Dark Oil. Nora James.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.
I love romance but it needs to have a good backing story, and Dark Oil does that. Right from the start I could feel that Jack was someone special, the way he was described meant he was sensually attractive, and one of those people who easily catch the eye – and then to top it he was such a – well nice seems too bland… – caring, funny, genuine…person. He goes out of his way to help Lara when they’re sent to Africa, telling her all the basic warnings her boss should have done. Martin already has a grudge against Jack, and tells Lara he’s a womaniser and not to be trusted. Yet its Jack who helps her, Jack who looks out for her safety and who’s given her all the info Martin should have. Martin is just a typical arrogant boss, concerned with results only, and rude to anyone he considers beneath him. He’s sees Lara as an unnecessary person thrust upon him, and makes it clear to her how he feels. So Africa isn’t a fun place, and that’s before they get caught in the drama of a third world country. She gets closer to Jack, can’t help notice the simmering attraction that sizzles between them, but is worried about Tim. He seemed – odd, not his usual self – before she left, and she can’t help but worry she’s missing something – thoughts of him and other women flit through her head but she tells herself she’s being silly…then she arrives home and finds him with another woman..
She’s now got a marriage problem to sort, the position with her job and Africa still is in the balance, her mum is still sick and waiting for results from more tests, and she can’t get her mind off Jack, although there was nothing more than conversation and unwritten attraction between them. She’s also concerned that he’s a marriage breaker – Martin said he’d destroyed his marriage by having an affair with his wife, and after Tim’s betrayal she’s not going to do that either. So they dance around, two lonely people attracted to each other, and the problems at work then throw them together once again…
Its a great love story, full of simmering sexual tension and smouldering glances. You wont get out and out sex scenes here, but the way simple glances and touches are written you won’t miss them. The romance is set perfectly within the story, and I really enjoyed the highs and lows of it all. I like contrast- happiness then tears, tears then happiness – that’s my idea of a great romance book. Got it all here. It’s priced at £2.64 for 216 pages/437 kb so good value for money.
Stars: loved it – four and a half.
Shadowed Rebecca Zanetti.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.
My first Rebecca Zanetti read, and it definitely won’t be my last! This was a great fun, fast paced novel. I need to empathise with and understand characters to enjoy a book, and Brenna caught me straight off. She was just one of those really likeable people, one you want to hug and to know that she was dying from a poisoning when she should be long lived as a witch – well hats so unfair. Then we meet Jase, one of the Kayrs brothers. Wow they’re all very delicious, yummy, sexy vampires and Jase has that broody Alpha male thing that’s so appealing, – and he has a soft side that is attracted to Brenna. He tells himself he’s mating with her to save her life, she’s a sweet, kind person and deserves that, and as he’s no intent to find love and a mate otherwise its straightforward – well at least it gives her a chance at survival, and he may gain some of his powers back too. Bonus all round. Of course we can see that there’s more than just practicality on both sides, that the strong attraction that sears between them is more than just physical, but neither are preprepared to recognise that yet. Brenna wants the chance to live so accepts his offer, hoping she can keep her heart intact, she knows that he’s determined to wipe out the demons who imprisoned and tortured him for five years, and nothing, not even a mate, will stop him. She mustn’t fall in love, that way lies heartbreak.
There’s some discussions between everyone – poor Brenna, it felt like everyone had a right to know her personal history and I really felt for her, but it was simply that they cared for her and wanted the best for her. Anyway Jase gets his way and as there are then threats on Brenna’s life from other directions, they move swiftly to the Kayrs base in USA where his brother is king of the vampires. But the danger follows Brenna, and some of her new family are also targeted. Add in a kidnapping of someone else, threats, break-ins to the stronghold where they all live, and its all action. We’re never quite sure which faction is behind things, so its hard for the Kayrs to plan a strategy for protection or a rescue. Its not just which group, but where they will attack and when and where they will take any prisoners. In the midst of all the action too there’s the contrast where Brenna starts to fall for Jase and he for her, though he still doesn’t recognise it, but stubborn man that he is he does agree to try harder on a proper relationship for her, but when the chips are down ….well, I really felt for poor Brenna then.
Janie, one of her new family who is human but with strong seer type powers is a really interesting character, especially as she’s got that blood tie to two others that were childhood friends but are now enemies of the vampires…that’s going to make for a good storyline in a future book I hope.
Its a fast paced, action packed novel with a strong thread of romance running through – I love those. The characters were great, well described so I felt I knew them and their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the scenes set for plots surrounding further novels involving the Kayrs family. I’m looking forward to those! Priced at £3.72 for 90,000 words it’s good value and is a keeper novel for me.
Stars: almost the five, four and a half.
DEAD SEXY. Paige Tyler.
Arc provided via Netgalley.
Well, I’ve put off reading books that feature zombies, – but as I did the same with vampires and now love them I thought it was time to take the plunge! Sadly I wish I hadn’t. The book is OK, sweet romance but somehow the zombie part just wasn’t a turn on, zombies just aren’t sexy even if only part time.
I like the idea of Drake becoming a better man, and leaving the high finance world behind to become a book editor, but for me it would have worked better without the zombie method but some other reason…don’t know what though – that’s why I’m not a writer, I can never work out things like that, only what I like and don’t like to read 🙂 Anyway he meets up with romance author Simone and they quickly get into a steamy relationship. But she doesn’t know about the curse, and he’s always worried about turning zombie unexpectedly. Then after a few dates, and some hot, steamy sex the novel gets into action mode, and they’re facing attacks by zombie’s directed by the Voodoo woman that gave him the curse. Sadly none of this worked for me, it just didn’t feel right. The action wasn’t edge of seat but felt forced, the solutions just too slick, it all felt almost formulaic. ( ah, put in a barrier, something they have to overcome together and here’s the solution – bam, end of problem..) Simone’s quick acceptance after a brief period of his problems was too easy, most people would have backed away screaming for ages, but she considers for a short while and comes out smiling. She doesn’t seem to have many questions about it either?
Drake – apart from the fact he’d been stuck at home we didn’t really have any reason given why he’d changed. He was such an obnoxious person I don’t see that being stuck at home would have changed him, he’d just have been a home based prig, not a work based one. Would turning zombie make him into the Mr nice guy he’d become? Or just a resentful, obnoxious person – that’s more likely IMO.
It’s an OK romance, nothing really wrong, but the story for me was unexciting, and the meshing of romance and zombie’s didn’t work 😦 but as ever this is a personal view of course. The sex scenes were well done, but as the overall story didn’t grip me I really just glossed over those. I need a good story to make sex work, and this wasn’t one for me. Priced at just 77p for 288 pages/534 kb, its good value if you like this sort of novel and feel you can get past the bits I didn’t like. Fortunately we all have different tastes in reading. .
Stars: sorry, just two from me, not my sort of read.