Archive | May 7, 2013

Breaking the Rules Jennifer Lewis.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley

  I love a romance and sometimes you don’t want a full on action and drama one but something gentle and light just to relax with. This book fits that request perfectly. There is some action and drama but its gentle and rather than having leads in danger its more about family, loyalty and loss.

Susana is only 13 and covering for her grandma at the fortune telling booth when in walks handsome sailor Joe. She’s shocked by what’s revealed – she is to be the love of his life. Uncertain how to deal with this she tells him he’ll meet the love of his life that night – and Joe misinterprets her words and marries someone he’s ultimately betrayed by. Bitter and discontented he sees her booth and determines to take her to task. He’s shocked at how he feels on seeing her though and events unfold that risks his happiness and her future.

Joe and Susana were both very “real” feeling people and I understood their cautions. Joe believed in marriage for life and felt desolate at the ending of his, and Susana was struggling with the restrictions of her Romani life and yet as the only family she had she would risk everything – her livelihood and her contact with the aunts, uncles and cousins if she chose to move outside the traditional way of life. With the Romani once a member was out they were forbidden from any contact, a big loss for someone with no other friends or family. Its an interesting concept risking all for love and I felt Jennifer handled it very sympatheticely She didn’t let Susana just throw all to the winds in a blitz of passion, which would have been wrong given the type of person she’s written as but let us share in her fears and how she came to her decision. Its a really enjoyable story – something a bit different from the usual boy meets girl, has a bit of trouble then love ever after. Its good to find something a bit outside the norm, something fresh and unusual. I’m always interested in the whys, the psychology of why people make the decisions they do and using the Romani traditions allowed us to see just how much can be risked for love, and what a huge decision it can be.

Its quite a brief book at 136 pages for £1.99 on kindle, but well written and there’s a lot packed in to such a short book. Stars: four from me – I enjoyed it but as a one off. Its not one I’d re read being a bit too light, although I did find it very enjoyable and interesting.

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Sleeping With The Entity. Cat Devon

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

Vampires and romance – two of my reading triggers 🙂 so its always good to get them both in one book. Daniella thinks she’s like everyone else, just an ordinary human, but what she doesn’t know is there are more things around than just humans. She’s opening a new cupcake shop and goes round to meet owners of local business starting with the delicious Nick St George. Nick is leader of the local vampire clan and thinks her business will attract too many humans and cause trouble for the vampires. He tries to control her mind to believe that she doesn’t want her business there – but he’s astonished and intrigued when he discovers she’s immune to vampire control.

Daniella is a sweet female lead, always trying to help people and blundering round the local vampires, both good and bad, not knowing what they are. With her kind heart she’s trying to help them not knowing that the out of town vampires intend her harm. Nick is drawn to her and she to him, and from the description Cat gives of him who wouldn’t be, dark brooding and exuding sexual charisma – poor Daniella doesn’t stand a chance. . He knows vampires and humans don’t mix well but can’t seem to keep away.

There are some other good characters in the vamps too -Pat the tattooist, and the bitchy Tanya from the tanning salon. All romances benefit from a good bitch and Tanya fits the bill perfectly. There’s a couple of good, spicy sex scenes but nothing overly graphic if you’re offended by that and it fits well in the story line. There’s some fairly light drama running alongside and driving the romance, with a rival gang out for Daniella’s body – literally – believing she’s the subject of an ancient prophecy….and Nick is trying hard to protect her against them. There were some great snappy humorous moments in the dialogue and the characters felt very real. I loved when Daniella was pressing cupcake samples on the vampires and the excuses they came up with 🙂 That side of the story and the basic plot worked well for me. On the downside I think we needed to know more of the leader of the vampires out to get Daniella, he seemed to be a somewhat vague, shadowy threat. One problem I seriously had was when Nick and Pat were in conversation early on about how they as vampires lived, I understand Cat did that to tell reader essential information, but it felt very unreal that they would have had that conversation talking about things they both knew. I think readers could work out for themselves much of what they said from the information given between dialogue and extending that would have worked far better.

Overall it was a well thought out and written book that I enjoyed but a bit light for my keepers file, though I had fun reading it and the ending was wrapped up in a believable way.

Its priced at £4.25 for 336 pages on kindle so a decent length novel which I love – it allows author to go so much deeper than just a surface scratch and lets us really get to “know” the people in the novel.

Stars: 4, a good fun read but not one I’d re read often so not a five star keeper.

Bittersweet Blood. Nina Croft

I received this book free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.

Vampires and Romance, love those books so I was eager to crack on with this one. Since Twilight however, it seems every other book has vampires of some description and some are really trite stories so I’m quite picky about which ones I pick. The sample on this was good so I wanted to see if the rest lived up to the early promise – the quick answer is yes!

Anyway the description covers outline pretty well so I’ll concentrate on how I felt about the book. Firstly the storyline – it was clear that however much Tara wanted to be normal she wasn’t going to turn out that way but I didn’t work out what she was til; the storyline opened it up. Its good to have things that keep you guessing in a book, unpredictability is what keeps us reading and interested. Jamie came as a total shock! Didn’t see that one coming. Christian – and Piers- Vamp hotties, true Alpha males and I enjoyed the testosterone conflicts between them and also the werewolf Carl. Tara makes a good lead too – not easily knocked back despite her upbringing and able to stand up to Christian and Co.

I didn’t work out the ending – that’s good as often its just so obvious, and it didn’t involve the cop out of Tara suddenly developing new powers as so many fantasy books do when its all coming to a head and there’s no clear way out. Its a solidly plotted book, with characters that are realistic (well, as realistic as fantasy characters can be!) there’s sex scenes but its done well and sensual rather than vividly in your face erotic – and who wouldn’t want an encounter with Christian and all that he promises!

The book has a variety of warring creatures among them vampires, demons, werewolves, witches and fae and in order to protect Tara Christian needs to find out who is after her and exactly what she is. She’s come to him in his work capacity as a PI but they quickly develop feelings for each other even when she discovers he’s a 500 year old vampire. If you like romance with a decent plot to back it up and stop it being a sickly love story then this book delivers. I really enjoyed it – will add it to my keepers list for re reading and look out for further books from Nina. The characters in this book and the ethics surrounding Order – the organisation ruling the super-naturals, have plenty of potential for further books and I hope Nina develops this into a series.

Its 246 pages for £2.65 so good value for money esp with the potential for re reads.

Stars – A well deserved four and a half stars from me, almost a five but not quite.

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