Sunday, 30 September 2012

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Review Books:

A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day (Renegade Angels #1)
Adrian Mitchell is an angel of immense power and an insatiable desire for the one woman he can't have. The head of an elite Special Ops unit of the Seraphim, his task is to punish the Fallen - angels who have become vampires - and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.

But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals - losing the love of his life again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found his beloved Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body with no memory of him. This time he won't let her go.

With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson only knows she can't resist her fierce attraction to the smouldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught in the middle between an angel lover, an estranged vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There's more at stake than her love and her life - this time she could lose her very soul...

For Review from NetGalley:

Calling the Shots by Christine D'Abo (Long Shots #4)
He's had a wild ride, and now sex club owner Josh Scott is looking for a change of scene. But first, he's determined to bring two friends together, and he's willing to be a third wheel to move things along...

Beth Norris is eager to be set up with hot bartender Oliver Stephenson, but she's equally attracted to matchmaker Josh. Soon she's fantasizing about both men at once—and about being the one to call the shots in the encounter...

Ready to move on with his life post-divorce, Oliver is conflicted by the realization that he's attracted to women and men. Or more specifically, to Beth and Josh. He tries to keep his distance, but it's not long before the chemistry between the trio combusts in a night of mind-blowing sex.

In the light of day, it's clear something deeper than desire is growing between Josh, Beth and Oliver. But though Josh has helped others find love in unconventional relationships, is he willing to take a chance on one himself?

Just One Night by Eve Gaddy (Rebels With A Cause #1)
They spent one passionate night together,
a night neither could forget . . .  

But it isn’t until Bomb Unit Detective Alexandra “Alex” Sheridan is assigned to investigate architect Luke Morgan about the bombing of his new building that Alex is forced to face the man–and feelings–she’d run from earlier. Drawn to the charismatic man who'd soothed her grief with their shared passion, she finds herself wanting more from him. 

As the case progresses, however, she questions his innocence and his feelings for her. Can she trust him, ignoring his past and the evidence pointing to his guilt? Or will she have to be satisfied with just one night?

Hostile Takeover by Joey W. Hill (Knights of the Board Room #5)
Ben is the last unattached member of the five-man executive team of K&A Associates. The other four, all Masters, have found the submissive of their dreams. That’s fine. The sharp-edged lawyer knows he’s the most hardcore of all of them, with extreme tastes as a Master he satisfies physically through experienced club submissives. He doesn’t really need anything more than that.

Marcie has loved Ben since she was sixteen. He’s never behaved as anything more than a protective big brother, a family friend. But now she’s twenty three and starting her career as a corporate investigator. She may be a blood-and-bone deep submissive, but she won’t hesitate to use her aggressive talents to prove she’s meant to be his. With a Master as tough as Ben, she’ll have to take whatever measures are needed—even if her deepest desire isn’t a hostile takeover of his heart, but an unconditional surrender to it.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Review: Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz (Dark Legacy #1)

Publisher - Piatkus
Publication Date - 10th January 2012
Paperback - 352 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Within the pages of very rare books, some centuries old, lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell's unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes - and sometimes has taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumours swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, an expert in paranormal crystals and amber. Passion immediately flares between them, though neither entirely trusts the other. But when it comes to dealing with a killer with paranormal talents - and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code - no one is safe.

My Thoughts - Copper Beach was my first book by this author, although I have heard a lot of good things about her work in the past. And I have to say that I did enjoy this novel a lot.

Abby is a very likeable heroine. She's intelligent, not afraid to stand up to others and is very good at her job of working with books about the paranormal. She has spent a lot of time building up her career and as a result of that she has a flawless reputation amongst her peers. But there is also a more vulnerable side to her as well, a side that makes it difficult for her to let people get close to her. She only trusts two other people, and they have all been friends since their teen years. Abby does not trust easily. But at no point does she become prickly or unlikeable as can so often be the case with other heroines like Abby. She remains friendly, professional and completely loyal at all times.

I also liked Sam as a hero. At first the reader, and Abby, doesn't know if he can be trusted. His girlfriend died a few months back and, although he was never charged with her murder, he was a suspect for a while. But as Sam begins to open up to Abby, we get to see what really happened with his ex-girlfriend. He is strong, capable and more than a little bit sexy.

Sam and Abby complement each other very well as a couple. Abby has trust and commitment issues, whilst Sam is unshakeable once he has his sights set on something - and his sights are set on Abby. What I did enjoy about this book was that, although Abby does have some commitment issues, they are not dragged out for a majority of the book as I've found can sometimes happen. She feels apprehension at first but she is mature enough to work through her feelings and decide what it is she really wants.

The mystery element was really well written and, although we do get to find out at the beginning about the identity of one of the men after the book, there are some great twists thrown in along the way that really meant I had no idea which direction the book was going to go in. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

My only small complaint would be that, while paranormal energy within crytals and books seems pivotal to the plot, the explanations of these things were pretty vague and I didn't feel as though I really had a proper grasp on some of the fundamental concepts of this energy. It didn't really stop my understanding of the plot, but I think I would have liked more just simply so I could feel better immersed within their world.

Summary - A great start to a new series and I will defintely be checking out other books by this author. A very enjoyable read.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Giveaway Winner

I have selected the winner of the contest to pick a book of their choice from The Book Depository and the very lucky lady is...

Congratulations Jessica. I have sent you an email and I look forward to seeing what book you choose!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Review: Heat of the Moment by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #1)

Publisher - Samhain Publishing
Publication Date - 17th June 2008
Genre - Erotic Romance

Source - Purchased

Rating - 3.5 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - Shelby Harper has lusted over Navy SEAL John Garrett for over a year, but no matter how many sexy signals she sends out, the man shows a complete lack of interest in getting naked. Then she overhears Garrett talking to his SEAL teammate - a discussion in which they conclude she's vanilla. Stung, Shelby sets out to show them exactly how un-vanilla she is.

Garrett can't believe it when sweet, sexy Shelby suggests a wild and sweaty menage. He's been trying to figure out how to ask her out without coming off as a guy who only wants to get in her pants - her friendship is too valuable to him to risk it. But if a crazy, heat-wave three-way is what Shelby wants, then he's ready and willing to give it to her.

Once she gets it out of her system, however...well, then he'll let her know he wants her all to himself.

Warning: This title contains two dangerously hot Navy SEALS and a heroine determined to get it on with both of them. Be prepared to take a cold shower (or maybe two) after reading this heat-wave menage.

My Thoughts - So I've been hearing a lot of very good things about Elle Kennedy's Out of Uniform series recently, due to the recent release of book seven, Feeling Hot.  I decided that after seeing so many good reviews for Feeling Hot I just had to give the series a try for myself.

I enjoyed this short story a lot, although it was very short and was therefore lacking some background for the hero and heroine. I loved the fact that Garrett and Shelby have been lusting after each other for a year, each without realising the other person felt the same. However, I would have liked to have seen this in play a little bit more to really get a better picture of the dynamics between the two main characters. But I can understand why that is so difficult to achieve in so few pages.

The action between Shelby, Garrett and his best friend Carson kicks off pretty quickly and it was hot. I have to admit to accidentally reading book two in the series first, which is Carson's book, so I was already a little bit in love with him when I started reading Heat of the Moment. But, although the threesome makes for some steamy reading, I couldn't help but feel it was added just for that reason and had no real purpose in furthering the relationship between Shelby and Garrett. I think I would have liked the story to be a bit longer so that more focus could have been placed on them as a couple once Carson had left.

Summary - Overall, Heat of the Moment is a quick fun read that will leave you feeling hot under the collar. However, due to the short length of the story, it does feel a little bit light on the details. But I enjoyed it and will most definitely be continuing with the series.

Other books in the series:
1. Heat of the Moment
2. Heat of Passion
3. Heat of the Storm
4. Heat it Up
5. Heat of the Night
6. The Heat is On
7. Feeling Hot
8. Getting Hotter (released November)

Monday, 24 September 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (24th September 2012)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Ok, so this week was an absolutely pathetic reading week for me! I only managed to get one novella finished! Oh well, hopefully this week will give me a bit more reading time.

Books read last week:
Heat of Passion by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #2)

Books reviewed last week:
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts - Romantic Suspense - 4/5
Taking Charge by Mandy Bagott - Contemporary Romance - 3/5

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz (Dark Legacy #1)

Books Up Next:
A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell
Heat of the Storm by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #3)

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Review: Messenger's Angel by Heather Killough-Walden (Lost Angels #2)

Publisher - Headline
Publication Date - 21st June 2012
Paperback - 416 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3.5 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - Juliette Anderson has recently begun to fear for her sanity as inexplicable, and apparently supernatural, powers take hold of her life. Offered the opportunity to work in a beautiful country which has always fascinated her, she accepts, desperate for escape.

Gabriel, the Messenger Archangel, has always called Scotland his true home. Nevertheless, he is stunned when his archess suddenly appears, after centuries of searching, in the land closest to his heart.

Juliette's encounter with the gorgeous silver-eyed stranger changes their worlds forever. But even as they find each other, enemies - old and new - surround them. With danger closing in, they will have one chance to fulfil a destiny written for them in the stars...

My Thoughts - After reading the first book in the series, Avenger's Angel, and absolutely loving it I was very excited to start reading this book. However, although I did enjoy it a lot, it didn't really meet my expectations after such an amazing start to the series.

I loved the main characters, Juliette and Gabriel, and the chemistry between the two of them was off the charts whenever they were together. The interactions between the two of them went from sizzling hot to tender and loving and I just couldn't get enough of this couple. However, they seem to spend quite a bit of time apart as they fight their enemies and I would definitely have liked to have seen more of this couple working together.

Of course, Gabriel's sexy Archangel 'brothers' are around to lend a hand, as well as the archess, Eleanore, from Avenger's Angel. They create a great background cast to support Gabriel and Juliette. Plus the Adarians, a group of bad Archangels who are after Juliette, play a big role too and provide a lot of suspense in the book.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the way that the setting plays such a major role in the story. Scotland is the place that Gabriel has considered his home all his life and is obviously very important to him. The descriptions of Scotland were written beautifully and because of this book alone it is now on my list of places I want to see before I die.

There is a lot of action in Messenger's Angel, making it fast-paced and pretty impossible to put down. However, I would say that for a paranormal romance, the balance between the romance and the action felt just a bit too heavy on the action side. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the development of the romance, even if it meant making the book longer than it already was.

And at the end of the book the reader discovers that the next story to be told is Azrael's, the Angel of Death. He is a character that has intrigued me from the start so I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about the release of Death's Angel at the end of the year!

Summary - A hot and sexy paranormal romance, that will leave you wanting more of Gabriel and Juliette.

Other books in the series:
1. Avenger's Angel
2. Messenger's Angel
3. Death's Angel (released December 2012)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Review: Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot

Publisher - Sapphire Star Publishing
Publication Date - 3rd May 2012
Genre - Contemporary Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?

American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it?

Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings - or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?

With an ill father, a trailer trash step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Can she start again? Does she really want to? And can two people really fall in love in three days?

My Thoughts - After seeing a lot of hype about this book on Twitter around its publication date I was very much looking forward to reading Taking Charge, although it did take me a little while to finally get around to picking it up.  And, overall, it was an enjoyable read.

I really liked Robyn.  She has come back to America after nine years of living in England to take charge of her father's businesses whilst he is unwell.  And take charge she does.  Robyn knows exactly what she wants to do and heaven help anybody who tries to stand in her way.  I just loved this side of her personality, although at times she can come across as a bit too bossy.  But everybody still loves her anyway.  She is an incredibly likeable and relateable heroine who is so well fleshed out that she almost seems like a best friend to the reader.  Her little quirks are what really bring her to life - the fact that she loves to sing all the time but can't carry a tune to save her life, the way she seems to survive on eating nothing other than chips and dip, her obsessive love for monster trucks.  I could go on but it would probably be best if you read the book yourself to find out the rest.

In comparison to Robyn, Cole seems almost two-dimensional.  A large majority of the book is spent focused on Robyn and so by the end of it, although I found out Cole's back story, I still didn't really feel as though I knew him.  Most chapters were written mostly from Robyn's point of view, with only a short paragraph or two at the end from poor old Cole.  And quite a few of his moments of 'air-time' were dedicated to Robyn - what she was doing at that time, how she made him feel - and I would have liked to get to know Cole a lot better.  There was definitely an imbalance between the hero and heroine in respect to telling their stories.

I enjoyed the storyline and found there were a few good twists along the way that came as a surprise.  There is a very emotional storyline that revolves around the fact that Robyn was raped as a teenager and that the boy who got convicted of the crime had always defended his innocence.  I felt that it was handled in a very sensitive way and it really pulled me into the book.  However, I think it was made far too obvious from very early on who was behind the attack and this did spoil it for me slightly.

There is a cast of great supporting characters - friends, family, the ice hockey team - and I really enjoyed getting to know all of them.  I would love to visit Portage, Michigan again to find out the story of some of these secondary characters.  However, as far as I know, this is a stand-alone novel.

Summary - An enjoyable contemporary romance with characters you can't help but fall in love with.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Review: Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Publisher - Piatkus
Publication Date - 5th April 2012
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - Romantic Suspense

Source - Received for review from publisher

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Rowan Tripp is addicted to danger.  Ever since she turned eighteen, Rowan has been a 'smoke jumper', fighting back the ferocious forest fires that sweep through the Montana mountains each year.  But now Rowan is mourning the death of her good friend and partner, Jim - haunted by the belief that she could have saved him.

Determined to carry on, Rowan throws herself into training the new recruits to the smoke jumping team - not realising there is a different kind of danger waiting for her.  She has always had a strict rule: never get romantically involved with a workmate.  But the moment she meets Gull Curry that rule is severely tested.  And when it becomes clear that someone blames Rowan for Jim's death, and is determined to get revenge, Rowan realises this is one fight she can't win on her own...

My Thoughts - I haven't read a Nora Roberts book for a long time and, as I am going through a romantic suspense phase, I was very excited to start this book.  And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed at all.  It had everything that a reader would expect from a Nora Roberts novel - heart-warming romance, loveable characters and a gripping storyline.

Rowan is a likeable heroine, although it did take me a while to really fall in love with her due to her rather prickly demeanour.  Luckily our charming hero didn't seem to have the same problem though.  She is great at her job as a smoke jumper - someone who jumps out of a helicopter to battle fierce woodland fires in areas that are difficult to reach.  I loved watching her interact with her friends and colleagues as there was just something so genuine about their dialogue and how they gelled together as a team to get such a tough job done.  However, she has built up a lot of walls around herself since her mother left her as a child and so she can come across as too tough and unreachable at times.  But as Gull breaks down these walls the reader gets to see a softer side to Rowan.

Now as for Gull, I fell in love with him from the start.  He is confident, although not arrogant with it, considerate, intelligent and incredibly fit - what's not to like?  What I liked most about him was how he knew exactly what he wanted (Rowan) and was not afraid to fight for it.  Plus he was so full of witty one-liners and self-deprecating humour that more than once I found myself laughing out loud at something he'd said.

There was a good balance between the romance and suspense, meaning it didn't feel too heavy in either direction.  The descriptions of the fires were so well-written that I could imagine myself standing there right next to the characters - yet feeling very grateful that I wasn't!  My only complaint about the book was that I managed to work out pretty early on who was behind the murders so that meant the storyline lost some of it's pull for me.

Summary - A great romantic suspense novel that has all the ingredients any fan of the genre could wish for.  Can't recommend it enough.

Monday, 17 September 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (17th September 2012)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

So I haven't been around since my husband passed away three months ago, but I am back now and can't wait to catch up with all my blogging friends again. To celebrate my return (and also my blogiversary which happened during my absence) I am holding an international giveaway for a book of your choice from The Book Depository, so please head on over here to enter.

Now, down to the nitty gritty...

Books read last week:
Messenger's Angel by Heather Killough-Walden (The Lost Angels #2)
Heat of the Moment by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #1)

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz (Dark Legacy #1)
Heat of Passion by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #2)

Books Up Next:
A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell

I'm back! Time for an international giveaway! (NOW CLOSED)

Hi all. For those of you who used to read my blog, you'll know that I've not been around for a while as my husband passed away three months ago. For a while, blogging and reading were the last things on my mind but now I need to start filling my days with routine and familiar things, so I'm back.

Things have been tough here the last few months, but I am starting to adjust to life without my husband. I still miss him every day, that's not going to change, but I'm beginning to take charge of my life again and carry on, for the sake of our boys and for my own sanity. And I'm looking forward to connecting with all my blogging friends again - I've missed you all a lot.

And so today is a time to celebrate! I'm back in the blogging world and it was actually my first blogiversary during my break. I'm not sure if I can celebrate a blogiversary if my blog wasn't active on that date but never mind. And this is all good news for you.

I'm holding a giveaway for you all and here are the rules:

  • You can win a book of your choice from the Book Depository up to the value of £10.
  • The contest is open internationally, to all the places that the Book Depository provides free shipping to (please check this link to make sure your country is on the list)
  • Just leave a comment on this post with your email address to be entered.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Contest closes on Sunday 23rd December at 23.59.
  • Once a winner has been chosen, I will contact them by email to find out which book has been chosen for the prize.
Good luck everybody!
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