Sunday, 29 April 2012

Random Reads: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Slide #1
Jill Hathaway
Publication date: 27th March 2012
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Slide surprised me, picked randomly from my enormous to be read pile I actually enjoyed it and raced through it in record time.

Slide isn't just a pretty good whodunit murder mystery, it has the added extra of Vee's very unique kind of narcolepsy. Instead of falling asleep Vee passes out and finds herself sliding into the body of another person if she has touched a possession of theirs that they have left a strong personal imprint on. As a result, Vee see and hears things she really shouldn't have. Vee knows that her sister's cheerleader friend didn't commit suicide because she slid into the body of the killer after the act but who is going to believe her? As she sets out in true Nancy Drew fashion to solve the mystery she finds herself questioning everyone around her from a school teacher, other girls, the horrible Jock footballer and even her best friend Rollins.

I enjoyed seeing Vee start to use her crippling condition to her advantage rather than be at it's mercy even if I didn't quite by the end understood how and why her strange gift actually worked! As usual I was rubbish at working out who the culprit was so I was thoroughly entertained by the little curve ball at the end. Overall it was pretty enjoyable.

Thanks to Net galley and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review Slide.

Random Reads is a brilliant idea hosted by I'm Loving Books. I used to pick Slide from my enormous to be read list on Goodreads, it was one of those kind of books that I hadn't even touched yet despite requesting it from Net galley and having a borrowed a copy from a friend sitting on my shelf for ages. So, not only did I get one more book off my TBR list (one down 566 to go!) I've also manged to get my pile of Net galley books down = major result!!!

My random read for May is going to be Soulless by Gail Carriger, a book I've been meaning to read for ages that I actually got as a gift but still haven't read. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound #2
Cara Lynn Shultz
Publication date: 27th March 2012
My rating: 4 out of 5

I loved Spellbound the first book in this series it was actually one of the first Net galley books I actually read and reviewed so I was pretty excited to see what was install for Emma and Brandon in Spellcaster.

First up, I love Cara Lynn Shultz's style of writing, I swoon and laugh out loud as well as marvelling at how completely spot on she is with that sarcastic teen thing. The snarky zingy one liners are so good I almost want to write them down for future reference but I'm kind of too busy laughing.

Full of fabulously twisty plot lines and suspense the anticipation and build up was fantastic and although the villain was pretty obvious I honestly didn't care one iota. I always love a bit of girl power so really enjoyed seeing Emma growing as a witch, she just seemed stronger, braver, more determined and protective of those she loves. As Brendan's past hook ups just seemed constantly in her face I really sympathised with her and then loved her even more when she was able to deal with in a truly more adult way than I know I would, to Emma its hard to reconcile her Brendan with that old Brendan who went through girls like nobody's business. I loved that when Brendan tried to explain to Emma that he was lonely before her she calmly tells him that he didn't exactly seem to be lacking in company!

I fully prepared myself to maybe just dislike Brendan a little bit as a result, however, when he explained that he never pursued or dated any girl before her and that Emma may not have been his first, but certainly is his first love, I have to admit I swooned a little bit.

As YA sequels go, you can't get much better than this.

Thanks to Net galley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review Spellcaster.

ya review

Friday, 27 April 2012

Review: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer

11595072Arcadia Awakens
Arkadian #1
Kai Meyer
Publication date: 14th Feb 2012
Guest review by Pauline

Rosa is a mysterious teenager who travels from her home in New York to stay with relatively unknown family in Sicily, and thereafter unfolds the mystery of why Rosa has chosen to run away from her life in New York and indeed the secrets of her Sicilian family and their Mafia connections. 

This book has it all; mystery, romance and intrigue but if I'm honest, although I found Rosa a really believable and fully developed character, some of the other significant characters weren't quite so believable and as the story unfolded some aspects I found to be a little too fanciful and a bit unfinished to be fully believable.  Having said that this is a well written book by an author who clearly knows how to tell a story and immerse the reader in the detail of it to gain a full understanding of the setting and the interaction between characters.  But if you're looking to escape the harsh reality of everyday life, this is the book for you to disappear in to!

guest post

Guest reviewer Pauline lives in Glasgow with her husband and two sons. As a typical busy working mum she don't get much time to be a serious reader, and therefore hasn't a preferred genre, but instead uses reading as a way to unwind before bedtime. However having reached the ripe old age of Forty she was keen to try new types of books and was more than happy to provide some guest reviews for My keeper shelf.

Pauline and Lesley actually work together and are often found mid afternoon raiding the chocolate machine at work, having cups of tea and swearing loudly in a random manner.

ya review

Thursday, 26 April 2012

After Fifty review: Strangers by Barbara Elsborg

Barbara Elsborg
Publication date: 2nd Nov 2009

I stayed up until 3am reading Strangers by Barbara Elsborg, I honestly couldn’t put it down. I laughed, giggled, cried (3 times) my heart raced and I melted into a puddle of goo all in the space of a couple of hours. Strangers is a keeper for sure.

Kate and Charlie won my heart, their roller coaster ride was seriously out of control and had everything flung in it but I loved it.

Kate’s been humiliated and dumped at the alter and Charlie is a bad boy pop star turned actor who drinks, smokes and beds different women daily. As both their lives spiral out of control they meet in the most bizarre place I’ve ever read: in the sea trying to drown themselves! She thinks he a shark with the body of a hippo and he thinks she’s a mermaid, this starts the most unlikely, hot but tumultuous relationship I think I’ve read in a long time.

Strangers has a British setting and has the most fantastic British sense of humour running through it. I haven’t read any British adult romances so this was a lovely surprise. Kate is just beyond amazing as her story unfolds my heart just broke for her I don’t think you could read Strangers and not love her. She’s had a traumatic upbringing and spent most of her youth in care, she lives sparsely but has a gorgeous bed as she promised herself one when she grew up after having to sleep on floors, on couches and on old smelly beds growing up. She a waitress, makes the most gorgeous underwear and doesn’t give a shit that Charlie is mega famous, she just doesn’t care about that kind of stuff. Charlie has real demons despite his wealth and status, he realises Kate is different and wants to protect her from the press who he knows will dig into her painful past and crucify her but at times Charlie was a complete arse to Kate despite having the best of intentions. I loved the scene where Kate and Charlie are at a celebrity filled party but can’t be seen together. Kate is wearing her jeans and flip flops and piles her plate full at the buffet whilst the models and actresses starve and network. I laughed out loud when famous guys approached Kate and asked her where they had seen them before, Kate innocently answers “Crispies?” the cafe she works out and they think its a film and ask her when Crispies 2 is due for release. I went from laughing to immediately sobbing when Charlie ignores Kate to protect her but obviously hurts her feelings.

As a couple I was rooting for Charlie and Kate all the way. I loved the humour, I loved the drama (and there was plenty) and I loved their hot romance. There are a number of very smexy scenes that are not for the faint hearted but I didn’t think Strangers was just an adult romance it was so much more than that. Prepare to laugh, cry, near enough faint and stay up to 3am reading Strangers you will love it.

after fifty
 After Fifty rating: 5 out of 5
Hot romance Thumbs up
Hero with issues/dodgy past Thumbs up
Hero with protective streak Thumbs up
Hero that can sing with his shirt off Thumbs up
Billionaire (probably) Thumbs up


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My book boyfriend #45 Gideon from Bared to You

My book boyfriend is hosted by Missie @ The Unread Reader

My book boyfriend this week is Gideon from Bared to You by Sylvia Day. If you loved the Fifty Shades trilogy and like a billionaire CEO with "issues" then Bared To You might just be what you're looking for. I loved it. It's not a rip off of Fifty Shades by any manner of means despite its similarities, I think it's grittier and the heroine Eva is just as much a complex charcter as Gideon. You can check out my review here. Bared to You is not for the faint hearted and I've tried to pick out some quotes that won't make you blush too much.

"I was too preoccupied with staring, riveted by the man in front of me. Inky black hair framed a breathtaking face. His bone structure would make a sculptor weep with joy, while a firmly etched mouth, a blade of a nose, and intensely blue eyes made him savagely gorgeous. Those eyes narrowed slightly, his features otherwise schooled into impassivity.

His dress shirt and suit wer both black, but his tie perfectly matched those brilliant irises. His eyes were shrewd and assessing, and they bored into me. My heartbeat quickened; my lips parted to accomodate faster breaths. He smelled sinfully good. Not cologne. Body wash, maybe. Or shampoo. Whatever it was, it was mouthwatering, as was he.

"Are you sleeping with anyone?"
I inhaled sharply. "Why is that any business of yours?"
He looked at me and I saw what I'd seen the first time we met- tremendous power and steely control. Both of which had me taking an involuntary step back. Again. At least I didn't fall this time; I was making progress.
"Because I want to f**k you, Eva, I need to know what's standing in my way, if anything."
"Maybe I'm just not interested, Mr Cross."
A ghost of a smile touched  his lips and made him impossibly more handsome. Dear God...

How did we get here? I asked myself. This extravagantly sexy man and me?
"You're staring," he murmured, his gaze on his laptop screen.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
"Is that a sexual suggestion, Miss Tramell?"
"How do you see me while staring at whatever you're working on?"
He looked up then caught my gaze. His blue eyes blazed with power and heat. "I've always seen you, angel. you found me, From the moment you found me, I've seen nothing but you."

Thanks to Jerome Adamoli for being my Gideon today , I love that first picture of him he looks really pleased with himself!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Jennifer Bosworth
Publication date: 8th May 2012
My rating: 2.5 out of 5

It took me a whole week to read Struck by Jennifer Bosworth, for me that is a long time to read a YA book as I usually finish them in a few hours.
Struck just didn't grab me or hold my attention instead it just plodded along.

The story of Mia Price a young girl who is addicted to lightning strikes, she herself has been struck numerous times and survived but leaves her covered in red scars. Set in a LA after a huge earthquake has destroyed the normal way of life Mia is fighting to keep her small family together. Her mother narrowly escaped death after being buried under rubble and now can barely function, her mother now spends her days watching a man called the Prophet on television a sort of cult leader with thousands of followers all dressed in white who claim that God has spoken to their leader and told him the end of the world is imminent.

Mia and her brother are forced to go back to school to receive their meagre rations but find that school has changed completely and there are now two factions vying for Mia's attention; the prophet's followers and the Seekers another spooky group with mind reading powers who want Mia and her ability to hold lightening inside her. Thrown into the mix is a good looking boy wearing Clark Kent glasses who tries to persuade Mia to stay away from both groups. Who can she trust?

Now, this is a personal thing here, I don't like scary brain washing cults they completely creep me out. So the Prophet and his followers dressed in white, as well as the 12 apostles, 7th seal and end of days religious stuff really turned me off. As my mind started to wander away from the actual story I found myself wondering how the followers keep their clothes white when there's been an earthquake (which is not a good sign is it?). Anyway, Struck just wasn't my kind of thing.

Thanks to Net galley and Macmillan Children's publishing group for the opportunity to read and review Struck.

ya review

Sunday, 22 April 2012

In my mailbox #51

in my mailbox dog
In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

Only a couple of books from me this week, for review I got Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen and I bought Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay, Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver and Fever by Joan Swan. I know I won’t be able to read these any time soon as I’m still trying to get through all my Net galley books. I had a crap reading week this week, I didn’t have much time to read and the little time I did have I just couldn’t get into what I was reading. I’m not sure if it was what I was reading or just my general mood. Hopefully this week will be better.

Have a great week everybody and leave me your in my mail box links and I will check them out.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

After Fifty review: Bared To You by Sylvia Day

Bared To You
Crossfire #1
Sylvia Day
Publication date: 3rd April 2012

Bared to You has been heralded as the new Fifty, it certainly felt very Fiftyish to me reading it but it had a grittier feel to it. It does have a hot billionaire CEO with a troublesome past, Gideon is also domineering, controlling and shows some real stalkerish tendencies not unlike Christian. But unlike Fifty Shades the heroine Eva is a much more complex character and I ended up liking her a lot. Like Gideon she is the victim of childhood abuse and has some serious demons. I liked that her character went from strong to vulnerable to strong again it made her seem really realistic to me.

It's lust at first sight for Eva and Gideon, these two tortured souls seem drawn to each other from the word go. The have real similarities, both are possessive and insecure. Gideon thinks nothing of investigating Eva's background, her friends and seems to own every building and company in the world (how very Fiftyish). Equally, Eva runs off on numerous occasions when there is any kind of mention or indication that Gideon has had other women in the past. Her ability to blame Gideon for, well, just about everything did get on my nerves at times. They are however, as sexual as each other. Eva is certainly no wall flower she's just as demanding as Gideon and although it's suggested that Gideon is a bit of a dom it didn't come across that way to me. There are many many sexy times in Bared to You and I actually thought they were better than the sexy times in Fifty Shades, they just seemed more gritty, dirty and real.

Eva's overbearing mother annoyed me no end. Her relationship with her mother was seriously dysfunctional. To me, Eva had real strength to be in a relationship and put up with Gideon's "issues" but seemed to lack the same strength and resolve when it came to her own mother. I guess the power of a mother's guilt trip will always overcome. Equally, I went from liking Eva's roommate Cary as he seemed sweet and supportive at first, then as I realised he too was a victim of abuse I felt really sorry for him but his behaviour at the end and his overwhelming determination to seriously muck up any form of good relationship in his life frustrated me. I realise his actions are probably a consequence of his traumatic upbringing but I just didn't like him very much at the end.

Eva summed up Bared To Me when she asked her therapist if two individuals with real demons, who have both been a victim of some form of abuse can actually have a normal and happy relationship together. I think the jury is still out on this one. Whereas Eva is pretty upfront with Gideon about her traumatic past Gideon isn't quite on the same page. It's hinted in Bared To You what happened to Gideon and he certainly seems to think that Eva knows more about how screwed up he really is more than anyone else but I'm not sure I would call their all consuming and volatile relationship a normal and happy kind of relationship.

Overall, I thought Bared to you was both hot and addictive. Fans of Fifty Shades will love it but don't expect the laughs and giggles provided by Ana and Christian's emails this is definitely much grittier.

after fiftyAfter Fifty rating: 4 out of 5

Alpha maleness Thumbs up
Has “issues” Thumbs up
Protective streak Thumbs up
Billionaire Thumbs up


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What I’m reading After Fifty…

after fifty
After finishing and loving the Fifty Shades trilogy I’ve been on the look out for another hot little book that I can totally and obsessively fall in love with. I have one or two (okay maybe eight) requirements:

1. It’s got to be HOT.

2. I quite like a bit of romance.

3. I’m very partial to a smouldering alpha male.

4. I do like an alpha male with “issues” especially if he’s saved by the love of a good woman.

5. I’m totally okay with him having any or all of the following: tattoos, a Harley Davidson, a dodgy past, the ability to turn into a werewolf, a military background and or a uniform, a dry sense of humour, can play guitar with his shirt off, some kind of sporting ability (but don’t get too technical about said sport because I’m likely to get bored).

6. I want to see a protective streak a mile wide.

7. No YA boys need apply (sorry men only).

8. Billionaires are okay by me.

So I created myself a shelf on Goodreads called After Fifty and I’ve been reading some very interesting books which I plan to review every Thursday until I get fed up with them and move onto another bandwagon.

Click the pictures below to check out my reviews.

Some other Fifty-ish books I've loved:

 Some other very hot recommendations
(click the pictures to see my drool worthy book boyfriend for each book)

Click the After Fifty cover below to see how my Fifty Shades addiction all started

One of the best things about the Fifty Shades explosion is the e cards.

I post all my "After Fifty" reviews every Thursday,