Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cathy Jackson - Blossom (A Bloom novella)

*Contains adult themes (in regards to domestic violence)
**Review by Susan

November 20th
My Wedding Day

We had come so far from when we first met.
She would shy away from me, from my touch.
I didn’t know why then. Was she shy? Nervous around men?
Not comfortable with strangers? Now I knew it was all of the above.
And who could blame her after Charles? To Phoenix every man was a Charles.

Her husband, Charles, both mentally and physically abused her.
With his death, Phoenix Swartz, now Phoenix Westerling, could finally heal and start blooming. Her bud had been held too tightly for so long, but she had begun to open.

Soon she would blossom and I would be there to see that.
There will be so many issues that we will have to work through now that our marriage has begun.

I also knew Phoenix was broken and skittish, even to me.
I try not to show the hurt I feel when she looks at me as if I were Charles.
Sometimes when she thinks I am not looking at her I see her watching me.

I know she sees Charles when she looks at me but I have to show her John.
I am her husband now and the care and devotion I have for her will win her to me.

I hope…

I was so excited to read this novella after loving Bloom after reading it last blew me away. The sad story of Phoenix and her troubled past with an abusive husband. But this novella was just beautiful. Through the journal of John Westerling we hear how the pair get married and we see the cracks of a pair having to relive Phoenix and her past. How she struggles to let her new husband love her and be with her after all the hurt she has faced. But how different a man John is.  
Their love of god astounded me and despite not being an overly religious person it did touch a chord for me. She accepted not one man on her honeymoon but two. John and her faith in God.  

The patience, understanding and pure love just rolls of this book. And I couldn't put it down. We truly see the once damaged Phoenix bloom, as a woman, a wife and a mother. I want to keep this as spoiler free as I can so that you will all one click and enjoy but I certainly did.  
It melted my heart and had me blubbering throughout! 
Another truly incredibly heartwarming boom from the talented Cathy Jackson.

You can keep up with Cathy and news about her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Get your copy of Blossom here (UK) or here (US). Add to your Goodreads TBR here.

I was sent an ARC of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

K B Mallion - A Famous Affair (The Fame Series #1)

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Susan

Jessica Neel is a happily married, working mother who is content in life. When she literally bumps into the gorgeous, charismatic and very famous actor, Jonny Riley. Her life is thrown into a passionate and problematic affair. Her life becomes embroiled in a secret entanglement of adultery, love, lies, guilt and tragedy. Will the love for her husband and daughters be enough to resist the charms of the captivating A lister.... Jonny Riley?

A Famous Affair was an emotional story. For all the characters involved. It did take me some time to get into the book, maybe because of the emotive affair and feeling torn for what lay ahead of Jessica. It's hard being won around by a character you're still learning about but Kim does this so brilliantly. I think because she spends the time on that it was hard to get my head and heart around. Hence why the start took me so long to read. But once I got my head around the fact that Jessica was in fact doing what was best and going with her heart I loved her dearly. 

The heartache placed on the pair despite excruciating circumstances would be enough to break some...but they survived and showed the world that they would be okay. 

"A feeling of peace and serenity surrounds us, with the knowledge that our once passionate affair is now a passionate love."

The love that Jessica and Jonny share is overflowing. It hurt knowing how much pain she had been through and the doubts she had in her mind about what she left behind. It wasn't an unhappy marriage but that wasn't tested until "destiny" brought them together and they found one another. A path they wouldn't return from and never would. They would get their happily ever after right?! 

"If only I could capture this special moment and put it in my pocket. All of those present have in some way travelled along with me on my journey and contributed towards my being here beside Jonny...happy, content, loved and in love."

We see the pair thrown into the public eye with all sorts of things thrown at them but they face it together. But when Jonny receives a call to take a new job, a job that could set his future career would the pair manage to survive it?

"The love that we share is unrivalled, incomparable and insurmountable.  We both tried to stop it from happening but it was futile.  Right or wrong, it happened.  Now I can't imagine my life without him in it."

An awesome read but bear with might be a hard read to get into but it's worth it. The story of how Jessica pieces her life together with the love of her life, celebrity or not, is a brilliant story. Full of heartbreak, loss,  physical attractive and overflowing love and adoration. A brilliant base for the follow on...

It did leave me high and dry! The ending was a cliffhanger I wasn't expecting but I eagerly await book 2!

You can keep up with  K B Mallion and news about her books on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Get your copy of A Famous Affair here (UK) or here (US). Add to your Goodreads TBR here.


I won a copy of this book and wasn't asked to write this review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Katherine Hayton - Skeletal

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Stacey

Three months before she died Daina Harrow faced a bully at school.
Six weeks before she died Daina Harrow suffered an assault in the park.
One week before she died Daina Harrow stole a secret people had killed to hide.

That was ten years ago. Ten long years.

Now, her bones have been found on a building site. A coroner's inquest has been reopened. A parade of witnesses is about to start.
And Daina's here. Watching every day as her mother cries in the courtroom. Watching every day as her friends, and her enemies, and her killers lie about her on the stand.
Watching, and making sure that no matter what the coroner hears, you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So help you God. 

One of my favourite genres to read is crime/mystery so when I read the blurb for this book I was eager to read it. I was especially intrigued because the story is told by the dead person - the victim, Daina.
The story begins where a skeleton has been discovered in the foundations of a house; the skeleton belongs to Daina Harrow, and now the previous inquest into her death has been reopened. This time she hopes they uncover the truth, once and for all. Daina - or her ghost - is the first person we meet which had me drawn into the story straight away.
The story flashes between the past and the present but not so often that you get confused, like with other books; it's all in just the right places. For example when something is said in the courtroom, it flashes back to that actual moment in time from the past. 
As well as seeing what happened 10 years ago before Daina's death, at points we see events from 20 years ago which in finality led to her death but the story is written in such a way that I didn't figure this out until near the end - I was hanging on to a different outcome.
"I'll take you through what happened to me while she was still waiting to notice. Waiting to notice I was gone. Waiting to notice I was in trouble. Waiting to notice I was dead."
Daina had other issues which flow within the story - being bullied at a new school, her mum being an alcoholic and not having much time for her, living in poverty, rape. They all tie in perfectly with each other.
It kept me hanging on throughout and I ended up reading this book much quicker than I usually tend to do. It is a definite page turner, a highly recommended read.
You can keep up with Katherine and news about her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
Get your copy of Skeletal here (UK) or here (US).
I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Kristina Canady - Midnight Unveiled (The Lunar Eclipse Series #2)

**Review by Susan

He wants her – a beautiful trophy for his collection, but she’s not ready to be “owned” by any relationship, let alone one that is against her will. How far will he go to possess her, and is love powerful enough to save her? Sasha Green continues her journey in this second installment of the Lunar Eclipse Series to find her place in the vampire world while grieving the human life she will be forced to leave behind. Can she find the deep, meaningful love that her soul cries out for, or will fate decide a different destiny for her heart?

Etienne thought his past demons would finally be banished by learning to love without barriers, but when an old acquaintance crosses paths with his soul-mate, darkness threatens to claim him once again. Will a new and growing threat come between Etienne and the one he cherishes the most, or will his heart and future forever be lost?

Well what can I say other than I love it. Midnight Bloom (book one in the Lunar Eclipse Series) was one of the first books I reviewed and I took me a while to warm to Etienne but it was a brilliant start to the books. But the second book for me is always the making of a good series as to which direction it will go in.  

Midnight Unveiled did not disappoint. 

The characters have grown...well as much as they can (pardon the pun with vampires!) and we see Sasha in a different phase of her life. Her personal circumstances have given her permission to accept what she has been holding back on for too long.  

But upon accepting her new found freedom it is quickly snatched away from her with the love she feels for Etienne and what the pair need to face together. But my initial wariness of Etienne completely dissolved with reading this book. He still has a lot to learn but his main priority is Sasha. His love knowing no bounds for her. With danger in sight for Sasha the group of friends Etienne holds close lay their lives on the line for her and vice versa. However a journey to "meet the parents" holds danger beyond their comprehension.  

As Sasha grows and develops will all be snapped away from her? Will she never get the happily ever after she desperately longs for? Will it ever just be plain sailing for the two?  

*Be warned there is a cliffhanger to this book - I think it's killing me right me now but it's brill and worth the hangover*

An incredible story and I can't wait to read Kristina's next instalment!

Keep up with Kristina and news about her books on Facebook or Twitter.

Get your copy of Midnight Bloom here (UK) or here (US).

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

Friday, 6 February 2015

Mia Sheridan - Becoming Calder

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Susan & Stacey

There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a god and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places . . . From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

Archer's Voice was the first Mia Sheridan book I had read but adored it. So when I heard about 'Becoming Calder' and that it involved a cult I felt a bit unsure as to whether I would get into it. But Calder...oh my word...Discovering Calder ruined me.

I've never felt such immense pain reading a book. Upon finishing I felt so much and in other ways so completely empty.

The story of Calder and the life he was led into with his mother, father and sister. Arcadia (their four-hundred-acre community) was home for them and other members. And the hope they put into their entire lives going by one man...Hector.

I won't tell you my name for him but the man is clever, vindictive and makes so many of his 'followers' believe him and worship him, undeservedly.

They would follow him until the end. To Elysium.

A new girl and one day wife, Eden would change it all. The one who "bore the mark" of the blessed one.

A truly mind shattering book...I adored it.  

"I worship you and no other. Until there is no breath in my body and my bones have turned to dust, you, my love, you and no other."
"I will protect your sweet and hopeful heart. I vow to shield you from any ugliness in this world, and always be your shelter in the storm."
"Where there had been light and hope only hours before, now there was only darkness and despair."

After reading two of Mia's other books, I had been recommended Becoming Calder and after falling in love with Mia's writing and characters, I was really looking forward to this. The blurb did draw me in but when I started reading I was a bit unsure; I couldn't really get into it with the whole cult thing, though I was drawn to Calder straight away and began falling in love. I knew I had to keep reading though as I knew that would change, from what other people had said, and well, from Mia's writing in general. And I'm so glad I carried on. 

"He sifts through all the pebbles until he finds the smoothest one he can, and presents it to her as a token of his love."

From 30% onward I was hooked, I barely put it down. I was just dying to know what happened next. I gasped, I 'aww'ed, I even had a few tears. It kept me hanging on all the way to the end. The love between Calder and Eden is pure, immeasurable, passionate, and oh so strong no matter what is thrown at them. 

"Somewhere inside a voice whispered, you survived, and now you have to live."

I can't wait to read Finding Eden.

You can keep in touch with Mia and new about her books on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

Get your copy of Becoming Calder here (UK) or here (US).

We purchased this book ourselves and weren't asked to write this review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Lisa J Hobman - Reasons to Stay (Reasons Part Two)

*Contains mild adult themes
**Review by Susan

Just when she has learned to trust again Stevie's life is once more thrust into uncertainty. Left with only the memories of her deeply passionate relationship she tries to piece together what is left of her heart.
Shocking news leaves her reeling once again as she tries to help her first love Jason's brother, Dillon, to rebuild his life.
Will Stevie's heart ever be mended? And if so who will be the man worthy of her trust? 
And will she ever get her happy ever after?

"Reasons to Stay" is a continuation to the first Reasons book released back in January. The continued story of Stevie and Jason. It picks right back up, where we left the pair.

A letter found by Jason would be the turmoil for the pair once again. But surely this time he wouldn't make the same mistakes and leave? The turmoil for the pair as devastated Stevie tries to pick up the pieces while Jason learns more about himself. But would that be enough to make him change his ways or would what Jason learn separate him entirely from those around him?

"...when you've been lost for so long like I's the reasons to stay that really matter."

I frequently screamed at them both individually in this both. When one let down a barrier the other one walked away and stopped fighting. And vice versa.
There were so many storylines to squeeze into this book with a lot going on? The scenes where Stevie and Jason were together always seemed to be "last times" because of circumstances, but after "last time" number three I was a little frustrated....get together already guys!!

A trip to Africa landed Jason in more trouble. Running from one issue at home straight into another. Would this be enough to finally make Stevie realise what she wants!? I could only hope so through all previous failed attempts for them both.

I would give this a 4 star rating.

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

Get your copy of Reasons to Leave here (UK) or here (US).

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

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Marie-Louise Damberte - A Seductive Boss

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Stacey

When Jessica finally finishes her architectural studies and then goes to Paris for an internship, she can barely speak a word of French. Gaëtan, another intern at the firm where she’ll work, meets her at the airport. He quickly falls in love with her and tells her to watch out at work, especially because her new boss is very seductive. She doesn’t take his advice and quickly becomes under the spell of Etienne, an internationally famous architect. He’s especially interested in Jessica’s Chinese origins so that he can conquer more of the market in China. Their affaire takes over her life more than she could ever have imagined. Can she nonetheless go back to Gaëtan, whom she realizes she truly loves? 

If you've previously read my reviews then you will know that I immediately fall for any book that is set in Paris - I was intrigued by the blurb of this one too.

I feel that the story progressed far too quickly and didn't have a lot of depth to it. I didn't really get to know any of the main characters because of this so I didn't really connect to any of them. Jessica seemed quite naive for somebody who had just graduated and I was so mad that she didn't see right through her boss as I did, as a reader I could tell he was only out for one thing. Which also leads me to say that I found the sex scenes between Jessica & Etienne a little uncomfortable; they felt a little forced, abuse like, which I don't think they were meant to but Etienne seemed sleazy from the off. It was also obvious from the start that Gaetan had taken a deep interest in Jessica and I felt a little sorry for him; him and Jessica's roommate Christelle were the only characters I really took a liking to but I wish the story would have involved more of Gaetan.

If you're after a quick east read then this might be a book for you.

Get your copy of A Seductive Boss here (UK) or here (US).

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