Saturday, 31 March 2012

In my mailbox #48


In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

I didn't post an IMM last week (can't actully remember why but I suppose I must have had a reason) so I have 2 weeks worth of books to show you.

Last week I bought

This week I bought:

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
(check out my "oh my god I love this book" review here)
Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler
(check out my "this series has potential" review here)
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
(love the new UK cover)
Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston
(I'm reading it right now)
Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
(spent all week reading it, I love this series but the last book was a bit meh)
Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

From Net galley

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Can't Buy Me Love by Maggie Marr

On audio

A Little Night Magic by Lucy March

I'm off work for 2 weeks so I plan to do a bit of reading and tidy up my blog. I really wanted to take my daughters to see the pandas in Edinburgh zoo but apparently they might be mating and I don't want them to see that!

Winners galore


Thanks to everyone who entered all seven of my first year blogoversary giveaways
I had in total an amazing 2,083 entries!

The winners are:

Day 1 - Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
leannessf

Day 2 - Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill
Anjelica

Day 3 - Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler
Michele O

Day 4 - Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
Charissa J

Day 5 - Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Na

Day 6 - Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay
Marlene B

Day 7 - Nightborn by Lynn Viehl
Elizabeth K

The winner of my Lucky Leprechaun giveaway hop is
Filia O
who wins Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

I've sent you all emails.

Lesley

On my wish list

On my wish list is hosted by Book Chick City


Heart of Darkness
Bound by Magick #1
Lauren Dane
Publication date: 1st Nov 2011

Meriel Owen, next in line to control the largest organization of witches in the country, is asked to investigate the owner of a notorious club reportedly siphoning magic from the font of the Clan. It’s a direct violation of the Clan Code of Conduct, but one look at Dominic Bright and Meriel’s willing to make a deal. One taste of the sexually feral outlaw witch, and she’s eager to go further: he’s her bond mate, a legal conduit into the world of Clan witches and their magic.

Playing by the rules isn’t Dominic’s style, but bonding with Meriel—night after explosive night—is. However, Meriel has unwittingly invited someone else into her world: Dominic’s mother, a dangerous and poisonously influential magic addict whose lust for death and power corrupts all she touches. Now her shadow is closing in on Meriel, her Clan, and the man Meriel loves, and it’s casting them all into the inescapable heart of darkness.

Bound by Magick #2
Lauren Dane
Publication date:5th June 2012
The life of Lark Jaansen, hunter in Clan Gennessee, has been shaped by violence and unrest—and it defines her future. Well-trained and resilient, she’s met her militaristic match in Simon Leviathan, a warrior not of this world. Locked in mutual admiration, and a desire so hot it burns, Lark and Simon have something else in common: they love the dark, and as a shadow is cast over their world, they’re each coming into their own.

A mysterious war has been waged among the Others. As witches and humans turn against each other, as faes retreat in fear, and as vampires rise, Lark and Simon discover that an unseen force is behind it. A single, hungry entity older than recorded history has returned to gorge on the magick of his victims. It is the Magister, nothing less than the end of time. Finding it is Lark and Simon’s first hope. Surviving it is their last.

I actually came across Chaos Burning first, I like the sound of it but I need to read books in order and this series looks as though it MUST be read in order.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Review: Touch Me by Callie Croix


Touch Me
Callie Croix
Carina Press
Publication date: 2nd Jan 2012




Arriving home on leave from his tour of duty, Army Captain Alex Montoya knows there's a beautiful woman waiting for him-his best friend's sister. She's always been off limits...until now. He fully intends to move them out of being "just friends" and encourage her to release the sexual needs he senses she's buried deep.

Tianna McIntyre is starting over after her marriage ended. Her ex-husband weakened her self-esteem and caused her to deny her true sexual desires. But being around Alex brings all her dormant fantasies to the surface, and now Tianna feels the stirrings of her secret, submissive wishes.

Determined to help repair the damage Tianna's ex did to her self-worth, Alex will use whatever means necessary to convince her they're meant for each other, including tying her down to make sure he has her full attention while he takes her to the heights of pleasure she's always dreamed of...

Touch Me is one of those short, hot guilty pleasure type books. The kind that you can read in a few hours that makes you just melt. Alex had that hot guy in a uniform thing going on, he's an alpha male hero who has always wanted Tianna but as friends with her brother she's always been off limits to him. Tianna was quite vulnerable, her ex-husband's brain injury and resulting threatening behaviour has left her with zero self confidence. Tianna has been house sitting for Alex who is now home on leave after being injured. For Alex it's now or never time with Tianna, being in the same house together they have to decide if giving in to their desires is worth putting their friendship on the line.

Despite being really short Touch Me is a satisfying read, it's both hot and steamy and actually also quite sweet.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thanks to Carina Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review Touch Me.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane


Sacrificial Magic
Downside Ghosts # 4
Stacia Kane
Publication date: 27th March 2012





When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice

I have a long held belief that no matter what book I pick up after reading one of Stacia Kane's books it will not compare in any shape or form to the Downside Ghost's series. After reading the first three books in quick succession I found myself continually drifting back to my favourite Chessiebomb and Terrible scenes (relevant pages highlighted for ease of reference of course- see below) Her books have ruined me for all other books they're that good.


Downside Ghosts is up there as one of my all time favourite series. Sometimes though, even those favourite series have a book that's just a bit meh, like those filler songs on your favourite bands albums that you listen to one or twice and then just skip over to get to your real favourite songs. Not so with Sacrificial Magic. The fourth book is every bit as good and as strong as the previous books and has some of the most A-MAZING Chessiebomb and Terrible scenes that are absolutely worth one of my special green post its. (High praise indeed I know).

I've always loved Chess, she's like no other female character I've ever read. She's not your stereotypically strong kick ass chick, she's seriously flawed with a self destructive streak a mile long and I felt that even more in Sacrificial Magic. I loved that she wasn't "cured" of all her feelings of guilt and self loathing in Sacrificial Magic just because she's got her man. To me, it was much more agonisingly realistic that Chess's fear and guilt and feelings of real worthlessness remain and in fact seem to be heightened by the fact she's in a relationship with Terrible. It just broke my heart that Chess doesn't know how to have a normal relationship. She's so terrified that Terrible is going to wisen up realise she's worthless and run off in the opposite direction that she's almost actually willing it to happen. As Chess agonises that she's going to mess her relationship up I 100% agonised on her behalf.

"It grew so exhausting waiting for the other shoe to drop that she wondered if she wasn't trying to make it fall already. Sometimes, even she almost wanted to tell him to just end it and get it over with. But she couldn't. Just the thought of it... No. She couldn't."

I know it's a real book reviewing cliche to say Sacrificial Magic is a roller coaster ride of a book but for me it really really was. I loved every minute, every page of it.

If you're already a fan of the series you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you have "Terrible Fever" you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you have a soft spot for Chessiebomb the most amazingly flawed female character out there right now you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you've never read any of the books and are currently wondering what the hell I'm going on about, go buy the them you will love them. Nothing out there right now compares.

My rating: 5 out of 5 (and then some).

Thanks to Net galley for allowing me the opportunity to read Sacrificial Magic before it's release date, my official pre-ordered copy arrived a couple of days ago and now has pride of place on my favourite series bookcase, green post its and all.

Review: Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler


Dire Needs
Eternal Wolf Clan #1
Stephanie Tyler
Publication date: 6th March 2012

The full moon is their mistress. They are predators of pleasure and pain. Feared by humans, envied by werewolves, the Dire Wolves are immortal shifters, obeying no laws but their own bestial natures. Once they were many, but now only six remain, a dangerous wolfpack forever on the hunt…

Rifter leads the pack, embracing the lifestyle and ethics of an outlaw biker even as he battles an ancient enemy who has become a new, powerful force. But with his Brother Wolf raging inside him, howling to be unleashed, he needs to satisfy his hungers. And when he meets a drop-dead gorgeous blonde drinking alone in a bar that caters to both human and inhuman, Rifter’s primal instinct is to claim her.

Gwen has her own desires, long unfulfilled. She hopes a passionate night with the leather-clad, Harley-riding biker will ease her suffering. The seizures that have wracked her body her entire life are incurable—and they’re killing her.

But none of that will matter if Rifter can’t stop the growing threat to them all–trappers who are determined to enslave humankind and use the Dire wolves as part of their nefarious plan.

Dire Needs has a lot packed into it, but maybe just a little bit too much at times. I often find with a new series the first book suffers slightly due to the whole world building thing which can slow a story down, I think Dire Needs was a perfect example of this.

I did enjoy it, I loved the whole idea of the Dires as an immortal biker gang of hot alpha males, I also really liked the whole "brother wolf/sister wolf" explanation it really set the Dires apart from any other shifter type book. Equally the pairing of Rifter the reluctant Dire King who is cursed by immortality and Gwen the doctor who literally only has weeks to live was different and grabbed my attention. I thought their chemistry was the best part of Dire Needs, so much so that all the other story lines around them kind of paled into insignificance to me and I found myself losing track a few times of who the bad guys were and what the whole battle was actually about.

Overall, I thought as a first instalment it grabbed me enough to make me want to add the second book Dire Wants to my to be read list. As a series Eternal Wolf Clan definitely has potential.

My rating: A hopeful 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Day 7 of 7 day blogoversary giveaways: Nightborn by Lynn Viehl



It's the final day of my 7 days of giveaways

My final giveaway is for a copy of Nightborn by Lynn Viehl it's a new series that's been getting some really good reviews on Goodreads and I have one copy to giveaway. The giveaway is international (as long as The Book Depository delivers to you) and ends on the 31st of March.


Nightborn
Lords of the Darkyn #1
Lynn Viehl
Publication date: 6th March 2012



The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn has sent his most trusted warrior, Korvel, to retrieve a coveted scroll that's rumored to contain maps to Templar treasures and the secrets to eternal life. Uniting with Korvel to recover the dangerous artifact is Simone Derien, the daughter of the scroll's guardian, and a woman with many deadly secrets...



Saturday, 24 March 2012

Day 6 of 7 blogoversary giveaways: Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay



It's day 6 of my 7 day blogoversary giveaways!



Up for grabs today is a copy of Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay. I loved the first instalment Dead on the Delta you can check out my review here. If you like gritty urban fantasy then this is the series for you.

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter thingy (I never know what to call it!) below. Again the giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository delivers to you and ends on the 31st of March.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Day 5 of 7 blogoversary giveaways: Firelight by Kristen Callihan


It's day 5 of 7 days of giveaways!



So far this year Firelight by Kristen Callihan has been one of my favourites, Lord Archer was just completely swoon worthy I loved him to bits. You can check out my ever so slightly gushy review here.

I have one copy of Firelight to giveaway, it's open internationally (just check that The Book Depository delivers to you) and ends on the 31st of March. To be in with a chance of winning just fill in the rafflecopter thingy below.








Thursday, 22 March 2012

Day 4 of 7 blogoversary giveaways: Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane


It's day 4 of 7 days of giveaways!

One of my favourite series of all time is Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. I've had "Terrible fever" ever since I picked up the first book so I'm beyond happy that we get 2 new books from Stacia this year. When Terrible called Chess Chessiebomb at the end of City of Ghosts I swear I melted into a puddle of goo.

So, in celebration of all things Downside I have a copy of Sacrificial Magic up for grabs. All you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter thingy below, the giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository delivers to you and ends on 31st March:)


Sacrificial Magic
Downside Ghosts #4
Stacia Kane
Publication date: 27th March 2012


When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My book boyfriend & giveaway: Rifter from Dire Needs


My book boyfriend is hosted by Missie @ The Unread Reader

It's day 3 of my 7 days of blogoversary giveaways and since some of my most popular posts over the year have been my book boyfriend posts (thanks Missie!) I thought I would combine this weeks book boyfriend with a giveaway.

This weeks book boyfriend is all round alpha male and big bad wolf Rifter from Stephanie Tyler's Dire Needs.

Rifter is tall, dark and rugged looking, he wears leather, has tattoos and can dream walk. Rifter is the reluctant King of the Dires an immortal group of 6 wolfs. The Dires look and act like a group of outlaw bikers, their job is to keep the peace between wares and witches, protect the humans and kill off the pesky weretrappers who want to capture them.







"The fight was intense."
"You shouldn't have worried. You've see me fight."
She had- and in wolf form. But it had been a blur. Wolf against man and seemingly no contest-even bullets couldn't bring him down. "Do you win in human form too?"
A small, well-deserved cocky grin emerged. "Always."
She didn't doubt it. With his size alone, who would be foolish enough to go up against him?
Beyond his brothers, of course. She went to the sink and wet a washcloth with warm water and moved it across his face.
The big man practically purred under her touch, and she continued her exploration, down his neck, along his shoulders. All the while, his eyes never left hers.

Thanks to Missie at The Unread Reader for hosting My Book Boyfriend every week it's always my favourite post of the week and I love checking out everyone else's book boyfriends each week;)

To win a copy of Dire Needs and take my book boyfriend Rifter home with you just fill in the Rafflecopter thingy below, the giveaway is international (as long as The Book Depository delivers to you) and ends on the 31st of March.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Day 2 of 7 blogoversary giveaways: Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill


It's day 2 of 7 days of giveaways!

Today you can win a copy of Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill I have this sitting right at the top of my TBR pile, the blurb just calls to me!

All you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter thingy, this giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository deliver to you and ends on 31st March:)


Something About Witches
Joey W. Hill
Publication date: 7th Feb 2012


It's amazing what a little magic can do...

Ruby Night Divine is a gun shop owner. She’s also a witch who knows magic can fail. She’s experienced it firsthand, with full-blown tragic consequences. Smith & Wesson is a whole hell of a lot more reliable, and nothing’s as cathartic as the ability to put a few holes in the things that piss you off. Like Derek Stormwind.

A powerful sorcerer, Derek is determined to get to the bottom of why she pushed him away and ran three years before. He also needs her help. A coven needs training to help them fight a demon and his minions. While Ruby is willing to do it, she’s sure it’s just a ruse to get back in her heart—and her bed. The thing is, that’s where she wants him. Unfortunately, her bed’s already made, she’s this close to losing her soul, and she fears nothing can save her. Not Derek. Not even Smith & Wesson.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 1 of 7 blogoversary giveaways: Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson


My little blog is one year old this week!

I've loved and occasionally not loved blogging for the past year. When I started I had no idea what I was really getting into, blogging is time consuming and demanding and I often put pressure on myself to have new content every day and keep up with review books and the irony is it took me away from reading quite a lot. I think I've chilled out a bit more, the blog police will not be at my door if I don't post every day and I only review books I want to review now. I can't really be arsed chasing review copies and I no longer go green with envy when I see another blogger's IMM posts!

This year I'm planning a whole blog makeover or two and I'll be reviewing more paranormal romance and urban fantasy as well as contemporary romance and some hotter books! I will still occasionally review YA but just not as much. I'm going back to my roots baby!!!

Some of my most popular posts (apart from giveaways) are my book boyfriend posts so I plan to have another 52ish book boyfriends, it's the highlight of my Wednesday after all.

So to celebrate my little blogs birthday I'll be having 7 days of giveaways, they are going to be a mixture of books I've loved, books I'm currently loving and some books I've been desperate to be released. So on day 1 of 7 days of giveaways how about Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson? I've had this on my wish list for ages it's been getting some great early reviews. All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter thingy below, the giveaway is international (as long as The Book Depository delivers to you)


Wicked As They Come
Delilah S. Dawson
Publication date: 27th March 2012





Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?


Saturday, 17 March 2012

In my mailbox #47


In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

I've made myself a little shelf on Goodreads called "After Fifty" because I seem to be constantly now on the lookout for another hot little number, another tortured billionaire (lol), another book that will keep me up into the wee hours of the morning because I just simply cannot put it down. So my kindle buys this week kind of reflect this mission of mine.




Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright (Kindle freebie woo hoo!)
Wild Irish by Jennifer Saints (another Kindle freebie)

From Net Galley
(Downside Ghosts is one of my all time favourite series so I'm beside myself with joy that this is on Net Galley)

Coming up this week...


My little blog is one year old this week!

 I'll be celebrating by having 7 days of giveaways starting on Monday the 19th
I'm giving away a mixture of recent books I've loved and new books just out.
All the giveaways will be international so make sure you drop by:)

Have a great week everybody.

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop


Happy St Patricks Day!

I'm participating in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer



Up for grabs is a copy of Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler (not very Irish I know, but it's good!)

This giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country.

All you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter thingy below. There are extra entries but they are of course optional.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

My book boyfriend #40 - Gray from Play It Safe



My book boyfriend is hosted by Missie @ The Unread Reader

I was on the look out for a new book boyfriend when I stumbled across Gray from Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley, he ticks all the boxes as far as I'm concerned he's a gorgeous laid back cowboy, he's patient but protective and is the heroine Ivey's knight in shining armour and he calls her doll face.

Play It Safe is one of those books where you just have to suspend all disbelief and just go with the flow. Ivey is a pool shark moving from town to town with her no good brother hustling to make ends meet until she hits Mustang Colorado and meets Grayson Cody. Craving both a normal life and a little bit of alone time with Gray, Ivey stays in Mustang until her brother betrays her with the help of the local evil guy called Buddy, and makes her move on. Years later (after a successful career as a Vegas showgirl- obviously this is the part you really need to suspend belief) Ivey comes back to Mustang to save Grey's ranch (with the help of her Vegas showgirl earnings) from the clutches of bad guy Buddy.


"He was not attractive.
He was beautiful.
His hair wasn't dark brown, I was shocked to see. It was actually blond but a blond I'd never seen before. Very dark blond with a hint of red burnish that was nowhere near making him a redhead, just enriching the color of his thick, longish hair so it wasn't just fantastic, it was astonishing.
His bone structure wasn't strong, defined and interesting. It was striking.
And I could see the color of his eyes surrounded by thick, long, dark lashes with the same rusty burnish as his hair.
They were a deep, dark blue.
And as he unveiled his throat, I saw its corded, supremely masculine length and my palms got sweaty.
Hells bells."




"You still fallin' in love with me?"
I stared, my cheeks now getting warm and opened my mouth to answer affirmative when he went on.
"Cause you should know, baby, I'm already gone for you."
My mouth stayed open only because at that point it was hanging open.
Then I snapped it closed and asked, "You love me?"
"Yeah" Gray answered.
"You love me," I stated but it was still a question.
Gray grinned, dimple and all and he repeated, "Yeah."
Tears filled my eyes and I whispered it again, "You love me"
Gray's grin faded, he rolled me so I was on my back and he was mostly on me. His face got really close and he whispered back, "Yeah."





"Finally, he spoke and when he did, it was to whisper, "Prettiest thing I've ever seen."
Oh God.
My belly melted.
"Gray," I whispered back.
"In that getup, in your jeans and tees, in your bikini on the lawnmower, when I open my eyes in the morning and see you next to me, anytime I see you, that's what I think. First thing that comes to mind. Anytime. Every time.
Then he gave me, a woman who once had nothing, but a bag full of stuff, not much of it good, but who, standing there in that kitchen thought she had everything, the world.
"I love you Ivey, and you got a name you gave yourself that means somethin' to you but I still want you to take mine"

You know, I actually think I would allow Gray to put his feet up on the couch like that if he said that last quote on a daily basis *sighs dreamily.*

I've got a couple of other Kristen Ashley books to read all in the name of research for future book boyfriends of course....

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley


Play It Safe
Kristen Ashley





No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by.

Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody.

On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home.
And she wanted Grayson Cody.
And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.
No one who looked at them couldn’t see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody.
So they fell in love.
But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him

Play It Safe is my first Kristen Ashley book. I saw the male lead Grayson Cody mentioned a couple of times as a potential book boyfriend so thought I would give it a go and I ended up really quite enjoying it. I think it is though, one of those books that you kind of have to suspend all disbelief with and just go with the flow.

Grayson was absolutely to die for and ticks all the boxes as far as I'm concerned, he's got that laid back cowboy thing going on but has an underlying protective streak and will do anything to protect his woman. Despite being a pool shark Ivey was actually pretty sweet and innocent, her no-good brother happily piles on the emotional blackmail to keep them on the road and prevents her from putting down any kind of roots. That is until she ends up in Mustang Colorado and meets the laid back cowboy Gray. Their romance was both sweet and hot but ultimately short lived due to her brother's influence. The couple of years in between Ivey being forced to leave Mustang and her eventual return to the town is the part I felt I had to suspend all belief in: Ivey's Vegas years where she happens to become a successful stripper and shacks up with her adorable manager/owner who just happens to be gay. If I'm being honest, I just wanted to get past the Vegas interlude and get back to Gray and Ivey.

Overall Play It Safe did really suck me in and I feel a little bit in love with Gray.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


Grave Mercy
His Fair Assassin #1
Robin LaFevers
Publication date: 3rd April 2012






Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

"If you choose to stay, you will be trained in his arts. You will learn more ways to kill a man than you imagined possible. We will train you in stealth and cunning and all manner of skills that will ensure no man is ever again a threat to you"

Firstly, Robin LaFevers is a brilliant storyteller I loved every minute of Grave Mercy in fact, I loved it so much I didn't want it to end. Grave Mercy is brimming with action and thoroughly intriguing characters that stayed with me long after I'd finished reading.

Rescued from and abusive father and arranged marriage Ismae is smuggled off to St. Mortain convent as the birth mark she bears and her immunity to poison signify her as one of Death's handmaiden's. Ismae agrees to stay at the convent and be trained as a female assassin. The sisters train the girls in poison's, "womanly arts" and a billion ways to kill a man (garroting a man with the wire hidden in a bracelet was my personal favourite). Sent on assignment to spy on the Court of Brittany Ismae must identify and kill the traitor amongst the young Duchesses advisers. To gain entry to the courts inner circle Isame must pretend to be Duval's mistress however, as she didn't exactly turn up for most of her "womanly arts" classes Ismae has a bit of a love/hate relationship going on with the swoon worthy Duval. Ismae finds herself caught between her duty to St Mortain, loyalty to the young Duchess and her eventual love for Duval.

I loved Ismae she's smart, observant and loyal, she hides knives in her skirts and has a trunk with poisons for every occasion. For an assassin she does seems very vulnerable and skittish around Duval (she really should have went to those "womanly arts" classes) their relationship starts off rocky (okay they hate each other) but it progresses into a toe curling, double swoon worthy romance.

The historical setting and political intrigue of court life to me highlighted the differences between the two main female characters. Although the young Duchess Anne may have been born into great wealth and position in reality she is as powerless as the pre-assassin Ismae. Anne is merely a political pawn and will marry not for love, but for the promise of armies to help defend Brittany against France. Whereas Ismae may have started off life in poverty shunned due to her birth mark but she eventually ends up a trained assassin and very much in control of her own destiny.

Grave Mercy is definitely for you if you are a fan of historical fiction, fantasy and romance. If you liked Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study or Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns then buy Grave Mercy, I've already added the next instalment Dark Triumph to my "must buy" list it was that good.

My rating 5 out of 5
Thanks to Net galley for the opportunity to read and review Grave Mercy.

In my mailbox #46


In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

I bought
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
By a Thread by Jennifer Estep
Primal Law by J.D. Tyler
The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes
Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

I won
Between by Jessica Warman
(thanks to Donna & Jess at Book Passion for Life)

From Net galley

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane (woo hoo!!!!)
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland


(I even got a tweet from Jill Shalvis saying she loved my choice!)

This week I read
(for book boyfriend research lol)



Sadly I'm getting no where with my pledge to read all my Net galley books I must do better this week.

Have a great week everybody.