Thursday, 17 January 2019

Book Review: THE KISS THIEF by L.J. Shen

   

THE KISS THIEF 
BY 
L.J. SHEN

Release Date: January 9th
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs.
   
   

AVAILABLE NOW!
BUY or read in Kindle Unlimited!

         




           

Blurb 

They say your first kiss should be earned. 
Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.
They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred. 
Mine were broken before we left church. 
They say your heart only beats for one man. 
Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end. 
I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit. 
Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. 
They say that all great love stories have a happy ending. 
I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter. 
One kiss. 
Two men. 
Three lives. 
Entwined together. 
And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

   
   
MY REVIEW  

I loved Shen’s 2018 releases; MIDNIGHT BLUE and DIRTY HEADLINES were some of my top reads last year, but THE KISS THIEF has fallen woefully short of my expectations.  

Apart from a few instances where Shen’s writing shines in a manner I know she is capable of, I found little to like about this book.

The Kiss Thief just felt wrong. There were holes in storylines, character credibility was just about non-existent, character behaviour was inconsistent, language often swerved into purple prose territory and there was always this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that this book would play out much better if it was set hundreds of years in the past. 

I think a reread of one of Shen’s titles that I enjoy is in order for me to regain my equilibrium.

Mine is only one opinion, and there are plenty of favourable reviews that offer alternate views. 






   
About the Author 
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
   
Connect with L.J. Shen 


     

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Cover Reveal: THE WRONG GENTLEMAN by Louise Bay

 
THE WRONG GENTLEMAN 
by 
Louise Bay 

Release Date: February 19, 2019
 
 
Pre-Order
Applebooks exclusive pre-order: https://apple.co/2C8VLeE 
Amazon Paperback pre order: https://amzn.to/2VGK3Rp
 
 
Landon Wolf thinks Skylar Anderson is exactly like every other blonde he's taken to bed. He soon finds out he couldn't be more wrong.

FULL BLURB TO COME
   

*****

About the Author 
USA Today bestselling author, Louise Bay writes sexy, contemporary romance novels – the kind she likes to read. 

Ruined by romantic mini-series of the eighties, Louise loves all things romantic. There’s not enough of it in real life so she disappears into the fictional worlds in books and films. 

Louise loves the rain, The West Wing, London, days when she doesn’t have to wear make-up, being on her own, being with friends, elephants, and champagne. She loves to hear from readers so get in touch!
 
Connect with Louise: 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Audiobook Review: HELL SHIP by Michael Veitch

About the Book




The riveting story of one of the most calamitous voyages in Australian history, the plague-stricken sailing ship Ticonderoga that left England for Victoria with 800 doomed emigrants on board.

For more than a century and a half, a grim tale has passed down through Michael Veitch's family: the story of the Ticonderoga, a clipper ship that sailed from Liverpool in August 1852, crammed with poor but hopeful emigrants- mostly Scottish victims of the Clearances and the potato famine. A better life, they believed, awaited them in Australia.

Three months later, a ghost ship crept into Port Phillip Bay flying the dreaded yellow flag of contagion. On her horrific three-month voyage, deadly typhus had erupted, killing a quarter of Ticonderoga's passengers and leaving many more desperately ill. Sharks, it was said, had followed her passage as the victims were buried at sea.

Panic struck Melbourne. Forbidden to dock at the gold-boom town, the ship was directed to a lonely beach on the far tip of the Mornington Peninsula, a place now called Ticonderoga Bay.

James William Henry Veitch was the ship's assistant surgeon, on his first appointment at sea. Among the volunteers who helped him tend to the sick and dying was a young woman from the island of Mull, Annie Morrison. What happened between them on that terrible voyage is a testament to human resilience, and to love.

Michael Veitch is their great-great-grandson, and Hell Ship is his brilliantly researched narrative of one of the biggest stories of its day, now all but forgotten. Broader than his own family's story, it brings to life the hardships and horrors endured by those who came by sea to seek a new life in Australia.


My Thoughts



My interest in history comes with little thanks to the education I received in my youth. My recollection of those classes was learning about important events by memorising dates, geography and not much else. It was boring!

What we needed was books like HELL SHIP. Veitch has done a wonderful job with his well researched account of not only the horrendous journey of the Ticonderoga from the UK to Australia but the multitude of economic and political circumstances that made such journeys a necessity for so many people.

Veitch’s initial interest obviously lies in the fact that his ancestors were on the Ticonderoga but his focus is broader than just his family. The result is a comprehensive and integrated narrative that made me feel invested in this journey and the people undertook it.

Audio: I listened to the audio version of this book which is narrated by the author. The narration was well-paced and intelligible but there is a part of me that wishes a narrator with more of a dramatic flair had been used.  And yes, I say this even knowing the author’s CV.


About the Author



Michael Veitch describes himself in just two words: ‘actor’ and ‘writer’. Actually, add ‘broadcaster’. Three words. Hm, better throw in TV Presenter. How many’s that? Definitely not more than, say, five words. Maybe more. He does a lot of things.



Book Review: HOSED by Pippa Grant & Lili Valente




Title: Hosed
Authors: Pippa Grant & Lili Valente
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
 Release Date: January 15, 2019



Blurb

The world's sexiest firefighter is about to get a second chance with the virgin next door…

He's bossy, arrogant, and so ridiculously hot he should come with a warning label and a pair of flame retardant coveralls.

He's also the boy who broke my heart when we were in high school.

I want to move in next door to Ryan O'Dell the way I want to be the virgin gamer geek suddenly in charge of running my sister's sex toy factory. Too bad both are written in my stars.

Yeah, I'm the world's oldest virgin code-writing nerd. 

And he's the world's hottest firefighter. 

And even though he intimidates the heck out of me, I can't seem to control my libido when he's around.

Where is my dignity? My self-respect? My panties?

Seriously…. Have you seen them? Anyone?

Maybe they're hiding in his bedroom. With my heart.

Yeah, I know. I'm hosed.  

So hosed.

Hosed is a steamy, fun romantic comedy between a firefighter and the virgin nerd next door, complete with a pet raccoon, scandalous gossip, and dildo football. (No, really.) This romance has no cheating or cliffhangers, and ends with a banging hot happily ever after.


ADD TO GOODREADS





*****
My Thoughts

Welcome to Happy Cat, Georgia, USA! A quirky little town inhabited by some quirky, albeit loveable characters as well as being home to a sex toy factory that has the locals divided about the respectability of said business.

When Cassie Sunderwell temporarily returns to town, not only is she plunged into managing her sister’s sex toy factory, she finds herself with Ryan O’Dell as her next-door neighbour. Yes! The Ryan O’Dell she has a teenage crush on. The Ryan O’Dell who broke her heart and influenced her future relationships … or rather non-relationships.

This love story between Cassie and Ryan is sweet, sexy and utterly swoony! I enjoyed the time Cassie and Ryan spent together; they took the time to go on dates, share their thoughts, and get to know one another. And we’ll have to give Ryan kudos for one hell of a grovel scene. Ten out of ten, Mr. O’Dell.

Do towns like Happy Cat exist? If so, I truly want to visit and just observe. There are several amusing offbeat characters and yes, a special mention must go out to the raccoon, George Cooney. He really is not just a pet, but a town personality in his own right. His escapades are hilarious, and dare I say, worthy of their own story??? Once you finish HOSED, do not forget to download the bonus epilogue for more Cooney tales. 

Pippa Grant is my go-to author when I need absurdist fun, endearing characters and loopy storylines. HOSED – her collaboration with Lili Valente - does not disappoint. 


*****
Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY






Pippa Grant

Pippa Grant is a stay-at-home mom and housewife who loves to escape into sexy, funny stories way more than she likes perpetually cleaning toothpaste out of sinks and off toilet handles. When she’s not reading, writing, sleeping, or trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, she’s fantasizing about chocolate chip cookies.



Lili Valente

Lili Valente has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale. 

These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.




Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Book Review (+ Author Giveaway): BURNING FOR AUTUMN by Freya Barker



Title: Burning For Autumn (On Call Series #1) 
Author: Freya Barker 
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Release Date: January 8, 2019 
Cover Designer: Freya Barker 




When Autumn McCoy accepted a temporary work contract in Durango, she thought it would be a safe way to add some spark to her existence. She may be getting more than she bargained for when she finds herself the target of impending danger.The outspoken forty-two-year-old isn’t prepared for that spark to ignite flames threatening to engulf every aspect of her life.

Buried under the weight of responsibilities, all interim Chief of Police, Keith Blackfoot, wants is to get back to good old-fashioned detecting. He gets his chance when an encounter with a feisty redhead seems to incite a wave of arson cases. Although a visit from friend and firefighter, Roman “Chief” Proudfit, provides some direction, he’s left to battle an invisible menace fueling fires that could leave his town—and his heart—in ashes.

Kindle Unlimited


*****
MY REVIEW

BURNING FOR AUTUMN is my favourite Freya Barker book to date! Two great protagonists plus a suspenseful plot kept me entertained from start to finish.

Autumn McCoy is a character from Susan Stoker’s Badge of Honor series. I haven’t read any of Stoker’s books so I can’t comment on what Autumn was like in her books but in this one, she is quite the firecracker. I enjoyed her story very much.

I loved Keith. He is confident and comfortable in himself, and once he quickly lay claim to Autumn he had no issues in showing his affection.

Both Autumn and Keith are independent and committed to their careers. They come with some baggage, as all people in their forties do, and even if a relationship is not something either of them were actively looking for, they were open to the opportunity. Autumn and Keith’s bickering about relationship boundaries was amusing. There is a very short scene where they discuss the expectations and pitfalls of sharing space with another person – something neither of them has really done – that had me sniggering and nodding my head in agreement. It’s a small thing but in a few lines of dialogue it shows their level of comfort with each other. 

On the suspense front, there’s a serial arsonist at work in Durango and the police have few leads to work with. I found the suspense element well plotted and suitably paced. I was happy to be led by the story and did not try to figure out who the arsonist was ahead of time.

I highly recommend BURNING FOR AUTUMN.

                              *****
 

 










Freya Barker inspires with her stories about 'real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy.

She is the author of the Cedar Tree and Portland, ME Series, the Northern Lights Collection and the Rock Point Series. She is also co-author of the SnapShot Series.

To see Freya's complete backlist, or to find out what is coming down the pipe, visit freyabarker.com.


Friday, 14 December 2018

Cover Reveal: HOW NOT TO by Devin Sawyer

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Title: How Not To
Author: Devin Sawyer
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Cover Designer: Michelle Preast


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Ari 
When you’re young you think you know it all. I was fortunate enough to live in a world where poverty was just something I’d heard of, but never experienced. Until, I took a chance on the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The chemistry undeniable. Our worlds collided and I fell hard, we both did. I needed him to stay and when he didn’t, it broke my heart. So I grew up and moved on. I didn’t know who I was back then, or what I was up against. But I do now. I won’t make the same mistakes. 

Torren 
I made mistakes, I thought I knew what I was doing. Turns out sometimes loyalty and stupidity go hand in hand. I took the one thing I needed most and I pushed her away with my actions. Sent her running in the opposite direction is more like it. When fate brings us together again, I desperately want to make things right, prove to her that I’m not that guy anymore. Time has done nothing to put out the fire between us, but she has no plans to let me be a part of her future. I’m about to change that.



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Devin Sawyer is a contemporary romance writer who enjoys a bit of dirty humor. If  you have a dirty joke, she’s the first one that wants to hear it. She grew up in a small Texas town called Comfort and still enjoys quiet country towns. She started out writing at a young age with moody, depressing, poetry—mostly about unrequited teenage loves. But enough about the dark times.. Now Devin prefers to write witty romantic comedies with hard hitting issues. Devin has a master’s in Social work and is independently licensed as a therapist. She finds reading and writing a pleasant escape from real world stressors. Her favorite reads are forbidden love stories.



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Book Review: THE KISS THIEF by L.J. Shen

    THE KISS THIEF   BY  L.J. SHEN Release Date: January 9th Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs .       ...