Monday, 15 September 2014

Short & Tweet Reviews: Highland Surrender & Blank Slate

I've been meaning to try this method of review since seeing it done by Mary@The Book Swarm and Andrea@The Bookish Babe.  I going with Karen's @For What It's Worth title of Short & Tweet Review because there is just no way I can keep my words to a 140 characters! Lol!

Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan
Narrated by: Sarah Coombs
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 12 Hours 27 Minutes
Audiobook Publication date: December 4th 2012
My rating: 4 stars 
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon | B&N

My Thoughts:

A forced marriage between two opposing clans.  Misinformation and lies make for an adversarial relationship to start.  As the truth comes to light and Myles and Fiona get to know (yum!!) each other, the marriage becomes very dear to both. Political intrigue, danger, and revelations make for an exciting read!

I highly recommend the audio version! Accents are lovely and the performance enhances this wonderful story. Steal of a deal!: If you buy the Kindle version for $2.49 you can add the audio for an additional $1.99!! 

Blank Slate by Tiffany Snow
Narrated by: Tanya Ebe
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 Hours 3 Minutes
Audiobook Publication date: October 14th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars 

Goodreads | Audible | Amazon | B&N

My Thoughts:
A fun, quick audiobook. Clarissa is a very wanted computer hacker/thief, but loses her memory completely! Classic opposites attract with Erik being an FBI agent and Clarissa being a thief. Lots of snarky banter and a few sizzling scenes.  Non-stop action at every turn and I loved that Clarissa was a bad-ass!  The narration was pretty good, too. Clarissa's accent wasn't heavily overdone, just right. Another steal of a deal: If you buy the Kindle version for $3.99 you can add the audio for $1.99! 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #58

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.  

Hey all. I hope you had a great couple of weeks. I'm finally back from London and my cousin's wedding. I was there for two weeks and things were pretty hectic, but now that I'm back home I'm feeling all down, especially now that my cousin's have gone back to Canada too. But  I'm looking forward to getting back to reading and commenting on blogs. Here's some of the books I have to look forward to!

(Click on title for Goodreads link)


The Chapel Wars and Chaos had been my highly anticipated reads for sometime now, so I was thrilled to finally get copies of both of these books. I hope that Chaos doesn't totally leave me all over the place like Fractured did. And I've been reading so many praising reviews for Famous in Love and Rites of Passage, so I'm hoping that I end up loving both as well. Over to Rachel and her haul,

Rachel's Haul:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)
Into the Darkest Corner Loving Him Off the Field (The Santa Fe Bobcats, #2) Until You Find Me: A Novel Naked in Death (In Death, #1) Mean Streak Red Blooded (Jessica McClain, #4) Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7) I Saw Her Standing There (Green Mountain, #3)
  Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2) Venom (Elemental Assassin, #3) The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires (Half Moon Hollow, #1) The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1)
Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)  Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2)

Well it's been a while since the last time we did a Showcase Sunday and therefore I have a TON of books!! I've left some out just to spare you a bit. But anyhow, I got a lot for review and sort of went a little crazy with an Audible Sale which is going on until September 18th.  The last six book are from the Audible sale at $4.95 a piece. I may pop over again and get some more.  Somebody really needs to reign me in!!  I'm currently reading and listening to Naked in Death and loving it!! Livvy @ The Absent Historian recommended it some time ago and I'm finally just now getting to it.  I got the e-Copy and audio version to switch back and forth. Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings turned me onto Into the Darkest Corner.  It sounds riveting and chilling and I can't wait!

What did you get in your haul? Link us up and either Jasprit or I will come and check it out!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor

Worth the Fall (The McKinney Brothers #1) 
by Claudia Connor
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Publication date: September 9th 2014
My rating:  4.5 stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from other Loveswept titles.

My Thoughts:
When I read that Worth the Fall was a romance between a Navy SEAL and a pregnant mother of four, I was like…What?!! How can that possibly work or be believable? Well it more than worked because this story MELTED my heart! Just sooo lovely!

Matt McKinney is spending some time at the beach while on leave when Abby, captures his attention. She’s beautiful, pregnant and alone with four small kids, and the way she cares for her children draws Matt in like a beacon.  He wonders what kind of idiot of a man would allow his wife go on vacation alone and miss out on all the love they obviously provide.  Soon he’s caught up with the kids, drawn into games of catch, making sandcastles, and coming to the rescue in the inevitable crisis a brood of young, energetic children encounter *queue swoony sigh here*.  As the week goes on it becomes more and more apparent that Matt won’t be able to just walk away and say goodbye.  Every minute he spends with Abby makes him fall a little more, and by the end of the week he’s a complete goner.  But Matt has his career and a promise to a fallen friend to consider, and he doesn’t want to hurt Abby and her kids. 

Abby is alone on vacation with her children, but she’s used to being alone, even before she lost her husband.  Having everyone who promised their love eventually leave her has left emotional scars making it hard to let anyone close. Matt is gorgeous with a heart of gold to match, so Abby can’t imagine why he would spend his time with her instead of finding someone with less baggage.  But she can’t stop herself from allowing him in bit by bit, especially when he seems to care so much for her kids. Plus, he sends her hormones into overdrive every time he gets near.  The chemistry they have is palpable! However, Abby doesn’t want to fool herself into thinking this will go on any further after their time is up at the beach.  Placing hope in others has led to nothing but grief and disappointment in the past, so she carefully guards her heart, and who could blame her?

Matt and Abby’s romance was a slow burn and a pure pleasure to experience.  Realizing quickly the abandonment issues Abby had, Matt was so careful with her heart.  My heart squeezed and clenched at all the sadness she had to endure growing up.  To let her guard down and let Matt in is a gradual process, but thankfully Matt is patient and determined.

As if that wasn’t enough, Matt’s interactions with the kids were so adorable, and I found it impossible not to fall hard for him! The kids were amazing, and so very cute, each and every one of them! From Jack, eager to learn how to catch football, to three year-old Gracie, Matt’s “ladybug” with all her curls and dimples, to two year-old Charlie glued to Matt like a tick.  I laughed and smiled as they progressed closer and closer to becoming a solid family unit. 

Matt had some struggles with what he saw as his duty, and how to make things work with Abby while staying true to those obligations.  There were some bumps in the road because of that.  My one issue that kept Worth the Fall from being a perfect read was the last minute drama. It didn’t go on for very long at all, BUT it was a punch to the gut. If it would’ve happened a little earlier I wouldn’t have minded so much, because it would’ve been over and taken care of instead of marring my pleasure over Matt and Abby’s happiness.  But like I said, it didn’t last very long and my heart was once again soaring in bliss for them by the end.

I was thoroughly impressed with Claudia Connor’s moving debut! It was heart-wrenching and beautiful!  I can’t wait to read the next McKinney brother’s story, Worth the Risk, and I hope I get glimpses of Matt, Abby and the kids in the next one, because I don’t want to say goodbye!

Connect with Claudia Connor:

Monday, 8 September 2014

Review: Broken by Lauren Layne

Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne
Publisher: Random House Flirt
Publication date: September 2nd 2014
My rating:  4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

My Thoughts:
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne because she shines in writing witty, chemistry laden romances guaranteed to tug at your heart!  I loved the first in this series, Isn’t She Lovely, so I was thrilled to have Olivia’s story. Even though she was technically the cheating girlfriend (not as bad as it sounds, I promise) I felt bad for her.

Olivia is trying to escape and redeem herself for a mistake that cost her longtime boyfriend.  Taking a job as a caretaker for an injured veteran satisfies her need for penance and to get away from all her friends, but Olivia doesn’t really know what she’s gotten herself into.  Thinking she’ll be caring for an old injured man, she’s shocked when she finds out that she’s the paid companion to a hostile man just a few years older than her.  Paul has horrible jagged facial scars on one side of his face and an injured leg, but that doesn’t hide the fact that he is gorgeous, and in spite of his horrible attitude Olivia is intensely attracted to him.

Paul is an ex-soldier suffering from a major dose of survivor’s guilt.  His only purpose in the world at this point is to provide for a fallen teammate’s spouse and sick daughter. So when Paul’s father makes sticking with his new caretaker/companion for three months a requirement for keeping his payments and house, he has to make nice with Olivia instead of scaring her off like he’s done with all the others.  He’s a smidge less hostile to Olivia.  And I do mean just a smidge!

Paul is “rude, angry and generally unpleasant” but even so there is combustible sexual tension between these two!  He had no idea Olivia would be around his age and beautiful.  She’s exactly the type of girl he’d date before his injury and facial scars, and it unsettles him. Plus, Olivia gives as good as she gets and doesn’t tip toe around Paul with pity.  She was blunt and rude right back, and it stunned him, spurred him onto rising to her challenges, and making positive changes.  Soon Paul is coming back to the land of the living while falling a little more for Olivia every day.  But he’s afraid once her time is up and once she realizes she could do better than a washed up, scarred vet, he’ll be alone, and the difference is, this time he cares.

Paul was moody, broody and sometimes downright cruel in his treatment of Olivia! He’d act like a petulant child and one of his tantrums was a completely disproportionate, over-the-top reaction to Olivia’s supposed transgression.  I wanted to knee him, good and hard for Olivia a couple of times! But then I thought about being in his head.  Paul was depressed and angry, and he had pretty much cut himself off from socialization, so some of his reactions were not coming from a mentally well-adjusted person.  Olivia is the first person he was actually opening up to in a very long time, so I could understand how a relatively small matter would come off as a huge betrayal to Paul. Thankfully, Olivia recognizes this to some degree and cuts him a break. 

Olivia and Paul’s interactions were the: “I hate you, I hate you, but really I want to tear your clothes off and ravage you!” type.  Paul’s rough, gruff and uncivilized manner was completely tantalizing to Olivia!  That dark and dangerous vibe he broadcasted was completely sexy! 

I lick my lips nervously, noting the way his eyes follow the motion of my tongue, and I finally accept that in spite of myself—in spite of the fear—I’m ridiculously attracted to him. Attracted in a fierce, animalistic way that I’ve never felt ever.

And Olivia’s irreverent rebuttals draw Paul in like a magnet! They couldn’t seem to keep their lips or hands off each other! Oh my!

Lauren Layne once again impresses with Broken. Paul and Olivia’s romance was filled with passion and heart, and was a pure pleasure to experience!

Connect with Lauren Layne:

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