Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Book Review: Delicious by Cybill Cain


About the Book

One taste will never be enough.

James Draven is a handsome successful billionaire, and the driving force behind the Chimera Club. He's at the top of his game when he sees the woman he's been waiting for across a crowded restaurant. His plans to seduce and claim her are brought to a screeching halt when he crashes his car, leaving him scarred, angry and alone, surviving on dreams of the woman he almost met in another life.

Della Martin grew up an orphan, and worked her way to the top of New York's gourmet elite. When she's summoned to receive a compliment her first night as head chef she glimpses a man that takes her breath away, but before she can get to him fate intervenes, and she makes a choice that prevents their meeting. A year later, still dreaming of the handsome stranger, she meets Thomas Meenan, who tells her that the man she can't stop thinking about is in trouble, and only she can save him.

This Christmas love story is so hot you’ll forget it's cold outside. Grab the cookies and the nog, put the phone on silent and prepare to be seduced by Delicious. 



My Thoughts

This was an easy to read, turbo-charged, over the top Beauty-and-the Beast style book.

James and Della spy each other across a restaurant but circumstances conspire against them and they never get to meet. That same night, James is involved in a horrific car accident that leaves him scarred. Scarred enough for him to remove himself from his previous life and live in seclusion.

In a last ditch attempt to bring James back into the world of the living, his work colleagues collude to finally bring him and Della together. And what better way than stranding them together in a snowy chalet during a storm with no way out?

Everything in this book is fast and amplified; the instalove, the sex, the situations and the characters backstories. And it all works very well. Even though it’s a quick read, the characters are sufficiently developed. James and his Della ‘Delicious’ are made for each other.

Delicious is an escapist fantasy that’s perfect for those who prefer their holiday themed reading to come with lots of spice.



About the Author

Cybill Cain specializes in big strong handsome men who listen, and know their way around in the bedroom. Her heroines are filled with sass and brains. Her stories are filled with insta-love and wild memorable rides that start the second their eyes meet, and end in sweet glorious cheesy love filled HEA's, like pastries for the mind.

https://cybillcain.com/

Book Review: Beyond Today by L. Simpson

About the Book

Ticking all the boxes, the new man in Hannah's life also has a past with enough baggage for a voyage, and she can't see how they'll make it work between them beyond today.

THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS

When Hannah meets Howard, the elusive best man in her friend's wedding, Hannah is instantly drawn to the damaged alpha because they share a connection that makes her heart race and her head spin. But his past, his family and how he slaked his sexual needs keep him prisoner, and challenges her faith in people. With time, Hannah sees the real him, but when he does the one thing she can’t accept, her own demons whisper: Run away from the only man who has ever made her heart full.








PURCHASE LINKS





My Thoughts

In a memorable meet-cute, Hannah bumps into Howard with the words ‘I need a f*ck”. Equally mortified and attracted, Hannah’s exuberant personality soon has Howard enthralled.

Howard’s had a traumatic childhood and these issues have followed him into adulthood. He distances himself from people yet desperately wants to let Hannah in to his world, even knowing she will leave him when she learns the truth about him.


Hannah is an all-round good woman. She is a great friend, loves a dance and a drink, is kind to people and animals and loves music. She cooks, she eats. She’s a more-than-a-touch crass, somewhat of a workaholic and has been avoiding relationships since her last boyfriend cheated and stole from her. 

It’s Howard’s issues, especially those involving people around him that drive a lot of drama in this book. Hannah and Howard get along very well, and even with some initial hesitation, Hannah places a great deal of trust in her relationship with Howard to help him overcome his difficulties.

For me, Howard was the more interesting character and I would have liked to know more about him. He had a lot more growing to do while Hannah was at a place in time where she had found a certain equilibrium.

My one quibble with this book came early when Howard started thinking about his ‘predilections’. All of a sudden I am thinking we’re about to jump into the throes of another Fifty Shades style novel. This didn’t pan out (thankfully!) but it did hamper my enjoyment until all was revealed. Unfortunately in the romance book world today there are too many books where the secretive, misunderstood hero just has sexual kinks.

All round, an enjoyable book.


About the Author


As a girl growing up, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life; there had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair.

Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took up a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full-time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes

Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.

While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has gotten stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valley of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.  


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Book Review: Free hostage by S Ann Cole

About the Book


My name is Timberly Day. I don’t drink, but I do know things.
I know the heart beats over 100,000 times per day.
I know for every one second, lightning strikes the Earth 100 times.

I also know that Jaxon King—the bloody tosser!—is a muddler.
A manipulator. A liar. A con, a thief...and a closet nerd.
He’s as beautiful as innocence, as harmless as a feather.
Except, it’s all an illusion.

I see him and I see lies. I smell him and I taste deceit.
And still—fool that I am—I rush in.
His eyes are like ice. His tongue is like fire.
His lies are white, but his touch is red hot.

I had the chance to run.
I didn’t.
Now, I am a part of the game.
And the only way to win...is to give in.
 


My Thoughts


"You smell like games and lies and knavery and immorality."

I am on a roll! S Ann Cole joins a short list of new-to-me authors whose books I have thoroughly enjoyed.

With a title like ‘Free Hostage’, I’ll admit I was expecting something BDSM-ish and that’s not my jam. The blurb, however, had me hooked. Anyone who describes the hero as a ‘bloody tosser’ is someone I want to learn more about. And that’s Timber. Jaxon is the tosser in question.  

This book does a great job in showcasing some very smart people. They are smart and devious and use their knowledge to conduct illegal activities. Not the murder and gore kind, but they type of clever crimes you want to watch movies about - like art theft. Well, at least I do.

Timber may have catapulted off the intelligence level charts but she is clueless about some things, especially romantic relationships. She has never had romantic feelings for a man until she is first mesmerised by Jaxon’s eyes. And the way they first meet? It’s the best! And no, I am not going to spoil it for you.

Timber’s inner dialogue offers a great read. For such a practical person, she is having many impractical thoughts. Her reasoning and coping mechanisms when faced with the mysterious Jaxon have her acting in all manner of ways. And they’re all unfamiliar to her.

While we as readers see that Jaxon is attracted to Timber, he is also the definition of man-of-mystery. Unexplained absences, ambiguous conversations and conflicting actions all have Timber in a spin.

Added to all this is a great cast of secondary characters – some deserving of their own books – and plenty of sexy times makes this book such a fun and unusual read.

I am not trying to be cryptic but this book deserves to be read with as few upfront spoilers as possible.
"Kiss me they’re watching."


About the Author



S. Ann Cole is an exaggerator, a laugher, sometimes overly chatty, sometimes overly shy. She’s afraid of cats, dogs, snakes—heck, she’s only tolerable to gold fishes in a tank.

She hates fireworks, schmaltz and arrogance.
She loves carbs, full moons and humility.
She lives nowhere and everywhere.
Jokey people are her favorite people to be around, as laughter is the way to her heart.

When Ann’s not abusing her computer keyboard, you can find her nosing a novel, watching anything on television that makes her laugh until she breaks into hiccups (loves Disney, TBS, and Impractical Jokers!) studying the Bible, or sipping red wine.

Release Blitz: Heartthrob by Katie McCoy




Title: Heartthrob
Author: Katie McCoy
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: November 28, 2017



Blurb

Move over, Colin Firth - there’s a new Darcy in town! 

Jax Hawthorne is Hollywood’s sexiest bad boy. I’m a glorified secretary who thinks color-coding my library is a wild Friday night. So when he shows up after all this time wanting to make good on our childhood deal to tie the knot, it’s not because he can’t resist my perfect credit score.

He needs a fake girlfriend to rehab his reckless image, and I’m the (safe, sensible) girl for the job. I would be insulted… if the proposal didn’t come with an all-expenses-paid trip to England while he shoots a new movie version of ’Pride & Prejudice.’ 

Goodbye, my dumpster fire of a dating life. Hello, steamy nights with a chiseled hunk who knows all the right moves.

Soon, I’m knee-deep in the English mud - and on-set drama. But all our fake-smoldering is getting my very real panties in a twist. It turns out, Jax is so much more than just a reckless playboy. He makes me want to forget our ‘arrangement’.. and break all the rules. 

Can our pretend romance turn to something real? Or will scheming actresses, control-freak PR crews, and a pesky little thing called love ruin the best (fake) relationship of my life? 

Find out in the hot, hilarious new romance from Katie McCoy!







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Author Bio

Katie McCoy is a self proclaimed sushi addict, Cardinals baseball fanatic, and lover of all things theatrical. A St. Louis native transplanted to Brooklyn, she acts, sings, and shakes her booty when she isn't writing books about hot men and the girls who love them.


Author Links

Monday, 27 November 2017

Release Blitz: The Plan by Ella James




Title: The Plan
An Off-Limits Romance Standalone
Author: Ella James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 27, 2017



Blurb


You’ve heard this story before. Woman feels her biological clock ticking and gets someone to knock her up.
Not for love, for baby.
Crazy, right?
That’s what I thought.
Then I found out my fiancĂ© had a vasectomy. The life I thought I had? Nope. Suddenly I’m 33, and I don’t even have a kissing buddy.
When my mom’s health takes a turn and I wind up back in my hometown of Fate, Alabama, I tell myself to leave things up to…well, you know.
Then I see Gabriel McKellan. He’s Fate’s most famous son, a bestselling author who is beautiful, complicated, and living just below me. In addition to his plus-sized brain, Gabe’s well-endowed in other ways, and great in bed to boot. I would know. He's my ex husband.
When I suggest The Plan, I don't imagine that he'll take the bait. It's been ten years, and we don't work. But Fate has other plans for both of us.






Purchase Links

99c for a VERY limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






Author Bio

Ella James is the USA Today bestselling author of sixteen teen and adult love stories. She's an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.

Ella's obsessions include vanilla cream soda, hiking, other weird, crunchy things like rock collecting, and the antics of her three little monsters.

To find out more about her projects, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ellajamesbooks, tweet her at author_ellaj or follow her on Instagram (authorellajames).

Interested in the foreign rights for one of Ella’s books? Contact her agent, Rebecca Friedman, at rebecca@rfliterary.com.



Author Links

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Release Blitz: When In Rome by C.J Duggan




Title: When in Rome
Author: C.J. Duggan
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 26, 2017



Blurb

The fourth standalone novel in CJ Duggan's Heart of the City series from the internationally bestselling author of the Summer and Paradise series.

What's the saying again . . . when in Rome, do a Roman?

How did a self-orchestrated gap year turn into a less-than enthralling lifestyle as a couch potato at her parents' house? Determined to get motivated and join life again, Sammi Shorten books a budget Bellissimo Tour to Rome, the Eternal City. What she hadn't signed up for was being stuck with an eclectic group of binge-drinking foreigners in a bed-bug-infested hostel from hell. Things in Rome really couldn't get much worse . . . could they?

When plans go completely awry Sammi's left with only one place to turn, and it's the one place Sammi really doesn't want to turn – to the man who might very well get her into the worst trouble of all: the gorgeous local tour guide, Marcello Bambozzi.

When in Rome is the fourth standalone book in CJ Duggan's sassy, sexy new adult series, Heart of the City.







Purchase Links


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






Author Bio


CJ DUGGAN is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books. She lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.



Author Links

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Book Review: Unexpected Arrivals by Stephie Walls

About the Book

It had to be a joke.

Any minute now, a van would drive up and Ashton Kutcher would slide the door open, laughing hysterically at my melodramatic performance on the front porch.

But nothing happened.

The words on the page jumbled into a toxic mess my brain refused to comprehend, much less accept.

Please consider this letter as a formal request to arrange a paternity test (DNA).

I barely remembered Chelsea Airy.

That wasn’t true—we’d gone out once, and we’d been friends for a while after. But I hadn’t heard so much as a peep from her since I’d gotten married. I’d reached out a handful of times, but she’d quit responding and fell off the face of the earth. There hadn’t been a text, an email, a phone call, not even a Facebook message, much less a stork in the last five years.

My wife could forgive a lot, but she’d never wanted children—much less another woman’s.


PURCHASE LINKS 

Free in Kindle Unlimited


My Thoughts

I first met the characters of Cora and Legend in Leddy Harper’s book The Roommate ‘dis’Agreement, which I have reviewed here. Even with such a small appearance, the character of Cora intrigued me. 

In this book, Unexpected Arrivals by Stephie Walls, we get Cora’s story, James’ story and Chelsea’s story. This is not a book about a threesome but it is about three people whose lives over the years have become interlinked and entwined in the most remarkable of ways. 

The prologue is set in the present day with James receiving notification that he has been called to provide DNA for a paternity claim. Thoughts race through his head. One of his primary thoughts being that Cora, his wife, will not be pleased. And that’s an understatement.

We are then sent back in time by 15 years to witness a young James and Cora as they meet, fall in love and decide to be together. Just as they are about to settle into their careers, Cora drops the bombshell that she wants to break up with James. James is blindsided and unable to convince her to stay.

James has never stopped loving Cora but he is lost without her. During his time away from her, he meets Chelsea. There is nothing between them apart from a brief coupling when they are both in need of human touch and companionship. Neither expects or wants a relationship with each other. They continue to communicate for a brief time, with Chelsea even advising James he should seek out Cora and try again. Unbeknownst to James, Chelsea falls pregnant and chooses not to tell him. And that’s all I’m going to say to avoid spoiling this well plotted story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My emotions were shuffled in all directions as I became angry with Cora for leaving James, frustrated with James for being unable to successfully move on from Cora, sad for Chelsea as she dealt with family issues that were out of her control. I think the best part – and worst – was that I could relate to all these people. No one was right. No one was wrong. No one was to blame. Every one of them was impacted in both good and bad ways by the things that life had dealt them. Everyone was human. And the biggest lesson? That the impact a person has on your life should not be measured by the amount of time spent with them. The shortest time can offer both the greatest rewards and greatest challenges.

This story is a wonderful account of lost chances, second chances, selfless choices and selfish choices. I highly recommend it.

About the Author

Stephie Walls is a literary whore - she loves words in all forms and will read anything put in front of her. She has an affinity for British Literature and Romance novels and an overall love of writing. She currently has six novels out, four short stories, and two collections; all provocatively written to elicit your imagination and spice up your world.



Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Book Review: The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane

About the Book

This tight end is at the top of his game. 

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect. 

But I can’t fall for him. 

He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival? 

This guy is their star player.




        
GOODREADS LINK
  
PURCHASE LINKS




My Thoughts

Kayla and Jay meet at the wedding of mutual friends and immediately hit it off. Too bad they don’t discover until later that they are on opposite sides of a long-standing rivalry between two college football teams. A rivalry that’s ingrained in the blood, especially on Kayla’s side.

Kayla and Jay have great chemistry. What little time they manage to eke out together in between their combined commitments is well written and well-paced as we see their relationship progress over the course of their senior year.

 What I found difficult to understand was Kayla’s hesitation in committing to the relationship because of a sporting rivalry. I understand you can be a fan of a sport. What I don’t understand is why anyone would jeopardise a wonderful relationship for it. This extreme level of support is completely foreign to me. In fact, it’s pointed out to Kayla by several characters much later in the book that her level of devotion is extreme. However, for readers like me, it’s already too late to redeem Kayla because it’s taken her far too long to understand how special Jay and their relationship is.

There is a good cast of supporting characters, and I especially liked Chuck and Beth. Too bad we only get to see them interact in the late stages of this book. It would be nice to read their story.

The book is interspersed with comedic moments which make it a light read. Overall, this book is definitely one for the sports fans. There’s a lot of talk about the game itself and the devotees that follow the game.


About the Author

Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. 

Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier.


Book Review: The Perfect Murder by Stewart Giles


About the Book


COULD YOU COMMIT THE PERFECT MURDER?
Two cats are found mutilated in the same town. Detective Harriet Taylor is reluctant to investigate, but then one of their owners is killed a bizarre way that same day.
Harriet and the team step in. The dead woman has four words written on her neck — four very ambiguous words.
Then another body turns up with the same words written on it.  Harriet fears the worst — a serial killer is on the loose in the small Cornish town of Trotterdown.
Can Harriet stop the murders and work out the connection to the local writing group who, conveniently enough, have been set the task of writing stories on the theme of “the perfect murder”?
A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish community.

My Thoughts


What a great start to the book! We are at the scene while the perfect murder occurs. But wait! We soon discover that this murder hasn’t happened.  It’s the work of a writer who is sharing his story with his writing group.

In the space of a few days, we discover that all the fictitious ‘Perfect Murder’ stories read aloud that night are being enacted in real life. Suspicion immediately falls on the writing group members as they are the only people who heard the stories.

Detective Harriet Taylor and her colleagues are stymied.  They know the manner in which people will die but the victims to date have been chosen randomly, so it’s hard to know who to warn.  As the team work through the clues that are taking them in all directions, the pressure is mounting as each murder is taking place on consecutive days.

Here’s the “but”. I do think the “gripping crime mystery with a dark twist” descriptor is misleading. While the crimes were heinous, the manner in which the story unfolded leaned more on the cosy mystery side than on the dark side. I was expecting a heavier read and this was not it. The pacing felt slow and the team unfortunately came across as a group of plodders. And it definitely did not help that I guessed who the murderer was well before the end of the book.

This police procedural is generally well written. I was hooked after the excellent start but overall the book did not meet my expectations in terms of how it was marketed. I do plan on reading the first Harriet Taylor book but will begin with a clearer understanding of the author’s writing style for this series.

This would be a good choice for readers who prefer a lighter touch in police procedural books.

About the Author

I grew up in the north-east of England and after leaving university, I set off travelling with my future wife, Ann. We finally settled in South Africa where we still live. I own a boat shop by the Vaal Dam and life couldn't be more peaceful. 

A few years ago, my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head and the idea for a series of detective novels came to me. Whether she dropped it on purpose is still a mystery. 

When I'm not writing, I spend my time sailing yachts on the Vaal Dam, playing electric guitar and trying to keep up with my soon-to-be teenage daughter.


New Release Book Review (& Author Giveaway): Everything I Never Wanted by K. Street

Title: Everything I Never Wanted Author: K. Street Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: June 22, 2018 Blurb ...