Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Review of He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

The bit on the back...

"A woman who almost had it all"
On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old in Manhattan could want: a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

"A man who was supposed to be her salvation"
Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what s left of her best friend's belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

"Until he became her ruin"
On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine s private life and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

I have been waiting to read this for a looooooooong ass time but I refuse to pay nearly £10 for an ebook so I waited until this was a bargain £5.99 before downloading it. I've loved both the Ten Tiny Breaths and the Burying Water series so I was looking forward to a new release from KA.

The story is all about Maggie Sparkes as she tries to get to the bottom of her best friend's "suicide". Maggie is the narrator for the majority of the story interspersed with some passages from Celine.
So this is a break from the norm for KA, breaking away from the romance genre and into the crime/thriller genre. I usually stick to romance and chicklit but have recently taken to the occasional dalliance with the crime genre so really, what could be better than one of my favourite romance authors crossing into crime? Well, unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed!

The story starts with a fast forwarded prologue from Maggie's POV which sets your expectation level for the rest of the story. From then we follow Maggie through the process of packing up Celine's life and getting to know her New York friends and acquaintances. Little by little Maggie uncovers more and more that she didn't know about Celine's life in New York and as she tries to piece together exactly what happened to her she gets further and further into danger herself.

The storyline is a bit repetitive between Maggie and the two main male characters and the majority of the book doesn't live up to the pace of the prologue. It seemed to take a long time to get to the point of the story and I sort of forgot I was supposed to be waiting in suspense for the most part.

Would it put me off reading something else in this genre from KA? Hell to the no, but it will never replace her romance series for me.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Review of Last Touch by Laurelin Paige

The bit on the back...

Emily Wayborn has made a decision.

She might not fully trust handsome and deadly Reeve Sallis, but he is the one person that gives her what she needs. With Reeve she can finally be herself. Submitting to him is the only thing keeping her grounded as the rest of her life falls apart. But the hotelier is a master at keeping secrets, and as she continues her quest for answers someone is making sure she doesn't find them.

Time is running out, and she is questioning everything she thought she knew about friendship and love. She must now make an impossible choice that will determine if she will survive with her heart...or at all.

Firstly thank you to St Martins for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is the second, and last book in this duo by Laurelin Paige. I absolutely loved the first book - First Touch - and after the corker of a cliffhanger at the end of it I started Last Kiss right away.

The story picks up exactly where First Touch left off, the adrenaline and emotions are running high right from the off. Emily and Reeve find themselves dealing with something completely unexpected and it put their relationship to the biggest test it has yet to face.

This installment is equally unpredictable as the first and the writing throughout is spectacular. The way the story is woven together with all the twists and turns creates a compelling read that will keep you hooked from the beginning.

At times throughout this book Emily got on my nerves. I wanted her to stand up for herself, stand up for what she wanted and her own feelings instead of constantly cowing to someone else. The narrative is again all from Emily's point of view but I would have loved to see exactly what Reeve was thinking in this book after seeing what happened at the end of the first book.

I'm glad the series ended in the 2nd book because I wouldn't have been able to wait to find out what happened if there was going to be a third book in the series. Equally though, I didn't want it to finish either because I wasn't ready to leave Reeve and Emily.

First Touch and Last Kiss were the first two books I read by this author and will definitely not be the last!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Review of Forty Things to do Before You're Forty by Alice Ross

The bit on the back...

The truth is that Annie Richards is just too busy to fall in love!

Running a successful cake-making business, acting as caretaker to grand country house Buttersley, and not to mention single-handedly raising her five-year-old daughter is more than enough to keep Annie’s (flour-dusted) hands full! So can someone please remind her why she agreed to train for a marathon as a ‘40 things to do before you’re 40’ pact with her so-called best friend?!

With every hour of day already taken up, the arrival of crime writer Jake O’Donnell at Buttersley shouldn’t really have any impact on Annie’s day-to-day life at all. There’s definitely no time in her carefully scheduled day for daydreaming about drop-dead gorgeous authors. Is there?

But between whipping up batches of her signature limoncello cupcakes, Annie realises that Jake, and his twinkling dark eyes, can’t just be ticked off her mental to-do list as easily as she though.

Especially when it seems that no. 40 on her list could be creating a truly decadent wedding cake – for her very own wedding…

Firstly thank you to Carina for the review copy of this title. I've had this on my review list for a long time, almost since I started out blogging, and it's only recently that I've managed to get around to reading it. Having just finished and enjoyed both of the books in Alice's Countryside Dreams series (An Autumn Affair and A Summer of Secrets) I was looking for more from this author.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I knew the main character when I started reading. If you've read either book from the Countryside Dreams series you will have met Annie too. Although I much prefer to read books in chronological order, I did like that with this one I already knew where Annie was in her present life and by reading her book after Countryside Dreams I now had a chance to get to know her and how she'd made it to where she was.

Annie is a single mum to her lovely daughter Sophie and owns the village bakery. Annie's life was turned upside down and her retreat to Buttersley was her salvation and her fresh start. Jake O'Donnell is also searching for something from Buttersley, somewhere to write his new novel in peace - peace being the operative word!

I liked all of the characters in this novel. I connected with Annie through her baking and admired her strength and determination to provide for her daughter to hr best ability. She was a little stubborn when it came to Jake and letting him into her life. Sophie adds an innocence to the storyline with her childlike view of Jake and his presence in their lives.

I loved being back in Buttersley. The story is quite predictable, more so because I've read the books that come later, but the village is full of characters that you will either love or love to hate. At the end of the story Alice has also included a Annie's list of "Forty Things" which was a bonus after hearing about Portia's list throughout the book. If you've not read the Countryside Dreams series I would definitely recommend it!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Review of First Touch by Laurelin Paige

The bit on the back...

When Emily Wayborn receives an answerphone message from her former best friend Amber, she knows something is seriously wrong. Emily hasn't spoken to Amber in years, and when Amber uses a safe word in her message that Emily recognises -- a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild partying days -- she knows Amber needs her help. But when Emily tries to find her, she discovers that Amber is missing.

Determined to track her down, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis. Renowned for his shady dealings and playboy reputation, Emily is convinced that Reeve knows something about Amber's disappearance. To try and discover the truth, Emily sets out to seduce him. But when she's forced to decide where her loyalty lies, how will Emily choose between saving Amber and saving her heart?

I actually had a copy of Last Kiss before I had a copy of this book and as the two should definitely be read in sequence I downloaded and started First Touch pretty much straight away. The story is all about main characters Emily and Reeve and the one thing that ties them together.

Emily makes it her mission to find out what happened to her friend Amber and she thinks that Reeve will lead her to the answer. Emily is head-strong, tenacious and at times it seemed like she would stop at nothing to find out what happened to Amber, regardless of her own safety.

Reeve is the definition of powerful, dark and dangerous. He is a hard one to read and Emily finds out the extent of that. The story is all from Emily's POV so her feelings about Reeve project onto you as the reader. In the first half of the story I always felt a little uneasy every time Emily was with him. He's powerful but sometimes overpowering and a lot of the times he is manipulative.

Emily gets lost in Reeve but is still constantly searching for clues about Amber. The story is fast paced and will keep you hooked throughout. The characters are well developed and although at times I wanted to warn Emily away from Reeve her determination is commendable.

This book is edgy and sexy and had me captivated from the very beginning, I started Last Kiss straight after finishing this because it ended on a completely unpredictable, unforeseen & AMAZING cliffhanger!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Cover Reveal! Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

Today I'm excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for EVERY LITTLE THING by New York Times bestselling author, Samantha Young! Samantha is one of my FAVOURITE authors and I am so looking forward to starting her Hart's Boardwalk series. Every Little Thing is the second novel to be set in the picturesque Delaware beachside town.

The bit on the back...

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…
Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy. 
Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

The first bok in the Hart's Boardwalk series The One Real Thing is on sale on the 6th of September so make sure you pre-order now!

The bit on the back...

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life.  Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations.  But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…

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About the author: Samantha Young is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series, including Moonlight on Nightingale WayEchoes of Scotland Street, and Fall from India Place, as well as the standalone novel Hero. She resides in Scotland.

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