldn’t escape. One I didn’t want to escape.

But then someone took her from me. Now they’ll find out just how far I’m willing to go to get her back.

To save the woman I love, all I need to do is expose my secrets. Secrets that will have consequences for her and the crown.

 

Why you should read it: You may remember that cliffhanger at the end of London Royal? Well, the action picks up right from where book 1 left off. Abbie and Alexi go through the mill in this book – so many obstacles, and misunderstandings and misplaced loyalty means one thing: DRAMA! It was exciting and the action and plot did not wane – it certainly kept me reading. Abbie develops quite a bit in this story – she’s skittish for very good reason and wary of Lexi at the start of the story, but by degrees, the pair come to trust each other and work on their personal issues. I empathised with Abbie – she’s doing the best she can and she really has a dreadful family! Lexi is in foreign territory in his feelings for Abbie – he has competing priorities and he really has a lot to sort through. Seeing how he navigates his way through friendships and family was interesting and also quite sad.

What you may not like: I think all in all, Nana Malone acquitted herself well re-versioning this story into the Royal environment. Fans of the Chase brothers will really enjoy their new world and the continuing story to include Xander and his adventures. I’ll admit, I was a bit sceptical as I enjoyed the original series and thought why mess with perfection? However, there was some new plot and new content to enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/5 for a good read – lots of drama, lots of angst, and plenty of sexual chemistry! Looking forward to more Chase brothers.

BLOG TOUR: Two Together by Lisa Renee Jones

Book: Two Together

Series: Naked trilogy #3

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 19 November 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, Jax North – their families are sworn enemies but can these two end the enmity once and for all?

Blurb: He came into my life. He took me off guard, consumed me. Claimed me. But there is more to Jax North than meets the eye. There is more to this man than the way he makes me tremble, sigh, and even smile when I didn’t believe I still could smile. And as it turns out the two of us together are far more than fire and passion. The two of us together threaten to expose a secret about Jax, and our families, that not even we know. A secret that someone doesn’t want exposed. A secret that someone will do anything to hide.

Why you should read it: Do you like secrets? Lies? Family lies and secrets? Then you owe it to yourself to finish this series. You really need to have read One Man and One Woman before attempting Two Together (in case you somehow didn’t know this is a trilogy). Action picks up from the end of book 2 and from there on, there’s sexy times aplenty. There’s peril and intrigue, self-discovery and lots character growth. The was a ton of angst for Emma and Jax – namely because there’s danger and it’s not immediately clear where the danger is coming from. However, Jax and Emma are such a good team that they don’t spend a lot of time agonising about whether they should be together or not. I was thankful for this, as this kind of vacillating from characters can really slow down a plot and become repetitive.

What you may not like: For the most part I enjoyed the conclusion to this series. It was poignant, it was sexy and there was a good build up of intrigue. There were lots of surprises along the way, so I was kept guessing whodunnit. My only question would be Jill’s behaviour throughout the series and why it turned around seemingly overnight. It felt a little unresolved to me.

Rating: 3.5/5 for an intriguing, exciting and hot series. Being rich doesn’t equal happy, that’s for sure!

BUY LINKS:

Apple → https://apple.co/2Xg5ZCY

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/TwoTogether

Nook → http://bit.ly/2I43qPv

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2K6pdZe

Review: Half Truths by Claire Contreras

Half Truths AMAZONBook: Half Truths

Author: Claire Contreras

Series: a standalone (so far)

Release date: 21 October 2019

Main characters: Amelia Bastón, Ellis university student desperate to find her way in life outside of her family’s influence; Logan Fitzgerald, star hockey player, and thorn in Amelia’s side from day one.

Blurb:

You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.

They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.
I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.

I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgement or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.

It’s a game I’m willing to play.
I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

Why you should read it: Claire Contreras has a wonderful narrative style. Her books have the right blend of angst, sexual chemistry and an intricate side plot running through it. Contreras has embarked on a different subgenre and this book has been billed as romantic suspense – a sub-genre I love when done well.

The book’s setting is intriguing. A college whose students sit in the lap of luxury and where the country’s most powerful offspring belong to secret societies, doing who knows what. All the ingredients for a suspenseful tale are there. There are enigmatic characters who try to befriend Amelia, but their purpose isn’t always clear. Another key ingredient. Then there’s Logan, the love interest. He’s a big man on campus with a bright future in front of him. He seems to delight in antagonising her, but at the same time, can’t seem to leave her alone. The key elements are all there, and there were some truly exciting moments in the book – in particular, towards the end of the book.

What you may not like: I have to be honest, it took me a long while to get into this story. Why? Perhaps because so much of the book was setting the scene, I wanted action quicker than it actually occurred. Then there was Amelia. She’s young – I get that, but a lot of the time she came across as whiny and she really knew how to labour a point. Much of her inner monologue was repetitive and at times, I wanted to shake her. I’m used to punchy dialogue from Contreras’s heroines but Amelia really didn’t have a lot to say for herself that added value or gravitas to a given situation. Her dialogue with Logan was supposed to be flirtatious and at times combative, but again, it just didn’t land for me.

Logan as a character wasn’t entirely convincing either, until the latter portion of the book. So much of the book featured them circling each other, giving very little away, that by the time the exciting ending came, it was over in a few pages. I found this really disappointing as just as we were getting a handle on the characters and how they interacted with each other, it was over.

Rating3/5 for a solid and promising effort in a new genre, but some pacing issues hampered the book’s progress for me.

 

Buy links:

Amazonhttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsAmazon

iBookshttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsiBooks

Nookhttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsNook

Kobohttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsKobo

So Steady by Eve Dangerfield

Book: So Steady

Series: Silver Daughters Ink #2

Author: Eve Dangerfield

Release date: 14 August 2019

Main characters: Nicole DaSilva, the more conservative of the DaSilva sisters, struggling with her competing priorities. Noah Newcomb, talented, virtually silent tattooist, who is the polar opposite to Nicole, but attracted to her nonetheless.

Plot: Nicole DaSilva has always been the ‘perfect’ sister. A respectable accountant, she is the only DaSilva daughter to have up sticks and moved to Sydney in pursuit of respectability and success beyond the chaos of her family.

Her plan seems to have stalled, since her engagement and her life in Sydney no longer satisfy. She misses her sisters, and needs to find out why the family business is in trouble.

There’s also the added complication of Noah Newcomb – her twin sister’s colleague and friend. He’s an enigma  wrapped in a mystery and he makes her want things she shouldn’t…

Noah is a loner – not by design, but it’s better that way. His past is complicated and because of it he has no business wanting Nicole the way he does. No good can come from their mutual attraction, but that’s the thing about attraction. It won’t be denied…

Why you should read it: If you read So Wild (Sam’s book) then it makes sense you’d want her twin Nicole’s story, right? Nicole and Sam are like chalk and cheese, but bubbling under Nicole’s exterior is a very complicated and frustrated woman desperate to get out. I liked Nicole – she feels honour bound to take care of her bratty sisters and help the business succeed. That’s why I wanted her to get with Noah – she deserved to let her hair down for once and do what she wanted. She’s seriously repressed at the start of the book, so seeing her evolve and unclench was really interesting.

What you may struggle with: Noah was tricky. He’s not big on words so it was hard to get a read on him. Even though parts of the book were written in his pov, I still felt a disconnect between how he felt and what he said and did. He and Nicole had heat, and I love a bit of dirty talk, but their brand of sexual congress didn’t really do it for me unfortunately. I don’t really want to read about spitting – EVER!

Sam and Tabitha were also quite suffocating in this book. I don’t remember them being so in your face in book 1, but they were soooo frickin annoying. I get it – your sisters with no boundaries, but back up! I know we regress in our family dynamics but they were cloying and claustrophobic.

Rating: 3/5 for an engaging story featuring untypical characters. It was nice to read a book that didn’t follow the standard archetypes. Immature siblings aside, it’s worth a look.

 

Blog tour: Sonata by Skye Warren

Sonata-1600x2400Book: Sonata

Series: North security #3

Author: Skye Warren

Release date: 6 August 2019

Main characters: Samantha Brooks, violinist and child prodigy who is learning to stand on her own two feet. Liam North, former guardian, sometimes lover, the man who wants to protect her from anyone who would harm her. Even himself.

****CONTAINS SPOILERS: DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ OVERTURE AND CONCERTO****


Blurb:

Who is Samantha Brooks without her violin? Fear lives in the silent spaces. Love does, too. There’s a battle being waged in her heart, and Liam North is determined to win. He’ll use every weapon in his arsenal. His body. His heart. Except the spotlight puts her in the crosshairs of dangerous men.

Samantha fights to compose her own ending, even as the final notes rise to a heartbreaking crescendo.

Why you should read it: If you’ve stuck with the series through all of its twists and turns you’re going to want to read how it all pans out right? Find out all the answers to your questions – like, who is after Samantha and why? Will Liam ever stop blowing hot and cold and be brave with his feelings? In this particular book, Samantha is the one who experiences the most personal growth – she’s becoming more independently minded, she’s not afraid to sacrifice things for those she loves and she’s tenacious. Liam is still Liam. He’s like an iceberg – he has a lot of thawing out to do if she’s ever going to penetrate his heart. Despite his wariness at admitting his true feelings for Samantha, their passion is palpable, although it left me scratching my head at times about exactly what he was so reticent about. He’s already bedded her, he doesn’t want anyone else to have her – he doesn’t want to leave her – so what’s his problem?!

What you may struggle with: Ok – full disclosure: I feel a bit short-changed here. I stuck with this trilogy as it had a strong suspenseful plot that went beyond Samantha and Liam. Who was trying to harm Samantha? Why was she so important and ultimately dangerous? What happened to her dear old dad? And what of her other new-found relatives? By book 3, I had expected to get a satisfying conclusion to all of these plot points. The author created an intricate story and I expected (three books in) that the author would sew up all of the gaping plot-holes. Sadly, this wasn’t to be – several incidents and characters were left hanging and I will admit I was bewildered, followed swiftly by annoyed when they weren’t mentioned again. Did the author run out of time, or did she think no-one would notice?

Rating: 3/5 (barely) for a very half-hearted conclusion to a series with potential that unfortunately didn’t deliver. If you’re going to embark on a trilogy, you really need to do a better job of stitching together all your loose ends. The ending felt rushed and I’ll admit that I was more intrigued by the peripheral characters than the main ones in the story – perhaps the author was too and simply got distracted…

 

REVIEW: Return of the Prince by Nana Malone

cover nana maloneBook: Return of the Prince

Series: Prince duet #1

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 30 April 2019

Main characters: Ariel Scott, tech-savvy, security expert to the crown; Prince Tristan, previously exiled, desperate to return to The Winston Isles, though nothing can prepare him for seeing Ariel again.

Blurb:

They said I’d never come home again…they were wrong.

There is one person worth returning home for. Her. One little problem. She hates me. She should, I left her behind.

Now I’m back and I with a score to settle, and I will do what ever it takes to to win her back.

Even if it means spilling my secrets.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! If you’re loving the Winston Isles and its couples and its intrigue, then I’m thinking you’re going to want to dive into Return of the Prince. Ariel has been a steady and intriguing presence in the other Royal books. She’s steadfast, loyal and family is everything to her. Despite her father’s actions, she’s back in the royal fold and providing essential security to the upper echelons of society. Life is good. It may be all work, but it’s something she can rely on. Her heart is used to disappointment – her doomed love affair eons ago with Prince Tristan still plays on her mind, but she’s resolved to moving on.

The plan for ‘moving on’ unravels when she’s asked by the King himself to provide security to his cousin, Tristan. Knowing she can’t refuse without a damn good reason, Ariel is forced to accept the mission. She’s been in difficult positions before – she can handle this one. Or so she thinks. I really felt for Ariel coming face-to-face with the man who broke her heart. Her fight or flight instincts want to kick in, but she has a reputation to uphold and an obligation to the Royal family, so it’s made doubly difficult for her.

Prince Tristan is an interesting character. He’s full of secrets and is also loyal to those he loves. He’s attractive and a sportsman in his own right, and life should be good. It was interesting in this story that the hero is the one with the baggage and the secrets that need to be dragged out of him. I found that quite refreshing.

What you may not like: I enjoyed the intrigue and the delving in to Tristan’s secrets. The back and forth between Ariel and Tristan was not tiresome – it could have gone on and on, but it didn’t and I feel that some of the secrets and mysteries have been answered in this first book, but there will surely be more revelations in book two. I enjoyed this book, was it my favourite of the duets? No – I think that the drama has been building and building as each book has been published, and that for me, it didn’t quite resonate with me as much as some of the previous books did. It’s still a banging read though!

Rating: 3.5/5 for a well-told story with one of my favourite characters – Ariel. I definitely want to see where the pair end up in book 2 for sure!

Blog tour: Laws of Physics – Time by Penny Reid

LOP_TIMEBook: Laws of Physics: Time

Series: Hypothesis trilogies series #2, book #3

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 16 April 2019

Main characters: Abram Harris, successful musician about to embark on his first world tour; Mona da Vinci, brillant scientist, navigating her feelings for Abram.

Plot: Mona and Abram have been apart for 6 days and the reality of being apart for the coming year is beginning to dawn on them. Due to the newness of their relationship, both Mona and Abram are surrounded by naysayers and friends who are sceptical of their feelings for each other.

Despite the separation, Mona and Abram are determined to make time for each other – desperate to coordinate their demanding schedules, the pair are able to steal time here and there, in various cities, but will it be enough to sustain them when they’re alone?

Why you should read it: Because… Penny Reid. That’s why. I won’t bore you with my fangirling for the PR – if you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know I’m gaga for her stories. I have enjoyed this series – I love Mona and her fierce intelligence, and her foibles. Abram is a dreamer and a complete romantic. The poor guy is struggling in this story – once he goes all in, he goes all in. The way he pined for Mona made me smile and empathise, as I’ve been there, but I did feel for his friends too – he was pretty joyless without Mona! All in all, it was a sweet conclusion to a charming series – it was low on drama and really a study in the slow burn. I was really ready for them to stop moving so slowly and get to the sexy times already!

What you may not like: Not much to dislike, really. It’s very romantic. Abram is so focused on being with Mona that he’s unable to focus or care about much else. Mona is a bit more sensible and manages to hold it together, but she has her own issues she needs to deal with. I suppose if you enjoy high drama with baddies throwing spanners in the works, this may be a bit tame for you, but I enjoyed it for the gentle read it was.

Rating: 3.5/5 – charming series, well written. I enjoyed the philosophical musings and the couple. Would recommend reading the series in one sitting!

Buy links:

Download your copy.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Gk59Aq
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2MYQ73J
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TimePR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2TFwsIH

 

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Blog tour: Crazy For Your Love by Lexi Ryan

Book: Crazy For Your Love

Series: The Boys of Jackson Harbor #5

Author: Lexi Ryan

Release date: 9 April 2019

Main characters: Teagan Chopra, nurse and longtime friend of Carter Jackson, member of the Jackson clan, local firefighter and something of a reluctant celebrity.

Plot: Teagan loves living in Jackson Harbor. The life she has, the job she loves and the friends that surround her make up for the family she left behind in South Carolina. The choice to move to Jackson Harbor was forced upon her and she’s made the best out of a dire situation, but she’s about to find out that when you run away from a situation, you always run into yourself – or in this case, a creepy ex.

When her sister Saanvi decides to get married in Jackson Harbor, Teagan’s joy turns to dismay when she learns that her family has invited Rich Nasser – her ex who won’t take no for an answer – to be part of the wedding party. Her plan? Enlist the help of her good friend Carter to pose as her other half and hopefully dissuade Rich from pursuing her further.

Carter has always had feelings for Teagan – since she first rolled into town. She’s always shut down his advances and his flirting, so he’s always been content with her friendship, although he wishes for more. When she tells him her half-baked plan, he’s ready to be there for her, consequences be damned. When she refuses to open up to him however, he’s resolved to protect her from her ex in any way he can.

Subterfuge and half truths abound, and the pair are left with very complicated feelings for one another. Teagan is harbouring a secret, while Jackson has his own demons. Will they ever get their acts together and finally trust the other with their ugly truths?

Why you should read it: Throughout this series I have found something to love in every book. The characters are well drawn, they have depth and their fair share of problems. Teagan and Carter are no exception! I understood and felt for Teagan as her secret was one that made her feel shame and accept blame for something that was not her fault. It was an interesting journey she was on and for the most part – I was on board. Carter’s backstory was interesting too – the philandering small town playboy, who is acting out due to trauma he too is suppressing. There’s a lot to unpack and I enjoyed the story arc. The chemistry between the pair was palpable and very sexy. There’s also a fair amount of obstacles that lie in their wake. The course of true love and all that.

What you may not like: The story started off fairly lightheartedly, gathering momentum as the plot progressed, then the amount of obstacles in the way grew to almost ridiculous levels – I’m all for drama, but at one point it seemed as though all hell had broken loose. Carter was some kind of female catnip and the women were just flocking to him and causing problems. The rest of the time, it was Teagan who was standing in her own way – which after a while grated on me. Her non-communication made a bad situation even more dramatic. There is plenty of angst in this story!

Rating: 3/5 I liked Teagan and Carter, but the stress levels were off the charts. The characters worked EXTRA hard for their HEA.

 

Right Where I Want You by Jessica Hawkins

Compliments of the season to you! I hope you had a great time whatever you did over the break – and most importantly, that it involved a good book or five!

I read this book over the holidays (which released 28 December 2018) as it’s written by a good author friend of mine – the very talented Jessica Hawkins.

Book: Right Where I Want You

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 28 December 2018

Main characters: Sebastian Quinn, hotshot Creative Director of men’s magazine The Modern Man, whose creative midas touch has turned to brass. Georgina Keller, the consultant brought in to clean up the staff’s reputation and revive the magazine’s fortunes.

BLURB
There’s a thin line between love and hate . . . and it cuts right through the middle of their office.

Bad boys? They run right over good girls like Georgina Keller.

But after a confidence-shattering breakup, she’s determined not to let anyone at her new workplace push her around—least of all the brooding creative director, a “bad boy of publishing” who’s made it clear she’s enemy #1.

Sebastian Quinn’s taste for fast cars, late nights, and beautiful women may have gotten him to the top of a leading New York magazine, but the reputation that made him is suddenly threatening to end his career.

Georgina can help Modern Man shed its bad reputation, but in order to do that, she’ll have to start at the top—and no amount of rakish charm or inconvenient attraction will distract her.

Because if Sebastian gets her right where he wants her, it means she’s going down.

Why you should read it: I will always read anything by this author – she truly is a good soul who is able to weave vivid stories that are varied, full of heart and surprises along the way. This story will be a hit with animal lovers and romance fans alike – Georgina has a lot on her plate and cares for her dog with all the care of a good mother. Her interactions with Sebastian are fraught and snappy, slowly evolving into a deeper, more intimate relationship.

Sebastian is a dude’s dude – or that’s what he’d have you believe. Deep down he’s more complex, more respectful of women and relationships than his public persona would have the public believe. He’s on thin ice professionally, and dealing with serious issues personally. How can this pair possibly work together without letting their guards down?

What you may not like: Ok – full disclosure. I struggled to get into this book. Usually, I’m hooked from the first page and dragged into the author’s world immediately. This didn’t happen with this one and I’ll explain why. Firstly, after a promising start, the focus was very much on Georgina and her dog. In fact, it felt like a love story between the heroine and her dog. Nothing wrong with that per se, but…she didn’t actually get close to the hero until I was 60% through the book! I love a slow burn but, come on!

Also, Georgina was understandably gun shy after a bad previous relationship, but it really did cast a shadow over her whole life – and she mentioned it A LOT in her internal dialogue, which began to wear on me after a while. So, all in all, I wasn’t crazy about the story – it had its moments – there were some really nice one-liners and banter between George and the staff members of the magazine, but for me – too much emphasis on being a pet owner and not enough time with the hero, alienated me a bit from the main story.

Rating: 3/5 for a gently paced tale – it’s worth a look, but for me, it didn’t set my holiday alight. I think I needed more angst and sexy times!

Blog tour: Wrapped in Love by Lexi Ryan

Cover image  - a man and a woman standing closely in an intimate way

Book: Wrapped in Love

Series: The Boys of Jackson Harbor #4

Author: Lexi Ryan

Release date: 4 December 2018

Main characters: Molly McKinley, single mom and events planner extraordinaire; Brayden Jackson, serious eldest brother of the McKinley clan, Molly’s boss and the man he wishes she’d choose.

Plot: Molly McKinley never wanted to come back to Jackson’s Harbor – the gossip, the secrets that inevitably came out and her past all make her want to run as fast and as far as possible. But, when an irresistible job offer comes up, one that means she can provide for her son, she can hardly refuse. Plus it means she can reconnect with her mother despite what happened in the past.

Brayden Jackson has loved Molly from afar, and not so far for a long time. He knows she has issues, and a young child to think of, but he wants to be there for them both. The memory of the night they shared a while back is in no danger of dimming. He’s keen for a repeat, but Molly had drawn a line in the sand. He’s her boss, nothing more, nothing less.

A crisis situation just before Christmas sees Molly with nowhere to live and so Brayden seizes the opportunity to show her that maybe, just maybe, if she’s brave enough to choose happiness, she needed do it all alone…

Why you should read it: I have read every book in this series avidly and love the Jackson brothers. They’re pretty straightforward, which is refreshing, as the heroines really take complicated to another level. Molly has a terrible backstory – I really felt for her in the previous books when it became clear how she came to be living in New York alone. I felt for her and her demons – I really wanted for someone to suggest counselling, as she was still carrying around guilt and the past, with no signs of resolving any of it. Brayden was all you’d want in a hero: strong, patient, devoted to her despite the blockers she put in his way. Their chemistry was palpable also – it was clear to all that they felt strongly for one another, but honestly, they were so dense at times  that they couldn’t recognise it!

What you might not like: Molly is sweet, she’s kind and skittish. She’s also prone to regression now that she’s back in Jackson Harbor. Her behaviour makes sense in light of what she’s gone through, but at the same time I wanted to shake her for being so stupid! Her exasperating actions aside, there’s not a lot I disliked about the book. It was a sweet and romantic tale and I lapped it up.

Rating: 3/5 for an engaging story – a little frustrating, a lot sexy! I love my visits to Jackson Harbor.

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EwksG7

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WrappedInLoveLR

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2mgsXcq

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2NPfXWH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Ewm5Uf

Add to GoodReads link: http://bit.ly/2CTaHjJ