Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Scent of Roses - Sienna Blake


THE SCENT OF ROSES IS LIVE!! 
RELEASE SALE & TWO BIG GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW!! 


Title: The Scent Of Roses 

Book 2 in the Dark Romeo Trilogy 

Author: Sienna Blake 

Genre: Erotic Romance 

Formats: Paperback & ebook 

Cover Designer: Romacdesigns




The sequel to Love Sprung From Hate, Dark Romeo #1.

The game becomes more deadly as the lies get bigger. Risks will be taken, loyalties will be tested, but will Roman and Julianna take the biggest risk of all…giving into their hearts?

*Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this is a retelling for mature audiences. Don’t enter the Underworld if you’re scared of the dark.

FORM TODAY UNTIL JULY 17th GRAB BOTH BOOKS FOR 99¢
(The Scent Of Roses will increase to regular price July 17th) 

~ Paperback Purchase links ~
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~ Ebook Purchase links ~
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Love Sprung From Hate is available for ONLY 99¢


Start the series NOW!! 

Amazon.us | Amazon.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.au

MY REVIEW:  

I have to admit that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book in Sienna Blake's dark romeo series. I'd polished off book one; Love Sprung from Hate pretty quickly and wanted to know what would happen next. (You can see my review of that here.) I wasn't disappointed.

If you know the story of Romeo and Juliet, then you know more or less the way that this is going to pan out. There are lots of subtle nods to the original story, but at the same time, Blake manages to tell this version in a way that makes it seem new and different. It has a feel of more of being inspired by, rather than being a simple retelling.

As we all know 'the course of true love never did run smooth' (yes, I know that's from a different Shakespeare play). Roman and Julianna find that finding true happiness with one another isn't as simple as just being together, not when everyone else is against it and they find themselves on opposing sides. The original Romeo and Juliet story is a tragedy and I can't help but wonder if the final book will take us to a similar conclusion. (I really hope not.) Either way though, I can't wait to get my hands on the final book in the series.

Sienna Blake is a pen name for a USA Today Bestselling Author. She loves all things that make her heart race — rollercoasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.

If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.

Follow Sienna 

TWO MEGA GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW!!!
CLICK THE IMAGES TO ENTER!! 


Giveaway #1

🎉WIN ONE YEAR OF ROMANCE🎉I'm celebrating the upcoming release of the Dark Romeo trilogy with this HUGE Giveaway!!• 1 Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet• 12 months Kindle Unlimited subscription• 24 romance paperbacks I LOVED (full list in T&Cs)• 1 Lucky winner!




Giveaway #2 

WIN a $25Amazon gift card! Click the image to be redirected! 






Thursday, 15 June 2017

Love sprung from hate - Sienna Blake

Keep reading and help celebrate Sienna Blake's new release Love Sprung from Hate with multiple HUGE giveaways!! 


Title: Love Sprung From Hate 

Book 1 in the Dark Romeo Trilogy 

Author: Sienna Blake 

Genre: Erotic Romance 

Formats: Paperback & ebook 

Cover Designer: Romacdesigns




I didn’t know she was a detective, the only daughter of the Chief of Police.

I didn’t know he was a mafia Prince, heir to the Tyrell’s bloody empire.



It was only supposed to be one night.

God help me, I can’t stop thinking about that night.



So when she walked into the interrogation room, my heart almost stopped.

I can’t believe he might have tortured and killed someone.


I have to avoid her at all costs.
I will be his downfall.

So begins a deadly game of cat and mouse, of blood and lust, of love and duty, and of an attraction so fierce the consequences are inevitable…

*Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this is a retelling for mature audiences. Don’t enter the Underworld if you’re scared of the dark.

~ Paperback Purchase links ~

~ Ebook Purchase links ~

MY REVIEW: 

I loved this book, I've been really lucky to read a few really good books, and this was certainly one of them. I love the Romeo and Juliet story and this modern retelling gives it a new breath of life. Rather than the Shakespearean setting of the original story, we faced with the son of a mafia boss, reluctantly being drawn back into the life, and the daughter of the police chief, desperate to prove herself as a competent detective.

The two meet, by chance and find themselves instantly drawn to one another. The connection is instant and magnetic. But after spending a wonderful night together, they soon discover who they really are and how impossible their being together seems to be.

This is quite a fast paced and exciting book. An erotic romance, with a dark underbelly. It updates the story brilliantly and works really well. I liked the characters of both Julianna and Roman. Despite being drawn to one another they both clearly know that it's not a good idea to get involved, but can't help themselves. Previously Roman has successfully avoided the crime and violence that his family deals in, but he finds himself thrown into the turmoil and unable to step away.

I really enjoyed Love Sprung from Hate and can't wait to get stuck into the second book in the series; The Scent of Roses.

Sienna Blake is a pen name for a USA Today Bestselling Author. She loves all things that make her heart race — rollercoasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.

If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.

Follow Sienna 

TWO MEGA GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW!!!
CLICK THE IMAGES TO ENTER!! 


Giveaway #1

🎉WIN ONE YEAR OF ROMANCE🎉
I'm celebrating the upcoming release of the Dark Romeo trilogy with this HUGE Giveaway!!
• 1 Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet
• 12 months Kindle Unlimited subscription
• 24 romance paperbacks I LOVED (full list in T&Cs)
• 1 Lucky winner!



Giveaway #2 




Monday, 12 June 2017

The Royal Treatment - M J Summers

I'm usually very skeptical when a book claims to be funny, very often my idea of funny is far different to the authors idea of funny. Fortunately, not only is The Royal Treatment a well written and highly entertaining book, but it's also so funny that I actually laughed out loud quite a few times.

The Royal Treatment

Enough laughs to satisfy fans of Bridget Jones. Enough sparkly shoes and breathtaking ball gowns for fans of Cinderella…

Twenty-eight-year-old Tessa Sharpe, a.k.a. The Royal Watchdog, hates everything about Prince Arthur. As far as she’s concerned, he’s an arrogant, lazy leech on the kingdom of Avonia. When he shocks the nation by giving her the keys to the castle in an attempt to boost his family’s dismal public approval ratings, Tessa has no choice but to accept and move in for two months. It’s lust at first sight, but there’s no way she can give in to her feelings—not if she wants to have a career or a shred of pride left when her time at the palace ends. 

Ultra-private, ultra-hot Crown Prince Arthur has always gotten by on his charm. But that won’t be enough now that the Royal Family is about to be ousted from power once and for all. When Prince Arthur has to rely on the one woman in the kingdom who hates him most, he must learn that earning the love of a nation means first risking his heart…

Can two natural enemies find their forever in each other’s arms, or will they ruin each other to save themselves?


[PLEASE NOTE: The Crown Jewels Series is not a typical MJ Summers book. It’s a light romantic comedy, very heavy on the laughs with a low steam level (but lots of delicious sexual tension and some swearing).]

My Review

I have to admit that I was in two minds about requesting this book to read and review. I usually find humorous romantic books to be a little bit light, both on the humor, writing, romance and story line. Not so with this one. I devoured The Royal Treatment at a great rate of knots, enjoying every second of it. 

I loved the interaction between Prince Arthur and Tessa. They soon discovered that they had made wide sweeping judgements about one another that just weren't true. Tessa had developed all kinds of ideas and judgements about the royal family, mostly due to their secretiveness, which she soon discovered weren't true. Arthur on the other hand began to realise that they way to engage with the people and win their respect and love was to be more open. Along the way, he manged to win the love and respect of Tessa.

I'm not sure exactly where Arthurs kingdom was supposed to be, I was envisaging an island somewhere between Britain and mainland Europe. I don't suppose that it really matters, but I did spend some time trying to imagine it's location in my head. 

I really enjoyed this book, it was lighthearted, refreshing and something a little bit different. It doesn't finish at the end of the book but, thankfully, doesn't leave it on a cliff hanger ending. I can't wait to see what's going to happen in the next installment of this series. There's more to Tessa and Arthur's story yet...

Friday, 2 June 2017

Icing Allison - Pamela Burford


Icing Allison

What, Jane Delaney asks herself, could be better than skating on a frozen lake with sexy MartinMcAuliffe? After all, Martin’s thought of everything:
• Yummy picnic lunch, complete with the requisite hot chocolate? Check.
• Adorable, if slightly neurotic, canine sidekick? Check.
• Chainsaw (don’t ask)? Check.
• Frozen corpse? Dang!
And just when things were starting to get romantic!

The authorities decide Allison Zaleski’s death was an accident, but Death Diva Jane isn’t so sure. For starters, some of the wealthy young woman’s nearest and dearest had reason to want her out of the picture—her boy-toy husband and his greedy mistress for starters. But it isn’t until Jane discovers Allison’s secret video diary that the questions really start piling up. Such as: Who left a decapitated Barbie doll, altered to look like Allison, in her mailbox? And what, if anything, did Allison have to do with her first husband’s death?

My Review

I really enjoy the Jane Delaney Series, you can read my reviews of Uprooting Ernie and Perforating Pierre on this blog. Icing Allison is the forth book in the series and even though I didn't get my hands on an ARC this time, I was really keen to read it. If you haven't read any of the Jane Delaney series before, then you could certainly start with this one and be able to follow it fine. I would recommend going back to the beginning though and giving them all a go. The books do follow on, but work as stand alone stories too.

The story starts with Jane going for a picnic and skate on a frozen lake, with the yummy Martin. It isn't long before a dead body shows up and Jane finds herself in the middle of puzzle again. To begin with it looks as though Allison's death was an unfortunate accident, but as time goes on, it becomes clear to Jane that there's more to this than first meets the eye.

I was glad to see a bit more Martin in this one. I'm not sure why she's even still hung up on her ex-husband Dom. As for the French man she met in the last book? Non, merci. Martin may be a bit of bad boy, but it's clear that he's got Jane's best interests at heart.

I didn't manage to solve this one, although I had had a few suspicions about the murderer earlier on, I'd dismissed them right until the big reveal. I love these Jane Delaney stories and can't wait for the next one, especially if we're going to get even more Martin.




Monday, 22 May 2017

Chance at Redemption - Samantha Harris

Chance at Redemption

A chance at redemption by Samantha HarrisGwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”

Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.

Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…

Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.

Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…

Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.

Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…

My Review

When I started this book, I really wasn't sure if I was going to get on with it. One of the key things about a good book, is how likeable the characters are. Gwen, when she is first introduced to us, is not particularly nice. She's a spoilt, selfish 'princess' who hasn't had to do a days work in her life. Unfortunately for her, her father has had enough and has cut her off. Finally Gwen has to make her way in the world.

To begin with, Gwen doesn't really improve, she's still the spoilt, privileged brat, who really doesn't care about anyone or anything else but herself. Fortunately, Liam is a lot more likeable. He struggles with Gwen to begin with, but the more he gets to know her, the more he sees behind the persona she projects.

Liam and Gwen can't deny their attraction, Gwen slowly leave behind the spoilt princess that she's always been before, and becomes a lot more likeable in the process. Has Gwen really changed though? Can Liam really trust her? Do they have the future that they dream of?

I enjoyed this story, I think the fact that Gwen starts out so unlikable, but then grows and redeems herself, really helps to drive the story along and you find yourself really hoping that they manage to sort out their differences. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes a nice love story and people having the chance to prove that first impressions aren't always the right impression.


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Monday, 8 May 2017

The Women Who Love Rome by London Tracy

The Women Who Love Rome blog tour


The Women Who Love Rome

The women who love Rome by London Tracy
Rome is a rich, successful movie producer, accustomed to having his way; Thursday is sweet, naive, and eager to please. When the two ex-lovers cross paths, it’s love at first sight all over again.

After an explosive reunion, Thursday learns that Rome now shares his home with two ladyloves and has every intention of making her his newest conquest. Together, they embark on a daring, unorthodox living arrangement that pushes the boundaries of lust, love, and the forbidden.

My Review

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share your man with two other women? Not only to share him, but to actually all live in the same house, sleep in the same bed and even all shower together? I can't actually say that I have, but that's the idea behind the women who love Rome.

Fortunately, this book doesn't take itself too seriously. There is quite a bit of comedy and humor in the plot and I think that really helps. In many ways, this is a tongue in cheek fun book. It does touch on jealousy and how the women involved in such a relationship might feel about each other. Interestingly, despite all of the bed, shower and man sharing, there isn't a great deal of sex in this book. Although it gets a mention, it's not really what the story is about. 

All of the characters in this book have ridiculous names. We have India; not too bad, Rome; slightly stupid, Storm; quite silly and Thursday I'm sorry what? Maybe they match a book that doesn't take itself too seriously. Although I thought this was a fun, quick read, I think that I might have taken to it more if I'd have liked it more if I'd have liked the characters more. India is really quite whiny and annoying. Storm and Thursday just could do with being a bit more feisty. As for Rome, well, in all honesty, I'm not entirely sure why one woman would be interested in him, let alone three.

It's hard to know what genre this book fits into, it's not quite humor, it's certainly not romance. A fun look at modern relationships and jealousy? I'm not really sure. If you are looking for a quick read that's a little different, then this might be just what you are after.

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Seduction of Viscount Vice - Nicola Davidson

The Seduction of Viscount Vice by Nicola Davidson

The Seduction of Viscount Vice

Proud Scot and Fallen co-owner, Lord Iain ‘Vice’ Vissen is dedicated to performing in and producing the pleasure club’s hedonistic shows. Until the night he apprehends a rogue footman in their midst and discovers the spy is Lady Mairi MacNair—the woman who long ago broke his heart.
Born an earl’s daughter but now a seamstress, Mairi has returned to London to help open a superior pleasure club to Fallen, and finally realize her dream of being the seductive leading lady. But when she discovers her main rival is Iain, the man she loved beyond reason and was forced to abandon, she is soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and raw, scorching passion that time hasn’t dimmed…

My Review

If you like your historical romances on the hot and steamy side, then the Seduction of Viscount Vice is for you. Although this is the third in a series of books, I don't think it really mattered if you hadn't read any of the earlier ones. I hadn't and I enjoyed the book just the same.

Compared to a lot of other books in the genre, this is definitely on the sexier side, with the main characters not only being really turned on by each other, and wanting lots of sex. But they both also want to perform in front of an audience. 

This is a second chance book, Iain and Mairi were lovers once, a long time ago. They both wanted more, but it wasn't to be. Now, thrown back into one another's paths by chance, they have the opportunity to try again. 

While this might not be a book that sticks slavishly to the period, it is a lot of fun. So if you're looking for quick, hot and steamy read, then you won't go far wrong with The Seduction of Viscount Vice.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Thicker than water - Lexie Coyngham


If I were to write a list of my favourite things in a book, you'd probably find history, murder mystery, well written and engaging characters. Thicker than water had all of these things, even more exciting, this is a brand new series for me. This is book ten, but now I'm planning on going back and reading all of the other books in the series.

Thicker than water


When young Walter finds a dead body along with the dead fish in his tutor’s fishpond, he knows he should tell his old master, Charles Murray of Letho. The dead man leaves a pretty wife and child and a broken string quartet, but someone must have profited by his death – could it be the avenger from his past as his widow fears, or is it someone from closer at hand? St. Andrews is once again the setting for a murder mystery, and a puzzle that Murray must solve before the murderer strikes again.

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon


My Review


I have to admit, when I started the book, I hadn't realised that this was a historical mystery novel. As you may know, this is one of my favourite genres, at least when it's done well. Thicker Than Water is very well written, so I had no concerns there. It perhaps took me a couple of chapters to get my head around the various characters, but that did not put me off at all. I do wonder if I would have felt that, had I read some of the earlier books in the series. 

Set in Scotland, in and around the university town of St Andrews, in the early 1800's. The book focuses on the murder of a young man. After he is found dead, seemingly drowned in the bottom of a pond. There are no shortage of people who seem to have motive for getting rid of him, or at least having argued and disagreed with him, but what really happened.

Charles Murray of Letho, our lead character and solver of the mystery, is a very likeable character. He manages to move through the pages with both a commanding style and being less obtrusive when needed. As often happens in series such as this, Murray is the type of person who always seems to be stumbling across dead bodies. He has managed to solve similar problems in the past, so the local police turn to him for help.

I like to try and solve mysteries as I read. I wasn't able to completely get to the bottom of this one, although I was right about one or two things. What really matters though, is how well the solution works when the big reveal comes. Thicker Than Water worked for me and the solution made sense. 

I really enjoyed this book. I was really excited to discover a new series, even though I've started with the newest book to be written, I'll be going back to read the rest of the series from the start now. I'd highly recommend this series.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Arm Candy - Patricia Ryan

Book three in the Hot City Nights series by Patricia Ryan is Arm Candy. These are a series of three books, all independent reads, but set in the city.

Arm Candy

Arm Candy by Patricia Ryan
David Waite, a wealthy British fundraiser in New York City, knows exactly how to please a woman, but he’s had enough of social climbers and users. His solution? “Arm candy,” a beautiful woman to accompany him as his regular date. She’s to serve as a dazzling accessory, not a prostitute or call girl, with no strings attached, either emotional or sexual. Then he sees Nora, and he finds himself overwhelmed with a craving for sweets…



Nora Armstrong is a wholesome, virginal beauty fresh from the Midwest. Her cousin asks her to go out with David Waite as a favor to advance his event planning business. She can’t say no, any more than she can say no when David asks for a second date, and a third… According to “arm candy” rules, she should be safe… until David decides to break the rules. Suddenly Nora realizes it’s a risky business, being this smoking hot Brit’s faux girlfriend… and falling in love.







My Review

This was a great fun read. Nora was far from keen to act as arm candy, but she feels that she owes her cousin and knows that this could help his business. Though she is reluctant to begin with, she soon connects with David and the chemistry between them grows stronger.

There is an incident, part way through the book, that doesn't really paint David in a great light. It is down to a misunderstanding, but I'm not sure that I would have been as willing to forgive him and spend time with him afterwards. Particularly in light of something that happens as a follow on, if not quite result of, his actions. (Sorry, that's a bit vague, I don't want to give away any spoilers.)

The longer that Nora keeps secrets from David, about her career and life, the harder it is for her to share them with him. Of course, when she does, he's hurt that she has kept things from him and lied. Can he forgive her and move on?

I enjoyed this book, I liked the growing romance between David and Nora. Like all of Patricia Ryan's other books, it's well written and the other minor characters are also interesting. If you're looking for a fun, romantic read, then I don't think that you'll go far wrong.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Rough - Sybil Bartel

Rough Blog Tour, Sybil Bartel

Rough by Sybil Bartel

Jared
I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.
My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had.
When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.
One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.


Purchase:

Purchase book 1:

My Review

I think that the first thing that I should probably admit, is that once I'd picked up Rough, I couldn't put it down. I polished it off in one day, if not quite one sitting. The pace is fast and the book drew me in quickly.

On the whole I liked both Jared and Sienna. The chemistry between them was pretty much instant from the moment they met. As they learn more about each other, they soon discover that this is far more than a passing interest. Both Jared and Sienna have things in their past which make them reluctant to trust. Jared is dealing (and not particularly well, it has to be said) with PTSD. Sienna has been used and lied to by her family and the man that she thought that she might have fallen for. To begin with, neither of them were looking for more.

There are a few things in this book that I've come across in other similar books, but the quality of the writing and the way in which the story unfolded was different enough for that not to matter. I really enjoyed this book and as I said, read it far too quickly.

This post is part of a blog tour, you can find the other blog posts here.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Paradox Forged in Blood - Mary Francis Fisher

I found this book available for review on Netgalley. I'm always interested in a mystery book and one with a historical setting is even more appealing.

Paradox forged in blood by Mary Francis FisherParadox Forged in Blood

A murder on Millionaire’s Row. 
A killer's chilling words, "Shh. I know where you live.” 
A woman tormented by her guilt-ridden past. 

A historical murder mystery, Paradox Forged in Blood is set in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1930s. Four decades after the murder of socialite Louis Sheridan, the cold case is resurrected with receipt of new evidence that transports detectives back to Nazi Germany. The only living witness, Ellen O’Malley, must confront a haunting secret and her complicit actions.

My Review

This book has so much going on. The heart of it is an unsolved mystery. To begin with it seems that the start of the book is just laying the scene for this mystery. In actual fact it's doing more than that. This book doesn't just have one mystery, but a number of them, all interwoven and connected as the story unfolds.

There is so much potential in this book. Unfortunately, to some extent, that potential is also it's undoing. There is so much going on that it's easy to get lost in the multitude of characters and events. Although they all build to a final reveal, it would have possibly been better if some of it had been cut out and trimmed down slightly.

The writing style wasn't completely to my taste. It tended to tell what was going on, rather than allowing the reader to experience the events as they unfolded along side the characters. It meant that at times the book was slow moving and you didn't really feel the connection with the people that you get in other books.

On the whole I enjoyed the story. I do think that with a little careful editing, it could have been much better. Over all though, not at all a bad read. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Wounded Dance - Deanna Roy

A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed the first book in the Lover's Dance series by Deanna Roy; Forbidden Dance. I really enjoyed it, so when I was given the chance to read the second book, Wounded Dance, I jumped at it.

Wounded Dance

For four years, I’ve had a terrible, wonderful, beautiful secret.

But now it’s out.

My brief brush with fame caught the attention of a boy I once loved. He was ripped from my life at a tender age by my father, who moved us and hid me away so that we could not meet again.

Only after he was gone did I learn I was pregnant with his child.

He’s spent years trying to find me.

And now he’s at Dreamcatcher Dance Academy.

He’s going to find our baby, he says. The adoption wasn’t legal since he didn’t know.

He has no idea how close our little girl really is. That I secretly teach her ballet.

He can’t know how important it is that I keep the secret.

But when your boyfriend is Blitz Craven, the reality TV dance show star, the press follows you everywhere.

And no matter how much Blitz wants to protect me from my old love, from the threat he poses to our happy life, there’s one fact I have to face.

My past has caught up with me.

Wounded Dance is book two of the Lovers Dance series. Each book is full length and stands alone, but should be read in series order to avoid spoilers.

My Review

If you read my first review, then you'll know how unimpressed I was with Livia's Father. In this book, his actions and behaviour are shown to be even worse. We learn more about what happened in the past and what lead to the way he kept her locked away from the world. There are a few surprises here and they come quite early in the book. I said before that I'm looking forward to following the rest of the series, as long as it doesn't include a reconciliation with him. After this book, I'm even more adamant on that score. He's a horrible, emotionally abusive man.

The plot of this book had far more to with Livia and her past, than Blitz. He's still there with her every step of the way, and being very supportive, but his story takes a back seat in this book. I suspect that there might be more to come, in future books, that will deal with his fame.

There's still plenty of romance between Livia and Blitz, we also learn about Livia's past love as well. The father of her child. There's a lot going on in this book other than that though, with issues such as teenage pregnancy, lies within families and how people cope with things. I really enjoyed it, even more than the first book, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Du Lac Devil - Mary Anne Yarde

The Du Lac Devil is the second book (third story, when you include the novella, The Pitchfork Rebellion) in the Du Lac Chronicles series. My review of the first book can be found here. I received both free as part of a review tour.

The Du Lac Devil

War is coming to Saxon Briton.



As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.



Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.



Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.



Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war? 

My Review

I couldn't wait to get stuck into the Du Lac Devil, after I had finished The Du La Chronicles and The Pitchfork Rebellion. In both of these stories, the character of Merton had stood out for me and this book is more about him. Merton is in many ways the typical tortured hero, bad boy who is misunderstood, or the victim of his circumstances type of character. I have to admit that I do have a bit of a soft spot for similar characters. There is something about Merton that really draws you to him.

Time has moved on from the first book, Merton has been working as a mercenary, using his talent with a sword to earn money. His only aim is to help keep Alden's kingdom safe. Not only is the money he earns used to rebuild Alden's stronghold, but he is also being blackmailed by Wessex. As long as he keeps paying and spies for him, then Wessex will not attack Cerniw. Wessex is greedy, the more that Merton pays, the more that Wessex wants. 

Merton has found himself doing more and more things that have led him further down the path to become known as the feared Du Lac Devil. Not all that they say about him is true, he hasn't completely sold his soul to the devil, but as far as he is concerned, the more feared that he is the better. 

After finding himself in an impossible position, which he does not expect to get away from alive, Merton makes his way back to his brother Budic's castle, Benwick. Here he finds that Budic's wife and heir have died and that Alden is also there to pay his respects. Danger surrounds the three brothers, but are they able to unite to face it? 

Merton also comes back into contact with his one time sister in law, Lady Amandine. Merton discovers that the feelings between them are far from brother or sisterly. Soon, it becomes clear that she is what he wants and that if he is to have a future, then he wants it to be with her. Amandine returns his love (who wouldn't after all, there is something lovable about him). There is the small problem of her marriage to another man, that stands in the way.

One thing I love about this series is the way that the characters sometimes question themselves and each other. Although Merton and Alden are loyal to one another, they don't just accept that as a given. They always have the possible fear that those that love don't return that loyalty and love completely. I think that this makes it more realistic and the characters more rounded.

I loved this book, just as much, if not more, than the previous book. The story of the Du Lac brothers was gripping and I really can't wait to read what will happen next. I love the historic feel to this book. Of course some of the language may be a little modern, but the joy of writing about a period like this, is that it doesn't matter. The people then spoke very different languages to the ones we speak today, any language would be different to what they spoke, so it doesn't seem out of place. It probably does help that the author is English, so it sounds more natural to my English ear.

I highly recommend this book and this series. If you are going to read it, please start with the first book, it would be a shame to miss the start of the series.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Forbidden Dance - Deanna Roy

Forbidden Dance by Deanna Roy

Forbidden Dance Deanna Roy


Forbidden Dance
Deanna Roy
(Lover’s Dance, #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
She was hidden from the world. Then he arrived.
An emotional new novel from six-time USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy
For four years, I’ve lived in almost total seclusion. Homeschooled, forbidden from social media, seeing no one other than the dancers at Dreamcatcher Academy, where I teach ballet to little girls in wheelchairs.
Then Blitz arrives.
He’s the disgraced host of Dance Blitz, a bawdy reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible while looking for his perfect partner.
At least he was. A few weeks ago, he got kicked off his own show.
He’s at my academy for a publicity stunt, and my wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.
I intend to hate him and stay as far away as possible. But when he looks at me, I can’t resist. Before I realize what’s happened, we’re sneaking into back rooms, dancing, kissing, planning dates away from the cameras and the wrath of my family.
But I’m afraid. I have a secret at the academy, a small, wonderful, terrible secret, and if I stay with Blitz, the world will find out.
____________ 
Forbidden Dance is a full-length standalone HEA, although fans who fall in love with Blitz and Livia can continue the series to follow more of their love story

My Review

Livia has been living with an emotionally abusive father, who has controlled her every movement. Despite the fact that she is 19, she is given less freedom than someone ten years younger would expect to have. Her parents have used the excuse of something that happened four years ago to completely shut down her life and take control. We are frequently told that life used to be different, before the mistake that Livia made, but I suspect either it wasn't that different, or her father just looked for an excuse to become this evil controlling git.

Into this world steps Blitz, disgraced TV personality and star dancer. Blitz and Livia fall for one another almost instantly. Hardly surprising seeing as she has been treated in this way by her father, who wouldn't want to escape. But, is their love destined to last, can they make the change that means that they will be part of one another's life?

I suspect, that if this were real, they would get together quite quickly, as an escape route for someone in Livia's position. I didn't find the idea that she fell in love with him so quickly too far fetched, even if other aspects of the story were. I just don't think that they would stay together long term, particularly as Blitz shows many signs of not being keen to change.

Over all I enjoyed the story, I'm not sure if it had a happily ever after, so much as a happy for the time being. There are more stories in this series and I would be interested to see what comes next. Although, not if it involves her forgiving her father, to be honest.


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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Du Lac Chronicles - Mary Anne Yarde

I received a copy of the Du Lac Chronicles after signing up to review the second book in the series. Thank goodness I did. This is a great series and while I'm sure that the Du Lac Devil could be read alone, I wouldn't want to have missed the start of this series.

The Du Lac Chronicles

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.” So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommended reading age of 16+

My Review

I do have a bit of a thing for historical novels. This is set rather earlier than 'my own' period, it follows the lives of the sons of Lancelot, knight of Arthurian Legend. King Arthur and Lancelot are both long gone, Cerdic of Wessex now rules Arthurs old kingdom and has his sights set on the high kingship. He has invaded the kingdom of Cerniw and taken Alden du Lac, son of Lancelot and King of Cerniew captive. Tourtured and sentenced to death, it seems that there is no escape, but Wessex's daughter, Annis risks everything to save Alden, even though it means giving up the only life she has ever known.

Alden and Annis battle their feelings for one another, whilst fleeing from Wessex and attempting to reach one of Alden's brothers; Budic. Alden needs the support of Budic and the army of Breton, if he is to have any chance of winning his kingdom back. Even if he does manage to regain his previous position, will any of his subjects ever accept a member of the enemy's family as their Queen. Everything seems to be against Annis and Alden, but they cannot help but be drawn together.

I have noticed in other reviews that people have commented that Annis was a little whiny and annoying. To be honest, I think that anyone who had be brought up the way that she has, would be unlikely to be that self assured and would no doubt be quite insecure. Either way, it wasn't something that really irritated me. I liked both Annis and Alden, although Alden's other brother, Merton, stole the show when he appeared.

I did like the way that all of the characters were fairly complex. All of the Du Lac's and Annis had different things to deal with and it was not always obvious how they would react to the situation. I think that in many ways this was a lot more realistic than other books that I've read. Battling their fears and worries made them seem like more rounded and real characters. 

This is described as a young adult novel, something that I would normally ignore. I'm not sure what exactly puts it into that genre, don't let it put you off, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I don't usually go for YA novels. While there is a strong romantic element to this story, there's also a lot more going on. 

I really loved this novel and couldn't wait for the next installment. Fortunately I was able to get hold of the novella; The Pitchfork Rebellion and I already have The Du Lac Devil, book two to read. Review to follow shortly.