The Truth About Him, M. O’Keefe

The Truth About Him, M. O’Keefe

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

Well, I loved book one but that cliffhanger…arghh….I hate those.

Anyway this book picks up straight in to that scene and there’s some real action, danger and complications arising from the events that follow. We get to know more of Dylan and Annie, more of the past events that have made them the reserved, complicated people they are. All the while I was wanting their romance to take a step forward, and each time it did it seemed there were even more barriers to complicate things. We see more of the other characters too who become entwined into the story in ways we never imagined. It’s one of those roller coaster romances where you veer from crisis to sort of settled and then back to crisis again. Annie and Dylan have some scorching, sensual, sex scenes and then just when you think its all going well for them the barriers are up from one or the other of them and its a step back again.

There’s so many surprises here. People from both their pasts come forward, the story gets ever more complicated, and just as I thought they’d finally decided to move forward together at the end of book one, it seems they’ve still so much to overcome both on a personal level and via things outside their control. I loved this, loved the way the story was told in snatches, the way we got to know more of the past, the events that shaped them. I want too to know more of Max now, of the wonderful mystery that is Joan, of what will happen to Tiffany and her little family. Future books I hope :-)

A word about price – I have noticed recently kindle reads getting more expensive. This one ( on pre-sale) is just over £7 and the first £6.61, but I can see comments that it was over £8 when first released. That leads readers like myself to wait until prices drop, and surely when new books are chasing the bestsellers lists its a backward step? I’ve bought books that have dropped hugely in price just months after release and I now wait until all parts of a duo or trilogy are out before buying, often there’s a bargain priced bundle to be had! Most readers don’t have money to throw around, and high prices can adversely ( IMO) affect book sales. That’s my rant over ;-)

Stars: Five – a cracking and satisfying finish


ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski From the anthology Red Hot Holidays.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski  From the anthology Red Hot Holidays.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Another bargain book bundle and availablke to preorder now. These are a great way of trying new authors at a price thats good value. Even better all these stories are new, written for this anthology.

I’ve really enjoyed books one and two in JC Andrijeski’s new series Quentin Black Mysteries. ( Black in White and Black as Night). He’s a Seer, and met and employed Miri in the first book. In book two he and Miri are in Bangkok when she’s the victim of another seer and undergoes the most traumatic time. We meet her now just after that, and she’s staying with Black, he’s ultra protective and careful with her after what she’s been through. He seems to feel such guilt over it but she doesn’t blame him, she doesn’t really think about it or anything, she’s just in a kind of blank fog. Its only been a few days back in the States though and he leaves, again, and with only a few hours notice. Miri undergoes a kind of shut down then, blanks everything. I so felt for her, she needed Black. Her friends and ex-work colleagues Nick and Angel are worried for her, but nothing really seems to get through. Black is desperate, she ignores his calls, doesn’t open the gifts he’s been sending, and even moves out of his apartment.

I really felt for them both, Miri needs him there and he’s…well, not there. That’s it. Yet Black is so fixed on her, so wants to be with her I just feel that it must have been something incredibly important to pull him away when he knows he needs her and she him. What though? And will Miri eventually understand? Even though they’re apart its still a very emotional story, and I was just as desperate as Black for Miri to understand, to keep in contact, still want him. He’s an odd man in many ways, but then he’s Seer, older by far and of course their ways are so very different. Its a new world to Miri, she’s still feeling her way in it and drawn though she is to Black she’s still learning so much, and after the traumas she’s been through no wonder she’s feeling fragile and abandoned. their romance seems to take two steps forward and one back all the while, and just when I think there’s some progress something else happens. Can they find their way past this setback?

Stars: Five, its a short read, and usually I don’t do these but it just feels to me like an extra, separate chapter from the last novel. A kind of epilogue.

ARC supplied by author

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On Our Own Terms Adelaide Hipwell

On Our Own Terms  Adelaide Hipwell

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

I like second chance romance and rock band romance so this was a no brainer, and I expected to enjoy it. And I did, but it didn’t quite have that magic spark I was hoping for that makes a five star read for me. Its a well deserved Four though and a story I was drawn into.

One of the things I really liked was that Harriet wasn’t some poor downtrodden waitress/bar tender/shopworker living in squalid conditions etc. waiting to be rescued by the Hero, (they have their place of course but sometimes its good to read about other types). Nope, she was incredibly clever, and had made millions through the sale of her apps technology. Money doesn’t bring happiness though and poor Harriet was devastated, gutted, had all her confidence sapped when her long time boyfriend and business partner is caught cheating…She leaves Australia and goes to stay for a while in LA with her sister and family, the adorable twins, lovely husband and Bitch Face and Sour Puss the pets. Their next door neighbour is none other than grown up teen boy band sensation Ned.

I loved Ned, he was such a gorgeous man, very natural and down to earth. He was tired of all the promo stuff they went through, tired of the hype and the pressure that led to one of the band members to attempt suicide and his feelings of guilt for not doing more. The guys from 4G are still close friends though, and we see all of them here in this book, see them grown up, pursuing other things but those teen pressures still affect them all. Ned’s attracted to Harriet instantly ( I LOVED their meeting where one of the twins was…well, read it!!), but oddly though they are both successful people they each think they’re not good enough for the other – its that old thing that haunts many of us, confidence, do we have what’s needed, can that special someone really want to be with us, when they are surrounded by people more successful, more intelligent, more handsome/beautiful, thinner/better body….nearly everyone has hang-ups about themselves somewhere, and sometimes they play on our minds too much.

They spend more and more time together, we see more of Harriet’s and her sister’s friends and the rest of 4G, and its a fun read. Usual spats with the media – they so annoy me the way they haunt celebrities, intrude on their privacy, but sadly those images sell and that’s why people suffer – why do people want to see private pictures, believe all the lies….? Still, it provides some great plots for the book, and adds that touch of realism that I so need. I really liked Ned and Harriet, thought they were perfect for each other, but they seemed to have not only their own inner voices to overcome but outside pressures too.

Its a story I really enjoyed, and I loved the way the band used their celebrity and the things that had happened to them to support a much needed cause. I spoke about realism earlier – that part felt very genuine, and sadly I can imagine just that happening today. I feel for some of the young celebrities around, surrounded by those who just want to make money from them and aren’t at all concerned about them as people, about their welfare or health. This part of the plot was all too real but Adelaide turns it to the good in the end.

Overall there’s a fabulous blend of romance and humour here with some wonderful one liners and snark, and I really want to read more from Adelaide. Its an excellent start for her writing career with this first novel.


Stars: Four, a terrific first book.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Oxford Whispers, Marion Croslydon






Oxford Whispers, Marion Croslydon

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Paranormal

Well, I’d forgotten this book was on my kindle til browsing through the Kindle Unlimited lists and saw it, and the next book there. So I thought it was about time I read it – I should have read it ages ago, its a fabulous read, well written, good plots and a great mystery to unravel. I’ll be onto book two as soon as I’ve written this review.

I’ve seen reviews comparing this to Deborah Harkness All Souls Trilogy but having read and loved that I can’t really see the comparison myself. Madison in this book is an American in Oxford, the same as Diana from AST, and of course both reads have a paranormal aspect but AST has a huge cast and many different types of Supernaturals whereas OW has a small, tight group of characters and its really only spirits that are the paranormal side. They are both great reads, but IMO very different and to me this is much more like Susannah Kearsley’s stories, another author whose works I enjoy.

I loved the Oxford setting, it was perfect for the story. I felt as if I was there with them. I do enjoy books with a UK setting being a UK resident myslef.

Madison makes for a great lead, with her somewhat chequered background and voodoo heritage that she she wants to ignore. Then she finds that she can’t – the spirits seem to want to come to her and a couple just won’t leave her alone. She has sort of “time slips” where she gets an insight into past events, and so much seems to revolve around three characters in a painting connected to her studies. This brings her into some riveting dangers at the end, and some narrow escapes throughout the book. I was trying to work out the puzzle too as parts unfolded to her, and of course to work out Peter and how he was behind the current events.

Rupert, playboy student, is attracted to Madison right from first sight but she’s been warned about him, his love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation and his current girlfreind situation, and she gives him the cold shoulder. Somehow though Marion gets the two together and their romance begins to grow. It’s a kind of shock to both, Madison is very inexperienced and of course Rupert isn’t used to feeling so much for someone. His father doesn’t approve, her friends and tutor don’t approve, and yet the two somehow seem to move forward slowly together, though not without some serious dramatics and emotional crises. I do love some serious dramas in a story, keeps me interested and I need the emotion that comes with them. I need to feel I’m “in” the story, not just an onlooker and events that happened allowed for just that.

I love the merging of past and present, the telling of a story through a painting, the working out the trails to find the truth, and the way it all leads up to a shocking climax. Its a great read, one for my keepers file and I’m looking forward to the next part (it’s on my kindle now thanks to Kindle Unlimited!)

Stars:Five, a fabulous read with characters both past and present hat feel so very real.



If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.


A Dark & Stormy Knight, Suzie Quint


A Dark & Stormy Knight by Suzie Quint

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

I’d seen some great reviews, love second chance romances and of course cowboys = horses….but this just didn’t work as well for me as I’d hoped.

It was an OK read, some interesting and fun plots but I found it really hard to like Georgia. She just seemed to be one of lifes moaners, and dragged everything round to how it affected her. I just didn’t understand why when she’d known Sol for so long, knew about the world he was involved in, she’d marry him and then decamp just six short weeks later. Why she didn’t talk to him, why she didn’t share her fears…and then we we meet her now its all about her. She thinks her daughter’s best friend’s dad would make a good husband for her even though she just cares for him, doesn’t love him – she never thinks what she could bring to a possible marriage, or how unfair it is to him that she doesn’t love him. She moans about her parents and sister and yet doesn’t do anything constructive to help the situation. She wants Sol to take more parenting decisions, but to only say yes to those she approves of….it almost got to the stage where I felt why on earth was Sol still in love with her.

Sol is a great guy, works hard, a great dad, son and brother and is still puzzled…why did she leave? What can he do to get her back? Their daughter Eden is a gem and made a great link between them. His family were terrific, full of fun, loving and supportive and very close. The ideal family IMO. Georgia loves them too and yet she couldn’t voice her fears to anyone. To me to be honest it all felt like storm in a teacup reasons, and I understood Sol’s reaction when it all came out. Maybe at the time she/they were just too young, too impulsive to adapt if they’d talked but who knows? Still, 12 years have passed and I find it weird that she’s not tried to explain her reasons in the meantime, nor that Sol had pressed her. I mean in the circumstances who wouldn’t say “ look, I know we were young but why did you leave?” Most people would be curious surely. I know he’s a patient guy but even patience wears thin after that long.

Some potentially great plots here, and I loved the ranch and rodeo setting but it just didn’t come through for me. I just couldn’t accept that she was never tempted in those 12 years to talk to him about her fears, that she would rather be alone than risk being with him, that he wouldn’t ask her, demand to know why she left. Just didn’t seem to fit with the people the appeared to be. And…that moustache!! Eurghh. I’m not a fan of face fungus anyway but how anyone can describe the “Tom Selleck” type moustache as sexy, attractive etc. beats me. Nope, not sexy!

Stars: Three, an ok read for me


ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Breaking Hearts, Full Hearts book 4, by M.J.Summers

Breaking Hearts, Full Hearts book 4,   by M.J.Summers

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

I liked the little we saw of Trey in an earlier book, and of course that bombshell, that he was the father of Gabriella’s baby! Now circumstances have changed, and he needs to bring his son home. Out in Brazil he finds its not so easy, he’s no money, no job and the Brazilians want to see proof he can support toddler Tomas before they’ll give permission for him to leave.

Alessandra has been looking after Tomas while completing her Law studies, and agrees to continue to help Trey with him. She knows Tomas will leave soon and wants to spend as much time as she can with him, she’s been his main caregiver and loves the little boy.

Its a great story potentially but somehow it didn’t live up to the promise for me. Its well written, had good plots that expand the main story and yet …I just felt kind of underwhelmed, a bit bored at times, wanting to get to the end and find out what happens rather than enjoying the journey there :-( Trey and Alessandra were a great couple, but at times both seemed so juvenile, so young and stubborn. It wasn’t hard to see what was going to happen and I need to be taken by surprise, not see what’s coming a mile off. Its a good read, just for me not a great one.

Stars: Three, a good read but nothing to get excited about for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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I Do, A.J. Pine

I Do, A.J. Pine

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, New Adult

Well this is part of a series, but each book is complete and can be read as a stand alone. Having said that I’d not read the earlier ones and I think I’d have got more from this if I had. There is brief backstory info given where needed but I just didn’t really get a sense of the people they were and what was important to them as individuals. Clearly they’ve had some issues but are a close group of friends.

Its told from multiple points of view ( seven!) – I like that, but it did mean a lot of jumping from person to person in quite a short novel ( 2330 kindle locations) so there’s no space for really getting into anything in real depth.

What appeals to me about the New Adult genre is the drama and emotion  books usually have but its all very surface based light and fluffy here…and I missed the angst, the sadness, the drama that makes the happy parts all the sweeter.

It’s a fun read though, with a HEA for everyone and some great characters. If you want short, light and fun this is perfect.

Stars: Three, a good read if you’ve followed the series and want a perfect ending for the couples.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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Tell Me You Need Me, Joya Ryan


Tell Me You Need Me,  Joya Ryan 

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

 I’ve loved some of Joya’s novels but this one just didn’t work for me. Having an ARC of this info re length wasn’t available and I didn’t know that it’s a novella at just under 2200 kindle locations. Sadly for me novella’s rarely work. If I know in advance I try to avoid them but this time I didn’t :-( 

Chloe came over as a bit brash and in-your-face to me. I’ve no issues about someone knowing what they want and going for it, but her reasons for avoiding romance seemed just weird, and I didn’t really understand them. Likewise her compulsion to make her mum’s cafe/restaurant a sucess as it was when mum ran it – why? Maybe if the book had been longer I’d have more background and understood her and her motives better. I felt the same about Gage – his intransigence about his job, his refusal to consider that maybe if he could persuade Chloe into a romance, a relationship – which was what he wanted, she’d want more than to be just waiting around for when he decided to return, and be happy when he was off for weeks at a time again was to me just plain selfish

When they are together there are some very erotically charged sex scenes, but to me that’s it, just lust, and I never felt more emotionally between them. Sex is fine in a story – in fact in a good romance I enjoy it, but here I felt it was All the story, that for me there was little else except some hot and sensual sex scenes, and I need a solid story backing them up to enjoy them. I actually skipped many of them, looking for more between Chloe and Gage, looking for some kind of connection, some indications of more. 

Its a short novel anyway, timewise as well as length, only covering a few weeks so I guess that’s again why I didn’t really have the chance to get to know them and what made them the characters they are. Sadly its a book that’s a pass for me, will still look out for more of Joya’s excellent stories but this one hasn’t hit the spot. 

Stars: Two, hot sex but not much else for me.  


ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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A Very Alpha Christmas: Over 25 Paranormal Holiday Tales of Werewolves, Dragons, Shifters, Vampires, Fae, Witches, Billionaires, Magics, Ghosts, Demons and More


As always a terrific value bundle from some very talented writers. Of course with it featuring a novella from one of my favourite series Allie’s War I am biased, but this set is a great way to meet new to you authors and find stories that haven’t yet been published.I’ve read books by some of these authors but others are new to me and I’m looking forward to seeing if they become favourites.

Sometimes these bundles contain previously published stories that you may have read but this time the stories are All New, and a great way to lose a few hours reading something different.

My review of the Allies War story
A Glint of Light ( Allie’s War Christmas Story) J C Andrijeski.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:   Sci-fi and Fantasy.

A novella length book featuring Cassandra and Balidor. Cass has never been a favourite character of mine. I know she had a horrific childhood, that she’s been through some awful traumas over recent years, but though she was Allie’s friend since childhood I always felt she was jealous of Allie, took every opportunity to undermine her confidence, and that she never really acted as a friend or appreciated all that Allie has done for her.
She’s now back with the group after having betrayed them to Shadow with disastrous consequences, and of course in seclusion, under Sight and physical restraints. Balidor seems to think there’s hope for her, that they can bring her back by delving into her psyche, seeking out her past and maybe finding and breaking Shadows hold. To me though Shadow just enhanced what she really felt, she was always jealous of Allie, always selfish, always out to put herself first. She uses people in my opinion and Shadow just built on what was there. Who knows though – maybe Balidor is right, he certainly has a connection with her. Its fascinating seeing how they react to each other and just who is playing who even though I don’t like Cass much. Of course all this is unsanctioned and against protocols set by Balidor himself!
Its a shortish read, interesting and with some trademark JCA sensuality. I just can’t see things the way Balidor does, but he’s got centuries on me and I guess must know best – or is he blinded by his emotions. They’re strong things in Seers. When he’s talking to Jon about why she should be given a chance he says how Revik also has done some horrific killings in his past under Shadow and yet he was brought back. Maybe he’s right and its just my feelings about her personally that shape the way I think. It’ll be interesting to see just how/if things resolve over next book.
Stars: Four. Made me think over the emotional v the logical, and how it influences what we do.

ARC supplied by author

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Dearborn, (Woodland Creek), Jenni Moen.

Dearborn, (Woodland Creek),  Jenni Moen.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

What a fabulous concept, 30 books by different authors centred around the same small village. I’ve looked and – hurrah – some are on Kindle Unlimited, so I’m planning ( when time allows!!) to read more from this collection.

I’d not read anything by Jenni Moen before but this sounded such an interesting plot I wanted to try this one. I did find it slow to start and in that way, the writing style and the way it unfolds it reminds me very much of Charlaine Harris Midnight Crossroads, though the only murders here are the Cluedo variety! Its a gentle story, full of tiny mysteries and hints about what’s coming, so that when things are revealed we’ve an idea what’s going to happen. And then I got surprised when it didn’t work out the way I’d thought :-) but that’s fine, I love the unpredictability of when that happens.

I loved Willow right from the start. She’s got a kind heart and that comes through, where even though she can feel other people’s emotion she still tried to think the best of them. I loved her plans for the house and when it was complete I could visualise those rooms – I’d love to stay there. Quinn too, a lovely man but so traumatised by his experiences he’s in a way scared and yet something draws him to Willow, they complement each other really well. Ryan her diner colleague was a great guy too and had some good lines. Its a very gentle story, no heart stopping romances and dramas, no edge of seat suspense, but a plot that gradually reveals more and more about the people in the village. I savoured the story, its not one to rush through or you miss the tiny elements that add so much to it.

I don’t think its one I’d reread though, but the description of the village and its heritage made me want to read more in the series.

Stars: Four, a tender, mellow story.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.


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