Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Her Highness and the Highlander - Tracy Anne Warren

While journeying home from Scotland, Princess Mercedes of Alden's coach is set upon and her personal guard is killed. Barely escaping with her life, Mercedes seeks help at a nearby inn. But since she has no money and looks little better than a beggar, her claim that she is a princess is dismissed by the townsfolk as a far-fetched tale. Utterly forsaken, Mercedes wonders what is to become of her.

After years of soldiering, dispossessed Laird Daniel MacKinnon is finally coming home. While at an inn, he is confronted by a bedraggled young woman claiming to be of royal blood. Daniel doesn't believe her wild tale, but when she asks for his protection, he agrees to serve as her bodyguard; in turn she promises to reward him handsomely once they reach London.

But Mercedes is still being pursued by ruthless hunters whose motives remain unclear. The danger increases, as does the desire that she and Daniel feel for each other, until the two of them must face the greatest danger of all: falling in love.

My thoughts:
Cute, fluffy, passionate. The end.

But ok I will say more. A princess who escapes those who want to ransom her? Kill her? Rob her? She does not know. And no one she meets believes she is a princess. But then well who would? She looks like crap after a night in the woods. Still why she just didn't go back to school beats me. Instead she heads for London, I would think that would be farther away.

Anyway, in comes a hunky Highlander to the rescue! He may not believe her, but he is a kind man who sees a woman in trouble.

Onward! Kind strangers. Kisses in the dark. And what will happen when he does realize that she IS a princess...*music of doom*

Conclusion:
It was cute. I also liked that they sort of waited for the smexy times. A quick historical romance.

Cover
nice

Mass Market Paperback, 340 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Signet
The Princess Brides #2
Historical romance
Own


Monday, 29 September 2014

The Magician's apprentice - Trudi Canavan

Taking place hundreds of years before the events of "The Magicians' Guild, The Magician's Apprentice "is the new novel set in the world of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy. 

In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn. When the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage get violent, Tessia unconsciously taps unknown reserves of magic to defend herself. Lord Dakon, the local magician, takes Tessia under his wing as an apprentice. 

The hours are long and the work arduous, but soon an exciting new world opens up to her. There are fine clothes and servants and - to Tessia's delight - regular trips to the great city of Imardin.  However, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. For a storm is approaching that threatens to tear her world apart.

My thoughts:
So this is a prequel to the Black Magician books, but you can read it before, you can read it afterwards.

But yes it does remind me a bit of The Black Magician books. Character wise and story wise. It took the same path, but eh, I could still read it.

It's about Tessia who finds out she is a magician. She gets to learn magic and then the adventure really starts. Bad magicians on the move. War, death, loss. 

One thing I did not like was that suddenly after half the book (and this is a big book!) another POV showed up and I was all what? When did this happen? A half Sachakan (the bad guys) who shows us life there. Which was interesting, but even at the end I was all wtf is her point? There is no point to her story. Was is something I read in the BM series? God knows. 

Conclusion:
A good fantasy book. The story began and ended. That's rare so for once, yay, no more.

cover
eh

Paperback, 702 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Orbit (first published 2009)
The Black Magician Trilogy 0.5
Fantasy
Library


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Carole Reviews: Ravensdale - Lucinda Elliot

Author: Lucinda Elliot
Title: Ravensdale
Genre: Historical Romance, Comedy, and Action
Pages: ebook
First Published: April 18th, 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"When the group of highwaymen headed by the disgraced Earl of Little Dean, Reynaud Ravensdale hold up the hoydenish Isabella Murray’s coach, she knocks one of them down and lectures them all on following Robin Hood’s example.


The rascally Reynaud Ravensdale – otherwise known as the dashing highwayman Mr Fox – is fascinated by her spirit.

He escaped abroad three years back following his supposedly shooting a friend dead after a quarrel. Rumour has it that his far more respectable cousin was involved. Now, having come back during his father’s last illness, the young Earl is seeking to clear his name.

Isabella’s ambitious parents are eager to marry her off to Reynaud Ravensdale’s cousin, the next in line to his title. The totally unromantic Isabella is even ready to elope with her outlaw admirer to escape this fate – on condition that he teaches her how to be a highwaywoman herself."


Poor Reynaud. He seems to have such crappy luck. He thinks he accidentally kills his friend, so he runs off and becomes a highwayman (what a great way to prove yourself innocent). His love marries another man, so he goes to leave the country, but then his father dies. He tries to secretly attend the service, but alas, he is discovered and they try to shoot him as he runs off. Then he stumbles upon Isabella when he tries to rob their coach. He loses his heart again and can't get her off his mind. Poor guy. Why do I pity him for falling in love again? Well, Isabella is a snot. Isabella is a selfish girl and uses Reynaud to teach her how to shoot and how to become a highwaywoman. She runs off with him and marries him JUST so she can be a highwaywoman. She is so cold to him and never says she loves him back. See? Poor guy. Granted...this IS a romance, so eventually she does realize she loves him. Takes forever, but it does happen.

Ugh. I really hate the cover...it does not match the story. It's really cheesy, but the story is totally worth looking past the cover.

I really wish that the author had skipped using flashbacks until maybe the very end. IDK, it just seemed to take away from the story. I'm rather picky about flashbacks; it has to be done right and placed right. I honestly think that the flashbacks should not have existed or the important ones should have been saved for the ending. There were a couple of moments that didn't add to the story at all. 

Other then the flashbacks, I enjoyed the story. The characters were fun even though Isabella was a snot and Edmund a coward, I liked them. I didn't quite understand why some of words were capitalized...it bugged me, but the voice of the story was fun and seemed very appropriate for the time period. I really like when authors stick to the right vocabulary and etc. I especially loved the fact that the author had a dictionary for some terms that modern day people may not know, it is fantastic for people just starting the genre of Historical Fiction of the 18th century. 

Ah! The ending was fantastic!! I loved it and I'm glad it did end the way that it did. Edmund made me happy and I'm glad he got a HEA...not at all who I expected, but I'm happy for him. It did seem a little bit rushed, but it oddly worked for this type of story. 

Overall, I liked this story. It was fun and the characters made the story. I didn't like Isabella for how she treated poor Reynaud, but she did get some of my respect when she realized how snotty she was. Edmund also earned my love when he redeemed himself as well; I'm so glad he got a HEA. The cover is cheesy as Hell, but look past it! The story is totally worth it. I wasn't a fan of the flashbacks and the random capitalizations, but I did adore the ending. I would recommend this to those that like Historical Fiction/Romance. I shall stamp this with 4 stars, it is honestly more like 3.5, but I don't decimals, so I rounded. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Reynaud, Jack, and Edmund (near the end).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Isabella and Edmund (at the beginning)



Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Secret - Julie Garwood and Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 26 2014



This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Saturday 1 hour walk
Sunday 1 hour walk
Monday 5 km bike and 45 min zumba
Tuesday 5 km bike, 1 hour yoga
Wednesday 5 km bike, and 30 min walk
Thursday 5 km bike
Friday 5 km bike and 1 hour yoga

I tried to take it easier this week cos I have a sore throat that is killing me. It wont go away. But I still want to do something as I haven't got a fever

-------------------------------

Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud, as purposeful as she was loyal. The dear Scottish friend of her childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, Laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.

In a spirited clash of wills and customs, Judith revelled in the melting bliss of Iain's searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan...not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves.

My thoughts:
Gosh, this book was so silly. But hey I rather enjoyed that, silly and sugar cute and idiotic. What a mix.

When I first saw the 1181 I went all nooooo! Cos yeah, no! Hey do not get me wrong, I love that time. But because I love that time I knew I'd nitpick everything and there were a lot of things wrong with this book. I can forgive things if they had been 600 years later but here, no just no. I will not get into all those things because I tried to be all let it go, let it go, and pretend it took place later on ;) It does seem the author did study up on one thing, birthing and the church but you know, I do not need a infodump when every day life is all wrong. But LET IT GO!

Judith is sweet, perfect sweet, says what is on her mind and everyone loves her after 5 minutes. Yes they all hate her first but then she is being all sweet and telling them what to do and like sheep they follow. I just read it with a smile in my face and though honestly! *eyeroll*

Iain was your typical says nothing at all highlander who went all MINE! Back AWAY SHE IS MINE!!! But never really said anything.

The plot is, eh, right, she stands on her porch. Bunch of strangers show up. She asks them if her friend sent them and then they all leave . Alone with a bunch of *let it gooooo*. Ok everyone falls in love with her. She rescues babies when they arrive. And the big bad secret is that her dad is an enemy laird. But it all works out and they live happily ever after.

Conclusion:
It worked better with the let it go. A silly silly historical romance. I would not recommend it, but if you want silly that makes no freakin sense then give it a go. It was kind of so bad, that it was good.

Cover
boring

Paperback, 379 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Pocket Books (first published 1992)
Highlands' Lairds #1
Historical romance
Own


Friday, 26 September 2014

Romance Friday: A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior - Suzanne Enoch

The Rules:
A lady should always make polite conversation ...

Theresa Weller understands the rules of decorum, and is appalled when Colonel Bartholomew James disrupts a perfectly civilized dinner. This rude, insensitive man is the complete opposite of everything a gentleman should be — but with one searing kiss, Tess can think of no one else. 

A lady should never lose her temper ...
Aggravated beyond bearing by a man who speaks his mind, Tess wishes there was a guide to men like Bartholomew. Surely, with such an assortment of handsome, polite suitors to choose from, Tess should not ache for him. 

A lady should never pursue a gentleman. 
She invites him on carriage rides and dares him to dance, and almost makes him want to return to Society. Bartholomew knows Tess wants to be seen as a proper miss, but deep down, he knows she is precisely the sort to spark his desire ... A most improper lady.

My thoughts:
This was just so fun! And different.

Theresa is a proper lady and she does everything right. She even wrote a book about it. Now she does sound dull, but trust me she is not. She meets Tolly and throws caution to the wind. She pursues him, a lady should not pursue a gentleman. She does everything she should not do, and I loved her for it. You go girl!

Tolly is one of those brooding heroes. But he has a reason. Everyone in his company was killed and he was left for dead. Now he has a leg that is practically falling of, he is very close to losing it. He is bitter, angry and the last thing he needs is some happy chit telling him what to do. But who can resist sunshine after thunder. He starts to fall for her.

They were so perfect together. Grumpy and Happy. And finally a hero who has a real reason to be sullen.

One thing though, we meet someone in this book, the Duke of Sommerset, and when I finished this book I had to check but sad! He has no book! It was even a FAQ on her webpage, so fingers crossed for him getting a book one day.

Conclusion:
Back to our happy couple, because they will get their HEA and I am happy. Really enjoyable.

Cover
cute, even without the head

Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Avon
Adventurers' Club #2
Historical romance
Own


Thursday, 25 September 2014

When you dare- Lori Foster

Professional mercenary Dare Macintosh lives by one hard and fast rule: business should never be personal. If a cause appeals to him and the price is right, he'll take the mission he's offered. But then the lovely Molly Alexander asks him to help her track down the men who'd had her kidnapped—and for the first time, Dare's tempted to combine work with pleasure.

Fiercely independent, Molly vows to trust no one until she's uncovered the truth. Could the enemy be her powerful, estranged father? The ex-fiancé who still holds a grudge? Or the not-so-shy fan of her bestselling novels? As the danger heats up around them, the only anchor Molly has is Dare himself. But what she feels for him just might be the most frightening thing of all…

My thoughts:
This was a good romantic suspense, aye, this was really good :) Romance, suspense, well that says it.

Dare is a good. A really good guy, damn he was so sweet. I just want to hug him.

Molly was brave, I would have been a broken crying mess. But then we learn why she has stayed strong before. It's in her.

They meet under the worst circumstances as he saves her from hell. So it's not all I love you!!! No, she is strong but still she has been through hell and he wants to find the assholes who had this done to her. But it's romance too so they grow closer and fall in love, and still he was so sweet. Gotta love him

Conclusion;
I had heard her books were good and so they were. This was def one of the better romantic suspense books I have read.

Cover
boring but hot

Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by HQN Books
Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #1
Romantic Suspense
Own


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Valour - John Gwynne

The Banished Lands are torn by war as the army of High King Nathair sweeps the realm challenging all who oppose his holy crusade. Allied with the manipulative Queen Rhin of Cambren, there are few who can stand against him. But Rhin is playing her own games and has her eyes on a far greater prize ...

Left for dead - her kin have fled and her country is overrun with enemies - Cywen fights to survive. But any chance of escape is futile once Nathair and his disquieting advisor Calidus realize who she is. They have no intention of letting such a prize slip from their grasp. For she may be their one chance at killing the biggest threat to their power. Meanwhile, the young warrior Corban flees from his conquered homeland with his exiled companions, heading for the only place that may offer them sanctuary. But to get there they must travel through Cambren, avoiding warbands, giants and the vicious wolven of the mountains. And all the while Corban struggles to become the man that everyone believes him to be - the Bright Star and saviour of the Banished Lands. 

Embroiled in struggles for power and survival, the mortal world is unaware of the greatest threat of all. In the Otherworld, dark forces scheme to bring a host of the Fallen into the world of flesh to end the war with the Faithful, once and for all.

My thoughts:
I do think I enjoyed this one more than book 1 *checks book 1* I definitely did. That one was good, and this was better. I love when that happens.

Though I did have the same problem as in book 1, so many characters. I am used to many characters but here for some reason I kept checking who is who, but then I told myself to go with the flow and  that worked perfectly. So if you are afraid of many POVs, then this is so not the book for you. If a silly thing like many POVs is nothing, then this is so the book for you. It kept my attention all the way through. I read it in a day after all.

Those many Povs then. Well, there is Corban, Bright Star, who who shall fight the Black Sun. Right now just a confused young man on the run with his mother, a princess, soldiers and other friends.

Cywen, his sister was left behind in the conquered city. And she has her own battles to fight. I really grew to like her in this one. She has spirit.

Veradis, ack Veradis. You are on the wrong side!! I want him to see the truth. He has a good heart and thinks he is doing the right thing. But he is fooled by a friend.

Nathair the king who thinks he is Bright Star. Aye I loved that twist. He thinks he is doing good and fighting to unite the lands. So they all can fight the bad guy. But, he is the bad guy! He is slaughtering innocent men, women and children, all while believing his is the prophesied. How can I hate him when he is the biggest fool of them all? Ok I still hate him, but still.

Then we have fighters, kings, giants, all trying to stay alive as the world is falling apart. As kingdom after kingdom is conquered. And it looks dark, how could it not? The bad side is winning cos they are fooled, while the good side is slaughtered. 

An interesting world, a good plot and I am looking forward to the next book. *checks* No word of the release date, noooo.

Conclusion;
Definitely go read this book.

Cover
meh

Hardcover, 640 pages
Published March 27th 2014 by Tor Books
The Faithful and the Fallen #2
Fantasy
Library


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings—merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles. 

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing - kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics - and their world - forever.

My thoughts:
How to explain this one...*thinks some more about it*. Honestly just read it. Sanderson is masterful when it comes to magic systems, they are always new, cool and takes a while to explain.

This is alternate history where some empires, fell and other empires rose. The world is very different. Steampunk too, and magic. A rithmatist can draw lines to protect himself and create chalklings (from chalk ;). There is also wild ones out there and that is part of the plot. What is really going on?

Our hero Joel would love to become a Rithmatist but he can't, they are chosen at 8 and he was not chosen. He knows everything about it though. A clever kid, with his head in the clouds a bit. He doesn't have any real friends either as most other kids are rich, and he is not. But you will see.

The plot is that someone is killing Rithmatist kids, but who and why?

Conclusion:
A solid book that kept getting better and better. I can't wait to read more adventures with him to to explore this world even more. All in all, Sanderson is awesome as always.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 372 pages
Published May 16th 2013 by Orion Childrens (first published May 13th 2013)
Rithmatist #1
YA / Fantasy/ Steampunk
Own


Monday, 22 September 2014

Giveaway: Before Versailles - Karleen Koen


Today I have a joint giveaway with Carole , so just go ahead and enter :) Open to everyone on the planet!

And trying out rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb:
Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man—the man before Versailles?

After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get—including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love.

But there are other problems lurking outside the chateau of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven to be more powerful than Louis ever thought—a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe . . .

Meticulously researched and vividly brought to life by the gorgeous prose of Karleen Koen, Before Versailles dares to explore the forces that shaped an iconic king and determined the fate of an empire.

--------------

I have actually reviewed the book twice, yes I forgot I had read it...it happens ;)

Review 2

Carole has also reviewed it ;)


Photobucket


Sunday, 21 September 2014

2 in 1 Interview: Sue Moorcroft and Laura E James

Today I am doing the whole interview thing a bit differently, you get 2 interviews instead of 1 :)
So Welcome to Sue Moorcroft and Laura E James!

1. Hi again Sue. What's new in your life?
I have a new book out – but I think you know that! I’ve had a great year, teaching in France and Italy, visiting New Orleans for the RT Booklovers Convention and taking my mother to Malta as her 80th birthday gift. 

2. Give us 3 reasons why The Wedding Proposal is a fab Fall book...
It’s set in Malta, part of my upbringing and a large part of my heart.

It’s a reunion book. I love to read reunion books so I thought I’d write one. The plotting nearly drove me mad but I’m pleased with the result.

Elle is a heroine with secrets and Lucas is a hero who doesn’t like secrets! It’s an interesting mix.

3. And now it's Lucas’s turn in the spotlight. Tell us about him.
Four years ago Lucas let his possessive streak get the better of him and he told Elle that unless she could be more open with him, the relationship was over. So Elle packed and left. When she turns up on his uncle’s boat it’s a shock. 

Lucas has a great sense of decency, of right and wrong. It takes him most of the book to appreciate that it’s possible to be wrong about what’s right as well as right about what’s wrong. 

After a spell working on the business side of his uncle’s Californian vineyard he’s now a scuba dive master working in Malta and spends much of the time in board shorts and nothing else, dark hair blowing in the breeze. He’s grown up a lot but Elle still knows how to press his buttons.
He also saves his brother’s life. Handy that he’s there …

4. You have written many books, is there any book that is more special then the rest?
I think every writer feels a special love for their most recent book so The Wedding Proposal is occupying my heart right now. However, Dream a Little Dream was the most satisfying book I ever wrote. The research for Dominic’s neurological condition, narcolepsy, was challenging but the actual writing just took off. Whoosh!

Thanks!
And thank you, too. 

More info about Sue's new book can be found at the bottom of the page, together with info about our next author, Laura.


1.Who is Laura E James?
I’m a wife and mother, who loves reading, writing and music. I’ve been known to take to the stage on occasion, singing rock and pop in competitions. I sung Babooshka once. I opted for a slinky, full-length, shimmering red dress rather than the full-on Kate Bush/Boudica metal-wear. It was the right choice. People went to bed that night unharmed. My mother used to joke that she wouldn’t take me into a jewellers in case I burst into song under the spotlights.

2. Give us 3 reasons why Follow me, Follow you is the book to read...
It’s an untimately uplifting, honest book written from the heart.

The heroine’s situation is one to which I think many will relate.

It’s set on the stunning Jurassic coast in Dorset. Beautiful Chesil Beach plays a major role. 

3. Describe your hero Chris to us
Until Chris Frampton, I hadn’t used photo references to fix a character’s physical appearance in my head, but I needed to get behind his eyes to see exactly what was going on in that mind. This resulted in me carrying out extensive research, oogling, sorry, Googling images of Johnny Depp. He has the lean frame, dark hair, brandy eyes and the intensity I wanted to portray in Chris.
It was dirty work.

Chris is an adventurer. He’s impulsive, self-assured and hard-working. He’s loyal, caring and gentle.
And he wears leathers.

4. Are you working on something fun right now? If so what? ;)
I’ve been writing a short story for Choc Lit, which will be sent to Choc Lit Treat subscribers. I enjoy writing shorts ‒ they provide me with bubbles of completion. Novels take me a good number of months, and a short-term project gives me the boost to continue with the long-term book.

I’m 20,000 words into my third novel, working title ’What Doesn’t Kill You’. It’s an issue-based romance, with complicated family ties and strained relationships. The theme is ’saving’, whether that be saving yourself , saving others or saving the relationship. But do we all want to be saved?

Thanks!
Thank you for having me. I hope you enjoy ’Follow Me, Follow You’.



Author bio
Sue Moorcroft is a working writer. The Wedding Proposal is her tenth novel and seventh novel with Choc Lit – Starting Over,  All That Mullarkey, Want to Know a Secret?, Love & Freedom and Dream a Little Dream and Is This Love?. Love & Freedom won the 2011 Best Romantic Novel of the Year Award from the Festival of Romance and Dream a Little Dream was shortlisted for the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year Contemporary Category Award.

Sue has also published over a hundred short stories, articles and several serials in magazines. She’s a creative writing tutor for distance learning and residential courses, and also for the University of Leicester, Northampton Centre. She has written courses for the London School of Journalism and, with her tutor’s hat on: LOVE WRITING - How to Make Money Writing Romantic or Erotic Fiction.

The Wedding Proposal
Can a runaway bride stop running? 
Elle Jamieson is an unusually private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But when she’s made redundant, with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to a new life in sunny Malta. 
Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less from others. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking. 
Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal ended everything they had. But then an unexpected phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s hidden past when it finally comes to light?

Sue’s latest book The Wedding Proposal is available as an ebook from 4 August 2014 and as a paperback from 8 September.

Twitter @suemoorcroft

Where to find the book:


Author bio
Laura lives in Dorset with her family. Laura was twice a runner-up in the Choc Lit Short Story competitions. Her story Bitter Sweet appears in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Anthology. Truth or Dare?, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Joan Hessayon Award. Follow Me Follow You is Laura’s first Choc Lit novel published in paperback.
Twitter: @Laura_E_James

Follow Me Follow You
Can a first love last forever?
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance. 
Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria’s first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he’s desperate to escape. But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria has lasted the test of time, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on? 
With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?

Where to find the booK:
Google Play http://bit.ly/1ppydYw



Saturday, 20 September 2014

3 PNR reviews and Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 19 2014


This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Saturday 5 km bike and 30 min walk
Sunday 5 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Monday 5 km bike and 40 min walk
Tuesday 5 km bike, and 30 min walk, 1 hour yoga
Wednesday 5 km bike, and 1 hour zumba class
Thursday 10 km bike, and 1 hour zumba
Friday 5 km bike and 30 min walk

No pic this week :/ But it was a good week.

________________________________________________


That's what runs through Desiree "Dez" MacDermot's mind the minute she hooks up again with her childhood buddy, Mace Llewellyn.  Mace likes making Dez crazy. In fact, he likes her any way he can get her―in bed, on the desk, here, now, again. Together, they'd always been trouble, but Dez has no idea just how good trouble can feel...


Brendon Shaw has seen better days. He's been beaten, had a gun to the back of his head, and had to be rescued by a Pack of shape-shifting wolves. He didn't think he'd survive the night, much less find the woman of his dreams. And he never thought the woman of his dreams would have a Tennessee accent and wear cowboy boots. 

Ronnie Lee Reed is ready to change her life, and New York City is the place where any girl―even one who runs with a Pack―can redefine herself. First order of business: find a mate, settle down, and stop using men for sex. Even big, gorgeous, lion-shifting, oh-my-what-big-um-paws-you-have men. Then again...

My thoughts:
I am sorry but why is everyone loving this. Omg so dull!!!!! I tried my best, I really did! I was told it was funny 



Yeah that would be a negative on funny. I read up to 100, the rest of the 100 pages of the first story is a blur. The other story I skimmed.

I will not be reading more. A big fail.

Paperback, 391 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Brava (first published January 1st 2007)
Pride #1
Paranormal romance
Own

Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control…

In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible—when it means forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect

My thoughts:
*sleeping*
I am sorry, what?
*sleeping*
Gods! I am PNRed out! I can't handle this anymore! Big ass guy meets tiny female. Insta love/lust, blah blah blah
*sleeping*
It was just so dull! I got to page 100 and skimmed the rest. No world building. just these two boring people talking.

Mass Market Paperback, 345 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2011)
Immortal Guardians #1
Paranormal romance
Own

In this dazzling, sensual novel, Dianne Duvall beckons readers into a world of vampires, immortals, and humans with extraordinary gifts…where passion can last forever, if you’re willing to pay the price…

Defense attorney Kim Fraser has to venture into the dark and dangerous Shiftertown to get answers for a client accused of murder, but the secrets she learns from the enticing lips of Liam Morrissey might just get her killed if the shifter doesn't claim her for his mate.

My thoughts:
Another book that showed me that I am PNRed out. I am just all, sigh, why even bother?

It was ok at first, I did try my best, but it was a bit over 100 pages where it all fell part for me. I just could not be bothered about the heroine, or the hero who went all mine. And all the rest. Still I saw that it could have been good for me a few years ago. But now I might be over most pnr books. They do not work.

Anyway, a story about a woman who meets a sexy shifter, has hot sex, saves a life and lives happily ever after. Boring for me.

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Leisure Books
Shifters Unbound #1
Paranormal romance
Own


Friday, 19 September 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Bec McMaster

Welcome to Bec McMaster on my blog today :)

1. Tell me about yourself?

Hi, I'm an Australian romance author who writes steampunk/paranormal romances for Sourcebooks. Travel is my soul, and I would love to see the entire world, whether it's by reading about it, writing it, or travelling it. I live in a small town with my very own hero and a dog who likes to keep me company while I write.

2. Tell us in a few words what Forged By Desire is about?

Forged By Desire features Garrett and Perry, a pair of Nighthawks (kind of like vampiric detectives in an alternate Victorian London), who have been friends forever, but when Perry goes undercover in a dashing red dress, Garrett realizes that she's not only beautiful - but has a side of sensuality he's never seen. And when a case delivers them straight into the hands of a notorious evil from Perry's past, soon they're battling not only their ever-growing feelings, but a monster they just might not be able to vanquish. 

3. Can this book be read as a standalone? As I know many wonder about this

Absolutely. One of the things I work really hard at, is making sure that a new reader can understand the world, while a reader familiar to the story isn't going to be bored by the same information. Each book in the series has its own 'ending' or HEA, while there is a plotline running throughout the overall series - I really admire the way Nalini Singh does this in her psy/changeling series. Each book can be read as standalone, but the overall plot is going somewhere, so this is my attempt at emulating that. 

4. How did you come up with this world?

I've long had this idea of a vampiric version of the ton (in my world, it's called the Echelon), which rule over London with an iron fist, and consider humans little more than cattle, but it took a glimpse of the two characters from the first book, Kiss of Steel, to make me see where this world was going. It all sprang from there. I think one of the most powerful tools a writer owns, is their sub-conscious. Sometimes I think it's working on stories even when I'm not consciously aware of it!

5. What makes these two so perfect for each other?

I always like the idea that opposites attract. I think people often admire a strength that their partner/love interest has, because perhaps they know it's a weakness of their own. Perry has always been that shy, awkward girl who knew she never fit in - now that she's found the Nighthawks, she hides a lot of herself behind male attire and attitude, and I think part of her fascination with Garrett is that he's so at ease with himself. He's the charmer, the type of guy who is witty and popular and well-liked, and because she's always been his partner and never a love interest, she's felt comfortable being herself around him in a way she's never been with anyone else. For Garrett, though he's always liked the ladies, he's never met the One - he's been waiting for someone to knock him off his feet for a long time, and when he realizes that she's right beneath his nose... it's a little bit of a shock. He's always adored Perry - he'd give his life for her - and it would be easy to say that all it takes for him to realize there's an attraction between them is that red dress, but in all honesty, for the first time he sees something beneath the facade she presents. The opera reveals a woman who is flirtatious and sensual and daring - and Garrett kind of realizes that his best friend, the one woman he can trust, is the one he's been looking for all along...

6. What are you working on right now?

I've just finished edits on Of Silk And Steam, which will be book five in the London Steampunk series. I love diving back into this world, especially with two characters I've been leading up to for a few books. We're going from friends-to-lovers in Forged, to enemies-to-lovers in Silk. It's a lot of fun! Other than that, I have about five sekrit projects on the go. 

Thanks!

Giveaway
Forged by Desire

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends Sep 27
3. Just enter

PS. I Have said it before. If your email is not here, or in your profile, you are out. I wont spend hours hunting someone down.

***
FORGED BY DESIRE BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2014

“You're my breath when I feel like I can't catch my own."

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.


To purchase Forged By Desire:

ORDER TRADE PAPERBACK

ORDER EBOOK


Thursday, 18 September 2014

#Diversiverse Review: Angelfall - Susan Ea

It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My thoughts:
Sigh, everyone else than I seems to have loved this book. Why it did not work for me? Oh you know me, I expected freaking amazeballs! Did I get that? Ha, no. It was the same old same old.

Girl who is so awesome and pretty when she puts an effort, meets OMG SEXY angel who is so freaking sexy that you will drool to that. Said angel does not like mousy girl, but then she puts on a sexy dress and he goes all wow! If you weren't a human I would totally do you!

So hot angel and awesome girls becomes unlikely allies as they go to the big bad angels to save her sister. And of course sexy angel is hunted by his own kind, and I guess his so called friends are too busy to find him.

There will be danger, thinking about hot Sexy angel is, and more danger. But fear no, awesome girl knows how to fight.

There is NO worldbuilding. Angels attacked..ok, and? Nothing. But fear not, Not even Sexy Angel knows. Yeah but I want to know! The world needs building and explaining. 

Like, why do the angels attack Sexy angel and speak English while doing so?
Sure angels are awesome, but they can still die. How did the world fall apart? Oh wait, right worldbuilding, there is none, duh.

It had interesting parts, but sorry, this girl needs answers and not a book about a girl seeing a Sexy angel and blah blah blah.

Conclusion:
fail

Cover
Meh

Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published May 21st 2011 by Feral Dream
YA /Dystopia
Own


Check out Booklust who hosts the A more diverse universe challenge. There you will also learn more what this is about,


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sixth Grave on the Edge - Darynda Jones

Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow—but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’s childhood happens to land in her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins. First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a Deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can’t get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the Twelve Beasts of Hell are unleashed...

My thoughts:
And I who thought the ending of book 5 was evil, ha, this was so evil too. Eeeeevil! Evil authors are so good! They make you want more, and at the same time, it was not a cliffie it was just a moment of OMG.

Charley has been asked the big question. But should she marry Reyes? YES! YOU MUST MARRY THE SON OF SATAN! I mean come on, he is droolworthy and he wants you. Sure, loving him might destroy the universe but who cares, he is hot!

If we forget the hotness of Reyes for a moment. The big is also about some baddies after her, some demon business (liked him!), Cookie wanting more from Charley's uncle and the usual this and that from dead people.

And then there was Reyes and all was glorious. *coughs* Sorry my mind wandered for a moment.

Conclusion:
All you need to know is that you really should read this series.

Cover
bored

Paperback, 355 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published May 20th 2014)
Charley Davidson #6
Urban fantasy romance
Own


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sword of the Bright Lady - M.C.Planck

Christopher Sinclair goes out for a walk on a mild Arizona evening and never comes back. He stumbles into a freezing winter under an impossible night sky, where magic is real -- but bought at a terrible price. 

A misplaced act of decency lands him in a brawl with an arrogant nobleman and puts him under a death sentence. In desperation he agrees to be drafted into an eternal war, serving as a priest of the Bright Lady, Goddess of Healing. But when Marcius, god of war, offers the only hope of a way home to his wife, Christopher pledges to him instead, plunging the church into turmoil and setting him on a path of violence and notoriety.

To win enough power to open a path home, this mild-mannered mechanical engineer must survive duelists, assassins, and the never-ending threat of monsters, with only his makeshift technology to compete with swords and magic.

But the gods and demons have other plans. Christopher's fate will save the world... or destroy it.

My thoughts:
How to explain this book...I mean...*silence* Ok I will try. The first part is easy.

There is our world, but there are other worlds too. As Christopher finds out when he suddenly finds himself in one. And like he should, it is totally alien to him, everything. He has questions about everything (and yes they speak another language, Norwegian to my eye). There are Gods? What about this religion? What is magic? Why are people ranked? Why are farmboys used as canon fodder? Who are they fighting? What is the Dark? Thanks to his questions we get to know this world were a constant war is going on and where there is magic. And the Gods are real as he pledges himself to one.

The whole magic thing and how you can move up in society was cool. I also liked that he was both clueless and had something to offer. He knows science, and hey if you want to get anywhere in this war then that might be a good thing. I would be totally lost if I got there btw.

Sure he was smart, a bit too smart. But hey he has a purpose in that world. So if someone got him there then of course they are gonna take someone who can make a difference.

Conclusion:
An interesting world and I wonder how this whole adventure will turn out in the end for him, and this world.

Cover
ok

Paperback, 429 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Pyr
World of Prime #1
Fantasy
Own


Monday, 15 September 2014

Follow Me, Follow You - Laura E. James

Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.

Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria's first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he's desperate to escape. But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria has lasted the test of time, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on? With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?

My thoughts:
If you expect some kind of contemporary romance where there is love, loving, drama and then HEA. Then this is not that. This is more real and heartbreaking.

First we have Victoria who has problems with her son. That was the heart breaking part, how he lashed out at her. It broke me. So she leaves everything behind, even the company she built, to start a new life. To be a new her. To get to know her son.

Chris is a megastar who comes back home with his son. He has lost another son and his wife, and years after he still deals with the tragedy. His son is suffering too.

They all need to find peace and quiet, acceptance and forgiveness. But it does not make it easier that Chris ad Victoria used to date and got their hearts broken cos of it.

So yes we got issues, working through the and slowly (I mean slowly!) getting to know each other again. Slowly even talking to each other, slowly becoming friends and slowly wanting more. You do not rush love.

Conclusion:
But that HEA I talked about earlier, of course there is still a HEA. Everyone will get to live happily ever after.

Love, loss and a new life.

Cover: No


Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: Out now in ebookform (print UK now, US Oct)
Romantic Fiction
For review


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Carole Reviews: Madame Picasso - Anne Girard

Author: Anne Girard
Title: Madame Picasso
Genre: Historical Fiction, 
Pages: 432
First Published: Janurary 2014
Where I Got It: Given to me by the publisher/author for my honest and unbiased opinion.

"The mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time. 



When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life. 

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century."


Where do I even begin?

The characters where greatly done! I loved Picasso even though he was a total rogue at the very beginning. I honestly didn't know much about the man behind the art. I knew he was from Spain and he had a few lovers. That was about it. While reading, I did some of my own research on the characters, because it made me curious. I love when Historical Fictions based on real people make me want to learn more!! 


Ugh Fernande annoyed me. She was a spoiled rotten woman who took advantage of Pablo's love and money. Def his money. *shakes my head* The whole cheating on him didn't bug me much, because he was just as bad with the cheating. It was a "game" to them, but one that he grew tired of, because he just wanted a simple love. Which is where Eva comes in. It was insta-lust. It took a little bit of time for Pablo to actually love her. Yes, he was a lusty man, but then he realized Eva could offer him a true love that Fernande had lost when money and fame came into the picture. 


I did feel bad for Louis, because he loved her too, but he made me mad when he did two horrible things and hurt Eva (I will not say). The rest of he cast was also good. A lot of characters, but Anne Girard did a wonderful job balancing them and making them seem real and 3D. 

The beginning was a little slow, but once a certain event happens between Pablo and Eva the drama begins to unfold and the book became hard to put down! It took a long time for the two to get together, but it was totally worth it - even with the ending. Sighs. I was really mad, but you can't change the past! It is a true-ish story (not a lot is known about Eva and his love story). So sad, so sad. I was a little peeved with Pablo at one point near the end, because he was being self-centered and pitying himself. Not the time...Eva needs you. >_> However, everyone has flaws. 

In the end, this was a really fun adventure! I learned so much from the book and from my own research on the characters! The beginning was a wee bit slow, but once you hit a certain event the drama begins! I would recommend this for those that like historical fiction and/or for those that like Pablo and his art or art in general. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 


Favorite Character(s):  Eva, Sylvette, Pablo, and Charlotte

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Fernande (>__>)





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