Friday, 19 October 2018

Review ~ The Beautiful Hearts Duet by Emma Scott


Book Description:

I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow. 

I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away. 

But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them. 

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Bring Down the Stars is an emotional, angst-filled novel of unrequited love by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) It is Book I in the Beautiful Hearts Duet, coming this summer. Book II, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, to be released a few weeks later. THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LOVE TRIANGLE #confusedhearts #notamenage

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Book Description:

Never again would I allow my heart to become the plaything of someone else. 
Never again would I let a man (or men) come between me and my goals. 
Never again would I love without feeling the fullness of that love in return. 
Not until I knew it was real. And if that took me a lifetime to find, so be it. 

Those were my vows, and after all that had happened with Connor and Weston, I was determined to keep them. To protect my heart. 
And then he came home, and my vows became his promises.

He held my heart in his hands with reverence and care. 
He helped me find my soul’s greatest purpose in life. 
He loved me with a love so pure and vibrant, I knew I’d never feel anything like it in a hundred lifetimes. 
It was real.

Until it wasn’t. 
Until it all came crashing down when I discovered the deep love I thought I’d found was nestled in a web of lies—so soft and silken I hadn’t noticed it was there.
Until it was too late. 

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Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is the emotional, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Beautiful Hearts Duet by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LOVE TRIANGLE #confusedhearts #notamenage 
THIS BOOK IS NOT A STANDALONE. It should not be read without first reading Bring Down the Stars

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
Review for complete duet


“Parfois, le cœur se cache derrière l’esprit. Sometimes the heart hides itself behind the mind.”


Emma Scott once again brings her lyrical prose to the hearts of the readers as you cannot help but be swept away in this stunningly beautiful duet. This author never fails to tug at every heartstring and evoke every single possible emotion as her poetic voice brings to life the story of Weston, Connor and Autumn. Three beautiful souls whose lives were intertwined and whose friendships would stand the test of time. Loyalty, friendship and love is the crux of this story, all tested, and all explored as Emma Scott regales the reader from college to the fields of war and the aftermath, tissues will be required.


“Unrequited love. The most painful kind.”


Weston was a character that called to me from the get-go. Quiet in his demeanour, a little nerdish with a penchant for poetry. Weston’s life was dictated by a traumatic event as a child and had used this event as his mantra going forward, even though it was incredibly unhealthy and made him the butt of jokes. Loyal to a fault, self-sacrificing and with a heart of gold, Weston put everyone's happiness before his own, even if that was the last thing he really wanted to do.  However, there was one person that always stood by his side, and that was his best friend, Connor. These two were chalk and cheese, poor and rich, introvert and out-going and yet, these two were inseparable, and their opposites are what levelled the other.


“I worried I would grow up to be trash too, and would hurt any woman I might someday love, so I vowed not to love anyone.”


Connor was a character that all other men wanted to be and looked up to. Connor was drop-dead gorgeous, confident, rich and his personality just shone from the pages. It was that personality though that was his mask for a deeply unhappy man that really felt the pressures of parents expectations and their lack of belief in his abilities. Connor was a hard character to really understand, to really get under his skin and I would have loved that greater depth knowledge to really understand the man. However, I adored his friendship with Weston. These two were more like brothers than best friends, Connor always had Weston’s back, was his biggest supporter in the stands and was more often than not, Weston’s voice when he was unable to speak. Even though the tables turned eventually.


“…pretty words weren’t enough without something real behind them,”


Autumn was a beautiful soul, a heroine hard not to love. A woman with a huge heart, full of compassion, loyalty and love. Autumn came across Weston and Connor and was immediately caught in the middle, love and friendships, blurry lines and the one stuck between a rock and a hard place. Autumn was the one left to pick up the pieces of her own heart and those of the men that she loved. This is not a cheating book though.


“The fight you have to fight is for you so that the love you feel for her has a chance.”


Emma Scott really brings together war and its aftermath, both physical and psychological and she approaches these subjects with empathy and precision. I could see the amount of research undertaken and felt that the author left no stone unturned and dealt with the situations these characters found themselves in with compassion, heart and a whole lot of emotion.


“Feelings,” I said, “are like tonsils. Mostly useless, and occasionally a source of pain and discomfort.”


This would have been a five star read for me and was so up until the last part of book two. I did find the ending predictable and found one element a little hard to swallow, but none the less, I adored these characters, they have buried themselves deep into my heart and soul, and their story will stay with me for a very long time. Once again, Emma Scott brought her ‘A’ game and didn’t disappoint. I love this author’s writing voice and cannot recommend her highly enough.


“For you, I would bring down the stars, wreath their fire around your neck like diamonds, and watch them pulse to the beat of your heart.”

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Review ~ Defiance of the Heart (Sins of the Heart #2) by Monica James


Book Description:

For never was there a story of more woe than that of Holland Brooks and her Romeo...

For as long as I can remember, London Sinclair was the boy who was forbidden. It didn’t matter that he made my heart skip a beat. Our surnames fated us to be sworn enemies. But when the truth was finally revealed, my life changed forever. 

Lies have shaped our past, leaving London and me to pick up the pieces. But through the chaos, one thing is certain—I love London, and he loves me, and we won’t allow anyone to tear us apart again. 

However, life has a funny way of proving us wrong. 

As we attempt to make amends for the past ten years, we soon discover that the ghosts of our past will do anything to drive us apart. We are once again surrounded by deceit and betrayal, testing us in ways we never imagined. 

When I’m faced with a proposition to end this heartache once and for all, I blindly agree. That decision changes everything, and I soon learn that those who act in haste create their own destruction.

Does love really triumph all? Or will London and I succumb to what was always written in the stars?

Buy Links:


Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars


“‘Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished. For never was a story more woe. Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’”


Damn Monica James to hell. This book has been on my eagerly anticipating list for five months, five long, torturous months where every update, every teaser I have had to ignore because I didn’t want to know a thing. Absinthe of the Heart, the first book in this duet was one of my favourite reads of the year, and I wanted to go into this one blind, I wanted to get wrapped up in London and Holland’s story yet again, and Monica James didn’t disappoint.


“Why did it have to be this way for us? Why were we born to be each other’s enemy?”


A modern day Romeo and Juliet, London and Holland had the world and their families against them, but you don’t choose love, love chooses you, and these two chose each other when they were five years old. Hate and love are two very close emotions, and London always hid his true emotions when it came to Holland. London always put Holland first, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time and now that the stars have aligned for these two to finally be together it seems the world has other ideas. Will there ever be a right time?


“I’m sorry I’m not who you would choose for her, but when it comes to love, there isn’t a choice to make—it chooses you.”


These two characters have embedded themselves into my heart and soul, and if ever two characters deserved each other then London and Holland were it. With an ex that seriously needed to die and London’s mother who I desperately wished the same fate upon, Monica James tore me apart before she expertly pieced me back together. Damn, this book could have been such a tragedy, but this was where Monica James excelled and went against the grain. These characters TALKED!! Yes, that funny thing that partners do, they COMMUNICATED, and that is what made this book so much better, more believable. Monica James could have taken the cliché way out, but she didn’t, and that made this book much more interesting, even more, angsty and so much more emotional.


“We can’t change the past, but we can make our own future. Don’t let the sins of the past win.”


Both these characters wore their hearts on their sleeve, especially London. London loved Holland with every fibre of his being, and you only had to look at his eyes to see. His actions spoke louder than words, and this man would have walked into the depths of hell for Holland, and he very nearly did. This book was fast paced, action packed and unputdownable. My plan of action for the day totally thrown out of the window because I couldn’t leave these characters alone. My heart was in my mouth too many times to count and a PM the portal to my frustrations and emotions as I gave the person a blow by blow account.


“When you left me, you didn’t just tear out my heart. You took me with you. I am nothing, nothing without you.”


This duet has been an epic journey, one fraught with obstacles, and yet at the end of the day true love shone through and brightened every page. The connection that these two had was enviable, as individuals, both characters were formidable, but together they were impenetrable. A love like that comes once a lifetime, and these two grasped that with both hands.


“Staying away from him is like defying nature, akin to defying my heart.”


This duet is Monica James’s best work yet. Spanning decades, she brings her A-Game, and I envy the people that can read these two books back to back. Love, hate, secrets, lies, deception, betrayals, revelations but most important, connection, chemistry and a relationship that is destined to stand the test of the time. Definitely one of my favourite duets to date. This has been quite the ride, Monica James.


“I only care about you because it was always…it was always you. I love you without apology, and that’ll never change.”


Book One: Absinthe of the Heart



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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Review ~ Beautiful Chaos by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack


Book Description:

SILAS

My home is my sanctuary. Or is it my prison? Some days it's hard to tell.

I've confined myself behind these walls for protection. I have my reasons, but that doesn't change the profound loneliness I've discovered in the process.

Then one day I find myself drifting toward the window to see him. Corey Marshall, my new neighbor. Quiet, reserved, and cute as can be. He infects my thoughts, becomes the image I fantasize about.

I want to taste his lips, smell his scent...feel what it's like to be inside him.

And soon, watching becomes exchanging gifts and messages, which becomes so much more.

It's wrong to want this as badly as I do, but I can't help myself. I crave him so desperately. It's hard to tell if what we're doing is going to make me lose my mind or change my entire world, but it's too late to turn back now...

COREY

I've never been quite right. Too high or too low. Pain is my constant companion...at the hands of my abusive ex, and often from myself. The sweet relief is only temporary, but in those moments, it's like I can finally breathe.

Then I meet him. Silas Rizner calms the chaotic storms inside me. He makes me feel loved, treasured, even when I don't deserve it. I cherish the moments we share--cooking, cuddling, and when Silas reads to me until I fall asleep. When he's inside me, it's the only time in my life I've ever felt complete.

Silas becomes the glue that holds me together, that bandages my scars. Inside the walls of his home, we're almost safe, but our demons are always there, waiting to break free.

We're a mess. We're broken, chaotic, beautiful; we're in love.

But not even love can slay our monsters. No, only we can do that.

Unless our monsters destroy us first.

TRIGGERS: Self-harm, depression, anxiety, mentions of past domestic violence. 

*While the sexual situations depicted in Beautiful Chaos are imperative to the characters' development throughout the course of the novel, readers are advised to peruse the "Dear Reader" letter at the beginning of the book to help them make an informed decision about whether this particular story will be to their tastes. This letter can be viewed in the downloadable sample or by using the "Look Inside" feature found on the title's product page.

Buy Links:


Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars


“I’m me.”


I was in need of a different read, my book funk was real, and a contemporary romance just wasn’t hitting the spot, and so I decided to read an M/M. Scouting Amazon for a read I came across this one and the blurb just called to me, and I’m so glad that I took that jump. This book was stunningly, heart-breakingly beautiful. These characters…I adored them, every beautiful, broken piece of them. These two will stay with me for a very long time.


“We’ve both survived. Now it’s time to live.”


Silas is an agoraphobic, his home his prison and the comings and goings of his neighbours a way of passing way too much time on his hands. Blighted by insomnia, Silas spent way too many hours being a voyeur, but more for the feeling of safety than being nosey and bored. Silas wasn’t always this way, after a traumatic event, the mental scars were everlasting even though the physical scars had healed.


“We weren’t people or animals, but two souls colliding among the stars, the eruption shooting all our pain and hurt outside our reach.”


Corey has just moved into the neighbourhood, a new start, because like Silas, he had been through the mill too. Corey has his own issues, ones that he is making strides in overcoming. But again, like Silas, the physical scars may remain, but it is the mental scars that leave their lasting mark that dictate the future he feels he deserves.

On paper, these two should never have worked, their issues too great, too deep-rooted, too all-consuming and yet something draws these beautiful souls together, and it all starts in the most adorable meet-cutes.


“The whole world was walking on shards, traipsing across the broken fragments of my life scattered all around me.”


I was championing these two along from the beginning, I wanted them to overcome their issues even though I knew deep down it was a tall order. This book covers some extremely sensitive subjects, and the authors dealt with them with sensitivity and care and so much emotion. My heart was decimated for the situation that these two found themselves in and yet the authors expertly give the reader that constant glimmer of hope that these two broken men could and would be each other's balm.


“You’re my home…the only one I’ve had in a long time.”


This was a stunning slow burn, one that forged that character connection deep into your heart and soul as the authors slowly leak out their pasts and their own tragedies. Neither man looking for love, but more acceptance and finding it with the one person that could understand them the most. Neither man wanting to ask for help and yet finding it with notes, video chats, kisses and more. I loved everything about this book. My heart full by the end and my tear ducts alleviated of a little saline. I will definitely be reading more by these two authors.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Release Day Review ~ The Dauntless (Spy Girl #5) by Jillian Dodd


Book Description:

From USA Today bestselling author Jillian Dodd comes the fifth book in a sizzling series filled with action and adventure. Fans of The Selection and The Hunger Games will discover a heart-pounding thrill ride of espionage and suspense set in glittering high society.

Huntley Von Allister’s cover is firmly in place. 
She’s brilliantly completed her first four missions. 
But she is done.
Done working for Black X.
Done trying to untangle the mystery of what got her mother killed. 
And very, very done with love. 

She’s given herself a simple mission—to recover the precious memories of her final days with her mother by visiting the places in the photos left behind. 
Well, that, and to discover who owns the emerald rings, like the one she found on Dupree. 
And completely destroy their secret society.

Buy Links:


Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***


“In most seafaring cultures, they say the captain should go down with his ship. I love my country, but I fear it’s sinking, and it will take me under.”


This series is so addictive, every time a new instalment comes out I am on it and read through at a rate of knots. As with all previous instalments, this book is action-packed, fast-paced, addictive and all-consuming and the attention to detail was phenomenal. The amount of research and effort is astonishing, and the reward is definitely for the reader to reap. Our amazing heroine goes rogue in this instalment as Huntley Von Allister gets closer and closer to getting the answers she desperately craves, but are the answers ones she wants to hear?

This series is now five books in, yet it doesn’t feel that way. This is a series that is worthy of a TV serial, and I would love to see it on screen. The possibilities are endless with a heroine such as Huntley. Huntley is a trained killing machine, but one thing she has been starved of is love and affection since the death of her parents. Huntley finds it hard to trust, rightly so, but the friendships that she makes throughout this series are ones to be cherished. Yet, it has got to that point where Huntley has to go back and assess everybody. Who can she really trust, who has their own agenda, who is really on her side?

The Dauntless picks up where The Valiant left off, and the cliffhanger is answered quickly, thank god. Huntley resumes the trail of breadcrumbs that she has been left, still finding trouble wherever she goes that is answered as only Huntley knows how. Like I said above, the attention to detail and research is second to none and this all adds up to deliver one incredibly addictive story that I just couldn’t let go. Reading as fast I could while still digesting every word my heart was running a mile a minute as Huntley navigates her way around something is more than just a game.


“I have been so honest with you, Huntley; I’m practically transparent.”


Huntley’s relationship with Lorenzo is still up in the air, and I continue to champion these two along despite the hurdles they have still yet to jump. With the action ramping up to another epic cliff-hanger, that I never saw coming, Jillian Dodd certainly knows how to keep the reader's attention rapt and hanging off every single word.


“Lorenzo is more. He brings more joy and beauty to my life. More love. More happiness. But with that, sadly, seems to come more rouble, more danger, more pain, and more heartbreak.”


I cannot wait for The Phoenix to be released and it literally cannot come quick enough. Jillian Dodd is the queen of cliffhangers in this series and while this one was relatively tame compared to the others, what was revealed, was definitely not. Jaw meet floor. Absolutely adored it, bring on the next one.