Monday, 29 June 2015

Review: Hope Out Loud Kristina Riggle

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Title: Hope Out Loud

Author: Kristina Riggle

Series: N/A

Publisher: NLA Digital LLC

Publication date: June 30th 2015

Format: Kindle | Novella

Genre: Women's Fiction | Romance

Goodreads



Five years after the summer of 'The Life You’ve Imagined', Anna Geneva’s mother is getting married. This means Anna must return to her hometown and the scene of her infamous affair with her teenage love Will Becker, who was married at the time, with a young daughter. Anna plans to avoid him, watch her mom get married, and hightail it back to her private law practice and her cozy apartment in Chicago.

But in a town as small as Haven, avoiding the elder son of a prominent family is harder than it seems, especially with so much shared history. And Maeve Geneva’s wedding? Well, the bride is starting to worry that maybe she’s not ready to marry again after all, though she swears her ex-husband’s affectionate postcards have nothing to do with that.

Anna thought she’d left her hometown behind for good five years ago, but she’s learning it takes more than two hundred miles along the Lake Michigan shore to put Haven truly behind her…



My thoughts:


Since this was a very quick novella, I don't really have much to say about this read.


The start of the read started off a little depressing. There was a sullen tone to the writing and it quickly became apparent the main characters were not happy in the situation they were living in. In a way it was a kind off annoying that they were so miserable in the sense that they found no enjoyment away from each other but at the same time it was cute, you know? They were suffering without each other.


What I wanted from this read was more. Everything and everyone else in the book were mentioned in passing and it was almost solely about Anna and Beck. It wasn't a bad thing, considering that it's a novella about them but I wanted more of a fight - I wanted the ending to be worth it. I knew it was going to eventually happen but I wanted the journey there to be a little more dramatic than a few conversations.


That being said I enjoyed it. If nothing else, it was cute and it was nice that they got a lovely, practical ending.


My rating: 6/10


Memorable quotes:

It's not a choice to hope or not. It's only a choice whether to say it out loud.


Kristina Riggle:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Leading Her Witness - Book Tour & Giveaway

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Hiya guys! Welcome to my tour stop of Leading Her Witness by Cheryl Ann Smith. Make sure to check out this book on GoodReads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, enjoy the interview and go enter the awesome giveaway.

 

 

Goons, deadbeats, and murder: A tenacious process server's unconventional techniques get her into loads of trouble. So much so that her boss jokes that he keeps the coroner on speed dial just in case. Still, most of Andie Dixon's job is pretty tame if she doesn't count snapping dogs and homeowners squirting her with garden hoses.

That changes when she serves papers on a notorious crime boss and puts her life in real jeopardy. But despite this close call, Andie will not let threats keep her from doing her job. She puts the matter behind her until a hunky U.S. Marshal tracks her down and solicits her help to find the fugitive. Again. At first Andie adamantly refuses, but eventually agrees when she's swayed by the Marshal's persistence and rather dreamy brown eyes. However, when crime boss Sammy Gilroy finds out she's back and close on his heels, he threatens to make her disappear for good this time.

Marshall Colin Navarro needs to find Sammy Gilroy before the man vanishes forever. Colin is certain that the notorious crime leader was involved in a shoot-out with the FBI that injured his sister. But he never expected that he'd have to sway a newbie process-server to help, or that she'd turn out to be stubborn, aggravating, and an all-around pain in the ass. Yet despite her shortcomings, he cannot figure out why she's taken over his thoughts and is front and center in some very hot fantasies. But can he keep her from getting herself killed as they edge closer to catching the fugitive? Then again, the crime boss and his goons don't know who they're messing with.

With Andie on the case, Colin is beginning to believe that justice may be served after all.



Interview with Cheryl Ann Smith:


GloriousBooks: Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'm so excited to dive into this read.

Cheryl: I'm excited to be here!


GloriousBooks: Can you give everyone a brief description of your book?

Cheryl: Process server, Andie Dixon's unconventional techniques get her into loads of trouble; so much so that her boss keeps the coroner on speed dial - just in case! Truthfully, the job is pretty tame if she doesn't count snapping dogs and garden hose-toting homeowners with lethal aim. That changes when she serves papers on a crime boss and narrowly escapes death at the hands of his thug-bodyguards. Worse, the serve has opened up a cold case, put her life in peril, and draws the attention of a hunky U.S Marshal, who wants to help her finally put the crime boss behind bars. But Andie isn't about to put herself in danger again. If the wanted felon finds out she's back and close on his heels, he might make her disappear - for good!


GloriousBooks: What's the inspiration behind your book?

Cheryl: I've always wanted to write a humorous contemporary romance and give the heroine a job that's outside of the norm. She can work around questionable characters as a process server. I love putting my heroines in danger just to see what they'll do!


GloriousBooks: Are there any moments in the book that were inspired by real life experiences?

Cheryl: As and Investigation Discovery junkie, I probably take a lot of inspiration from many crime stories. Although LHW isn't dark, I do love seeing how crimes are solved and pass that on through my books.


GloriousBooks: Did you have to do any research before writing a particular part of the book?

Cheryl: I looked up what process servers do and how much they make. For the character 'Frack' I did research on him for his big reveal. I can't say more than that or I'll give his surprise twist away!


GloriousBooks: What was the most challenging aspect of writing 'Leading Her Witness'?

Cheryl: Cutting out some scenes so the book wouldn't be too long. I wanted Andie and Colin's story to go on forever!


GloriousBooks: Which character do you feel you can most relate to and why?

Cheryl: I love Andie's feistiness. She's who I'd want to be if I were a book character. But Maude is one of my favorite ever characters. She's so cranky that she makes me laugh!


GloriousBooks: What's next for you?

Cheryl: I'm working up a new series with three heroines who get into all sorts of mischief, and maybe a little danger too. It's all about the readers having fun!


GloriousBooks: It was great having you!

Cheryl: Thanks for having me!


Looking for more Dead to Right fun? Then be sure and check out 'Murder,Mayhem and Perfect Hair', coming October 27th from Tulip Romance!


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Check out Murder, Mayhem and Perfect Hair on Goodreads.


About Cheryl Ann Smith:

Website | Twitter | Leading Her Witness on Facebook | Tulip Romance

 

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 Cheryl Ann Smith loves mystery and adventure and always includes both in her books. And when she's not putting her heroines in danger, she's watching true crimes shows or spending way too much time on email with friends. Cheryl lives in Michigan with her family and several pets.


Giveaway info:


Tulip Romance is generously offering up a $120 gift card (Amazon, B&N, iTunes) to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:






Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

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Title: Magic Breaks

Author: Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #7

Publisher: Ace

Publication date: 3 March 2015

Format: Paperback | 416 pages

Genre: Adult | Urban Fantasy 

Goodreads



As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, but she must now deal with the affairs of the Pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel, ancient being with godlike powers.


As Roland's long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend and gathering of leaders from Atlanta's supernatural factions. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered by a shapeshifter, Kate is given less than twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she'll find herself embroiled in a war that could destroy everything she holds dear…



My thoughts:


I have yet to find a series that manages to make me fan girl like this one. It took me so long to get my hands on Magic Breaks, but I would find myself thinking about it every day at the very least. What was going to happen to all my favourite characters? Will Kate finally meet her Dad? Will he be evil enough? And will there be a final, epic showdown with Hugh? It was constantly running through my mind. And then I read the book and boy, it exceeded any expectations I had.


What I really have to point out straight off is that Ilona Andrews has no fear when it comes to fleshing out every single character so each one is just as entertaining to read about as Kate and Curran. I love all of them. The thought of any of them dying makes my heart skip a beat…not in the good way.


But of course, no one compares to Kate and Curran. As individual characters they take the biscuit and even while apart they are more than able to stand on their own. But together, that's where the story really starts to get going. When they fight together you bite your nails in anticipation, when they put their heads together you're in awe of what they can accomplish and the sexy times are a lovely bonus that make you root for them as a couple to the ends of the Earth and back.


I loved how I was kept in the dark with what would happen throughout the story. I had no clue as to what would end up going on and I loved the not knowing. The anticipation was killing me even whilst reading. I wanted to get to the end to finally find out what happens to the Pack but when I did, I wished I could read it for the first time all over again. I wish I didn't have to wait for the next book…sigh.


What more do I need to say? If you haven't picked up this series yet, please do, because you're seriously missing out on some deliciousness. This was my favourite one yet!


My rating: 10/10


Ilona Andrews:

 

 Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 Kate Daniels:

 

  1. Magic Bites
  2. Magic Burns
  3. Magic Strikes
  4. Magic Bleeds
  5. Magic Slays
  6. Magic Rises
  7. Magic Breaks
  8. Magic Shifts
  9. Untitled
  10. Untitled


 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Review: Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: Living with the Dead

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Series: Women of the Otherworld #9

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 03 Nov 2011

Format: Paperback | 384 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Goodreads



Robyn Peltier has never done anything out of the ordinary. So when her new boss is murdered and she is named prime suspect, she finds herself way out of her depth. As friends and colleagues abandon her, only two people remain loyal - best friend Hope Adams, and Hope's spooky but charismatic boyfriend Karl.


What Robyn doesn't realise is that she has accidentally stumbled into a bloody and escalating supernatural turf war. She's also completely unaware that Hope is actually half-demon, and her 'spooky' boyfriend is a powerful werewolf. Now the only way Hope can keep her friend alive is by introducing her into a world she's safer knowing nothing about…



My thoughts:


Living with the Dead is so far the only book in the Women of the Otherworld series with a non-supernatural as the protagonist. The book follows Robyn Peltier as she tries to clear her name after becoming the prime suspect in a murder investigation that soon turns incredibly nasty. With a little help from Hope, the half-demon journalist and her werewolf boyfriend, Karl Marsten, Robyn sets out to solve the murder case of her boss and absolve herself of the case once and for all. 


So for this review, I'm going to get all the negative, ramblings going on in my head out of the way first and then move on to the good stuff. I was pretty much split right down the middle with this book. I liked it, but as usual in any series, I couldn't help compare it to the previous books. I can't get on with Hope as well as the other characters for some reason. I don't know if it's because she wasn't introduced until quite a bit later on or if I just don't like her personality. Either way, pair that with a completely random, non-supernatural protagonist as well as a bucket load of new characters, safe to say I got a little muddled with where the author was going with this one.


I did, however, recognise that this book may be a turning point for the series. There were hints of things to come - big Cabal secrets revealed, unrest between supernaturals and the like. I have to admit, that side of the plot was incredibly interesting. Maybe the previous books were just an introduction into a final, intricate plot? Maybe Armstrong was leaving a trail of hints all along? I certainly hope so at least!


Aside from the characters, I enjoyed the book. There was the usual suspense present in the rest of the series that made me desperate to find out what happens. I didn't want to put the book down and for me, that essentially says it all. I wasn't disappointed in this read, it just didn't seem on par with the rest of the books in the series.


My rating: 6/10


Kelley Armstrong:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Women of the Otherworld:

  1. Bitten
  2. Stolen
  3. Dime Store Magic
  4. Industrial Magic
  5. Haunted
  6. Broken
  7. No Humans Involved
  8. Personal Demon
  9. Living with the Dead
  10. Frostbitten
  11. Waking the Witch
  12. Spell Bound
  13. Thirteen


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Review: Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong


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Title: Personal Demon

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Series: Women of the Otherworld #8

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 04 Aug 2011

Format: Paperback | 384 pages

Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Goodreads



Hope Adams inherited her Bollywood princess looks from her mother. From her demon father she inherited a hunger for chaos - and a talent for finding it.


When Hope is asked to infiltrate a violent gang of supernaturals in Miami, she can't resist the excitement. But trouble can be intoxicating, and soon she's in way too deep. With a killer stalking the city's mystical hot spots, Hope becomes dangerously entangled and has no choice but to turn to her werewolf ex-boyfriend for help.


What started as a simple investigation has spiralled into chaos. And Hope finds chaos irresistible…



My thoughts:


Personal Demon follows Hope Adams, a half demon with a hunger for chaos as she infiltrates a gang causing the Cortez Cabal trouble. Things soon get more complicated than spy work and random shoot outs when Karl Marsten enters the picture, a new addition to the werewolf pack and an expert in thievery. 


I have to say, I never started this series thinking I would get the chance to read a book partly based on Karl Marsten. I've grown to like him tremendously through this book, not just because he's a character that leaves me short of breath, but because he isn't afraid to tell Hope like it is. There's most definitely a thin line between right and wrong in this book, and Karl manages to dance over the boundaries without me thinking any less of him whatsoever.


The only grievance I had with this novel was that the plot was purely based around the Cabals. I loved the books in the series featuring Lucas and Paige where the Cabals come into play but Personal Demons seemed to have the Cortez Cabal as the centrepiece to the plot instead of the council like in previous books. I like the Cabals in small doses, but in this case I didn't enjoy the plot so much because of all the sneaking around that went on. 


What I did love about the Cortex Cabal playing a major part, was Benicio. I adored seeing Benicio in such a new light with what happened in this book. Benicio finally brings to light how much he loves Lucas in a way that's undeniable - it was a big change from his usual cold, businesslike demeanour. 


In short, I liked this book but not as much as past books in the series. I think my heart will always lie with Elena and the gang rather than the other supernaturals. Maybe because that's where it all started. 


My rating: 6/10

 

Kelley Armstrong:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Women of the Otherworld:

  1. Bitten
  2. Stolen
  3. Dime Store Magic
  4. Industrial Magic
  5. Haunted
  6. Broken
  7. No Humans Involved
  8. Personal Demon
  9. Living with the Dead
  10. Frostbitten
  11. Waking the Witch
  12. Spell Bound
  13. Thirteen

Monday, 4 May 2015

Review: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

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Title: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Publication date: May 5th 2015

Format: Kindle | 304 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary 

Goodreads


 

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn. 

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.



My thoughts:


Well this definitely was a pleasant surprise.


When I read the summary of this book I just had to read it. Faking an addiction to get into rehab? Sounds like a disaster in the making - meaning it had potential to make a great read.


I'm not an avid fan of the contemporary genres. I mean I read plenty when I'm in the mood, but it's not my go to genre. So I can honestly say I've never read anything to do with rehab or addiction. It really made this read a breath of fresh air since it was so new to me. I never would have thought you could mix so serious of a topic with such a quirky character and a goofy romance thrown into the mix. I was surprised I still managed to take it so seriously.


I will say that Lola was not a likeable character at first. She did so many terrible things throughout the read and had such a bitchy attitude that she had a whole lot to make up for by the end of the book. I have a feeling a lot of people will stop reading because of it - she doesn't seem to be capable of both forgiveness or patience. All I can say is, you have to stick with it to get the full picture. She really does make up for it, I promise.


Not that I found this read to be perfect, I didn't. It had so many flaws that I almost stopped reading myself, but the ending really made up for it in my opinion.


I found Lola to be pretty dense. It was made more annoying by the fact that it seemed to be only because she took so long to figure things out. I do prefer characters to make sense of things over time throughout the read, not in one single epiphany where they make things right with some huge speech. It just makes things more realistic and relatable somehow. It became such a big part of the read, Lola acting out all over the place, that it took so much out of me to stay rooting for her. It all worked out in the end though and I did grow to love her again.


The love aspect of the read was incredibly predictable but no less enjoyable. Sometimes, I'm a sucker for a goofy romance, predictable or no. I loved Adam. So sexy - especially considering he was out of bounds and so smart…yummy. Wade not so much...


All in all this read was enjoyable for me. The main character does make up for her behaviour and I couldn't help but love her again. There were some great messages involved and some lovely characters that made me smile and feel for them.


My rating: 7/10


Danielle Younge-Ullman:

Goodreads | Facebook

Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

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Title: Dragons Are People, Too

Author: Sarah Nicolas

Series: N/A

Publisher: Entangled

Publication date: April 28th 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley | 255 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads



Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

 

 

My thoughts:


I don't know what's going on, but the books I've been reading lately have been really hard to review. It's not that they're bad exactly, it's just that they don't seem to arouse any sort of genuine, heartfelt response to the story - it all seems to be just…meh.


Unfortunately this was another one of those reads. My biggest problem was that the characters felt extremely flat. Kitty was supposed to be one of those young, genius girls who can kick your butt into next week. She's a soldier who works for this dragon community of spies. But in no way did she behave like it. She still behaved too much like a high school student who can't stop thinking about their crush. It got really annoying.


What I loved but also hated at the same time, was the potential in the read. Sani has a really great backstory that's not explored in the slightest and Kitty has a lot of elements to her that could have made such a difference. Her parents for one and their story, but also, her spy level upbringing - I mean, she could have been that character that everyone loves to read about in YA, but instead she came across as too dependent.


At the same time, this book isn't exactly a 'bad' read. There's plenty to keep you interested. I liked all the action and how fast paced everything was. In some ways, that was the problem - it was too fast. There were so many missed opportunities for characters to be explored. But there was enough there for me to stay curious and keep reading.


My rating: 5/10


Sarah Nicolas:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter