Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Drawn Together by Lauren Dane

drawn togetherDrawn Together
The Brown Siblings #6
Lauren Dane
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publication date: 1st October 2013

I've loved the Brown Siblings series, it's my all time favourite contemporary erotic romance series but even I as a super fan was a little bit unsure if the slightly bitchy Raven Smith could possibly be a worthy heroine, but I really needn't of worried because Drawn Together does not disappoint, and Raven is now my favourite heroine of the series.

Best friend to Erin from the first book Laid Bare, Tattoo artist Raven also had a bit of a thing with Brody Brown years ago and broke his heart when she refused to settle down. My lasting memory of Raven prior to Drawn Together was of her being a bit of a bitch to Elise in Coming Undone when she came into Brody's life so I wasn't exactly her biggest fan. In Drawn Together we finally get to see why Raven is so blunt, prickly and defensive.

Jonah Warner is known as the kind of guy who likes what he likes, exactly how he like it. At 42 he's a successful lawyer and single father to his daughter Carrie who is finishing High School. Bossy and blunt Jonah likes to be in charge and wants Raven not only to create his newest tattoo, he wants her in his bed also.

Jonah and Raven have serious chemistry, neither of them are particularly young or naïve and when they recognise that they want each other they act like adults and get straight to it. Raven however, is used to being in charge and keeping her distance so when she tells Jonah afterwards that she doesn't do relationships or monogamy he tells her straight that he doesn't even share pizza and makes it very clear that if she is in his bed she commits to him fully. I loved the different dynamic between Raven and Jonah it was grown up and refreshing and just seemed so much more mature than the usual successful businessman/billionaire takes simpering virgin to his bed who nods politely to his every suggestion, that seems to be all over contemporary erotic romance right now.

As a result of her difficult upbringing Raven who has travelled extensively doesn't like feeling trapped or committing but has slowly found herself staying for longer periods in Seattle since best friend Erin had her son Alexander. It's Jonah that points out that Raven has already committed to the Brown family and he recognises and appreciates the often unseen side of Raven that once she does let you in she loves fiercely. Jonah doesn't let up in his pursuit of Raven, he likes to be dominant in bed but doesn't just want to own Raven he wants to cherish her too, which puts Raven completely off balance and sees her break all her own rules that she has built up around herself for protection. It's impossible not to fall for Jonah as he gets under Raven's skin, he recognises that her troubled past has damaged her and left her with a tonne of baggage but he sees the worth in her and is more than willing to go the distance for her.

Fans of the series will adore Drawn Together, it's got the scorching hot scenes we expect (and adore) from Lauren Dane and a brilliant I'm standing by my man scene that had me completely tearing up. I loved it, 5 out of 5.
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Laid Bare
Coming Undone
Inside Out
Never Enough
Laid Open
Drawn Together

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #24

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
As the queen of pre-orders I thought I would join in with the Waiting on Wednesday meme highlighting some of the upcoming books that I’m keen to get my hands on.

Deadly Ops #1
Katie Reus
Publication date: 1st October 2013

Hidden in plain sight…

Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories—which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget, he could reach out and touch her—if only she weren’t under suspicion.

When Sophie Moreno uncovers evidence linking the medical supply company she works for with arms smuggling—and worse—she doesn’t know who to turn to. After a shocking betrayal, she realizes the only person she can trust is a mysterious new person in the company—a man with hauntingly familiar eyes.

As Sophie questions her intense attraction to this man and Jack struggles not to blow his cover, the two of them must race against the clock to stop terrorists from killing scores of people—starting with them.

First in a new series! Naked man chest in the rain! This sounds right up my street, I've read a few of Katie Reus's books so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this one.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: Wait For You by J. Lynn

Adobe Photoshop PDFWait For You
Wait for You #1
J Lynn
Publisher: Harper Collins (UK)
Publication date: 15th August 2013

I'm a new convert to J Lynn the pseudonym of Jennifer L. Armentrout (I know where have I been?) but I know loads of bookish ladies who LURVE her work and as I'd seen quite a few good reviews I thought I would give it a go despite not being the world's biggish fan of New Adult books. Wait for You completely blew me away, it made me cry real tears (with accompanying snot bubbles if you must know) and I still haven't got Cam and Avery out of my mind weeks later.

Wait for You tells the story of Avery who has started college half way across the country to escape her parents and a terrible incident five years ago which changed her life forever. Avery literally runs straight into the very gorgeous Cameron Hamilton on her first day whilst late for her first ever class, and completely flustered Avery bolts off in the opposite direction. When they bump into each other again Avery realises that Cam the campus hottie actually lives on the same floor as her apartment and he's determined to get Avery to go on a date with him.

What made Wait for You an outstanding read for me wasn't just that Cam is swoon worthy and fantastic book boyfriend material (okay maybe it is a little bit of that). He wants Avery and persistently asks her out on a date despite her daily rebuffs. Not only that the guy can bake and comes over to her apartment every Sunday to cook her breakfast, he's really sweet and so patient and understanding with Avery it's almost impossible not to fall for him.

What really made this book for me was Avery herself, she just about broke my heart not just because of what she had been through but of the longer term affect this incident had on her. It was pretty easy to guess what had happened to Avery that Halloween five years ago but it didn't make it any less shocking when she finally opens up to Cam. For me, it was finding out what how her own parents treated her after the incident that made me near enough boil with anger on her behalf. Knowing what Avery had endured and was still enduring in the form of vicious phone calls and texts made me really understand why she had to take her time getting to know and trust Cam. Their slow and steady romance was perfectly paced and made me love the very understanding Cam even more. Don't get me wrong there was times where I wanted to scream at Avery for pushing Cam away but when they did finally get together the very steamy and emotional scenes were well worth the wait.

Wait for You is heart breaking, emotional, sexy and sweet, I loved Avery and Cam's story and I'm pretty sure you will too.

Favourite quote:
"I've never done any of this before, Cam. And I'm not easy to get along with all the time. I know that. I can't promise this will be easy for you."
"Nothing fun in life is easy." He emptied his glass of milk and stood, coming to my side. He took my hand and pulled me to my feet. His arms went around his waist as he tilted his head down, and when he spoke his lips brushed my cheek. "I'm serious about you, Avery. If you want me for real you have me."

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

New books

 Hey everyone, I hope you're having a good weekend, here's what new books I got over the last two weeks:
For review
World After by Susan Ee
I did a big giant happy dance when this popped through my letterbox. I absolutely loved Angelfall and even had Raffe as a book boyfriend. All scheduled reading has been thrown out the window!
Also for review 

I do love Dragon Shifters so when I saw Legend of the Highland Dragon on Netgalley I had to request it and since I also love Jennifer Probst I grabbed Searching for Someday too. There goes my "stop accepting review books" resolution!

I bought
I've had Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon pre-ordered for ages but it got lost for a while at the post office, I was near enough having kittens as I needed to post it to the lovely Donna from Book Passion for Life
and Misty from Bookaholics who were kindly getting it signed for me when Sherrilyn visited Birmingham. It turned up just in time thank goodness!
I also bought Unchained by Jennifer L. Armentrout (writing as J. Lynn) but I haven't had a chance to even look at it yet.

Unattainable by Madeline Sheehan because as we all know I can't resist a bad ass biker.

Have a good week everyone.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Review: Thril Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Thrill Ride
Black Knights Inc. #4
Julie Ann Walker
Publication date: 2nd April 2013

I've loved ever book in Julie Ann Walker's rather fabulous Black Knights Inc. series, the mixture of bikers, special ops alpha males and feisty heroines has been outstandingly good so far but for some reason Thrill Ride just didn't really float my boat this time.

Don't get me wrong it packed full of action and the hero Rock is an alpha male extraordinaire and the heroine Vanessa was perfectly likeable but together I just didn't really buy into their romance. I struggled to feel the chemistry between them that has been so fantastic in the previous instalments and that's what made Thrill Ride a bit of a "meh" book for me. In saying that, I will continue with the series and give the next book a go, I'm sure this is just a tiny little bump in the Black Knights Inc. road.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: Making It Last by Ruthie Knox

Making It Last
Camelot #4
Ruthie Knox
Publication date: 15th July 2013

I've loved Ruthie Knox's Camelot series so it's very fitting that the final instalment allows for a final check in with the first couple in the series Amber and Tony from the amazing How to Misbehave.

What really had me up past midnight reading Making It Last was that this is not the usual glimpse at a favourite couples happy ever after. Not at all. Instead Making It Last is a much more powerful and realistic look at a busy married couple with three boisterous kids, lacking in sleep, personal space and alone time ten years later when the romance has worn off and the hum drum has set in. And do you know what? it tugged at my heartstrings.

Ten years on with her youngest in school Amber's house feels very empty and with Tony working all hours for less money to keep them afloat Amber feels lost. She's a mother first with little time for herself never mind for Tony so when he catches her crying at a family wedding he offers her the chance of an extended stay at the posh resort. No kids, hassle free.

Back home with the kids terrified their parents are getting a divorce Tony realises that Amber hasn't had a break from the kids for six years and has become more and more distant and realises that he might actually be losing her. So, despite the huge financial pressure the family is under he goes back to the resort to bring her home but  neither of them really know how they can save their marriage.

I loved that when Tony first sees his wife at the bar with a new short hair cut, dress with another man chatting to her his initial fear is that she's having an affair, jealously rears it's ugly head and kind of spurs him into action. Seeing Amber politely turn down the guy at the bar he realises his fears are unfounded and approaches Amber as Steve a stranger meeting Jennifer (Amber) for the first time in a bar. Their round about flirty conversation had me tearing up at times, and I was literally holding my breath hoping that they could both lighten their burden with a little bit of fun and freedom. Honestly, I felt like I wanted to offer to babysit their kids to allow them some alone time, bonkers I know!

I have said it before, I do love everything Ruthie Knox has written but this one was just beyond special. Real and emotional Making It Last is a must read.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

the story guyThe Story Guy
Mary Ann Rivers
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Publication date: 8th July 2013

Who would have known that a 120 page novella could be so heart breakingly good? I'm not even sure if I would have picked up Mary Ann Rivers debut if I hadn't read Ruthie Knox's recommendation so I'm beyond glad I followed her advice because The Story Guy is pretty special.

Intrigued by a personal ad on the Metrolink that promises kissing only on a Wednesday lunchtime in the park, no dating or hookup and no touching below the shoulders librarian Carrie responds to Brian's advert. Despite her cosy life Carrie wants something more substantial but all Brian can offer is literally just kissing in a park on a Wednesday lunchtime. With a complicated "second shift thing" in his life Brian genuinely has no time room in his life for a relationship despite their intense first Wednesday meeting.

There were so many things that really grabbed me about this novella. Firstly, it's beautifully written almost spellbindingly so, and I found myself racing through it desperate to know why this beautiful and amazing man could only commit to lunchtime kissing when it's obvious that he wants so much more. It's only by reading the book a second time that I really appreciated just how emotional and poignant this story really is. My heart broke for Brian and his lonely life, for the burden he choose to bear, the patience, care and love he showed and then how conflicted he felt about it. I could almost feel how tired and worn down he was and how desperately he wanted Carrie in his life despite everything else he had to deal with. The slow build up between Brian and Carrie was agonisingly good, and the resulting anticipation was perfectly written I really can see myself reading it again and again.

The Story Guy is definitely one of the most amazingly sexy and emotional debuts I think I've ever read, trust me you NEED to read it.

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Review: Play by Play by Kate Donovan

Play by Play
A Play Makers Novella #1
Kate Donovan
Publication date: 9th September 2013

Play by Play is the first Kate Donovan book I've picked up, with a sexy bod on the cover and the promise of a sports romance inside I'm pretty much sold already.

Jake Dublin aka The Opinionated Sports Guy has a sports blog growing in popularity especially when he mentions the "elevator girl" who has just moved into his building and caught his eye. His readers want more details but elevator girl Sophie has sworn off jocks for good and despite appreciating Jake's good looks and natural charm, memories of her previous crazy boyfriend and co-worker make her reluctant to dive into a new relationship.

Telling Jake that she's not interested in a sports obsessed boyfriend means that sports obsessed Jake has to tone down his love of football and he deliberately fudges telling her his surname so that she doesn't find out about his sports blog and the fact that Sophie is mentioned in said sports blog. As Jake digs himself into a bigger hole he can't seem to find the right time to confess all to Sophie and as he falls hard for her he has way more to loose than just a few readers on his blog.

Play by Play is a pretty sweet little sports romance novella. Jake isn't the usual domineering alpha male sports star I'm used to, he's more the average guy (albeit he's pretty hot) who in trying to get the girl of his dreams he ends up omitting a few important details along the way. He's not a bad guy though, in fact he's pretty charming and funny and I was rooting for him to get his HEA.

Overall, I like it. It's short and full on sweet but definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #23

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
As the queen of pre-orders I thought I would join in with the Waiting on Wednesday meme highlighting some of the upcoming books that I’m keen to get my hands on.
Celtic Moon
Celtic Wolves #1
Jan DeLima
Publication date: 24th September
Like father, like son…

Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.

Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it...
I came across this recently on Goodreads and immediately pre-ordered it, I like shifter romances and although I've never heard of the author it sounds like a series I would like.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Review: Revealing Us by Lisa Renee Jones

15839322Revealing Us
Inside Out #3
Lisa Renee Jones
Publication date: 10th September 2013

In the end I was a little bit disappointed with Revealing Us the third part in Lisa Renee Jones's Inside Out series for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my expectations were pretty high, and on reflection maybe too high. If I Were You and Being Me were so out of this world fantastic with twisty little plot turns that completely took me by surprise and I mean scrape my jaw off the floor surprised, so I think I expected something a bit more earth shattering from Revealing Us. Instead, Revealing Us kind of plodded along nicely for at least a good two thirds of the story and then all the good stuff happened right at the end. By then, I'd got a little bit bored but I was determined I would see it through just in case I missed something amazing at the end.

And that is my second issue. The trilogy is no longer a trilogy so it's not the end, in fact it's not even close. Grrrrrrrr. Now there's going to be a book 4 on the trial from Sara's point of view and then book 5 will be from Mark's point of view AND there's going to be a spin off series. What the hell? Normally I'd be dancing with glee that a series I love is going to be extended but in this instance I'm kind of not. I feel like the goal posts have changed half way through the game and I don't like it. Now, I know diddly squat about publishing and book deals so I'm only assuming that it's the popularity of the series that has allowed Lisa Renee Jones to continue with the series, but to me it feels like it has been dragged out a bit. I want a conclusion. Will I check out the next 5 billion instalments? Maybe, but I won't be reshuffling my TBR pile the same way I did for Being Me.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

New books

Hey there nice to see you again!
I got loads of great new books for review this week, I'm kind of spoilt for choice...

 I bought a few books too
 Jennifer Estep is on my author auto buy list and since I crave a little more Jake I had to buy Wethering the Storm. I've nearly but not quite given up with Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series, I'll give Biting Bad a read and see how it goes.
This week I read

Cold Blooded was fantastic and full of action, I had a longish train journey to Aberdeen on Friday so I managed to read it cover to cover with no interruptions bliss! I was however, a little bit disappointed by Revealing Us, I enjoyed the first two books in the series but this was a little bit dull for way too long and everything felt kind of rushed at the end. I also thought it was going to be a trilogy but now it's not grrrr! I started Unbound thinking I'd read a little bit and three hours later I'd finished it. What a book! Cara McKenna has created the most interesting hero ever! I loved him and his "uniqueness."
I'm planning on reading Bound By Night the first in a new series from Larissa Ione, whilst patiently waiting for Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon to arrive, The Book Depository promised me it's on the way.

Have a great week

September's new releases I want to "add to basket"

Here are the September new releases I can't wait to read:

Although I want all of these books I'm really, really hoping that Sherilyn Kenyon's Styxx is the same kind of epic that Acheron's book was, I'm going to be so disappointed if it's not!