Monday, 17 April 2017

Rough - Sybil Bartel

Rough Blog Tour, Sybil Bartel

Rough by Sybil Bartel

Jared
I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.
My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had.
When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.
One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.


Purchase:

Purchase book 1:

My Review

I think that the first thing that I should probably admit, is that once I'd picked up Rough, I couldn't put it down. I polished it off in one day, if not quite one sitting. The pace is fast and the book drew me in quickly.

On the whole I liked both Jared and Sienna. The chemistry between them was pretty much instant from the moment they met. As they learn more about each other, they soon discover that this is far more than a passing interest. Both Jared and Sienna have things in their past which make them reluctant to trust. Jared is dealing (and not particularly well, it has to be said) with PTSD. Sienna has been used and lied to by her family and the man that she thought that she might have fallen for. To begin with, neither of them were looking for more.

There are a few things in this book that I've come across in other similar books, but the quality of the writing and the way in which the story unfolded was different enough for that not to matter. I really enjoyed this book and as I said, read it far too quickly.

This post is part of a blog tour, you can find the other blog posts here.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Paradox Forged in Blood - Mary Francis Fisher

I found this book available for review on Netgalley. I'm always interested in a mystery book and one with a historical setting is even more appealing.

Paradox forged in blood by Mary Francis FisherParadox Forged in Blood

A murder on Millionaire’s Row. 
A killer's chilling words, "Shh. I know where you live.” 
A woman tormented by her guilt-ridden past. 

A historical murder mystery, Paradox Forged in Blood is set in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1930s. Four decades after the murder of socialite Louis Sheridan, the cold case is resurrected with receipt of new evidence that transports detectives back to Nazi Germany. The only living witness, Ellen O’Malley, must confront a haunting secret and her complicit actions.

My Review

This book has so much going on. The heart of it is an unsolved mystery. To begin with it seems that the start of the book is just laying the scene for this mystery. In actual fact it's doing more than that. This book doesn't just have one mystery, but a number of them, all interwoven and connected as the story unfolds.

There is so much potential in this book. Unfortunately, to some extent, that potential is also it's undoing. There is so much going on that it's easy to get lost in the multitude of characters and events. Although they all build to a final reveal, it would have possibly been better if some of it had been cut out and trimmed down slightly.

The writing style wasn't completely to my taste. It tended to tell what was going on, rather than allowing the reader to experience the events as they unfolded along side the characters. It meant that at times the book was slow moving and you didn't really feel the connection with the people that you get in other books.

On the whole I enjoyed the story. I do think that with a little careful editing, it could have been much better. Over all though, not at all a bad read. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Wounded Dance - Deanna Roy

A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed the first book in the Lover's Dance series by Deanna Roy; Forbidden Dance. I really enjoyed it, so when I was given the chance to read the second book, Wounded Dance, I jumped at it.

Wounded Dance

For four years, I’ve had a terrible, wonderful, beautiful secret.

But now it’s out.

My brief brush with fame caught the attention of a boy I once loved. He was ripped from my life at a tender age by my father, who moved us and hid me away so that we could not meet again.

Only after he was gone did I learn I was pregnant with his child.

He’s spent years trying to find me.

And now he’s at Dreamcatcher Dance Academy.

He’s going to find our baby, he says. The adoption wasn’t legal since he didn’t know.

He has no idea how close our little girl really is. That I secretly teach her ballet.

He can’t know how important it is that I keep the secret.

But when your boyfriend is Blitz Craven, the reality TV dance show star, the press follows you everywhere.

And no matter how much Blitz wants to protect me from my old love, from the threat he poses to our happy life, there’s one fact I have to face.

My past has caught up with me.

Wounded Dance is book two of the Lovers Dance series. Each book is full length and stands alone, but should be read in series order to avoid spoilers.

My Review

If you read my first review, then you'll know how unimpressed I was with Livia's Father. In this book, his actions and behaviour are shown to be even worse. We learn more about what happened in the past and what lead to the way he kept her locked away from the world. There are a few surprises here and they come quite early in the book. I said before that I'm looking forward to following the rest of the series, as long as it doesn't include a reconciliation with him. After this book, I'm even more adamant on that score. He's a horrible, emotionally abusive man.

The plot of this book had far more to with Livia and her past, than Blitz. He's still there with her every step of the way, and being very supportive, but his story takes a back seat in this book. I suspect that there might be more to come, in future books, that will deal with his fame.

There's still plenty of romance between Livia and Blitz, we also learn about Livia's past love as well. The father of her child. There's a lot going on in this book other than that though, with issues such as teenage pregnancy, lies within families and how people cope with things. I really enjoyed it, even more than the first book, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Du Lac Devil - Mary Anne Yarde

The Du Lac Devil is the second book (third story, when you include the novella, The Pitchfork Rebellion) in the Du Lac Chronicles series. My review of the first book can be found here. I received both free as part of a review tour.

The Du Lac Devil

War is coming to Saxon Briton.



As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.



Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.



Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.



Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war? 

My Review

I couldn't wait to get stuck into the Du Lac Devil, after I had finished The Du La Chronicles and The Pitchfork Rebellion. In both of these stories, the character of Merton had stood out for me and this book is more about him. Merton is in many ways the typical tortured hero, bad boy who is misunderstood, or the victim of his circumstances type of character. I have to admit that I do have a bit of a soft spot for similar characters. There is something about Merton that really draws you to him.

Time has moved on from the first book, Merton has been working as a mercenary, using his talent with a sword to earn money. His only aim is to help keep Alden's kingdom safe. Not only is the money he earns used to rebuild Alden's stronghold, but he is also being blackmailed by Wessex. As long as he keeps paying and spies for him, then Wessex will not attack Cerniw. Wessex is greedy, the more that Merton pays, the more that Wessex wants. 

Merton has found himself doing more and more things that have led him further down the path to become known as the feared Du Lac Devil. Not all that they say about him is true, he hasn't completely sold his soul to the devil, but as far as he is concerned, the more feared that he is the better. 

After finding himself in an impossible position, which he does not expect to get away from alive, Merton makes his way back to his brother Budic's castle, Benwick. Here he finds that Budic's wife and heir have died and that Alden is also there to pay his respects. Danger surrounds the three brothers, but are they able to unite to face it? 

Merton also comes back into contact with his one time sister in law, Lady Amandine. Merton discovers that the feelings between them are far from brother or sisterly. Soon, it becomes clear that she is what he wants and that if he is to have a future, then he wants it to be with her. Amandine returns his love (who wouldn't after all, there is something lovable about him). There is the small problem of her marriage to another man, that stands in the way.

One thing I love about this series is the way that the characters sometimes question themselves and each other. Although Merton and Alden are loyal to one another, they don't just accept that as a given. They always have the possible fear that those that love don't return that loyalty and love completely. I think that this makes it more realistic and the characters more rounded.

I loved this book, just as much, if not more, than the previous book. The story of the Du Lac brothers was gripping and I really can't wait to read what will happen next. I love the historic feel to this book. Of course some of the language may be a little modern, but the joy of writing about a period like this, is that it doesn't matter. The people then spoke very different languages to the ones we speak today, any language would be different to what they spoke, so it doesn't seem out of place. It probably does help that the author is English, so it sounds more natural to my English ear.

I highly recommend this book and this series. If you are going to read it, please start with the first book, it would be a shame to miss the start of the series.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Forbidden Dance - Deanna Roy

Forbidden Dance by Deanna Roy

Forbidden Dance Deanna Roy


Forbidden Dance
Deanna Roy
(Lover’s Dance, #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
She was hidden from the world. Then he arrived.
An emotional new novel from six-time USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy
For four years, I’ve lived in almost total seclusion. Homeschooled, forbidden from social media, seeing no one other than the dancers at Dreamcatcher Academy, where I teach ballet to little girls in wheelchairs.
Then Blitz arrives.
He’s the disgraced host of Dance Blitz, a bawdy reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible while looking for his perfect partner.
At least he was. A few weeks ago, he got kicked off his own show.
He’s at my academy for a publicity stunt, and my wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.
I intend to hate him and stay as far away as possible. But when he looks at me, I can’t resist. Before I realize what’s happened, we’re sneaking into back rooms, dancing, kissing, planning dates away from the cameras and the wrath of my family.
But I’m afraid. I have a secret at the academy, a small, wonderful, terrible secret, and if I stay with Blitz, the world will find out.
____________ 
Forbidden Dance is a full-length standalone HEA, although fans who fall in love with Blitz and Livia can continue the series to follow more of their love story

My Review

Livia has been living with an emotionally abusive father, who has controlled her every movement. Despite the fact that she is 19, she is given less freedom than someone ten years younger would expect to have. Her parents have used the excuse of something that happened four years ago to completely shut down her life and take control. We are frequently told that life used to be different, before the mistake that Livia made, but I suspect either it wasn't that different, or her father just looked for an excuse to become this evil controlling git.

Into this world steps Blitz, disgraced TV personality and star dancer. Blitz and Livia fall for one another almost instantly. Hardly surprising seeing as she has been treated in this way by her father, who wouldn't want to escape. But, is their love destined to last, can they make the change that means that they will be part of one another's life?

I suspect, that if this were real, they would get together quite quickly, as an escape route for someone in Livia's position. I didn't find the idea that she fell in love with him so quickly too far fetched, even if other aspects of the story were. I just don't think that they would stay together long term, particularly as Blitz shows many signs of not being keen to change.

Over all I enjoyed the story, I'm not sure if it had a happily ever after, so much as a happy for the time being. There are more stories in this series and I would be interested to see what comes next. Although, not if it involves her forgiving her father, to be honest.


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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Du Lac Chronicles - Mary Anne Yarde

I received a copy of the Du Lac Chronicles after signing up to review the second book in the series. Thank goodness I did. This is a great series and while I'm sure that the Du Lac Devil could be read alone, I wouldn't want to have missed the start of this series.

The Du Lac Chronicles

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.” So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommended reading age of 16+

My Review

I do have a bit of a thing for historical novels. This is set rather earlier than 'my own' period, it follows the lives of the sons of Lancelot, knight of Arthurian Legend. King Arthur and Lancelot are both long gone, Cerdic of Wessex now rules Arthurs old kingdom and has his sights set on the high kingship. He has invaded the kingdom of Cerniw and taken Alden du Lac, son of Lancelot and King of Cerniew captive. Tourtured and sentenced to death, it seems that there is no escape, but Wessex's daughter, Annis risks everything to save Alden, even though it means giving up the only life she has ever known.

Alden and Annis battle their feelings for one another, whilst fleeing from Wessex and attempting to reach one of Alden's brothers; Budic. Alden needs the support of Budic and the army of Breton, if he is to have any chance of winning his kingdom back. Even if he does manage to regain his previous position, will any of his subjects ever accept a member of the enemy's family as their Queen. Everything seems to be against Annis and Alden, but they cannot help but be drawn together.

I have noticed in other reviews that people have commented that Annis was a little whiny and annoying. To be honest, I think that anyone who had be brought up the way that she has, would be unlikely to be that self assured and would no doubt be quite insecure. Either way, it wasn't something that really irritated me. I liked both Annis and Alden, although Alden's other brother, Merton, stole the show when he appeared.

I did like the way that all of the characters were fairly complex. All of the Du Lac's and Annis had different things to deal with and it was not always obvious how they would react to the situation. I think that in many ways this was a lot more realistic than other books that I've read. Battling their fears and worries made them seem like more rounded and real characters. 

This is described as a young adult novel, something that I would normally ignore. I'm not sure what exactly puts it into that genre, don't let it put you off, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I don't usually go for YA novels. While there is a strong romantic element to this story, there's also a lot more going on. 

I really loved this novel and couldn't wait for the next installment. Fortunately I was able to get hold of the novella; The Pitchfork Rebellion and I already have The Du Lac Devil, book two to read. Review to follow shortly.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Bulletproof Boy by Lorretta Lost

When I read the Fireproof Girl a few weeks ago, I was quite excited about moving onto the second book in the series. Here's my review of the Bulletproof Boy.

The Bulletproof Boy

The Bulletproof boy by Loretta LostFighting his way to the top, Cole Hunter has built the successful architectural firm he dreamed of all his life. But after a recent brush with death, Cole realizes what really matters to him and shifts his priorities. He is furious with the woman he loves for abandoning him, and he is willing to give up everything--his company, his friends, his fame--just to give her a taste of her own medicine. 

But his revenge has unexpected consequences... 



------



A life-threatening journey into the Nevada desert holds many discoveries for Sophie, including an emotional reunion. 
At twenty-seven, she is given the opportunity to meet her biological family for the first time. But an innocent woman has been killed by the same monster who shot her brother, and she feels compelled to help bring her justice. For the first time, Sophie is feeling torn between her separate lives, but when an old enemy gets dangerously close to finding her, no identity or location might be safe any longer...



My Review

Having read the fireproof girl, I had more of an idea what to expect this time around. Although Sophie has been reunited with Cole, they still both face a lot of questions. Who has been trying to kill him? Will Sophie finally get away from the fear and shadow that Benjamin has cast over her life, will Sophie get answers about her family and what happened.

Now that Sophie and Cole have been reunited, they both want to stay together. Cole finds out why Sophie left in the first place and they begin to rebuild their life together. Although they clearly belong together, they are still both a little uncertain how to go about that. 

I really enjoyed this installment. I wasn't completely convinced by the reason that we were given for Cole having been targeted, but I don't think that it detracted from the story overall. Cole and Sophie still have many things to address and questions to have answered. The book is fast paced and keeps you gripped as the story-line unfolds. 

There is still a lot going on in this book and clearly far more to come. This book is left on a bit of a cliffhanger, although it does work in a story as it's own right. I think that it would be better read as part of the series rather than on it's own. I'm really looking forward to the third book in the series.