Archive | December 2015

Layers, TL Alexander

 

I liked the sound of this but from the first I felt kind of plunged into a story, not sure what exactly was between Jackson and Alexia, wondering if they were together/had been together/intended getting together. Its all very strange.

Then the $20 million embezzlement changes come in and to top that Alexia’s flat gets completely trashed, and she has some pretty horrible email and mail threats against her. Is she bothered? Does she go all out to clear her name? Find out who’s trying to frame her? Who’s threatening her? Not really, Jackson puts up the $20 mill and the partners agree to let her have some time provided she stays at his estate so she can look into things. What? All that money and they just say “ toddle off and find the culprit” when most of them believe its her? That won’t go well with legal charges later as they threaten – the system doesn’t work that way.

The whole book follows like that, major catastrophes, huge events happen and they just chat, drink, swear a lot and ignore it…..The goodreads blurb says “The Layer Series is written for adults, by an adult (this is questionable). “ and I can only agree – it IS questionable….Even something simple like buying a coffee is turned into some kind of disaster, complete with swearing, accusations of anything, a chance to gloat or score one over someone else…The characters really act like young teens at times.

Its a shame as for me this could have been a good story but everyone, each character and each action has to be made so OTT as to be unbelievable – its like car crash TV in that I had to keep reading even though I was snorting out “What!! Really???” Its on Kindle Unlimited and as the ending is so cliff-hanger awful I had to know what happened next, so got part two. More of the same though sadly and if its possible its even more OTT 😦 It’s a shame because underneath all the over exaggerated plots and people there’s a story I could have enjoyed. Pare it down, cut out the waffle and tighten up the plots to make them more realistic and I’d have enjoyed this. Still I’m sure hundreds, maybe thousands of readers will love it just as it is. We all want different types of reading.

If you love Big Bother, X Factor, celebrity magazines and reality TV you’ll probably love this but for me – nope, a fail …

Stars:Two, just too OTT.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

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Let Me Be The One, A Drawn To The Rhythm Romance 4, Christa Maurice

 

 

Genre:  Romance,

I’ve read and enjoyed books one and three in this series, missed book two somehow so I knew some of the characters here and the background to the small town where much of the action takes place. I was kind of puzzled though, and had to stop at about halfway as I’d thought this was about Suzi and Brian getting together, and so much of it covers the past, interacting with Brian but when she’s still with Logan. Once I’d checked this was the right book I continued and in time it all drew together.

I loved Suzi, Brian was a gem, a true friend and its easy to see why she fell for him and he for her, but at first they’re both with others. I enjoyed seeing the other band members, and kind of felt for Logan – he was a jerk, he was awful to her but he sort of felt like a lost boy, not really knowing what he wanted, he loved Suzi but needed affirmation the others wanted him, and let the fans go too far, much too far. Of course she’d get upset, who wouldn’t, and yet he just couldn’t seem to work that out. When things go south – and that part came right at the beginning I so felt for her….for anyone in that situation it must be devastating, and when you’re famous nothing is private.

Its a story I enjoyed, well written, great characters and yet..I wanted less Suzi and Logan and more Suzi and Brian. I felt like the last quarter of the book was what I expected three quarters of it to be. That the final getting together and ending felt rushed. Still, that’s just me, it’s a fun read, lots of emotions and drama and a beautiful ending.

Stars: Three, a good read but I really wanted more Brian and less Logan

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

Icarus Ascending, LA Private Detectives: Book One, Lee James

 

Genre:  Mystery and Thrillers, erotica

Well, I really struggled to get through this. The writing is good but I just couldn’t get on with the story or the characters.

I liked Kirk, felt for him when he’d tried the be normal/be married thing. I felt for his ex wife too – it was clear they still had a deep love and respect for each other. Austin – well, I juts had in my head a Gay Austin Powers, he spoke just like that, very OTT all the while and yet somewhere underneath all the brashness and flirting  he seemed a decent and intelligent man. They seem to me the two main characters though there’s a myriad of others and I found that got very confusing.

Then there’s the murders, the body count that stacks up, and for a supposed untouchable top assassin the guy messes up twice with Kirk and runs away… what? I know we’re supposed to be believing he’s reaching meltdown point and making mistakes, but I couldn’t see him just running off. I did have trouble placing who was who and how they fitted the story at times, and had to keep backtracking to remind myself what was happening and how, and who some people were as there were so many of them. I found I was guessing – very wrongly – at what had happened and who was behind the murders, but when all was revealed there was no way I could have guessed right given I only had part of the info and again it just didn’t seem all that plausible to me. I didn’t see where that person would have got the money or contacts to set up such a huge undertaking. As for the Brent issue, well, I didn’t expect that and TBH it didn’t feel right. Ditto the other person involved – I went with the version we were given as truth, to then find out that actually that didn’t happen that way…well…and to believe that none of the family realised this was a possibility? Surely they would have know all his family? Its tagged as erotica, but though there’s some sex in it I wouldn’t class it as erotic or erotica. Sadly a fail for me.

Stars: Two. one that wasn’t for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

Pieces Of Me, Jacquie Underdown

 

 

Genre:  Romance,

I liked the sound of this and is was a sweet novel, a good story but nothing that lifted it into a great one for me.

I liked Hannah, and admired her taking charge of herself after what had happened to her. that must have taken a lot of courage, and its something that happens to many, many people 😦 Bear was a great character too and I liked him. He’d been stuck in Mercy Island looking after his sister, and now finally was going to be able to move, to get away, to live his dreams.

I just didn’t feel the tension, the drama, the sizzle between Bear and Hannah I wanted though.  There were moments of course, but they felt very gentle, very subdued and seemed to be over soon. Then Bear, wanting to leave but faced with losing Hannah if he does of course. Its the stuff of romance, the choice, the do I or don’t I conundrum…and yet it didn’t feel like a big decision, I didn’t feel his confusion, or that Hannah would be devastated if he did go.

Its a decent, well written read, but for me I need angst, drama, tensions, and those were here but on a very muted level. There are readers who want exactly that though, so it’ll be a five star book for them, just not one for me.

Stars: Three, a good read but without the feelings of potential loss and dramatics I needed.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

Black On Black (Quentin Black Mystery 3) JC Andrijeski 

 

Genre:  romance, paranormal

I’m loving this series. Its no secret that Allie’s War is one of my favourite series and this also has Seers in it. With book one I wondered how the two worlds fit together, they both feature Earth but in a slightly different way and on this one  Seers are still not known to most humans, keeping themselves secret. I’m kind of going with a parallel worlds scenario for now – that’s how my mind perceives it, whether that’s how JCA intends it that way I’ve no idea, but I need to have that fixed or my head keeps on throwing out questions. There’s definitely a connection and both Syrimme and Wreg get a mention here as being on Old Earth.

So – Black, he reminds me so much of Revik in many ways. His speech and the way he puts things, the way he’s fixated on Miri to the point of recklessness at times, the way he’s so incredibly intelligent, plans and manoeuvres to get the outcomes he wants. He met Miri in book one, and knew a bit about her but since then he’s learned so much more,  he sees her at “his” and has the sometimes irrational jealousy that Seers have for their Mate ( Revik to a T!!). Poor Miri though is only just learning about Seers, to her she was just a human with some strong psychic powers enabling her to read others minds, which she’d been told by her dad to keep a secret, never let anyone know about it. Of course its helped in her work with the police, and she’s learned tricks to explain how she knows things. Since meeting Black though and finding out about Seers she’s become embroiled in a dangerous world. Her fiancé Ian, turned out to be a Seer ordered to be with her despite his distaste for humans, so clearly someone high up in the Seer world knew about her. He’s turned out to be a murderous psychopath though, and she’s in danger from him still.

Black has gone “dark” once again and Miri knows through their mental contact something is wrong. She can’t convince his colleagues though, they say there’s protocol to follow when he goes deep undercover like this and they can’t interfere. They don’t know what he is or that the dangers are more than human. Miri can’t just leave him though, she’s seen through their bond that he’s undergoing things he doesn’t want to do and being put under great pressure, and she doesn’t think he can hold out much longer. He’d told her it would only be for six months but she doesn’t think he can last that long, or that  Lucky will really just let him go….

She puts a dangerous plan into action that takes her into Europe along with friends from the Police Nick and Angel. She needed their help to get to where she wants to be, but first had to convince them of the dangers to Black, but of course couldn’t tell them about Seers, only that she could read minds ( that was fun!). Nick knows some of Lucky’s crimes and of course about murderer Ian from the wedding murders, as there’s a crossover into human crime from what they have been doing. She can’t tell them though that Lucky and Ian are Seers for their own protection, plus of course they’d probably just lock her up! Their journey brings them all into some real dangers, and unlocks some huge surprises to them all. Certainly caught me out…again.

JCA is self published and that phenomenon brought out a huge number of books and authors. I love it when authors like JCA have taken this route, as it seems publishing houses have this criteria about delays between books so a series gets one a year or eighteen months or longer even! By the I’ve lost much of the impact, can’t really get into the story without rereading earlier ones. In self publishing though there are no stipulations and authors like JCA can publish as often as they want. That means book four of this series is out in Jan next year, and its only a few months back that book one came out! They all are very professionally edited and don’t feel rushed in any way. When there are so many different series on the go and the worlds and events are so complex I find it hard to know just how on earth ( this one or any other!) she does it but I’m really, really grateful she does.

Of course Self Publishing has also led to some unfinished series, to authors that have written maybe part one and two of a serial that never gets finished, that they have no intention of finishing. That’s sad and reflects badly on self publishing authors, tarring them all as unreliable, which is a shame as I’ve had some terrific books by authors that maybe wouldn’t have got a start through traditional routes. If an author of a series/trilogy is new to me I find I’m waiting now till several books are out before buying because of being caught by that, and of course that’s a catch 22 situation – with what seems a lack of interest then authors may just give up on a series 😦 For Example one paranormal series I began back in 2012 when there were two books out is still waiting for book three, originally promised for late 2012, then early 2013, late 2013 etc. It was a really promising storyline and I’m sad, but given up on it now. I’ve had the same via romance trilogies where they get abandoned leaving the reader stuck on a horrible cliff-hanger. That’s why I love authors like JCA who deliver what they promise when they promise, write books with a real story, a fantastic scene setting and turn out novels in a number of months not years.

So,rant over and back to Black – it’s another fabulous, rivetting read leaving me keen for more.

Stars: Five, a great read.

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

With This Bling, Romano & Albright 3, LB Gregg

 

 

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I’ve enjoyed several reads from L.B Gregg now so even though I’d not read the first two books I requested this one. Its a great read, full of emotion, drama ( and how!),  hot sex and great humour. I really want to read books one and two now! More for the wish list…

Caesar – he’s such a great guy. He reminded me very much of Sam, from Men of Smithfield 5. Same kind of sweet, slightly dorky character, means well but somehow his best intentions often end in chaos. ( I feel for them – that happens to me too!)  His family made me laugh, Law avoiding Italians, very family orientated, very close, full of fun but seem to style themselves as a kind of offshoot of the Italian Mafia! Then there’s his new(ish) man, Dan, ex cop now a PI. You’d  think Caesar’s family wouldn’t like him, being as they avoid the Law as much as they can, yet they’ve taken him in to their hearts as one of the family. Dan comes over as laid back, in contrast to Caesars almost OCD approach to everything. Dan flies by the skin of his teeth, Caesar has a plan, a chart and a spreadsheet for everything. They work well together though and its clear how much they are in love. Dan’s “in the moment, here and now” approach to sex has poor Caesar terrified of discovery much of the time. Dan seems to take the idea Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere really as a personal motto, while for poor Caesar sex seems to have been confined to “safe” places out of sight. He’s loving it though even though he’s terrified at the same time!

Somehow everyone here seems connected in some way, work, friends, exes or family ties, so poor Caesar seems to be obligated by this into doing so many things he really doesn’t want to do. That’s how he ends up helping cousin Joey into proposing to Poppy, Caesar’s business partner. Poppy is related to Dan BTW and she and Dan to Madeleine, owner of the art gallery where Caesar used to work….confused yet? 😉 The connections though lead to a fabulous story, full of humour, sensuality, drama and suspense. Its almost a kind of slapstick suspense from the events that happen. There’s real danger here, though for who and from whom isn’t certain, and when the danger happens it always seems to have that element of farce, turning it into a kind of comic drama. The story is fast paced too, there’s scarcely time for one drama to be over when the next lurches on.

I loved the way events played out, and so felt for poor Caesar, he was trying his best and yet each time he seems to get knocked back by the most unexpected events. Its a wonderful story, full of fun and laughter, along with that bit of mystery about who is behind what…and how and why of course. I adored Caesar, what a fabulous character he is, and he and Dan were the perfect foil for each other. Dan seems to be cagey so much about his past that I’m really intrigued. Snippets come out towards the end but I really, really want to know more, and hope there’s more books to come from this duo and their families.

Stars: Five, a fabulous story full of heat, fun, and drama

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

Intimate, Kate Douglas

 

Genre:  Romance,

I’d read a couple of Kate’s paranormals and thought this – a romantic suspense novel – sounded interesting.

From the start I really liked both Kaz and Jake, and could feel their chemistry. That made the story so much more real for me, and I need that edge of believability. I loved the descriptions of the jewels and the settings when they were on the shoot, could visualise them perfectly,  and of course how their attraction ( Kaz and Jake not the jewels!!)gave the photos a very sensual edge. It wasn’t long before that attraction turned to some steaming and erotic sex scenes, and these fitted the novel perfectly. Sometimes they’re overdone and take up too much of the story, but the balance here was perfect for me.

I liked Kaz friends too – a loyal duo and I guess we’ll be seeing more of them in later books. I enjoyed the way the background of both Kaz and Jake was hinted at, and came out in dribs and drabs until towards the end we get the whole story. There’s so much to enjoy about this novel – the characters, the pacing, the suspense and danger which felt very genuine that it ought to be a five star read for me but….I had real trouble with the way Jake kept the texts to himself even when it was clear Kaz was in danger, and the way she didn’t tell him of the later incidents when she was alone given they’d had a couple when together and they’d grown very close. It came close to being some TSTL moments, and I hate those,  and for me this let the novel down, it just didn’t feel how either of them would act…Still, apart from that it was a terrific read and one I enjoyed.

Stars: Four, almost a five if not for those TSTL bits.

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

Somewhere In Time, The Fine Art of Deception, Book 2, Alyssa Richards

 

 

 

 

SomewhereinTime_cover

Synopsis:
Addison Montgomery has finally found love with the man of her dreams, Blake Greenwood, and is ready
to live another lifetime of happiness with him. But the morning they’re supposed to bring closure to
their dark, violent past, all chances of a happily-ever-after turn as dead as the ghosts she sees on a daily
basis.
Now Addie must team up with her greatest enemy, embracing her not-quite-perfect gift of reading art
psychically. If she succeeds, she will finally learn the truth behind her father’s and grandfather’s
disappearances. If she fails, every chance at love she’s ever hoped for will be destroyed. But one thing is
clear: she has to choose between saving Blake or her family, and there’s no way she can ever have bot

 

My Review:

Genre:  Romance, Mystery & Thrillers

Well, book one was a real treat and I’ve been looking forward to book two – now having read it I want book three ASAP!!

This is an amazing series, with a mix of romance and risk, happiness and heart break, adventure and agonies….Alyssa has taken the Psychometry angle and extended it to make it her own and give us an incredible story spanning generations, encompassing past and present loves, art thefts of priceless works, and all wrapped up with the ever present danger contact with Otto brings. Yet he’s so wrapped up in the lives and families of both Blake and Addie that its seems impossible to get away from him. The more he learns about Addie’s gifts the more determined he is to use them for his own criminal purposes.

Addie wants nothing to do with him, but as she’s already learned he doesn’t take no for an answer and he seems to have contacts in the highest of places. He’s slippery like a snake and slithers through all the nets cast for him so far, escaping always by his contacts influences, which seem to pervade even the highest of official places. It really looks like the Law can’t help, however much factions of it want to. Once more she and Blake are plunged into danger, into running for their lives, trying to keep two steps ahead of Otto. He’s determined to get Addie for himslef and he’s got some unpleasant surprises in store for them in this book though, which could part Blake and Addie forever.

Its a book full of mysteries, where each time one is opened out, more than we could have imagined is revealed. Addie is so shocked and upset at some of the secrets her family have been holding for a very long time. It leads on to a story arc that looks set to play a large part in the next book, and was a fascinating read. Its quite easy for me to lose myself in a novel, however fantastic and unreal if the story is good and the writer makes everything feel plausible. Alyssa does just that, and I had no trouble in believing the new information that Blake and Addie discover their families have been keeping secret. Its a journey to the unknown though, and at great risk. Still, there are things they feel they have to do, and one way or another Otto just has to be stopped or his hold on the family will never be broken.

 

Stars: Five a fantastic story I found myself lost in for hours yesterday

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29162/?

SiT_TourBadge

About Alyssa Richards  Alyssa photo
Alyssa Richards is a paranormal romance author who lives in the South with her husband and two
children. She recently published her first paranormal romance book called The Fine Art of Deception:
Undoing Time and is currently working on the sequel. Alyssa’s writing is influenced by her curiosity with
ghosts and the supernatural world. She writes daily and believes that discipline and commitment to the
craft are critical to be a successful writer. Whenever she gets the opportunity, Alyssa enjoys travel,
spending time with her pups, and nurturing her herb and rose garden.

Incredulity by Kathy Zebert

 

Genre:  Romance, Mystery and Thrillers.

I thought this sounded fun, though I love romance novels they have to have something extra and the mystery here sounded like it would deliver that for me but…

It starts with a prologue, which introduces that jaw dropping moment when Callie realises her new man is going to be tried for murder, and that sounded so intriguing I was hooked. Then we move on to chapter one, and its not until halfway through that we got to the point where Dom is being charged. Until then its just all Callie and Dom watch the sunset…or that’s the way it seemed. Then once the charge is laid events change and Callie has to decide what to do.

I didn’t realise it was such a short read, just 160 pages, 1649 kindle locations and that’s probably why its a fail for me. There just isn’t enough pace to deliver the novel I was hoping, and instead we get all the events but everything is over so quickly, there’s never really any kind of feeling of mystery, danger, edge of seat thrills that I expected. The romance too seemed a bit meh – it was all sweetness and light, happy, happy, happy, there’s wasn’t any kind of conflict, any kind of misgivings, nothing to deliver the angst until the bombshell drops, and even then I couldn’t really believe Dom was guilty especially given the things we get to know.

You win some you lose some. This is a well written novel, an excellent idea, but just too short for me and a little underwhelming. Of course that makes it perfect for those who have limited time but want something a bit deeper than a short story, but that they can pick up and put down easily.

Stars:Three, a good book but didn’t suit me personally

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

As Weekends Go , Jan Brigden

 

 

 

Genre:  Romance, Woman’s Fiction

This was a fun read. a new to me author so I didn’t really know what to expect but got a story that was fun and realistic.

I liked Rebecca, she’s a loyal friend and family member, married for 18 months to Greg. Somewhere along that time he’s changed though, and now work and promotion consumes him, leaving little time for anything else. Each time Rebecca tries to talk he’s too busy. When he started criticising her, her clothes and style, her creative job, her friends and family it was hard to hear. You can see how slowly, insidiously, he’s chipped at her confidence. He really is an arrogant bore. Then there’s her friend Abi, who Greg hates. She’s full of fun, very outgoing, in love with her boyfriend Nick and does her best to help Rebecca. She doesn’t like what Greg is doing to her, it’s always easier to see from the outside, but Rebecca has always excused his behaviour. The last few months have been tough though, and she’s just beginning to realise how much of herself she’s given up.

Out of the blue Abi gets a weekend in a very elite and fabulous hotel. Her boss is unable to go and has asked Abi if she wants to take his and his wife’s place, so she persuades Rebecca to come. Greg’s away yet again for the weekend so they decamp to York. Its a wonderful place and Rebecca begins to relax. Then coming downstairs she trips, and gets caught by non other than famous footballer Alex. Right off there’s a sizzle between them and Alex just can’t get her out of his head. He’s also staying in the hotel for the weekend with a friend, Kenny. Before she knows what’s happened somehow Abi and Kenny have got talking and the four are out together. Its all very above board between Alex and Rebecca, he knows she’s married, but the conversations between them flow easily. Abi and Kenny arrange a dinner the next night with with a relative of his. His uncle and girlfriend were a great pair, very stereotyped but so funny and I’ve seen couples just like them. They added a nice touch to the colour in the novel, and a way to get Rebecca to look at Alex from another view.

Its a kind of slow build, with the deterioration of Rebecca’s marriage and Greg’s bombastic attitude and reluctance to see anything wrong. He just talks over Rebecca, ignores what she says and dumps more arrangements on her. She misses Alex, the easy chats they had, the way he listened to her in contrast to Greg just ignoring her or talking over her,  the attraction they both felt that can’t be ignored and it makes her take a stronger look at home. Greg really was a dislikeable person, but I enjoy a character like him in a novel – and his ex Nina, another great bi tch character. As things slowly build up we can see how easy it is for a relationship to crumble if both people aren’t on the same wavelength, how people change over time, how important friends are. Without Abi Rebecca would have struggled so much, in an unhappy marriage, trying to sort it and missing Alex all at the same time. The story and characters felt so very real, showed how easy it is to stray if that extra step is taken. Both Abi and Nick come close to the edge too despite being in love, and I liked the way it made them assess what they had instead, and move forward. Rebecca didn’t get that chance with Greg, he put the blame all on her and his plans were just to kind of upgrade her like a Stepford wife till she fit the role he needed. Sadly that happens, there are people like that 😦 husbands and wives.

Its a really fun and interesting read with a HEA. I loved the way it was paced, loved Alex and Rebecca, hated Greg and Nina….I do so love some strong characters in a novel and these worked so perfectly.

Stars: Four, a lovely gentle paced romance that made me think about people and issues

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, so I can make future reviews more helpful.

 

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