Saturday, 29 November 2014

Eden Elsworth - Frippe House

**Review by Susan

Having inherited the estate of her Great-Aunt Alice, Becky soon finds the mysterious Frippe House is hiding some dark secrets. She faces a choice of dealing with her chequered family history, or going home and abandoning her inheritance.
Well, when Eden told me she was a more than a little spooked when writing this book, I had no idea of what lay ahead. She very kindly offered me a preview of the standalone a week before release. eI honestly don't think I've read a ghost story for a number of years and always being one to watch scary films instead I had no idea what to expect from it. But what a book it is!  

Becky is a single parent, works hard to support her family but suddenly gets contacted about an inheritance she has received; Frippe House. An old house that has remained in the family for a number of years has more than it's fair share of bumps in the night!  

With Becky's newly inherited house she builds new friendships (and maybe more!) but not before she finds secret passageway that leads to something that has everyone baffled and me? Spooked!

A truly awe inspiring read and a real page turner. As someone who likes a wide variety of different genres this did not disappoint. A brilliant standalone from the talented Eden Elsworth.

You can keep in touch with Eden and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter

Get your copy of Frippe House here (UK) or here (US).

Disclosure
I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Q&A with Annabel Fanning

Ladies Living in Bookland managed to get hold of Annabel Fanning (writer of SHE) for an exclusive interview! Read on to find out a little bit more about Annabel...

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into writing?

I’m Annabel Fanning and I’m 26. I was born in Scotland and now live in Perth, Australia. I grew up LOVING stories and especially those involving romance, HEA, and falling head over heels in love with someone. Throughout my teens I was an avid singer/songwriter (I still write songs today, but for other artists) I was living in LA when I was 19, and had just decided to take a break from the music industry when an idea came to me for a series of novels. I wrote the idea down (it was a metaphysical/inspiration piece for YA) and since writing those first words, I haven’t looked back.

SHE is set in Paris and we know you live in Australia....have you ever been? (Purely for research purposes!?) 

I went to Paris back in ’09 with my sister (who flew in from Glasgow where she lives). It was only for 2 and a half days and I had no intention of basing a story in Paris at the time. However when I started reading SHE I looked back over the (many) photos I’d taken in Paris and I found they helped me capture the essence of the city, especially Montmartre. I’m looking forward to my next visit.

If you go on to write another book (which I sincerely hope!), would you select a new romantic place to set it? If so, where?


One of the reasons I had Logan build a hotel in Tokyo is because I want to use that same hotel in another story, and have the whole novel based in that one location. Whether I ever get around to writing this story I don’t know, but as least the foundation is set if I do decide to write it. So, Tokyo.

Do you see yourself a lot in Gemima or do you base your characters on anyone you know?


Gemima’s internal monologues and quirky outbursts are very similar to me! I think my sense of humour is all over this book.

Do you have muses for your characters or just have a vision for them in your mind? 

I don’t base characters on anyone I know. I think (having written over 7 full length novels by now) that I write female characters that inspire me. Gemima is very confident and sure and a fully functioning adult (lol) which is great for me to write about as I’m entering that phase of my life as well.

We know SHE has a part 2 coming soon....can you tell impatient readers a bit more about it and when it might be coming?! 

SHE part 2 is FULL of humour, excitement, birthday surprises and (of course) sex! It picks up where part 1 left off. You’ll read all about their weekend away, Gemima meeting Logan’s family (oh, how will her American Mouth cope!) and the passion/closeness/intensity between them definitely heats up! So if you thought SHE part 1 was hot…you ain’t read nothing yet!

Looking to the future, do you have any plans for another standalone (or series!) after the second part of SHE?

Yes, LOTS! Haha! I’ve written a series of four novels based on the Robin Hood legend which I might look into releasing. Also, as mentioned, there’s that Tokyo based story. Ah…there are so many stories I’d LOVE to tell! I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to write and I can imagine indulging in these other worlds for many years to come.


You can keep in touch with Annabel Fanning and news about her books on Facebook.

Annabel Fanning - SHE (Part 1)

*This book contains adult themes
**Review by Susan & Stacey


Logan has loved Gemima for years. Gemima doesn't know. 
After her deadpan relationship implodes, Logan seizes his chance to rock her world. 
Set in picturesque Paris, SHE is an erotic tale about falling madly in love. Combining sex, passion, and romance, these two high-flying professionals will leave you saying, “Oh, la la!”













Susan

So we meet Gemima, who from the first page, I just connect with. She's hilarious and such a strong independent woman despite bring poorly treated by her then boyfriend, Jerry. Gemima has lived in France for 8 years but can't shift her American twang or hilarious attitude. I simply adored her.  

A phonecall from Logan Leary to Gemima Samuels would be the making of the pair. Logan is one of the most genuine people, so trusting, adorable and romantic. Despite him having his own problems he is the most brilliant unassuming man. I admit I fell for him a little bit :)


Within a short space of time the two are together, in every sense of the word. Emotionally they are connected from the very beginning and we see that develop.....Physically!? The pair are hotter than hot. Where do I start? The ottoman, the syrup, the glass, the gift from friends?! Oh it's up there on the steam meter.  


As for the story, it's brilliant, it's well written and I loved that each chapter was written to a song...it just flowed brilliantly and I read through it in 48 hours because despite three children I couldn't actually put it down. I now can't wait for part two because I have so many unanswered questions! I can't wait to read the second installment of SHE and get my answers.  


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"For a moment, I'm lost in our kiss, my mind unable to comprehend the level of happiness that I'm feeling right now."
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"Abso-effing-lutely" fantastic five star steamy read.

Stacey
So as soon as I knew this book was set in Paris, I wanted to read it - Paris always attracts me as I find the descriptions really draw me in and make me want to be there, She is no different!

I absolutely love Gemima, she's so funny; always having conversations with herself so she reminds me of me!

Logan is a dream boyfriend too, with a dream apartment to boot.

Logan has been besotted with Gemima ever since they met at a function a few years ago but Gemima was already attached (to a bit of a moron) so he just waited, and waited... And she finally came! (In more ways than one...) The attraction was magnetic from the off, from the very first meeting, and I was just egging them to get it on as the tension was unbearable! Logan is the perfect man in the bedroom (and out of it too). All through the book you just want these two to have a happy ending - even though you just know it's going to happen anyway! 

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"What could possibly be greater than opening my heart, and feeling, fully, the love that another has to give me?"
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Absolutely loved reading this and can't wait for part two.

You can keep in touch with Annabel Fanning and news about her books on Facebook.


Get your copy of SHE here (UK) or here (US).


Disclosure
We received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Don Castle - Shadows: A Jake Somers Novel‏

*Review by Stacey

With a cast of characters that you've come to know and love, the Jake Somers mystery/suspense series illuminates the world of a private investigator and his close knit family group. In this the third in the series, we find Jake dealing with the murder of a beautiful college coed literally at his back door. And when multiple homicides occur across the city and under similar circumstances Jakes crime solving expertise is called upon by the police to help catch a serial killer. Death on a college campus, illegal synthetic drugs and a maniacal killer are all in a days work for Jake Somers.















Now crime novels are one of my favourite genres and as I haven't read one for a while I was looking forward to reading this as I thought it sounded interesting, like my kind of read. The story starts straight out with the discovery of a dead body outside Private Investigator Jake's office block. Eventually more bodies turn up and after investigation alongside the police department and the district attorney, the death can be related to a case he was previously investigating. We meet a lot of other characters in this book, including his office partner Steve and their receptionist Maria, Captain Huddleston from the PD, Jake's mum Josie and his girlfriend Shirley, the killer, and a few others who I lost track of in the end and had to keep checking back.

Due to the previous case relation, we keep hearing details from that case and the current one; they did fit together quite well and we could see clearly how they were related. Don seemed to have done quite a bit of research into synthetic drugs which featured heavily throughout the story. I did think though that the killer was revealed too early and it was quite obvious who it was from not long after we meet them around halfway through, which didn't give much structure to the rest of the story as it was just Jake trying to find them. 

As well as these two cases being investigated, there is also a story line of Maria's wedding planning which features quite heavily and I didn't think it fit too well. It would have been better to just have snippets of it rather than feature as heavily as it did as I think altogether these three were just too much in one story. I can't really pick a favourite character as I didn't find them very engaging; I didn't really feel any substance to them and the conversation was quite repetitive. Because of discovering the killer half way through I thought the ending was quite abrupt too as there wasn't anything major to be expected or excited about. 

If you are looking for an easy to read mystery novel involved with drugs and murder then this may be the one for you. 

You can keep in touch with Don Castle and news about his books on his website or Twitter.

Get your copy of Shadows: A Jake Somers Novel‏ here (UK) or here (US).

Disclosure
I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Friday, 14 November 2014

KL Peterson - Prisoner of Blood

**Review by Susan

When a series of vampire killings shakes his hometown, recently turned vampire and antiques dealer Jack Martin works side by side with his brother, a police detective, to catch a ruthless kidnapper and killer. Jack must protect those closest to him while he uncovers more about the killer, about himself, and the secret world in which he finds himself engulfed.

So this is K.L Petersons first book and what a book it is! It's very well written and witty too. Found myself chuckling a lot through it from the word go. The stereotypical vampire is not necessarily what you get here. We see the main character Jack Martin (an antiques dealer and newly turned vampire) and also meet his brother (who works for the police) and helps him work a case which involves a rather nasty vampire who also had murdered someone close to Jack. When a celebrity goes missing Jack pulls a strong team together of various abilities to tackle the problem but at what cost to his friends?  

It was a fantastic book for setting the scene and getting inside Jack's head. I loved how he felt when it came to feeding and how much more of a physical need it was for him in terms of being with someone not just cheaply but with someone he felt for. Has he found a love in this book? I do hope so! It really was a good book although it took me a while to get my head around the range of characters (I can be hopeless with names!) but I'm already looking forward to the next book.  

Please read! I'm sure you will enjoy. 

You can keep in touch with KL Peterson and news about her books on Facebook.

Get your copy of Prisoner of Blood here (UK) or here (US).

Disclosure
I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Krissy V - Sunshine in Madrid

**Review by Susan

My name is Sunshine and once a year I run Sunshine Tours!

I like to take a break from my life to recharge my batteries, you know that feeling when you just need to do something that is totally different to the hum drum of every day life. My life can be boring, but whenever I get together with my eclectic group of friends my life takes a different track.

Join me on my tour of Madrid, this year is our 10th Anniversary and we intend to make it as good as the first trip we ever made which was to Barcelona. I brought back a souvenir that year that I still treasure.

An anniversary is a time for reflection and I have to do that when my past life catches up with me in the most unusual place. Will I be able to keep my secret? Or is it time for me to grow up and accept some responsibility?

Step aboard the Sunshine tour, take a seat and lose yourself in Sunshine’s world! 






I was very lucky to get an early glimpse at 'Sunshine in Madrid' and I laughed, yelled at delight and cried with Sunshine and her friends through this book. But mainly laughed my socks off! It was hilarious and Krissy V really captured the light hearted fun of a girls weekend away...vodka and all. I instantly fell in love with Sunshine and admired her strong will and attitude. A hard working, single mother of three getting some 'adult time' and maybe a little more too! 

After finding an old flame, who both harboured feelings for one another before life took over, leads to brilliant things. But has Sunshine let one of the best things get away from her by not letting them back into her life sooner?  

Five star read. Can't wait for the rest of the Sunshine Tours :)


You can keep in touch with Krissy V and news about her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, or Goodreads.

Get your copy of Sunshine in Madrid here (UK) or here (US). Add to your Goodreads TBR here.

Disclosure
I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lisa J Hobman - Christmas Presence

**Review by Susan

This is a novella which follows on from Bridge Over the Atlantic and Bridge of Hope and should not be read as a stand alone story.

Mallory got her happily ever after, but haunting loss in the past has her running scared that she will lose her beloved yet again. Can anything...or anyone make her realise she needs to let go of the past and live for today? 















So we get to meet Mallory and Greg again in their contented life with their beautiful family preparing for the festive season.  
That is until a phonecall about Josie (Mallorys good friend) needs her help when pregnancy complications arise.  Mallory wastes no time in agreeing to get herself there to be there for her friends, despite the long journey ahead of her, and despite the time of year.  Mallory said her goodbyes to be by her friends side.  
On leaving for her journey we glimpse into the couples relationship, and it seems strained. Greg worrying that Mallory is wanting something else or glimpsing into the past because she isn't happy.  In fact Mallory worries that she is going to lose the ones around her she loves, because it's what she's known. Her anxieties are rife but rather than the couple openly discussing, they leave on little discussion as to the real reason. Leaving things unsaid between the couple during her time away.

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"...I feel like I'm pulling away from him to...I don't know...protect myself?"
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No! Surely the couple we've fallen head over heels with aren't going to split. Not after all they've been through. The distance between them emotionally and physically seemed to widen as the days passed and the conversations got shorter between the pair. A chance stranger makes an appearance at an already turbulent time, with Mallory feeling lost and confused. Who was the stranger and would she meet him again?! 
On a train journey home, with awful weather, will she make it back to her family in time. Would she feel more at ease when she gets to meet someone, or 'something' validates everything she knows but needed to hear?  
It's a brilliant Christmas read and so unbelievably heartwarming.  I'm so pleased that the chance stranger got his message across and gave Mallory the confidence to be happy and at ease with her life and her family. Sam never far from her mind....her guardian angel.  

You can keep in touch with Lisa and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

Get your copy of Christmas Presence here (UK) or here (US).

Disclosure
I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

MJ Rutter - Cruel Winter

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Susan & Stacey



After reuniting with Jeremy, the path of love still never seems to run smoothly for Kelsey. When tragedy strikes the couple, will it tear them apart, or will it bring them closer together. As the year closes, as much as she loves him, as much as she needs him, will it ever be enough to keep them together? 
A winter filled with love and steaming passion that soon turns into a winter of cruel acts which out of their control, of misunderstanding and of heartbreak. She lost him once and getting him back took almost everything she had in her. Will she be strong enough to endure what lies ahead of her and if she is to go it alone, will she survive?












Susan
Cruel Winter is the amazing sequel to 'Summer Rain' and it does not disappoint. I was pleased to read the two books close together and I'm pleased I had that opportunity because I most definitely craved more Kelsey and Jeremy! I needed to know what lay ahead...

So we delve right into their their story and into the heartbreak of Kelsey going through an ectopic pregnancy at 11 weeks. The sheer devastation for the pair is visible for all. Kelsey is devastated and does nothing but blame herself and worry that somehow Jeremy won't want her anymore and that she can't give him a baby. Because the couple are both so strong willed and stubborn this traumatic event really does push them to breaking point (as it can with many couples who sadly go through a loss) and their hurt, anger and disappointment is only taken out on one another.

After the devastating news they struggle to come to terms with their loss and they try to regain some normality in their lives, returning to work, finding comfort in their friends and family. And this continued as they approach their first Christmas as a couple they decide to spend it with Jeremy's family and it was going to be a busy festive period with a few hiccups along the way!!

As if we thought the stubborn, split pair hadn't been enough Kelsey decides to keep some news from Jeremy whilst she gets her head around it...but could this be the making of them? Roll Susan's cue to yell at the book wishing she could bang the couples heads together!! After some friction and a hormonal Kelsey the two finally discuss their situation at the airport...but is it too late?! Will Kelsey be around to support Jeremy through a devastating loss of his own? Oh I'm going to leave you in suspense but go grab your copy and find out!

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"How can I move on to someone else when my heart belongs totally and completely to you? ....I am lost without you, I can't think, I can't eat or drink, I can't do anything because everything reminds me if you. You are my soul mate Kelsey, and it feels like half of me is missing...."
------------------------------

This book got me rather hot under the collar and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I loved Summer Rain and Cruel Winters equally, if not maybe a little more! It is a very emotional rollercoaster for he lair and you feel your heart break for them after all they go through. I found myself willing them to be happy at long last. Simply brilliant - another five star read from the lovely M. J. Rutter.

Stacey
Like with Summer Rain, I have been wanting to read Cruel Winter for a long time but I wanted to read them together as I know they tie in with each other.

Cruel Winter starts right where Summer Rain left off with Kelsey & Jeremy enjoying their unexpected but very much wanted pregnancy until disaster & heartbreak comes upon them with Kelsey losing their baby. I myself know that this is one of the worst things that can happen to a couple and it is so hard to keep it together so I had so much empathy for the both of them.

As with any couple going through this, they are extremely grief stricken and try so hard to carry on with their lives, even visiting Jeremy's family for the Christmas period. After Kelsey overhears a conversation between Jeremy & his siblings she decides that it's for the best if she leaves Jeremy - at this point I was screaming noooooo, though I know her emotions would have been all over the place.

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We needed to hold each other, to really just be there for each other.
------------------------------

From this point onward both Kelsey & Jeremy were so stubborn and I was constantly shouting at the book for them (especially Kelsey) to just tell each other how they really felt and get back together - like Susan above, I felt like banging their heads together!

Though the stubborn pair of them frustrated me, the story was very well written and though it was not what I was expecting from MJ Rutter, I really enjoyed reading it and was so relieved at the end when they finally got their happily ever after!

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"I am lost without you, I can't think, I can't eat or drink, I can't do anything because everything reminds me of you."
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Can't wait to read the other genres from this author.

You can keep in touch with Melissa and news about her books on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Get your copy of Cruel Winter here (UK) or here (US).

Disclosure
I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own. (Susan)
I purchased this book myself and wasn't asked to write this review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own. (Stacey)

Monday, 3 November 2014

KA Hobbs - Assured

*This book contains adult themes
**Review by Susan & Stacey


Life was changing for Sophie and Doug. Their relationship has been tried and tested in ways they never would have imagined. Adapting to how their life was now takes time and patience - a lot of patience. Are Sophie’s dreams of a happily ever after realistic? Could she be the person Doug needed her to be? And can Doug balance life in his new role and maintain his old one? Does love really conquer all? Find out where life takes Doug and Sophie in book two of The Connected Series.
















Susan
So I am very excited about this book as I am THE biggest Mr Roberts fan there is....so more Doug?! Erm....yes please!!!!

So we delve right into the second book in The Connected Series at a heartbreaking time for Sophie and Doug. They are trying to pull back some normality into their lives whilst struggling with their grief. A visit to Sophie's parents in Cornwall to tell them the sad news of their loss and also how they would be accepting something and someone entirely new into their lives...this also coincides with a visit from Harry (Sophie's brother) and we get a cheeky glimpse into his turmoil (who knows where that will go?! - Teehee). Of course my favourite Doug is waiting in the wings, as usual! *Susan fans herself*

Did I mention that 'Assured' is just as hot as Doubt? Oh, well it is!! We have suspenders and sexy text messages, waxing, and so on :). I don't want to spoil it all for you!

So as Sophie and Doug prepare themselves for a life changer and relationship changer we see the couple grow and accept the challenge very much together and as strong as ever. But would that last?  

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"Don't let the boat drift off too far, Sophie.  Before you know it, you'll be so far apart you won't be able to get back to each other."
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As most of us know...life can take over and a busy schedule can make romance tricky and make feelings fraught - it didn't make it easy to read....the love struck pair were drifting apart and I hated it!! Could anything bring them together again? 

Throughout the story of Sophie and Doug we see the preparation of Jonathan and Miley's wedding...and what a wedding it would be....and with a happily ever after for the newly wed couple or for our lovely Doug and Sophie?!

It's another heartwarming story with more tears, more laughter and most of all more love.  In more ways than one. We leave Doug and Sophie with a view to delving into their lives in future books but with a massive grin on my face (rather than tears as I first worried about upon hearing this would be the last of Mr Roberts)....FEAR not!!!  

And so, what more can I say other than it's the second book in the series but by no means a second choice....it's perfectly beautiful and I adore Assured....from the first to the last page. And on that note.....

"I love you with my whole heart and to my toes"....

Stacey
After reading Doubt not long after it was released, I was hoping the wait for Assured wouldn't be too long (luckily I got to BETA read it!), and I'm so glad it's finally here!

Like Susan said above, Assured wasn't an easy read at times and it stirred up so many emotions inside of me, from anger to sadness to hope to...I'll let you think of that one! Although it wasn't an easy read at times, it still had me sucked in.

At the end of Doubt I identified with Sophie so much after what her & Doug went through, that I was praying for a happy ending with Assured. The whole soul destroying experience that Sophie (and Doug of course) went through was written just perfectly - I identified with Sophie so much as I have been through it myself, so yes, there were lots of tears from me. Partly because of reliving it, and partly because KA got Sophie's thoughts, actions & words absolutely spot on. Even to the ending, I was took by surprise at something that is very identifiable with me...

There isn't much I can add that Susan hasn't already written, but you will have to read it to see if Sophie & Doug get their happy ending!


You can keep in touch with KA Hobbs and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter

Get your copy of Assured here (UK) or here (US). 

Disclosure 
We were lucky enough to read a BETA version of this book. All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.