Sunday, 20 April 2014

(ARC) Book Review (323): Undone (Country Roads #1) - Shannon Richard

Undone (Country Roads #1)

Publication: 25th February 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: 

Things Paige Morrison will never understand about Mirabelle, Florida:

Why wearing red shoes makes a girl a harlot
Why a shop would ever sell something called "buck urine"
Why everywhere she goes, she runs into sexy-and infuriating-Brendan King

After losing her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend, Paige has no choice but to leave Philadelphia and move in with her retired parents. For an artsy outsider like Paige, finding her place in the tightly knit town isn't easy-until she meets Brendan, the hot mechanic who's interested in much more than Paige's car. In no time at all, Brendan helps Paige find a new job, new friends, and a happiness she wasn't sure she'd ever feel again. With Brendan by her side, Paige finally feels like she can call Mirabelle home. But when a new bombshell drops, will the couple survive, or will their love come undone?
My Thoughts.
Undone is the first novel from the all new Country Roads series by debut author Shannon Richard.

From the first page I was hooked, absorbed in the story of Paige, who after a disastrous streak of bad luck which included: losing her job, her roommate, her apartment and her boyfriend (all in that order), has moved to Mirabelle Florida to live with her parents while she looks for a job, but quite a few people have been less than friendly since her arrival, the town is full of judgemental gossipmongers who don't agree with the way Paige dresses or acts, referring to her as easy because of the way she looks, her bad luck continues with each and every job interview, and after another rejection her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere without a car, person or building to be seen, enter sexy and single mechanic Brendan, who has been the subject of the rumor mill over the years, sympathetic to her troubles he finds her a job and welcomes her into his group of friends it's not long before these two start a relationship together.

But the road to happily ever after is never a smooth one, and there will be things along the way that they'll have to deal with together, but will a secret destroy their happiness altogether or will they find a way to overcome this devastating secret that was kept under the best intentions?

Once I picked this book up it was so hard to put it back down again, Shannon's writing has a way of drawing you in and making you lose track of time, I've fallen in love with this series and I can't wait for the next books in the series to be released.

For those of you who love a fun, entertaining and quick read then be sure to pick this book up.

I give this 4/5 stars.

All About Shannon

Shannon Richard grew up in the Panhandle of Florida as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book, and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in English literature and still lives in Tallahassee, where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Book Review (322): Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell


Believe The Hype!

I've heard nothing but good things about this book and Rainbow's writing in general, and after reading Fangirl I wholeheartedly agree, and in Rainbow's case I'm her new Fangirl!

While I haven't read a whole lot of fan fiction myself I have enjoyed what I have taken the time to read, I can understand the excitement and anticipation for the next installments (my sister is a big fan of fan fiction and I quite often have her lamenting the fact that she's waiting for the next  part of the story to be released).

I thought it was genius to build a story around fan fiction, the fact that there is parts of both Cath and Wren's fan fiction interspersed in-between each chapter, as well as part's of the Simon Snow book series which is the catalyst for their fan fiction, brought this world to life, a bit Harry Potter inspired but that's never a bad thing.

So the story goes Cath and Wren are identical twins starting College, Wren wanting to be more independent has decided that she wants to meet new people and so has told Cath that she doesn't want to share a dorm room, and so Cath the introvert shuts herself away when she's not in class, her only interactions her roommate Reagan (who she takes a while to even speak to) and Reagan's boyfriend/friend? Levi.

So while Cath is tackling College and all that goes with it, her private life leaves a lot to be desired, Wren is out of control, her Father is not faring well with being alone, her Mother who long ago abandoned the twins and their Father has made contact wanting to see them again and oh yeah there's her crush on Levi!

Giving us a look into College life and the world of fan fiction this is one book that you must add to your TBR list, this is definitely one of my favourite Contemporaries and I look forward to reading the rest of Rainbow's books.

Well deserved praise, Rainbow is the one to watch!

I give this 5/5 stars.

Rainbow Rowell writes books.
Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).
Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).
But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Book Review (321): Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) - Sally Green

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1)

Publication: 3rd March 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 400
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

My Thoughts.
I've heard nothing but great things about this book, the hype has been very well deserved, this book was amazing, and I can almost certainly say a shoe-in for book of the year!

I've read so many witch books over the years, but there's something about Sally's writing that makes this one stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Told from the perspective of our male lead Nathan (not very common to have a male lead in YA, but very welcome all the same), we follow him as he grows up edging ever closer to his seventeenth birthday, where he will receive his powers and become a fully fledged witch, and to eventually, hopefully seek out and find his Father.

You see Nathan is no ordinary witch, he is also the son of a white witch Mother (good witch) and a black witch Father (bad witch), but not only is he an outcast and shunned for being a half caste, from mostly everybody for being the only half blood, but he also has the distinction of being the son of the evilest witch around in his Dad.

Showing no signs of succumbing to his evil side, doesn't stop anybody from treating him as if he had even his older sister.

With no friends to speak of, except for his older brother, he's lonely, never expecting any bit of kindness from anyone, so it's a shock when after starting high school a girl named Annaliese starts paying him attention, but unfortunately for Nathan he will end up bearing the brunt of her brothers anger once they discover their friendship.

The Council (who oversee all witches) decide that Nathan's Grandmother is no longer responsible  enough to be his guardian after she defy's the Councils orders by not informing them of Nathan's constant trips to Wales to get away from it all, this all leads to him being caged being let out only to exercise and do chores.

Nathan must find a way to escape, to find his father by his seventeenth birthday to receive his gifts to officially become a witch otherwise he will die.

I really enjoyed the world-building that happened in this book, I look forward to continuing on with this series and to see what happens next with Nathan, and to see what power he has received now that he's a fully fledged witch.

One of my favourites of the year, highly recommended.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Hi - I'm Sally Green, author of Half Bad. It's my first book - and the first in a series of three, to be published by Penguin in March 2014.

I've had a whirlwind 2013, submitting Half Bad to an agent in January (and getting an agent - the wonderful Claire) and then agreeing a deal with Puffin (UK) and Viking (USA) in March. In April I agreed a film deal with Fox 2000 with Karen Rosenfelt as producer (google her!). Since then Half Bad has been sold to more countries, and I've been busy editing Half Bad and have started work on the second book of the trilogy. 

I live in north-west England. I love to read, walk in the country and would like to drink less coffee (but I know it's impossible - I'm an addict)!

My online world will be based at from November 2013 onwards, but until then, you can find me and Half Bad on Wattpad.

Follow me on twitter@sa11eGreen 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Book Review (320): Afterburn & Aftershock - Sylvia Day

Afterburn and Aftershock (Afterburn & Aftershock #1 & 2)

Publication: 11th March 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can't say I wasn't warned.

Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I'd worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn't the girl he once knew, but he hadn't changed. Unlike the last time we'd drifted into each other's lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with... and how addictive his touch could be.

The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax's playground--but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer...
My Thoughts.
Afterburn & Aftershock were one of the first releases from the Cosmo Red-Hot Reads line, in conjunction with Cosmopolitan magazine, Harlequin has joined forces to release a steamy new romance every month.

I have to admit, I've never read a Sylvia Day novel before, that's not to say that I've never wanted to, I actually own some of her books, I've just never gotten around to it.

I got to read an excerpt of Afterburn last year and was impressed and anxious to read the full length story and it's sequel, and I actually planned on buying a copy on it's release in digital form but ultimately forgot all about it, so when I was contacted to receive a copy of both books together in paperback to review I jumped at the chance.

This book put a smile on my face every time I picked it up, I loved the plotline, it was easy flowing and quick to read, add into that our sexy alpha male Jackson Rutledge who has some seriously hot chemistry with our heroine Gianna Rossi and you end up with this steamy read that will leave you hot and bothered.

Two years ago Gia and Jackson had a very brief but memorable affair, after which one day he left and never came back or contacted Gia again, until one day whilst trying to close a contract with potential clients in walks Jackson, acting as if he doesn't know her, stung by this Gia acts the same way, but it isn't long before Jackson reveals he does remember her and wants to give their relationship another go.

But with Jackson hiding secrets and his refusal to talk about his past, how far can this relationship go especially when Gia is pretty much an open book about her own life, will this tear them apart or can Gia find a way to break down his barriers and get him to finally open up to her, will they ever get their happily ever after?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will definitely get to Sylvia's books sooner rather than later, I've found myself a new author who's writing I enjoy and I will enjoy devouring her other works.

I give this 4/5 stars.

The #1 New York Times & #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels translated into 41 languages. With tens of millions of copies of her books in print, she is a #1 bestseller in 21 countries. Sylvia’s novels took spots among the top ten bestselling books on global year-end sales round ups in both 2012 and 2013, making her one of the most widely read authors in the world today. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and her work has been honored as Amazon’s Best of the Year in Romance. Sylvia served as the 22nd President ofRomance Writers of America.
Hailed as “one of the most successful romance writers in the world” by Fox News, Sylvia’s work has been covered in TimeVarietyPeople, the Wall Street JournalCosmopolitan, the Associated Press, USA Today, andEntertainment Weekly–to name just a few. She has been the subject of trivia questions on the television game showsWho Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Jeopardy!, as well as a Kit Hoover recommended read on Access Hollywood Live. Her Crossfire series is presently in development with Lionsgate for cable television adaptation.
In addition to her novels, Sylvia has written numerous novellas and short stories for both print and digital-first release. Her work has been called an “exhilarating adventure” by Publishers Weekly and “wickedly entertaining” byBooklist. She’s been honored with the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and multiple nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award of Excellence.
Sylvia travels extensively in conjunction with various speaking engagements. She is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at events such as the RT Book Lovers ConventionRomance Writers of America’s National Convention, and Comic-Con, and a popular keynote speaker for writing programs presented by local chapters, national and international organizations, and colleges across the United States.
Her book tours and travel engagements have taken her around the globe. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Orange County (the O.C.), and later lived in Monterey and Oceanside. Sylvia now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, but occasionally enjoys her pied-à-terre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York. She considers the two vibrant, energetic, and never-dark cities perfect for a writer whose working hours are as unpredictable as her characters.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

(ARC) Book Review (319): Earth Star (Earth Girl #2) - Janet Edwards

Earth Star (Earth Girl #2)

Publication: 15th April 2014
Publisher: Pyr
Pages: 277
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Romance, science fiction, action, and a look at the false assumptions we make about others combine in this light-hearted, fun, and well-conceived science fiction future.

Only She Can Save the World. 
Eighteen-year-old Jarra has a lot to prove. After being awarded one of the military's highest honors for her role in a daring rescue attempt, Jarra finds herself - and her Ape status - in the spotlight. Jarra is one of the unlucky few born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Derided as an "ape"- a "throwback" - by the rest of the universe, Jarra is on a mission to prove that Earth Girls are just as good as anyone else.

Except now the planet she loves is under threat by what could be humanity's first ever alien contact. Jarra's bravery - and specialist knowledge - will once again be at the center of the maelstrom, but will the rest of the universe consider Earth worth fighting for? 
My Thoughts.
Earth Star is the second book in the Earth Girl series written my Janet Edwards.

I was a big fan of the first book in this series and I was eagerly awaiting this sequel to find out just what Jarra and Fian get themselves up to next, I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed one bit, full of the action, adventure and science fiction aspect that is the main component in making this series so enjoyable, this was a great addition to the series.

Back to their normal lives returning to their pre-history course and starting at a new dig site in Africa, Jarra and Fian are called in by the Military to assist in the Alien contact program, after an Alien sphere has entered Earth's orbit, without any communication from the sphere from the Alien's on-board the Military are taking no chances, tasked with researching the chance that this had ever happened before in Earth's history, Jarra is beyond excited to be a part of something that she always dreamed of but never thought would happen, being handicapped and not being able to portal to other planets because of her immune system, had put a stop to her hopes and aspirations, but when a command center is brought together on Earth to investigate the sphere she finally gets to live out her dream.

With the whole will they attack/won't they attack storyline keeping you on the edge of your seat, this book will keep you entertained the whole way through.

Janet's imagery and descriptions throughout this series has brought this world to life, with great characters and fabulous world-building, I'm eager to get my hands on the third and final book in this trilogy.

Highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Janet Edwards lives in England. As a child, she read everything she could get her hands on, including a huge amount of science fiction and fantasy. She studied Maths at Oxford, and went on to suffer years of writing unbearably complicated technical documents before deciding to write something that was fun for a change. She has a husband, a son, a lot of books, and an aversion to housework.

You are welcome to chat to Janet on twitter.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Book Review (318): Charm & Strange - Stephanie Kuehn

Charm & Strange

Publication: 11th June 2013
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 216
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . 

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.
My Thoughts.
Charm & Strange is a book masquerading as something that it's not, it's not a bad thing, I mean it in the best way, I can't remember the last book that I read that gave me a reaction like this did, like a punch in the stomach, the twist that forces not only us as a reader but the character of Win/Drew, to find his way back to reality and to deal with what the true subject of what this story is about, leaves you blindsided and emotionally heartbroken and disturbed.

What sets this book apart is the way it plays with your mind, you think you know exactly what kind of book it is that you're reading, and then you come to the end of the story and you find out what this book is really about, and it hits you hard, emotionally I was in tears for this boy who has lost so much and is mentally paying the price for it, having been in denial for a very long time, we see what he thinks and does to cope with this traumatic experience.

It's hard to write a review for a story like this without giving anything away, I think it's best to go into this book with knowing as little as possible, because when you come to the realisation of what you're reading about it will have more of an impact as shocking as it is.

I really enjoyed the alternating chapters of Win/Drew now in the present tense and back when he was aged 9-10 with his brother Keith and sister Siobhan, like a before and after that you don't really understand the significance of, and why his part of the story with his siblings just stops, it's not an easy read but well worth it.

Stephanie has created such a well crafted, intriguing and heartbreaking story of a subject that unfortunately is more common than it should be, to be able to get into the head space of the character who has suffered in this way was so well done and she tackled this subject in a tasteful way which still had me in tears, this is one book that will stay with me for quite some time to come.

I look forward to reading Stephanie's next release, her writing is fantastic and thought provoking, and she's found herself a new fan.

I give this 5/5 stars.

I grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with a ton of wonderful bookstores. My very first job was working in one of those bookstores, and I’ve been a freakishly avid reader for as long as I can remember. Back then, some of the books that had the greatest impact on my life were young adult novels, and now, as an adult, I’ve found my own passion in writing books for teens.
Other passions of mine include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. When I’m not writing or reading (or studying for graduate school), I’m usually outside running or playing with my family. I currently live in Northern California with my husband, three kids, and our menagerie of pets. Life is loud, joyous, and filled with animal hair.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my last name is pronounced keen. I know! I don’t get it either.
Thanks for stopping by!

(ARC) Book Review (317):Silence Of The Wolf (Heart Of The Wolf #13) - Terry Spear

Silence of the Wolf (Heart of the Wolf #13)

Publication: 4th March 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 352
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Gray werewolf Tom Silver is determined to find the wolves who have been attacking local livestock. While tracking the pack through the Rockies, a blizzard forces him into a remote cabin where he hears a plane crash nearby. 

When he discovers the sole survivor is a beautiful female werewolf/coyote shifter mix, bound as a prisoner, he knows it's his duty to hide her. Now, they are both at risk as a search ensues for the missing prisoner. 

Will Tom be able to protect this beautiful stranger while tracking down the wolves responsible for terrorizing the local livestock?
My Thoughts.
Silence Of The Wolf is the thirteenth book in the Heart Of The Wolf series by Terry Spear.

Following a different couple throughout each book, this stories focus is on Tom Silver of the pack-run Silver Town and the Silver triplets and Elizabeth Wildwood a mix of wolf and coyote who has been ostracized her whole life because of her mixed blood.

In town to report a story and to meet up with North, a member of her Uncle's pack who was meeting her to hand over evidence of the murderer of her parents, Elizabeth is doing whatever she can to stay far away from her half-brother Sefton and her Uncle Quinton after they had both attempted to kill her, being a loner and having not been a part of a pack her whole life because of being discriminated against, she is surprised after meeting Tom and his pack how welcome she is even after them finding out her mixed heritage.

Tom is attracted to her straight away, but is dismayed when after being pushed down a ski slope and having her room broken into and her belongings stolen she leaves without saying good-bye, but unbeknownst to both of them their paths cross again when Tom is out investigating wolves threatening farmer's livestock when he comes across a plane crash and finds Elizabeth among the wreckage, the only survivor, he takes her back to his cabin and it's from here that their relationship takes a step forward.

But it's not the end of all the action though, we still have to discover who was responsible for Elizabeth's kidnapping, her push down the slopes, the robbery as well as the wolves prowling the farms before these two get their happily ever after.

Oh and we get to meet Sheriff Peter's long-lost brother and you'll never guess who it is, I was surprised in a very happy way, plus I love this character and I was happy to see him make an appearance in another book.

The chemistry between these two is hot, I've been eagerly awaiting Tom's book for quite a while now and I'm so happy that it was so good, I love how different characters from each book have met before or have known each other and we discover these relationships throughout the series.

I can forsee plenty more stories that can come out of this series, many more characters that deserve their stories told.

Terry has a way of writing extremely exciting, hot and drool-worthy alpha males that will leave you weak-kneed and desperate for more.

I eagerly await each and every installment that is released and to fall in love with each and every characters stories.

For fans of paranormal romance series I highly recommend this series.

I give this 4/5 stars.

USA Today Bestseller, TERRY SPEAR writes urban fantasy and Highland medieval romance: hot wolves, jaguar shifters, medieval Highlanders and lots more. She also pens young adult paranormal romance. She has over fifty paranormal books to her name, earned Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year, and has been featured in The International Wolf Magazine, Woman’s World and BGS Book Review Magazine. She creates award-winning teddy bears in the heart of Texas and gardens. She retired from USAR after rappelling, mountain climbing, learning water survival, qualifying with a number of firearms, survived the obstacle courses, leadership reaction courses and confidences courses – and knows if she can do it, her characters can overcome any obstacle she puts in their path.
For more information, please visit, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear