Archive | December 2013

beg me to slay Lisa Kessler

 

Beg Me To Slay (Entangled Covet)

Beg me to slay Lisa Kessler

 

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

 

I love paranormal romance, and for a change this centred around Demons – with the Demons being the bad guys, and not the hero in disguise, the bad boy just needing True Love! Lisa’s Demon’s are real bad guys, kill gruesomely and we can see how devious they are when Gabe makes a deal with one who’s often his source of info. He’s very, very careful to get the deal hammered out tightly, no loopholes. I liked Gabe, real classic hero, born a demon slayer he’s devoted his life to the job forgoing any personal relationships since his fiancée was killed by demons while he was off chasing another one. Then he meets Tegan, and something sensuous pulls them together right from the start although they both try their hardest to avoid it…. Tegan hasn’t had a relationship since being attacked by a demon disguised as a good looking man at a club. She survived the attack, but carries both physical and mental scars from it. She’s learned self protection since then, thinking it was a man that attacked her. She now runs her own dojo, helping others learn how to look after themselves. Its not til she hires Gabe that she learns about Demons. Convinced he’s talking rubbish when he first tells her about them, she gets a sharp awakening when one appears at her home.

 

I liked Tegan and Gabe, good characters with a simmering sexual tension that they soon gave into, telling each other it was just sex, they didn’t want a relationship – each for their own reasons Hah! Like that ever works 🙂 Anyway the head honcho Demon is out for Tegan, attracted by her blood heritage and Gabe is determined to save her. They get into lots of action, fighting different demons and learning more about each other along the way.

 

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as Lisa’s Moon series. Somehow the plot felt a bit too light and predictable for me, it’s a good read for a one off but not one I’d re read. If you want something easy to read, with romance and steamy sensuality, a bit of light action and a supernatural slant though, its great. Its a good price too at 188 pages for £1.50

 

Stars: three and a half.

 

ARC supplied by Publisher

 

 

Fighting Love (Love to the Extreme)Abby Niles

Fighting Love (Love to the Extreme)

 

Fighting Love (Love to the Extreme)Abby Niles
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I’ve read and enjoyed several now of Abby’s books so picked up this one. At 352 pages its a bit longer than I expected, but for readers like me who go through books quickly longer is always better, so that was a bonus. The thing I love about longer books is they allow the reader to really get into the story and characters. The length on this allowed that perfectly, and I felt I really knew the characters in a way that in a shorter book just wouldn’t have worked. I really felt for Julie, in love since a child with Tommy he just sees her as his best friend. She’s tried to get past it but no-one matches up, so she’s concentrate on her veterinary career and made a success of it. She’s see the way Tommy acts with women, a real poser playboy, with no respect for them, and though she knows he’s more than that she doesn’t want him ever to regard her in that light – it would break her heart and destroy their friendship, so she tries to keep things on an even keel. I can understand why she felt like that – she’s seen it from the outside, but knows he’s another person when he’s with her and wants to keep that.
Then there’s Tommy, he looks on Julie as a sister and best friend all in one. His career hit tops, he let it go to his head, went more OTT and lost it all. Then a fire devastated his home leaving him with nothing, but as always Jules is there ready to step up into the breach. He stays with her for a while, but begins to see she’s not just his old friend Jules but a hot, sexy woman. That comes as a shock to him, but once the idea is in his head he (and his body) can’t forget it. Then one time he slips up, just one kiss changes everything. He knows what he is, thinks he’s going to end up like his mother, flitting from one person to another, that its in his blood and he can’t change. He is determined Jules deserves better. There’s some great humour though, for example when she tries to date another fighter – Tommy has to take a proper look at his motives for behaving the way he does. Jules finds him harder and harder to resist while her feelings for Brad, the fighter she is dating, are more brotherly. The challenge is can Jules and Tommy make a relationship work, they’ve tried unsuccessfully avoiding one, can they be successful at being in one.
Its great story, funny in parts ( Him Indoors kept saying “ what are you smiling at? It must be a funny bit”) but its the sort of humour that comes from a string of events, not one single part that can be explained. I felt for them both at times, though I could have given them both a shake and shouted “ get real. Take a chance!” Its a real mix of humour, love, sex and sensuality, happiness and despair when things go wrong. A tear jerking ending finishes it off nicely. A good read for when you want a nice uncomplicated romance to make you feel good. I really enjoyed it, but probably not one I’d re read though, I tend to need more complex reads for that.
Stars: four.
ARC supplied via publisher

The End of the Line. Jim Power.

The End of the Line

 

The End of the Line. Jim Power.
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
This is a romance, but with so many more themes. The race one of course, but also the issue of the moneyed classes versus those with little, the background of slavery and the battle for human rights, even how people are treated too often by big businesses when they’re injured.
Its not a quick read novel, but one packed with content and odd moments of humour – the dates Latesha arranges for Peter – I loved those! The romance between them that ultimately develops is stuttering, pushed along by Peter despite her reluctance. Oddly to begin we see the race issue from the other side, with her father and the people where she lives, a black community, that have the hatred for Peter because he’s white. Later when his mother hears about them she shows the conventional viewpoint. I’m very anti all discrimination, and find it so odd that someone can be judged on colour, and yet despite the advances in law its still pervades from all sides. In this book though Jim uses the two young people to show how attitudes can change, slowly for some, quicker for others and sadly not at all for too many.
I did feel that some of it was a bit too slick, Peter’s mother for example. I felt she’d have held to her beliefs far longer, and Latesha’s father too. They were so entrenched, so irrational in their hatred of race, that it would take a lot to change their views. I loved the way the story showed how its not just a black v white issue, but that discrimination comes from everywhere, from all sides, and that often white people will help black and black help white simply because its the right thing to do. Even if that help may cost them their lives, and they don’t know the people they are helping.
Stories like that are historically correct, and we need to remember them, when we’re still faced with that awful, creeping, pervading issue of colour. Or any discrimination. As a child I was very dark skinned even though I’m English, and was teased often for my colour. Then with a name like I have now, I’ve seen it from those who assume my family are coloured. At five years old my eldest son who has dark toned skin like myself, lost a friend because the boy’s parents had seen him, learned the name and assumed we were foreign. Horrible thing to happen but its real, and people face it daily. This book shows it so true to life, and is heartening that it also shows hope, that there are people prepared to make changes.
Its an enjoyable read, not one I’d re read, but very realistic apart from the points I mentioned about the parents. I loved the way so many events were woven in, and became integral to the story, the background slave issue and the Door and it’s history, the ballerinas and their love for the tradition it had brought, Peter’s willingness to help for free, and the friends it gradually won round, the way the community slowly pulled together accepting him ( well most of them), Mr Thomas disability and wheelchair use ( I’m a wheelchair user ), the assumed snobbery of the Club when in fact they were very integrated. So much to like in here, but its more a look at life and romance than a heart stopping, furious love story. Its priced at £4.45 for 294 pages.
Stars: four
ARC supplied via author

Magic Academy. Fantasy New Adult Romance. Jillian Keep

Magic Academy (A Fantasy New Adult Romance)

 

Magic Academy. Fantasy New Adult Romance. Jillian Keep
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I liked the sound of this, books around magic and spells can be so much fun so was happy to review it. I’ve mixed feelings though – parts of it, the magic academy, the spells and Firia’s difficulties getting accepted were really fun to read. Like a well written YA novel (this is classed as NA but this part is very much YA in feel) it flowed very neatly, from the start with Firia summoning the demon to her acceptance into the academy, and the life once there. This part was really believable (within the usual constraints of fantasy of course!) The parts I found I was uneasy about were the sexual ones, the demon Varuj, when he first appears is disturbingly demoniacally sexual, but that’s soon over. Then later in the book when Firia first has sex with him there’s lots of “she’s a tight little virgin, and he’s a huge demon” sort of prose, its clear he’s in demonic form, and frankly sounded as if he was going to split her in two! Not sexy, not erotic just eurghh… I’ve nothing against sex in books, in fact I read erotica very often, but so much of the sex here read as if it had been added to a good YA book for the purpose of titillation and reclassifying as NA. It wasn’t sexy, wasn’t erotic, and given that the non sex parts were so good, should have either been left out or written to the standard of the rest. That’s just my opinion of course, not everyone’s 🙂
There’s such a lot left unanswered, that the book feels really unfinished. I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings but this doesn’t really do that, just leaves us with so many odd circumstances and unanswered questions. . I’m not clear whether this is a stand alone or there is more to follow – its certainly got potential for more to come, and it would be interesting to read more of Firia and Varuj at the academy and beyond, especially if the sex scenes were a bit more – well, sexy…. Edit: just read that there is a book two coming.
What bothered me?(apart form those awful sex scenes) Well, there’s the question of Varuj and the lady he seduces…I still don’t know why he did it, and what Firia will feel when she finds out. What’s all that telling her “you’re mine” and making her repeat it, when he’s always told Firia that she was his…fickle when he didn’t seem like a fickle person, and this didn’t seem to serve any purpose. If it was to make Firia jealous why not let her see them, but it’s all kept very close and secretive. Then there’s the question of where he was after he left the academy with Luca to rescue Firia’s dad ( I love Luca – he’s a real gem), he seems to have been in limbo for months? What was he doing? And why? I couldn’t blame Firia for thinking he’d abandoned her, and for getting together with Mae’lin, he’s a really sweet elf, but too kind and gentle in some ways for Firia, she needs someone with fire in his heart, someone with a take charge attitude, who will challenge her and Mae’lin is just too kind and gentle. And what were Bran and Ala’nase thinking at that final trial? Risking all sorts to get Firia out of the way – that just didn’t ring true. Despite what’s happened Alanase is supposed to be Firia’s best friend…and if the past events she’d had recently was still active, attacking Firia was the last thing she’s do. Poor Mae’lin got left in limbo too….it seems a very abrupt ending. Even with a book two coming I don’t like all these unanswered questions. It’s a bargain price though at just 77p for 332 pages.
Stars: three and a half. The non sex parts I’d rate at a five but those awful sex scenes brought it down for me 😦
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Deeper. Blue Ashcroft.

Bargain – currently Free! 29th December 2013. I don’t know how long this offer is for so grab it now

Deeper

ARC provided by Netgalley.

I love romance, and this story is about a troubled romance between two young people, Rain is 19 and Knight 22. They both have shadowed pasts, Rain believing she was responsible for the death of her boyfriend in a water park accident, and Knight believes he wasn’t enough to make his girlfriend want to live. They meet when Rain takes a supervisors job at the pool Knight works at.
It begins with a hot sea scene where Knight is heavily attracted to Rain, doesn’t know who she is and kisses her senseless….she’s caught by surprise, and when he learns her name he’s the one surprised and they get off to a very bad start. Still, the attraction between them swivels back and forth, with Rain holding back because of a pledge to not love or have sex, her way to make amends for her boyfriends death. She’s obsessed about the safety of others, often putting herself in danger. Knight hasn’t wanted anything other than meaningless sex since his girlfriend died four years ago, but the pull of Rain to him can’t be denied. They struggle with feelings that they don’t want to give in to, meet sort of halfway in a strange relationship that Rain convinces herself will be OK and true to her pledge. However Knight then struggles with her safety, feeling he wasn’t enough for Camille he gets upset when Rain – he thinks – blatantly disregards his feelings about her safety.
There’s lots of tension, both sexual and other, like when he tries to stop Rain doing something for one reason, and she sees it as sexual discrimination and rebels…Its a relationship fraught with danger, tension, hot searing makeout sessions, and anger and breakups. I really felt for them both, a great couple with a special attraction, but until they could get on and put the past behind them where it belonged, they were going to stay on that unhappy see-saw of on/off relationship. There were some scenes such as the party one where Rains friend Amy either has too much alcohol, or a spiked drink, and can’t stop one of the other lifeguards from going too far. She’s saying no but he’s not listening, Rain tries to intervene and gets caught up in it by the other boy with them. It had started as just chatting and good company, but shows how quickly situations become dangerous, and how people we think can be trusted can’t always. Luckily Knight is around to put a stop, but its a situation that’s seen so many times with people thinking a girl saying No doesn’t really mean it 😦 Its sad but reality that things like this happen. In contrast there are times when the gang of guards get together and we see how in the main they are a great bunch, supportive of each other, understanding of problems and just being a great bunch of young adults.
Eventually Knight decides he wants to begin a proper relationship with Rain, accepting his past and hers, and that she will always need to concern herself with others safety. He’s convinced they can find a middle ground between them if they work at it, and that will allow them both to feel comfortable with each others feelings. He knows he loves her and believes she loves him, but he can’t work out how to persuade her that the pledge she made isn’t fair to herself. Help and advice comes from a most unexpected quarter 🙂 That was a really nice touch.
There’s some sensual, sexy make-out scenes but no graphic sex here, its a romance that concentrates more on characters and solutions to problems, makes us look at why people act as they do. Rain may have come off as Ice queen with her no sex rule, and Knight as shallow with him not going in for permanent relationships, just casual hookups but in reality they were both very different from that, and their attitudes and behaviours were shaped by past events. I enjoyed this book, I like novels that don’t just focus on actions and surface emotions, but go deeper. (ha! Pun on title and I didn’t even intend it )
Priced at £2.67 for 357KB/162 pages it’s on the upper range for the genre. I enjoyed it as a one off read, but it wasn’t one I’d re read so not one for keeping. I think maybe if we’d known more about them, their hopes for future, pasts other than the tragedies, their families etc I could have engaged with them more. At times I was incredibly frustrated with Rain, though I sort of understood where she was coming from I didn’t agree with it. She didn’t seem to have uncaring parents so you’d think she’s have been more in contact with them, and they’d help her see how unnecessary her pledge was. Knight – well, he seemed an Island for we didn’t get to meet any of his family, and few of his friends, and yet he’d been part of this group since school so it made me wonder why he didn’t have help from some of them.
Stars: Its a difficult one to rate, I enjoyed parts, but was annoyed at them both at times and never felt totally gripped by the book, so though its better than just a 3 star OK I can’t go to a four star, so its three and a half from me. Maybe readers within the age group of the character will get more appeal from this book.

Blood Unleashed. Book 3 of the Blood Stone series. Tracy Cooper-Posey

Blood Unleashed (Blood Stone)

 

Blood Unleashed. Book 3 of the Blood Stone series. Tracy Cooper-Posey
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I’ve read several of Tracy’s novels now, and they share a common theme of paranormal and m/m/f ménage. Its done in a sensual, seductive way though, and not the tacky, cringing, stomach churning ways too many authors write scenes like these. It takes a special talent to gradually get the reader so involved with the characters that they feel real, and when things go wrong you want to cry for them, hoping for something to go right. Tracy’s people too usually start out with some kind of dislike or suspicion of the one they’ll eventually partner with. Its clever stuff how she makes all that so believable.
Anyway, that’s general substance I’ve found from her books that I’ve read overall but this one – and this series – is pretty complex. Thankfully there’s a compendium of who’s who and how they fit in the story, which is useful because by now there’s a pretty complex cast, and I did need to refer back a time or two. The plot began fairly simply in book one, expanded in book two and by now has become deeply solid, with the romances and side plots all slowly solidifying into the main story. I really enjoyed the way its all come together, and in fact as I’ve learned more its made the earlier books clearer. Now I’ve all three and know the story, at some point I’ll re read them all. I like to do that with series, reading back to back while each still fresh in my mind brings out another side to them, and I really enjoy that. Complex novels like this also have so much that could be missed on first reading, when you’re still coming to grips with the story that’s unfolding, and second readings bring out those sections.
As always a cracking story, with all the scenes from earlier novels coming into play alongside the romance between Marcus, Illaria and Rick. That’s some hot and steamy sections, and they work well with each person bringing out facets of the other two that’s needed. Its a kind of trust thing too – they all have the skills needed to prevent the disaster threatened, but they need to learn to trust and work together, and the romances have engendered that.
Each of these novels is quite long, some solid reading in them, this one is a huge 436 pages for £3.14, so a real bargain. Though the romance part could be read as a standalone I wouldn’t recommend it, the overall plot spans all three novels and they are best read in order.
Stars: five – definitely a keeper series. .
ARC supplied via Netgalley

21-Day Tummy. The Revolutionary Diet that Shrinks and Soothes Any Belly Fast. Liz Vaccariello with Kate Scarlata.

 

21-Day Tummy. The Revolutionary Diet that Shrinks and Soothes Any Belly Fast. Liz Vaccariello with Kate Scarlata.
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.
quite an apt post christmas book!!
Like so many people I’m always conscious of my weight and especially my tummy 😦 Now I’m a wheelchair user that’s even more noticeable, so this book had me hooked just from the title! I’m reading it on kindle though – I love my kindle but have learned that some books such as this one are simply better in traditional format, where its easier to flick through and browse for what interests you.
Its packed with useful information on many common ailments – those where we’re not always ill, but where the effects of diet make us feel below par. Of course there’s practical tips too for those who have problems such as arthritis, diabetes, irritable bowel, indigestion, all the illnesses that can be helped by a proper diet. Our portions have increased vastly over the years from what we actually need to eat, and add to that the way we eat so much processed food its no wonder our stomach and health is so often suffering.
I found it really interesting reading. I like to think I’m quite aware of food and the healthy eating we need and yet…there were issues that hadn’t occurred to m,e and were good to know. The recipes were practical and easy to follow even for a Brit reader – I love the US way of weighing using cups – though a stick of butter…. ? that needs looking up, likewise some foods: arugula, scallions, cilantro – google is my friend for telling what the UK name is 🙂 Added to that there are some simple, easy to follow exercises that can be fitted into everyday life. Again some like the walking/standing ones are out for me, but the sitting/lying ones I’ll certainly try. After Xmas of course!! Jan always signals my resolve to get more healthy and maybe this year with the help of this book I’ll actually do it!
All in all this is a really useful book for people looking to make the best of their bodies, to help them run at maximum efficiency and to make us not only look slimmer but to be slimmer.
Stars: five. Excellent all round book, though buy the traditional format rather than ebook for easiest research .

ARC supplied via Netgalley

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan. Jessica Sorensen

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (Ella and Micha)

 

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan. Jessica Sorensen

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Well, in spite of being lost past that age group I do love to read some NA contemporary romance, because its usually full of the strong drama and emotion that I love. I’d met Lila and Ethan in other JS novels of course, so was keen to read their story. Sadly though for a huge swath of the first half Lila just seemed so…whiny. Real “poor little rich girl” syndrome. I get that she had a horrific past, awful parents, no support after what happened to her – in fact the opposite of what she needed from her family but…the constant mulling over and over and over the past in her head, and the sluttiness of her behaviour came as a shock. The drug addiction too – I’m sure it would be far harder to defeat after all those years, than the simplistic way it was overcome in the book. Overall she didn’t seem the same person I’d been reading about before. Similar difficulty with Ethan, I knew he had problems in his past, and it was good to understand some of his history but London? She came out of the left field, we’d never heard of her before and yet she was such an important part of his past and he wasn’t sure if he still was in love with her….It seemed she was there just to add some drama, if she’d been that important how come no-one had mentioned her before?
So, that’s the bits I struggled with – what did I like? Well, it’s a typical JS novel, well written and easy to read, with characters and problems that feel real and happen in everyday life. A story about love lost and found, about overcoming problems and moving forward with life. It did have lots of drama and emotion – just not very strong – it kind of felt a bit one paced to me. I like to be on edge of seat wondering what will happen, but this book it felt really like I knew what was going to be. That’s why the lower star rating, its an excellent read, just didn’t have the pathos, the giddy joy, the surprise factor I’d expected.
Stars: three and a half.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Tegan’s Power. L.H.Cosway

Tegan's Power (The Ultimate Power Series #4)

Tegan’s Power. L.H.Cosway

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

Well, it seems ages since I read the first book in the series – one of my free bargains from trawling the daily free books lists. ( Authors – if you wonder if that works – it does! I’ve loads of series now and individual books, where getting a free one has me hooked on an author or series. In this case I’ve bought every L.H.Cosway book since, apart from this ARC. I loved her contemporary romances too )

So finally we’re at the end of what’s been a well written, fast paced, very reasonably priced series. (This one is £2.45 for 265 pages) I’m pleased to know how it all turns out and yet – as always with a loved series – I’m sad to see the end. Still, I’m one of those people who love to re read books, so I can go through the whole series again, back to back, no waiting for next book! By far the best way to enjoy them IMO.

So, when we left Tegan and Ethan the city of Tribune was in crisis, Ethan had taken Tegan’s blood as he was so badly injured and yet needed to fight, and everyone was wondering just what he was going to do now he’s become Superpower Ethan. He doesn’t want to rule the city, but does want peace, and as a natural interim leader he and Tegan are furiously planning with the others how to deal with Theodore. Tegan is still recovering from donating such a lot of blood to Ethan, Finn and his gang are in a place of suspension, not knowing what to do or what will happen, the humans have become aware – and terrified – of the fact there are super-naturals living among them and then it’s discovered that a magic barrier has been erected round the city so no-one can leave. Crisis time! They need to find and kill Theodore before he devastates the city and its inhabitants even more. It’s crisis after crisis after crisis…

There’s some time to breathe between each crisis though – and we get to see small, daily life distractions and events where even though the city is in crisis daily life still needs to function in some way. I loved seeing things from Finns POV too. That worked well for me, I’ve always liked Finn, Ethan of course is the one for Tegan, but Finn – well we can’t help liking him too. Seeing things from his perspective put a different slant to some of his actions in the past, and it was interesting seeing him assess and regroup after the latest disaster. He’s reluctantly joined up with the vamps, and thinking back to his blind hatred of them at the start, we can see just what a learning curve the journey since then has been for them all. I loved Allora too – and was pleased for Finn finding someone new.

Its a great finish, wraps up all the lose ends in a neat and satisfactory way. I wasn’t left wondering “ but what about….” as everything was neatly brought together, or fell into place at the appropriate time. I’ve really, really enjoyed this series and I’m so pleased that even though this one is complete L.H has plans for a look at the city in the future 🙂 I look forward to that.

Stars: five.

ARC supplied via Author

The Dom Project. Heloise Belleau, Solace Ames

 

The Dom Project (LA Doms)

 

 

The Dom Project. Heloise Belleau, Solace Ames
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I liked the sound of this even though its shorter than I usually choose. Its a great read, and I so wish it was longer – the story-line had so many interesting plots it certainly could have been expanded IMO – but then, there’s a huge market for shorter books, today people have so little free time they seem to suit many readers, just not me 😦
Anyway – Robin, she’s a sweetheart. I liked her go and get it attitude, loved the humour in her blog and felt like she was someone I’d be happy to befriend. John- well, six foot plus of sex is how he reads. I didn’t really get to understand him personality wise, except that he was a very amiable, go with the flow, laid back kind of guy, and I think what developed between him and Robin was as much a surprise to him as it was to her.
I loved the plots here – the transition from friends to teacher and pupil to…the work issues Robin is having, then there’s the whole Dpm/sub/pleasure from pain angle. Its not something I really understand but feel there’s so often a huge psychological aspect behind the need for pain. At least in the characters from the novels I read – real life – I’ve no idea? Then there’s Robin’s blog – that’s so apt with people blogging ect. ( I do! But never anonymously) about all sorts of things, and living their life out in social networks. Inevitably jealousies creep in, and under cover of anonymity there can be some really despicable bullying going on – its another example of how the Law needs to catch up with technology. All things to think about alongside the developing relationship between Robin and John, and when they are together – well, some hot scenes..I felt there was enough drama and sadness for me too – I need that to balance the happy parts.
So a book that for me had so much to offer, and was well written and a treat to read. I did wish it was longer of course 🙂 but at £1.93 for 157 pages is very reasonably priced.
Stars: four and a half.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.

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