Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: The Swiss Affair by Emylia Hall

From the highly acclaimed author of The Book of Summers comes a tale of love, lies and innocence lost.

For Hadley Dunn, life has been predictable and uneventful. But that is before she spends her second year of college abroad in Lausanne, a glamorous Swiss city on the shores of Lake Geneva. Lausanne is imbued with the boundless sense of freedom Hadley has been seeking, and it is here she meets Kristina, a beautiful but mysterious Danish girl. The two bond quickly, but as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes.

Driven by guilt and haunted by suspicion, Hadley resolves to find the truth about what really happened that night, and so begins a search that will consume her, the city she loves, and the lives of two very different men. Set against the backdrop of a uniquely captivating city, The Swiss Affair is an evocative portrayal of a journey of discovery and a compelling exploration of how our connections with people and with places, make us who we are


Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published September 12th 2013)  
 
Kristine's Thoughts:
 
* I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.*
 
I had mixed emotions when it came to this book. On one hand, I adored the setting and the description of Lausanne and felt that it was a story in itself. Reading how Hadley viewed the city and landscape was pure pleasure. On the other hand, the story that happens within the beautiful landscape fell a little bit short. I'm not sure if it was meant to be a love story, a mystery or a story of friendship.

The friendship between Hadley and Kristina felt a little one sided in my opinion and Hadley seemed almost creepily obsessed with Kristina even before tragedy struck. Initially I thought that this was going to be the "love" story because of how strange the friendship felt to me. When it became clear that it was not Kristina that Hadley desired but Joel I just couldn't feel the chemistry or emotion. To use a phrase from the book, I was "Switzerland" when it came to their relationship. Mix in a mysterious ex lover, an insightful old man (Hugo) and a hit and run and you have a story that is all over the map.

I didn't dislike the book but I didn't love it either. Hadley was a little annoying and naive and the story was totally predictable. In fact, I had the ending figured out very early on in the book. There are some beautiful moments, mostly in the descriptions of the setting and the interactions between Hadley and Hugo but the rest lacked the emotion that I desired.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters

Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.


Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 6th 2014 by Dutton Adult 
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance/Dystopia

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Penguin Canada through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.*

Sci-fi/futuristic can be hit or miss for me with a lot more misses in the last few months than hits. Being that I have not had the best of luck lately in this genre I was a little reluctant to pick this book up and start it. Am I ever glad I did because it just blew me away! I absolutely loved it!

The story begins when Emma wakes up in a hospital with no memory of anything. She meets Declan who tells her he his her husband and she basically starts her life. He is handsome, charming and caring and Emma has no reason to believe that this is not her life. If not for the dreams and nightmares she has while asleep and awake as well as the voice talking to her in her head she would never suspect that things may not be what they seem. Who is this mysterious man that she dreams about and why can't she get him out of her head?

You may think that this sounds like any romance novel but add a future where fertility is an issue, the State is divided into East and West, young girls are put into camps to be trained to be wives and sold to the highest bidder and science and medicine are far beyond our reality and you have the perfect ingredients for a page turning sci-fi/romance.

What I really liked about this book is how it would go back and forth between Emma's present with Declan and her dreams/memories of the man she called Tucker. I found that it kept me guessing and surprised with each twist and turn. As the reader you are in Emma's head and you are just as clueless as she is and shocked as each new thing is revealed. I found I couldn't put the book down because I had to know what happened next.

If I had to critique the book I would say that the lack of contractions made Emma sound a little robotic at times but I chalked it up to her having to learn everything over again after her losing her memory. Also as the reader we don't really learn a lot about the outside world and what it is like in that future but I have a feeling that will come to fruition in the sequel.

When I got to the end of the book and read the little epilogue I just about fell out of my chair. WOW!!! That's all I can say about that! I cannot wait for Prototype, its sequel, to come out in July because I am dying to know how it all plays out. Excellent job M.D. Waters, you have renewed my faith in this genre with this amazing book! 



 
 



About the Author
M.D. Waters lives in Maryland with her husband and two boys. She is a closet Housewives watcher, a wannabe goth-surfer with a side of nunchuck skills, and writes in her pj's.

Oh, and she tweets too much.
 


Website-
Twitter-_MDWaters
 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Review: The Accident by Chris Pavone


As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril.  The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.

The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.

Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense.


Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 11th 2014 by Crown
 
Terri's Thoughts:
 
I received this ARC as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication is March 2014.
 
This was an intricately woven story about the lengths a powerful person will take to stop the release of a harmful tell all book for reaching the public that takes place over the course of one day.  The story was divided in to three sections; morning, afternoon and evening.
 
I struggled a little bit with the morning section of the story as I found there were numerous characters introduced and I had a hard time keeping track of them all and their relevance to the storyline.  This part of the novel took me the longest to get through.  By the afternoon and evening sections I was comfortable with all the moving pieces and flew through the pages.
 
While lacking some believability in the context of the real world (at least I hope so) this was a suspenseful read where the multiple characters and storylines intersected in to a well written story that kept my interest.  While it is obvious how some of the connections are made between the characters without it being said so until late in the story the conclusion was not easy to predict and therefore made it a worthwhile read.  I am impressed with how Pavone was able to chart out the plot he did that takes the reader around the world.
 
There are two aspects of this read that really fascinated me.  The first being how Pavone profiled New York.  There was a lot of description regarding the city of New York and as someone who has visited on a few occasions I found it fascinating to read about places and areas of the city that I recognized.  It is clear that he is intimately familiar with the city and I enjoyed the descriptive profile of it in the story.  The second part was how it profiled the publishing world.  I am assuming that the publishing world and process' mirrors the real world and I enjoyed getting an inside glimpse. As an avid reader and blogger I only get the opportunity to buy the books and review them.  This gave a glimpse in to the process that occurs before the novels hit the bookshelves.  I really appreciated this inside view.
 
All in all a good solid read.  It was a little bit longer than probably required and there were a couple of spelling and grammatical errors however that is to be expected with an ARC.  I would recommend this read to anyone who enjoys conspiracy theories and suspense.
 
About the Author

(from Goodreads profile)

I'm the author of the espionage thriller THE EXPATS which was a New York Times and international bestseller, as well as winner of both an Edgar and an Anthony Award. I'm married and the father of twin schoolboys; we live in New York City and the North Fork of Long Island. My second novel, THE ACCIDENT, will be published in March 2014.


Website:     

 


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Review: A Million Guilty Pleasures (Million Dollar Duet #2) by C.L. Parker

Two million dollars secured Noah Crawford the most enticing woman he has ever known. Initiating Delaine Talbot into a sensuous world of pleasure took them both to the brink—again and again. But when Noah discovers why the beautiful innocent sold her body to the highest bidder, he’s faced with the hardest thing he ever had to do: Set her free. 

Lanie can’t believe Noah would let her go. Doesn’t he know they share a bond deeper than sex—a connection too powerful to sever? Not even a treacherous enemy out to destroy Noah or the dark secret haunting the multibillionaire can keep them apart. But first Lanie has to show him that he belongs to her, even if it means risking everything for a love that can never be bought or sold.


A Million Guilty Pleasures is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.


ebook, 256 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Penguin 
Genre: Erotica
Kristine's Thoughts:
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Where do I begin with this book? Lets see...if you enjoy reading from this genre for the hot, steamy and descriptive sex you will probably like it. If you read for the story, not so much.
The story line itself was average at best. At times I actual thought it was a little boring and it took me much longer to get through 256 pages then it should. Noah himself was a little dull and lacked the over the top swoon worthy personality that you would expect in this style of book. I found Lanie to be a little annoying with her constant references to "cooch and wonder peen." 
How do I describe the erotic scenes? I guess you could say that they were kind of like washing your hair. Wash, rinse, repeat. It feels really good the first time but gets monotonous very quickly after that. Yes there was lots of hot and steamy but I found it a little repetitive and although the lust was obvious I couldn't quite feel the love. For a couple that is suppose to love each other so much there was a lot of raunch and very little love in the "love making." 

As much as I enjoy some "between the sheets" action in a book I do need and hope for a good story to go with it. Unfortunately this fell a little bit short in that department and my rating is on the very generous side.



About the Author
C. L. Parker is a romance author who writes stories that sizzle. She’s a small-town girl with big-city dreams and enough tenacity to see them come to fruition. Having been the outgoing sort for all her life—which translates to “she just wouldn’t shut the hell up”—it’s no wonder Parker eventually turned to writing as a way to let her voice, and those of the people living inside her head, be heard. She loves hard, laughs until it hurts, and lives like there’s no tomorrow. In her world, everything truly does happen for a reason.
Twitter-theclparker 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Terri's Review: Wake by Anna Hope


Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep 2) Ritual for the dead 3) Consequence or aftermath.

Hettie, a dance instructress at the Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, mute and lost after his return from the war. One night, at work, she meets a wealthy, educated man and has reason to think he is as smitten with her as she is with him. Still there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach...Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange through which thousands of men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, more and more estranged from her posh parents, she looks for solace in her adored brother who has not been the same since he returned from the front...Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out of work veterans. But when he shows signs of being seriously disturbed-she recognizes the symptoms of "shell shock"-and utters the name of her son she is jolted to the core...

The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place.



Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Random House              

Terri's Thoughts:

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 
The expected publication date is February 11th 2014.

I will be honest and say that this was a very depressing read however a good read.  The reason that
it is depressing is due to it's subject matter.  This story deals with the lives of three women who are
coping with the aftermath of WWI and the grief of losing a loved one even for those who made it home.
It is depressing in the sense that it gave a realistic view on the aftermath of war in England instead of
romanticizing it.  I found this raw and refreshing.

There was a lot of character flaws amongst the characters depicted on the pages of this book however
that lent a believability to the story.  From Hettie who was seeking that "something more", to Evelyn
who was wrapped in her own bitterness and to Ada who couldn't learn to let go of her grief.  This story
depicted a reality that I could not even begin to comprehend.  The story of each woman showed a
journey of hope although not necessarily written on the pages of the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, wartime stories and anyone
looking for a realistic depiction of life in England after the war.  I wish I had the words to say how I
was moved by this story however they are failing me at this time.  Sometimes the mark of a good book
is when it leaves you with only your thoughts and you are unable to express them even if you try.  This
story did that for me.

About the Author

ANNA HOPE studied English at Oxford, went to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then did the MA in creative writing at Birkbeck. She lives in London.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review: How to Train a Lover: A Savage Interactive by Daine St. Denis (Part of the Seduction in the Sun box set)

Meet Tessa Savage. With no fixed address, Tessa travels the world for business…and pleasure. From the Rocky Mountains to the Greek Islands, there’s no place Tessa won’t explore and very few sexual positions she won’t try.

HOW TO TRAIN A LOVER - A Savage Interactive

It’s been a year since Tessa’s rendezvous with her favorite trio of cowboys—a year of non-stop work. Now Tessa’s off to spend some much needed R&R in the Greek Isles on the luxury yacht of playboy billionaire and sexual dominant, Alander Papadakis.

However, when Alander breaks one of her golden rules, her holiday plans take a turn and she jets off—solo—to the island of Lesvos where she happens upon a mysterious young man from her past. Built like a Greek god and with the eyes of a lion, Nicolai Kinellis is hard to resist, especially when he asks Tessa to teach him everything she knows…about sex. A holiday training session with a hot young Adonis is exactly what Tessa needs but, when Nicolai treads too far over the line of another of Tessa’s rules, she must make one of the most difficult decisions of her life.

Tessa doesn’t know what to do and she needs help. Your help. Will you help her?

Welcome to Wicked Way Interactives by Daire St. Denis where you choose the ending to the story and determine Tessa’s fate in the Greek Isles.

Warning: This interactive, erotic novel contains explicit language, sexual content (with multiple partners) and is intended for a mature (over 18) audience with a playful side!


ebook
Published June 1st 2013 by Wolfstreet Press 
Genre: Erotica
This book is part of The Seduction in the Sun Box Set: 9 Sizzling Romances set under the hot sun... 1000 pages!


Indulge in nine scorching romances that will whisk you away from the winter chill... with steamy new adult, sexy billionaires, and alphas wielding ribbons and rope, these books by bestselling authors will take you someplace very hot indeed...

Kindle Edition, Box Set
Published December 26th 2013 by Seduction in the Sun Group 
Genre: Erotica/New Adult
Kristine's Thoughts:
* I received a copy of the Seduction in the Sun box set in which this book is included in exchange for an honest review.*
A word of warning for future readers...this book is about sex with lots of detailed talk about sex on almost every page. Nicolai is inexperienced with women and recruits the help of Tessa to learn how to be with a woman. Although a little far fetched I found this a refreshing change from the typical virgin girl meets experienced man story that seems to be the norm for this genre.
Surprisingly I enjoyed the story and interactions between Nicolai and Tessa as they began their journey. It wasn't about jumping into bed at the first opportune time, it was about all the small things that lead up to it that make a woman feel desired from how to touch, kiss and talk. The interaction between the two characters was interesting and sometimes funny and the chemistry was undeniable.
I have to admit that the story did lose me when it got to the beach party. I won't say what happens but I felt that it completely took away from the build up of sexual chemistry between Nicolai and Tessa and ruined the flow of the book. The feeling that they genuinely wanted to help each other turned from honest and  sexy to trashy.
This book is reminiscent of the "choose your own adventure" books of my childhood in that there were three different endings that you could pick from. I have to admit that I only read the ending that I desired and was pleased with the outcome. Perhaps I will eventually read the other two endings but until then I can't speak on them. 
 
About the Author
Contemporary romance author, adventure seeker, seasonal hermit and wine lover...
Twitter- 
 
 

Review: Something Borrowed (Seduction in the Sun box set) by Adriana Hunter

What do you do when the one man you were meant to be with already belongs to another?

For Dana Marshall, new wedding planner and curvy single, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" seems to be the story of her life. But when she is assigned to assist popular wedding planner Vienna Saunders in managing a dream wedding for an important client, nothing can prepare her for the face-to-face encounter with the insanely handsome groom, Benjamin Carter. Sparks fly, and the chemistry between them is undeniable. Except he doesn't belong to Dana. He's off limits, forbidden and if she ever expects to walk away from the job with her heart still intact she needs to play by the rules. Except as far as true love is concerned, rules are meant to be broken.


This book is part of The Seduction in the Sun Box Set: 9 Sizzling Romances set under the hot sun... 1000 pages!


Indulge in nine scorching romances that will whisk you away from the winter chill... with steamy new adult, sexy billionaires, and alphas wielding ribbons and rope, these books by bestselling authors will take you someplace very hot indeed...


Kindle Edition
Published December 26th 2013 by Seduction in the Sun Group 
 
Kristine's Thoughts:
 
* I received a copy of the Seduction in The Sun box set in which this book is included for free in exchange for an honest review.*
 
I want to start out by saying that this is a very quick and easy novella to read. Knowing a story is short I  prepare myself for a fast moving plot where things develop quickly. Keeping that in mind, I settled in to read Something Borrowed. What I found was a cute story with an almost fairytale, chick flick type feel to it. You have girl meets boy, love/lust at first sight, boy belongs to someone else, a beautiful tropical setting and a few evil villains.
 
There were two things that I really liked about the story. First, I appreciated the fact that Dana was "curvy" and not the typical stick thin, perfect bodied heroine that we often read about. I think this made her feel more real. Second, I loved Hunter's description of the tropical paradise where the story takes place. The island sounded absolutely amazing. This could be because I am dealing with snow storm after snow storm but nonetheless it took me to exactly where I wanted to be.

I won't get into the details of the story for fear of giving things away with it being so short. Is it a little predictable?...yes. Do things move quickly?...yes. Is the idea of love at first sight a little far fetched?...who knows. All I know is that it was the perfect outlet from reality for a couple of hours on a dull, snowy day that was exactly what I was in the mood for. If you go into it knowing that it is a short read, you won't have the expectation of the character and plot development that you would find in a 400 page novel.

This was the first book by Adriana Hunter for me but it won't be my last. I will be checking out some of her other work.
 
 
 
 
 
  



About the Author

Adriana Hunter writes erotic romance with many of them featuring curvy heroines. She loves writing stories that involve powerful, dominant alpha males, romantic billionaires and sometimes even paranormal erotic romance that make for great bedtime stories.

Website-
Twitter-spicytales
Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAdrianaHunter?fref=ts 
 
   
 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: The Sun and Other Stars by Brigid Pasulka


 Set in a seaside village on the Italian Riviera, this irresistible new novel by PEN/Hemingway Award-winner Brigid Pasulka tells the story of a widowed butcher and his son whose losses are transformed into love.

After losing his brother and mother within a year, twenty-two-year-old Etto finds himself adrift in his hometown, where every man’s life revolves around soccer, except for his. Frustrated and lonely, Etto is faced with the seemingly impossible prospect of cobbling together the remaining pieces of his life, including his mostly nonexistent relationship with his father, the town butcher.

Things begin to change for Etto when Yuri Fil, a scandal-ridden Ukrainian soccer star and his tough-love sister, Zhuki, arrive in town, and sweep him into their universe of soccer, celebrity, laughter, and fierce loyalty. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and learns a few life lessons: that perhaps the game of soccer isn’t just a waste of time—and that San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.


Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Simon & Schuster   

Terri's Thoughts:

I won this ARC as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

If I were to have rated this based on the first half of the story it would have had a three star rating and if I were to have rated it based only on the last half it would have received a four star rating.  I compromised and gave it a 3.5. 

If you are not a fan of soccer or calcio as described in this book then this may not be the read for you.  This storyline is heavy on soccer and soccer references.  I in fact found it humorous that it mentioned that everyone has a love and appreciation for the sport unless you are American.  While I am Canadian I can attest that it is the same case where I am.  I simply could not understand the fascination with the sport in the book or in real life for that matter.  With this in mind those who can push past all of the soccer will be rewarded in the end.

The book started very slow.  You could not tell where it was heading and if you were really interested in what would occur with Etto.  I found myself struggling to get through the beginning and not as lost in the pages as I normally get when reading a new story.  I am so glad I stuck with it because as soon as Yuri entered the picture the book completely turned around for me.  The story came to life and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.

Without giving away the plot this story ended up being less about soccer and more about learning to live again, the ties of a community, family and moving beyond grief.  It was a lesson in learning to appreciate what you have by embracing something new.  This was the winning message within the pages.

The bottom line is if you can get past all of the soccer talk and soccer references as they are numerous you will be rewarded with a sweet story with a good message.  I still have no plans to watch a soccer match or pick up a soccer ball however I can now at least appreciate just a little of what it's sense of tradition and community it has for others.


About the Author


Brigid Pasulka is the author of A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, which won the 2010 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Pasulka currently lives in Chicago with her husband and runs the writing center at a public high school.


Website:     
Twitter:  BrigidPasulka


 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Feature and Follow Friday #14

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme that allows book bloggers to interact with each other and find new blogs! It has two hosts, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The rules are... 


(Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read} 
(Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers 
Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you. 
If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed 
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI” 
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers 
If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog. 



This week's question is...

 What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

I wasn't going to do a FF this week because I accidentally answered this question last week but I am a creature of habit and it just didn't seem right when I actually have the time to do it. Terri (the other half of Twin Spin) has been out of town and I have been trying to manage the blog alone on top of a crazy time at work and home.
So books that I am looking forward to reading are....

1. Harder by Robin York
2. Prototype by M.D. Waters
3. Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany
4. Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

There are a ton more but my sleep deprived brain can't think of them at the moment. One of the great perks of working nights! What books are you looking forward to reading?
Have a great weekend!

That is our Feature and Follow Friday for this week! Comment down below if you're a new follower of ours with a link to your blog and we will make sure to follow you back. You can follow us via gfc, bloglovin, facebook and twitter.

Review: Debt of Honor by Opal Carew (Seduction in the Sun box set)

Detained by a domineering sheikh for a crime she did not commit...

Angelica couldn't believe that hopping off a plane during a refueling stop to search for one-of-a-kind souvenirs could lead to so much trouble. Now she is detained in an exotic country by a devastatingly handsome sheikh... and ends up in his harem.

Caution: Includes a little f/f, lots of hot m/f and a heart thumping, romantic, sexual adventure you won't soon forget!




ebook, 107 pages
Published May 30th 2012 by Edge of Ecstacy 
Genre: Erotica

This book is part of The Seduction in the Sun Box Set: 9 Sizzling Romances set under the hot sun... 1000 pages!


Indulge in nine scorching romances that will whisk you away from the winter chill... with steamy new adult, sexy billionaires, and alphas wielding ribbons and rope, these books by bestselling authors will take you someplace very hot indeed...

Kindle Edition
Published December 26th 2013 by Seduction in the Sun Group 

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received a copy of the Seduction in the Sun box set which contains this book in exchange for an honest review.*

I'm going to keep my thoughts short and simple on this one. It just wasn't for me. As hard as I tried to use my imagination I just couldn't place myself in Angelica's shoes. Being detained without a passport in a foreign country with the threat of serious punishment would leave me terrified not aroused regardless of how attractive the man is.

Readers who enjoy a lot of sexual content in their books will probably enjoy it. As cautioned in the synopsis there is f/f, m/f and also m/f/f pretending to be male. The story really lost me on the last one. I'm sorry... just not my cup of tea. I don't mind sexual content in the books I read but there has to be a good story to back it up. In my opinion the sex came first and the story came second. It was like a porno on paper.

I'm giving this book 2 stars for Carew's imagination on this one. She definitely knows how to put it into words. Although I wasn't a big fan of this book I am still open to reading more of her work. Her imagination with a different story line could be great.
 
 
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Opal Carew loves cats, Zentangle, and wild nail polish!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Kristine's review: Wake by Anna Hope

A brilliant debut for readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, in which three women must deal with the aftershocks of WWI and its impact on the men in their lives-a son, a brother and a lover. Their tragic connection is slowly revealed as the book unfolds.

Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep 2) Ritual for the dead 3) Consequence or aftermath.

Hettie, a dance instructress at the Palais, lives at home with her mother and her brother, mute and lost after his return from the war. One night, at work, she meets a wealthy, educated man and has reason to think he is as smitten with her as she is with him. Still there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach...Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange through which thousands of men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, more and more estranged from her posh parents, she looks for solace in her adored brother who has not been the same since he returned from the front...Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband of 25 years has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out of work veterans. But when he shows signs of being seriously disturbed-she recognizes the symptoms of "shell shock"-and utters the name of her son she is jolted to the core...

The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place.


Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Random House 
Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received an advanced readers copy from Random House Publishing via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

When I finished this book I had to walk away and think before attempting to write a review because I wasn't sure if I could write anything that would do the book justice. I'm still not sure if I can. All I can really say is that it is going to stay with me for a very long time.

This book tells the story of three women, Hettie, Evelyn, and Ada in the years after WW1. They have all been affected by the war as well as the people closest to them. Throughout the book you learn about their struggles and the struggles of the men they love. It is dark, sad, haunting and at times very moving. It goes to show that war does not end after the last bullet is shot. The battle continues to wreak havoc long after the soldiers come home.

The story goes back and forth between the three women which some people can find confusing but I happen to really enjoy that style. You get a real understanding of the emotions and heartache that they are enduring. I could feel their pain as I turned each page. You also learn that although these three women do not know each other they are all connected to each other through one thread of the war.

Throughout the book you read about the Unknown Soldier or Warrior as he is called in the book and his passage to his final resting place. I thought that Hope did a beautiful job with this portion of the book. As he is being prepared and during each part of his journey you read a blurb about a person that is there and a little story about how the war affected them. I thought that the Unknown Warrior story was brilliant from beginning to end.

I won't go into any more detail because I don't like to give the story away but I highly recommend Wake for any fans of historical fiction and stories about WW1. I absolutely loved the book in a haunted, tragic kind of way. 

I know that Terri received a copy of this book from the publisher as well that she is posting next week and I can't wait to read what she has to say and see if she loved is as much as I did.



 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Review: K9 Commando Police and Army Dogs from New York to Berlin by Violetta Kovacs


K9 Commando... An inspiring story that delves into the life of the silent detectives and four-legged crime fighters serving the Police, Special Forces (Commandos) and the Army. We can enrich our own appreciation of life via the great K-9 dogs of Europe and the United States of America whose help, extraordinary scent receptors and selfless heroism are indispensable to humanity. The insightful stories are heart breaking and exciting at the same time. With K9 Commando readers will discover stories never told before to introduce them to an unknown depth of human and canine relationship, where passion, danger, tears and humor dominate... This book is the chronicle of a mystical relationship, of love, selflessness and heroism. A relationship that can only exist between man and dog. And why is this book different from other similar books? With her twelve true stories, ninety color photographs the author offers an intimate journey into the lives of dogs and their owners made unique by her writing style and voice. Most likely her unique thought-provoking voice is the reason why the English language Facebook page of the Hungarian journalist/writer has accumulated more than 107,000 followers from the United States in a short period of time. Hungarian critiques say about the books of Violetta Kovacs that she is fluent in the language of dogs. American readers must have the same impression from the author's comments and that could be the reason for many to follow her posts every day. Her readers have come to like the strong emotional contents of the stories; the same trait that characterizes the book. Another important consideration is that this is the first book published in the US market which, besides the American K-9 units, illuminates the original home of police dog activities, and portrays European police and army dogs. American dog lovers would like to get an insight into other countries' police dog stories is proven by their special love of Bagira, the Hungarian Anti-Ter

Paperback, 228 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Outskirts Press      
Terri's Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  For anyone who knows me would know that I was pretty excited to read this due to my extreme love of dogs and fascination with service dogs (I'm the proud mom of a 2 year old Golden Retriever).

This was a compilation of stories about various police and army dogs and their handlers.  It was remarkable to read about all of the brave and heroic things that these canines have done.  The story that stood outmost to me was regarding Roscoe and what occurred to him in the line of duty.  Warning, have your Kleenex nearby for this one!

One of the aspects of this book that I had a hard time getting past was the fact that the stories were told in story form the majority of the time.  Kovacs describes the emotions of the dogs and sometime provides a voice for them.  Although I am guilty of doing what I call the "voice over" for my dog all of the time I found this made the stories lose a bit of their impact.  I think the stories would have been better told as a factual recount of events as opposed to the style that was chosen.  Perhaps I am being picky however this prevented me from fully enjoying the stories.

At the end of the day it was amazing to read about these real life dogs and to learn about what they are able to do to make our lives safer.  I always say that they give us so much for how little we give them in return.  For anyone who is owned by a dog they would appreciate this read!


About the Author




Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Be With Me by J. Lynn

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…


Kindle Edition, 299 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by HarperCollins 
Genre: New Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

This is the second book in the Wait for You series. Having already read the first book I was anxious to dive into this one. The book is about Cam's sister Teresa and his best friend Jase but fans of Cam and Avery from the first book will get a little of them as well.

This book is typical of the genre and fans of new adult will surely enjoy it. Both Teresa and Jase are attracted to each other but both have a past and issues that get in the way. The more they try to fight the attraction the more they seem to be drawn to situations where it is hard to avoid. They are so busy battling the scars of their past that they can't see what is right in front of them.

The characters in this book are easy to like. Teresa is sweet and Jase is every girls fantasy even with his complicated life. He is easily book boyfriend material. I found myself routing for the two of them although at times I did become frustrated. There are a few occasions where the pages heat up but I was pleased that it was not over done like I find can happen in this genre.

You do not need to read the first book in this series to follow along with this one but I recommend that you do in order to know the supporting characters better. It is a quick, easy series to read and I enjoyed every minute of it. I wonder if there will be a third book in the future? If so, I will be reading it for sure.

 





About the Author

A pseudonym for Jennifer L. Armentrout. 

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.
Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. 

Website-

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Loggers' Daughters


It is 1983. On the streets of Vancouver women's libbers are marching. In the forests of the northern interior a tapped out logging contractor is slowly going broke. Down the road, on a small stump ranch, Adare and Dave Wilkins face the fact that they have given the best years of their lives to a farm that can never support them. In a tumultuous time, when ancient values are being put to the test and found wanting, a scattered family is forced into an uneasy proximity by the need to make end-of-life decisions for their dying mother. Exploring the forces that shape individuals, families and communities Loggers' Daughters weaves the story of one logging family onto the tapestry of the industry that built British Columbia.

Paperback, 249 pages
Published October 31st 2013 by Oolichan Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I was pretty excited to start this read as it takes place in Canada and was written by a Canadian author and I love to discover new authors from my own country.

This story was not quite what I expected nor did it really live up to the synopsis that was provided.  In order to provide some constructive criticism I would recommend changing the synopsis of the book to better reflect the storyline.  For example, it mentions making end of life decisions for their dying mother as a central point of the story.  This happens at the beginning of the book.  I also think the title of the book misrepresents the story as the story focuses around Adare who is only one daughter.  The story does venture briefly towards her daughter towards the end of the book however not enough to justify the books title in my opinion.

This was a slow read.  The first three quarters of the book were slow before finally picking up towards the end.  It was confusing in parts as I found the transition between the present and the reminiscing of the past was not very clean and obvious.  I found myself re-reading sentences numerous times as I could not tell where the story went or I thought I had missed a page.  This impacted my ability to enjoy the read.

The above points aside, once you got past these items the story did eventually peak my interest towards the end.  For those that can get through the beginning they are rewarded.  It profiles the life of the families of loggers in British Columbia and their hardships.  It also takes us on a journey towards healing as the character's, mainly Adare, comes to terms with her demons and the skeletons in her families closet.

All in all I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book I just wish that it was not so much work for me.




About the Author

Maureen Brownlee (1960- ) was born and raised on the western slope of the northern Rockies in British Columbia, Canada.

A former journalist, she has been writing fiction since childhood. Her writing education has included workshops at Island Mountain School of the Arts, Fernie Writers Conference and Sage Hill Writing Experience. She also studied English, History and Creative Writing at B.C.'s Open University and the University of Northern British Columbia. Early short stories were published in The Collective Consciousness (Winnipeg Writers Collective). She also had a near miss with a postcard short story that was shortlisted in the annual Writers Union contest.

When not writing, Maureen gardens, growing much of her own food, runs for the fun of it, dabbles at the guitar and pencil sketching, and reads, reads, reads. She lives on a farm near Valemount, British Columbia.


Twitter:  BrownleeMaureen


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Review: One Hot Winter Break (Seduction In the Sun New Adult: Hot 'N Wild Billionaires box set) by Sharon Page


The Seduction in the Sun Box Set: 9 Sizzling Romances set under the hot sun... 1000 pages!
 


Indulge in nine scorching romances that will whisk you away from the winter chill... with steamy new adult, sexy billionaires, and alphas wielding ribbons and rope, these books by bestselling authors will take you someplace very hot indeed...


One Hot Winter Break by Sharon Page 

College student Mia Reynolds just broke up with her long-time boyfriend, Ryan, and gets an offer she can't refuse from billionaire's son Jonathon Powell: a week at an exotic resort. Jonathon's wicked games intrigue Mia. But ultimately, is it Jonathon she loves... or Ryan?

Kindle Edition
Published December 26th 2013 by Seduction in the Sun Group 
Genre: New Adult/Erotica
 
 
Kristine's Thoughts:
 
* I received a copy of the Seduction In the Sun box set from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
 
One Hot Winter Break is the second book in the Yardley College Chronicles series but you do not need to read it to follow along. This books starts out flying...literally! If you are looking for a story filled with sex, angst, bondage and broken characters, this one fits the bill.

The problem that I have with short books/novellas like this one is that it gets to the story so quick that I have a hard time connecting with the characters. It jumps into the sexual fantasy almost immediately so that some of the erotic aspects are lost on me because I can't yet feel any chemistry to the relationship. However if you enjoy hot, steamy, and erotic there is no shortage of it in these pages. There is a little 50 Shades mixed with Pretty Woman and a whole lot of angst to go around. Although somewhat predictable it was an entertaining read.
 
 

 


About the Author
 
Sharon Page is the USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels of historical and erotic romance. She is a two-time, consecutive winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, winner of the Golden Quill and the Colorado Award of Excellence, and a multiple finalist for the Daphne Du Maurier Award. She has twice received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and is a four-time finalist.

Married with two children, Sharon Page holds an industrial design degree and has worked for many years for a structural engineering firm. When not writing, she enjoys reading with her children, downhill skiing, and mountain biking. Writing romance has long been her dream and she is thrilled to share her stories. 
 
   

 
 

Review: Hands On With the CEO (The Seduction in the Sun New Adult box set) by Cat Kalen

Hands On With the CEO by Cat Kalen

When an overweight, self conscious college sophomore takes an au pair job in Greece, sitting for a gorgeous billionaire CEO, she knows he's just the guy to give her the sexual experiences she's looking for. Too bad he's hand off. Or is he?

Kindle Edition
Published December 26th 2013 by Seduction in the Sun Group
Genre: New Adult


 Hands On With the CEO is the first book (short story/novella) in The Seduction in the Sun New Adult: Hot 'n Wild Billionaires box set. It is about Alexis who moves to Greece for a summer job but hopes to gain experience with men in a culture that she has heard tends to appreciate a curvy figure.

This is a very short read which made it hard for me to really connect with the characters. What it lacked in character development it made up for in sex and hot, rich men. Although it was short, it was filled with talk of sex, thoughts of sex, sex and more sex.

Although this book is mostly about sex there is a tiny message hidden within the steamy pages. Alexis planned to gain experience with men but in doing so also gained the self confidence that she was lacking.

If you are a person that enjoys a lot of steamy sex in your books this quick read will satisfy, but if you are looking for a serious, thought provoking read I don't recommend you pick this one up



About the Author

Cat Kalen, also known as New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathryn Fox is a multi published author in the romance genre.

Website-http://cathrynfox.com/
Twitter-@writercatfox
Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathrynFox?fref=ts

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: Wandering Canalside by Patricia Willers


"Holland," she said, "is where my heart lies..."

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and sometimes going foreign is just the way to go—a “non-American dream,” perhaps.

Following in the footsteps of a rogue great aunt, Clara recovers from hurt by flying across the world to spend some time in Amsterdam. She takes a shot at the language, tastes her way through every type of cheese, and finds out the hard way that the Dutch are direct. Slowly, Clara begins to feel like she’s alive again, and soon she realizes that just because you’re from somewhere doesn’t mean that’s where you are meant to be.


Paperback, 366 pages
Published November 6th 2013 by Patricia Willers
 
Terri's Thoughts
 
I received this novel as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
 
I must admit that this book frustrated me quite a bit.  I will start with what I did not particularly like and then move on to what I did like.
 
I found that as far as the actual plot of the story there was a whole lot of nothing.  I know that the underlying theme was about Clara discovering who she was and becoming independent however I felt like all that occurred throughout the story was a whole lot of wallowing followed up by a whole lot of eating.  Clara's journey did not seem realistic nor did her family's.  As a result I felt the story was 100 pages too many.
 
On the flip side this story painted a brilliant picture of Holland.  I have never been however it is on my list of places to go and I felt that Willers was able to give me the next best thing.  The way she described the people, the landscape and the food made me feel like I was there.  I could smell and taste the food as she was describing it.  I give credit to Willers for her wonderful descriptions.  It is clear that she has a great love of Holland and/or fantastic research skills.
 
To sum it up, although I was not terribly impressed with the actual story, the portrayal of Holland made up for the gaps.  The true hero of the story was Holland and I am glad that I could experience it through the pages of this story.
 
 
About the Author
     
 
Twitter:   PatriciaMarW   
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/Patriciamar