Monday, 10 February 2014

Goodbye and thank you

Hey everyone!

I've decided to close down My keeper shelf so this will be my final post. I started blogging three years ago with no clue about the time investment needed to keep a blog up and running and have fallen in and out of love with blogging more times than I can remember. I decided a few weeks ago I would stop blogging and since then have felt completely relieved so I know it's the right decision for me. 

I want to say a giant thank you to everyone who has visited My keeper shelf, left a comment, read my reviews and entered my competitions and I want to also thank everyone who has been a guest reviewer for me especially Rebecca who's reviews have always been amazing.

I'm looking forward to reading the 5 bazillion books I have on my bookshelf and maybe re-reading a few of my old favourites as well as spending more time with my amazing daughters Kate and Erin playing Monopoly and doing more Family Tree Research (yes I am a complete geek!).

Love Lesley xxx

Monday, 27 January 2014

Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush excerpt and giveaway

To celebrate the release of Magic Possessed the next instalment in Jaime Rush's fantastic dragon shifter series The Hidden I have a tantalising little except AND a giveaway in which you can win the whole series. Enjoy! 

Magic Possessed
The Hidden #2
Jaime Rush
Publisher: Forever
Publication date: 28th January 2014


Her brother was mysteriously murdered with no witnesses, clues-or motives. Yet Violet Castanega knows he won't be the last to die unless she seeks help. But the Hidden's law enforcement won't come to the aid of her rowdy dragon clan, and the only person who will listen to her is one tough cop. Violet has tangled with him before, and it got rough. This time, it's getting hot . . .


Powerful Guard member Kade Kavanaugh has been ordered to take out Violet Castanega. While assassination orders don't come with explanations, his instincts scream that killing the feisty beauty is wrong. Now Kade must put his career, not to mention his life, on the line to save her. But as the passion-and the danger-heat up between Kade and Violet, can they survive the darkest magick of all?

Here's a little excerpt

Kade watched Violet Castanega's sassy little ass sashay through the lobby to the entrance. He could tell she wanted to look back at him; she started to but snapped her head straight, pushed the door open, and slammed it shut behind her. Wow, did she look different from the last time he'd seen her.
When he'd arrested Arlo six years ago, someone jumped on his back, wrapping her long legs around his waist and arms over his shoulders. He'd known instantly it was a woman—her breasts crushed against his back had been the first clue. Her shrill voice blasting his ear with, "Let him go!" the second.
He'd reached back to dislodge her and accidentally grabbed her boob. Okay, maybe he'd lingered on that firm and soft and luscious mound of flesh. She'd nailed him in the eye with her elbow. It was only after he'd thrown her off that he realized it was Violet, the once-lanky, scrappy teenager he'd seen during an earlier investigation into Arlo's activities.
Before she could launch another attack, he reminded her that assaulting an officer would result in arrest, and she backed off. She'd been wearing tattered jeans, a muddy tank top and boots, and smelled of earth. A red scarf covered her dark brown hair, but her braid had hung down her back and tendrils of hair had escaped. To his surprise, her untamed self had tugged at the rebellious, wild side he'd had to stuff deep inside. And it still did apparently.
The spark between them was bizarre. Never would he nail a Fringer, doubly so, since they were all Dragons. Not even one with silky hair falling over her shoulders and a long, lean body. He returned to the pit, where several pairs of eyes were on him.
"Did you spank her for giving you that shiner, Kavanaugh?" Treach called out, followed by a chorus of guffaws.
"I think you were a little too distracted and let her get the best of you," Baker said. "You wanted to spank her."
Kade shook his head, learning long ago that to respond was the weaker action. He headed to his office, a tantalizing image of Violet sprawled across his lap while he spanked that lush behind flashing into his mind. That was not helping his hard-on.
His sister, Mia, sidled up next to him. "What was that about?"
"The shiner?" He waved it off. "She was fast, nailed me while I was dealing with her brothers." He wasn't getting into the boob part.
"No wonder you never mentioned who'd given you that black eye. These chauvinistic bastards will never let you live that down." She shot them a derisive glance and lowered her voice. "But that's not what I was talking about. There was an erotic vibe in the way you dealt with her, and ooh, the way the mist in your eyes is swirling now."
He kept all expression from his face, including annoyance at her observation. "I was making sure she didn't cause a scene. Nothing more."
She gave him a skeptical look, which he deserved because he knew exactly what she was talking about. He didn't have an answer for it either, because no way was he attracted to a Castanega. Even a sexy, sassy one. "Take note, little sister. With people like her, you've got to establish dominance immediately. The moment they think they've got the upper hand, they do."
The usual light of admiration returned to her eyes, the way it did whenever he imparted his wisdom to her. "I see that. You didn't let her get away with anything, while she completely got away from me. That's why you're one of the best Vegas in the department."
He loved her admiration, and he didn't. He knew too well how betrayed one felt when the object of your admiration fell and shattered to pieces. She was too young to remember when all the years of their father's sterling service to the Guard exploded in scandal. A woman had made wild accusations about a member of the Concilium, the government entity that oversaw the Hidden and instituted the rules. Somehow their father had gotten involved, emotionally, maybe romantically. Stewart Kavanaugh had helped the woman escape, and both were killed.
Everyone had kept the ugly details from Mia, then age seven. As far as she knew, a crazy woman escaped and attacked their father. Weeks later, their mother had taken her life, unable to deal with the betrayal and scandal. She was a selfish, weak woman who cared more about her reputation than her young daughter.
On top of that, Kade had been demoted to Argus. Some people complained that he'd been fast-tracked to Vega because of his father's influence and that he didn't deserve his position because his reckless behavior made the Guard look bad. Maybe that was true, but they conveniently forgot the thirty years that he was a Vega who closed almost every case. Five years of towing the line, exemplary work, and living by the rules had earned him Vega again. Humiliating, belittling years that changed him from cavalier and edgy to a sterling, model officer.
"Kavanaugh," Ferro called out, leaning out of his office. He saw Mia and added, "Kade." Ferro remained standing once Kade closed the door behind him, looking at the map with the tacks on it.  "Take the Castanega woman out."
The words hit Kade like a cold slap, so out of the blue he had to clarify in case he'd misheard. "'Take her out'? You mean kill her?"
"I thought you were beyond needing the terms explained."
Kade bristled. "For barging into your office?"
The corner of Ferro's mouth twitched. "You're questioning the order?"
"It seems extreme, sir."
"It has nothing to do with her conduct here." Ferro lifted the paper she'd brought in. "We've been watching her for a while now. These killings are connected to her, and her act about being concerned is just that." He let the paper drift down to his desk. "Worthless pieces of trash, all of them. A blight on Crescent society."
Those words prickled across Kade's skin. He'd heard them spoken about his father after the debacle.  
Ferro continued. "Their skirmishes act as population control, but in the age of the Internet and instant news, they threaten to expose what we are. Eliminating her will serve as a warning to anyone else involved."
The Guard didn't have people killed for less than a good reason. Kade wasn't always privy to the reasons, and frankly, he'd never been concerned about it. Orders were orders. Still, the prospect of whacking Violet sank his stomach. Because he'd felt her body against his? And felt arousal?
Think with your right head, Kavanaugh.
Vegas were akin to Special Ops, called in when the mission was dangerous, tricky, or required a special skill. He had to trust his superior. He would carry out his task as ordered. “I'll take care of it, sir."

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Up for grabs today is the full Hidden series, including DRAGON MINE, DRAGON RISING, DRAGON AWAKENED, MAGIC POSSESSED, and ANGEL SEDUCED!

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below. US ONLY. Be sure to leave your email address!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review: First to Burn by Anna Richland

27thFirst to Burn
The Immortal Vikings #1
Anna Richland
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 27th January 2014

What a story! When I read the blurb on Goodreads I was very intrigued by the possibility of an immortal Viking in a modern day setting and First to Burn certainly does not disappoint.

Immortal Viking Wulf Warsden is now Sargent Warsden, serving in Afghanistan alongside his elite and entirely human Special Operations team. When injured in a blast Wulf comes to in a medevac helicopter on route to hospital but the minute he's transferred he walks away fully healed as he's done many times before to ensure the secret of his immortality is not discovered. Captain Theresa Chiesa a doctor at Camp Cadwalader's combat hospital, is determined to find out how Sargent Warsden who was called in by the flight medic as having a serious leg wound is now fighting fit with no sign of ever having any kind of serious wound. On the trail of missing paperwork Theresa comes up against the impenetrable wall of Wulf's loyal team who will do anything to protect his secret. When Theresa finally meets the elusive Wulf there's an instant attraction burning between them.

I really loved the slow burn between Theresa and Wulf, their path to love is incredibly rocky but deliciously good. With their difference in rank Theresa knows that Wulf is off limits despite his heartthrob good looks. Equally, Wulf knows that he can never really have Theresa despite their obvious attraction to each other, if she were to discover and reveal his secret Wulf knows he would be forced to disappear again and leave what has become his band of brothers, his special ops team. Despite this there's a real flirty tension between them until Theresa witnesses first hand Wulf's body repairing itself in a matter of minutes after an almost fatal attack on their helicopter.

As the pieces begin to connect for Theresa Wulf cannot allow her to tell anyone his secret even if it means he has to lie to her and follow her to her mid tour leave in Rome. For Theresa, her leave could not have come at a better time she needs time and space to figure out what she saw and what her next move will be and more importantly, get Wulf and his lies finally out of her head. For Wulf, Rome gives him an opportunity to get closer to Theresa, despite being sworn off any form of relationship he finds it impossible to stay away her. But with his team investigating corrupt military contractors and Afghan heroin Wulf and Theresa soon find themselves on the run from some seriously dangerous old enemies.

When I said that First to Burn is some story I really meant it! From the army base in Afghanistan to the sewers and tunnels of Rome, to Wulf's stunning Italian castle, to the intensive care unit in Germany and finally on to suburban New Jersey, First to Burn is a real adventure and a half and full to the brim of action packed twists and turns. With an imaginative mixture of myth and legend, modern day military setting and good old fashioned romantic suspense I almost had to remind myself to breathe at times reading it. At one point I was forced to put First to Burn down to cry my eyes out (no spoilers here but be assured you will need your hankies) and although I was thoroughly shocked I thought the aftermath was handled incredibly sensitively and realistically by Anna Richland. Interestingly when I checked out Anna Richland's website (I just had to find out who's book is next!) I saw that she herself has a military background which explains the very authentic feeling military scenes. Equally, A-MAZ-ING and well worthy of a final special mention were the hot and steamy scenes between Wulf and Theresa, let me tell you that immortal Viking is a keeper!

First to Burn is the start of what looks to me to be a fantastic paranormal romance series, with thirteen immortal Vikings and an ancient immortal enemy I can't wait to see what the next book The Sinner has in store. 5 out of 5.

Favourite quote:

"He lifted Theresa's hand to his lips. "You know the seats recline almost flat in first class? And there's a privacy partition."
With her chin tucked to her chest and her eyebrows raised, she glanced left and right and then shot him a dubious look. "You can't be serious."
He adopted a puppy face. "We could just cuddle?"

Her lips twitched and her nose flared, as if she was fighting to hold in laughter. "Right."

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New series alert! The OGs by Elle Aycart

I did a little happy dance when I found out that Elle Aycart has a brand new series coming out in February. Deep Down the first book in her OGs series (OGs stands for Original Grandmas and apparently these grandma's are hilarious!) and is due for release on February the 11th. You can see a little sneak preview of Deep Down here.

Deep Down
The OGs #1
Elle Aycart
Publication date: 11th February 2014

Mike Haddican is a proud small-town gym owner, a renowned karate instructor, and all-around good guy. He’s never needed much to be happy: his family, his friends, his girl. Especially his girl. But when Kyra left him seven years ago to chase her dreams, she all but destroyed him.

Contemporary dancer Kyra Brims made it big, but it cost her dearly. With her life and career in shambles, she doesn’t need a do-over, she needs a friggin’ miracle. Injured, broke, and out of options after going through hell, she’s come back to Alden, the town she swore she’d never return to and home of Mike Haddican, the man who ripped her soul to pieces, to lick her wounds and recover.

Forgetting and letting go proved impossible when they were worlds apart; now that they’re stuck together they don’t stand a chance, especially with Mike’s grandma and her partners in crime plotting, meddling and refusing to give up on them.

As the passion that never died burns out of control, so do old hurts and unresolved issues. Both have reasons to be angry and feel betrayed, but now that they’re older, are they wise enough to make things work?

Other books by Elle Aycart

Friday, 24 January 2014

Other books I've been reading this month

Asking for Trouble
Line of Duty #4
Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication date: 25th November 2013

Tessa Bailey's Line of Duty series is probably one of my favourites from Entangled, each hero gets hotter and hotter!

Brent is a cop and explosives expert moonlighting also as a mechanic to support his family, Hayden is a rich chick with an overbearing society mother, she also runs a charity organisation for kids. He thinks she's an aloof pampered princess, she thinks he's a crude and infuriating wham-bam let me get back to playing Grand Theft Auto, ma'am type but underneath the sarcastic banter there is a real opposites attract simmering appreciation
I loved this enemies to lovers tale, Brent's particular brand of alpha maleness and dirty talking is worth a 5 out of 5 rating alone and a few re-reads! Their scenes together are scorching hot. I really liked that even as they started to learn more about each other it wasn't all plain sailing they still argued, fought and made up and the making up was really gooood. I also really liked that Hayden gave Brent as good as she got in and out of the bedroom despite the pressure she was under, and Brent (bless his enormous size 15 manly socks) was more than man enough to let her handcuff him and take over. Loved it, 5 out of 5. 
Ross Siblings #4
Cherrie Lynn
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 17th December 2013
The Ross Siblings series is another steamy contemporary romance series that I love, I've enjoyed every single book devoured each one in a few hours and finished each one smiling.
Gabriella was jilted on her wedding day and has come back to her home town to lick her wounds and get her life back on track before heading back to medical school. Deciding to finally get a tattoo Gabby heads to her brother Brian's tattoo shop but he turns her down so the new guy Ian steps up and designs a beautiful phoenix tattoo that Gaby instantly adores.
There's an obvious attraction between Gabby and Ian, although Ian is wary of going anywhere near his new bosses sister who he knows has had a hard time recently when Gabby deliberately turns up at the bar Ian frequents and tells him exactly what she wants the attraction wins out.
Although I loved Gabby and Ian's steamy encounter (Cherrie Lynn does write good steam!) it was the very different characters of Gabby and Ian that made Take Me On such a good read. Gabby is a little older than Ian she was ready to settle down and get married to her doctor before being humiliated on her wedding day, Ian gave her the opportunity to have her one night with a sexy, tattooed, Harley-riding hunk and get over her recent heartache. When their one night stand results in some serious consequences Ian wants to step up and be there for Gabby but just isn't sure in himself if he can ever be enough for her. Add into the mix Gabby's overprotective parents who are worried that Ian is going to take advantage of Gabby and Gabby's ex-fiancé who wants back in her life I really felt for Gabby and the pressure she was under.
Take Me On is a great ending to a fantastic series, it's got the necessary steam factor and a great story alongside it. 5 out of 5. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Review: Broken Blade by J.C. Daniels

6thBroken Blade
Colbana Files #3
J.C. Daniels
Publication date: 6th January 2014

I shed more than a few tears at the end of Night Blade the second instalment in J.C. Daniels Colbana Files series, after two weeks of being held prisoner by the vampire Jude Kit Colbana has been raped, beaten and treated like a vampire chew toy. Completely broken Jude has convinced Kit that nobody is coming to rescue her but Kit still manages to escape her prison although the escape Kit really wants is a permanent one.

Four months later, Kit no longer a warrior is a bartender at Wolf Haven. After months of crippling nightmares Kit knows that she has to stop hiding but can't face or even think about Damon her ex-boyfriend and shifter alpha. The woman Kit was is dead but she is now able to admit to herself that dead feels better than broken.

Initially dipping a cautious toe back into the investigation business it's not long before a simple case involving a girl pregnant to a shifter results in Kit not only having to face Damon and his shifters (who incidentally can't even look her in the eye) but an ancient and powerful woman who wants Kit to track down Pandora's box.

Although Broken Blade had me crying again it also had me cheering for Kit and even for Damon. It was heartbreaking to see Kit this powerful warrior feel so frightened and humiliated and at times it seemed like an impossibility that this broken and changed woman could ever really recover. Equally, heartbreaking Kit no longer has her trusted bond with her sword because Jude and his evil cohorts ensured that weapons would no longer sing to her. It's almost as though a part of Kit has died and as a reader I think it would be impossible not to feel for her. Broken Blade isn't all heartbreak though, we find out more about Justin, Kit's ex and friend, why he ended up working for Banner and more about his rare and particular kind of magic. Equally I loved seeing more of Doyle and his growing connection to Kit. One of the scenes that really stuck in my head was Damon trying to repeatedly crash through the protective spells around the bar in Wolf Haven to get to see Kit. Yes things didn't end well between them in Night Blade before Kit was captured but I was determinedly hopeful and optimistic that he would come through for Kit and that she would in time let him.

Broken Blade was as powerful and emotional as the second instalment. The story and characters again completely sucked me in and although I know that Kit will never be the same she's shown that she can most definitely adapt and I finished Broken Blade feeling hopeful for Kit's future.

Broken Blade more than deserves a 5 out of 5 rating this is a must read series for Urban Fantasy fans.    

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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr

The Arrivals
Melissa Marr
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Publication date: 2nd July 2013
Reviewed by Rebecca

Having read a couple of books before by Melissa Marr, I was interested to see what she had to offer with The Arrivals. It seemed like a departure from what I'd previously read so I was a little dubious but delved right in.

The premise itself seemed rather interesting. Chloe ends her long period of sobriety and upon waking finds herself in The Wasteland. People from all different times and places have also found themselves there and no one knows why they are there...or how to escape.

A big thing for me when reading books is investing in the characters and apart from perhaps Jack, I didn't feel anything towards any of the other characters including Chloe who is the main character. I felt like the whole book was very rushed and with little thought given to developing a background for the reader to feed on - you do find yourself with a lot of questions at the end of the book! I found it difficult to get to the end but I did manage to however, for something with such a good premise, this really fell short of my expectations.

2 out of 5.

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Friday, 17 January 2014

Some new series that have caught my eye

January is a good month for new series, I have quite a few on my list that I want to check out, here's some that have caught my eye.

Dirty Magic
The Prospero's War
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 21st January 2014

The first in an all-new urban fantasy series by USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells.

The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.

The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again.

Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never.

Burn For Me
Phoenix Fire #1
Cynthia Eden
Publisher: Brava
Publication date: 28th January 2014

Under Fire

Eve Bradley was undercover looking for a story, not a cause. But something about the man they called Subject Thirteen got her involved. The scientists said he was a devil, and they had a decent case: Terrifying power. A bad attitude. And looks that could lead anyone to sin. . .

Cain O'Connor knows the minute he catches her candy scent that Eve could drive him wild. But she's a threat--in a way no one has been for him in years. She's safer away from him, too. But with a powerful conspiracy determined to shut Eve up for good, there's no time to argue. All they can do is trust their instincts--and their hearts...

Other new series out this month worth checking out