Saturday, 3 October 2015

Review ~ Dare Me by Stella Rhys

Book Description:


Lake and I never had a chance at normal. She was drop dead gorgeous from day one - our maid's granddaughter who became my mother's spoiled living doll. I hated that girl with all my heart and at the same time, I worshipped every inch of her skin, every word that she spoke. I lived for her and the twisted game of truth or dare we created to feed our f***ed up needs for shock, shame and one-upping each other. Lake was my drug, my bad lifestyle choice.

And I'd fallen in and out of love with her a thousand times till the day she disappeared.


I know I ruined Callum Pike and going back to New York may be the worst decision I've ever made, which is saying a lot. But I'm willing to risk it. I never wanted to leave and now that I can, I'm going back - to be with the man I made, who made me. I know I screwed him up. I know he's hardened and become cold. I know the love we had is gone. But I need him now more than ever and no matter how much it hurts, no matter what kind of sick or satisfying way he decides to torment me, I'm going to fight through it.

I'm going to repent for the way I broke him and I'm going to find the Callum Pike I loved again - even if it tears me apart.

**a standalone novel**
Buy Links:

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars

“It’s real. You two are the fucking truth.”

I do love a second chance romance and this blurb just pulled me in from the start. This couple were never conventional, they had a love/hate relationship in the beginning as kids, kept apart by jealousy but as we all know there is that very fine line between love and hate. Their games of dares as they grew older led them to being much more audacious and in return much more revealing, not only in the flesh but on an emotional level too. A close friendship blossoms from the most unlikely of scenarios yet I felt their friendship through the pages, when those lines then again blur their relationship is taken to a whole new level…until it isn’t.

“You are and you always will be.”

Lake lived with her grandmother after being deserted by her mother and Lake’s grandmother worked for Callum’s parents. When Lake’s grandmother passes away, Lake is taken in by Callum’s parents. Lake has an extremely close relationship with Callum’s mum, she is the daughter that she never had…she was spoiled rotten and here is where Callum’s resentment begins.

“You’re not a punishment. You’re worth everything.”

So we have a hate/love relationship, a friends to lovers relationship and a second chance romance all wrapped up into one book, quite a lot to pack into one novel but the author delivers. This book spans quite a few years so you grow with the characters and you do get to know their back story which helps with the character connection. Their relationship was never easy but in their own fucked up way it worked for them. When Lake mysteriously disappears one night, Callum is left devastated and despondent, his heart is broken and it changes him as a person. While their relationship never had any labels, Callum loved Lake with everything he had, so when she leaves it hits him hard and six years later when she returns, gone is the teenager who was head over heels in love, instead we have a cold hearted man who has never loved since.

“It’s hard at first but I can’t even tell you how damned good it feels when you finally get rid of the poison in your life.”

This book begins with Lake’s return and Callum is knocked sideways, but he cannot help all those old feelings that come flooding back to the surface, he should hate her, he tries, but he can’t. Callum wants answers, but they are answers that Lake doesn’t want to give. Can these two get over their past? Do they even have a future?

“I say this with all the love in the world, babe, but you deserve to know some of that hurt.”

This would have been a solid four star read for me but I wanted to know more about their early years, how their weird relationship really started, I wanted to be taken back to where and how it all began. I also felt that the flashbacks to when they were apart needed to be fleshed out a lot more. The way the flashbacks were told left you on the periphery as an outsider looking in; I wish that these had been written from Lake’s point of view so you had that personal connection. I didn’t feel what I should have in those flashbacks and that disappointed me a little. It was hard to understand exactly what she went through when you didn’t get that personal reflection. This may just be a personal preference for me as I label myself as an “emotional reader.” I need to feel everything to really connect with the characters so for others this may work.

“…I tried to tell myself to sleep it off. That I was fine and I somehow had the strength in my fractured heart to do this - to stay not just in New York but in the home of the man who’d gladly forgotten me when I only lived because of his memory.”

On the whole, I loved the story, I loved Callum. There was never a doubt about how much he loved Lake, even when he was will within his right to absolutely hate her. Their connection really was soul deep despite its unconventional beginnings. For them it worked, it was “them.” I must admit I did shed a few tears, there was one scene that really got me going and it really shouldn’t have but such was the moment it hit hard in the heart.

This was my first book by this author and I will definitely read her again.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Friday Fright ~ PNR Review ~ Blood Dark (Blackthorn Dark Paranormal Romance Series Book 5) by Lindsay J Pryor

Book Description:
‘There are guardian angels, and there are monsters with wings’

Caitlin Parish should have been the last person to fall for a vampire. A member of the Vampire Control Unit, her relationship with master vampire Kane Malloy had explosive consequences. Caitlin’s colleagues count her as the enemy. And now she’s going back.

Kane has made powerful enemies of his own – and is being targeted by the head of the Global Council, Sirius Throme. With the stakes higher than ever before, Kane knows caring for Caitlin makes him vulnerable. Worse, her decision to return to VCU feels like betrayal.

With Throme threatening to tear Blackthorn apart, and the prophesied vampire leader finally revealed, Kane and Caitlin must both fight with everything they have to stop an all out war. But they’re fighting on opposite sides…

Right when she needs him most, Caitlin makes a shocking discovery about Kane. Has he been playing her all along? And can she trust him with her life when he won’t even trust her with the truth?

The choice Caitlin makes will change the game in Blackthorn forever.

The Blackthorn Series:

1. Blood Shadows
2. Blood Roses
3. Blood Torn
4. Blood Deep
5. Blood Dark  

Buy Links:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

Book 1 – Blood Shadows $2.99:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

Book 2 – Blood Roses $3.99:

 Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

 Book 3 – Blood Torn $3.99:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

 Book 4 – Blood Deep $3.99:

 Amazon UK:
 Amazon US:
Our Review:
Reviewed by Shirley ~ 5 stars

“And being close to Caitlin was the ultimate risk.
 Being close to Caitlin was the ultimate high.”

This is one of the best dark and mysterious vampire paranormal series ever, and this the latest book does not disappoint at all. This is a rare book that keeps you burning the midnight oil as you just cannot put it down. Blood Dark has so many twists and turns, with characters that make life for Caitlin and Kane very difficult on one side and very strong on the other so you cannot say this book is boring at all.

The whole series is brilliantly written, after reading and reviewing every single book I can honestly say that with hand on my heart if I could give this book more than a five star rating I would. This book is sexy and erotic but with so much intrigue going on that you cannot help being pulled into the world that is Blackthorn. And the romance between Caitlin and Kane is sublime; it is a romance against all the odds. The passion between these two will get you heated and wishing you had someone like Kane in your life, and with everything seeming to be against them and with neither one of them the type to back down it makes for a read you will not forget in a hurry.

Kane Mallory, a master vampire, is a very striking character, he is very handsome and at over four hundred years old has a presence that few can ignore. He also through the years had perfected the art of lovemaking. His Caitlin, the human woman is never far from his thoughts and how he adored making love to her and Caitlin felt the same about Kane.

“The feel of his hardness, his thickness, his length, finally breaking into her was excruciating bliss. 

Palms pressing into the bed either side of her shoulders, his penetration was slow, deep, hard as if he planned to make her linger in her orgasm for as long as he could as she came and came and came again.”

As I said steamy and HOT HOT HOT.

Caitlin being the other strong and lovable character in this book is an agent in the VCU which puts her in a very difficult position as all the other agents are wanting to bring Kane down and in the book you will see how she fights for what is right and with not knowing who to trust makes for fantastic reading.

I won’t say anything more as I don't want to spoil it for other readers, but I hope I have whetted your interest enough for you to read and devour this amazing book like I did. It is awesome.

Lindsay, brilliant writing and I cannot wait for book six to see how everything progresses from your amazing and unforeseen ending to this book. Bravo.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Cover Reveal ~ The Fall Up by Aly Martinez

Maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall

in love at rock bottom—up.

Add The Fall Up to your TBR list on Goodreads!

RELEASE DATE: October 26th

Book Description:

I wanted to jump.

He made me fall. 

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight.  

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation. 

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.


About the Author:

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Review ~ Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

I thought that this review had been posted but I was looking for it and couldn't find it, so though it was released last month, this book is too good not be talked about, so for today's review I am posting Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino.

Book Description:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


Buy Links:

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“Once there was a you and me.
We were lovers.
We were friends.
Before life changed.
Before we were strangers.
Do you still think of me?”

For me this was one of the cleverest blurbs I had ever read, if any blurb pulls you in, it would be this one. As soon as I read it, I wanted it and I had been itching for release day. The pull from the heart on the sleeve post had me salivating for more; I wanted to know all about M and his Green-eyed Lovebird.

I love second chance love; there is something about revisiting old feelings that makes the new ones that bit deeper. I understand that some don’t work because you obviously split for a reason but when that reason is miscommunication it always leaves it open ended with no closure and that was exactly the situation that these two found themselves in.

“You have to learn to fly before you can soar.”

Even though they had been apart for so long, they had never forgotten each other and that was the one thing that kept me going. That initial love was bone deep and that kind of love is hard to forget and with a life full of “What If’s” these two needed to reconnect, I was praying that they did.

“…that’s why my mother always said we memorialize our past. Everything seems better in a memory.”

Grace and Matt’s story spans over fifteen years and flicks back from past to present. Normally this can be confusing if not executed right but with these past chapters we were treated to a first love that I was glad I hadn’t missed. It was these past chapters that gave us real insight into these two as a couple and what had really happened all those years ago that eventually led to them being estranged.

Matt and Grace met at University, both were oddballs in their day but their weird and quirky ways drew them together. They both had a flair for the arts and it was this mutual love that drew them together in a firm friendship. It takes a while for those lines to blur and blur they do and soon their friendship turns to love and it was a soul mate kind of love, I felt it all. Sometimes though, all good things come to an end and end they do, it hurt…for them and for me too.

“You can’t recreate the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life.”

Fast forward to the present and a chance glimpse on a crowded platform leads Matt into trying to find the once love of his life. It was so beautiful. I really want to go into details, but I can’t. I could go on for an eternity about the love I had for this couple but I won’t. You need to experience this journey yourself.

Renee Carlino has this knack of drawing you into her characters hearts and heads. You live and breathe their story and this one is no different. My heart was pumping for the majority of this book and I was rooting for these two from the very beginning. Yes, miscommunication is one of my pet peeves but the way that this was executed into this story, it worked and even though I should have been annoyed, I wasn’t. Yes I was annoyed at the characters but I understood to a degree, my only little niggle was that I felt that Matt didn’t try hard enough after they split to find her, but again, I could understand.

“The present is our own. The right-this-second, the here-and-now, this moment before the next, is ours for the taking. It’s the only free gift the universe has to offer. The past doesn’t belong to us anymore and the future is just a fantasy, never guaranteed. But the present is ours to own. The only way we can realize our fantasy is if we embrace the now.”

There was one plot device that I saw coming a mile away, but again, it worked. I did think it was all a bit anti-climactic when it was revealed as I thought the twist may have been something else but none the less this did nothing to detract what was an emotional, extremely engaging read. This was one of those reads that I can see myself re-reading over and over again. While the characters may not have been perfect, they were together and they were to me. While their time may not have been in the past they now had a chance at a future and it is this that keeps those pages turning. A beautiful, entrancing, thoroughly engaging read that I couldn’t put down and one that I can highly recommend.

“…my life wasn’t real without you. It was just a series of days all strung together by a bunch of regrets.”