Archive | December 2013

Forgotten Sins. Rebecca Zanetti

 

Forgotten Sins

Forgotten Sins. Rebecca Zanetti

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
This is a romance full of sensual, carnal eroticism and laced with full on action. Its starts when Josie is called into hospital to find her husband there after an attack – the person that left without a word two years ago and is now back, but has no memory of anything. Not her, not where he’s come from or going, not his past or even their marriage, brief though it was. He’s an enigma and though her friend Tom warns her not to trust him she can’t just leave him like that. Tom of course is biased, they’re friends but he hoped after her divorce that they would be more than that! She’s still sensuously attracted to Shane, and takes him home unable to just leave him when he’s so in need.
She’s built a new life though since he left, put the heartbreak behind her and wants a divorce – then the minute she sets eyes on him all those old feelings come rushing back. She’s torn though, can she trust him, what has he been doing? She needs answers and he can’t give them. He always was very careful with information – their meeting and marriage were very brief, only months in total, so really he’s still a stranger to her in so many ways. Add to that the fact someone is clearly after him, thus his stop via the hospital after a mugging, then it seems Josie is in danger too. The more secrets come out the more she ( and I ) realise there is still so much to know.
Its a riveting suspenseful, read, and I got to the point where I really wasn’t sure what was happening and where the story was going. Totally had me 🙂 But Shane, sex on legs, well who couldn’t trust him, he was annoyingly macho at times but would be proved right each time, so his protectiveness couldn’t really be faulted. Josie, I understood her need to move on, she thought she had a family at last, what she’d always wanted after being alone all her life, but then he left and she wasn’t opening herself up to that again. The brothers…well, they were fabulous too and the whole worked well to provide a romance with some edge of seat suspense. Bargain price at just £1.49 for 384 pages!
Stars: four.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.

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Broken Prince Aubrey Rose. Bargain at just 77 pence!

 

Broken Prince: A New Adult Romance Novel

Broken Prince Aubrey Rose.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

Well, I loved Me, Cinderella so was really excited to get to review the follow up. Broken Prince starts off with Brynn still living in the castle with Eliot. She’s still recovering from the attack, has nightmares but Eliot has been a great back up and support to her. They’re working on the Math problem too – all looks roses for the future doesn’t it? Then she gets a letter from Mark about her mothers death. That was one of the reasons she came to Hungary to find out more and to visit her grave. The grave part is done but as for learning more about her murder – well that’s been a dead end til now…

Eliot – oh he’s such a lovely man, thoughtful and caring, loves Brynn dearly but in giving her time to recover he makes her think maybe he’s wishing she wasn’t there. There’s a huge lack of communication between them, he’s wrapped up in the Math problem, she should be also but her recovery has taken precedence, and now learning more about the murder draws her further away.

Mark has always been a close friend, but now he’s dating someone she doesn’t like and who doesn’t like her, that avenue for confiding is gone, and in a strange country she’s becoming more and more isolated. She ought to talk to Eliot about her fears and problems of course, that would be natural, but their relationship has been a strange and rocky journey and she’s not really secure enough to do that. She’s got so much on her mind, there’s the murder of her mum, the illness that’s threatening her grans health, the worries over the attack and of course the work for university she needs to get done. She feels she can’t offload all that on Eliot though, she worries about being too demanding when he’s under pressure from the university about his Paper, and clearly has old issues pressing on him. He worries that maybe she’s decided their relationship is a mistake, regrets it, that the age gap is too much and he’s upset. Instead of talking it over they both keep their fears inside and grow further apart.

Then the press start dredging up old scandals, taking photos of Brynn while she’s at the castle and making suggestions about Eliot’s propriety, there’s other secrets coming out but in dribs and drabs and of course that leads to misunderstanding, Eliot’s brother Otto ( what an awful, supercilious man he is!) is in the Government at a time when its unpopular, and that rubs off on Eliot too. After 13 years there’s another murder linked to her mothers one. Everything comes to a head at once, and Brynn’s action – that made me tearful for her and for Eliot.

Once again its a wonderful read, with disparate threads and actions slowly tying together to form a clearer picture. Brynn’s unhappiness and insecurity shows through and I felt for her and yet, though she fears he’s drawing away, its clear Eliot is still deeply in love and just trying to do what’s best for her. A perfect love story, not a sexy, grand passion but a warm and sensual, enduring, slow burn romance, wrapped up in a series of slowly revealed mysteries from the past. Fabulous read and one for the keepers file!

Stars: five

ARC supplied via author

Red+Blue (Opposites Attract) A.B. Gayle

Red+Blue (Opposites Attract)

 

Red+Blue (Opposites Attract) A.B. Gayle
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
NB: ARC supplied via Goodreads and author
It’s no secret that I love a good romance whether hetero or gay. Good being the key, not one of those very simple, sweet, sickly A meets B, they fall in love and live happily ever after. I do need the HEA part, but I need the journey to be rocky and problematic, if it makes me tearful then its a job done romance….
Ms Gayle is an author new to me, but she’s going to be one whose work I’ll certainly look out for in future. She delivered all my needs in this book, and more. I had emotion, angst, love and sensuality all wrapped up in an excellent story. I like the idea of two people from opposite backgrounds coming together too, and it worked really well here. You’d think they have nothing in common, that their interests would be so divergent they’d have trouble communicating, and yet the way the author gets them into situations where they’re together they mange to d find common ground. Then there’s the rich boss, student employee conundrum. I’d have guessed at Adrian being more dominant, and yet we see Ben in situations where he’s confident taking the lead, and showing just what a strong personality he has.
I loved Ben, we meet him first, and he’s left his backwoods family and business behind to move to the city and his actuarial career, in a family owned Agency. One of the reasons he chose this firm was because of their open policy for minorities that can’t always get insurance elsewhere including gays. Ben’s lovely, very honest, open, no back biting or malice in him, he’s one of those people who try to get along with everyone simply because that’s his nature. He’s out, loud and proud, but after his first fun foray into the citys gay areas, he really wants something more than the no-strings, casual, friends with benefits relationship he has with Jason. Its his boss Adrian that really attracts him, but he’s the subject of dreams only as Ben assumes he’s straight.
Turns out Adrian isn’t though, and yes, he has the hots for Ben, but he’s deeply in the closet. Really, really deep. Like so many families his father thinks its something he can put aside – calls it a “gay tendency”, and makes it a condition that Adrian leaves all that behind now he’s working for and is CEO of the family firm.
Its a terrific story, packed with so many problems that must happen in real life. Jason’s family who know he’s gay, but are wealthy enough to ignore it, and just hope he keeps reasonably on the rails. Ben’s family who know he’s Gay, and are a close knit group and worry about him. Ben’s father died and his four older brothers have always acted in his stead, so as Ben says its like having four dads….and they all want what’s best for little bro, for him to be happy and woe betide anyone who threatens that. Then there’s poor Adrian, in a position so many people must find themselves, with a nature that’s one way, and a family pressing for the opposite. Without alienating them and causing huge repercussions for the firm he’s trapped. Why is it that in a so called “free” society homosexuality still causes such a stir in the press, with all those snide slurs and suggestions? Its almost like the Victorian attitude I think – the “do anything but don’t get caught” attitude. Sad isn’t it when a persons happiness is less important than a families public standing 😦
I loved the way Ms Gayle weaves all these problems into a story that had me engrossed to the last page, the little day to day incidences, the things that got me thinking “ but that’s unfair “ while knowing that’s still the way it is in real life.
The characters were great too – we see things from Ben’s POV and then from Adrian’s, and that works really well as we can see that what one thinks about the other isn’t necessarily true. I loved the way they were so different people and yet found common ground, and felt so much for Ben with his “lets just do it, it’ll work out somehow” philosophy against Adrian’s think it through, look at all the repercussions and see what’s right for everyone else and not himself caution. That makes it sound like Ben was selfish – he’s not, its just that he’s prepared to stand up for what he believes, but having had family support its easier for him, whereas Adrian has been told all his life that he can’t be open about his feelings, and that marriage and family is his duty to his father.
Its so emotional in parts, had me on the edge of tears, and just so happy when things go right, its a perfect balance of love and good story. There is sex in the book, but not too much, much more just sensuality through touches, glances, brushes against each other – that sort of stuff. So often books just wade into all-out, in-your-face, graphic sex and think that’s enough – I wish there were more like this one which has a great, solid storyline, with sex and love as part of it, and not dominating it.
Stars: well, after all that how could it be less than five 🙂

Gifts of the Blood (Angel’s Edge 1) Vicki Keire.

 

Gifts of the Blood (Angel's Edge #1)

Gifts of the Blood (Angel’s Edge 1) Vicki Keire.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I’m not usually a reader of YA novels but sometimes I see one which appeals and that’s how I came to request this. It’s unusual in the way Vicki portrays the angels, and it takes some though to get my head around the way she describes their wings and the way they move, but its good, something different and that’s hard to come up with in today’s market with millions of books out.

So, Caspia? Well, what can I say about her? Coffee addict that’s for sure, and I could see that she was a loving sister, bogged down by responsibilities and looking after her dying brother. Their parents and family are dead, and all they have is each other. That’s heartbreaking and I could feel her pain from it. The drawings she does of the future were interesting, and I could see where her parents were, frankly, freaked by it and preferred to ignore it, but that’s a huge burden too for her now that her gran, the only person she could talk to about it, was gone. She had a best friend but she couldn’t confide in her about her drawings for fear she’s react like her parents. Caspia seemed lonely at times, and I felt for her but…at times she was just odd. Odd in her reactions to events, people, places and I couldn’t understand her motives for what she did. That made it more difficult to feel close to her and to worry about her. I need to feel empathy with the main characters to really enjoy a book, and maybe id I was a YA I’d have been better able to understand her.

Then there’s Logan, poor lad, knows he’s dying and feels he’s a burden to Caspia while still worrying about her after he’s dead…what a terrible thing to have to carry, and yet most of the while he was cheerful and upbeat. Also in the novel there are others who live in the town, who seem perfectly normal, and yet as the tale continues we see they’re holding secrets. Of course I couldn’t help but like the delicious Ethan, who’s something of an enigma even when we learn what he is, and the mad at times, sane at others Asheroth who both play major parts in the book. Again I found these two somewhat confusing in their actions and motives, but they were a fresh and fun take on the angelic genre.

As the story unfolds and we learn more about Caspia and her drawings, the mysterious Ethan and the others similar to him, and the people around Caspia who are more than they seem the action gets hotter, secrets come out but rather than giving answers they open up more questions. Poor Caspia is confused – her life in danger, and she needs to find out more about the mysteries that surround her.

I enjoyed this novel, first of a trilogy, but felt a little detached from the characters and their actions much of the time. The story was well written and flowed easily, its just that I didn’t always understand the reactions the characters had. Maybe that’s because I’m too far from the YA audience and looking at it with a different perspective? I’m sure for teens and early twenties this series will be a must have, but for me, well, an enjoyable one off read, but I’m not invested in reading further into the series. Its priced at £2.99 for 222 pages.

Stars: three and a half.

ARC supplied via Publishers

Blood Stone. Tracy Cooper-Posey

Blood Stone

 

Blood Stone. Tracy Cooper-Posey
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I’ve read several of Tracy’s novels now – they all feature some very steamy, sensual scenes. Its some time since I read Blood Knot, the first in this series but it quickly came back when I started this one. We meet Winter, Niall and Sebastian again, along with some new people who have a place in the coming vampire disclosure problems. Reading this book actually clarified some of the problems I had with the first – I understand Nial’s problems and concerns much better after getting into this book. Once again there are some superb sensual love scenes, some great characters, plots and counter plots, danger and secrets all wrapped up in Tracy’s typical quality writing. Its an involved novel, not a light-hearted quick read, but one where you get fully immersed in another world, and feel as if you’re there in it. I did have trouble initially with the fact that Winter et al all had different names as they were working in disguise trying to see who Nial’s plots would flush out – and it brought forward more than they anticipated.
I love the way Tracy’s people feel so real, that the world she created feels like one I could be involved in, and most of all the way she takes people who don’t like each other at all, and yet she takes them on a journey that ends with them being lovers. Once again I could see this happening, and yet can’t pinpoint a moment when I saw the change of feelings occur. There’s a lot to her characters too -they have problems with their pasts, and the effects that has on their present, there’s hidden secrets with all of them – and some good ones I certainly didn’t see coming. It all leads to a fascinating and engrossing read, with spicy, sexy, sensual ménage scenes. Take note of that warning if this offends you! For me Tracy does these in a way that’s erotic but not cringe-making. Often I’m reading what should be erotic scenes and they just become really eurghh….I feel embarrassed reading them as they seem so contrived, but never with Tracy though – her scenes fit the plots and characters perfectly and are well written.
I’m keen to get onto book three now 🙂 and find out what else is in store…This book is priced at £3.21 for a huge 424 pages – I love these longer books, they’re my favourite as they have scope for plots and characters to be made very realistic, and at this price this is a bargain.
Stars: five, cracking read.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Shameless. Rebecca J. Clark

Shameless

 

Shameless. Rebecca J. Clark
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Wanting a simple easy romance I picked up this one. And got exactly that – a fun, uncomplicated read. Sometimes you want complex, in-depth plots and others just a gentle foray into happy fiction. Well, Shameless delivers that – Samantha wants a baby, but not a husband/father but is having problems finding the right man. John doesn’t want either wife or child, but because of his feelings of guilt about Sam’s past he agrees to father her child, on condition that’s all. No after contact, no responsibility, no maintenance. That suits Sam fine except…John wants to make a baby the traditional route not the baster one! She agrees and .. the action gets hot and heavy, sensual and steamy, there’s some very active and sexy love scenes here.
I liked Sam, loved the way Rebecca transformed her feelings about John and men in general over the course of the book. John was a great guy too – I understood his feelings of guilt, but it was heartbreaking that he’d let them get so dominating in his life. As well as the Sam/John/baby plot there was more to the book. The clubs for disadvantaged children he and his business partner Alex had set up, brought in some kids who really needed that help. Poor Brian, what a sweet kid and what an awful situation he was in, and I cried at That Part 😦 Then there’s Alex mysterious past girlfriend Lori – they’d parted when they were in their teens and no-one has yet matched up to her. He was someone deserving of a HEA, kind, thoughtful, trying to help where he could but his romance from the past dominated his present.
It was full of little day to day dramas that make fiction so realistic, and people feel like friends. I cared about them – to the point I was in tears at one part…and so cross at times, when they just didn’t seem to see what was so obvious to me. Its a great, fun read, full of drama and emotion but not too deep, so perfect for those days when you want a good book, but not one that requires too much deep thinking, remembering who is who and how they fit the plot. In this book it all falls together naturally and makes for an enjoyable, easy read. Excellent value too at £2.59 for 386 pages.
Stars: four and a half.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Different Strokes. Nico Jaye

Different Strokes

Different Strokes. Nico Jaye
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.
I love the build up to a romance, that whole is he/she interested…the way looks and glances, and simple touches can say so much when well written. Books don’t need to have in your face graphic sex to be sensual and erotic, and this little novella is a perfect example. Its a great short – I’m not usually a fan of novellas but sometimes they’re perfect, if you’ve just a short time or you’re a slow reader for example. I enjoyed this, meeting Tomas and Darren, learning what’s behind their thoughts and gestures, and how easy it is for one person to mean something very different to how its interpreted.
Ended in a terrific way, when they finally got on the same wave length, (unintended pun there !!) and Darren learned that Tomas wasn’t just a standoffish person, wasn’t trying to let him down but was just feeling his way. Tomas seemed such a confident person but I enjoyed how we saw what he really was behind that mask, and equally Darren seemed so open and upfront and yet when it mattered to him he was cautious and more closed. Fun read, I’d guess at around 70 pages as I don’t have length or price info.

Stars: four

ARC supplied via Netgalley

My Life Untold. S.S. Gee Buro. Free on Sat 21st Dec, on amazon

I’ve had an email from the author to say this fabulous book will be free on amazon this saturday, so its well worth getting for a free christmas read, an escape into history from the madness and mayhem that often surrounds Xmas. Treat yourself to some time to read this fantastic novel 🙂

 My Life Untold

My Life Untold. S.S. Gee Buro.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.

Sometimes I like a dip into history. This particular book reads like an autobiography, as its told from the viewpoint of Magda, as a narrative to her descendent Winifred. Its a beautifully written story, easy to read and not bogged down in weighty, dull descriptions but has scenes that are vivid, and made me feel as if I was there. It starts with Magda as a young child, goes on to the familys journey to a new start on Stone Farm and her childhood time there. They have a farmhand Lars who is only a few years older than Magda and they fall in love. The Civil war intervenes though, and Lars is taken prisoner. We read about Magda’s life back at the farm at this time, how the village coped, what life was really like then on a day to day basis.
When her parents have died and she finds out Lars is a prisoner, she determines she’ll travel the 800 miles to where he is, dressed as a soldier for some safety, and try to buy him free. She undertakes a perilous journey, and its fascinating to read about it and feel as though we’re there with her. Its full of minutiae that makes it come alive. Magda learns a lot about herself on this journey, and she and Lars come through the war whole but not unscathed. Though still deeply in love, they’re not the same people they started. Life shapes us all and they were certainly well tried.
I loved this story as something with historical accuracy, and yet penned for the reader of fiction who wants small details of daily life, and not weighty explanations of battle tactics 🙂 I felt for Magda – she faced so much for love of Lars, and they both grew up suddenly faced with the atrocities of war. Life wasn’t easy anyway for people like them at that time, but throw in a war and they were really tested, and yet in the way of the best true love stories they came though shining. Its a beautiful, heartfelt tale and the addition of the linking up Magda and Lars to the current family was a great way to finish. Fabulous escape into history.
Stars: five, great read.

ARC supplied via Authors

Blood Gift (The Circle). Amy Lee Burgess.

Blood Gift (The Circle)

 

Blood Gift (The Circle). Amy Lee Burgess.
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Wow! With this new series Amy does it again! I love her wolf series The Wolf Within and she’s brought the same fabulous writing style to this new series about vampires. I really enjoyed this novel, though its part of a series, its a complete story in itself, no awful, horrible, hateful cliffhangers 🙂
So, this book, what did I like? Well, Claire the lead character – she reminds me in many ways of Stanzie from the wolf series. Amy’s heroines aren’t strong, mouthy kick ar$e characters but flawed people, like us, like our friends, people with problems and backgrounds that are less than perfect. Its far easier I find to identity with these characters, than the perfect ones too often seen. I need to feel I’m there in the story, and with leads like this I can so easily get into their mindset. Poor Claire had a really tough upbringing, I get the sense all she was looking for was for someone to love her, and as time went by she seemed to feel more and more worthless. The transition to vampire was to be a second chance for her but wasn’t working that way. Parker her master, what a conundrum he was. Perfect on the outside, flawed and cruel inside, but she’s stuck with him, obeying everything he asks of her. Andre – he was a real star, that type of mystery man always appeals. There were others too in the London Circle, headed by Oliver. They’re a good mix of people, and this was a great introduction to them. This novel focusses mainly on Parker, Claire and Andre but we get to see the others within the framework of how the Circle works. I liked that it was set in London too – not many books are UK based, US seems to dominate and as a UK reader its fun to see something closer to home, to imagine it could be real.
Its a very sensual, sexual book, very graphic but the scenes fit Amy’s characters and the plot of the novel. Each author puts their own spin on supernatural creatures, and sex is important for Amy’s vampires and for the storyline. Its not sex for the sake of adding spice to a story but sex that’s integral to the tale. Its a lighter overall feel than the wolf series, but has the same intense characters and quality writing – Amy doesn’t leave you thinking “what happened there? Why did he/she do that?” but ensures everything works together perfectly and everything is part of the whole storyline, no fluff and fillers just to pad out a story. Its shorter than the wolf within series too at 205 pages, but still long enough to fulfil the promise of a decent plot and ensure reality in the characters.
I really enjoyed this, its not deep and dark, but sensual and seductive with a storyline that’s at times very emotional. I liked that it all wrapped up in this book, working to a climatic finish. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Stars: five – fabulous read.
ARC supplied by Publisher

No Exchanges, No Returns. Laurie Kellogg

No Exchanges, No Returns (Book Four of The Return to Redemption Series)

 

No Exchanges, No Returns. Laurie Kellogg
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Usually I look for high drama and emotion in my romances, angst that I can wallow in and that seeps into my pores. Sometimes though I just want to read something simpler, something easy to read that’s just light and enjoyable escapism. Unfortunately much of the contemporary romance novels that fit this are frankly too bland and sickly but I know with Laurie Kellogg that she’ll deliver what I want. This book was no exception. I wondered how on earth she was going to handle the transition of feelings from one sister to the other without anyone feeling awkward about it, but as ever Laurie manages it superbly. What I love is instead of just sweet sweet romance, then a bit of drama then the make-up and finish Laurie’s dramatics happen throughout the novel. You never can quite predict what’s going to happen and that keeps it fresh and interesting. Its one step forward and two back with conversations and motives being misunderstood, and its not just the baby/sisters/hunky doc main plot but others which involve jobs, homes, other people and the rest of the families.
Its people with characters that feel real and plots that are ones we see in everyday life. Throw in a look back to the way childhood problems have led to adult attitudes, and there’s much more here than just a simple romance, its a story that’s able to fully engross the reader in the dynamics of families and friends, and means its a great way to escape reality for a couple of hours. It’s priced at £2.49 for 238 pages.
Stars: 4.5.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.

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