Friday, 31 October 2014

{Review} Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8) by Abbi Glines

Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 23rd, 2014
Finished Date: October 26th, 2014
Publishers: Simon and Schuster UK
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary 
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Six years ago, Dewayne Falco's life changed. He lost someone he never expected to lose. Resigned to punish himself for something he felt he could have prevented, he goes through life without getting too close to anyone.

What he didn't expect was for the girl across the street to move back home and remind him of what they both lost: Dewayne's younger brother Dustin. However, when a miniature version of Dustin opens the door to greet him, Dewayne realizes he might not have lost everything after all.

Sienna Roy loved Dustin Falco most of her life. He was the boy next door, the high school basketball star and her best friend. But when his life was cut short, she realized he left a part of himself behind.

Now, she's back in Sea Breeze, thankful to have a home for her and Dustin's son, but not sure if she can ever forgive the people across the street who abandoned her when she needed them the most — The Falcos.

Betrayal, lies, and forbidden attraction might end Dewayne and Sienna's story before it's even begun.

The Review: I’ve said this many times before that Abbi Glines has fast become my go-to author but, lately and I feel like a traitor saying this but, lately I’ve been having some slight issues with some of her stories. Is it me or have they slowly started getting a bit receptive where you feel like your reading the same story over again and that they’ve been slightly rushed? That’s how I felt with the last two books I’ve read – One More Chance and Bad for You – Bad for You being my least favourite of Abbi’s work. So I went into Hold on Tight with no expectations whatsoever but I found myself more than happy with Dewayne and Sienna’s story because it was refreshing, different, steamy and so damn good!

Six years ago, Dewayne Falco lost one of the most important people in his life when his younger brother Dustin died in a car accident. Blaming himself for the events that happened the night Dustin died, Dewayne now lives life never getting attached to anyone. But when Sienna Roy returns to Sea Breeze, old feelings resurface for Dewayne especially when Sienna was Dustin’s girlfriend when he died.

When single mother Sienna returns to her home town of Sea breeze she’s looking forward to starting a new life with her son, but she’s not looking forward to living across the road from the Falco’s who she resents for abandoning her when she needed them the most – when she discovered she was pregnant with their dead son’s child at the age of sixteen. Now Sienna has Dewayne back in her life and her hidden feelings for him resurface, but can she ever act on them when she loved Dustin so much?

This is what I’ve missed! Abbi Glines delivering another steamy, emotional and touching read that makes me want to hold on tight and never let go of these wonderful characters. I loved Hold on Tight. It was a vast improvement from Bad for You and Dewayne and Sienna became characters to really root for. I have always been intrigued about Dewayne from the previous books and so I was glad Abbi wrote his story and from the past to present chapters, it really felt as though I didn’t miss a thing!

Sienna is a great character to get to know. I really liked her. She isn’t a weak character and she puts her life in her own hands as best as she could. She’s a devoted mother and would do anything for her son. I really enjoyed that her story was different from the rest of the girls we’ve seen in the book – Sienna’s is emotional and my heart hurt for her at times. And Dewayne, he surprised me. I come to like him much more than I thought I would. He’s a big softy at heart and I really enjoyed the connection he had with Sienna.

Overall, I loved Hold on Tight and I feel as though Abbi’s got her groove back with this series and I’m hoping it stays! I’m even more excited for Until the End now.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

{Review} Kissing Trouble (In The Dark Series) by Morgana Phoenix

18191212Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 13th, 2014
Finished Date: October 15th, 2014
Publishers: Fire & Ash Publishing
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Psychological Thriller Romance

Their screams will be his lullaby.

Escaping into the wilderness should have been a piece of cake for a super-babysitter like Julie Brewer. But even she isn’t prepared for the horror awaiting their arrival, or the man who had broken her heart all those years ago to suddenly show up on the doorstep.

Mason Brody has a plan and it is simple: wait for Julie to grow up. Yet in no way is he prepared for the fierce amazon who ambushes him with a baseball bat, or the way the shy fifteen year old has blossomed into a beautiful, passionate woman he can't get enough of.

But there is so much more than just their past between them. There is a dark force lurking in the shadows, waiting for the chance to appease its hunger for death and it will stop at nothing until it is fed.

Can Mason and Julie keep the evil at bay long enough to escape? Or will the monster add their lives to its list?

The Review: Kissing Trouble is yet another awesome book from Airicka Phoenix writing as Morgana Phoenix.
Julie was cool character, I liked that we see how kick ass she is from the beginning as she shows us that she is very capable of kicking butt due to her martial arts training and she has a take no sh*t attitude. She was good with the kids, very patient and kind but we see a different side to her when Mason arrives. I love it when friends become something more and the history they shared, fair enough in the beginning we think he broke her heart but he soon explains things to her and it’s just a matter of Julie getting used to seeing things in another way. When she does accept it, their chemistry is HOT…. Mason is definitely a man I could go for, he’s got a dominant streak, he’s attentive, not afraid to say what he wants…. And he wants Julie and spends a lot of time telling her just what he wants which created an amazing sexual tension between the two and that’s not to mention that there are lots of sexy moments to get the pulse racing.
The story is definitely a page turner and one that keeps you gripped from beginning to end as the tension mounts throughout the book and when you’re not being anxious about the horrible events, you’re swooning over Mason alongside Julie. The danger starts off with a gruesome gift and quickly escalates , in the beginning you feel the panic because there are children about but when that changes and Julie is left with Mason and his friends, it gets more atmospheric – especially when anyone could be the villain. I spent most of the book being wrapped up in the hotness of the relationship, it was a sweet relief to the horrors that kept happening, and the other times I spent wracking my brain as to who I thought was the bad guy and I can tell you … it kept me guessing right up until the end. This is another book by this author that could be made into a movie, I could see myself watching this and really enjoying the suspense of it all. It was exciting, atmospheric, suspenseful and filled with both tension of the scary variety and sexual tension all wrapped around a couple on the verge of love that may have to give up everything for the chance to love each other. 

4.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Morgana Phoenix for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#92)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Jess's WoW
Black Iris
by Leah Raeder
Release Date: April 28th, 2015

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable.

Laney Keating's senior year of high school sucked. It began with one moment of weakness, one stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors started. Slut, they called her. Queer. Pillhead. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mom decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who becomes closer than a sister.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully responsible for everything, the boy who broke her down completely—she decides maybe it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Because that was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one of them. And Laney is going to show them just how true. She's going to show them all.
Jess's thoughts: "I absolutely LOVED this authors debut novel 'Unteachable' and when I came across this one her second book, I got so damn excited. I absolutely must have it. Now. Like yesterday."

Donna's WoW

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
by Katie McGarry 
Release Date: December 8th, 2014

A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.
Donna's thoughts: I love this cover and I'm excited to see where Echo and Noah are at now...eep!

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
Want to participate? 
Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

{Blog Tour + Giveaway} Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell

18402202Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: October 8th, 2014
Finished Date: September 8th, 2014
Publishers: Flux
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish.

The Review: Sweet Unrest was a great read filled with mystery and intrigue.
Set in New Orleans, Lucy Aimes life is about to get very strange when she and her family move to an old plantation. For as long as she has remembered she has had recurring dreams of drowning but those dreams take on a different purpose with the move, she starts to dream of people who lived around the area long ago, people who she shouldn’t know but feels connected to. Around the time Lucy also meets the mysterious Alex, who always seems to be around when no one else is, who seems to know her…. But how can he? For they have just met….one thing is for sure, he’s hiding something and she wants to find out. Lucy is also introduced to the voodoo and mysticism that is synonymous of the area and is about to be drawn into a whole lot of danger – can she solve the mystery of the past to save all of their futures?
So, I really enjoyed this story – to me when you put together New Orleans, voodoo, an old plantation house and mystery you’re automatically going to think gothic ghost story and you would be right. I thought Lucy was great character to bring the story to life, she had a sceptical attitude to what was happening and I liked that she questioned it instead of blindly believing everything. I admired her determination to know the truth and of course that she wanted to save those in danger. I also liked the connection she had to Alex, they had some sweet moments and again I liked that she questioned her feelings for him and often.
The storyline as I said was very mysterious and watching it all unfold was great. I liked the way the past blended in with the present and that we got chapters from both eras, I’m not one for any type of historical fiction but when the past is portrayed as this was – I don’t seem to mind it. I also thought the book was very atmospheric and you could feel the growing danger and the mystery of it all, each time we went back and learned a little something new was very important to the plot and kept adding to the ‘feel’ of it knowing that something was going to happen and soon. I loved the setting, I have to say that those big plantation houses are my dream homes and I would love to own one, the splendour and history of all that came before are amazing and I bet those houses do indeed have stories of their own – as this one did – and because of the fact that it’s in New Orleans is even better, a place so rich in culture with its own belief system crafted by many. I don’t read enough books that deal with voodoo, I like what it brings to a story and I’m never disappointed because it always brings its own ambience and sense of mystery – I enjoyed how it was used here and the explanations given, Mama Legba is quite the character as any voodoo priestess should be.
All in all I thought this book was great, it was easy to read, kept me entertained and guessing right up until the bittersweet ending and definitely worth a read. 

Thank you to Flux for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Lisa   MaxwellAbout the Author:
About Lisa Maxwell: Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest   (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she's not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @LisaMaxwellYA
Book on Goodreads: 
Author on Goodreads: 
One Four Kid Lit:

Monday, 27 October 2014

{Review} Love Me to Death (Underveil #1) by Marissa Clarke

16005226Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Finished Date: September 28th, 2014
Publishers: Entangled Select 
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 420
Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar, which is not easy to do when you live with the craziest woman in the world. But eccentric Aunt Uza is a picnic compared to the other people who enter her orderly life after she is shot in a convenience store robbery.

Elena finds herself rocketed from comfortable predictability to supernatural insanity courtesy of her own private angel of death who happens to have the sexiest accent on earth and a body to match. Her death angel is convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster.

Yeah, right. She’ll play along, but then she doesn’t have much choice seeing how as the guy claims to be some immortal law enforcer and has taken her prisoner.

* * *

Nikolai Itzov had expected to fight the urge to torture the progeny of his father’s murderer, but he’d never anticipated battling the urge to kiss her her.

As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his charge from the Underveil General is clear: Kill her or die. He has been told she is one of them--an Undead. Nothing but a parasite to be destroyed. But he has been told wrong.

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans.

With her analytical mind and his centuries of training and experience, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.

The Review: I’m not going to rehash the synopsis because as you see… it is long.. but it is also perfect and a great insight into this brilliant book. I loved everything about this book, the characters, the worlds, the different kinds of people and the threat – it hit the spot for me across the board.
Elena was a great character and both her and Nikolai’s introduction to the story made an impact. I like when a character is in the dark about their true identity because I enjoy finding out about everything with them, Elena was very much in the dark about her heritage so is really blindsided by all that is Nikolai with his bizarre claims about who she is. Nikolai was also a really great character, he had all you would want in a leading man and it was easy to see why Elena would be drawn to him. I loved the chemistry between them, sort of a hate to love thing (which I love) but Nikolai certainly has a charm to him and a way with words that won’t only have Elena weak at the knees. They clash wills time and time again as they each try to take control of the situations they end up in and the sexytime – well, that’s really hot! 
The storyline was awesome, there was a LOT going on with plenty of action with run & chase scenarios that kept me on my toes throughout the book. There is a prophecy which I love and of course our two main characters are at the centre of it, both of them on opposing sides and meant to hate each other but nothing is as it seems. I thought the author created an intriguing world in which there are two worlds separated by a veil – the human world and Nikolai’s world. Nikolai’s world is filled with magical people of all different persuasions including Vampires, Slayers, Time folders & Seers, this is not all though and some of them even live in the human realm. It was a fast paced read that could easily fit into the UF genre or Fantasy genre because it straddles the two but what it was for definite is amazing and I loved it! 

Thank you to Entangled Select for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

{Review} Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

16113606Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 23rd, 2913
Finished Date: October 3rd, 2014
Publishers: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopian
Source: Gifted
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 391
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

The Review: Of Beast and Beauty is a beautiful re-telling of one of my favourite fairy tales; Beauty and the Beast, but it also has its own unique spin and I completely fell in love with the story that Stacey Jay has created.

Princess Isra – a Smooth Skin and the future queen of the domed city of Yuan – has grown up knowing she will eventually become a human sacrifice where her death will continue to keep Yuan thriving. Gem – a Monstrous who is trying to stop his people dying from starvation by trying to find out the secrets of the Smooth Skins – breaks into the domed City and is captured by Isra and her men. As Isra and Gem spend time together after Gem convinces her that he can help her save her people in return to help his, Isra realizes she wants to try and help the banished people in her City be accepted even though they have some Monstrous qualities – like Isra believes has and mainly due to her blindness. Neither Isra nor Gem is prepared for the unwanted feelings that they feel about each other.  But how can these two fight the odds and change the world they live in?

I absolutely loved this book! I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for nearly two years and I have no idea why I didn’t get to it sooner – I wish I had. The only other books of Stacey Jay’s I’ve read are her Romeo and Juliet series which I really loved, so I did have hopes that this would be just as good. It wasn’t just good – it was even better and it's now my favourite out of her work so far. And it definitely helped that this was a Beauty and the Beast re-telling.

Isra and Gem were fantastic characters to get to know and what made this story stand out even more – and it surprised me – was that it was told from dual narratives. You know how much of a fan I am of it and Isra and Gem’s voices worked perfectly together. The story is surrounded by a lot of prejudice and we see a lot of it from Isra and Gem from the start of the story, but as it progresses you see them start to question a lot of what they’ve been lead to believe. I really enjoyed that they started to take their own feelings into account. It made the story interesting and very intense. I was dying for something to happen between them because you could see the spark, they just needed the push and when it happened, it was so worth the wait.

The plot of the story was brilliant! Even though it wasn’t action-packed until the end of the story, it was entertaining and kept me guessing throughout. There was always something going on, so I didn’t miss the action to be honest. It’s full of danger and hidden secrets and it’s really a gripping read.

In all, Of Beast and Beauty is definitely one of my favourite reads this year and my only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner. I loved it and I cannot wait for Stacey Jay’s next book, Princess of Thorns which releases later this year.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

{Review} My Little Star by Mark Sperring

Posted by Donna
Release Date:  October 9th, 2014
Finished Date: October 17th, 2014
Publishers: Bloomsbury Children's
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Ages: 3-6 years 
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
When the day is done and sleep draws near,

When the moon's aglow and stars appear.

I'll whisper something crystal clear -

Words meant just for you to hear.

As nighttime falls and the moon starts to shine, parents and children across the world snuggle up together. So cuddle close, because it's time for a bedtime story.

With a gentle message and beautifully tender illustrations, My Little Star is the perfect way to end the day with your own little star.

The Review: Mark Sperring did a fantastic job with My Little Star. As a mother this story easily appealed to me because of its heart-warming and loving story. The story tugged on my heart because I understood and truly appreciated the message the author was trying to get across. - that the bond between a parent and a child is unbreakable no matter what, even if you’re a tiger or lion, or even a owl or the deeper meaning, that it doesn't matter what you are or what you look like, your parent will love you no matter what and I loved explaining it to my daughter and having her understanding the meaning.

My daughter enjoyed this because it's a rhyming tale and she found the illustrations very pretty. And the illustrations were beautiful! We've already read this several times now before bed because it really is the perfect bedtime read, having your child going to sleep knowing how much they are loved.

In all, My Little Star is a charming and beautiful read and it's one I will enjoy with my daughter for many years to come!

Thank you to Bloomsbury Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.