Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Book Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (27 Mar 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210459

Kate Winters has won immortality. 

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it. 

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. 

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. 

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

It has been six months since Kate left Eden and her husband, Henry. It is part of their deal. During the winter months Kate will remain by his side, helping him rule the underworld…but come the spring she must leave. Do all the things she wants to do.

Kate expects a warm welcome home as she returns to the palace that is now hers and the husband she has missed terribly. But instead she walks straight into trouble that no one really seems to want to talk about. And her first exchange with Henry? It could have gone better.

Kate’s best friend, James, keeps assuring her it isn’t too late. She still has time to back out and leave the Underworld. But leaving would mean Henry would lose his throne and begin to fade. But what no one seems to understand is she wants to be there…even if it seems like Henry doesn’t share Kate’s ever-growing love.

In the middle of her coronation, Kate comes face to face with the one thing the gods are afraid of – the one thing that can destroy them. Their maker, the King of the Titans. But Kate was never one to back down from a fight, and when Henry is taken from her, she vows to get him back. Even if it means asking the one person she never wanted to meet for help. Persephone.

Goddess Interrupted takes us on a guided tour of the Underworld and each person’s personal afterlife. We cower at the Gates of Cronus’s prison, lie in wait for Henry at night and hope he chosen Kate over Persephone, finally. We bask in the beauty of Adonis and stand up alongside Kate against her foes.

I adore any book that can make me feel. Aimee Carter blew the lid off my emotions as I read this amazing book in one sitting. I am waiting with bated breath for the next in the series, and have a feeling it is going to be an agonising wait!


Friday, 27 January 2012

Book Review: Bond With Me by Anne Marsh

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 396 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0505528584
  • Publisher: Leisure (24 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B005NWRL16
Fallen angels… They rule Moscow’s seedy underworld, promising untold pleasure to the females who dare to mate them. That promise — and Brends Duranov’s own raw sexual power — has hopefuls mobbing the velvet rope outside his elite club G2’s.

But Mischka Baran has no intention of hooking up with one of the Fallen. Not even after Brends gives her an unforgettable taste of the sin and seduction he can deliver with those wicked lips. She’s after information, not a stint as some Goblin’s toy of the month. What she doesn’t know is that with a sadistic killer carving up his brethren, Brends is playing for keeps, hunting the one woman whose bloodline can end the mayhem, whose bond can restore his lost wings.

G2s is Moscow’s hottest spot. At the centre of the seedy underworld is the Fallen Angels, Goblins, banished from Heaven and stuck without their wings on Earth. Brends Duranov is one of the Fallen and owner of G2s. Swarms of hopefuls wait outside, hoping to be chosen by him, hoping for a glimpse into his world.

All Mischka Baran wants is to find her cousin, Pell. Pell disappeared after a fight with her family, and Mischka tracked her to G2s. She knows there is one man who can help her find Pell, the one man she wishes to never meet: Brands.

Brands cuts her a deal. He promises to find Pell, but for a price. Mischka must bond herself to him, body and soul. Mischka has no intention of selling her soul…but how else would she find Pell? 

Pell isn’t Brands only problem – someone is attacking and killing his brethren and their mates, leaving only a bloody mess in their place. Could the two be connected? One thing is for certain…he isn’t letting Mischka go without a fight.

Brands is the ultimate sexy, bad boy you just can’t help but want. With a wicked sense of humour and body to die for, Brands dominates the page. Mischka is his perfect counterpart – a strong natural, sharp tongue whilst still being feminine.

I adored Mischka and Brands’ story. The action rose in peaks, the sexual tension scorching the page. Let the lovers steal you away from reality.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Book Review: The Ruby Kiss by Helen Scott Taylor

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing (3 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B0067MDC8W
Nightshade hungers to bring the strong and beautiful to their knees beneath the ecstasy of his bite, but he has never known sexual lust—not until he meets Ruby McDonald, the curvy redhead who wields attitude and strength like an ax, and who would be the perfect mother of his children. Caught in a clash between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, he vows not only her survival but also to win her heart.

Plagued by magic inherited from a father she never knew, Ruby wants answers. Nightshade has them. And when he crashes into her bedroom late one night, the fairy’s silvery eyes, dark intensity, and striking black wings tempt her with a whole lot more: a mysterious world waiting to be explored, a dangerous love that binds her in body, mind, and spirit…and the children she thought she could never have. Ahead looms a choice between freedom and a power some would kill to possess. Should she deny her desires, or succumb to the seduction of… THE RUBY KISS

When Nightshade crashes, literally, into Ruby’s life, nothing will ever be the same. On his way to guarantee his little brother’s safety, Nightshade plummets through Ruby’s skylight, thanks to a bird getting in his way.

At first Ruby is terrified of the huge male crash-landing on her bed. But even as his black as night wings unfurl and she takes in the enormity of his presence…and muscles…she knows both that he is nothing like anything she has ever encountered before…and also that he would never hurt her. Nightshade reveals that he is a fairy, one with bloodlust and the vampire bite. And he would very much like to bite Ruby.

Nightshade has never felt the strong pulls of sexual need, yet Ruby and her curves is stirring up the lust inside him. To Nightshade, mating is merely the means to making a child. To Ruby, it is something she can never have. But she’s more than willing to introduce Nightshade to the pleasures of recreational sex.

As Ruby is drawn into Nightshade’s world, it becomes clear there is more to her than meets the eye. She is more a part of his world than she could ever have imagined…and her dormant power could change her life forever.

As much as I wanted, I just couldn’t get into Ruby’s story. The promise was there, but it wasn’t a story I could sink into. Her romance with Nightshade, whilst often full of heavy pangs and loaded glances, then flat out hotness, it just wasn’t believable, and often felt selfish. Secondary characters and plots tripped the story up and made it feel stilted.

I found my attention wandering whilst reading, which says a lot about what I’m reading. It would be suited for fantasy romance fans, but for me, it fell a little flat. 


Friday, 20 January 2012

Book Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210428
They call me 'New Girl'... 

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her. 

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. 

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be. 

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back

New Girl was one of the best YA contemporary novels I have read in ages.

Arriving at the prestigious Manderley Academy, things are going to be difficult for its newest student. Ripped from her sunny Florida life right before senior year, the cold and isolated Manderley is a world apart from what she is used to. Her roommate is hostile and bitter, the other classmates openly stare and whisper. When she learns what happened to Becca Normandy, the girl who disappeared, people look at her as though it’s her fault she isn’t there anymore. Constantly measured up to Becca, she can’t help but also compare their lives.

She tells herself it’s only one year. After that she can forget all about Becca Normandy and Manderley. But someone is catching her eye, making the gossip-mongers talk more than normal. Max Holloway. Becca’s boyfriend.

New Girl felt like the modern YA retelling of Rebecca. The setting, the holding back of the main character’s name, and the ghost of the ex haunting thoughts and footsteps. It was expertly written and I found myself intrigued and wrapped up in the mystery and suspense. Not to mention the delicious Max Holloway.

I’m encouraging everyone to read this one. 


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Book Review: Halflings by Heather Burch

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (1 Feb 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0310728185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310728184

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. 

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Enjoying a quiet moment in the woods whilst she sketches, seventeen year old Nikki is attacked by vicious dogs. As she runs for her life, she is observed by three young men. Vine, Raven and Mace. Halflings on a mission. But with Nikki’s eyes wide open during the dog attack, the rescue isn’t going to go unnoticed.

As Halflings, the children of Fallen angels and mortal women, they are bound to carry out any mission entrusted to them, with the hope that one day they will be admitted into Heaven. And now their mission seems to involve Nikki. Posing as high school students, they integrate into her life, growing closer to her and flirting with danger. The Halflings carry a curse where Heaven will be out of reach and their souls will be damned if they fall in love with a human.

Nikki knows there is something different about the three boys. And she can’t stay away from them. With their good looks and obvious appeals, they open her eyes in ways the other boys at her school never have before. Mace makes her feel safe beyond measure as she swims in his cerulean eyes. Raven makes her feel strong and able as he teaches her how to fight.

I cannot express enough how refreshing it was to come across a YA protagonist like Nikki. Too often nowadays when a teenage girl is confronted with things she believed impossible, she accepts it no questions asked, because the guy telling her gives her the eyes. Nikki is resistant at first, accepting a little at a time what she knows deep down in her heart to be true.

I loved being able to get into the head’s of Mace and Raven – two very different characters but with the same focus and goals. And now with one thing in common: Nikki. There have never been two different types of guy vying for a girl’s attention. Mace, one of the strongest male characters I’ve ever come across, determined to do the right thing yet unable to stay away from what could ultimately become his downfall. Literally. And Raven. The ultimate bad boy. Already resolved in his beliefs, he sees no reason to stay away or heed warning.

Halflings was an awesome romantic adventure with loveable and sympathetic characters. The plot was easy to follow yet kept me engrossed and guessing to the very end. I absolutely adored all Halflings and their inner musings. One thing is for certain – I cannot wait for the next instalment of what is sure to be a hit series.  


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Book Review: A Midsummer Night's Sin by Kasey Michaels

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books; Original edition (22 Nov 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0373776101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776108

Meet the Blackthorn Brothers—three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love. 

Handsome as the devil and twice as tempting, Robin “Puck” Blackthorn lives for the pleasures of the moment. His only rule—never dally with an innocent woman. But when an encounter at a masquerade ball leaves him coveting the one woman who refuses to succumb to his charms, Puck realizes that some rules were made to be broken… 

Scandalized to discover that the masked man with whom she’d shared a dance—and a forbidden embrace—is in fact the ton’s most celebrated rake, Regina Hackett vows to keep her distance. Yet when her dear friend vanishes, it is to Puck that Regina must turn. And as they embark on a dangerous journey through London’s darkest alleys, Regina will discover that beneath Puck’s roguish facade lies a man who will stop at 
nothing to protect her—or to convince her to take a chance on an unrepentant sinner.

A Midsummer Night’s Sin is the second instalment of the Blackthorn Brothers series. Robin ‘Puck’ Blackthorn is well known in the ton for revelling in pleasure…and a famous bastard. But when attending a masked ball he finds himself lusting after the one woman who refuses to fall for his charms.

Regina Hackett didn’t want to go to the ball, especially not unescorted, but when her dear cousin Miranda begs her to go so they can enjoy one night of freedom, she doesn’t have it in her to refuse. The evening takes drastic turns as Regina finds herself in a forbidden embrace with the ton’s most famous rake, and they discover Miranda has been taken. 

Puck vows to aid Regina in finding her cousin, but in doing so they uncover their fair share of secrets in the Hackett family, and embarrassing truths come to light. But with all their faults, Puck is still infatuated with Regina. And as they spend more time together, Regina is sick of fighting the desire she knew was there the first moment they met.

Filled with taut romance and a dark mystery, A Midsummer Night’s Sin is a treat for anyone to enjoy.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

India Dark by Kirsty Murray Blog Tour

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Templar (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1848772106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848772106

A story of secrets, lies and lost innocence. MADRAS, 1910: Posey Swift and Tilly Sweetrick are caught up in a scandal that will change their lives forever. Singing and Dancing across a hundred stages as members of a troupe of Australian child performers, they travel by steam train into the heart of India. But as one disaster follows another, money runs short and tempers fray. What must the girls do to protect themselves, and how many lives will be ruined if they try to break free?

India Dark was an epic story of adventure, lies and growing up around the world.

Posey Swift is caught between a rock and a hard place when her mother and grandmother argue over what is the best plan for her future – work versus education, when Tilly Sweetrick encourages her to pursue an altogether different path. Tilly tours with the Lillipution Opera Company who tours the globe singing popular music hall songs and staging revue’s and theatrics.

Posey’s life is changed forever when she lands a role with the company and leaves Melbourne to tour Asia and India. Many of her fellow Lillipution’s are disgruntled as they had been promised to tour America. This small deceit is only the first of many when to the girls.

While Posey is small and naïve, Tilly is forward and blunt. Tilly tries to tell Posey how the company really works, who cannot be trusted and who is using her, but Posey cannot see past her rose-tinted glasses.  Only when the company director Mr Arthur, or ‘The Butcher’, shows his true colours does Posey realise not everything is as it seems.

India Dark was an incredible story. You could feel the stifling heat close in around you while the girls travelled by steamer or were locked in their hotel rooms. There is a sense of realism among the fantasy of this novel, a beating heart at its core. This book is based on a true story, and these characters bring it all the more to life.   It will enchant anyone to delves between its pages.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Book Review: The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (Mar 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 080754535X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807545355
It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her free-spirited aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with him. Pilot. He's the lifeguard with shamanic skills. He both saves her and makes her feel lost at sea. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.

Lifeguard was a warm, romantic read that felt sun-kissed and as tumultuous as the ocean.

Sirena’s parents thought it would be a good idea for her to spend the summer with her aunt at the beach…so she wouldn’t have to deal with their impending divorce. Sirena takes the news badly, blaming herself and feeling lost and alone. Until she meets him. The lifeguard. Beautiful, mysterious and deep.

Pilot is not just a lifeguard, he has been taught shamanic healing by his grandfather. Sirena is not the only one with dark and agonising thoughts rumbling around inside her. Pilot also has his demons, and reasons for his unbreakable commitment to his job.

Together, Pilot and Sirena learn how to let go of things out of their control, and fall into the beginning warmth of love.

A perfect read to cast aside the dreary winter chill, and warm you from the inside out. A lovely light holiday read.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon Nocturne (1 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B00699I8YG

Micah: The Dark Prince As the dark lord who condemns souls to damnation, Micah is nothing but a feared barbarian wrapped in impenetrable black armour. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows – the daughter of his enemy. Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armour to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden, or their whole world will be lost…

Lord of the Abyss is my favourite instalment of the Royal House of Shadows series. Micah, the youngest prince of the kingdom of Elden, who was scattered along with his brothers and sister to distant realms in a bid to save their lives by their mother, is now a far cry from the prince he used to be. The Blood Sorcerer cursed him, ensnaring him to the Black Castle at the edge of the Abyss where he must condemn the souls destined for the abyss. Covered in impenetrable armour, he is feared and ruthless with nothing inside him but darkness. Until one woman dares to help him remember who he once was.

Liliana, daughter of the Blood Sorcerer is nothing like her parentage. She does not murder or torture, yet she is almost as strong as her father. Liliana is gifted with visions, and has sent the eternal downfall of Elden. Unless she can help Micah remember his true self and return him home. And so Liliana braves the Black Castle and lands at the mercy of the Lord of the Abyss.

Bit by agonising bit, Micah’s teasing and arrogant nature peaks through his dark armour. He is enamoured by Liliana and the stories she tells of the four princes and princess, especially by the youngest prince. It isn’t long before he longs to touch her, to taste her. And lord help her if she isn’t mesmerised by him also. But Liliana knows his feelings will darken when he learns who she really is.

Lord of the Abyss was dark, teasing, romantic, sexy, terrifying and everything else in between. This has been a fantastically written series with an electric ending. I for one cannot wait to re-read them all again. 


Monday, 2 January 2012

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (4 Aug 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0007425473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007425471

A Handmaid’s Tale for a new generation…
Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home – before her time runs out forever.
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

Orphaned twins Rhine and Rowan know exactly when they are going to die. They live in their parents home, sleeping in shifts and desperately trying to stay away from danger. Thanks to genetic testing and mistakes of older generations, when the scientists found a way to cure disease, they radically shortened life spans. Twenty five for males. Twenty for females. Desperate to keep the human race thriving, girls are stolen and sold into marriage with the sole purpose to reproduce. Rowan has always tried to keep his sister safe, but nothing could have prevented the day Rhine was stolen.

Sixteen year old Rhine, along with nineteen year old Jenna, and thirteen year old Cecily, are bought by the formidable Housemaster Vaughn to be the wives of his son, Governor Linden. Linden’s first wife, Rose, is suffering her last days, gripped by the disease that will claim everyone when their time is up.

Rhine vows to escape and somehow get back to her brother, but with locked windows, and stuck on one floor of the mansion, Rhine must earn Linden’s trust if she is to break free from her cage.

The character of Rhine leapt off the page for me, her fears becoming mine and her entrapment making me feel claustrophobic. Her interaction with Gabriel, an attendant in the mansion, brings the small bit of light into her world of darkness.

A new dystopian series, Wither is sure to be an absolute hit. With shocking content and disturbing view of the future, the author pushes the limit yet also keeps the characters and events startling real. I for one cannot wait for the sequel. 

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