Monday, 29 December 2014

(ARC) Book Review (420): Contradictions (Woodfalls Girls #3) - Tiffany King

Contradictions (Woodfalls Girls #3)

Publication: 6th January 2015
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: New Adult
Buy It: Amazon + Barnes & Noble + The Book Depository
When everything starts spinning out of control . . .

Three years into college, Tressa Oliver’s life is a nonstop party. She’s skating by in her classes, and there’s no shortage of drinking, dancing, and general hell-raising. The only aspect that hasn’t been much fun: She can’t shake the toxic jerks that always seem to gravitate toward her.

It will take someone totally wrong . . .

Trent Lawson is the classic anti-bad boy: smart, boring, and way too serious. To a wild girl like Tressa, there’s no way in hell they’re compatible—especially since Trent seems to see straight through her defenses.

To set her right.

When a college prank goes terribly wrong, Tressa starts to suspect that her partying ways are leading nowhere fast. Now she has to turn to the last person she ever thought she’d ask for help—and quickly discovers that there’s more to Trent than meets the eye . . .
My Thoughts.
Contradictions is one of my favorite books in the Woodfalls Girls series.

Read in just one sitting, I could not put this book down, I was entranced and utterly absorbed in the story of Tressa and Trent.

Tressa is in College, a party girl who's grades are failing, after a fraternity hazing goes wrong she is put on academic probation and is given a set amount of time to improve her grades, Trent is from her hometown, a geek who has had a crush on Tressa for years, he is assigned to be her tutor to help her in her classes.

Tressa has always gone for the bad boys, so of course she doesn't have any interest in Trent whatsoever deeming him too boring and nerdy to interest her at all.

But with all the time they end up spending together, Tressa finds that there's so much more to Trent than she gave him credit for, and just maybe she has found the one she wasted her time dating bad boys to find.

This was such a fantastic read, so enjoyable and I really loved all the pop culture references scattered throughout.

 Ultimately I've become a big fan of Tiffany's writing and I aim to own all her books eventually.

A great series that all fans of new adult books should definitely pick up.

I give this 5/5 stars.

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Where to connect with Tiffany
Twitter- @AuthorTiffany

Sunday, 28 December 2014

(ARC) Book Review (419): There Will Be Lies - Nick Lake

There Will Be Lies

Publication: 6th January 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 464
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.
My Thoughts.
There Will Be Lies is a story that will keep you guessing up until about halfway through when the plot changing reveal occurs.

And while I had my suspicions about what was going to happen, the revelation when it occurred was none the less shocking made more so by the fantastic writing.

Shelby is a seventeen year old girl who is homeschooled by her Mom and who is more often or not accompanied everywhere by her Mom, who doesn't seem to want to let her out of her sight for too long if at all.

When Shelby is hit by a car and injured, she is whisked away from the hospital by her Mom so fast it's as if the devil was on her heels.

But this starts a chain of events that will change Shelby's life forever.

With a subplot taking part in 'The Dreaming', where Shelby is given a task to fulfill, this symbolically  crosses over into her real life and the situation she finds herself in.

Full of suspense, intrigue, mystery and adventure this story will keep you on your toes and fill you with anticipation, as we discover the truth along with Shelby that's been kept from her most of her life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I plan on seeking out Nick's other releases as well.

Highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.

My name is Nick and I write and edit books for young adults. My first YA novel IN DARKNESS, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012 and won the Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature. I also wrote a book called HOSTAGE THREE about a girl kidnapped by Somali pirates.

THERE WILL BE LIES is coming in January 15 and is about a girl who learns that everything she knows is a lie. To say it's a book with a twist in the story would be a massive understatement. There is also a talking coyote in it.

I live with my wife, daughter and son in a 16th century house in England with almost 19th century amenities. Sometimes the heating even works. 

I like: reading, art, music, food containing sugar, cities at night, the countryside in the daytime, vintage furniture, modern standards of heating (see above), travelling.

I dislike: being sick, failing, being underdressed in the cold, being overdressed in the heat, the unnecessary suffering of children, being punched in the face.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Book Review (418): The Good Chase (Highland Games #2) - Hannah Martine

The Good Chase (Highland Games #2)

Publication: 2nd December 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
The second in the Highland Games series, following Long Shot

Gleann, New Hampshire’s annual highland games always deliver the best of Scottish culture—rowdiness, rugby, whiskey, and unexpected romance…

Even though Shea Montgomery’s swanky bar and distinguished palate have made her a highly regarded whiskey connoisseur, she’s happiest bringing her favorite spirit to various highland games around New England. Her demanding ex made her wary of men obsessed with money and status, and she’s now more comfortable in the country than in the city. Still, when a gorgeous rugby player straight from Wall Street barrels into her whiskey tent, she’s tempted to change her mind…

J.P. Byrne went from poor beginnings to international high roller by using his charisma and wit, and holding fast to his dreams. A strong, independent woman like Shea is exactly what he’s looking for, only he has no idea how to prove he’s more than his three-piece suits—especially when he’s spent years doing just the opposite.

But as Shea and Byrne battle old demons, they discover together that the best remedy for past pain is a good, stiff shot of present pleasure…
My Thoughts.
The Good Chase is the second book in the Highland Games series, contemporary romances that incorporates the Scottish Highland Games played throughout the book and series as a whole.

Shea Montgomery is a renowned whiskey expert, with a famous bar Amber, she also runs whiskey taster tents at the Highland Games when she can, it's through these games she makes the acquaintance of Byrne who is persistent in asking her out, her answer is always no until one day she tells him yes and they start to date, but what's keeping Shea from getting any closer to Byrne is the fact that he's very rich, after suffering through a marriage with a wealthy man, she vowed to never get involved with someone like that again, but there's just something about Byrne that draws Shea to him, and maybe it's because he's so completely different to her ex-husband and may have judged him unfairly, with both Shea and Byrne carrying pasts that affect their lives to this day, can they both let go and finally move forward with their lives together?

I thoroughly enjoy this series, the characters are extremely likeable, the story lines are enjoyable and I love the inclusion of all the Scottish elements, I eagerly await the next book in the series.

Highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.

hanna martineI have loved stories–particularly the romantic kind–since I was very young. I spent a decade working in an office, but I’ve since dedicated myself to writing. I’ve traveled to many wonderful places around the world, including the haunted Scottish castle in which I got married. Though I live outside Chicago with my family, my heart will always belong to Australia.
The books listed here on my Goodreads page are ones that have influenced my writing, that have spoken to me in some deep and wonderful way, and that I enthusiastically recommend.

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.

Website + Facebook + Twitter

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