Thrown, Book One of The Aspen Valley Series, Colette Auclair.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
So, anything with horses catches my eye and this one drew me in. I’ve been a horse nut since a child – astonished my parents, and bewildered them when I spent time sitting ( and trotting!) on the brick wall with a blanket and string stirrups and braidle tied round the lamp post. In the book colette has the girls making a jumping course rtound the garden – yep, I too did that and jumped it with my imaginary horse…so much of how she’s written the girls playing is really familiar to me and probaly ost horse mad children. This book reminds me very much in style of the great books I loved by Bev Pettersen.
I loved Amanda, and could understand her PTSD and panic attacks. I’ve never been in the situation she was, but have had some nasty falls that made it hard to continue, and easy to stress and panic about. She was great with the girls too – very natural and gave them the structure to their life they needed. The kids at the end are nothing like the horrors we first meet. Then neither is Grady, Hottie film star but loving dad. He wants to be their friend though and as Amanda says – they don’t need that, they need a leader, someone to set boundaries. It’s a common scenario with divorce so prevalent and families separated. In this case their mother has died so that something else he feels they need leeway for. I liked Grady’s humour when we first met him, and its clear he was attracted to Amanda but at times he was a jerk, a real pushover for the kids, and just not looking for what was really best for them in his overprotective, let them have whatever they want way. His PA Jaqueline was lovely – she knew the family really well, and ran his and their lives perfectly. Then there’s his long time friend and chef Harris, and I enjoyed reading about him. Full of love and humour, he saw more than he let on and steered things to where he thought people would benefit. He was a sounding board for both Amanda – who became a real friend – and Grady, and a great addition to the book. I’d love cocktails withn him!
So there they all are, a great cast, a terrific story from the obnoxious children and overprotective father, and Amanda is there for three months to teach the kids to ride. She slides into all their lives so easily – they soon love and respect her and it’s as if she’s been there years. Grady gets closer to her, and they fall in love, though neither will admit to it. Then when things go wrong – Grady was so emotionally cruel, though I sort of understood it he was really OTT, and it took Harris to show him what he’d done and why. Poor Amanda – I was heartbroken with her, but all romance stories need this sort of downside. It counteracts and enhances IMO the romance, and makes the drama and upsides so much better. I like it too when the sad parts are strung out over a period, and not just dealt with quickly – I like to wallow…What will happen when the three months are up? Dream ambition or give it up for love? Amanda has a real quandary to work out.
Stars: Loved it – full five. BTW Colette, in UK we don’t call it a headstall, but a halter as in US, or more often a headcollar. The yard/stall/barn defintion is a bit off too…. 🙂 I often thing of UK/US as the famous quote “divided by a common language” read a book recently where the girl asked if the guy knew how to Shag…US its a film/dance but here in UK is a slang term for sex….
ARC supplied by publishers andNetgalley
NB: Thrown, the first ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, will be on sale July 21st – August 4th for $1.99!( about £1.49 I think). Jumped, the second ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, is out soon, Branded, the third ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, will publish December 2014. Each book is a standalone, although the characters are vconnected. I’ve book two to read next and am looking forward to that.
Perfect Alignment, Perfect Fit 2.0, KB Alan
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
This sounded a decent read, I do enjoy some spice in my romances….it started well, and I was quickly pulled in to the story. It certainly packs heat with plenty of well written and varied sex scenes ( sometimes they get terribly repetitive…).
I liked Emma and Drew to begin with, but as time passed and the story continued I began to get irritated with them for limiting what could be such a good thing between them. For being obsessed with sticking to their original plan. For not being more open minded. When Drew’s friend Toby enters the mix ( and that’s fun!) then he too tells Drew he’s being short sighted. I just didn’t feel either of their reasons were really valid * shrug* just didn’t seem worth putting a time limit on what they had. Drew did annoy me with his insistence on secrecy, and for him and Toby the constant “risking their jobs if caught” vibe. Is it really that bad in US? BDSM is pretty mainstream now, and I can’t see that it would affect people’s jobs here in UK to the degree they couldn’t even go out for a meal together. How is anyone going to know whats going on behind closed doors when they’re eating in public ( food that is…) It’s not like they were doing anything extreme or illegal. Still, maybe I’m wrong and the risk is real, dunno?
The break up/make up bit wasn’t strong enough for me, it was over so soon that I didn’t really feel they even separated. I need lots of emotion and usually the break up/being caught out/something like that gives it to me, and is a major force in my enjoyment of the novel, but in this book it just seemed glossed over in a couple of pages.
So – the erotica part – full marks, varied and interesting, very sensual and erotic, but the romance side, the story backing the sex scenes was just too thin for me 😦 Lacked drama and emotion.
Stars: Three – parts were excellent, but the story itself just didn’t grab me.
ARC provided via Netgalley and publishers
Copper Ravens, (Copper Legacy 2) , Jennifer Allis Provost
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I really enjoyed the first book, so was pleased to get the chance to review this. Sara is building a new life with Micah, and she and her family are sheltering with him at his fabulous home in the Otherworld from the Mundane world, where they are regarded as dangerous criminals and warrants out for their arrests. Her father is still missing, her sister still hiding from her role as Inheritor of Metal, her brother Max courting danger constantly, her mum causing mayhem in her usual imperious way…add in Micah talking about having a family all the while – it’s something very important in the Otherworld – and until she does she isn’t regarded as Lady Silverstrand, but simply Micah’s consort, and she’s a bit lost. She feels she doesn’t really have a role here and misses her old life.
Once again Sara nd her family get into some dangerous waters, and its difficult for her to know who to trust. She’s bored too without any real role to play in this world. Micah is busy with his duties as Lord Silverstrand and the usual politics which seem as convoluted as in the Mundane world, and she’s left to her own devices much of the time. Then the danger starts to come closer, mysterious gifts arrive, and Sara needs to prove she isn’t part of a plot to overthrow the Gold Queen. She’s outspoken though, and has already upset some fairly important people so she needs to tread carefully. She was a big part of the rescue of the Gold Queen but it seems that doesn’t matter to those who seek to prove her treacherous. The Queen is still mentally suffering from her horrific treatment while in captivity, and very erratic in her behaviour. She seems to favour Sara at times, but her instability means she could change her mind at any moment.
It’s a fascinating story, taking the reader on a real adventure into a world that’s well contructed, and full of fun as well as danger. I want a team of Silverkin to work in my house – what a treat they are and they make me smile just imagining them scurrying around busily all day! I feel we’ve a lot more to learn about Sara, she seems to have some unknown powers that come out at times, that no-one knows why or how she has them. I love the way the metals – gold, silver and copper, are used in body art and clothing. That sounds really decorative. I’m looking forward to reading more, although this book ties up the story well its got a shocking revelation right at the end that sets up book three.
Stars: Four – a great read, easy to follow, and a fun and interesting world.
ARC supplied by author