Saturday, 20 December 2014

Book Review (417): Razed (Barnes Brothers #2) - Shiloh Walker

Razed (Barnes Brothers #2)

Publication: 2nd December 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It:  AmazonB&N
Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options…

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother’s wedding have him thinking maybe there’s a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist…for her.
My Thoughts.
Razed is the second book in a contemporary romance series about the Barnes Brothers.

Zane is the eldest of the Barnes Brothers, a photographer who has finally set his mind on making a career out of his photography, whilst also pursuing Keelie the co-owner of his brother Zach's tattoo shop.

Zane has had a crush on Keelie for quite a long while now, when she finally agrees to meeting for coffee as a start he is over the moon, but Keelie is hiding secrets from her past, for her to move forward and have a future that involves Kane she will need to face what she's been running away from for all these years.

Zane and Keelie made such a cute couple, I really enjoyed their story and I see the beginning of a potential romance between Travis and Anais.

From the backstories, romance and the camaraderie between the brothers, these books are so good and a treat to read.

I look forward to the next book and Trey's story.

This Shiloh Walker series is one to watch.

I gives this 4/5 stars.

Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious vampire stories. She loves reading and writing anything paranormal, anything fantasy, and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Book Review (416): The Masseuse (The Body Works Trilogy #1) - Sierra Kincade

The Masseuse (The Body Works Trilogy #1)

Publication: 2nd December 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Goodreads + Amazon + Barnes & Noble.
First in the sexy and suspenseful Body Work Trilogy

Anna Rossi lives by one simple rule: don’t get attached, don’t get hurt. But Alec Flynn doesn’t play by the rules…

Anna never takes on a massage client without screening him first, but the paycheck offered by billionaire Maxim Stein is too good to turn down. Stein is the richest man she’s ever laid her hands on, and despite the risks, she trusts that she can take care of herself. After all, she’s handled difficult clients in the past. What she isn’t prepared for is getting caught in a compromising situation by Maxim’s tall, dark, and gorgeous bodyguard—or the desperate desires he awakens in her…

Alec is dangerous. The mysterious, hard-bodied man is completely irresistible and won’t be refused, no matter what walls Anna puts up to protect herself. But as Anna falls fast for his careful ministrations and mind-blowing skills, she begins to realize that giving herself over to a man with so many secrets isn’t just putting her heart at risk—it’s endangering her life…
My Thoughts.
There are just three letters you will need to describe this book H-O-T!

From the very first page I was caught up in this enjoyably steamy story.

The first meeting between Anna and Alec is quite funny, the chemistry and attraction between these two is combustible and I knew I was in for something great.

Anna is a masseuse, she is hired by the incredibly rich Maxim Stein, and through him she meets his bodyguard Alec and sparks fly, Alec pursues Anna and she soon succumbs to a relationship with him,  with both of them carrying secrets that keep them both from getting closer and which may ruin their romance before it's even begun.

I really loved this book, the love scenes are sizzling and the backstory is intriguing, plus with a mix of action and suspense you have so much happening in this story there's never a dull moment.

I look forward to the next book to continue on with Anna and Alec's story.

A great start to a new series.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Sierra Kincaid lives in the Midwest with her husband and son. When she’s not writing naughty books, she loves eating chocolate cupcakes, binge-watching cable series, and singing loudly in the car. She wholeheartedly believes that love stories are real, and you should never choose a partner who doesn't make you laugh.

A few of Sierra’s favorite things:

Bad boys with dirty mouths – English Breakfast tea with two packets of Sugar in the Raw – any movie or show with a choreographed dance routine – cinnamon toast – kids who say funny things – friends who raid her pantry without asking – bootleg jeans – making lists – old Garth Brooks songs – and of course, massages.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book Review (415): Wickedly Wonderful (Baba Yaga #2) - Deborah Blake

Wickedly Wonderful (Baba Yaga #2)

Publication: 2nd December 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon + Barnes & Noble
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily she has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support, especially when faced with her biggest job yet…

A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. To investigate, Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.

While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks he’s rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life…
My Thoughts.
Wickedly Wonderful is the second book in an Urban Fantasy series, based on the Russian folklore of Baba Yaga, a Witch who travels around in her magically disguised home, and their Chudo- Yudo's which are Dragons disguised in the form of a dog.

Beka and her two sister Baba Yaga's are in charge of the United States, Beka is approached by the King of the Selkies and the Queen of the Merpeople after they are forced from their underwater home when their people become extremely ill from unknown toxins, they ask for Beka's help in identifying the problem and it's cause and fixing it.

Aiding her is Marcus a former Marine and his Father who owns a fishing boat and agree to take Beka out diving old shipwrecks unknown to them what she's really doing.

From their very first meeting Beka and Marcus butt heads denying their attraction for one another, when she meets Kesh the Selkie Prince he seems to pursue Beka unbeknownst to her of his nefarious plans towards her, with her mind undecided about whether she wants to continue on being a Baba Yaga or not.

With a story full of action, adventure, magic and romance this a great instalment to this series.

An original concept that will keep you intrigued.

I give this 3/5 stars.

Author of seven non-fiction books from Llewellyn. Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (2007), Everyday Witch A to Z (2008), The Goddess is in the Details (2009), Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) Witchcraft on a Shoestring (2010), Everyday Witch Book of Rituals, and The Witch's Broom. I am also the author of the Baba Yaga series from Berkley Romance, including Wickedly Magical (novella), Wickedly Dangerous, and Wickedly Wonderful.

I live in a 120 year old farmhouse in upstate NY with five cats, and run an artists' cooperative shop when I'm not writing.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Book Review (414): Hansel & Gretel - Neil Gaiman

Hansel and Gretel

 Book Depository + Amazon + Barnes & Noble
The enduring story of the children, the breadcrumb trail and the gingerbread house is brought to life by master storyteller, Neil Gaiman. Who better to retell the Brothers Grimm's greatest, and perhaps darkest, fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel? Coupled with breathtakingly haunting illustrations from Lorenzo Mattotti, you will be enticed into the world and into the woods . . . so beware.
My Thoughts.
While this was a very short book I still found it extremely enjoyable.

It's been many years since I've read the Hansel and Gretel fairytale, but I did notice a few subtle differences here and there.

With black and white illustrations throughout this book it's gorgeously packaged inside and out.

A dark and creepy fairytale that comes through in not only the writing but also the pictures.

While this was the first book of Neil Gaiman's I've ever read I'm intrigued enough to pick up some of his other books and give them a go.

But for fans of Neil definitely add this to your tbr pile you won't be disappointed.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis.  As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton.  A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: I wouldn't be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary loans.”

Early Writing Career
Gaiman began his writing career in England as a journalist.  His first book was a Duran Duran biography that took him three months to write, and his second was a biography of Douglas Adams, ‘Don’t Panic: The Official Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion.’  Gaiman describes his early writing:  “I was very, very good at taking a voice that already existed and parodying or pastiching it.”‘Violent Cases’ was the first of many collaborations with artist Dave McKean.  This early graphic novel led to their series ‘Black Orchid,’ published by DC Comics.  

The groundbreaking series ‘Sandman’ followed, collecting a large number of US awards in its 75 issue run, including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and three Harvey Awards.  In 1991, ‘Sandman’ became the first comic ever to receive a literary award, the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

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Book Review (413): Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1) - Monica Murphy

Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1)

Publication: 2nd December 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon | B&N 
New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy begins a sexy new contemporary romance series—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase—that introduces three sisters born to wealth, raised to succeed, ready to love, destined to make waves.

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.
My Thoughts
Steamy, sizzling, red hot and sure to set the pages on fire this book is full of passion, hot love scenes and the gorgeous Ryder McKay.

Violet Fowler is the dutiful middle sister, straight-laced and committed to her job at family firm Fleur Cosmetics, and dating Zachary a serial cheater, when he announces that he is being sent to London for work, Ryder McKay had an extremely terrible upbringing, Pilar turned him into the man he is today, both Fleur employees Ryder is determined to become something and he wants the job that Zachary is being sent to London for, so he hatches a plan with Pilar to use Violet to get what he wants, whar Ryder doesn't plan on is falling for Violet, but when Pilar and her scheming get out of hand what will happen when Violet discovers the truth about Ryder just when she realises her feelings towards him.

I enjoyed reading the dual povs, reading from both Violet and Ryder's perspectives helped to understand the characters Ryder especially, and while at first his callousness makes it hard to find him likeable, I soon found myself warming up to him and his emerging feelings for Violet.

This is the first book I've ever read of Monica's and it certainly won't be the last, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more.

Extremely enjoyable I can't wait for the next book, Monica has found herself a new fan.

I give this 5/5 stars.

About Monica Murphy

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of new adult contemporary romance. A believer in kissing. A believer of love.
I also write romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.
I’m a wife, a mom and I live in California.
Check out my Facebook page for info & updates

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Book Review (412): The Terminals - Royce Scott Buckingham

The Terminals

Publication: 14th October 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 288
Genre: Thriller
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
The riveting story of a covert team of young, terminally ill teens who spend their last year alive running dangerous missions as super-spies for an organization that may not be all it seems.

When 19 year-old Cam Cody is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he expects to spend the rest of his shortened life in an adjustable bed. Then one night, a mysterious man offers Cam one chance to join a covert unit of young “terminals.” They are like him, only they spend the last year of their lives executing exciting and dangerous missions to make the world a better place.

With nothing to lose, Cam is in.

A helicopter flies Cam to a secret tropical location, where he’s tossed out with a parachute and an instruction manual. After a rough landing, he meets his nine teammates. The other terminals don’t seem sick; Zara is beautiful, Donnie is an amazing athlete, and Calliope sings like a bird. He soon learns that they’re enhanced with an experimental super steroid TS-8, which suppresses their illnesses’ symptoms and heightens their physical and mental abilities. It’s also fatal if taken for more than a year.

Cam joins this extreme spy team, and they begin pulling dangerous operations in multiple countries. As his teammates fall around him, he starts to receive cryptic messages from a haggard survivor of last year’s class hiding in the forest. She reveals that the program isn’t what it seems, leading Cam to question whether any of them are really sick at all.
My Thoughts.
The Terminals is an action packed, pulse-pounding young adult thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you reach the very end.

Nineteen year old Cam is told that he has an inoperable brain tumor and has a life expectancy of about a year left to live, when he is approached by a stranger to spend the last year of his life training to spy and undertake missions to save innocent people he jumps at the chance, wanting to know that he spent the time he has left doing something worthwhile.

When he arrives at base he meets the other nine teens on his team, all around the same age, all with the same brain tumor, but these nine are also taking a drug TS-9 which enhances their natural abilities, once training is over the missions begin and it's not long before Cam's teammates start dropping like flies, when a survivor from  the previous year's team Siena who has been hiding in the forest all this time explains what happened to her and what's really going on with the program, will Cam find a way to escape before he finds himself dead just like his teammates?

The ending was left open ended which I don't mind if I know that there will be another book but so far I've seen nothing to suggest that there is going to be a sequel.

This was such a great book, I finished it in one sitting, it was very enjoyable.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Head Shots - Royce 014Royce Buckingham is an American fantasy writer with an English degree from Whitman College and a Law degree from the University of Oregon. In 2006, Royce sold his first novel, the middle grade fantasy DEMONKEEPER, to Penguin, Putnam. His screenplay for DEMONKEEPER then sold to 20th Century Fox.
In his debut, Royce made reading lists, garnered good reviews, and hit the bestseller list overseas in Germany. DEMONKEEPER (DAMLICHE DAMONEN) sold over 100,000 copies for Random House, Penhaligon, who then commissioned a trilogy.
In the meantime, Royce wrote two more middle grade novels for Putnam—GOBLINS, and his ghost story, THE DEAD BOYS, which was a Junior Library Guild selection. THE DEAD BOYS won the 2014 Washington State Sasquatch Book Award and has been a nominee for state reading lists in Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Hampshire.
Royce’s next two U.S. books are with Saint Martin’s Press – a YA thriller, the Terminals, which will be released October 2014, and a legal thriller – due out in 2015.
He is currently writing the third installment of his bestseller Die Karte Der Welt (Mapper) for Random House (Penhaligon) in Germany, his first medieval series.
In addition to writing books, Royce works as a prosecuting attorney. Royce is represented by Baror International and lives with his family in Bellingham, Washington.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Book Review (411): Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy # 1) - Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1)

Publication: 28th October 2014
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 382
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Adult
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.
My Thoughts.
This is the very first Ilona Andrews (husband/wife team) book that I've ever read, and I don't know why I waited this long, I looooooved this book so much, full of magic, action, witty repertoire, sizzling chemistry and of course the incomparable Connor 'Mad' Rogan.

Nevada Baylor works as a private investigator, after she is threatened with having her business taken away and her family being left homeless she agrees to the case even though the chances are that she won't survive it, in this world people have magical powers and she has been sent after Adam Pierce, a Prime who are the strongest magic users there are, his power is fire and he's extremely dangerous not caring if he hurts or kills anybody, whilst trying to convince Adam to turn himself in to his family she is kidnapped by Mad Rogan who ended up with the moniker for a very good reason, another Prime he is very powerful and against her better judgement Nevada agrees to team up with him and help stop Adam and his nefarious plans.

The main reason I adored this book so much was the interaction between Nevada and Mad, the dialogue between these two was hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit, add to that the attraction and sexual tension between these two and it was extremely hard to get myself to put this book down.

Another thing I loved is the fact that although this is an adult urban fantasy there was no sex in this book which we don't see much these days, although there were a couple of steamy kisses, the reason I loved it is because it just prolongs the tension and makes for an interesting storyline, drawing it out so the readers have something to eagerly await.

The concept of this story was so good, I enjoyed that magic was the main aspect.

I cannot wait for the next book, I need some more Mad Rogan, I commend the authors for creating such a fantastic character, I can see myself becoming quite addicted to this series, it was just incredibly written and awesome all around.

I can't recommend this highly enough, a great start to what appears to be an incredible series.

I give 5/5 stars.

Ilona Andrews
Authors – Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. author2smIlona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)
Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children, and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.
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