Archive | May 5, 2013

Claim Me; Book 2, Stark Trilogy. J Kenner.


ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I reviewed the first in this trilogy and loved it, so was excited to get the second part…now I NEED part three. Its the one thing I hate about trilogies – the waiting for final part but at least J Kenner doesn’t leave us with those awful, horrible, hateful, frustrating, jaw-clenching (can you tell I don’t like them?) cliffhangers but ends at a natural break, making clear what’s coming in next book, but not leaving the poor reader in limbo wondering what the hell is going on. I really really hate that and judging by comments I’m not alone, so I hope more authors follow J Kenner’s way of writing trilogies. This way the suspense is there, the wanting to read next part, but not that drive me up the wall frustration...

Anyway – about this book. Once again I was hooked into Damien and Nikki’s riveting sensual romance. The sexual tension between them screams off the page (well, off the kindle!) and is so well written I felt like a voyeur at times. Its pretty graphic in places but really well written and erotic not stomach churning. Some authors write these scenes well, J Kenner is one, others just make me want to throw up the language is so prissy or repetitive and juvenile.

Nikki’s portrait is almost finished and ready to be shown in an exhibition. As agreed her face is out of vision and she remains anonymous. Well, that’s the plan of course and we all know how well they go… Its a book full of secrets slowly revealed, trust and loyalty. Nikki’s friends Jamie and Ollie feature again, and they have their own problems. Jamie is lovely, scatty, loyal and loving and desperately needing someone strong and steady in her life. Sadly she keeps bed hopping with the wrong people 😦 and is left yet again feeling betrayed. Ollie, well he needs a kick up the ar$e….he’s been great and so supportive with Nikki in the past, but isn’t behaving well now with his blatant jealously and dislike of Damien. Then there’s Damien – he’s such a hero, strong and protective, so used to keeping everything to himself he needs to learn to trust Nikki. His need for control covers every aspect of his life, every little detail and could cause problems with Nikki if he can’t see she needs her own space and choices sometimes. I love Nikki too – a flawed heroine, independent, loyal to her friends and head over heels in love with Damien, though she fears he doesn’t feel as strongly for her. I like that she’s had problems in the past and the topic of her scars and her need for cutting that caused them – it makes her feel so much more real when we can see that even on the surface perfect people have problems too. There’s a lot going on with Damien that she needs to know, but he’s very close with details and fears she might not stay if she knew all. But secrets have a way of creeping out especially when one has enemies and Damien’s are beginning to catch up with him.

The book closes with an intro to what’s coming next, but as I said thankfully no horrible cliffhanger. Nikki and Damien have a hard road to travel and I’m really keen to ride that journey with them – once again the story has me gripped for more.

Its a well written and edited book, priced at £3.99 for 376 pages so will keep readers entertained for hours and as one I’ll re read and will join keepers file its excellent value.


Wife in Name Only. Hayson Manning.

 ARC supplied by Netgalley.

 Sometimes you just want a nice and simple, easy to read romance. This book is just perfect for that. It centres around two characters, Zoe and Rory who were very much in love but as happens sometimes fell apart without really knowing why. Zoe left her workaholic husband and set up a destination honeymoon retreat. She’d been really unhappy living in busy LA with Rory, rarely seeing him and she felt she was losing herself. She loves living on the island, doing what she’s doing but…. the fly in the ointment? A premier honeymoon magazine wants to do a feature on her and Rory believing they’re still madly in love. Rory has his own reasons for agreeing, not least that he’s convinced it’ll just be a few days away and he’ll bring Zoe back with him. He doesn’t see their marriage as over, he thinks Zoe just needed some time alone….he’s in for a shock!

 I liked both Zoe and Rory, that goes along way in how I feel about a book. I understood why Zoe left and felt for her, she still loved Rory as the man she married but he’d become someone else she didn’t like – the hard headed businessman – but knew she couldn’t stay without being really unhappy so took the hard decision to leave. Rory, like so many men, didn’t understand why she left. As far as he was concerned he was building everything for them and he didn’t see just how much he’d changed and how unhappy he was, probably because he was rarely home. Zoe loved the island, loved to make the honeymoon couples happy and loved the islanders. As far as she was concerned she wasn’t ever leaving. So, something had to give between those two if they were going to be reunited and the book does a great job of describing how the events unfold that led to them understanding each other. There’s a sub plot in that Zoe is in danger from someone with a grudge, and also Rory’s business which he’s normally a very hands on boss and with the island having very little in the way of effective outside communication there could be problems there.

 The island descriptions sounded lovely, really relaxing and I’d love to stay somewhere like that. I did have a bit of a problem with the way the islanders were with Zoe – as it often is in fiction there was what seemed to me to be a thread of …how can I describe it? Sort of as if they needed Zoe and her resort, as if they couldn’t be happy, live without her and the employment it brought. They seemed a little too grateful – and yet these places existed long before westerners cam along to commercialise them. Maybe that’s true of places like this, that they do need the outside influence and help but it just jars with me a bit, but really that’s just a personal irritation.

The romance was sweet, as often is it was one step forward and two back, and the sex scenes were pretty steamy 🙂 though not overly graphic if you’re offended by scenes like that. It fitted well within the storyline. Its not got any great drama or exciting plots but just a sweet gentle island romance.

Overall it was a book I enjoyed, but only as a one off – too light for a re read so its a three and half star from me. Its well edited and written – no plot holes. I hate to leave a book wondering “what happened to….” Its priced at £2.63 for 493kb on kindle – no page info but I’d guess around 200-220 pages.

Famously Engaged Robyn Thomas

The premise of this book sounded fun – I like a little light-hearted romance sometimes, something light and fluffy and relaxing to read, and this sounded right on the ball. However I found though the storyline was simple the execution of it wasn’t. I wasn’t entirely sure just why Jake was so interfering, the excuse that Skyla was his half sister didn’t really make up for why he was so over the top in his actions – and why on earth Beth let him in when he turned up on her doorstep one evening, he’s a total stranger and she lives alone! Then there’s the fact for two days they’re almost alone and go around the town, then his security team turn up and they can’t even go in the garden without escort. Yes the engagement had led to media furore, but rather than tone it down they seemed to hype it up – still, I guess without that the story would be a bit flat 🙂

I liked Beth, sweet and friendly and prepared to see good in everyone. Jake I had mixed feelings over to begin, he was affectionate and supportive on one hand and behaved like a jerk at times on others. I understood exactly why Beth was contused over her reactions to him. Then there’s the main problem – Brad. I was prepared to dislike him, and like Jake convinced he must still be in love with Beth, but though their relationship still seemed strange to me I understood it once I knew their history. The characters were great and I felt their emotions and that they were “real”. Shame the bitch queen interviewer didn’t have a larger role – there was an opening here for a good “bad girl/bitch” and she would have been perfect. I do like someone nasty to throw a spanner in a romance – must be my weird side coming out but for me it makes the HEA so much sweeter.

Where the book fell down for me was in the execution of it – I found at times I didn’t know who was speaking, or whether they were actually speaking or just thinking. The usual quote marks were often misplaced and I had to re read some text to make sense of what was being said, and who was saying it. Then there was a problem in that where a page break or even new chapter would have helped, the text just ran on. So for example, I’d go from being in a scene where Jake and Beth were talking to one where the action had moved to another place and yet the text simply continued so it took my brain a while to sort out. Had they moved to another room or had the story line simply left them and gone on to what other characters were doing. Simple stuff, but the book would have flowed better for me and I’d have been less confused if that was sorted.

Overall a good fun romance, a bit short on the downsides – the bit that makes you cry,(my weakness, but what makes for a good romance to me is the contrast between happy and sad parts) but plenty of happy spots. I enjoyed reading it but it won’t go in my keepers file.

Its priced at £2.16 for 466kb – I haven’t page info but based on reading time I’d guess at 120-150 pages.

Stars: if I’d been less confused about who said what and were we were then it’d be a four star but I’m dropping half a star for that so three and half for this book.

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