Saturday, 31 January 2015

{Review} You Were Mine (Rosemary Beach #9) by Abbi Glines

24515539Posted by Donna
Release Date: December 2nd, 2014
Finished Date: January 24th, 2015
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
From #1 "New York Times "bestselling author Abbi Glines comes a brand-new Rosemary Beach novel about Tripp Newark and his hidden romantic past with Bethy Lowry. 

In the eyes of the wealthy playboys who frequent Kerrington Country Club in Rosemary Beach, Tripp Newark is a hero. Under pressure from his parents to become a lawyer and lead a conservative, upper-class life, Tripp disappeared from town five years ago to travel the world, forfeiting the opportunity to inherit millions. Yet few know what he was really running from...

Bethy Lowry was unraveling long before her boyfriend drowned in a riptide trying to save her after she'd had one too many drinks--again. A trailer park kid working as a cart girl among the wealthy patrons of Kerrington Country Club, Bethy has always been impressionable. But five years ago, before she earned her reputation as a hard-drinking, easy girl, she had spent a single summer with Tripp Newark that changed her life forever...

The Review: I’ve been eagerly awaiting Bethy and Tripp’s book since we first discovered that the two had a past together. And it’s been a hard journey but I’m glad they finally got their story, so we can finally discover what happened all that time ago.

Tripp Newark has only ever loved one girl, the girl who captured his heart before left Rosemary Beach before his parents could force a life on him he didn’t want. The plan was always to come back for her and when he did, he found Bethy happily in love with his Cousin Jace. But after losing Jace after an accident, for the last two years he had to watch Bethy lost in grief when all he wants to do is help her. But the last thing Bethy wants is Tripp’s help.

Since Jace died Bethy has been going through the motions. She can’t help blame herself for Jace’s death because if she’d never been involved with Tripp, maybe Jace would still be alive. And now Tripp is back, Bethy will do anything to keep away from him but with Tripp trying to play a role in her life, her walls start to crack. But can she really forgive herself? 

I really, really loved Tripp and Bethy’s story and more so because it was all tied up in one book. Just one book! I know I’m surprised Abbi Glines didn’t make it a duo but sometimes it just isn’t needed and it definitely wasn’t needed in You Were Mine. I loved the way this whole book was set up, going back and forth from past to present. It was definitely needed because of the characters past relationship together and everything that has happened since. Abbi did a great job! It was full of suspense - which is just what I love about new adult stories. 

I definitely came to love Bethy more in this than from the previous stories. For me she comes across as a little misunderstood and getting her views on things was amazing. Although I do miss Jace and feel sorry for him as a character, I do believe that Bethy and Tripp belong together. It's clear from the start, it just took them a little longer to get to the point where their at now in You Were Mine. 

I can not wait to see what comes next - Mason? Oh yeah! I'm so ready for that. And I hear Nan's story is coming up soon too. I think that will be interesting. Either way, I can't wait for more Abbi Glines story especially since Sea Breeze series is over - I need my Abbi fix! 

In all, You Were Mine is a great addition to this lovable series! 

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

Friday, 30 January 2015

{Review} Breaker (Ondine Quartet #4) by Emma Raveling

17804916Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: January 28th, 2015
Finished Date: January 27th, 2015
Publishers: Self Published 
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: EBook
Pages: 552
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

War. Prophecy. Freedom.
She fought for herself.
She fought for friendship and love.
Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.

War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.
Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.

The Review: I honestly don’t know what to write because I have a whole mess of emotions going on right now but one thing I know for sure is that this book was epic!

Through each book I felt that Kendra had to find something in herself, some lesson that she needed to learn to grow and become who she needed to be but non-more so here. What she must go through here would break anyone, but Kendra has always been special and she faces her ultimate challenge in Breaker - because it’s time to unravel herself. Clarity makes her realise that her harsh upbringing served a purpose, that she must put trust in those who trust her, allow herself to feel love and understand that sometimes… a sacrifice needs to be made for the greater good. She has been a remarkable character, the epitome of strength, loyalty, power and determination, someone who can be the deadliest person but also the most vulnerable, someone afraid to love for fear of that love being a weakness or simply because trouble follows her and those closest to her inevitably end up hurt – she was trained to be a weapon, the hope of a community and now she must face her fears and become the Sondaleur.
My heart literally broke for her throughout this, I don’t want to say too much but if you thought she had it bad in previous books – that is nothing to what she must face now. Her world is so filled with duty and death that it’s easy to forget that she is just an 18 yr old girl who only found out about her true heritage a year ago and in that year she has had to master her power, her skills, learn of their history and the prophecy. I was so grateful for the people in her life but for Tristan most of all, she needed him so much, she needed his love and his unfaltering belief in her, he offset the violent world they lived in and loved her for her and not who she was prophesised to be.
The story was split into three parts; War – The Shadow leaves devastation in his wake, no one is safe and fear runs rampant as communities are decimated leaving most everyone hopeless. Everyone looks to Kendra but she is torn between duties, she doesn’t know how to beat ‘The Shadow’ and although they are sometimes one step ahead, they never gain the advantage and the losses are huge. Prophecy is the second part and here we see Kendra make some decisions and sacrifices so that she can be true to herself and accept her part in the prophecy. The Shadow taunts her with riddles and battles and there’s no stopping the inevitable showdown that is to come in the third and final part; Freedom. Freedom sees all of the players placed, the lull before the storm, it’s like a goodbye in itself. Preparations are made, loose ends tied up and now Kendra is ready, she will be the Sonaleur – but at what cost?
Action, devastation and heartbreak riddled the story from beginning to end but hope, faith and love offset the tragedy that Kendra and those she chose as her family had to deal with, it was simply breath-taking and I spent most of the book in some form of anxious state hoping that Kendra would make it – that they ALL would make it – because this series has spanned 4 yrs and every single one of the characters mattered to me. The story started with a huge reveal and those answers kept on coming right along with the action, it truly felt like a chess game between Kendra and the Shadow and I had no clue how she could prevail. It all leads to a final showdown that will leave you stunned but satisfied after going through a rollercoaster of emotions.
 I have loved every second of every book in this series, the characters, the world, the diverse population that in habited Haverleau, the action, the story, the magic, the prophecy…. And of course the romance. I will never forget this series or its characters and I thank the author for sharing her beautiful writing and storytelling skills that captivated me from the start. I’m so sad to be at the end….but what a way to go!

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

Thursday, 29 January 2015

{Blog Tour} Cursed to Kill (Inherited Damnation #1) by Claire Ashgrove

INHERITED DAMNATION INHERITED DAMNATION is an 8 book paranormal romance series being released as one book every three weeks between January 27th and June 23rd, 2015. Damned at birth, eight immortal children of a high priestess are compelled to kill the one that holds their heart. They can never fall in love. Driven by the need to finally destroy their evil sire and break the curse, each struggles to balance their desire for innocence against the dark needs of their conflicted souls. The series contains mythos shared between the volumes, but each book stands on its own with a newly featured couple. The first volume, Cursed to Kill, is available now!

23522932Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: January 17th, 2015
Finished Date: January 1st, 2015
Publishers: Untamed Spirit
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

One of eight children born to an ancient Celtic priestess and sired by a demonic incubus, Cian McLaine suffers from a centuries-old curse. Though his immortality allows him to enjoy the pleasures of mortal life, he is plagued by the desire to kill. As long as he doesn't fall in love he can keep the compulsion at bay.

When Cian walked into her rare bookstore months ago, Miranda Phillips never imagined she'd lose her heart to the handsome playboy. Her reward for doing so was abandonment. Cian left as mysteriously as he appeared, in the middle of the night with no explanation, no goodbye. Now he's back, and passion flares just as hot. But Cian has secrets. If Miranda is to survive, she must uncover the truth and free his darkened soul.


The Review: Cursed to Kill is the first book in the Inherited Damnation series which tells the story of eight siblings born to a Celtic Priestess and a very powerful Incubus. Through the book you will find out more of the circumstances surrounding the union of their parents and what that means for all eight siblings lives, for their Father cursed and damned them but their Mother gives them all a chance at redemption.
In this we have the eldest Cian and as the book title suggests, he is ‘Cursed to Kill’ – he can keep the urge at bay and does a good job, until he falls in love, because to fall in love will increase his urge to kill and he will end up killing the woman he loves – so when he does actually fall in love, he does the only thing he knows will save her…. He runs and lets her think he has dumped her…. That is until he finds out she has something he needs, but that something puts her in danger from his father because it is the details of a ritual that may save Cian from his dark urges and give him a chance to stay with Miranda….. and maybe defeat his evil father once and for all!
Claire Ashgrove does these kind of books so well, tortured men needing to find ‘the one’, a woman to love and be loved in return in order to gain redemption and I absolutely love them! I’m a sucker for this type of book and adore her ‘Curse of the Templars’ series so I pretty much knew I was going to enjoy this.

I immediately connected with the characters and storyline, I adore second chance love scenarios because the history is already there between them and it’s all about reconnection plus it all went hand in hand with Cian’s curse, leaving Miranda so he wouldn’t be forced to kill her. I thought they made a great couple and characters you could definitely route for in getting their happy ever after. Cian had the whole brooding, tortured soul thing going on and Miranda balanced that with her willingness to take a risk to see where their connection would take them.
I thought the storyline was original, I adore paranormal romances and I love how the author uses Celtic magic as a basis for the curse and their background, which is something I don’t read about much - but love. I thought the curse/redemption part is awesome, it gives the reader an expectation of where it’s all heading and promises more from the others involved. Speaking of, we do get to meet most of the siblings that gives a little insight into their characters for following books and there are some strong ones already. The book is rather short but paced perfectly and is packed with information, magic, curses, danger, love and plenty of sexytime too….. I can’t wait for more.
Character Profiles:
Name:  Cian (kee-an) McLaine, Eldest of the McLaine Siblings
Birthdate:  Lughnasadh, 200BC
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Grass-green
Alignment:  Allied with Nyamah, his mother, High Priestess of the Selgovae Celt tribe
Magical Strength:  Just enough ability with all the aspects to be dangerous, but no true power.
Profession:  Professor of Celt and Druidic Studies, University of Maine
Greatest Hope:  Escape from the constant, oppressive urge to kill and the curse of falling in love
Greatest Regret:  His dark urges forced him to abandon the only woman he’s ever loved
Secret Fear:  He will kill Miranda Phillips before his curse is lifted

His eyes opened to blood.
Two long slash marks formed Xs down the length of the muscle in both his forearms. Crimson rivulets ran from the shallow cuts, across the backs of his hands, and dripped off his fingers onto Miranda’s living room floor. The marks of sacrifice.
Human sacrifice.
In his right hand, he held the fillet knife that had carved the ritualistic wounds. He stood less than five feet from her bedroom doorway.

Name:  Miranda Phillips
Age:  Twenty-eight
Hair: Chestnut, shot-through with blond
Eyes: Brown
Alignment:  Mortal
Profession:  Owner of the rare bookstore, A Steppe in Time
Personal Hope:  That Cian will return…and this time, stay
Greatest Regret:  Losing her heart to Cian McLaine
Secret Fear:  He’ll walk away without a goodbye…again

“I left—” he whispered as he scattered kisses across her breastbone to the opposite side of her neck “—to protect you. From me.” With his nose, he nudged the loose collar of her sweater aside and grazed his teeth across her bra strap, tugging it playfully. “From the things I want from you.”
She didn’t want to ask. Couldn’t be certain his answer wouldn’t break her completely. But the question rose against her will and tumbled free. “What do you want from me?”

About the Author: Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars, marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. For romance fans, she also writes as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire and historical romance as Sophia Garrett.
 In her non-writing time, she owns and operates Finish The Story, a full-scale editing house co-founded with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. She lives in Missouri and enjoys cooking, studying ancient civilizations, and spending downtime with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. To learn more, visit her at: claireashgrove.com or toristclaire.comFor all the latest updates look for the Untamed Spirit blog, via any of her websites.
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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

{Book Blast} Misery Loves Company (Miss Misery #3) by Tracey Martin


23259483
Misery Loves Company 
(Miss Misery #3)
by Tracey Martin 
Published by: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: January 27th, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy 
Buy: Amazon UK  Amazon US

Miss Misery, Book 3

Keep letting the Gryphons blackmail her? Or join a goblin for tea? Choices, choices.

Furious at the Gryphons’ betrayal, former vigilante Jessica Moore is determined to cut the law enforcement agency from her life—and hopes doing so will solidify her rocky relationship with Lucen.

When a friend’s soul is sucked dry by a goblin, Jess finds it’s not so easy to let go of her past. Unwilling to let down someone who needs help, she puts aside her anger to work with the Gryphons and solve the case.

A stolen soul isn’t her only problem. Boston’s goblin leader is calling in the debt Jess owes. To plug the holes in both her personal and professional dam, Jess must unearth information about a magic she never knew existed, all the while testing Lucen’s patience and stirring the wrath of old enemies.

What she discovers will reveal the terrifying truth behind the Gryphons’ treachery, and force her to choose where her loyalty—and her heart—truly lie.

Warning: Secrets will be revealed, friendships will be tested, and old enemies will pick fights. On the bright side, there are still naked satyrs for a distraction between battles.

Tracey   MartinAbout the Author:
Tracey Martin grew up outside of Philadelphia, the lucky recipient of a drama-free childhood, which is why she spent so much time reading about other people’s lives. It was while she was working on her doctorate in psychology that she had an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she began writing. Never able to choose just one of anything, she currently writes both urban fantasy for adults and contemporary stories for teens.
She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.
Media: tracey-martin.com, @TA-Martin



Tuesday, 27 January 2015

{Review} Risking it All (Crossing the Line #1) by Tessa Bailey

22313677Posted by Melanie
Release Date: January 27th, 2015
Finished Date: December 31st, 2014
Publishers: Entangled Select
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 400
NYPD detective Seraphia Newsom will avenge her brother’s death at any cost. Even if it means insinuating herself into a rough, Brooklyn street gang and going so far undercover, she’s not sure she’ll be able to get out. Every minute she spends in their midst means the clock ticking down on her life, especially when she overhears something that could get her killed.

Bowen Driscol is the heir to a crime enterprise. He never asked for the job, but with his father behind bars, he has no choice but to step in and keep the operation running. But when the NYPD blackmails him with a piece of damning information in exchange for aiding an undercover cop, he finds himself on the other side of the law for the first time in his life. 

Bowen knows the danger Sera is in, and keeping her safe trumps saving his own ass. The problem? She can’t know he’s on her side. And there's the matter of the seriously inconvenient heat sparking between them that's incinerating his resistance. But Sera only sees Bowen's past, and men like him are the reason her brother is dead. If they're to get out alive, he'll have to risk exposing the man beneath, and hope to hell he doesn't blow the whole operation in the process.

The Review: This book was awesome and read like a movie!
Seraphina finds herself in a precarious position when she goes rogue in the attempt to bring her brothers’ killer to justice by stealing a diary rumoured to show all of his dodgy dealings - but she overhears something she shouldn’t and is put on a hitlist. Unbeknownst to Sera, her superior/uncle knows what she’s up to and grabs Bowen off the street and blackmails him into giving Sera the back up she needs – because she is in way over her head. Bowen is the heir to his father’s criminal empire and seen as how he’s in prison, it’s left to Bowen to run things – a job he hates – but what can he do? It’s his life but not his choice. When the cops give Bowen no option but to do their bidding he is unprepared for the impact Sera will have on his life and libido, he is drawn to her, wants her like he’s never wanted a woman before but this must remain platonic for both of their sakes or they risk being even more of a target. Will Sera find what she’s looking for? Will Bowen? And will they both get out of this alive?
Risking it All was a thrilling read, the characters were relatable and very easy to connect to. Sera shows her mettle when she goes off on her own to bring down her brothers murderer, her character is determined and capable but has seriously underestimated what can happen. I liked her attitude though, she was admirable in the way she handled herself and played her role well. Bowen is very much the misunderstood antihero, a victim of circumstance really and had he not been born into that life – what would he have become? It’s apparent from the start that these two have a connection but that chemistry leads to a sexual tension that really steams up the pages, there are lots of ‘will they, won’t they moments’ that are super hot and really amps up the sexual tension until you’re as desperate as the characters for them to get it on.
Aside from the relationship developing, the storyline is really good and as I said, I could see myself watching this as a movie. I see that mafia/criminal organisation stories are becoming very popular lately and I find that I’m really enjoying them, this is no exception. There’s a certain amount of anticipation in these such books because we spend it wondering when someone will make a move and try to hurt our characters, we wait to see if Sera will uncover the diary and gain justice for her brother – the tension when she goes in search for it, wondering if she will get caught. Then there’s the fact that Bowen knows what Sera is up to but she isn’t in on it and Bowen also knows that the enemy wants Sera dead which again brings danger and tension to the plot -plus it could come from anywhere, so that when they’re not trying to get into each others pants, they’re looking over their shoulders. That’s what I mean when I say that this is thrilling, it gives you a great story filling you with anxiety, making your heart race in fear but it’s also makes your pulse race in other ways, 
good ways and makes you route for a happy ending for Sera & Bowen because their plight is fraught with not only danger but the two of them being from different worlds and not seeing how they could get their own HEA and it all heads to the thrilling, surprising ending that has repercussions for everyone. I really hope this will become a series because it was just awesome!

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

Monday, 26 January 2015

{Review} Her Sexy Sentinel by Jenn Burke

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/3df9690924c3d3c6332d2f6eb/images/1550f63b-fbc0-4540-9628-ddf0edb1b89c.jpgPosted by Melanie
Release Date: January 26th, 2015
Finished Date: January 2nd, 2015
Publishers: Entangled Covet
Genre: Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 200
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint...

The most dangerous thing they could do is fall in love...

Callie Noble fled to Ottawa to escape danger. But she is far from safe. Overwhelmed by a strange new power she can't control, Callie is terrified and painfully incapacitated. Her only hope is to seek the help of the one man who broke her heart...

Derrick Llewellyn is one of the Sentinels charged with the protection of the city's mysterious secret. Seeing Callie again is a shock enough, but the electricity between them is stronger than ever. Still, loving another marked individual is forbidden, and Callie needs his help—not romantic complications.

But there are forces at work in the city, and Callie finds herself inexorably drawn into a world filled with danger and untold magics. A world where loving Derrick isn't just forbidden...it's the surest way to drive them both mad.

The Review: Her Sexy Sentinel was an intriguing read with a lot of paranormal activity and a dash of forbidden love….
Callie Noble turns up in Ottawa to escape her life, she doesn’t know why she chooses there but is drawn to the place she used to go to college. On arrival, she is attacked by a gang and exposes a power that she never knew she had and when she finds herself nearly passing out, she tries to contact the only person she knows there – Derrick Llewellyn – the guy who broke her heart in college.
Derek is a Sentinel for the citys magic community, he and his sister are charged with keeping the city safe from the forces of evil. The last person he ever expected to hear from is Callie, although he never forgot her, he knows she is marked as a potential and he cannot be in a relationship with another marked person- it’s forbidden in his world.
Callie finds herself flung into Derrick’s world and has to take a crash course in protecting the city along with Derek…. Which unfortunately means they can never act on the spark between them, even if they are drawn to each other and with their connection – how can they stop it?

So….I really enjoyed this story, it was a great, easy read that could easily be read in one sitting.
The set up that the author created was quite different and interesting, I really liked the whole idea behind the Sentinels and what they’re about. I think it’s a given that Callie and Derek would be special in the world of magic because they had already shared a connection that came to an abrupt end years ago and when they’re brought together again years later… you just know it means something and it does! I thought Callie dealt with the discovery of magic really well and I loved that Derrick was her guide through it all, although he could have been a little more forthcoming with what she was to face. I liked their shared history, I love when a couple know each other from the past and reunite in the future, especially when they’re romantically linked and it was clear from the get go that they still had a lot of chemistry and maybe some unfinished business. The fact that Derrick was a Sentinel plays a part in this and also throws a spanner in the works of any reconciliation because it is forbidden for two magic users to be involved in that way, so there goes any chance of them being together but this is tested to the max! I love a bit of forbidden love, it’s the best kind especially here where it’s clear that they belong together and share an unbreakable bond. When a pair with the chemistry that these two have are told they ‘can’t’ be together…. You know it’s going to have the opposite effect and send them straight into each others arms – I’m not complaining because it creates some very hot moments that a brimming with sexual tension and they are oh so steamy, giving us a relationship you can really route for.
The story line was good, plenty of action where we can see how the Sentinels work and are introduced to the enemies and how they enter the world. We get to see Callie come to grips with her new found powers whilst understanding her life has changed and will never be the same again. We see the blossoming relationship between Callie & Derrick that shouldn’t be happening at all and that all heads to an eye opening climax that challenges everything they all thought they knew. It was different, exciting, mysterious and action packed with a nice dose of forbidden love romance and brimming with potential for a series….. which I hope is going to happen because I want more! 

4.5 flowers!

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

Sunday, 25 January 2015

{Giveaway} Book of choice from #UKYA Extravaganza Event


I'll be attending the UKYA Extravaganza with the lovely Misty from Bookaholic Book Club on February 28th at Waterstones Birmingham. 

What's UKYA Extravaganza you ask? 
It's a big UK author event put together by author Emma Pass and Kerry Drewey. There are a ton of exciting author attending - the one I'm most looking forward to is my buddy reading pal Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days. And what a fantastic way to celebrate UK authors, it's perfect. 

So I'm offering ONE winner ONE book of choice from the list of authors to the right (no more than £10) which I will get personally signed for you and then ship to you at the end of February/start of March.

Again, the list of authors attending the event is to the right....plenty to choose from.

Rules:
1) The give away will end on February 18th and a winner will be announced shortly after. 

2) Please remember that you're book will not arrive until after the event.

3) Book Passion for Life are not responsible if the author you want a book signed by cancels and can not attend the event. If this does happen you will be asked to to pick a different author.  Please keep checking the page in case the line up of authors change. 

4) Book Passion for Life are responsible for this giveaway NOT the hosts of the event.

5) Open internationally

Saturday, 24 January 2015

{Review} Dark Desire (Dark Series #2) by Lauren Dawes

23492093Posted by Melanie
Release Date: November 24th, 2014
Finished Date: January 21st, 2015
Publishers:  Momentum
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 414
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

The time of Odin is over. The Aesir gods now live among the humans in their bustling modern cities. Their brutal dominion over the other gods and their eradication of the entire dark elf race may have ended, but their actions have not been forgotten.

With the death of Adrian still haunting Taer’s every waking breath, she dreams of getting revenge on the dark elf responsible for her brother’s murder. But when the one person she’s depending on to train her in the art of weaponry refuses to help, she has no other choice but to get instruction from the most unlikely of people. Driven by an undeniable desire, Taer finds herself learning more than just how to fight.

Eir, the goddess of healing, has had her spirit destroyed with the death of her twin at the hands of a deranged god. Still struggling with her loss, she is merely surviving each day. That is until a chance encounter with a human shows her that her broken heart can be mended in the simplest of ways.

The Review: Dark Desire is the second book in the Dark Series and just as good as book one.
Everyone is feeling the fallout from the climax of book one but none more so than Taer and Korvain who lost a brother – Adrian – and revenge is the order of the day. Taer is consumed with the need to kill the man responsible and will stop at nothing to avenge her brother, leading her to accept help from dubious places when Korvain refuses to train her in her weakened state.
Also feeling an overwhelming sorrow is Eir, the goddess of healing who cannot forgive herself for not saving her twin from Loki’s wrath. Unlike Taer, Eir goes about her life without revenge on her mind but struggles to survive the guilt …. That is until she meets someone who shows her there is more to life, that she needs to heal herself as she heals others and that one extraordinary human man can show her how to love again.
Loki is also regrouping, still more determined than ever to avenge his treatment from Odin, he starts to plot and scheme anew and what better way to start than with the help of a criminal overlord and his enforcers….. battles will be fought in different ways now but the stakes no less high.

So, I really enjoyed this second outing into the Dark Series and I found it a lot easier to slip back into this world of Norse mythology brought into current times. Whilst Bryn and Korvain are very present in this book, it was definitely Taer and Eir who took the leading roles throughout. Taer was broken in this, a complete turnaround from her character in book one and it’s understandable, you can definitely relate to her in this book as she is tormented in dreams about her brothers’ death, lives with the visible scars of that horrid event and no one wanting to help her achieve vengeance on his murderer because of her weakened state. I thought she really came into her own here and took chances and risks that she never would have before. I’m intrigued by the relationship that came about when she found a mysterious person to train her, he has all of my interest as much as Taer’s and I really hope we get more from them.
Eir is another character that is easy to empathise with, even though she and Taer are consumed with guilt, anger and grief, their processes couldn’t be more different. Taer grasps the anger and uses it to her advantage, being proactive in her quest for revenge but Eir is more solemn and deals with a lot of it internally. Eir is a caregiver so is unused to have to be on the receiving end of that, but what better way to mend her broken heart than finding love and a possible soul mate. This brings the romance to book two in much the same way as Bryn & Korvain did to book one. I felt the story needed this, the romance gave some tenderness into an otherwise sad instalment of the series and I just love to see the Valkyrie find love in unexpected places.
I felt the storyline wasn’t as dynamic as the previous book but that went hand in hand with the way book one ended so I wasn’t expecting all out action and big battles again because it made sense that everyone needed to regroup. I actually really enjoyed the different feel of this story, it was a lot more subdued and I think it balanced out really well. Taer’s thread brought the action, from her training and also from her dreams, they injected a certain fear into the book and I often wondered whether Taer was capable of what she had set her mind to. I really liked the new comer that entered her life, they have chemistry and a certain amount of sexual tension that may lead somewhere in future books. I liked her ending, I was shocked but satisfied and I was left wondering what was next for her and Korvain. I also liked the history that we got from the person who Taer was after, we got his story and therefore a greater understanding of where he came from and how he became who he was.
Eir’s thread brought tenderness and love to the story, giving a sweetness that was much needed amongst the grief and anger. I liked how she connected with her suitor and what they shared. I actually think he is a fab match for her and I enjoyed his story just as much as anyone elses. He was very protective of those he loved and there were times when my heart broke for both of them.
We still get to see what’s going on with the bad guys, as I said, we get Adrian’s killers story but we also catch up with Loki and see him putting more plans into action. He has the help from the criminal world and hired enforcers who also happen to be part of the dark elves – so very deadly and again he sets his sights on Bryn and co. I wouldn’t say his story was very prevalent in this but it is a great continuation from book one and you just know he is cooking up some scheme to put all our favourite characters in danger again! I can’t wait for more! 

4.5 flowers!

Friday, 23 January 2015

{Review} The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

17844678Posted by Donna
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Finished Date: December 10th, 2014
Publishers: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 371
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

The Review: Wren Caswell always the good girl who does what she’s supposed to do decides that she finally wants to do something for herself for a change, rather than what everyone else wants her to do.

Grayson Barrett had a good life until he messed it all up by being expelled from college after being caught charging people for test answers. Grayson is now back home and pretty unhappy. But when Wren and Grayson met after Wren saves Grayson’s life, the two find that they are attracted to one another and soon start spending time together. But will Grayson’s past pull them apart before they’ve even had a chance? 

 You would think with a title like The Promise of Amazing this book would be amazing but unfortunately it’s not which I’m so, so disappointed about because it was one of my most antipacted reads. I’m not the biggest fan of insta-love and in my opinion they aren’t realistic but, at times some authors do a really good job, however this wasn’t the case with The Promise of Amazing. Unfortunately the biggest downfall with it is the insta-love because it happens right at the start of the story – which was just way to soon. I struggled to connect to the characters because of this. The book is over 300 pages and they ‘fall’ for each other pretty quickly and so it made the rest of the story drag. There was no real suspense to their relationship, nothing really to root, no trying to unravel the characters feelings for one another because it was all out in the open so soon and I found myself rolling my eyes at the two characters. Eek, I didn’t like it. The insta-love just didn’t work in this book and I really wish the author had found a way draw out their relationship because if she had, I think this book could have been slightly better than it was. 

As characters I liked Wren more than Grayson. She was a decent character. But Grayson, I just didn’t like him. I didn’t like his reasons for the things he did and I didn’t like the way he treated Wren – considering his was supposed to love her. The thing that Grayson was involved in wasn’t as great as I was expecting either. I guess you can say I just didn’t click with him as much as I would have liked. 

 In all, The Promise of Amazing wasn’t a great read for me but I am going to give this author other chance with the next book, The Secrets of Attraction and hope for the best.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

{Book Promo} Love & Other Lies by Madeline Ash


23923046
Love & Other Lies
by Madeline Ash 
Published by: E-Penguin
Publication date: January 20th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Amazon UK  Amazon US

Small town vet Abby Benson has fled to the country to put her shameful past behind her. She’s just beginning to find her feet again when handsome stranger, Rue Thorn, arrives in town and begins to stir things up. Rue is gorgeous, kind and thoughtful and the two share an instant attraction. But convinced he’ll despise her if he learns about her history, Abby reluctantly keeps him at arms length.

Determined to win Abby over, Rue tries to reshape himself as the sort of guy he thinks she might be interested in. And for a while it seems his act is working. But when he finds out that Abby has been lying to him, it isn’t long before everything start to unravel …

A moving story of trust, forgiveness and the power of love from the author of Uncovered by Love and The Playboy’s Dark Secret.

What Makes a Hero?
In Love & Other Lies, Rue is a good guy hero. He’s kind-hearted, thoughtful, and easy going. Unfortunately this is exactly the wrong kind of man for Abby. She’s a reformed compulsive liar, terrified of a relapse, and can’t bear the thought of dragging a decent man into her mess. She doesn’t consider that he’s exactly the right kind of man for her, because he can see she needs support and gives it without question.
Funny how the wrong man turns out to be her hero!

Now, on the topic of heroes…about a year ago, a friend of mine commented that romance heroes aren’t actually heroes. She believes it’s a misnomer – they’re hardly saving the world. This made me wonder what makes a romance hero heroic? Why are they called heroes at all? I can’t answer on behalf of all lovers of the romance genre – there are many types of romance hero – but there are certain qualities that all the heroes in my books possess to make them worthy of the title.

My heroes are:
Admirable. The hero needs to act in a way that others admire – including the heroine.
Courageous. They always find the courage to fight their demons – and to fight for the heroine’s love. 
Strong: My heroes are resilient, often having to endure internal conflict.
Kind: Even burdened by internal conflict, they never act inexcusably.
Combined, these qualities are all it takes, in my opinion!

What are the ideal traits of your perfect hero? 

Madeline AshAUTHOR BIO:
Madeline lives and writes in Melbourne. She is an author with Destiny Romance and Tule Publishing.

Online, she calls madelineash.net home, although she does have capricious blogging tendencies so might not always have fresh tea ready for visitors. That's not to say she doesn't welcome company.
She writes contemporary romance.

Author links:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6856663.Madeline_Ash
https://www.facebook.com/MadelineAshAuthor
https://twitter.com/Madeline_Ash
http://madelineash.net/

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#102)

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Donna's WoW
21569527
The Heart of Betrayal 
(The Remnant Chronicles #2)
by Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny. 

Donna's thoughts: I read the first book over Christmas break and loved it. I can not wait for more.

Melanie's WoW
12444297
Burned (Fever #7)
by Karen Marie Moning
Release Date: 20th January, 2015

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.
When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

Melanie's thoughts: I'm really excited for this, I love the series and the author and I've only been waiting 2 years for it!!

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