Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush (Hush Hush #1)
by Becca Fitzpatrick




SYNOPSIS:



A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.






MY THOUGHTS:
3 stars


What to say about this? Everybody read it. Most people loved it, some people hated it. For me, the first 75% was super boring. The last quarter was good, hence the 3 stars. (if it wasn't for that last 25%, I would have given it 2 stars)

I think it has potential to get better and since it's the first book in the series, I'm willing to give it a chance (that and the fact that I have the box set...)

Anyway, the writing was good and easy to read. The plot was interesting and it had lots of action. Also there was a scene at a motel that I liked very much. 
My main problem was with the characters. I couldn't connect with any of them.

Vee, the best friend was an idiot, not a very good friend at all, on the contrary, she was so hormone-driven that she didn't pay attention to her friend whatsoever. Also, I think the author tried to make her appear funny and failed miserably.

Nora... well, what can I say about Nora? She is utterly annoying, infuriating. She makes Bella Swan look like Einstein, always making the worst decisions and being so so so so immature and lacking common sense.

And Patch...to be honest, I didn't fall for him. He was mysterious? yes. He had great abs? yes. But sexy? Mmm... nope. At least, not yet.



Furthermore, I don't know when or why they fall in love and that irritates me. a lot. :D

In any case, I will continue with the second book because I want to know where this is headed.

Blitz: Withering Hope




Withering Hope by Layla Hagen 


Publication date: January 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance





Synopsis:


*This will be a STANDALONE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE.*

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.
But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.
As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.


Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.



Amazon: no pre-order available. Purchase link will go live on January 19th 








AUTHOR BIO

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough

Author links:



Blitz Wide Giveaway!



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Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows ( Shadow World #1)

by Dianne Sylvan




SYNOPSIS:


Meet Miranda Grey—music and magic are in her blood.

Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...



















MY THOUGHTS:


3.5 stars

This was a very good book, very entertaining.
The beginning is strong, with a raping scene in one of the first chapters. I didn't particularly enjoy that. I don't think it added anything to the story and honestly, I never like those kind of scenes. This is the only reason why I didn't give it 4 stars.

I liked Miranda's "power". It sounds pretty cool to me, though I could relate to her and the way she felt about it. It may be a little overwhelming to know and feel, what everyone is feeling, ALL THE TIME. That's why she gets away of people, even her best friend.
Although influencing people's mood could have some perks. :D

David is an intriguing character. I'm pretty fond of him. It was weird to see a vampire over 300 years old being that geeky but I think it fits his personality well.

The writing is ok, didn't blew my mind but the pace and plot compensate.

I'm looking forward to reading the second book.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Fish out of Water by Ros Baxter


Fish out of Water  (Aegira Chronicles #1)
by Ros Baxter


SYNOPSIS:

Dirtwater's straight-talking Deputy Sheriff Rania Aqualina has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that's a serious liability for a mermaid, a soldier-of-fortune ex who's hooked on her Mum's brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street. 

Heading home to Aegira for a family wedding, Rania has a sinking feeling that's got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with the crazy situation. Now, if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegiran priest off her case, work out who the hell's trying to kill her, and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the mysteries. And maybe even save her own ass while she's at it.









MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. It took me forever to read it (Sorry Ros!!! Don’t hate me!) but I’m glad I could finally get to it.


Originality: 5 stars
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing style: 4 stars

I was pleasantly surprised with this story in every possible way. For starters, it is original and it takes imagination to a whole new level.

At the beginning it was hard for me to connect with the writing style but once I advanced into the story, I got acquainted with it and enjoyed it very much.
Somehow Ros Baxter managed to unite a mesmerizing world under the sea with a mystery-full story. There was a lot of action. And yes, the first quarter was a bit slow for my taste but once the author built some background it jumped straight to action and the ¾ that followed were amazing.

What I liked the most: the thorough descriptions that transported me completely into that amazing world under the sea.

Favorite character: Lunia (Rania´s mom), she was totally passionate and such a loving mother. Doug was a great character too and has a spot in my heart. 

Less favorite character: Rania. (yup!) I know the idea of a drinking/smoking mermaid cop sounds awesome but I couldn’t relate to her. At one point I wanted to punch her in the face whenever she mentioned her addiction to nicotine. Though, I must admit, she is tough and a kick ass heroine. So maybe my opinion about her will change in the next books :D


Overall it is a book I would recommend to everyone that likes action packed paranormal books with well defined and strong characters.
I am getting the second book right now!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: Preservation (Preservation #1)

Preservation (Preservation #1) 
by Rachael Wade




SYNOPSIS:

Fear is sabotage’s sweetest weapon.


Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can’t afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else’s complicated baggage. 

When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell’s creative writing class, he is only “Mr. Campbell” to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor. 

But underneath Ryan’s abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can’t stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they’re willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That’s if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don’t pummel their efforts first. 








MY THOUGHTS:

4 stars

The first half is worth 5 stars for me, but the second part is 3 stars. Hence: 4 stars. 


How many times do we say: “I don’t want to be in a relationship” or “I don’t have time to get involved with anyone right now” ? but those statements die in our mouth because when the person is right, we suddenly want to be in a relationship and we suddenly think we have time for it (even if actually we don’t have time at all)
Well, for these two, that is what happens. He is a player, he has his reasons, yes, but he still is and she is so self-absorbed with her mom’s sickness, work and studies that she is not planning on falling for anyone. And on top of all, both had been hurt, so they fear commitment. They fear the consequences of letting someone in. And then, they meet. 

I loved the cover of this book and that was what at first piqued my interest. But for some reason, I was drawn to this story from page one. I like the writing, the short chapters and the characters. Well Kate lost judgment somewhere after 50% of the book but besides that, I liked her. 
If anything, Carter is a bit possessive at the beginning but then he grows to be one of my favorite characters with the amazing advices that are always perfect and in sync with Kate’s needs. 
And Ryan? He likes The XX, that’s all I need to know! And with his perfect abs and toned body… swoon! (I believe a long time ago I mentioned that every sexy guy on earth in mind looks like Ryan Guzman or Channing Tatum but this Ryan feels like Ryan Guzman :D) Honestly though, he had a few possessive/crazy attitudes that bothered me but I can live with that. 

description


Regarding Ryan and Kate’s relationship, I understood their attraction, damn even I was attracted to him after a few pages but I didn’t get the “you are too good for me” thing after seeing each other a few times and spending a few minutes together in total… 

Now let’s move to the second half:

- Here it seemed like the author just decided to throw events randomly. I won’t spoil anything. 
- Also… There was a plot hole? I mean, how did Ryan and Carter got a hold of Kate when the gala event took place. I mean, yes, they knew she was at the hotel but how did they figured out exactly where she was and that she was in danger for that matter? As I said, I don’t want to make a spoiler so I’m not getting into details regarding that. 
- St Lucia is a magical place, even though not necessary for the plot. IMHO.

About the end and epilogue:

- Then end is adequate, nonetheless predictable. 
- The epilogue is cute and it’s a ‘happily ever after’. 

Overall a good and entertaining read but I would have liked the second part to be a bit different



Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 challenge: Scavenger Hunt II






Scavenger Hunt  2015

This time there are 3 varieties: easy , medium  and hard . So you can choose between 10, 20 and 30 books. See which one suits you!

As always, if the requirement is something in the cover, that thing has to be an important feature of the cover  not something you need a magnifying glass to see.  
Please read the rules at the bottom of the post carefully.
Sorry numbers 11 and 21 look funny, I can't fix it :(


Easy






  1. Read a book set in the United Kingdom or Ireland  (any of the countries)
  2. Read a book released in 2015
  3. Read the second book in a series
  4. Read a book starting with the letter H
  5. Read a book with a one word title
  6. Read a book with a number in its title (cardinal or ordinal, it can be in numbers or letters)
  7. Read a book where the MC is a musician or dating the former ;)
  8. Read a book from a debut author
  9. Read a book with a shoe on the cover (sneaker/boots/ sandal etc  )
  10. Read a book without a love triangle


Medium 
(the 10 from the EASY challenge plus these 10)






11. Read a retelling

12. Read the last book in a series
13. Read a book by a German author
14. Read a book with a love triangle
15. Read a book with a blue dress on the cover
16. Read a book from an author named Jennifer or Richard
17. Read a book with an animal on the cover
18. Read a book with a day of the week in the name
19. Read a book that has a dome
20. Read a book with alternate POV


Hard
(the 20 from the EASY and MEDIUM challenge and add these 10)



21. Read a book where the MC has the name of a flower
22. Read a book written in the 20th century
23. Read a book that has more than 500 pages
24. Read a book where the MC is the hunted (can be a killer, a demon, anything you like)
25. Read a book that was originally written in French
26. Read a book set in the 18th century
27. Read a book written in the 19th century
28. Read a book set in Atlanta, New Orleans or San Francisco
29. Read a book whose author was born in a country starting with the letter A,   C or G
30. Read the first book in a series that has more than 10 books



The rules:
  • The challenge will run from January 1st – December 31st 2015.
  • Select, read and review a book from each category listed above during the year. 
  • You can’t use the same book in two categories.


  • To be eligible for the prizes, you have 2 options:  a) create a post on your blog where you document your progress and link it to this page or b) create a goodreads folder and label the books you've read.
  • There will be 2 prizes: A book up to 20usd for one winner among the ones that complete the Hard variety and a book up to 10usd for one winner among the ones that complete the medium variety. (it's international, provided that TBD ships to your country)
  • I ask for a review because, otherwise I can't confirm whether you actually read it or not. Things like: "I loved it" or "I hated it" don't count as reviews. :D 
  • Whenever you finish, enter the rafflecopters below. (it's your responsibility, don't forget!)



Hard variety giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Medium variety giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Sex on the Beach (Cocktail Cruises #2) and giveaway





Cocktail Cruises - Box Set

by Allie Boniface


Enjoy all three of the Cocktail Cruise stories in one volume, along with cocktail recipes and excerpts from some of your favorite USA Today and Amazon best-selling authors – available only in this collection!

Quick Facts                                        
Release Date:  December 1st, 2014                
Genre: Contemporary Romance                                           
Formats to buy: Paperbacks and all ebook formats

Heat Level: R-rated for sexual content; 3 Flames (Contains occasional sensual, explicit love scenes, and the language used to describe them may be graphic and direct)











Tequila Sunrise (Cocktail Cruises #1):


Louise wants to find love on board a romantic singles’ cruise – and it looks like her prayers are answered at a speed dating event.
Toby is too busy for a serious relationship; he only goes on the cruise because his best friend’s family owns the line and his sister works on it. But when he meets the luscious Louise at speed dating, his heart’s a goner.
When Lou discovers the dating service uses unethical business practices, though, she’s determined to reveal them, and the resulting publicity hurts Toby’s friends and family.

Can he convince her that true love exists beyond numbers?









Sex on the Beach (Cocktail cruises #2)


Cassidy is an elementary school teacher with a secret: a sexually adventurous online life led under a foolproof alias. Her motto? Enjoy sex and the single life as much as possible.
Bryce works for a major cruise line, which gets him all the sun, sand, and women he could want. But he meets his match in Cass, who’s even less interested in commitment than he is.

When her school’s financial crisis places Cass at the center of a firestorm, she must decide whether she’ll let Bryce become the first man she’ll trust with both her secrets and her heart. 





REVIEW:

- I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review -

3.5 stars!

This is the first book I read by Allie Boniface. I was drawn to it because I thought that the names (Cocktail names) were a fun touch and also because I’m a fan of cruises.

Romance + cruises = MY THING!


What can I say about "Sex on the Beach"? 

The best things:

  • First of all, the cover is gorgeous. 
  • The writing style is fresh.
  • I liked the friend. Lou is amazing! And she is the protagonist of Book 1 (Tequila Sunrise) so I’ll be getting it soon!
  •  I enjoyed how the story unfolded when they were back on land, with a tiny bit of mystery and drama. 
  • The sexy scenes were nicely done.
  • I found the “Savvy tip of the day” really funny and I believe it’s a nice detail.

                                                                                                    
Savvy tip of the day:

"Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind, even if it scares you".

  • There is a happy ending and that earn points with me hehe. 



The not so amazing things:

  • Everything happened too fast, but probably because the book is short. On the bright side, that makes it super easy to read. I read it in just one afternoon.
  • I wanted more cruise story. Most of the story develops on land. 
  • There were a few editing errors but they don’t divert the reader from the story at all. 
  • Cass. I didn't like her much.  
For example: when she first got on the cruise, she said she wasn’t there to pick up a man but she stared at two guys in 2 minutes with a lusty attitude. 
And definitely, it’s different to be laid back, confident and not wanting commitment than being slutty. 
As the story continued,  she changed but at first she was: "looking for her skimpiest bikini", making comments such as “men always notice my different eyes in the morning when I’m naked in their bed” in the first 5 minutes of a talk  with a guy  O.o . Sorry, but I couldn't relate to her. 

Though After one unworthy accusation towards Cass, Bryce gets closer to her to help and they start connecting a bit more and she opens her heart. That part I enjoyed more because it felt more real. 

Anyway, a nice summer read (ok, summer for those who live in the southern hemisphere!)
If you want a spicy and entertaining read, take a look at it.











Between the Sheets (Cocktail Cruise #3)



Andrea is determined to merge a cruise ship career and single motherhood. But that leaves zero time for sex or love, so when she has a chance for a fling with a sexy cruise ship dancer, she goes for it.
Sebastian enjoys a low-key life as the ship’s dance instructor, a welcome change from his previous life in Argentina as the star of a hugely popular dance show. But when Andrea sweeps into his life, everything changes.
Will new love help him come to terms with his past, and convince her to find room in her life for another man? 






Here is an excerpt of  Sex on the Beach:



Bryce ran the back of one hand down her bare arm as he leaned over to flag the bartender. Electricity shot all the way up to Cass's shoulder, and something deliciously warm and familiar tingled between her legs. She brushed his shoulder as she reached for her drink, telegraphing a message that registered in the light of his eyes.He took a long swallow of his beer, then rested one elbow on the bar and turned toward her. Two inches, maybe one, separated them. She could smell him. If she leaned forward, she could probably taste him. And damn, but that mouth looked like it would know what to do on a woman’s body.“That pick-up line, by the way?” she said. “The good-luck charm? Weak.”He clutched his chest as if she’d shot him. “Was it that bad?” The corner of his mouth quirked up. “I thought it had flair.” He touched the neck of his beer bottle to her glass. “Women like flair.”Cass crossed one leg over the other and let her dress ride up. “Flair is over-rated.” She ran her fingers through her hair, loose and falling past her shoulders. “It takes more than that to win a girl over.” A nice ass will do, though, she thought. Good smile and wit helped too, and so far Bryce was three for three, though she wouldn’t tell him that.
“Decided to take the free cruise?”“I did.”“How’s your friend Louise?”“She’s fine. Spends a lot of time with Toby, but I’m guessing you already know that.” She sipped her martini. “What about your buddy? The one from the bachelor party? He get married yet?”“Yep. Valentine’s Day.” He cocked his head when she didn’t answer. “I take it you're not a fan?”“Of marriage? Or Valentine’s Day?” Not either one, she wanted to say.  She set her glass down after another sip. “Thanks for the drink. But I think I’ll be going.” First conversations never needed to last longer than a few minutes. She’d leave him wanting more. 



The Author
 
Allie was born and raised in a tiny community in upstate New York, which probably explains her fascination with the magic of small town life. She holds a B.A and M.A. in English Literature and is a full-time high school English teacher in the northern NYC suburbs, where she currently resides. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she and her husband love to travel both in the United States and abroad. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas and writes sensual contemporary romance because she loves exploring the emotions that connect us all!



Giveaways
U.S and International: 


$10 Amazon gift card, E-copy of Tequila Sunrise

a Rafflecopter giveaway



U.S only:

Signed paperback of The Promise of Paradise (also by Allie Boniface)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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