Monday, February 29, 2016

A Heart Stuck On Hope by Jennie Jones

Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon Au
 
Review by Suze
 
Dulili desperately needs more inhabitants. There aren't enough young people left in the village and it's time to find some new residents. The locals have a plan though. They're offering cheap houses to newcomers who need a fresh start. When Adele sees the ad she decides it's exactly what she needs. Her daughter Ali doesn't speak and she has no idea why. She thinks the peace and quiet of the village will be good for her. They don't have much, but work is part of the village plan, so she and her daughter will have a roof over their heads and food on the table.
 
Tom has a house in Dulili, but he doesn't intend to stay. His grandmother is one of the residents who are actively trying to bring some life back into the village. Tom has a lot of problems and is trying to find a way out. When he meets Adele and Ali he instantly likes them and Ali seems to trust him. He wants to help them, but he isn't in Dulili to stay. He's becoming very friendly with Adele, but that's the last thing he wants. Will he be able to walk away from love when the time comes to leave the village?
 
A Heart Stuck On Hope is such a wonderful and warm story. I love the idea behind A Dollar for a Dream, it's so kind and lovely. Adele needs a fresh start. She's a brave woman and she's easy to get along with. She worries about her daughter. Ali has stopped speaking and she wants to find out what's behind it. She does everything she can to make her daughter happy. She's a strong and independent woman. Tom is there to help her with some work and they become good friends. He doesn't let people in, but Adele is different. They have a special connection, only he isn't ready for something like that. It was interesting to read about their relationship and they're sympathetic main characters. I couldn't wait to find out if they would get their happy ending.
 
I love Jennie Jones's writing. Her descriptions are vivid and she makes her main characters come to life very well. The setting is amazing. It's easy to picture the beautiful village and its inhabitants. A Heart Stuck On Hope story is romantic and hopeful. I really like Jenny Jones's books and highly recommend this one, it's a sweet and heartwarming story.


Claimed by Earth by Delwyn Jenkins Review, Interview & Giveaway

About Delwyn Jenkins

I like radical career changes. After serving in the Australian Navy for ten years (and being exceptionally disciplined) I switched to full-time university Arts student (where getting out of bed before 11am proved traumatic). I’ve worked as a teacher, an editor, and now write full time – a career I plan to stick with for as long as anyone wants to read my stories.

I’m an avid reader and movie-goer, an average bellydancer, and a disinterested cook. I live on the beautiful south-east coast of Australia where the changeable weather suits my mercurial nature.
I also write erotic romance as DJ Michaels.

Interview

1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in a small country town (population 5,000 - there aren't even any traffic lights!). When I left school I joined the Australian Navy where I served for over ten years. It was quite the eye-opener in so many ways, but I thoroughly enjoyed my service. When I left the Navy I went to university as a mature-aged student. Getting a degree was one of those buckler-list things, and receiving my Bachelor of Arts (Literature/History) was one of my proudest moments. I worked in a range of jobs after that, but now I write full-time. I live on the beautiful south-east coast of Australia, right next door to the Great Ocean Road (google it and have a look at my back yard)

2. You have had several career changes. Which dreams did you have when you were a little girl?

I think I wanted to be an author since I understood what a book was - but it was a dream too far from reality (it was more like a Bewitched thing - if I could only wriggle my nose and have that crazy wish come true). When I was growing up, girls from small country towns were secretaries, teachers or hair dressers - all of which were on my radar at some point! Truthfully I didn't dream big - my mind was far too practical - so it's very cool now to be living the life I would have wished for myself had I had the courage.

3. For ten years you have served in the Australian Navy. What do you miss the most about those years?

Like any job, being in the military has it's good and bad moments, I loved serving my country, I loved knowing I was part of a deep and proud tradition, and that - in my small way - I was carrying those traditions forward to the next generation. But what I really miss is the people. The friends you make become family in a way that doesn't translate into civilian life. There's a depth and surety to those relationships that does't seem to exist outside the military.

4. On your website I read that you also were a teacher. What did you teach?

I taught Professional Writing and Editing at tertiary level - which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also learned a lot, mostly from my students. I was also involved in training when I was in the Navy. And - just for fun - I taught bellydancing for almost ten years.

5. If you could change anything in the world what would that be and why?

Stop the hate - that would be my first thing. The violence, prejudice and extremism that exists out there is staggering. But so is the love, compassion and care - I'm hoping at some point the light will outweigh the dark - but we're not there yet.

6. As D.J. Michaels you write erotic romance. Why did you choose to write these under a different name?

I chose a pen-name for two reasons. One, because I didn't want the readers who like my Delwyn Jenkins books to have a heart-attack when they pick up the erotic romance! The other reason is I have a teenage niece and it's part of my job to protect her.

7. Could you name three movies we all have to see and why?

Gosh, I'm terrible for movies. I like the popcorn-eating block-busters so you won't get any recommendations for deep and meaningful movies from me. Movies are my escape, so I'm not that fussed on provocative or uncomfortable cinema. I will tell you that the movie that changed my life was the original Star Wars movie. It was my first time in a big, surround-sound cinema, and when the music started and that space-ship rolled into view my heart leaped completely out of my chest. It began my long love affair with imaginary worlds (and Wookies)

8. Who is your favorite writer?

Ack! That's like asking who is my favourite child? My go-to authors include (but are not limited to) Cherise Sinclair, Riley Murphy, Nalini Singh, Elizabeth Hoyte, Anne Gracie and Lorelie James.

9. In your first book of the Watchtower Chronicles: Called by Fire, the group of witches are very close and good friends. Are these girls created by role models from your own life?

Yes. I'm blessed to have a sister who is also my best friend, but when I joined the Navy and moved so far from home, I had to create an 'away' family. As I've grown older I've seen so many people with dysfunctional or unhappy relationships with their blood families - and I've also seen plenty of people create their families of choice. Family is really important to me, and I love the idea that if you don't get along with the one you have, you can create a family from the people who do lift you up and support you. One of my favourite quotes is from Oprah Winfrey - 'the definition of family is having people you can rely on'. I have a blood sister, but I also have 'soul sisters' - just like the women in my books.

10. Do you have a special routine when you write a story?

It's going to sound a bit woo-woo, but when I write I light incense (white sage) and I take a moment to connect with my version of the divine, I set my intension to write from the heart - then off I go!

11. What are your plans for the future?

My fourth book in the Watchtower series comes out in March, so I'll be editing that off and on for a while. I have a new erotic romance series bubbling away in my head, so I plan to write three or so in that series (I tend to write shorter length for the erotic romance). Once that's done I'll be writing a full-length contemporary romance that's been pushing itself forward. I think that will keep me out of trouble next year!
 
Review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon AU

Review by Anniek
 
Claimed by Earth is the second book in the amazing Watchtower Chronicles. Mycah is the earth witch of her Quatre. The other witches are Kam who has the element fire, Charlotte who is their water witch and Amelia who completes the Quatre with air. The four of them are a force to be reckoned with. They are powerful witches on their own, but together they are unstoppable.
 
Mycah had to use offensive magic to save her Quatre and the Knights. It haunts her and makes her physically sick. Witches are not meant to do harm but Mycah would do it again in a heartbeat as because of it she was able to save their lives. Sebastian wants to be her anchor, her safe place to rely on, but a traumatic happening from her past prevents her from trusting men.
 
After being banished for two hundred years the Watchtower Knights are fulfilling their job once again. They work side by side with their witches and will stop at nothing to keep them safe from harm. Sebastian wants to do anything in his power to keep Mycah safe but first he needs to earn the trust of his stubborn witch.
 
Mycah is a feisty young woman. She fights for it if she wants something. This has gotten her into trouble plenty of times. Her Quatre means everything to her and when old enemies resurface again they will need all the power they can gather. The only way Mycah knows how is to provoke a Quickening ritual. In this ritual a witch and a knight will become a pair and the two of them will complete each other. Mycah will need Sebastian for this ritual because she can't imagine being touched by anyone else but him.
 
After reading the first Watchtower Chronicles book, Called by Fire, I was hooked. I absolutely love this series. Delwyn Jenkins knows how to pull you in and she won't let you go. I found myself reading every spare minute I had, even when I could only read a few lines. The witches are strong powerful women who can hold their own. I laughed out loud at the images I had about the Knights who have to deal with this feisty Quatre. The danger felt so real and horrible. I was hoping that they would kick his evil backside. This magical story makes you feel like you are a part of their world. It's a world you won't want to leave behind.
 
Giveaway

 
One lucky winner will get kindle copies of Called by Fire and Claimed by Earth, the first two books of the Watchtower Chronicles. Good Luck!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Finding Sarah by Wendy Lou Jones

Amazon USA Amazon UK
 
Review by Suze
 
After a nasty divorce Sarah moves into a cottage in Lower Nutton. She used to live in the city, but loves the peace and quiet of the countryside. Her two children are both grownups now, so she can make her own choices. She started her family at a young age and doesn't have much work experience. Fortunately she manages to find a job that suits her very well. She's having a completely new life and she likes it. Sarah also meets a man she admires and maybe even loves. When she finds out Nick is the local vicar she's shocked as she's divorced and there might not be a chance for them. 
 
Nick is a vicar who rides on a motorcycle. He's handsome and nobody has ever seen him with a woman, so he's the subject of a lot of gossip. He's well loved in the village and people often come to him for advice. Because of his work he doesn't date, but when he meets Sarah he can't help but breaking his own rules. His job as a vicar might be a big obstacle when it comes to having a relationship. Will Nick and Sarah have a chance at happiness together?
 
Finding Sarah is a heartwarming, charming and unusual love story. Sarah is insecure and doesn't know how amazing she is. Slowly she becomes stronger and more self-confident. She makes her decisions with her heart and I enjoyed reading about that aspect of her personality the most. Nick is a great man, but he also has a past and the result of that is that he sometimes acts before he thinks. He's a passionate man and the idea of a gorgeous broad-shouldered vicar on a motorcycle is fantastic. Even though he's bound to the church he doesn't constantly preach his faith. The story focuses more on the consequences of his job. I liked that angle very much.
 
Sarah and Nick are both wonderful people. I loved the way they are together and that made me fall in love with this story as soon as I started to read it. Wendy Lou Jones is a very good writer. She uses beautiful words and she creates a cozy and warm atmosphere with both the words she chooses and the way she uses them. The story has a lovely flow. I know from her other books that Wendy Lou Jones's stories always are surprising. In this book there's an unpredictable development as well. This unexpected turn of events fascinated me and I had no idea how the story would end. I couldn't put the book down until I knew. Everything in this novel is exactly as it should be and I enjoyed reading it very much. I highly recommend any of Wendy Lou Jones's books. 

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Amazon USA Amazon UK
 
Review by Suze
 
Nicolette lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. First she lost her mother and then her father. She misses them dearly. Her mother used to teach her and Nicolette loved those lessons. She was a scientist who also knew a lot about magic and Nicolette often thinks about their talks. Her stepfamily is unkind. They have turned her into a servant and they mockingly call her Mechanica because of her inventions. On her sixteenth birthday Nicolette gets access to her mother's workshop. There she finds Jules, a mechanical magical horse who becomes her friend. He helps her with her tasks and he keeps her company. Nicolette tries to keep her work a secret from her disapproving stepfamily and wants to make her own money, so she can be independent and free.
 
When Nicolette goes to the market for the first time to sell her inventions and creations she meets Fin and Caro. They help her selling her wares and they are friendly. For the first time in years Nicolette is among people who are kind to her. She has a plan for her future and she is determined to get out of the awful situation she's in. Fortunately she doesn't have to do it all by herself, she now has friends who will help her. Are those friendships strong enough to endure anything and will Nicolette be able to get her happily ever after?
 
Mechanica is a Cinderella retelling. Nicolette is smart and she's able to follow into her mother's footsteps. She invents the most amazing things. I liked the angle Betsy Cornwell has chosen. Her main character is both intelligent and independent. She does everything she can to find her own happiness. She's living in a world where magic is controversial, but she can form her own opinions and does what she thinks is right. Nicolette combines technique with magic and it works really well for her. She's a fascinating main character and I loved reading about her initiatives and creativity.
 
Betsy Cornwell is a good writer. I enjoy reading fairytales and instantly liked Mechanica. The ending is wonderful, it has a great message and it's unexpected. The story completely evolves around Nicolette and the things she feels and experiences. That worked very well for me, because she's interesting and has an enchanting story to tell. I absolutely loved this magical book.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop


Enter this giveaway for the chance to win a book of choice worth $12. Good luck!
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Sunrise Over Brasov by Stephanie Burkhart


About Stephanie Burkhart
 

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has four children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

Find out more at:

Website: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

 Book Review

Amazon, B&N, Desert Breeze Publishing

Review by Anniek

Rosa lives a stabile and nice life with Clement who is a werewolf and Cassandra who is a Witch. Together with Rickard, a werewolf with unusual abilities she is happy at Clement's castle. At least that is what she thinks. Rosa doesn't remember her life before she was taken in by Clement and Cassandra and only knows what they have told her.

When her forgotten love Michael rescues her Rosa doesn't know what to think. They tell her that she had been kidnapped and that everybody has been looking for her. Because of the drug Anise, which she and Rickard have been given on a daily basis, Rosa's memories are hidden. Her body needs to get rid of this drug first and then she might get her memories back.

Michael is very glad that he, his sister-in-law Caroline and their vampire friends have been able to get Rosa back. He loves her very much. His heart breaks every time he looks at her because she doesn't remember the love they once shared. Rickard finds a way to break out of the castle as well when he sees that Rosa has been rescued. He finds them in a hidden cave. Rickard and Rosa are friends who stand by each other and step in whenever the other needs help.

Now that their memories are returning they are trying to find out why Clement and Cassandra needed them. It turns out that Rickard is a new breed of werewolf and Clement wants nothing more than to be like Rickard. Cassandra has always been part of a cruel pack of werewolves and finds gentleness with Rickard.

When Clement is not backing down the stakes are getting higher and higher. Who will stand together and who will fall into the realms of darkness? Will there be a cure for Clement or is he reaching too high?

Stephanie Burkhart's books are new for me. She surprised me with her detailed story. I had no trouble at all picturing the castles and the way of life. I was hoping so much that Rosa and Rickard would get their memories back so that they would know that they were not forgotten and did have a full life before the kidnapping.

The women in this story are just as powerful and needed as the men. I liked that a lot. Everyone has their own strength and holds their own. Sunrise over Brasov is the third book in a series, but can be read as a standalone. Stephanie Burkhart gives you all the information you need. I will definitely follow up on this series.
 
Giveaway 
 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The #1 Rule for Girls by Rachel McIntyre - Book Review & Giveaway

Book Review

Amazon USA Amazon UK
 
Review by Suze
 
Daisy's parents are each other's soul mates and Daisy knows what true love is because she witnesses it every day. She thought she found something just like it, but then her boyfriend Matt moved to Spain and left her behind. She's heartbroken and because she can't face the reactions of all of her college friends she decides to transfer to another school. Daisy's parents have a wedding agency and she's constantly surrounded by love. She wants to have that in her life again. Matt has moved on and it's time for her to do the same. At her new school she meets someone who seems to be ideal. His name is Toby and he's handsome, he's smart and he's generous. Only is Toby really as perfect as Daisy thinks he is?
 
The #1 Rule for Girls is a book about friendship, relationships, love and making the right decisions. Daisy is confident at first, but she can't seem to find back her happiness and that means she's starting to lose some of her self-esteem. I hoped with all my heart that she would find it back again. She's such a fantastic main character. I loved the way she dresses and enjoyed reading Rachel McIntyre's descriptions of her outfits. Daisy's mother makes most of her clothes and she always has something unique to wear. She likes bold colors and isn't afraid to wear them. Her favorite shoes are pink Dr. Martens, a detail I liked a lot. Another fabulous thing about her is the way she talks. Daisy knows who she is and she has a great personality. 
 
Rachel McIntyre has a wonderful sense of humor. Daisy is funny and she's bold. I like how her mind works and she isn't afraid to tell people the truth which is refreshing. The main topic of this story is a very good one. Not every guy is nice and there are early signs that tell you a lot about a person. Only sometimes it isn't easy to see them, especially when you really want things to be different. Rachel McIntyre uses these signs for her story in a clever way. Fortunately Daisy has a close friend who always has her back. Friendship is important and Daisy is lucky in that area. She struggles because her friends are in a different school though and it's easy to feel left out in a situation like that. She's going through something realistic and real that could happen to any girl who's unhappy, which is an interesting idea for a story. Because Daisy is so accessible it was easy to sympathize with her. The #1 Rule for Girls is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

About Rachel McIntyre


Rachel writes books about friendships, relationships, families...and the mistakes we make when we think we're in love.

When she's not writing, Rachel loves live music, collecting books and seeing as much of the world as she can.

Find out more at
www.rachel-mcintyre.co.uk
@rachinthefax

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed copy of The #1 Rule for Girls.
 

 
All of our giveaways are international. We notify the winner by email and give them 3 days to reply.

6 Books & a Bag Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win six books and a bag. Good luck!
 
All of our giveaways are international. We notify our winners by email and give them 3 days to reply.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

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Review by Suze
 
Lily left Cedar Ridge after Aidan broke her heart. She's back again though. She has nowhere else to go and in Cedar Ridge there's a job for her that comes with a place to live. It also means running into Aidan again and dealing with the ghosts of the past. Aidan has no idea why Lily left him all those years ago and he's determined to win her back. In Cedar Ridge Lily gets reacquainted with hiking in the beautiful mountains. She has a lot of issues to deal with and having her greatest love back in her life complicates things. Will Aidan and Lily finally have a chance or will the past mess things up again?
 
Lily has suffered a great loss and Cedar Ridge brings back a lot of awful, but also good memories. Being in the mountains again isn't only bad for her soul, it's also healing. She can finally relearn to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. Lily loves to hike, so she spends as much time in the mountains as she can. When she was a teenager she was reckless and Aidan is afraid she'll do something unwise, so he keeps an eye on her. He works for the fire department and he often rescues people from the mountain. That isn't without risk, not at all...
 
I highly recommend Second Chance Summer. Family means everything to Aidan and the connection he has with his siblings is heartwarming. He does everything he can to keep them safe. He's the same with Lily, which is really sweet. He's a nice guy and he and Lily have a great connection. If you're a romantic like me you're going to love this book. Jill Shalvis knows how to tell a story and she has a lovely warm sense of humor.  
 
I liked Lily and Aidan a lot. They're both strong, independent and fearless people. They're also kind and they will do anything for the people they love. They're great main characters and I immediately loved the story because of them. Second Chance Summer is a wonderful book. It's romantic, it has an amazing setting and the story is really good. I'm glad this is the first book of a series and I can't wait to read more.


Flames of Auriel by Erin Bedford - Interview, Book Review & Giveaway


About Erin Bedford
 

Erin Bedford is a new fantasy romance author, a computer programmer by day, and a hobby hoarder. She enjoys playing RPG games alongside her husband as well as inventing nonsensical games for her daughter's amusement. Erin lives in the Omaha Nebraska Region and dreams of one day moving where the word snow is nonexistent.
Creating fantastical worlds has always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn't imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.
 
Interview

1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well in the “real world”, I am a computer programmer. I make a lot of web based application for data entry purposes. Exciting I know. Every other minute, on break, at home, or on the road, I am writing the next story screaming to get out of my brain.

2) What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. Movies, books, music. Going out and about. Sometimes it’s even my one year old daughter.

3) Can you tell us your favorite quote?
Oh geez. There are so many it is hard to pick just one. I’d have to say the quote that relates to me most is from Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton.

“I talk to myself everyone once in a while. Give myself very good advice. Sometimes I even take it.”

4) In Flames of Auriel Zoe is not really ladylike. Are you a like her?

I’ve never been one to keep my thoughts or opinions to myself, but I’m not the tomboy she is. I’d rather be inside than roughing it, but personality wise I’d say I’m a lot like her.

5) You would like to live where there is no snow. If you could choose anything where would you want to live?
Probably go back to Texas, which is where I’m originally from, but sadly they’ve been getting snow too, so I’d have to go further down to get away from the stuff.

6) What is another passion of yours (next to writing of course)?

Video games. Before I actually started focusing on my writing as a full/part time gig, I would spend hours/days playing any RPG adventure game I could get my hands on. From Legend of Zelda to World of Warcraft. I have sadly neglected them since my writing journey began, but I hope to visit them again soon.

7) You are a fantasy writer. In which fantasy world would you like to live?

Every fantasy world has its pros and cons, but if I had to pick one that I was least likely to die in, I’d say the Lord of the Rings world.

I love elves, hobbits, and all things Fae related, and Lord of the Rings has all of those things.

8) Is there a book / writer we all have to read as soon as possible?

This one changes a lot based on what my current mind set is and since I am working on a wonderland spinoff, A. G. Howard is a must! She writes the Splintered Series, which is a gothic wonderland spinoff and is completely wonderful.

9) If you could be anyone for one day. Who would you be?

Does this have to be a real person? If not, then I’d be Ailen in Throne of Glass. I love her personality and she is such an awesome character. Plus she gets to be around so many hunky guys!

10) What are your plans for the future?

I don’t really have any big plans for the future. I am mainly taking it one book at a time. I hope to have the next Caeles Adventure out this fall and have my wonderland series kicked off this summer, after that who knows?
Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK
 
Review by Anniek
 
Zoe (full name Zoella) and Asher have been promised to each other ever since they were children.
Being the princess and prince of different Kingdoms their marriage would make an unbreakable bond between the two. They both know and accept what is expected of them.
 
Ever since she was a little kid Zoe would spend the whole summer at Asher's castle. He and his best friend Bryce never wanted to play with her. They wanted to play with the knights and learn how to fight. They did everything they could to get rid of her. In Zoe's Kingdom it is natural for men and women to fight and to learn the skills that every knight needs. Zoe is very good at fighting and her temperament complements her skills as a warrior. Asher brings out the worst in her. She can't help getting angry with him and she is also guilty of hitting him from time to time.
 
Asher has no interest at all in being romantically involved with his promised princess. He chases every other female that comes along though. His father died when Asher was very young and Zoe's Kingdom helped his mother and his people to win a war. He knows that the allegiance between the Kingdoms is necessary. When Zoe arrives to spend the summer he can't believe his eyes. How did the skinny child he remembers turn into this beautiful woman?
 
This summer is different because at last Asher and Zoe start to see each other as the husband and wife they soon will become. In Zoe's Kingdom women do not have to keep their virtue until their wedding night. They have their own pleasures with their assigned 'bodyguards'. Ever since Asher admitted to himself that he is in love with Zoe he has not touched another woman. He can't stand Garret, Zoe's bodyguard. He wants her for himself and is not willing to share.
 
When the summer is over Zoe heads home to prepare for the wedding. She doesn't know that her uncle has killed her father and has taken over her Kingdom. On the road assassins try to take her life but they hadn't encountered getting into a fight with a warrior princess. Zoe hides in the Dark Forest until they have a plan ready to take back the Kingdom. She can't forget Asher and will do anything to be with him again and to become his wife.
 
Flames of Auriel is full of action, betrayal and love. Zoe is a fierce princess. I loved the fact that she is a very skilled fighter and that she stands up for herself. She is a force to be reckoned with, but she also has a kind a loving heart when she lets someone in. She is sweet to the staff and I liked that a lot about her. Being a princess hasn't turned her into a snob and she appreciates people because of who they are, not because of what they do.
 
When Zoe and Asher finally find their way to each other it's heartwarming. If they would be real they would make one hell of a couple and a fair and honest King and Queen.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read this genre. You will absolutely love it just as much as I did.

Giveaway

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Amazon USA Amazon UK
 
Review by Suze
 
Growing up in the nineteen-seventies in Alaska isn't always easy. After Ruth's father passes away her mother can't take care of her and her sister any longer. They have to move in with their grandma. In her house everything is clean and organized, she's strict and for Ruth the house doesn't smell like a home. When Ruth makes a mistake she has to carry around a big secret all of a sudden, something that will change her life forever.
 
Dora might have had some luck financially, but when it comes to family she isn't lucky at all. She prefers staying with her friend Dumpling who does have loving parents. When something happens to Dumpling and things escalate at home Dora has to stand up for herself like she's never done before. 
 
Alyce wants to dance professionally, but the auditions for further education are during the summer and that is when she works on her father's boat. She doesn't dare to tell him about her hopes for the future as she's afraid she will let him down. She rescues a boy from the water and he rewards her with something she could only have dreamed of before.
 
Hank's home situation is awful and he decides that he and his two brothers will leave as soon as they can. They don't have any money, so they travel as stowaways on a boat. When Hank loses one of his brothers on the water he finds out he isn't as grownup as he thought he was and realizes he needs help.
 
The main characters in The Smell of Other People's Houses are all connected. Their stories don't always overlap, but they do have things in common and it was interesting to find out what those things were or would be. I immediately loved all of the main characters. They're normal teenagers who are struggling with life like everyone else. In Alaska there are fishing camps, it can be very cold and wet and a lot of families don't have much money. Love conquers all though, which is such a beautiful thing.
 
I love the title of this story. The smell of a home says a lot about the people who are living in it. It represents their personalities. Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock only needs a few words to create a vivid image. She makes all the stories come to life very well. I was amazed by the beautiful writing and the interesting main characters. I think this book is absolutely brilliant. It's a fantastic book about families, fish, dreams, friendship and love, it's a definite must-read.

Pull by Anne Riley

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Review by Suze
 
Rosie's grandfather is very ill and she and her family travel from the United States to London to say goodbye. On her first night there she witnesses a brutal mugging. She feels something strange and all of a sudden time has been put back a few minutes and someone prevents the violent mugging from happening. Rosie wonders what she's seen and if it's real. She finds out more when the same thing is about to happen to her. She's intrigued by the guy who rescues her. His name is Albert and Rosie knows he'll be able to answer questions about her grandfather.
 
Albert has a special ability, something that's badly needed as a group of aggressive guys are attacking people both randomly and organized. Rosie is one of their targets, but she doesn't know why. She's doing everything she can to keep her brother safe, but he's made friends with the wrong people. Two of the muggers are trying to make him one of them. Will Rosie and Albert be able to prevent more tragedy from happening to Rosie's family?
 
Rosie's holiday in London isn't a happy one. First her grandfather passes away, then her boyfriend breaks up with her and her brother is in trouble. She's strong and determined to do everything she can to make things better. I liked that about her. Albert and his friends have interesting abilities and they're both caring and tough. The main characters are all interesting. I couldn't wait to find out more about the secrets Rosie's grandfather managed to keep from his family. Slowly Rosie's learning more about him and also about herself.
 
Pull has a spectacular finale and a sweet ending. It's an amazing story with a lot of action. There's an influx of criminal activity and Albert and his friends are trying to find out why. Pull is a book about a handy supernatural power that saves a lot of lives. There's a battle between good and evil. There are a lot of bad guys, but not that many good ones who can deal with them. The good guys have to be smart and they have to work hard, because people with their ability are rare. The idea of the abilities and the battle Rosie and Albert are fighting is great and the execution is really good. I liked this wonderful story very much.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Through The Veil by Colleen Halverson

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Review by Suze
 
Elizabeth is a hardworking student. She has applied for a scholarship from the Trinity Foundation and is spending a lot of time on research for her thesis. She's translating a book written in old Irish. There's something strange though as the book never stays exactly the same. A visit from the Trinity people changes Elizabeth's world forever. She's suddenly a prisoner and they know more about her ancestry than she does. The people who are holding her captive don't show her much kindness. There's only one man, Finn, a commander of the trinity elite warriors, who seems to care what happens to her.
 
Elizabeth is now a pawn in the war between magical races. She's supposed to be very powerful, but she also doesn't know much about the world she's now living in. That's a great disadvantage. Her power can play a crucial role and others want to benefit from it, which means she's being forced into a horrific situation. Will Elizabeth be able to get out of it again? And can her life ever go back to normal now that she has all that new information about her lineage?
 
Through The Veil is a great story about a student who's half Fae and half human. Working with a magical manuscript is only the beginning of a series of terrible events. Elizabeth is strong and resourceful and she doesn't lose her head in a difficult situations. She's a fabulous and powerful heroine. Finn is a sweet guy, but his hands are tied. He can't be there for Elizabeth all the time and they learn about the consequences of that the hard way. Some of the scenes are awful and dark. There are plenty of creepy and cruel characters who are making life difficult for Elizabeth. The story is an interesting adrenaline rush and I loved reading about the different worlds and their inhabitants.
 
Colleen Halverson's world building is really good. I could easily picture everything she describes. There's a lot of action in this story and it's never boring. Things go from bad to worse, but Elizabeth is resilient and she keeps plotting her escape. There's a depressing part that almost breaks Elizabeth, I both loved and hated it. Fortunately Elizabeth can handle a lot and this part gives the story some extra depth. I'm curious to read more about Elizabeth and can't wait to see where her next journey will bring her. I really enjoyed reading this fast-paced fantasty book and I think Through The Veil is amazing.


Debt by Rachel Dunning - Interview & Book Review


About Rachel Dunning
 
 
 
Rachel Dunning hit the scene in August 2013 and, fifteen months later, had published nearly a million words of romantic fiction.

A prolific writer, she sticks to stories where Alpha Males aren't pricks and where women have guts.

She's lived on two different continents (Africa being one of them), speaks three different languages, and met the love of her life on the internet. In other words, romance is in her blood.

Interview

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I spend most of my life glued to the computer screen. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd become a writer. I wrote my first book almost as a joke and never expected it to take off at all. Well, that series is still my best selling series, even three years later.

2. How did you end up living on two different continents?

Basically, I met the love of my life on the internet...and then I moved! We've been together nearly ten years now.

3. Your New Year's Wishes for us are

•That every book you read leaves you smiling

•That every person you meet has your best interests at heart

•That every new friend you make is truly a friend

What do you wish for yourself this year?

I've been writing for a good three years now. I've learned a lot in those years. My biggest wish is to write "that story" which makes people both laugh and cry because they loved it so much. Y'know, writers, always dreaming...

4. On your website: http://www.rdunning.com/ you say that the only thing you can change is tomorrow. I totally agree but what if you could change anything that has happened in the past. What would you change?

Well, I lived a bit of a wild life as a youngin, but I can't say I'd change anything. The past is gone, there's no going back to it. I wrote that post after a long hiatus and a personal realization of that fact. I really came to peace with my life, and so I have no regrets.

After every story I write, and after the feedback starts coming in, I sometimes sit back and think, "Oh, I could have done that better, or that, or that." But if I had done those things, the story would not have been truly mine, which is the essence of being a writer.

5. In Debt Logan and Kyla have very different childhoods which formed them into the persons they are now. How was your childhood?

It was wild. I mean...really wild. It was freaking insane. I won't even go there. It was...CRAZY. Lol.

6. How did you come up with the idea of Debt?

Heck, I wanted to write something meaningful. There are so many stories about Bad Boys who are really just freaking pricks. I hate those stories. That we live in a world that uses the F-word every fives seconds (guilty as charged) doesn't mean that men shouldn't be chivalrous and honorable and decent. I wanted to take the idea of the classic "Decent Man" and put him in today's Bad Boy role. So I figured "Why not create a hardcore fighter with such strong principles of honor that readers couldn't help fall in love with him?"

At which point I started writing, and then the story took off on its own.

7. I absolutely love the tattoo's Logan has of the Lion and the Wolf. Who made those drawings for you?

I purchased them ready-made form a stock site, but I placed them on Logan's body myself for the cover. So, then I owned the images, and I though, heck, why not add them to the interior of the book as well?

8. If you are not writing what is it that you love to do?

I'm a big movie addict. Like, major. Anything which has a story grabs my interest.

9. Who is your favorite author?

Wow, there are too many to mention. I read a wide variety of genres. Probably all-time favorites in Romance are Nora Roberts and Jackie Collins.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

Mind Games #3 will come out later this year. I'm not sure what else I have planned. I write fairly quickly, but I need long breaks in between to refresh myself. So, not sure. We'll see. 

 
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Review by Anniek

Logan grew up in a rough neighborhood where violence and drugs were very common. When his father dies the people he owed money to come to collect. Logan refuses to pay for the mess his father left behind. He and his sister suffer for that decision big time, learning early on that all debts must be paid off.

All Logan lives for now is paying his sister's college fees. He wants to give her the best possible education so she can have a good job and therefore a good life. To get the money he needs he does what he knows best, he fights. He is very good at what he does, but his refusal to make a deal with the mafia results in getting little fights only. When he goes knockout during a fight with a long time rival Kyla is the one who makes sure he gets to a hospital and she stays with him.

Kyla had a life without worries about money. This doesn't mean she had it easy though. Her mother walked out on her and her father. Her father is too busy with his work and his trophy wife to really pay attention to Kayla. Her first boyfriend betrayed her and ever since Kayla has kept men out of her heart. She goes out with her best friend Vera and does what she wants with men. Ever since she has laid her eyes on Logan she can't get him out of her mind though. She is scared to death that he will hurt her or break her heart, but she can't ignore her feelings for him.

Debt touched my heart straight away. Logan is a real Alpha man, but he is also the kindest and most caring man Kayla has ever met. I don't think that there is a single woman out here who wouldn't fall in love with Logan instantly. He is gorgeous and when he finally opens his heart he gives everything. I loved Rachel Dunning's characters, they are perfect the way they are. She's made them come to life very well and I believed every single word she wrote. I couldn't read this story fast enough, because it made me so curious to find out more.

Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey

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Review by Suze
 
Ana is a member of the Vila family. They have special abilities and all females can turn into swans. They have magic in their long blonde hair and when they fall in love for the first time they get their wings. Ana's been collecting feathers for the magical cloak she gets to wear after this ritual since she was a little girl. She's convinced that Edward is the one, but what about her best friend Pierce? Pierce is special, but they're just friends, or aren't they?
 
It isn't easy to focus on a love life when there's a blood feud going on. The Vilas and the Renards have been fighting each other for centuries, but recently the attacks have increased. The Renards are foxes and there's a pact to keep the peace, but nobody really sticks to it. The attacks are getting more violent and Ana thinks this isn't just because of their usual conflict, but it's quite hard to make people listen, especially not when they hate each other. When Pierce becomes involved Ana suddenly has her clarity. Will she be able to get her family and best friend out of the mess with the Renards?
 
Love Me, Love Me Not is a great story about a girl who can turn into a swan. Ana has magic and she has her family's special abilities, but there are things that don't come natural to her. That makes her insecure about her love life and her abilities. She thinks she might never get her wings. She's unbelievably strong and she's a good fighter. She's also smart and loyal. She and Pierce are such a sweet couple, but they're just friends and Ana thinks she might never find love. Pierce always has her back though and he knows all of her secrets and keeps them. They're wonderful together.
 
Sometimes I felt like the story could have flowed a bit better, but because I loved the idea of swans and foxes so much I didn't really mind. I also enjoyed reading about the different families. There are three main families and two of them are large, which means there are a lot of characters, but the story never gets confusing. The swan magic is intriguing, there's a lot of action and the romance is cute. All in all I think this is a good read. I like Alyxandra Harvey's ideas and the world she's created very much.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bad Timing by Nicky Peacock

 
Review by Anniek
 
Bad Timing is the sequel to Bad Blood. After battling an enormous pack of zombies and her former friend Philippe, Britannia must find a way to get to Ireland. Her vampire enemy Nicholas has already reached their destination with all the humans they were able to save. Britannia must find a way to let them know that she survived and that they have to come back for her. During her search for a working radio she finds more humans who need to be rescued. While she comes across as being rude she has a good heart.
 
Even a vampire can be destroyed by zombies. If Britannia gets bitten enough she will no longer be a full vampire. She has seen it happen. Britannia is astonished when she finds out that a vampire which she believed was killed a long time ago is haunting the streets. To beat him she must tap into all of her skills and strength. Will she make it to Ireland and can she go back to the reincarnated love of her life Josh?
 
I read Bad Blood and was instantly hooked. This series has everything that I could ever wish for. zombies, vampires, good and evil, love and lots of twists and turns. I loved that I didn't know what would happen next. Nicky Peacock is very skilled in delivering the horror that comes with a story likes this. There will be a third book in the series and I will be literally bouncing on my seat when it comes out. 

Please note that this is the second book in a series and to understand the story it is recommended to read the books in the correct order.

Death Sentence by Sheryl Browne

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Review by Suze
 
Matthew Adams and Patrick Sullivan have a long history. Patrick is a bully who turned into a dangerous criminal. He's a pimp, he's dealing drugs and he's a cunning murderer. Matthew wants to catch him and lock him up for good, but he also fears Patrick. The man doesn't have any scruples and Matthew knows that his loved ones aren't safe. In his battle to catch this awful man his daughter has lost her life. Patrick wants to make Matthew suffer. He holds him responsible for the death of his brother and want to pay him back. Matthew's wife Rebecca isn't safe and Matthew can't protect her the way he should.
 
Matthew is after Patrick because he suspects him to have committed several murders. They've found the heavily abused dead bodies of some of Patrick's prostitutes. This time Matthew is going to catch him and because of his personal involvement he's willing to go far, to cross the line if he has to. It's a battle of life and death. Who will win, the good cop or the bad criminal?
 
Death Sentence is a gripping thriller about a sick killer and a wonderful and sweet cop. Matthew and Rebecca are a great couple. After the death of their daughter they're devastated, but they keep going. They open their home for Matthew's niece. Unfortunately they can't give her the safe haven Matthew wants to give her because of Patrick Sullivan. He's always near and he's keeping an eye on them. It's seriously creepy and I loved how Sheryl Browne kept building the tension and the uneasiness. It was like I could see Patrick Sullivan looking through my window.
 
Death Sentence is a book you shouldn't read at night, it's that scary. Sheryl Browne gives her reader the chance to look inside the bad guy's mind as well as the good guy's. I think that's an interesting angle. Patrick Sullivan is a creep who's seriously messed up. It was interesting to see what his motivations were and how his twisted mind worked. It kept me on the edge of my seat. If you're looking for a gripping, disturbing thriller, get this book, it's fantastic.

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony

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Review by Suze
 
After her father's tragic death Isabelle and her mother move from Milwaukee to Minneapolis. What happened to him is too awful to talk about. Because her mother wanted to move Isabelle now has to start all over again. She has to make new friends and she has to get used to a new home, which is a duplex instead of a three-story house. There two old ladies who live in the same building who don't leave Isabelle alone. Their names are Flora and Dora and they are sisters. They are good at preparing food and they tell the most fascinating stories.

Fortunately Isabelle manages to make a new friend who is her own age as well. Her name is Margaret and she's very nice. Only Margaret has another friend already. Her name is Grace and she isn't as welcoming as Margaret and doesn't offer her friendship so easily. Isabelle doesn't want to be defeated and she tries to make the best of things. Together with her new friends she might be able to find some happiness again.

It's the 1960s and speaking of her father's death is difficult for Isabelle. She loved him very much. They lived in a perfect house and she had a good life. Now everything is uncertain. Isabelle is unhappy and she isn't ready to open up, but there are people who are reaching out to her. I liked that idea a lot, it's sweet and absolutely amazing. Isabelle is a strong girl and even though she's lost a lot she tries to keep going. I loved Dora and Flora, who are such wonderful old ladies and great friends. With Dora and Flora nothing is ever boring.

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart is a wonderful book about loss, hope and kindness. The writing is beautiful and I think both children and grown ups will love it. This book is very special, mainly because of the fantastic friendships. Even though there's sadness because of Isabelle's father there's also room to smile and to have adventures. This heartwarming story is a fabulous read.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fix You by Carrie Elks

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Review by Tanya
 
Fix You covers the fifteen years of the life of Hanna Vincent and her friendship with Richard Larsen and his family from the the 31st of December 1999 till December 2014. At the beginning of the story Hanna lives in Putney in a small two bedroom flat with her mum Diana who runs a party planning business. Hanna is called in to act as a waitress on New Year's Eve at the house of Claire and Steven Larsen who happen to be good customers and friends of her mum. It is there that she meets Richard for the first time and also his little sister Ruby. Over the years they all become important to each other and they look at one another as family. They are there for support, especially after the destruction of the Twin Towers where both of them lost family.
 
I loved the immediate attraction between Hanna and Richard and how they both were reluctant to act on it. The friendship between Hanna and Ruby was such a vital part of the story and showed how important someone who is not family can become. I constantly wanted Hanna and Richard to get together and to actually stop putting up unnecessary barriers.
 
I liked how the book went over such a long period of time as it allowed you to really learn about the characters through normal and life changing events. It covers Hanna's life at University and afterwards when she has a job as well as various love affairs. Hanna loves music and she is lucky enough to find a job after leaving University. She's working for a music magazine and maybe her friendship with Tom, a famous musician, helped her to secure her a place.
 
Hanna is easy to like and to understand and I think her decisions in the book were actually good choices given the circumstances. She showed that she did not only think of herself. She also supported her friends and they supported her. Thank you Corvus for a copy of this great book. It was a lovely New Year's surprise. It was such a great read that I finished it in a day, which is always a good sign.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer

 
Review by Anniek
 
Zadie has battled and defeated her sister's reaper. She has vowed to keep their mother safe as well. When her own reaper also comes after her together with the reaper who has taken the sanity of her mother she has to train harder than ever before. Together with the Black family, her sister Mara and her Cation Gavin she is doing everything she can to be better equipped, stronger, more skilled and more alert to bring down the reapers once and for all.

It turns out that the reapers do have some skills themselves. They bring Zadie into very dangerous situations and she does not have the power to do anything about that at all. The only thing that would help is to break the reaper's curse. To do that they have to get in touch with the witch who initiated the curse so many centuries ago. When the reapers are getting more dangerous by the minute and people are dying Zadie and Mara have to stand together to bring them to their knees.
 
My Tethered Soul is even more darker than My Sister's Reaper. I love the fact that the characters are strong and smart. They have their own set of skills and are using their powers for the sake of good. All of them have grown and are ready for this next battle. Dorothy Dreyer has gone out of her way to make this story very detailed. Because of that it makes you feel like you are right there with the main characters. You can feel their fear. Some of the decisions they have to make are very hard but they are made out of honor.
 
I loved the darkness of the story and I am always in for a good read about the battle between good and evil. Zadie and Mara are so great together. They truly are sisters. I was really hoping that they would find a possibility to break the curse. If you like action combined with the paranormal and are not afraid of some love that comes with it I would absolutely recommend this series.

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox

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Review by Suze
 
Beaufont Hall is now neglected, but it used to be grand. Cassie loves the house and has always longed to live there, but her mother doesn't want to. Cassie dreams of a romantic life in Beaufont Hall, but there are too many painful memories there for her mother, who wants to sell the place as soon as possible. Cassie has one last chance to make some memories of her own, good ones this time. Together with Ed, whose family used to work at Beaufont Hall, she tries to improve the state of the house, so it can be put on the market. She secretly wants to come up with a plan to save it though. While sorting through the things that have been left behind Cassie finds several diaries. They belong to a family member, but Cassie has never heard of her. Slowly she uncovers some big family secrets...
 
Eliza wants to have a life. She's bored with her daily routine of going to school and living with her parents in a small house on an estate where nothing exciting ever happens. Together with a new friend who wants the same things she finds a squat in Soho and she moves out of her parental home before the end of her last school year. That is when she can finally really start living. Soho is where it all happens and Eliza loves it there. Only will it keep its magic or will Eliza get bored again? She isn't very good at taking care of herself. What will happen to her when things get out of hand?
 
The Glittering Art of Falling Apart is such a beautiful, gripping story. I read this book in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. I loved the stories of both Cassie and Eliza. Eliza's life is wild and out of control. The eighties are an interesting time and for a while she even manages to become famous. I felt bad for her at times and wanted to shake her when she let things happen that could lead to her destruction. My heart ached because of some of the choices she made. I felt so many different emotions while reading her story. Eliza is such a sweet girl, but unfortunately life doesn't bring her the things she desperately craves at all. That was heartbreaking to witness.
 
Ilana Fox has a great writing style. It has a natural and easy flow and it's elegant at the same time. She makes things come to life really well. I could easily picture the grand family home and understood exactly why Cassie wants to keep it. I loved reading about her work, the progress she makes and about the books. Her family history is intriguing and the ending is surprising. I enjoyed reading The Glittering Art of Falling Apart very much and I highly recommend this fantastic, moving story.