zaterdag 31 oktober 2015

Rob Thurman – Trick of the Light

The first book in the Trickster series, published September 1, 2009.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: good, fitting the book

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Now you see it … Now you don’t … Now you’re history.
There are demons in the world. Monsters. Creatures that would steal your soul. You might hide under your covers at night and pretend all’s right with the world, but you know. Even if you don’t want to admit it ...

Las Vegas bar owner Trixa Iktomi deals in information. And in a city where unholy creatures roam the neon night, information can mean life or death. Not that she has anything personal against demons. They can be sexy as hell, and they’re great for getting the latest gossip. But they also steal human souls and thrive on chaos. So occasionally Trixa and her friends have to teach them some manners.
When Trixa learns of a powerful artifact known as the Light of Life, she knows she's hit the jackpot. Both sides-angel and demon-would give anything for it. But first she has to find it. And as Heaven and Hell ready for an apocalyptic throwdown, Trixa must decide where her true loyalty lies, and what she's ready to fight for. Because in her world, if you line up on the wrong side, you pay with more than your life...

It took me a few chapters to get into this story, and start to like the main characters, but once I was at that point, I just wanted to keep on reading. It is original, and fun, and the ending surprised me immensely. I totally did not see anything like that coming. I can’t wait to read the next book.
There are angels and demons, humans who fight for the angels, called the Eden House, and then there is Trixa. And she sure is something else! She is playing all sides, to get what she wants, and she is very sure of winning. Don’t worry about the angels-demons theme in here, this is not a book meant to convert you. Either way. There is a lot of mythology as well, and used expertly and unexpectedly.
I loved this book, and won’t spoil anything. If you are like me, and don’t like the beginning, just keep on reading a few more chapters. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did in the end. It was a book that kept me thinking for a while, and that is a rare thing lately.

And best of all, no cliffhanger ending, but more a sense of anticipation what the next book will bring.

9 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 29 oktober 2015

Jean Johnson – First Salik War: The Terrans

The first book in the First Salik War series, published July 28, 2015.
Genre: science-fiction with a hint of romance
Cover: captivating the eye

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Jean Johnson's first novel in an explosive new science fiction trilogy set in the world of the national bestselling Theirs Not to Reason Why series - set two-hundred years earlier, at the dawn of the First Salik War...

Born into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator - but the universe has other plans...
Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity - a psychic soldier or a politician.
But Jackie is both.
After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans - as if their war against humanity had already begun...

Even though I loved the last book in the previous series, Theirs not to reason why, I was also disappointed in it as it was so much more tell than show. So I can happily report that that is not the case with this book. I loved every page of it.
There is a note from the author in the front of the book, why she has written Ia’s story first, while this one is chronologically first. But even though you will connect more with this story after reading Ia’s books first, this can totally be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.

Jackie has been asked to step down from her political career, and resume active duty again. She is a powerful psy, with many different powers, she was a Major in the space force, and is now ready to settle down as a humble translator. But precogs have foreseen Jackie and a special team meeting with new alien races, both hostile and friendly.
And so Jackie goes on her mission, with a special handpicked team of specialists. Only the pilot hates her on sight, as he hates all psy’s. As Jackie is a powerful telepath among things, it is very difficult to shut down his thoughts and feelings about her. And if he does not clean up his act, she will have to get him booted of the team. And that is bad, as he has his own role to play.

And unexpectedly, they do find aliens, hostile ones, who like to eat their sentient prisoners alive. Prisoners whom are surprisingly humanlike. So when the Salik try to capture Jackie’s ship, she manages to escape, using her powers to the limit, and saving their remaining prisoners as well. And so, first contact is made, as was foreseen. And as soon as the first contact has been made, Jackie is in charge of the mission, as the first Human Ambassador.
The story builds from there, getting to know one another, and with Jackie being a telepath with a real knack for languages, it takes only a little time to connect with one of the aliens, and exchange their languages telepathically. But they both learn more about the other than perhaps was wished. Secrets are revealed on both parts.

The rescued V’Dan first think of the Terran rescuers as children, as they don’t have the “jungen” coloring an adult V’Dan person gets when maturing, but soon they do realize that the Terrans are mature adults. At least, most of them do.
So now they have to find a way to exchange more information, and find out more about those hostile Salik before they find Earth and its colonies, and to find the V’Dan homeworld, so they can bring their guests home.

I loved this story, it was fascinating to read about it all. Jackie I felt an instant liking for. She is not a young girl, but a mature woman with a long career behind her. She wants nothing more than to perform for the next festival in her home province Hawaii, and dance a special hula. But now she has to go back to active duty, and embark on the adventure of a life time. And adventure that will change her whole life as well. Being such a powerful psy, she has to be extremely cautious about using her powers, and ethic. Everything she does and more especially, why, will be reviewed under a microscope later.

I loved Jackie, and how she acts, and I loved her V’Dan contact as well. He does his best to act in the best interest of his people, and to behave as a gracious guest, so unlike one of his officers.

I honestly can’t wait to read the next book, and find out what happens next. Jackie is extremely phobic about spiders, and one of the races she will meet, looks like giant spiders … As I share that trait, I have no idea how I would act. I think I would be terrified out of my mind …

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 27 oktober 2015

Ellery Adams – Murder in the paperback parlor

The second book in the Book Retreat Mystery series, published August 4, 2015.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: strange that with a title like that, there is not one paperback in sight on the cover.

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With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Jane Steward is organizing a week of activities for fans of love stories at her book-themed resort. But her Regency readers barely have time to brush up on their Jane Austen before tragedy strikes Storyton Hall. Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed.
Rosamund had as many enemies as she did admirers, including envious fellow novelists, a jealous former lover, and dozens of angry fans. It's up to Jane, with the help of her book club, the Cover Girls, to catalogue the list of suspects and find a heartless killer quickly - before the murderer writes someone else off.

After that very surprising first book in the series, I could not wait to dive into this one as soon as it fell on my doormat. I really liked Jane from the first book, she is a single mother, with a very demanding job she loves, but she does take enough time each day to spend with her twin sons. And they sure are a handful. She works at the family resort, a book retreat, where technology is mostly banned, and reading is central. The mansion, rebuild stone for stone after it was imported from England by an ancestor, is a real readers haven. I sure wish I could visit!

But the upkeep of the mansion is expensive, as is paying for all the necessary staff. And so Jane has come up with themed weeks, and this time, the romance reader is at the center of it. They have invited some big names in the regency romance genre, and lots of fans are attending. Not only to catch a glimpse of their favourite authors and mingle with them, but also for all the workshops and other fun activities set up for them.

So when the extremely demanding beloved and hated author ends up murdered on the estate’s grounds, Jane and her staff will have to do whatever is needed to protect the resort’s good name and find the killer. There sure are some likely suspects, especially since her new novel is reviled by her fans who love her strong female heroine in her regency series. And now she has written a book where females are used and discarded and looked upon with contempt by the hero. It was fun trying to figure out who it was after all. And the story sure surprised me a few times.

Jane is our heroine, but she has help from the great ladies of her book club, and her trusted staff. And there is still that special secret they are guarding. And is her love interest really interested in Jane, or only in what she is guarding in the attic? I do like all the many secondary characters, Jane’s aunt and uncle, her book club friends, her staff. Jane loves her job and she is good at it, and it shows on the page. It all feels so real.

With this ending on the romantic aspect, I can’t wait to read the next book! But first, new books in the other two series Ellery Adams writes and that I love. Ellery Adams certainly is one of my favourite cozy mystery authors. She writes strong mature female heroines, and engaging and surprising mysteries. I haven’t read a book by her that I did not love.

10 stars.

Love this bookAutobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 25 oktober 2015

Recommendations from Karin for October 2015.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I did not really buy many new books in October because I was very busy at school and so I found myself falling asleep to the TV more often than not. Still this month did have 3 highlights for me. In no particular order they are:

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

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In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta - and each crest leaves danger in its wake....

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate - former Beast Lord Curran Lennart - are adjusting to a very different pace. While they're thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity - too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild's unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don't realize is that the odd jobs they've been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it - before it takes their city apart piece by piece....

I was really happy with “Magic Shifts”. I have read the whole series and I really enjoyed most of the books. However the last two books I only liked, I did not love them. So I hesitated to buy the latest installment especially as it is a hard cover and therefore it’s quite expensive. Still I yielded to my curiosity and: Boy, am I glad I did.

This book once again has everything that I as a reader can wish for. There is the action, the fighting I want to read about. There are the characters I came to love while reading the series – although Kate and Curran have resigned from their positions the interaction with the Pack is still there. I love Jim and Dali as the Beast Lord and Lady.
I love the development in Kate and Curran’s relationship which is always peppered with the Andrews’s trademark humour.
I think this book is the beginning of the third story arch and I can really highly recommend it. Hopefully Ilona and Gordon Andrews will keep up the high standard. This is one of the times where I think the next installment can’t come fast enough.

Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh

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Enter the world of The Survivor's Club, where Regency England, in its drama and romance, comes vibrantly to life Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over ...Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace. Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor's son living there. Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?

I have recommend Balogh’s Survivor’s Club more than once and I want to tell you that “Only a Kiss” is the best book for me so far.
I could easily find a connection to Percy our hero. He is bored to death what with his thirtieth birthday having arrived. He has done and seen everything. But he is such a loveable character. It’s not often that I think a hero in a HR is just an all around nice guy. No dark secrets (he leaves that to his leading lady – and does she have dark secrets!)
Although being a member of the Survivor’s Club you can feel that Imogen is leading a half life. She has all that great support from her friends, she likes her relatives well enough but still you get the impression that she only “survives”.
I find that the way these two get together is comprehensible, the way Percy is attracted to Imogen (he blurts out questions that he would like to take back as soon as he has uttered them – and still he can’t help himself); Imogen’s attraction to this quirky, lovable man – it’s all written beautifully.
My only complaint: Now I have to wait until May writes the last book in this series and this is one that I’ll be waiting for eagerly – see above!

Dark Blood by Christine Feehan

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At long last you are truly back with us ...Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors-and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries: Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan. Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth ...For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining. Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear ...

As this is quite a long post I will restrict myself to a few sentences abut Christine Feehan’s “Dark Blood”
I discovered the “Dark Series” quite a few years ago and made the mistake to read one book after the other. I loved the first installments so much that I couldn’t stop myself. Then I found that Feehan started repeating herself over and over again. So I just picked out a book here or there when it really appealed to me. (On a side note: I HATE that Feehan keeps developing the Carpathian Language and adding more and more pages in an Appendix that I don’t want to read, don’t care about and especially: I don’t want to pay for 40 pages that I don’t have any intention of reading.)
Still: “Dark Blood” (even with the evil Appendix!!) just sucked me in. I enjoyed both the hero and the heroine (even though she has that terrible name. I like Zev’s petname much better).

This book is no way to start reading the series – I think one would be completely lost. If I were new to the series I would take a close look what books would really interest me and then:
Buy new books and have great fun reading them. Until next time!

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Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! I do envy you for reading the Ilona Andrews book, as I will wait for the paperback. I refuse to buy hardcover books when I have the rest of the series in paperback. I still have to start reading Mary Balogh, although I have plenty of her books on my shelves. And I am a huge Christine Feehan fan, and have Dark Blood on my table to read soon.

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 23 oktober 2015

Jayne Ann Krentz - Whirlwind Courtship

A stand alone novel, published in 1980, by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Taylor. And from what I see, this might very well be her first book.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: blah.

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When Phoebe Hampton arrived at the doorstep of Harlan Garland’s mountain cabin, he was less than pleased. Convinced that she was another marriage minded female sent by his matchmaking aunt, Harlan would have gladly thrown her out. But a whirlwind weekend with the feisty beauty convinced him that this was the woman he wanted in his bed, and his heart. Now the consummate bachelor would have to try an honest-to-goodness courtship, the old-fashioned way, if he ever hoped to make Phoebe his own.

After breaking up with her fiancé, Phoebe wants a quiet weekend on her own, and sets out for a trip to the beach. But when her rented car breaks down in the mountains, she is almost raped by some hunters who offered her a lift, and surviving the night in the cold after narrowly escaping that faith, she does not have much patience left.
So when she comes upon a mountain cabin, with a grumbly man and a lovely dog, she does not allow him to send her packing. Instead, she cooks him breakfast, and bargains for him letting her stay in exchange for her helping with the cooking and cleaning.

Harlan doesn’t believe her outrageous story for a minute, she probably has her car stashed a few miles away, and his aunt must have told her everything about him already. After all, he is very rich and owns and manages an international shipping business. So he will let her stay for the weekend, he has no intention of bringing her back to town and break up his own weekend get away, but he will not make it easy on her. Still, there is something about her that is very refreshing, and she certainly does not look like the helpless blondes his aunt keeps sicking on him.

And when one of the hunters comes looking for Phoebe, he has no choice but to finally believe her story …

I liked Phoebe, even though she does some stupid things, like accepting a lift from strangers instead of staying in her car. But Harlan, he is the typical overbearing 80’s hero I just can’t stand any more. He is so high handed and controlling, making decisions she has to obey, like she can’t say no to them having sex, and getting married in a few weeks time without even really asking her. Phoebe was so strong, but she did not even try to stand up to him. And all because she had fallen in love with him? I just don’t buy it.

So I am happy I read this story, as it is a JAK story, and I do love lots of things about it. It is just the hero who aggravates me. A lot. So I won’t be re-reading this one. And if you are a modern woman like I am, who doesn’t like too macho overbearing men either, don’t read it. If you do like your 80’s romances, go for it. Because it certainly has lots of fun parts.

I love Harlan’s aunt, and Phoebe’s pet parrot. And there is a bit of suspense in it, with the hunters who are after Phoebe.

6 stars.

Autobuy author

I don’t think it is available in print anymore, although there are many reprints. So you will have to find this one second hand.

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 21 oktober 2015

Yasmine Galenorn – Flight from Hell

The first story in the Fly By Night series, published August 19, 2014, ebook only.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: cool

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New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn returns with another thrilling foray into Otherworld - introducing a new cast of heroes alongside the D'Artigo sisters...

When the half-demon Carter approaches Menolly and her sisters desperately asking for their help, they think he's just had a tiff with Shimmer, his blue dragon girlfriend.
But after talking to Alex Radcliffe, the owner of the Fly By Night Magical Investigations Agency where Shimmer works, they suspect that she has been kidnapped by an old enemy of Alex's.
Now, Alex must join forces with the D'Artigo sisters in a desperate race to find Shimmer before Julian, a powerful vampire from Alex's past with a grudge to settle, can use the dragon to wreak havoc on Seattle as revenge.

When the first paper book in this series fell on my doormat, I realized it was high time to read this prequel novella, the book that connects the series I already love, the Sisters of the Otherworld, with this new series. So I asked my best friend Freya to gift me with the Kindle book, and I started reading it as soon as I had finished rearranging one of my bookshelves as a reward for getting it done.

And I liked it. Menolly the vampire is in charge in this story, when Roman asks her to look into some rogue vampires who are killing and turning a lot of humans and just letting them loose on the streets. As his consort, she has no choice but to investigate. Of course her sisters and friends help them out.
And then their main source of information, Carter, asks for their help in finding his missing girlfriend. Are those two cases connected somehow? It sure seems that way …

Shimmer is a blue dragon, and she has been banned from the Dragon High Reaches for five years, to atone for some seriously bad behaviour. And she will be starring in this series, with Alex and his paranormal investigation agency. As I really liked the setup for this novella, I have high hopes for the series. I will be reading Flight from Dead soon.

Not much on Shimmer yet in this novella, just her background, and a bit about Alex, her boss and guardian in the human world. I’ve read on Yasmine’s blog that the D’Artigo sisters won’t really appear in the series at all, it will focus on these new characters and their own storylines, and I am fine with that. I look forward to the strange and dangerous cases Shimmer and Alex will have to solve.

8 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book


© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 19 oktober 2015

Dara Joy – High Energy

The first book in the Tyber and Zanita series, published March 1996.
Genre: fun contemporary romance
Cover: not much, the stepcover how ever …. Yummie.
Re-read for the second time.

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Physics. Zanita Masterson knew nothing about the subject, and cared little to learn. Until a reporting job led her to one Tyberius Augustus Evans. The rogue scientist was six feet of piercing blue eyes, rock-hard muscles and maverick ideas, and the idea that he was seriously interested in her seemed insane. But a night of monster movies, cookie-dough ice cream and wild love was almost enough to convince Zanita that the passion-minded professor was determined to woo her – with his own masterful equation for sizzling ecstasy and high energy.

It is the second time I have read this book, and it was just as much fun as the first time, a decade ago or so. Zanita is a journalist in a small town, and determined to expose a phony psychic healer. In order to do some research, she goes to a lecture about psychics, but she goes into the wrong class, a physics class. And that is a subject she has no knowledge about whatsoever. But the professor in charge, is definitely interested in Zanita and her chaotic way of thinking. And as she has just sworn of men, he has to do his best to pretend his interest in her is in helping her catch this fraud, instead of him wanting her in his life. And Tyber certainly has such a way with words, and with kisses, that Zanita wants to believe him. So she moves into his mansion with him, his enormous cat and his crazy cook/housekeeper who seems to think they are pirates.

This book is so much fun, and Zanita is such a naïve heroine but still fun and determined. She totally keeps surprising Tyber and throwing him of his game. I loved their interaction and especially the ending of the book. She is not always as naïve after all ;) And his house is certainly original and fun as well. It made the perfect back drop.

If you can get your hands on this old timer, I suggest you pick it up and get ready for some fun reading time.

8 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 17 oktober 2015

Jayne Castle – Siren’s call

The fourth book in the Futuristic World of Harmony: Rainshadow series, published July 28, 2015.
Genre: futuristic paranormal romance
Cover: I do love this cover (hate the hardcover – cover) even though the heroines are never dressed like this.

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In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn't about to give up its secrets . . .

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That's why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn't want anything do with him . . .
Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months and he's not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She's not just a music talent, she's a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep - or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn't come without risks - and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame . . .

Ella Morgan has just started her own business as a dream interpreter, when a dust bunny needs her help. Borrowing her neighbour’s sled, she sets out into the Catacombs without knowing what to expect, but the little alien creature definitely needs her help with something. And so her life changes, again. Because helping the dust bunny free her trapped friends puts her into contact with some dangerous criminals, the police, and Rafe Coppersmith.

Rafe guesses her secret when he sees what she has done, that she is a legendary Siren and not just a minor music talent. But he keeps her secret from his friend the Inspector, and even asks her on a coffeedate. And never shows up, until three months later, when he wants to hire her. And that is when the danger begins. But are they after Rafe, or after Ella? And who are they?

I love this series to pieces. It is fun, I love the strong characters and the fun and original dustbunnies and of course the stories and the setting.
Sure, this series is highly formulaic, following the same path time and again, but I don’t care. Two rare high level talents, who are not matchable by the matchmaking agencies, meet each other, and they hit it off. The man immediately knows she is it, the heroine is a bit more hesitant. They go on a dangerous journey/adventure together in some part of the alien world they inhabit, a dust bunny is involved who is a real help and a fun character, and they fall in love and share some hot love scenes. There is action, danger, drama and emotion and exciting new discoveries, and I just love it al, time and again.

If you haven’t tried Jayne Castle yet (who is also Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick), and you do love a nice mix of paranormal and futuristic, go for it. Just pick one. Jayne in all her pennames is one of my longtime favourite authors.

10 stars.

Love this bookAutobuy author

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 16 oktober 2015

Guestreview: Jessica Clare - The billionaire takes a bride

Billionaires and bridesmaids 3, to be published October 20, 2015.
Genre: contemporary romance/erotica
Cover: I love the flower on the cover.

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Enter the illustrious world of Jessica Clare's billionaires and bridesmaids. Fans of Maya Banks, Melody Anne and J. Kenner will addicted to this sizzling, coveted New York Times bestseller.
You met the six bachelors of the Billionaire Boys Club... Now it's time to pair up some filthy-rich billionaires with lucky ladies in waiting and enjoy the spoils...
Billionaire Sebastian Cabral loves his family, he just doesn't love their reality TV show, The Cabral Empire. So when his ex-girlfriend tries to rekindle their relationship on camera, Sebastian decides that drastic measures are in order.
By day, Chelsea Hall is a happy-go-lucky, rough and tumble roller derby skater. By night, she's still living in fear of her past. Most of all, she just doesn't want to be alone. And she really, really doesn't want to date.
So when their mutual friends' upcoming wedding turns Chelsea and Sebastian into fast friends, they realize they can solve both of their problems with one life-changing lie: a quick trip down the aisle.
But with one kiss, Chelsea and Sebastian suddenly realize that their pretend relationship is more real than either of them expected...

As many of you know by now, Jessica Clare is one of my favourite writer and I have been lucky to receive an ARC from Jessica Clare in exchange for a honest review and I must tell you, I totally adored this book. I just fell in love with Sebastian and Chelsea and their story!

Billionaire Sebastian Cabral became a billionaire, not through hard work but because his father is a billionaire and he is the heir. So that makes him a little bit different from the other billionaires. But just like the other billionaires in Jessica Clare her books, he isn’t a snob about it. But being a billionaire doesn’t mean that his life is going over roses. NO! Sebastian has one big problem and that problem is his family reality TV show ‘The Cabral Empire’. It’s bad enough that a huge part of his family love doing crazy things on TV but why do they always want to involve him into their TV show too? He doesn’t want to come on TV or share his private life with the whole world. And now, for the new season, they want him to rekindle his relationship with his ex-girlfriend!?! That is the last thing that Sebastian wants to do! But knowing his mother and the TV producers, he will be hunt down, so Sebastian realizes that he has to take drastic measures to avoid this. But what can he do?!?

Sebastian is still thinking about that when he meets Chelsea Hall on Gretchen and Hunter’s dinner party. She is one of Gretchen’s bridesmaids. From the beginning there’s a bond between them and that gives Sebastian a crazy idea.

An idea that will save all their problems. Because unknown to Sebastian, Chelsea has a problem too. Chelsea Hall is a soap maker but her real passion in life is derby skating. And she’s a tough derby skater, she isn’t afraid to give her all! The bruises on her body are proof of it. But all that toughness disappears at night. At night, Chelsea changes into a woman who’s afraid of being alone and who hates the dark.
Until now she could always count on her roommate Pisa to help her and support her through the night but Pisa has gotten a big job offer. And although Chelsea is very happy for Pisa, this is bad news for Chelsea because Pisa has to move to another town, leaving Chelsea alone with her fears during the nights.

But then Sebastian, who is one of Hunter’s groomsmen comes with a crazy offer, he wants them to marry, just for pretends. Just long enough to get his crazy family and their TV reality show of his back. And unknown to Sebastian, this can just be the perfect solution for Chelsea her problems too!

But what both of them didn’t expect was that this marriage would become more than just a solution to their problems. That it would turn into a real marriage. A marriage where there are feelings involved, partnership and sex! And just when they both start believing that this can be a real marriage, Chelsea’s past and Sebastian family come knocking at their door. And then comes the question is this marriage real or not?

Like I said in the beginning, I really loved this story, it’s my absolute favorite book from Jessica Clare. Although Sebastian isn’t a ‘real’ alpha man, he is strong. He’s also funny, caring, tender and just the man that Chelsea needs to help her with her fears. And Chelsea is just the kind of woman that Sebastian needs, in her own way strong enough to put up with his crazy mother and their TV reality show and to support him with his real passion in life.

I’m looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series!

Until the next time!

5 stars.

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© 2015 Reviews by Peggy

donderdag 15 oktober 2015

Guestreview: Kat Latham - Unwrapping her perfect match

London Legends, book 3.5, to be published November 11, 2015.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: Christmassy

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'Twas a week before Christmas, and at the auction house...
At six foot one, Gwen Chambers has felt like a giant her whole life. She's a calm, capable nurse saving lives in a busy London hospital, but healthy men give her heart palpitations. When larger-than-life rugby player "Little" John Sheldon convinces her to bid on him in his team's fundraising auction, she discovers how pleasurable heart palpitations can be.
A rugby player was stirring, with desire no one could douse...
John has wanted Gwen since he first saw her, but when he's injured in a match just before Christmas he suddenly needs her too. Not only can the sexy nurse help him recover, but she might be able to help him look after his daughter - a shy ten-year-old who speaks only French.
But will it be a Happy Christmas for all, and for all a good night?
From decorating the Christmas tree to ice skating at the Tower of London, Gwen helps father and daughter open up and bond with each other - and she bonds right along with them. But when John's agent calls with a life-changing offer, Gwen has to decide how far she's willing to go for her perfect match. Will their first Noel also be their last?

One of the positive things about going to the Love Letter Convention in Berlin is that every year again I discover new books and writers. A new writer for me, who’s coming to the Love Letter Convention of 2016, is Kat Latham. I had never heard of her before but when I did a search on the internet I discovered that she had a series about rugby players and that those books had really good reviews. (I was really happy finding this series because rugby is a ‘new’ sport that I have recently discovered in books and now love reading about.)

So when I read in her newsletter that Kat Latham was searching for people to read her Christmas novella I immediately responded. Because not only was it a great opportunity to get to know her books but also because I love reading Christmas stories in the fall. So I was really happy knowing that I would find rugby and Christmas in one story.

‘Unwrapping her perfect match’ is a novella in the London Legends series. You don’t have to read the previous books to read this one.

Rugby player John Sheldon is very, very big. There’s no denying that, and although that hasn’t always been a positive thing in his personal life, he has found a sport where his big height is a positive thing, namely rugby. But this evening his height isn’t doing him any favors or so he thinks until he meets Gwen Chambers, a woman who herself is six foot one and thus understands John very well.

Gwen Chambers has felt like a giant her whole life. Something that made her unsure in her social life. And because of an incident in her youth, she has become very distrustful of men especially! The only place where she feels sure and in control is at her workplace. She loves being a nurse working in a London hospital. And if it was up to Gwen she wouldn’t be there, at the rugby fundraising auction, but she’s doing her sister a favor. What she never expected is that she would bid on a man herself, but John isn’t any man!

Although there’s an attraction from the beginning Gwen is unsure about John and his motives and at one point she’s even convinced that she has been right to not trust him. But then John gets injured in a rugby match just before Christmas. And that’s really bad timing because his ten year old French daughter is coming over from France to stay with him. Luckily there is Gwen to help him out and she even brings father and daughter closer together.

But then something else happens and the question now is, can John convince Gwen to trust her heart and to give the two of them a chance to become more? Or will Gwen choose for safety?

I really enjoyed this Christmas novella. I loved John and Gwen together and John’s daughter added a little extra to the story. It was also nice meeting Gwen’s sister and her boyfriend (who is the captain of the rugby team and they have their own story!) This story made me curious to read the rest of the series so I bought the first book in the London Legends series to read.

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© 2015 Reviews by Peggy

dinsdag 13 oktober 2015

Carolyn Brown – I love this bar

The first book in the Honky Tonk series, published April 16, 2010.
Genre: contemporary romance / cowboy romance
Cover: I like his chest …

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Funny, sexy, and sure to appeal to the huge audience of country music fans, this new trilogy features the Honky Tonk beer joint and its succession of lovelorn owners. Serving two counties, one wet and one dry, the Honky Tonk is the gathering place for every hothead, thirsty rancher, and lusty lady looking for a good time. Owner Daisy O'Dell vows she'll run the place until they drag her cold dead body through the swinging doors. That is, until the day Jarod McElroy walks in, looking for a cold drink and a moment's peace from his ornery Uncle Emmitt. The minute Jarod sees Daisy, with her hot looks and smart mouth; he knows he's met not only his own match, but Uncle Emmitt's as well. Now, if only he can convince her to come out from behind that bar and come on home with him.

I started this series, and my foray into cowboy romance, with the third book in this series, and I loved it. So I have bought some more books by this author, including the first part of the Honkey Tonk series. Thanks Blodeuedd! For making me want to try some cowboy romance due to your love of them.

I loved Daisy, she is a strong character, who runs her own bar, and is also a vet technician, taking care of a lot of pets and cattle in the neighbourhood. She loves her bar, and she has no need of a man in her life. Until she meets Jarod, but he seems to think she is beneath him, being just a barmaid … And when he changes his mind about that, after finding out she is the acting vet around there, she won’t give in so easily. But his dying uncle Emmitt keeps pushing them together, it was what his late wife would have wanted, and he doesn’t give them much choice. He just thinks they are already married, and he insists that Daisy stays at the farm, where she belongs, instead of in “that bar”. Being the softy that she is, Daisy agrees to play the charade with Jarod for a few weeks, as Emmitt doesn’t have long anymore.

But when the charade is over, Jarod has no intention to let Daisy walk out of his life. But can Daisy choose between her beloved bar, and following Jarod to his own far in another state?

I did love Daisy, she is a strong character, she owns her own bar and works hard. Both in the bar and as a vet for people who can’t really afford a real one. She did not have an easy child hood, and the previous owner took her in and gave her a job when she needed it most.
The bar is very busy, and her friend Chigger needs her help in deceiving her stern mother about her real activities. She just loves dancing and partying and having sex, and her mother just thinks she and Daisy play monopoly or something like that.
And then there are the Walker triplets, one of them is seriously in love with Chigger, and one of them is after Daisy, but she is just not interested. They are good friends with Jarod as well, as he used to visit his aunt and uncle on their farm in the summer, and then spend it playing with the Walker children.

I was a bit confused about liking Jarod though, the way he looked down at Daisy at first, not liking the fact that he was so attracted to a barmaid. But later, he just started helping out at the bar when she was swamped, and that was nice. And he was certainly determined to have her as his wife and did not give up easily, though not in an obnoxious way.

It was a fun book, and I closed it with a smile. I will certainly read more by this author.

8 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 11 oktober 2015

Jodi Thomas – Twisted Creek

A stand alone novel, published April 1, 2008.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: relaxing

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Bad luck has been biting at Allie Daniel's heels all her life, so when she inherits a tiny café in a small Texas lake community she's sure there must be a catch. But Allie brings her grandmother along, and the café gives Nana a chance to do what she loves best-cook. As Allie settles in and tries to make the best of what surely must be a mistake in an old man’s will, the people of the lake drop by. Lonely folk discover there’s always a table available, with down-home food to warm the soul. An old maid, a shy young man, and a drifter who races the moon across the lake slowly become the family Allie never had. When trouble comes, Allie finds that she's not alone anymore - and that, sometimes, the only cure for bad luck is the courage to love.

There was something about this blurb that make me pick it up and put it aside to read from my new collection of 400 books. I have never read Jodi Thomas before, and can’t remember reading any reviews that stayed with me.

It is not a typical book at all, the feeling was so very different. It was told kind of quietly, from two points of view, changing each chapter. But it was compelling from the first page, and I just had to keep reading.
Allie has been living with her grandmother all her life, as her mother abandoned her at the first opportunity for a better life in the city. Allie has no real education, and so they are kind of travelling from town to town after her grandfather died and they had to leave the farm. Finding a job here or there, and hoping for something better around the corner. And when it finally comes in the form of an inheritance from a man she doesn’t know, she is convinced it is all a mistake.
But she packs up their meagre belongings, and they are on their way to Twisted Creek and the ramshackle inn/shop she inherited. And Allie and Nonna make a go at it, especially since people start delivering things that were apparently ordered by the previous owner before he died.

I did like Allie, and how she tried to make a living for herself and her grandmother, and refused to give it up to her mother when she suddenly showed up and tried to take it away from them, like she had at times before.

But this book was seriously different from my usual reading. It was quietly told, and the people that showed up in the book were strange characters, but they somehow fit together and then there was the mysterious stranger who became interested in Allie.
But there is no fun or light banter, no flirting as I am used, no hot love scenes. There is some suspense as a drug ring is operating in the area, and a bit of danger in the end, but it is all just happening. Allie just accepts everything that happens, she does not act passionately, or angry or happy or anything.

And still I really liked this book. And I have not really a clue why. I think I have one more book by this author, and I will try to read it soon to compare the writing style.

7 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian