Tuesday, 29 July 2014

{Review} Chosen (Fighting Fate #1) by Paulina Ulrich

17288041Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 31st, 2013
Finished Date: July 20th, 2014
Publishers: Self Published  
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Nothing can stand in the way of outspoken, rule-breaker-extraordinaire, Kaddy Richston…except destiny. Born with wildly colored hair and piercing gray eyes Kaddy knew she was different, but she set her sights on her ambitious dreams of being in a rock band and leaving her small town behind along with the painful memories of her past.

But destiny has other plans for her. 

When the calm, cool, and always collected Cole Huntington enters her life he takes a strange interest in her, his striking blue eyes never wandering far from her every move. Despite her efforts to push him away, he plans on unraveling every single one of Kaddy’s dark secrets even though he has some of his own. 

Despising each other from the start, Kaddy is determined to undermine whatever intentions he has until she learns of a destiny she never asked for. The fate of the world lies in her hands as she learns how different she really is. The only person she can turn to for answers is the last person she’d want help from: Cole Huntington who seems to dislike her rule-breaking as much as she dislikes his rule-following.

Sometimes destiny sucks.

The Review: Chosen is a good read featuring Kaddy Richston, a girl considered a freak because of her striking red hair and silver eyes, so much of a freak that everyone she has ever loved has rejected & left her, except her band – Mike, Josh & Owen – and together they are just doing time until their funds are high enough to get their butts outta the small town that has stifled them since birth. That is until Cole Huntington enters the music store she works in and it’s hate at first sight; fair enough she feels connected to him, he has an intense blue eye thing going on for him and she can sense his presence… but they won’t be around much longer so she isn’t interested in forming attachments, they never work out for her anyway. When something strange starts to happen to Kaddy – Cole is there to make it better – When a strange man with red glowing eyes attacks her – someone with blue glowing eyes saves her – When the pains overtake her body – Cole soothes them – but when he tells her about her destiny – She isn’t having it! Nothing & no one will map out Kaddy’s life, she will not be beholden to a destiny that puts the weight of the world on her shoulders! She’s moving on, putting this chapter of her life behind her and Cole Huntington will not stand in her way.
As I mentioned, Chosen is a good read and I enjoyed it. Kaddys character is both vivacious and sad; vivacious because she owns who she is, how people see her, what she’s been through and when she’s on stage – she’s in her element – but sad because of most of the same reasons; she hates how people see her, as a freak, she hates how everyone has left her, rejected her, blamed her for things out of her control – every time she gives her heart, it gets trampled on so it’s understandable that when she feels a connection to Cole she pushes him away. It was sad to see her do this to herself, she has safe relationships with her band, Mike especially who vowed he would always be there for her and Mike’s mother (who took her in when she was 14) but she lets no one else in and it’s intentional. Now, Kaddy has some changes to go through in this book and those changes will bring about a big reveal which is the main story of the book and will open up the plot for the whole series. I can’t really speak of it so, what I will tell you is that Kaddy is special, she is destined for bigger things, as the title suggests she is ‘chosen’, she is at the centre of a prophecy but not a rigid prophecy and as the series title suggests – she will ‘fight fate’. She shares something in common with more than one character and a certain someone will be the key to opening up Kaddys world. She will blossom throughout this, become even stronger in body & soul and finally let someone in…. but this is just the beginning because let’s not forget, the band are going on tour!
This was very much a getting to know you book as we get to know Kaddy, Cole & the band, it is also filled with information about things that Kaddy never dreamed existed and we are right there with her and will be right there for book 2 as well. 4*s

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

Monday, 28 July 2014

{Review + Giveaway} So I Married a Werewolf (Seattle Wolf Pack, #3) by Kristin Miller

22670816Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 28th, 2014
Finished Date: July 19th, 2014
Publishers: Entangled Covet
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 260
Carter Griffin, enforcing officer for the Seattle Wolf Pack, has a problem. He's been offered the promotion of his dreams…if he can find a wife to prove he's over his playboy ways. But Carter's already walked the matrimonial road and bought the stinkin' T-shirt. Besides, a werewolf only gets one fated mate. Been there, done that.

All werewolf dog trainer Faith Hamilton wants to do is earn enough green stuff to put her younger brother through college. Okay, okay, so she also totally wants Carter, her sexy next-door neighbor, to look at her as more than a friend. It's too bad size 12 and plain isn't his type. At all.

The two friends strike a deal to help one another out. They must face a variety of challenges from a psycho ex-girlfriend to a Yorkie with a shoe fetish...and that pesky problem of only having one-fated mate in a lifetime. Will a relationship ruin their friendship…or spark a love neither anticipated?

The Review: So I Married a Werewolf is the third book in the Seattle Wolf Pack series by Kristen Miller and brings us the well-loved scenario of friends to lovers with a nice marriage of convenience thrown on for good measure, giving a very satisfying story.
I loved both of our characters and they are definitely a couple who belong together –even if they can’t see it and everyone else can- and share a beautiful chemistry based on a strong friendship. Faith is a girl who is comfortable in herself, her life is all about making sure her brothers college dreams come true and making enough money to make that happen. She doesn’t need to make an effort with herself and isn’t bothered about a boyfriend because of past experiences, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t crushing on Carter – hard! She has a tragic past that left her with a visible scar that makes her feel unattractive so hiding behind baggy clothes is the norm for Faith, so no one ever really sees just what she has to offer in the curves department until she starts dressing for her part as Carter’s ‘fiancee’ and he sees her in a whole new light. Carter propositions his best friend into agreeing to a sham marriage in exchange for funding her brothers college tuition and hopefully Carter finally getting a promotion to detective. He’s worked hard for the place and has a rival for the position who is engaged which is really what his bosses are looking for – a mated man- showing them a stable, settled wolf who can focus on the job. Faith has feelings for him in a big way and has doubts that she can ‘pretend’ when her feelings are already involved but Carter is determined to keep this as purely an arrangement between two friends, he isn’t after a relationship because he married his Luminary (his soul mate) who unfortunately died and knows he won’t find another….. or will he?
I can’t resist storylines like this and as I mentioned, the friends to lovers and marriage of convenience are always winners for me especially when you get the paranormal element too. The storyline is very much devoted to the relationship development and obtaining the promotion, it was soooo good and it flowed so well making it an extremely easy read. It also helped that the characters were so easy to connect to, they had great chemistry before the intimacy and reading about the change in the relationship dynamic was great. I enjoyed reading about Faith blossoming into a sexually confident woman and Carter letting down his defences to let love in, they complimented each others character a lot making them better people together and you could really get behind their cause and I’m a sucker for HEA’s.
When I first decided to review this book I was unaware that it was part of a series let alone the third and decided to read it anyway hoping that it would read as a stand alone and it does! Nowhere throughout this book did I feel like I was missing any parts of the plot or bigger picture nor was I introduced to characters that I thought I ‘should’ know, so feel free to do as I did and dive right into this fun, sexy, sweet read – I myself will be adding the other two books to my ‘to read’ pile. 

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

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Saturday, 26 July 2014

{Blog Tour} Cheating Justice (Justice Team #2) by Misty Evans & Adrienne Giordano

22565585Posted by Melanie
Release Date: July 21st, 2014
Finished Date: July 15th, 2014
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: Adult, Suspense, Romance
Source: eARC
Format: Mobi
While investigating a government cover-up, former FBI agent Mitch Monroe is framed for murder. A wanted man, Mitch has no choice but to stay off the grid, and he needs Special Agent Caroline Foster—the FBI’s top sniper and a woman who wants nothing to do with him—to clear his name.

After sharing a single night of simmering passion with Mitch a year ago, Caroline hasn’t been able to get him out of her head. Or her heart. He's jeopardized her job once…helping him now could end her career. But a friend has been murdered, and no matter how Caroline feels about Mitch, he's not the killer. She needs answers, and she needs Mitch Monroe out of her life once and for all. 

On the run and with no one to turn to, Mitch and Caroline can’t fight the reigniting passion between them. She’ll lose her career if she proves Mitch is innocent…he’ll lose his life if she doesn’t.

The Review: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano are back with the second instalment of the thrilling Justice Team series.
This time around we have Mitch Monroe; we had met Mitch in book one and I for one was very curious about the man who was a ghost and lived off the grid, so was thrilled to be getting his story. Within the first chapter we get a good feel for who Mitch is and how he’s living and then bam! by the end of that chapter…. Mitch is framed for murder and his already fugitive status just sent him straight to the top of his former colleagues’ to-do lists. Needing help he turns to Special Agent Caroline Foster, not only a top agent but also a top sniper and the woman he spent one incredible night with. Caroline has never forgotten Mitch, he broke her heart when he ran and cut all contact with her but she knows Mitch did not do the crimes he is accused of, so when he tells her about another friends death and she checks out those claims…. She decides she will put the past behind her and help him clear his name. Yet again she finds her career in jeopardy through Mitch but if what they uncover is true… they really need to blow this case wide open, not only in the hopes of freeing Mitch but to catch the real culprits… not only putting their lives in danger…. But their hearts.
This is yet another movie worthy book filled with intensity, passion, injustice, action and romance that hits all the spots for me. I mentioned that Mitch had caught my interest in book one, I liked his character then so I was definitely invested in his book and that opening chapter was definitely a shocker but what a great way to open the book because it hooked you in straight away. It was nice to get Mitch’s background and I really enjoyed his connection to Caroline, you got the sense of familiarity between them from the outset, they both ‘knew’ each-others in and outs and that’s without the intimacy between them. They made a brilliant team investigation wise, fitting so well with each other, knowing how each others thoughts, that gave a really deep feel to not only their professional relationship but their personal one too and I also liked how their different personality types complimented each other. It stands to reason that if they work so well professionally that they work intimately too, giving us some very steamy moments but with feeling too.
The storyline is definitely where it’s at and if you have read the first book in the series, you will know what type of plot we will be in for. What we have here is a tense political thriller sprinkled with romance and as I mentioned before – would make an amazing movie. We have murder, a man on the run trying to clear his name, a woman willing to risk it all for a man, conspiracy theories, gun running, sabotage, near death situations, a complex investigation that needs cracking and some good old sexytime - We even get a good few Justice Greystone scenes and see his operation in action, showing its full potential. It was tense, exciting, edge of your seat stuff where you can really become invested in the characters and their lives, where you want to see justice prevail and the bad guys ass get handed to him… it’s good, really good! And I can’t wait for more. 4.5*s
Misty EvansAbout the Authors

Misty Evans:
USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / Newsletter /  Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

***
Adrienne Giordano:
USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. 

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

Friday, 25 July 2014

{Giveaway} Win a Flower Book Ring (INT)


 We have an awesome giveaway for you today and if you haven't already heard or guess, YES, we are giving away that gorgeous ring pictured above which has been donated by the maker, Peaches and Pebbles. 

UK based Peaches and Pebbles who you can find on Etsy; here have many different pieces available in stock. So make sure you go check the website out and you can learn more about the maker yourself; here.

Here's a little information on the ring itself;
This book page flower ring is perfect for book lovers this spring and summer! The handmade flowers are made from the pages of a book, and sealed for splash protection. They're much stronger than paper alone, and stronger than they look in general. It's perfect for mother's day, too!
It measures approximately 14-18mm though this varies as each is made individually and is quite difficult to get them all the same size. The ring is adjustable.

Very eco - the old books have been reused after having been read and cared for.
It's an amazing gift or accessory for any book lover for autumn, fall or spring. The muted colours make it perfect for those later months when everything's turning orange and brown, and it falls easily in the Under £25 gift price range! Any bookworm would love it.

There is a matching necklace, which you can purchase on this listing, here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/152319229/book-page-flower-necklace-1-inch-flower
(description taken from Peaches and Pebbles Etsy shop)

So, book lovers does it sound like something you're interested in? If so, here's your chance to enter by filling out the rafflecopter details below and of course there are loads of extra entries.

Good Luck! And thanks again to Peaches and Pebbles! 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

{Blog Tour + Giveaway} How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

22716886Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: July 15th, 2014
Finished Date: June 9th, 2014
Publishers: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: YA Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 302
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one…

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young man determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will appeal to the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

The review: How to Date Dead Guys is a really good start to a new series featuring Emma Roberts and her Book of Shadows.
As the synopsis states; Quiet, bookish student – Emma Roberts – finally shows an interest in a boy – Mike Carlson – who just happens to be the brother of her roommates latest beau- Eric - who she watched Chrissy & her sister put a love spell on. She finally has the chance to get to know Mike better on his 21st birthday when he gets smashed and decides to go for a wander, Emma follows him on his adventure but it soon takes a turn for the worst when Mike, decides to go for a swim in the river. The river has taken a few lives over the past few months so Emma decides to join Mike in his night swim in an effort to make sure he gets out alive….. but he doesn’t, he dies and Emma is burdened with guilt. After a particularly nasty encounter with Mike’s mother & brother where they clearly blame Emma, she decides to be pro active and armed with Chrissy’s sisters ‘Book of Shadows’, Emma sets about raising Mike from the dead…… only it’s not Mike that returns…at first…. So it’s up to Emma to put things right and solve the mystery of the rivers victims….. unfortunately, there’s also a pesky cop on her case.
I enjoyed this book and thought the idea behind it was really good. Emma was likable character but a bit of a flake in the beginning, she’s had bad experiences with bullies and hasn’t many friends anyway but that gets even worse following Mikes death and she ends up a very pitiful figure. It was quite heartbreaking watching her bear the burden of a guilt that wasn’t hers and how it affected her, it was horrible when the confrontation with Mike’s loved ones makes her feel even worse and forces her to take desperate measures but this is a turning point for her and as she helps the victims, she becomes empowered in a way by each of them showing her something about herself and themselves, teaching her to live too and it’s then we see her blossom and start to become a more confident person & selfless too.
The storyline was really good and I like a good ghost story that involves people helping them gain some sort of resolution. I used to watch Medium a lot and this book is along those lines with Emma being the only person to see the ‘real’ person beneath the veneer and the only person to help them move on and just as I liked Medium, I like this too and it’s not often I read books like this but when I do, I always enjoy them. The main difference here is that Emma has actually resurrected the spirits into a physical form and I have to say that that did add a certain something to the story because she could interact with them physically too although it was a bit awkward for her to explain the different spirits to people who also interacted with them… but fun too. I liked how each victim got their own little segment of the story and how we find out what happened to them, I also like how Emma interacts with them & then we see Emma help to put things right so they could return to the river. I thought the added threat of the police officer on her tail was good, it added an element of danger, a threat to her mission but I also liked how it turned out. I appreciated that as Emma was sorting others lives out, that her life was getting the same kind of treatment, her parents became more aware of her, she gained some friends that could be way better for her and as I mentioned before – she blossomed in confidence & character. There was one death that wasn’t totally sewn up for me and it leaves me wondering if it will become the series thread but I was very satisfied with the ending and would love to know what happens next for Emma. 
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
I had a lot of beta readers for How to Date Dead Guys. One commented that there was a lot of eating going on in my book.

Perhaps other people don't remember college like I do.
It was all about the food.
Free food, in particular.

A group of female friends would descend upon Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant on a weekly basis for their Free Taco Bar Tuesdays. I'm sure they hated the sight of us Cheapskate Sisters, because we only ever bought ONE margarita each, but ate as many tacos as we could cram into our hungry mouths.

Devious little demons, we were.
Figure 1:  Will Date for Free Food?

I never appreciated Mom's cooking until I endured dorm food for a while. To make money, I took a job working in the same dorm cafeteria (added bonus:  scouring out pots of bean soup really helped me work on my gag reflex). Every time a back room dishwashing shift came up, I'd end up scraping some dead mouse or cockroach off the floor as the other girls screamed. It didn't bother me to dispose of the vermin, but it did put a damper on my appetite for the food served there.

Once I moved out of the dorms, I started grocery shopping. It was fun at first. My cart overflowed with huge bags of animal crackers, boxes of cereal, and cups of yogurt. It was the era of carbo-loading, low-fat or no-fat diet. Nowadays, the medical community is falling all over itself regarding the Atkins diet. The pendulum swings so far back and forth on everything, it's a wonder the doctors and dieticians don't get whiplash.
Figure 2: LOVE this.

If a person really is what they eat, in college I would've been a pretzel.
Or maybe an unbuttered bagel.
Figure 3:  Feel free to giggle.

One college roommate wanted to share orange juice to cut down on costs. But instead of mixing in two cans of water with the OJ concentrate (per the directions), she'd always pour in three. When I complained of the taste, she pretended she had no idea what I was talking about.

Liar. I can tell the difference, you know.

College students are such cheapskates. They haul home weeks of laundry at a time, as if their tired moms don't have better things to do.
Figure 4:  True enough.

And when college students go home for the holidays, they gobble down the free food like they haven't been fed in weeks. Better put a lock on your refrigerator door.
Figure 5:  This is just gross...

From undergrad through vet school, students were lured to meetings with the prize of free pizza, ice cream, or sub sandwiches. I once suffered food poisoning from one of these free sandwiches (so bad that I even called the nurse line to inquire politely how many episodes of vomiting constituted an emergency), but it didn't stop me from lining up for the next free handout.
Figure 6:  Political Activism?

The lure of free food continues on as an adult. Meetings, store openings, political groupseverybody's trying to reach your heart by way of your stomach.

So, in other words, I stand by my decision to let my characters eat. After all, when I think back to college, it was all about the food. Free food, especially.
Figure 7:  Hungry Eyes.

Ann M. NoserAUTHOR BIO:
Growing up an only child, I learned to entertain myself. During summer vacations, my greatest form of exercise consisted of turning the pages of a book. Now I’m all grown up, and full of stories half-written in my head. I have to write them down so I can find out what happens next.

HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS is my first novel.

When I'm not living in my own created fantasy world, I'm a small animal veterinarian and a mother. My writing career began via monthly Pet Vet columns for the local Post Bulletin newspaper. Next I published non-fiction articles in RunMinnesota, the DVM360 journal, and The Wagazine. 

The logical next step was a novel. So here it is. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#84)

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Jess's WoW
18733288
Upside Down
by Lia Riley
Release Date: August 5th, 2014

Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series
New Adult Contemporary Romance

If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

Jess's thoughts:

I found this whilst trolling through netgalley. I like the concept, and I look forward to reading it 1)if  netgalley accepts my request. 2) if they don't, I look forward to it's release. I'm hoping it's as beautiful as it's cover.

Donna's WoW
17928184
Ignite (Defy #2)
by Sara B. Larson
Release Date: January 6th 2015 

Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?
Donna's thoughts: 
 I'm so excited for this book! I loved Defy and I just can't wait for more, and the cover is lovely too! 

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