Thursday, 30 August 2012

Guest reviewer wanted!

I'm looking for a guest reviewer or two.
I still get way more review requests than I could ever possibly handle so I'm looking for someone who like me, enjoys reading and squeeeing over books.

You need to be able to write honest and fun reviews, so if you're interested please fill out this form.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My book boyfriend: Elec from Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

Hi everyone welcome to another week of My book boyfriend co-hosted by your truly whilst the amazing Missie @ The Unread Reader is studying hard!

I posted last week about my love of sports romances, one of the sports romances I've had on my shelf and hadn't got round to was Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy the first book in her Fast Track series. One of the lovely ladies who commented on the post mentioned she loved the series so I thought I would give it a go. I loved it! Elec Monroe is a young NASCAR driver, he's sweet, seductive and a complete keeper. 

Tamara Briggs is a single mother of two after losing her NASCAR driver husband in an accident. The last thing she wants is to hook up with another driver, especially as he's much younger and just starting out in his career. Tamara thinks her night with Elec will just be a one off but Elec is determined to stick around and wants to meet her children.

Flat-Out Sexy was sweet, hot, romantic and then more sweet. Who wouldn't want the adorable Elec as their book boyfriend?

Here's some quotes:

Tamara meets Elec after bumping into him and spilling her wine all down his shirt. As she tries to help him mop it up she realises not only is he young and gorgeous, but she's now practically groping him:
"She looked up and immediately felt her cheeks start to burn. One, because she had never seen this man in her life, and therefore couldn't joke it off with a long standing acquaintance. And two, because he was damn cute, with caramel-coloured hair that was getting a little long on his forehead, shoulders that were broad and begging to be tested for firmness with a squeeze, and compelling, deep brown eyes that had widened in shock from the impact... His mouth turned up in a small smile. "If I'd been thinking, I would have spilled wine on myself an hour ago. Course, I had to be drinking wine." He lifted his Bud bottle and shrugged. "I'm no more a wine guy than a tie guy."

When Tamara is stuck in her house when her kids have chicken pox, Elec wants to help so visits with dinner and toys for her kids but Tamara doesn't know how she feels about it:
"I broke the rules, didn't I?" he said when she turned around, napkins clutched in her hand.
She nodded. "Yeah, you did."
"I'm sorry, that really wasn't my intention. I wasn't trying to push or manipulate you. When you told me about being stuck in the house. I just thought that it would help if I stopped by with dinner, that's all."...
"It's just that the minute you walked in the door, it changed. It's not just you and I hooking up for fun."
"Were we really going to be able to do that?" he asked. "I know we fell into this impulsively, but at least on my part, there is a deeper attraction than that. I agreed to keep it quiet and casual because that's what you wanted . It's never been what I wanted."

I loved Elec, especially when he said stuff like this:
"Yes?" She smiled up at him, her expression satisfied and sleepy and bemused.
It didn't matter if she didn't answer him in kind. He was okay with that. She had different baggage than him, and she had reasons to keep a tighter lid on her emotions, so he was prepared to get a smile or an "Oh Elec," and nothing more.
But that wasn't going to stop him from saying what he needed to. "Tamara, I want you to know that I'm in love with you. I love you."

Isn't he fab????? I loved that Elec didn't care that Tamara was a bit older and had children, at no point did he want to replace her husband he just fell in love with her as a person and her children and boosted her confidence no end! I think Ryan Gosling would be a great Elec. Yum.

My book boyfriend is a weekly meme created by Missie at The Unread Reader. To find out more check out Missie's introductory post here. To show off your fictional boyfriend link your MBB post below. Direct links only please.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

My review writing agony

When I started blogging I'd never written a review before. I had only just started keeping a record of all the books I had read on Goodreads and although I was happy to squeee about my favourite books with the girls at UK Book Swap I hadn't really written more than a few lines about the books I was reading. I'm a pretty fast reader but I've never really found writing reviews easy or natural. I find it really time consuming and I usually go through a couple of drafts, okay loads of drafts, before I'm happy with what I've come up with. I still worry my reviews are too long, too short, not funny, a bit of a ramble, too spoilerish or just plain boring. I'm definitely a reader rather than a writer (which is blatantly obvious when you read my reviews!). Occasionally I go back and look at old reviews and think did I actually write that? I did, but it took me a looooong time to get the review to that stage. Am I perfectionist? Yeah probably, but I really wish I was more of a natural writer.

As a fast reader I never really worry about not having read enough books to talk about. I probably only review about a half of the books I've read mostly because I don't want to stop and take time out to write reviews. As a blogger I have much more access to books then I've ever had through Net Galley, Edelweiss, publishers and authors but I'm not convinced I savour books as much as I used to in my pre-blogging days and I certainly never seem to have the time to re-read my old favourites like I used to.

I made a conscious decision this year to chill out about blogging, I'm not saving lives here I'm only talking about books and I know the blogging police won't arrest me if I don't have new content on my blog every day. However, I still wonder if I put myself under pressure to read fast to get through all my review books. I hate the fact that I think about getting through books, because reading shouldn't be a chore it really should be just for fun. I know that my reluctance to write reviews causes me to pile up the reviews I need to write. I hardly ever write a review just after I've finished a book because I'm too greedy to get onto the next book and I know it will take me ages to write a review so the reviews pile up and up. As a result, I often have review writing days where I have to blitz all my outstanding reviews. I hate it because I sometimes think I'm churning it out rather than lovingly crafting a review. So, although I've chilled out a bit I think I still have a long way to go.

I guess I was just wondering if anyone else agonises over writing reviews? I hope someone else does! (I feel like bursting into song here, "All by Myself" by Celine Dion springs to mind) I bought this cool little notepad to help me keep on track with my review writing.

I don't know if it will actually help or not or whether it's just my addiction to buying stationery (that's another story for another day!) which meant I couldn't pass buy without buy it. I know I just need to get into the habit of writing a review once I've finished a book and chillax a bit more but I'm seriously crap at taking my own advice.

P.S I realise this is a big giant ramble but just humour me will you? Oh and if anyone has any review writing tips I'd love to hear them.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Review: Run the Risk by Lori Foster

run the riskRun the Risk
Love Undercover #1
Lori Foster
Publication date: 25th September 2012

Detective Logan Riske is undercover to finally find the much needed link to his best friends murder. Pepper Yates lives a very secluded and grey life as Sue Meeks never drawing any attention to herself she wears grey baggy clothes, scrapes her mousy hair back each day and quietly lives in the apartment complex run by her brother Rowdy.

Riske needs to find Rowdy who he believes is the eye witness to his friend's murder so Riske places himself as Sue/Pepper's friendly (but hot) neighbour to try to gain her trust and confirm Rowdy's whereabouts.

Run the Risk kept me guessing throughout. Like Riske I was pretty intrigued by the mousy "Sue." It's clear that Sue/Pepper is attracted to Riske (well he is hot and deliberately walks about with his shirt off) her lonely life means that she is craving human interaction of the male form and Riske keeps lingering about with that bloody shirt off so what's a girl to do?

Riske's method of investigation were slightly unusual to say the least, his plan was to seduce Sue/Pepper and worm his way into her life. He knows her real name is Pepper but as he doesn't have any old pictures of her he is left wondering what her body is like underneath her shapeless old clothes. As Riske's seduction techniques start to work Sue/Pepper ensures it's on her terms only, Riske definitely had to work undercover as Sue/Pepper insisted the curtains were drawn, lights were off and clothes were kept on when they finally did get down to business and I felt he really deserved bonus points for always remembering her fake name in the throws of passion!

Without giving too much of the story away the fear of police corruption meant that like the main characters I didn't know who to trust or believe either, as a result I changed my mind about more than one character as the story unfolded. I really did enjoy all the twists and turns and mystery. I definitely want to read Reese's book which is up next and hope the mystery of his neighbour and dog walker Alice's background is explored I'm intrigued.

Thanks to Net galley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review Run the Risk.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

New books and other stuff

Hello fellow book lovers!

Here's the books I got this week.

From Net Galley

I also bought some kindle bargains

Other stuff
 I've not had much time to read this week as I'm back at work but I plan to read a few of my kindle bargains and finish off my current read Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens.

Current Giveaway
 I LOVED Hell on Wheels, with a cover like that what's not to love? 
Click here to enter.

Have a great week everybody.

Friday, 24 August 2012

I think I'm addicted to sports romances

My current not so guilty pleasure is reading sports romances. I love them. A lot. I'd read quite a few of them before it actually dawned on me that "sports romances" were a well known category of books (seriously how thick am I?) So I thought I would share with you some of my favourites so far.

In my extensive (In that I've read a few of them and have a special shelf on Goodreads and everything) sports romance research I've found that there's a few necessary elements:

  • Gorgeous covers with lots of naked man chest is essential. Usually we don't get to see the face of the naked man the focus is definitely on the body which results in me shouting "holy mother of abs" and running to add the book to my to be read list. The model Jed Hill seems to be a favourite cover model for sports romances.
  • The hero is usually famous and rich, playing at the very top of his game with many female admirers (he will of course only have eyes for his heroine).
  • The hero is usually a very alpha male type- confident, stubborn, in control, charming and sometimes a little bit predatory.
  • Sports romances tend to be part of a series as the alpha male sports star is surrounded by team mates/brothers who are equally alpha male and in need of the love of a good woman. Most of the sports romances I've loved always have the start of the next guy's story which of course gets me adding the next book to my TBR list .
  • The path of true sports romance love never runs smooth. Heroes have to contend with injury (rotator cuff springs to mind- I have no clue what is is though, arm maybe??), media scandal, difficult upbringings, unplanned pregnancy and unrequited love.
  • Most of the sports romances I've read are very U.S sports orientated but I've found that you don't actually need to know anything about the sport to enjoy the story. Just skip over those bits and get to the hook ups, that's what I do:)
  • Feisty heroines always get their man.

For me, the queen of sports romances is Jaci Burton her Play by Play series is my all time favourite and the covers aren't too bad either *grins*

I also loved Jill Shalvis's Pacific Heat series, I really hope she writes more.
Time Out was swoon-tastically good and is one of my favourite books of 2012.

I've read the first two books in Rachel Gibson's Chinooks Hockey Team series, both were pretty good.

In the Young Adult corner I really enjoyed Catching Jordon as the heroine is also a sports star which made a refreshing change. Shut Out by Kody Keplinger is a pretty funny girls vs boys battle of the sexes/hook up strike. 
I've even reviewed some sports romances as part of my "After Fifty" series of reviews as they have been full of smokin' hotness. Wicked Game by Mercy Celeste had me swooning and laughing especially at the live on TV phone calls. I never thought I would enjoy a book about cycling until I read Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox and Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell is a recent favourite, Reid Andrews the mixed martial arts fighter is now up there as one of my favourite book boyfriends (a high accolade indeed).

I have a couple more sports romances on my current to be read list:

I just started Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy as I've heard great things about the Fast Track series, I really want to get my hands on Defying the Odds by Kele Moon which is the first book in her Battered Hearts series and I have Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force sitting on my bookshelf just waiting for me to pick it up.

If you've any other sports romance recommendations let me know as I'm always on the lookout for new books to add to my ever growing TBR list.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

After Fifty review: Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

wrong bed, right guyWrong Bed, Right Guy
Katee Robert
Publication date: 20th July 2012

Gabe Schultz is half asleep after crashing at his brother's place when a half naked Elle Walser climbs into bed beside him. Elle had planned to seduce her boss by climbing into his bed, once she realises Gabe isn't her boss Elle is horrified and runs off before Gabe can even get her name. Gabe however, is quite smitten with Elle who is not his usual type, and sets out to try to convince the very prim and proper Elle to see past his tattoos and occupation and give him a chance.

I love bad boy characters that underneath the tattoos and rough exterior are actually caring and considerate but still 100% alpha male cavemen so Wrong Bed, Right Guy is my kind of book. The characters Katee Robert created had me swooning one minute and enraged the next! Elle drove me mad from the outset, not withstanding her crazy plan to seduce her boss by sneaking into his bed, she was initially so judgemental about Gabe and a bit rude to him (she reminded me of those snobby sales assistants in Pretty Woman who took one look at Julia Robert's character and refused to serve her) I couldn't figure out what Gabe really saw in her at first.

Gabe was just to die for, a successful nightclub mogul with tattoos and muscles he was actually really sweet underneath. I laughed and swooned when he bought Elle flowers which caused her to have an allergic reaction and then drove like a maniac to get her anti allergy medicine and proceeded to fill his shopping basket full of chocolates and chicken soup to make her better. Elle is unable to help herself around Gabe, secretly liking his caveman tendencies so when he finally gets Elle into the bedroom their scenes were seriously scorching hot. I loved it.

Favourite line:
"Maybe you need some barbarian in your life."

after fifty
After Fifty rating: 4.5 out of 5
Bad boy alpha male who’s actually really sweet Thumbs up
Heroine that drove me insane Thumbs up
Scorching hot sex scenes Thumbs up

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My book boyfriend: Gabe from Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

Welcome to another week of My book boyfriend co-hosted by yours truly whilst the amazing
Missie at The Unread Reader is studying hard.

Ladies, meet Gabe the bad boy nightclub mogul from Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert.

Elle Walser has the hots for her boss but her plan to seduce him goes a bit haywire when she climbs into his bed only to find her boss's brother Gabe there instead. Once she realises her mistake Elle is mortified and does a runner before Gabe can even get her name. Gabe however, is quite smitten with the very proper Elle who is not his usual type. Can he persuade Elle see past his tattoos and occupation and give him a chance?

I loved Wrong Bed, Right Guy Elle is initally so judgemental and prim and drove me mad, but she can't seem to help herself around Gabe who is just utterly divine. Gabe is caring and a little bit lonely but when he finally gets Elle into the bedroom he is so HAWT!

Here's a couple of Gabe quotes that had me drooling.

I loved when Elle was caught discussing Gabe with her pal Roxanne:
"There's something really, really attractive about him in a Neanderthal sort of way. Like you look at him and want to have him haul you back to his cave, and have his wicked way with you.
  Holy crap, she couldn't belive she'd just admitted that out loud. But it felt kind of good to say it so Elle kept going, toying with her straw as she went on. "I mean, sure he's rough around the edges, but his tattoos are amazing and that mouth is just sinful."
  "Yes...yes it is"
  She frowned at the weird look on her friend's face. "Rox?" Then she realised Roxanne wasn't looking at her.
  She was focusing on some point over Elle's shoulder.
  The room swayed as all the blood rushed from her head and foreboding slammed through her system. This couldn't be happening. "Please tell me he's not standing right behind me."...
  "So, you think my mouth is sinful?"
  Good God, he really had been close enough to hear everything.  

And then when he's trying to wine and dine her he says swoon worthy stuff like this *dies*
  "You're teasing me."
  "Yep" Gabe bounded around the front of the car and slid into the driver's seat. "Though I have to say- you're doing a damn good job of teasing me."
  She blinked. "I'm not doing anything."
  "Babe, you're dressed to the nines and grinning at me like I gave you the best present possible just by showing up. If I didn't have an awesome date planned, I'd toss you over my shoulder and take you to bed." 

and this *dies again*
  Then there was nothing to focus on but Gabe, who seemed all too happy to put all of his attention on her. Elle tried and failed to suppress a shiver. "What are you having?"
  Beneath the heat in his dark eyes, her thoughts tumbled over themselves and then died a silent death. She couldn't move, couldn't speak, could barely breathe. The moment stretched on as her heart tried to beat its way out of her chest.
  Gabe reached across the table and took her hand, raising it to brush her knuckles along his cheek. The five o'clock shadow scrapped against her skin, leaving her almost unbearably sensitive. He kissed the same spot and then released her, "But not yet." 

I loved his over protectiveness too:
"I don't need you or my big brother to fight my battles for me. And I certainly don;t need you to go around bashing in the heads of people who hurt me. It's barbaric."
  "Maybe you need some barbarian in your life." 

I read that Katee Robert pictured Tom Hardy as Gabe, so I had this picture in my head as the perfect Gabe which is a gooooood picture. There's something about Tom Hardy (well apart from those pictures recently when he was wearing double denim. *shudders*)

My book boyfriend is a weekly meme created by Missie at The Unread Reader. To find out more check out Missie's introductory post here. To show off your fictional boyfriend link your MBB post below. Direct links only please.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Giveaway: Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

I have a copy of Hell on Wheels up for grabs, if you like alpha males on bikes and tonnes of action in your romance novels then you'll love Hell on Wheels. I thought it was fab you can check out my review here.

Here's the details:

To enter all you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter thingy below.
There are extra entries but they are of course optional.
The giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.
The giveaway ends on the 31st of August.

a Rafflecopter giveaway