Archive | June 2014

Elly In Love, Colleen Oakes

 

Elly In Love, Colleen Oakes
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I hadn’t read book one, but it seemed like each part was complete so that I could still enjoy this one. That was right, it’s easy to pick up and follow along the story arc. Elly was great, human, flawed, trusting and prone to self critisism โ€“ much like many of us ๐Ÿ™‚ I could identify with her straight away, and then I met Snarky Teenager. Oh how well she was portrayed, mums of daughters, sisters, friends with nieces etc will be nodding their heads at ST’s actions. I loved her, she made a terrific foil, that quiet, sharp wit, talent and yet underlying teen insecurity crossed with teen overconfidence. They lurch from one to the other constantly! Elly’s friends โ€“ great bunch, Keith โ€“ wow what a man…..and then Dennis, and once again mums, friends, family who’ve had one of these will recognise so much in him. I’ve has both โ€“ an ST and two Dennises…thankfully long past that stage but some bits were so so familiar!
So, poor Elly, just when she’s picked up the pieces of her life, embryonic relationship with Keith going well ( he is such a romantic!), business finally in the black, home life seems to have settled and then…. everything seems to be lurching once again, problems with family life by way of Dennis, problems with business by way of The Celebrity Wedding, and problems with Keith โ€“ oh that part was heartbreaking but faced with that scenario I’d hope I’d do the same thing. She’s been caught out once, doesn’t need it again. I just couldn’t understand what Keith was doing โ€“ he loved her that was clear so why???
So, its a humorous romp through Elly’s life, wrapped up with drama, pathos, emotion, and lots of tears… I so, so wanted everythng to come through for her, she deserved it to be right,she was loyal, loving, hardworking, so why on earth did eveything keep going wrong for her.
It’s a fun read, packed with action, people who feel very real, and I’m looking forward to the next book and where her journey takes her. Of course as a gardener and flower lover the descriptions of those has me fantastising about them…wondeful mental images. It’s part of a series but could be read as a stand alone as its a complete tale.
Stars: Four, great fun.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.

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Darkness Bound, A Night Prowler Novel, J.T. Geissinger

 

Darkness Bound, A Night Prowler Novel, J.T. Geissinger
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I love paranormal romance series, especially ones like this where each book has a complete romance, but for which there is an additonal main story linking all the installments.
This time, though I enjoyed this read, it didn’t grip me quite as much as the last one. I wasn’t convinced by Jack’s response to Hawk. OK he was hot but….she’s been so, so anti shifter, so publicly biased, so long entrneched in her beliefs I just wasn’t convinced by the speed of her mental shift. I found it off she accused her dad of being a bigot and yet didn’t think she was herself?? Likewise Hawk was so convinced of her bias and then…a few words of explaination, add in the searing attraction they have and … Still, it led to some hot and spicy sections ๐Ÿ™‚ That Hawk sure knows how to sweep a lady off her feet ( and onto the nearest surface!!)
I loved the build up to the problems, enjoyed seeing the others again, but the actual climax was โ€“ well, – anticlimatic for me. It seemed to be over very quickly. Not that I enjoy actual battle scenes, but I’d expected more problems from the way it had been set out. I’m pleased by the references to the larger problem, and the updates on it and I’m very curious to who exactly is behind it โ€“ who is the Chairman, and what’s his motive, other than absolute power of course !
Overall another good read, and a great addition to the series, but just not quite as solid for me as the last one.
Stars: Four, a good paranormal roimance and a great addition to the series.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Awakening, Cassandra Carr

 

Awakening, Cassandra Carr
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
This is classed as Erotica, and also BDSM, but it’s not extreme in either genre, so if you’re a romance lover don’t let that put you off. I really enjoyed the story, though at one point in the last quarter I found Vanessa’s behaviour very OTT, and didn’t understand why she was doing it. I though she must have some other motive in mind but no, she really was just that Brattish that night and – I felt – very rude to both Will and his friend who’d been really supportive to her. That part just didn’t fit well with me, but it is only a small part of the story and the rest seemed very real life.
Will, he’s a great guy, been burned before by a lady so he’s very cautious and keeps his playing as just that, one offs at the club only. Nothing serious for him. He’s got a tough job as a hostage negotiator so blowing off some steam after a job is essential, and this is the way it works for him. And for the Subs I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ as he’s a Dom of the best type, one that’s out to give them pleasure….Then he meets Vanessa. She’s a mature student, 22 to his 31, and doing a paper on BDSM for her degree. It’s something that interests her but she knows very little about it. She’s come to the club for info and she and Will have an immediate attraction.
I loved the way she mulled over the pyschology of BDSM โ€“ that’s something I find interesting, just why people act as they do, why we all have different needs, how what happens in our pasts can affect how we act in the present, and what we need. Not just in the BDSM world but in everyday lives. Vanessa used her pyschology knowledge further on too, when something serious had happened, and she needed to know more about what to do and how to help.
So its not just a romance, but one that touches on the actions and wants of two people one could find in everyday life. It’s easy to relate to them, to understand why Will felt maybe he was too old and jaded for Vanessa, to empathisise when she was worrying about school, money, and what she needed to do next. They felt just like people we could know, and that meant I could put myself in their position and really get involved in the story. And Love wins out โ€“ and that a winner for me too…
Stars: four โ€“ a beautiful romance with some extra spice and plot.
ARc received via Netgalley.

Give Me, A Tale of Wyrd and Fae, L.K. Rigel

Give Me (Wyrd and Fae Book 1)

 

Give Me, A Tale of Wyrd and Fae, L.K. Rigel
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I thought this sounded interesting, but wasn’t sure if it was going to be part of a series โ€“ and have a hated cliffhanger… Still, I succumbed to the lure, and found that its a great read, a complete story, no cliffhanger!
One of the things that made me think it may be part of a series was the โ€œtethers 1โ€ addtion to the title. Having looked on LK’s blog though I saw that its a complete book in an interconnected series. I love series but HATE cliffhangers, so when books are complete but connected as this is, I get everything I need in my reading ( providing the story is good of course!)
So, this book: well Lilith โ€“ what a sad start for her, with a real jerk boyfriend. Fortunately he doesn’t last, and she’s off seeking a change and taking a break in Dumnos. The whole way she found the place, the time, the people, was sort of a twisted co-incidence, and quite a magical, spooky interference if you have that mindset ( yep โ€“ I do!) and the closer she got the more the interfereces and coincidences stacked up.
I loved the people, the French girls, Mo, Lilith ( Lily) and Cade. She was an interesting person, one of those who’d make a good friend, who care about people, who we want the best for. Cade; he was a real flirt, and of course Lily was attracted to him, but so were the others on the tour, and then the attractions took a spooky turn. Lily wonders if its her he’s attracted to, or the mysterious woman who keeps taking control of her…
It’s a fun tale, full of times past, in the tenth century, married with the present. Things happen that overlap both periods and make for a fun, and somewhat suspeseful, story. There’s lots to work out โ€“ not just who, but what and why. There’s Fae connections too and it made for a book that was easy to read, engrossing and absorbing, and one I really enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more in the series.
Stars: Four, a great read, not heart stopping romance and suspense, but a gradual sliding and tempting into the mystery and people involved. A gentle, subtle romance, sensual withot being overtly sexual, with a satisfying ending too ๐Ÿ™‚
ARC supplied via Netgalley.

Until Alex, J. Nathan

 

Until Alex, J. Nathan
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I enjoy some NA novels, and I liked the sound of this one. Sadly though it didn’t live up to the promise. I found it quite slow to start, and the things that had happened and were happening to Alex and Hayden were for me a bit too OTT, too far from reality for a novel thats set in real time, without any backing information or details. The actions seemed suspended from what would/could really happen. I know there’s a necessity to keep the reader guessing at whats going on, to keep some information back, but for me this went a little too far. Then there was some of the behaviours of them both…at times it was just too YA for me. That could be just me, after all I’m long past the NA target, despite enjoying many books in this genre, so that needs to be taken into consideration, that younger readers may be able to accept things that I couldn’t. I liked the characters, they felt very real but I just struggled with how they behaved some of the time.
I was struggling, getting that awful feeling that this was going to be a 2 star review – and I hate doing that, esp to a debut author. I’d hate to put anyone off writing ( and I’m just one person, one reviewer, there’ll be lots of five star reviews i’m sure) and then – wham, right on the home stretch J Nathan threw in a real curveball, some very cleverly constructed suspense that made up for so much of the earlier somewhat bland offering…I didn’t know who was behind what happened, though after I could see how the seeds had been sown, and it wasn’t pulled over quickly but drawn out properly, ends tied up neatly, eveything adding up properly and very satisfyingly, and it added for me another 1.5 stars to the novel! that makes me happy ๐Ÿ˜‰
Stars: 3.5
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Love Like the Movies, Victoria Van Tiem.

 

Love Like the Movies, Victoria Van Tiem.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I enjoyed this read, made me laugh and the ending was just perfect for a romantic like me…
I’m a reader, rarely watch TV but Him Indoors is a real film addict, especially old films. An Affair to Remember is one of his Classics, so I know lots of snippets from films, even though I don’t watch them. This book is peppered with quotes and scenes from films, and especially that one and Pretty Woman, which even I have watched! I loved the way Shane took those beautiful moments from their past, linked them to films and used them to remind Kensington of their past, of who she used to be, what she’s left behind….it was clear he still loved her and she’d never really mentally let him go. He passed her friends TFT ( tummy flip test) even though her fiance Bradley didn’t. But Bradley loved her, her family loved him and it was time she got marreid and had a family…wasn’t it?
It plays out really well, I had some first impressions of her family that changed as we got to know them better, I didn’t like Bradley but didn’t know what had been going on with him, although as the story continued and there were clues I began to suspect…Victoria has a way of presenting people and themes, and then changing them around so I learned that Ren wasn’t as she seemed, that Kensingtons parents were’t quite as uninterested in her as they seemed, that Bradley โ€“ well…you’ll find out.
Shane, ah he was great, I loved the way he organised things, loved the restaurant scene even though that’s a film I don’t know…loved the dirty dancing bit ( daughter’s fav film since she was a child), loved the paintball part ๐Ÿ™‚ that really made me laugh.
It’s a fun read, with a good solid romance, and people who feel real, flawed as we all are, every office has its people just as they are here, some good, some all out for themselves, some who just want to take what others have.
Stars: I’m hovering…not quite a five, bit more than a four, four and a half.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

The Prince’s Ex, Nadene Seiters.

 

The Prince’s Ex, Nadene Seiters.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I love contemporary romance if it has something a bit extra about it. This book does, though I found it really slow to start. Amelia has just been dumped after a year of dating Prince Simon ( Simon just doesn’t seem like a โ€œroyalโ€ name does it? Doesn’t conjure up the right image โ€“ maybe because as a kid all our dogs were named Simon…Simon the first, Simon second and Simon third !!) Now only a month later she learns via the press he’s already engaged. Her best friend Tina, yoga teacher and well, frankly, almost a slut, a dif man each night it seems…says the answer is to stop moping and start dating. She goes through her long, long phone list to find one for Amelia.
That first date goes very wrong โ€“ and is quite funny…and Amelia tells Tina that’s it. No more blind dates. She’s feeling that she just isn’t good enough and very insecure about herself…. These conversations take place at their daily morning meet, at a the local coffee shop run by the lovely Peter, and are avidly followed by onlookers eager for more scandal from the Royal Ex…poor Amelia can’t even nurse a broken heart in peace.
She changes a lot in her life, dates someone else, learns a lot about herself, and finds love in the last place she thought of. It’s a slow burn romance, the attraction beginning in a way even before they’ve dated, and it’s a good example of how we don’t always see whats right in front of us. My nan used to say โ€œlet the dog see the rabbitโ€ and โ€œcan’t see the wood for the treesโ€ meaning just this โ€“ we ignore the obvious sometimes when we are looking, and Amelia ignored the man right in front of her who was perfect. Just perfect for her. Of course as all romances do, it doesn’t run smoothly but there are hiccups from ex’s on both sides, from silly arguments, and from the way people have things from their past that affect their present and need to be accepted. People come with everything โ€“ that what shapes them into who they’ve become.
It’s a real love story, a HEA with some real life situation hiccups, and with people who were just lovely and I could empathise with. Amelia, strong and loving, and someone who was likeable and hardworking, Tina who I didn’t like at first but grew to respect, and who was such a good friend, and Peter…he was just wonderful, a loving family man, protective and a searingly sensual lover. When the opening came he was in โ€“ and not letting go!
A real fun read, and thoughtful romance.
Stars: Four.
ARC supplied by author.

Looks like Trouble to Me, Calinda B.

Looks like Trouble to Me, Calinda B.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Despite Calinda having written several books this was a first of hers for me. Sadly it just didn’t gel with me, I simply couldn’t get into the story or characters. I note from a couple of reviewers that this is a bit different to her usual style, so maybe I’ll try a different book another time.
Anyway Jace, he’s a mix of people, one half the wild bad boy and yet another he’s responsible, doing extra to help his boss, looking out for his troubled twin sister, loving and looking after his toddler niece. I ought to like him and yet? I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t feel I really got to know him. Likewise Zoe, she’s a mix of people, passionate and yet reserved, loyal and yet won’t let herself like her father’s lady friend for no real reason…then there’s the mix of dangers, drug dealing, theft, legal threats, betrayals โ€“ there’s a bit of everything here โ€“ too much at times and some of it just felt too OTT. For instance Billy suing for $2,000,000 simply because he and Jace were in a brawl…wouldn’t happen. The drug stuff, there’s no reality to it, the motorbike scene โ€“ yes That One ๐Ÿ™‚ simply not possible…
There’s lots of sex, seems like every few pages but it didn’t do anything for me, was devoid of real feeling โ€“ maybe as I didn’t feel close to the characters?
Stars: two โ€“ this one’s a bust for me, bad choice on my part but as ever I’m just one reader, and others will love this book.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.

*The Vixen and the Vet, Katy Regenery *50% of all profits earned by the author in June/July 2014 will benefit Operation Mend**

 

Click image to be taken to Amazon buy link

 

The Vixen and the Vet, Katy Regenery

 

Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I’ve enjoyed several of Katy’s books now, and looked forward to this one. It was a slow start and I felt maybe it wasn’t

going to be one that worked for me, but as I continued I slowly got engrossed and absorbed in the developing romance

and the story surrounding i,t and simply couldn’t put the book down til I’d finished.
Savannah, she was someone with ambition, who’d worked hard and yet lost her hard won job through trusting the wrong

person. Now she’s home and looking for a way forward, to regain her career. She’s put onto an editor looking for a 4th

July story, which may be her way back into journalism. Knowing there’s a local Army Vet who’s hidden himself away since

he was so disabled in an explosion, and seeing how the town who loved their golden boy has discarded him now he’s

damaged, she thinks thats just the story to get her back on track. To be fair she does also think its shameful the way Asher

has been treated, and isn’t one of those people who can’t see beyond the surface to the person benenath. You may think

people wouldn’t act like this, ridicule, ignore someone disabled, expect them to stay out of sight, away from “normal”

people. Sadly you’d be wrong. I’m an amputee, and although most people are great, treat me just as they do others there’s

always a minority who stare, who make pointed remarks, and make it clear that anyone who doesn’t look the same should

stay out of sight. Katy had some of the townspeoples reactions spot on. I’ve been asked not to go close to someone’s

grandchild in case my false leg scared them! Kid’s in genral are great, ask what they want and accpet everything are normal

– its adults that are rude and scared…
Asher agrees to be interviewed, setting some strict conditions. Though he’s become pratically a hermit, only seeing his

housekeeper Miss Potts ( and she’s a real star lady) he’s intrigued, and tempted by Savannah. His first instinct is to say no,

but Miss Potts knows just the way to goad him into a yes…and that woman is so good for him. She’s looked after him

since his parents were killed when he was young, and he has no other family. He really is alone, but she sees a way to bring

him back into the world with Savannnah’s help.
Slowly they get to feel more for each other, until they are deeply in love, and Savannah’s story is ready. Along the way of

the unfolding romance ( and boy is Asher a real romantic or what? That picnic!!) there’s her sister’s upcoming wedding,

and an incident connected with that which has repercussions for them all. Then there’s Savannah’s story that’s slowly

changing, Miss Potts and her encouragemnt for Asher’s progress with recent medical developments, and then – crash, it all

folds like a house of cards. Asher and Savannah are both heartbroken, but it’s difficult to see how they can ever get back

what they’ve lost – a true, one only love.
Stars: Five, a real love story.
ARC supplied by author.

Among the Unseen, The Thin Veil (Book Three), Jodi McIsaac

click image for amazon page

Among the Unseen, The Thin Veil (Book Three), Jodi McIsaac

Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
So, onto the final stretch and whats in store for Cedar and her friends and family? Adventure, danger, passion, and lots of mysteries and magicks to unravel. I enjoyed this part of the story, its full of surprises and some heartbreak ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I hate when favourite characters die, and yet sometimes it’s necessary to the story. I’d love everyone to have a wonderful HEA, but then stories would be dull wouldn’t they? So, sad though I was to read this part I understood why it was necessary.
Once again Cedar has much to learn about her role as Queen, and finds herself at odds with many of the kingdom’s subjects. She doesn’t know who she can trust, and I felt for her in that, she’s still learning, trying to do her best for everyone at no small cost to herself and the life she had and left behind for them, and yet still there are plots against her and people she loves put in danger. If that not enough to deal with she has a mysterious sickness to find a cure for too….
It’s a packed novel, taking the reader from one heartspinning moment to another. I’d have liked some gentle parts between actions, some of the day to day minutiae that gives the reader a chance to reflect on whats happened, but this seems to bounce from one danger onto the next without pausing… Magic and mayhem abound, and after giving up so much Cedar still has to sacrifice even more to do her best for her people, even though they don’t seem to appreciate it. I really felt for her, so lost and alone at some points, and yet she showed inner strength and carried on doing what she knew she had to, what she knew was the right course even though she was flying by the seat of her pants and learning as she went along.
A fun read, a proper conclusion and a great trilogy for lovers of fantasy. I’d have preferred a bit more romance but that me ๐Ÿ™‚ and of course its not classed a romance.
Stars: Four, at times there was almost too much going on and I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the first two parts.
ARC supplied by Netgalley

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