Monday, 30 June 2014

{Review} Masquerade (Games#3) by Nyrae Dawn

18190087Posted by Donna
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
Finished Date: June 20th, 2014
Publishers: Headline Eternal
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
After his father is put in prison for murder leaving his mother suicidal, Maddox Cross is left in Brenton, Virginia, without his sister, Laney, and a future in football. At a loss with what to do with his life, the one thing he has found is tattooing, and when he meets a feisty young woman in the club where he works security, he has no idea that she might change his life forever.

Bee Malone has just moved to Brenton to open her first tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Despite her success, nothing is as it seems. After being kidnapped at a young age, Bee struggles to be the daughter her parents lost, and can’t let go of the ‘parents’ who raised her. When she meets Maddox, there’s an instant attraction that leaves Bee wanting to connect with him in more ways than one.

Once Maddox finds out about Masquerade, he wants nothing more than to join Bee. But letting him in means Bee must figure out who she is, and this is something she’s not ready for. Maddox and Bee are forced out of their comfort zones as they lean on each other more and more. 

Will their stubborn nature tear them apart? Or push them closer together?

The Review: Addictive, heart-breaking and highly emotional, Masquerade is a gut-wrenching story about two lost people coming together when they least expect it. 

Maddox Cross’s family was left broken after his father killed a little boy. His mother keeps trying to kill herself and his sister, Delaney is dating Adrian – the father of the little boy that was killed. Maddox will do anything he can do to protect Delaney, even if that means sacrificing his own happiness. It’s not until Maddox finds tattooing that he finally feels passionate about something, until tattoo artist Bee storms into his life.

Bee trying to escape from her past starts fresh in a new town and open up a tattoo shop. Determined to do it on her own, it’s one of the reasons she turns down Maddox when he comes looking for work. But Delaney makes Bee see something in Maddox that Bee can see in herself. Can Maddox and Bee work together while trying to fight their attraction for one another? But more importantly, will they get the happy ending they both didn’t know they wanted?

I completely adore the Charade series and when I found out Nyrae Dawn was writing Maddox’s story, I have to admit I was little hesitate. I was worried his story would be similar to Delaney’s who we saw in Façade mainly because they are brother and sister. However, I’m so glad I was completely wrong and once I started reading Masquerade, I simply couldn’t put it down. 

Masquerade is a heart-wrenching read. I found both Bee and Maddox’s story at time quite devastating. They are both similar as characters that neither of them wants to let anyone into their lives. They are content living the way they do, even though they are clearly not happy. They just go from day by day, not really living life but slugging through. It’s when they finally meet each other it’s like they can both recognize that they are the same, even though they are dealing with different hardships, they can connect to each other . I loved that about the story, I loved that it was the two of them against world, and I really enjoyed reading their story coming together. 

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this series and Masquerade was just as good as the other books and I can’t wait to see to what Nyrae Dawn comes up with next! 

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

Sunday, 29 June 2014

{Feature} My Life in Baking #2: Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Hi everyone! So I'm back with another baking post. I had so much feedback from the Lemon and Blueberry cupcakes and I really appreciated it, I love you guys!

So if you haven't already seen on Facebook and Instagram then I'm hoping you will be excited to see what I made a few days ago. This time I actually made them for one of my blogging besties, you may know her Misty @ Bookaholic Book Club as it was her birthday yesterday and because she's such a fan of lemon meringue, I decided to make;
Lemon cupcakes with a dollop of lemon curd topped with fresh meringue aka Lemon Meringue Cupcakes! Yum! 


1) Pre-heat oven on gas mark 2 or 3

2) Place butter and caster sugar in a bowl and cream together until the mixture turns fluffy and light

3) Add in the flour and eggs and mix all together 

4) Stir in the lemon extract or fresh lemon juice

5) Use a spoon or ice-cream scoop and place an even amount of mixture into your cases. 

6) Bake on a low gas. I use 2 or 3 and bake until the cakes turn a golden brown - usually around 15/20 minutes

7) Take out of the oven and place on a cake rack to cool. 


8) While your waiting for the cakes to cool down. Make the meringue.

9) Whisk your egg whites in a bowl until they become thick (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and no mixture will fall out)

10) Whisk in a spoon full of sugar at a time until all the sugar is all gone. 

11) At this point, your cakes should be cool enough to decorate. Place a generous amount of lemon curd on top of each cupcake and spread so the top of the cake is covered. 

12) Then add your meringue on top. I pipe mine on but you could just slap it on either way will be fine. ;)

13) Once all the cupcakes are covered in meringue, put them back into the oven and bake on a low heat until the meringue has turned a slight golden brown. And then you have this; 

These were so easy to make guys, perfect if you don't like buttercream (like me) but otherwise just nice to try a new and refreshing recipe. Enjoy!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

{Review} Passion's Flight (Dark Breed Enforcers #2) & Dark Hunter (Dark Breed Enforcers #2.5) by Shannan Albright

13504438Posted by Melanie
Release Date: February 29th, 2014
Finished Date: May 27th, 2014
Publishers: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance 
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 143
Tegan Murin has his hands full these days. Feral attacks are increasing, targeting humans, and now he is ordered to find and destroy a deadly artifact known as Oman’s Seal, deal with his estranged step-father and find a missing archaeologist. He’s a bit irritable. Add into the mix a recurring dream of one sexy seductress leading him to his death… well, you get one very pissed off were-panther.
Kyra Navarone is more than what she seems. Escaping from the Ferals who captured her, she ends up running into a brooding, irritating man who makes her blood run hot just with one look. Her life depends on the betrayal of this compelling man, but how can she live with herself afterward?
More than their lives hang in the balance. In order to survive they must learn to trust one another before the world they know and the one hidden beneath the waves are destroyed forever.

The Review: Passion’s Flight is the second book in the Dark Breed Enforcers series and just as good as the first.
This time around it’s Tegan’s chance to claim a life mate as he sent out on a mission into his old territory on his step father’s orders. There is no one Tegan hates in life as Nikolai and he is loath to do anything for him but knowing how important the job is and that he is the only person for the job puts things into perspective. He quickly finds Kyra Navarone – the archaeologist with the location of Oman’s Seal- amid a trail of death and destruction, it looks like he isn’t the only one hunting for the woman. They clash from the getgo as she sees herself as superior and he sees her a stubborn know it all but as the danger comes, the fights for freedom turn into mutual respect and admiration which then turns into something they both never saw coming…. Kyra has a secret however, a secret that could mean death for Tegan. Will their love win out? Or will one of the other players get what they want? Be it the artefact – or Kyra!
So, I really enjoyed this sequel to Dark Passion Rising and it followed on perfectly. In the beginning, it was good to catch up on what had happened following book one and we find that things have changed a lot, prejudice against the Dark Breeds is coming to a head, most of the Dark Breeds have been hunted down and killed especially those in power and our Enforcers have been forced to ally themselves and go underground. Temple Fox is still causing problems as he tries to put his own plans into action but other players are starting to pop into the picture and it was nice to be kept abreast of those happenings as well as getting our romance fix from Tegan & Kyra. Tegan was a stand out character in book one so I was glad to get his book, he is all brooding & masculine – perfect for a shifter – and I enjoyed that book 2 was about the shifter side, plus we get some of his history which helps to know him more. I liked the connection between Tegan & Kyra, they had a battle of wills going on and they clashed a lot which is always fun and usually leads to some hot smexyness – which it did! Kyra has a couple of secrets up her sleeve which make her an unusual match for Tegan but that seems to be happening for our enforcers – unusual couplings – and has me thinking if that will all be leading somewhere? There was no end of attacks & fights, some had me fearing for our MC’s as they land themselves in deadly situations, time & time again and that really amps up the danger element. I also like the way the world has opened up to include ‘Mer folk’ and they too have opposing sides which gives me high hopes for further books. As for this book though, it was exciting, dangerous & action packed but also filled with romance & hope centred around an unusual couple who found love in the worst of circumstances and have to fight to keep it and just as Tegan faces danger away from home, so too does our Enforcers as they see their own danger, action & heartache giving us a great read that will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions and following this, I NEED Zeke’s book!. 
18214996Posted by Melanie
Release Date: July 13th, 2013
Finished Date: May 28th 2014
Publishers: Everynight Publishing
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance 
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 67
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Vampire Mari Ankamunan struggles to pick up the pieces of her life after her bar The Asp becomes a war zone between the Enforcers and members of the Preservation Society, who want all dark breeds wiped out. The sudden appearance of the only man she ever loved brings her world to a crashing halt, for she witnessed his brutal murder two thousand years ago.

Navar’s spoken oaths to his Sire cost him Mari. Torn from her side by the sidhe queen, he is her Hunter, delivering justice for crimes against the breeds. Now freed he returns to his lovers side only to be caught in a dark plot where Mari is targeted for death.

The stakes are high, can they uncover a deadly plot against the Enforcers or will Navar lose Mari, forever by an assassin’s hand? 

The Review: Dark Hunter was a great addition to the Dark Breed Enforcers series and I really enjoyed that we got to know Mari Ankamunan – owner and manager of ‘The Asp’ bar. In the previous book, there is a pivotal scene involving Mari, the Enforcers & the bar that has a horrible effect on all involved and when we meet Mari again, she is still living with the feelings & regrets brought on by that – but her world is about to be rocked once more when her Sire & only man she has ever loved – Navar – shows up unexpectedly in her bar. Unexpectedly….. because Mari believed Navar was dead for the last 2000yrs after having watched him die. Navar – having made a blood vow to his Sire in exchange for vengeance and immortality was ripped from the arms of his loved one – Mari – but he vowed he would be back for her and after being forced to serve justice as a hunter on behalf of the Sidhe Queen for 2000yrs, he has won his freedom and he’s back for what belongs to him…. Thing is, someone else has their sights on Mari…. Only they want her dead!
I greatly enjoyed this short story and I loved that it was about Mari, she is always making an appearance through her club so it’s great to get an insight into her. I connected to her straight away through her feelings of helplessness & frustration of not being able to do more for her patrons following the attack on the club and even moreso when Navar turned back up in her life. I like second chance love stories, particularly when its misunderstandings and things that are out of the control of our lovers and that is what we get here. You could really feel their shared history and how much Mari felt for him, it showed in their characters too and whilst I wanted them together and routed for them, she gave in far too easily for my liking. I like that there was a danger felt throughout, the way it was started was great and so unexpected but brought a great element of fear to the story and tension as Navar tried to protect his woman and kept me guessing right up until the end. As I said, this is a great addition to the series filled with danger, tension, romance & smexyness, topped with a nice HEA fix as soul mates reconnect forever – Loved it! 

Friday, 27 June 2014

{Review + Author Interview} Dark Days by Kate Ormand

17562413Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 17th, 2014
Finished Date: June 24th, 2014
Publishers: Sky Pony Press
Genre: YA, Dystopia 
Source: For Review
Format: eARC 
Pages: 256
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future. 

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.


The Review: Fast paced, thrilling and very enjoyable, Kate Ormand’s Dark Days is a YA dystopia story that everyone should read! 

The clock is ticking for Sia. She only has two weeks left before the Cyborgs come invade the sector that she lives and destroys everyone who hasn’t been picked to go live in the New World because her and her family have been deemed to be too ordinary. Determined to spend her last days enjoying life by doing the things she’s never done before, Sia isn’t prepared to meet a boy called Mace, because Mace makes her start questioning things and opening her up to what’s really going on around her. Suddenly Sia has to do the impossible and try to stop the Cyborgs before they invade her sector, but it is a job that is doomed from the start? 

I loved the concept of Dark Days! When you first meet Sia she already knows her fate, so we don’t actually see the announcement about Sia’s sector being the next to be destroyed. The ticking clock at the start of each chapter really pumped up my excitement levels, because with each day you know that time is running out for Sia and her family and I so desperately wanted her to have a happy ever after. I really enjoyed the entire story, there’s always something going on and Kate Ormand wrote it in a way that makes you question even the smallest things and by trying to figure out how the story will end. The plot was fast paced and intriguing, and there wasn’t a dull moment. 

I really liked Sia and Mace. I thought they were great together – not just romantically – but as friends too. I liked that they could open up to one another and experience new things together. But what I loved was how Mace introduces Sia to a new life, one she’s never really wished for until she met him because she didn’t think that hope existed. For a young girl, Sia goes through so much. Most of the people she loves have been taken away from her and I really felt for her situation. It really makes you hate the bad guys in the story even more. 

What else I loved was the fact that this is a standalone book. There are simply just not enough standalone dystopia stories, they all seem to be trilogies and I’m glad Kate Ormand decided on just the one book. I think it worked well and ended well enough that as a reader I was very satisfied.

In all, Dark Days was a pleasure to read and a great addition to the dystopia genre. Welcome done Kate and I can’t wait to see more from you!

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 
And don't forget to check out the author interview with the lovely Kate Ormand!  If you have any questions for Kate, please do leave a comment below! 
Kate Ormand
Could you tell us about your new release?
Sure! DARK DAYS is a YA dystopian action-romance novel about a sixteen-year-old who only has fifteen days to live before a cyborg army destroys her sector. Sia accepts her fate, knowing she can’t escape it. Then she meets Mace, who refuses to give up without and fight, and her view of the whole situation starts to shift from then on.

How did you come up with the idea for the new series?
It’s hard to say. Because I don’t remember!!! Images tend to be the best source of inspiration for me, or things I see day to day. But it’s not like I saw a cyborg walking down the street! Or did I?
I can’t fully remember what triggered the idea for DARK DAYS, but I CAN recall picturing the digital clock counting down, and the army of cyborgs. So I suppose that’s where my journey began with this story. I’ve put it down to a love of dystopian books and action films!

How long did it take to write?
Around three months for the first draft, and lots and lots and lots of editing after that!

What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?
There were plenty challenges. I think the restriction I gave myself having it set over a specific timescale, and a short one, too. It put the characters in a “try or die” situation and made everything really immediate. I like that aspect, but it was hard.

Who is your favourite character?
Sia. She was so interesting to write. I like her a lot.

What is your favourite quote?
Ooh. Tough one. I’m not sure it’s my favourite but I like this from the first chapter:
It’s hard to believe that this is actually happening sometimes. Other times the reality of it hits me so hard I can’t breathe.

What’s next for you?
I have THE WANDERERS out next year – a YA paranormal novel about a traveling shapeshifter circus and a betrayal in camp that threatens the lives of them all. Loving editing this at the moment. It’s out Fall 2015 with the same publisher as DARK DAYS. I also have three picture books set for release in 2015 under the name Kate Louise. Anddd I’m currently working on another picture book idea, and playing with a MG idea. 2015 is going to be a busy year!

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Well, I’m preparing for a little DARK DAYS celebration party with friends and family, so there’s A LOT in there right now! Let me see . . . prawns, lemons and limes, strawberries, lots of cheese, raspberry lemonade, mojitos – it’s too stuffed to see much deeper without knocking it all out!

If you were to purchase a book, do you prefer to buy your books online or in store?
I like to buy in store when I can. It’s a nicer experience. I think I do buy online more often, though. I guess it depends what it is (e.g. US hardbacks).

What are some of the most recent books you’ve bought? 
It was my birthday last week so I got a nice big pile of books – FEATHER BOUND by Sarah Raughley, NEVER FADE by Alexadra Bracken, AFTER THE END by Amy Plum, THE ONE by Kiera Cass, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy, BREAKABLE by Tammara Webber, and DEAR KILLER by Katherine Ewell. Awesome haul! 
And I recently bought DIVIDED by Elsie Chapman and CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE by Cassandra Clare for myself. 

List 3 books you have recently read and would recommend?
STOLEN SONGBIRD by Danielle L. Jensen is one I recommend constantly. It is truly magnificent. I’m obsessed with it. Seriously. I love it so much it hurts. Moving on . . . I would also highly recommend the amazing THE FEARLESS by Emma Pass. The story takes you on an exciting ride and leaves you breathless by the end. It’s thrilling, creepy, and very dark! And I just finished DOROTHY MUST DIE. Danielle Paige creates Dorothy’s unhappily ever after in this spectacularly dark retelling. It’s fantastic!  
Ah! Only three is too hard. Can I do some “honourable mentions”? I’m going for it: FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott and IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta. I’ll stop there. Read them all!

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
New York! So bad! I’ve been to the US plenty times, even to New York airport, but never got the chance to step outside!

And finally, who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Peeta! It has to be.

AUTHOR BIO:  KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. 

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).

Thursday, 26 June 2014

{Book Blitz + Giveway} One, Two, Three.... by Elodie Nowodazkij




21863930One, Two, Three
by Elodie Nowodazkij
Release Date: June 26th, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: Amazon US / B&N

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.

But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

Excerpt 2 – From chapter 4

Unknown number. “Hello?”
“Hi Princesa. Have you thought about which book we should write our report about?” 
I fight off a small smile. “Did you really have to call me to discuss this right now?”
“Totally did. By the way, you’ll type the report.”
“No I won’t.”
“Let’s talk about it later tonight. You and me.” There’s shuffle behind him and some laughs. “I’ll call you later.”
He hangs up and I stare at the phone for a second. Shaking my head, I search my bag for the list of books Miss Taylor gave us. I scan it, trying to find one we could work on. My mind wanders to the last time I worked on a project. It was with Emilia and it was for History. She’s a total buff and she promised that if I taught her how to land her grand jeté with even more grace, she’d tutor me. It was a week before the accident, and I never managed to teach her. I never took that History test.
I check the time again and my eyebrows draw together. Mama’s not only a bit late. She’s super late.
Where the hell is she?

AUTHOR BIO: AUTHOR BIO
Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master's degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn't seem to realize he's not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She's also a serial smiley user.

Author links:
Website: www.elodienowodazkij.com 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/commutinggirl 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elodienowodazkij 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

{Review} Blue by Lisa Glass

22008489Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 29th, 2014
Finished Date: June 22nd, 2014
Publishers: Quercus
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 375
Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris’s world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.

Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.

But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit…

The Review: Fun, light and refreshing, Blue is an enjoyable summer read that will make you want to head straight out to the sea to surf!

Sixteen-year-old Iris is struggling to get over her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her with one of her best friends. Looking for a way to forget, she tries Yoga class to try and open her up to new experiences. It’s there she meets gorgeous surfer boy Zeke and it’s Zeke who finally manages to get Iris to start living life to the max and start taking chances. Zeke seems like the perfect guy and together they have so much fun, but is Zeke really what he seems? All Iris can do is take their new found relationship day by day, even if it means in the long run she could get hurt once again. 

Pegged as this year’s summer romance, it’s safe to say I went into Blue with very high hopes. And while I enjoyed it and found it a fun read, it definitely was lacking something. But first I’ll tell you what I did like.

Throughout this whole book I could imagine the film Blue Crush starring Kate Bosworth and because of watching the film, it definitely helped me imagine some of the scenes that are in this book, mostly when Zeke or Iris is surfing, and surfing totally rocks. I loved reading about the rules to surfing, the different words they used to describe certain things and of course, I loved reading about the actual surfing. At times I seriously felt like I was there. Lisa Glass nailed the description and really took her time to make it so as a reader, I didn’t miss a thing. I also came away from this book thinking, “I want to go surfing.” Newquay has always been a place I’d love to visit and I really should being the UK myself, but now I want to go even more. I’ve got to see this place!

I thought both Iris and Zeke were likable characters. I liked that their story wasn’t just a fluffy romance but they had a few hardship to overcome because it made it all the more real. I loved Zeke’s family, they were a great addition to the story and I even think one of two of them could have their own stories.

As for the issues had with the story, I easily could have rated it 4 stars, however the lack of chemistry between Iris and Zeke was a major issue for me. At first I thought it’s going to slowly creep up on me, but the more I read the more I noticed that there was in fact hardly any chemistry. Iris’ and Zeke’s relationship was just there, just words but nothing screamed at me, I wasn’t swooning over it either and I was left disappointed. And I’m honestly not sure the story warrants a sequel, but I’d probably read it just see what happens next in the story

In all, I wouldn’t say Blue is this year’s summer romance but it’s still a summer read that should be read this year! 

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

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

{Review} Queen of Wands (Sanctify #2) by Katee Robert

21282962Posted by Melanie
Release Date: May 17th, 2014
Finished Date: June 20th, 2014
Publishers: Entangled Select
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC 
Pages: 300
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

When Jenny O'Keirna gets a chance to slip her older brother, the new king of Hansarda's, leash, she jumps at it, even if it means playing babysitter to a too-smart-for-his-own-good inventor. She's not expecting the attraction that sparks between them—or that Sanctify is just as desperate to take him for their own.

Never in Mac Flannery's wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny would be the one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a siren call he can't resist.

But Sanctify is always three steps ahead of them. On the run—and unable to keep their hands off each other—Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader of Sanctify, and stop this war once and for all. Unfortunately, they've just played right into his hands…

The Review: Queen of Wands is the second book in the Sanctify series and this time around we have Jenny O’Keirna, Boone’s sister and pain in his ass! I was glad we were getting Jenny’s book, she was super fun in book one and I knew I would want her story. I’ll come out and say straight away that I thought the man for her would be Cole who she very much enjoys tormenting with her own brand of wit and sarcasm, but low and behold – she has another suitor in geek man – Mac Flannery. Mac is the inventor and genius behind Ophelia’s fathers’ weapons and sanctify would love to get their hands on him and turn the tables on the rebels; so with Boone & Ophelia out of action it’s left to Jenny to lead the rescue mission for Mac, a simple extraction before Sanctify can get their claws into him. Mac had been keeping tabs on Jenny after looking into her following Boones abduction of Ophelia in book one and he likes what he sees, he sees beneath her façade but doesn’t understand her reasoning until he meets her. Jenny is a party girl through and through and no man can ever tie her down and cage her wild ways so she’s in for a huge eye opener when geek man turns out to be geek hunk! Both are unprepared for the chemistry between them and Jenny doesn’t realise just what she’s getting into but that doesn’t mean she’ll let herself be tamed – Hells no! she’s about to take Mac on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to stay one step ahead of the enemy and avert possible war. They have a plan, it’s risky but it puts them right in the hands of the new High Priest of Sanctify…. Can they pull it off? So I really enjoyed this – I knew I would because I loved book one – it was again, exciting, sexy and action packed and opened up the universe even more. Jenny definitely made an impression in book one, she’s fun, full of sass and a girl who has no boundaries – living to be free and her own person – she has problem with authority and not being seen as a capable member of the rebellion, she knows she can do the missions but her brother tends to put a block on her activities. She practically begs for the mission to extract Mac, thinking that it will show everyone that she ‘can’ do things solo and that she will succeed. It’s all good but when she meets Mac, we see a different side to her, a side I think she even hides from herself most of the time and it lets the reader see her in a softer light rather than the dominant female she is. She protects her heart, she uses humour and snarkiness to deflect what she really feels and Mac can see through all of her BS, that’s how you know that he’s the keeper. Jenny isn’t alone in her demons, Mac has them too and some of them are the driving force behind why he does what he does but again, it’s meeting Jenny that makes him want to share, he wants to open up to this woman and he hopes she will do the same but he’s not willing to play her games and that’s what makes him different for Jenny – he doesn’t want to cage her, he doesn’t want to protect her, he wants to let her be her. I thought these two had a great dynamic between them when they get down to it, Jenny is kind of complex in her behaviours and it was always going to take someone to see through that, she was impulsive whereas Mac was a thinker, always weighing the options and results – so they balance each other out a lot – showing us some nice chemistry and a lot of sexual tension. I liked that it was a female who had the impulsive nature, using her sexuality and loving & leaving men behind and that Mac was pretty steady and wouldn’t be used for a sexual encounter, it’s not often we see this type of relationship and I thought it fitting to both characters. The storyline was a great continuation from book one and whilst we had a couple of cameos from Boone & Ophelia, it was all about Jenny & Mac. There is a new High Priest in the enemy camp and he is younger and more aware of what is going on in their worlds, everyone is on tenterhooks as to what he will do now that he’s in charge; who will he target? Will he be as harsh as his predecessor? Will Hansarda be safe until they can mount a defence? … You will find out. I liked the run and chase scenario they had going on and the fact that Jenny’s escape planet was ‘unusual’ but ‘so her’ to even suggest it, she was in control and she’d own it! Which was fun for all involved… for a while. We get a few old characters and meet a few new characters which are always welcome, plus a really cool character is back from book one that seems to be everyones’ punching bag which makes me really want her story because she and her actions are an enigma. There is no let-up in action as we get physical battles, starship battles, unexpected ambushes & power struggles - leading to some awesome fight scenes that leave you breathless. So expect an exciting, action packed read that is balanced by finding love, a person you can yourself with and some serious sexual tension & sexytime. I look forward to book 3. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

{Book Blitz + US Giveaway} A Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand

    
18370731 A Risk Worth Taking 
by Heather Hildenbrand 
Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
When 22-year-old Summer Stafford’s parents split halfway through her senior year at college, Summer’s world is rocked. Everything she thought she knew—heck, everything she thought she wanted for her own life—feels like a lie. The truth is love is a risk. And the true kind, the kind that lasts, might even be a fairy tale.

Reeling from the divorce, Summer derails her own future by breaking up with her parent-approved boyfriend and giving up her lifelong plans for a big-city career. She moves back home, business degree in hand. Dad needs her to fill the gaps her mother left behind; Summer needs to find who she is outside of the cookie-cutter life that failed so miserably for her parents.

Ford O’Neal’s future involves one person: himself. He doesn’t have a permanent address and he definitely doesn’t commit. To a place or a person. Raised by hippies, he plans just far enough ahead to secure his next stop, this one landing him at a work-study program at Heritage Plantation where he can grow his own herbal and medicinal creations.

Summer is gorgeous and smart and fun to be with, the perfect way to pass five months. It won’t be love—Ford’s got too many things to accomplish, too many places to go, before he settles down. Yet Summer pulls him in, challenging him to rethink his own philosophy.

When Ford’s five months are up, each of them must decide if love is really worth the risk. 

About Heather Hildenbrand

Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I'm pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry - and fussing at my kids. I'm a multi-tasker.

For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers!

Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I'd grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I'm a fan of puns.)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

{Feature} Showcase Sunday (#52)


Showcase Sunday is a new weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books Biscuits and Tea. We will now be taking part in Showcase Sunday instead of In My Mailbox. If you'd like to join see HERE for more details.

For Review:

Bought:

Thank you to all the awesome publishers who sent me books in the last two weeks and of course thanks to Amazon for all the awesome freebies and Natalie for being amazing as usual! 
 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

{Book Blitz + Giveaway} Never Far Away by Marysue G. Hobika




22029535Never Far Away by Marysue G. Hobika
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

All Theo Baker wants is to get on with his new life as a student at Columbia, but his dreams keep getting infiltrated by the one girl who stole his heart—Stella, his sexy neighbor back home. They shared a kiss that turned his world upside down; only she said it didn’t mean anything to her. But he knows she lied and all he wants is a chance to prove that they could have something real, but it’s hard pining away for a girl who’s been avoiding him for the past year and a half.

Incoming freshman Stella Freeman is excited about going to college for photography—her true passion. She’s never more herself than when she is behind the camera. Regardless of her father’s constant backlash, she follows her heart to the city where Theo is currently living. He’s the only boy she’s ever loved, but she's pushed him away. Still, he’s never been far from her thoughts, even if he doesn’t know.

What will happen when their paths cross? Will they have a second chance to be with their one first true love?

This book is intended for audiences 17+

Interview with Marysue G. Hobika

What genre is your book?
“Never Far Away” is my first crack at writing a New Adult/Contemporary Romance novel. My resume includes 3 YA novels, and I was ready to branch out and expand my style and audience.

What inspired you to write this novel?
A real life event inspired this novel. I took a real situation—two neighbors fighting over seats on the back of the bus in elementary school, never really agreeing on anything, and placed these two antagonist characters years down the road. What happens? How are they different? The same? They share history, but can they share a future? 

What book are you reading now?
Currently I am reading short stories in Spanish and meeting with a great group of ladies once a month to discuss them. Hablamos en español todo el tiempo y me encanta.


If you could have breakfast with anyone past or present who would you choose, and why? 
I would choose my mother. She died when I was in my early twenties and so much has happened in my life since then that I’d love to share with her—I finished college, got my first job, got married, and had kids. I’d love to see the look on her face when I told her I’m a writer too. I’ll never forget the day back in high school when she drove me to school and I suddenly remembered I had written an essay on a whim for a contest and it was due that day—typed. (This was before computers were in every household). My mom sighed and took the essay to work and typed it for me and dropped it off at school, and I won. She was proud of me then and I’m sure she’d be proud of me know. After breakfast I’d like to have her show me how to make an apple pie with her homemade crust because that’s something I miss. 

What’s your favorite dessert?
My mom’s homemade apple pie, of course.

How would you describe yourself in three words? 

Creative, Happy, and Kind.

AUTHOR BIO: Marysue G Hobika grew up in Caledonia, NY and attended SUNY at Buffalo where she studied to be a Spanish teacher.  Currently she lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband, three children, and her two pugs.

She has learned that stories don’t write themselves and tries to make time every day to sit down and write. She does her best thinking while in the shower, driving her kids around, or right before she falls asleep. She keeps a moleskin notebook handy that a dear friend gave her as a gift, so that if an idea occurs she can write it down. 

She doesn’t know where this journey will take her, but she has a lot of characters and stories floating around inside her head waiting to be brought to life. 

Author links: 
http://marysuehobika.wordpress.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5765439.Marysue_G_Hobika