Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 14th February 2013.
My rating: 3 stars
The Stag and Hen Weekend is the story of Phil and Helen, a couple in their thirties about to commit their lives to one another . . . that is of course if they can just manage to get through their respective stag and hen weekends (his: Amsterdam; hers: a country house and day spa in the Peak District) without falling apart. Told in the unique form of two separate stories that have common characters as well as themes and conclusion, The Stag and Hen Weekend can be read from front to back or from back to front putting the reader in the driver's seat as to which story they wish to read first.
The Stag and Hen is two separate stories told from Phil and Helen on their stag and hen weekends away. I randomly started with Phil’s stag, he and the lads decided to go away to Amsterdam. Phil and Helen had been together for nine years, so Phil knew for a long time coming that Helen was the one for him. I had a hard time connecting with Phil’s story, maybe because he was an older character than what I usually read my pov’s from. But it was fun getting into the lads mind set and watching them having a good time. The only thing that didn’t work for me was how all of Phil’s mates didn’t really give encouraging messages to Phil to get married. He was getting married next week and all of his friends had stories where they just got married for the sake of it or their partner didn’t want to get married, way to put self-doubt in the grooms head a week before his big nuptials. Then as more self-doubts started trickling in, Phil decided making erratic decisions and listening to random strangers instead of his gut instinct about his feeling towards Helen. Phil’s story started off as good fun between a group of lads but unfortunately trailed into several unwanted secrets being discovered and the groom getting cold feet.
Now with Helen’s story I much preferred, after what had gone on in Phil’s story I was eager to know whether the assumptions Phil had made were true or not. With Helen also I felt I could connect more with her character and understand the situation she was going through. Helen’s weekend in comparison was also a lot more fun, she had attitude from future sister in law and an ex-boyfriend confusing her feelings to deal with. Both Phil and Helen had individual important decisions to deal with which could affect their future in a big way. With both characters I thought I knew the decisions they would make, but both stories were left wide open with me having no clue what they would do.
Despite some issues, The Stag & Hen weekend was a decent rainy day comfort read.
On Every Street by Karina Halle
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Publication date: March 9th 2013
My rating: 4 stars
When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she's set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.
The fact that I was up until 1:30am finishing this novella off gave me the biggest insight into why so many other readers are currently encumoured by this series. I’m always a little wary to jump on the current book bandwagon, as I always end up being in the minority of readers who end up being burned. But from just reading the On Every Street novella, I knew it was exactly what I needed.
Ellie White is hell bent on revenge, ever since her parents used her as bait and ruined her life, she wants to get back at those who did this to her. Travis however is not an easy man to crack, he’s wealthy and dangerous, and so it will be tough getting close to him. Ellie knows the only way to do so is by getting close to somebody near him and that’s where Javier Bernal comes in *sigh*. Ellie’s sole goal was to take up another identity, get inside close enough to Travis, get her revenge and get back out. She knew it could be a long job, but she didn’t expect to fall for Javier in the process. But how could she not resist? He was charming, suave and made her feel protected like no other man could. Honestly this man’s smooth lines even made me dizzy. Ellie knew she was toying with a dangerous line; her feelings for Javier were getting more and more confused, until she no longer knew why she was there in the first place.
Ellie and Javier’s relationship was a toxic one at most, but it was also so addictive. Both kept secrets from one another that could blow up in each other’s faces at any moment. And even though Ellie knew Javier’s life was dangerous, she still couldn’t get enough. How Ellie kept sane in this relationship I have no clue, especially with how close she came to meeting Travis. Despite their relationship starting on false pretences on both sides, I loved the relationship between Ellie and Javier, like I mentioned previously it was magnetic and at some points totally scary, but with Javier Bernal around; I couldn’t get enough. I was somewhat disappointed with the turn of events in the last part of this book. But I can’t wait to see how the story will unfold in Sins & Needles, where I hope there will be tons more of Javier. But I’ve also heard there’s a new guy on the block called Camden, so I’m positive there will be plenty of fun and danger to look forward to!