Holding Out for a Hero. Amy Andrews.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
Well, this author is new to me so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a decent romance, which I expected, and also a really funny quirky side story involving batty aunts, politics, news media and scandals, a heroic rugby school team – very David and Goliath – and a crew of rescued dogs. That was just great and added so much more to the book than just a simple romance. There was pathos and emotion here form so many angles, along with the Good Guys winning through – I just love that feeling of satisfaction when that happens. Oh – and Rugby, I’m UK and from the terminology I think that the game referred to ? This book is Australian based so as with US book there a UK language divide so apologies now if I’ve got anything wrong in translation!
I loved Ella – though at times wanted to shake some sense into here. I understood exactly about trying to make your won way and not be known purely from your background – its typical small town village gossip we have here in UK. We’re always someone’s mum, daughter, employee, wife rather than our own person and in Ella case it became a brush she was tarred with that had a huge effect on her. Rosie and the aunts – what great personalities – I’d love to have/to be an aunt like them. The family they created was so full of unjudging support and just what Ella, Rosie and Cam needed. Then there’s Simon, someone at opposite end of spectrum and yet also being judged by his familys actions – and the wonderful sexy hot Jake….swoon.
This book is so full of things I don’t know where to start – the romance – yep, its hot, both Ella’s and Rosie’s…emotion for the school position, the kids that need help, the ones like Pete that have had it, the dogs that need homes, its an incredible book full of different plots that all tie in together wonderfully – and again, hot, steamy, erotic sex…it gives us the worst and best of human nature and pulls together into a humorous, sweet, HEA romantic novel. Priced at £244 for 264 pages/965kb its excellent value and one to re read when you want tot laugh and cry in the same book.
The Gate. Dark Path Series Book 1. KT Grant
Arc received via Netgalley.
I was looking forward to reading this book, the author mentions being inspired by Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series which I love. Sadly Soren and Kingsley would have a fit at some of the BDSM practices in this novel.
Anyway, as the book description says the story centres around Erika, Chris and Max mainly. I liked Erika to a degree, she was very open and innocent but sometimes she was just too innocent and its hard to believe anyone could get to nearly thirty and have the juvenile innocence that she shows at times. Then she meets Max and all that gets thrown away? While being annoyed that he holds secrets, and Chris her long held crush, gets thrown by the wayside and he’s keeping secrets too – about Max but I suspect he’s skewed the truth because of his personal grudge. In all none of these characters were really ones to love, and I couldn’t really get on-board and emotional about what happened to them, I felt detached really from the story.
The club – well as I said Soren and Kingsley would be ashamed…the first time its mentioned I think is when ?Max goes in one evening and there’s a line something like “the familiar smell of sweat and sex” eurgghh. There shouldn’t be any unsavoury smells but then when we’re later told someone picks up a towel to wipe a seat in case there’s anything unsavoury on it, ditto the floor which is described as sticky with semen stains and other fluids…..well I just was totally put off. The BDSM practices as a whole were nothing like the well organised ones of K & S Underground – 8th Circle, but seemed to be done on an ad hoc basis with very little discipline. That really meant the sex scenes were less erotic that they could have been, Tiffany manages to make whips, straps and chains sexy, sadly here they were the opposite for me.
So overall I didn’t gel really well with this book, didn’t really bother that much about the characters as I didn’t really understand or like them much. There is a follow up book, and the story had enough interest in that I might read it – I do want to see where the story is going, clearly despite my thinking I didn’t enjoy the book it had enough to lure me into book two. That looks to have more drama in it, with some of the secrets being revealed, and given what we’ve learned and the characters public positions that could be an interesting storyline and make it a better book that this one.
Stars: well, I did like parts, and am curious about what happens next so two and a half- to three. Its kind of more than didn’t like but a bit less than OK
First Bite. The Dark Wolf Series. Dani Harper
Arc supplied via Netgalley
I love paranormal romance so went into this book eagerly. Its starts with Travis rescuing Neva and assuming she knows what she is. After some bickering and misunderstandings he starts to discover that whoever she’s escaping from isn’t good. He’s known about Changeling Law all his life though and finds it hard to believe things are as bad as Neva says. He’s a good man, I like him – it was clear he had some secret, some reason he was lone wolf, but he wasn’t telling Neva about it and his plans at first were to teach her enough to live and then let her go. His wolf though… he had other plans. Anyway before they manage to do much Travis discovers people/changelings after them and after a few close calls realises that its Neva they want and not him. Then he learns she hasn’t been exaggerating and that her past is dark and deadly, and Meredith with stop at nothing, certainly not at killing a few people , to get her back.
I liked Neva too, moral and resourceful, she was determined not to get drawn into Meredith’s cruel games, but was risking her life trying to escape. She’d rather do that though that fall back to murdering on Meredith’s command. Her wolf wants Travis too and though she’s new, she helps Neva immensely. I could empathise with Neva. She’s a good person trying to avoid being forced to do evil even though she risks her life. She’s a great heroine, and excellent Mate for Travis even if neither realises it at first.
There’s not a lot of sex here, but there is lots of sexual tension between Travis and Neva and when they do get together sparks definitely fly! Its hot and steamy, very sensual and meaningful. The novel is a good mix of romance and adventure, but my main criticism is that there was too much use of magic as a get out. I struggle with books that do that – I love the addition of magic, but when its always the quick fix answer or escape then it just seems to detract from the suspense of a novel. I like it when the plot uses existing skills, and there was much of that here, just that little tendency to take what I see as a quick fix that’s less satisfying for the reader. I did feel after all the hype and adventure the Meredith finale was a little underwhelming… Despite those crits though I’d happily read more of this series, and look forward to seeing where it goes next. Hopefully we get to meet some of Travis pack, that should be entertaining. It’s priced at £3.99 for 281 pages/1719kb. Good start to a new series.
The Deadly Series Boxed Set. Jaycee Clark.
Well, there’s been a number of boxed sets released recently, usually different authors which is great for trying new ones, but this is the entire series from Jaycee about her wonderful Kinncaid family, Each book is a stand alone, but the men feature in multiple books so its like reading about friends. It is romance, but romance with a gripping, adventurous, suspense side factored in. Its not a sickly, sweet man+meets+woman=they live happy ever after. They do get their happy ending, but via a twisting, torturous, enthralling route which takes them through danger, heartbreak and misunderstandings.
The books are best read in order to follow how they develop, that way its easier to work out who is who and how they fit together. The titles are Deadly Shadows, Deadly Ties, Deadly Obsession, Deadly Games, and Deadly Secrets, and as you can see the danger element via the use of deadly in the title gives a strong hint as to the sort of action contained in them. If you’re a lover of suspense novels don’t sit and read for 20 mins, thinking you can then put the book down and get on with something else – you can’t, you’ll be gripped by the story. For me suspense is a secondary factor to the enjoyment, I enjoyed these very much but I needed to read other different genre novels between them, I can’t take back to back suspense in the same way as I can back to back paranormal for instance. Its just how I am, fortunately everyone likes different things so we get a range of novels. If suspense and thrillers are your main reading (as they were mine a few years back ) then you’ll probably enjoy a whole series to read on one fell swoop. Its going to take a while though, as they are full sized novels. I don’t have length info but six full sized books for £6.37 has to be terrific value.
NB: ARC supplied via Netgalley