Tuesday 30 September 2014

Giveaway: Books That Need More Attention Hop

Hello readers!  I'm taking part in the Books That Need More Attention Giveaway Hop hosted by Valerie @Stuck in Books. See below or click HERE for a complete list of participating blogs. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.  I'll be giving away a $10 Giftcard to either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble OR a book worth $10 or less at The Book Depository, winner's choice. I was going through my TBR and here are a few that I loved that deserve more.  Sorry, I really couldn't pin down any YA books because I really haven't been reading much in that category.

(Click on covers for Goodreads link)

Fighting Fate (Granton University, #1)  Donners of the Dead

Fighting Fate (my review) by Linda Kage was an unlikely romance forged out of shared tragedy and grief.  It brought out so many emotions!

Donners of the Dead (my review) by Karina Halle was a scary interpretation of what happened to The Donner Party back in the 1800s.  It was thrilling and frightening, and included a fun antagonistic romance!  Definitely a read-in-one-sitting kind of book!

Last but not least is the Amour et Chocolat Series by Laura Florand.  If you haven't had the pleasure of reading, you are seriously missing out.  Laura Florand writes the most beautiful, sensual, enchanting romances you will ever find!

Amour et Chocolate Series:

The Chocolate Thief (Amour et Chocolat #1)  The Chocolate Kiss (Amour et Chocolat #2)  The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)  The Chocolate Touch  (Amour et Chocolat #4)  

The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5)  The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat, #6)

$10 Giftcard to either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble OR a book worth $10 or less at The Book Depository, winner's choice. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Click here for a list of countries.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Showcase Sunday #59

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.  

Hi all! We're back with another Showcase Sunday post for you. Rachel and I once again continued to add beautiful books to our massive tbr piles! I am definitely in need of a bigger bookshelf. Also being the impatient reader that I am, I have to order books from the US, because of course I can't wait another three weeks for a particular book (I'm talking about you Ashes to Ashes). But I have promised myself to become a better reader and actually try to read my books around the time that I get them, so I hope to get to all of these books pretty soon.

Jasprit's Haul:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)


Thank you Harper Teen

How gorgeous does the cover to My True Love Gave to Me look? It's really got me all excited for Christmas, of course I bought a Christmas themed Yankee candle too, so I'm thinking that as soon as it starts getting darker, I may have to read this book, with my Yankee candle on too *bliss*. I was super excited to see that my library had started getting in books by Jill Shalvis, I had heard amazing things about her Lucky Harbor series, so reserved a few from the library, and I bought Simply Irresistible from Amazon for just 99p! I am so in the mood for something light, fluffy and fun.

Over to Rachel and her haul

Rachel's Haul:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

Every Breath Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4) Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy, #2) Her Winning Formula (Hot & Nerdy, #3)
Glory in Death (In Death, #2) Wolf Haven

Thank you to Tundra Books, Signet, Kensington, and Harlequin!

I finished Glory in Death and while the mystery wasn't quite as good as the first one, I still really enjoyed it. Will be continuing this series for sure! I jumped at the chance to read Every Breath when I found out it's a YA mystery by an Aussie writer!  I've had great success with Aussie books and this sounds like a good one!  

Which exciting books did you receive this week? Leave us a link in the comments and we shall be over soon to check them out

Friday 26 September 2014

Review: Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder

Her Best Shot ( Hot & Nerdy#1) by Shannyn Schroeder
Publisher: eKensington
Publication date: September 29nd 2014
My rating:  3.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…

Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?

My Thoughts:
I’m a big fan of the novella done right because as a romance junkie it provides me a quick fix. But novellas can be tricky because the author has a short amount of time to capture the reader’s heart and mind, and do it successfully. Her Best Shot accomplished that in just 130 pages!

Layla is on her way to spring break to celebrate landing a job and finishing school.  When her car breaks down in a small Atlanta town her plans are derailed.  Passing the time while she waits to get the verdict on her car, she goes into a bar for a drink.  Immediately Layla’s drawn to a pool player as he wins game after game, dazzling her with his talent as well as his looks. 

Phin is mesmerized by the smart, determined and super sexy, Layla. They connect so well and have an amazing time together, and instead of looking at pool as a way to earn some extra cash, he truly has fun playing the game with Layla.  At the bar they dance around their attraction with flirty glances, intentional brushes, and then a searing kiss, won by a bet, ignites their fiery attraction. When all of Layla’s belongings are stolen Phin offers up his place as a crash pad until she gets everything sorted.  Being alone, in close quarters they have nothing holding them back and they give in to the lust that had been building.

She dug her fingers into his shoulder. “What are you doing?”
“Taking you to bed.”

Yes, please!

Feeling scared at the prospect of finishing school and being pinned in by a 9 to 5 job, Layla is enticed to leave it all for this sexy pool player.  His carefree life appeals to her, he seems to take jobs at wherever he chases down the next pool tournament and this suddenly sounds like an attractive option to Layla.  Little does she know that Phin left his family and Gypsy way of life, drifting and conning, for everything Layla is now trying to run from.  He’s been saving his money to settle down somewhere permanent.  Panic clouds Phin’s judgment; he doesn’t want Layla to regret her spur of the moment choice.  Can these two get on the same page and make more of their brief time and intense physical and emotional connection?

I was definitely rooting for Layla and Phin’s romance in spite of them just meeting and falling in such a short time. I felt they had a real connection that could be built on and survive for the long haul, enough for a HEA.  I was a little disappointed with Phin over his reaction to Layla’s plans, but I quickly got over it; especially because it forced Layla to face her future instead of throwing all her education and hard work away.  Yes, he went about things a bit stupidly but I admired his determination to fix things and win Layla’s heart for good.

If you’re in the mood for a short, HOT, and fulfilling romance Her Best Shot is the book for you.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out this is a series with the next book focusing on one of Layla’s college friends, Charlie in Her Perfect Game.  

Connect with Shannyn Schroeder:

Thursday 25 September 2014

Review: Shimmer by Paula Weston

Shimmer by Paula Weston
Publisher: Indigo
Publication date: July 3rd 2014
My rating: 5 stars 

Wow just wow. What have I just read? After reading Shadows and Haze I knew that Paula Weston could write a suspenseful read, but with Shimmer, she just took it up a whole another notch.

Once again I was dying to get some answers in Shimmer, we had been left on tenterhooks since Shadows and also the way that Haze had ended I was taking deep breaths waiting for good news to come through. In the previous books Pan Beach was the centre setting, but I’m glad that Weston decided to base the novel largely in the Sanctuary. There were so many fantastic characters from there that I was glad that we were given this opportunity to get to know them a whole lot better. I was also hugely grateful for the key at the beginning of the book explaining who was who, because I was able to go straight into this book with a little refresher of these characters. Rafa and Gaby have always been two of my favourite characters since Shadows, but as we were given this opportunity to spend a lot more time with several other characters, I definitely found myself wishing that I had friends such as these in real life. Also Weston did a great job of changing my feelings about how I felt about some of these characters. Before as we were only given snippets from certain characters I was quick to make judgements about them, but I’m glad that some characters did come through for me in this book.

Despite me constantly yearning for something to happen (highlight to view spoiler) Rafa to be safe and make a quick return with this smirky grin. There was certainly a lot thrown our way that we had to get our head and heart around. Of course there were the frustrating characters which kept getting in the way who wouldn’t listen to what the correct path to take was, that I really wanted to punch them several times to knock some sense into them. But once we got past this I loved the tense moments which were thrown our way, how people had to put behind them old grudges to try and work together. The battles that Weston put in were epic, the amount o detail and heart pounding scenes made me feel like I was a close spectator during the whole thing. Also the things with these battles you never knew which way things would go, something could just pop up out of the blue and throw everything upon its head.

Weston was able to mix this story up well with some fantastic thrilling scenes and also some great swoon. All I’m going to say about this is sandalwood, cinnamon and honey ;)

Ever since I devoured Shadows in 2012, I have been recommending this series to everyone I know. This series has so much uniqueness to offer that a lot of books in this genre aren’t able to. Plus with so many series books being published  I usually expect a few did dud books along the way, but this isn’t the case here with this series, I can honestly say that each book has got better and better. I can’t wait to get my hands on Burn, to be with these memorable characters once more, especially after that jaw dropping ending!


Wednesday 24 September 2014

Cover Fever #12: The Diviners by Libba Bray


Rachel and I share another Cover Fever post with you today. Today we look at a book we both loved The Diviners by Libba Bray, (we both wish that April would get here sooner, so that we could read Lair of Dreams!). Rachel and I will weigh in with our choice, but we'd love to hear your opinion, too!  Let us know what you think in the comments below

         US Hardcover                            UK Paperback (2013)

US Paperback                                   Australian Cover

As usual the US Cover is my least favorite of the bunch, but surprisingly the Australian cover doesn't really knock my socks of either.  Usually I'm drooling over Aussie covers! I absolutely LOVE the UK Paperback cover because it completely fits the story. A mystery set in the the roaring '20's this cover has a beautiful Art Deco look synonymous with that time period along with a flapper girl, front and center!

Rachel's Verdict:
Hands down, UK Paperback.

This book has undergone so many different cover changes in the last two years, I honestly can't keep up. When I got a copy of this book I actually received the UK hardback edition which you can view here and it is a pretty stunning cover, depicting the story really well. Bu then when I saw the 2013 UK paperback edition I fell in love, the design is gorgeous, I love the colours that they've gone with. If I had the choice now I would definitely go with this cover now. The Australian cover is pretty neat too, it gives off a great air of mystery and the vibe that there's something dark and dangerous about the book. Although the US hardcover is pretty neat, I think it fails in comparison to the UK paperback and Australian edition. I have no idea what they were thinking with the US paperback, I know they were trying to capture the 1920's vibe, but I'm not feeling the people they've used on the cover or the style they've gone with at all.  

Jasprit's Final Verdict:
UK Paperback for sure!

Which of these covers would you like to have on your shelves?

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Review: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb
Narrated by: Susan Eriksen
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 Hours 19 Minutes
Audiobook Publication date: May 20th 2008
My rating: 4.5 stars 


Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all — and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire — and suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about — except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

My Thoughts:
Naked in Death was a thrilling mystery with excellent pacing, exciting twists and turns, and a sizzling romance!

Eve Dallas is a Lieutenant in a futuristic New York City Police Department and has just caught the murder case of high-priced paid companion, Sharon DeBlass. The murder is brutal and bloody, and “one of six” so unless the police can stop this lunatic, more women will die. Eve has been handpicked as the lead investigator by her Commander for her impeccable detecting skills. The victim is high profile, coming from a family of wealth and prominence.  Sharon’s choice of profession was not out of need but out of preference, and the source of embarrassment to her family.

There’s a long list of suspects and topping that list is the charismatic, wealthy, and famous businessman, Roarke.  Right away there is a fierce hum of attraction vibrating between Eve and Roarke.  Roarke would never purposefully be attracted to a cop, but he can’t help it with her.   

“It stunned him how much he could want her still, baffled him that she could be blind to how helpless he was under the clawing need for her. It infuriated him that she could, simply by existing, be his weakness.”

He’s taken with Eve and her intense, focused, complicated personality. Roarke sees the darkness floating just under the surface with Eve and it draws him in even more. Eve knows allowing anything to happen with Roarke could be career suicide, but he’s a force to be reckoned with.

This is my first experience reading J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, and I have to say I’m impressed! I love mysteries and if they have some romance so much the better.  Both the mystery and the romance were just to my liking! I had suspicions about the murderer, and it ended up being what I thought, but that’s not to say that Ms. Robb didn’t make me doubt and question my suspicions, and I loved being caught off guard! The investigation had a steady stream of revelations, and a suspenseful ending that kept me riveted to the pages!

A BIG part of the appeal to the story was the romance (of course!) between Eve and Roarke. I’ve heard plenty of swooning over Roarke, and I’m now one of the legions of fans swooning and drooling!  But Eve was just as magnetic in her personality and I was just as enamored with her.  She was intelligent, strong, capable, and yet far from perfect.  And yet those flaws made her relatable and sympathetic.  Eve’s sad history is revealed and it made me sick, so it was easy to understand why she’s hesitant to let Roarke close. I’m happy, though, that Eve wasn’t completely ruled by her past, and did let Roarke burrow in. With Roarke Eve experiences pleasure she’s never had or allowed before, and it’s hot and lusty!  But it was more than just the physical Eve found appealing with him.  Having someone to rely on, confide in, and bounce ideas off is a comfort she’s never had.

Naked in Death is mystery and romance at its finest!  I’ve already started the next in the series, Glory in Death, and I just know I’ll be burning through the books quickly, it’s that addictive! I switched off between the audio version and an e-Copy because the story sucked me in so, but I’d definitely recommend the audio version. Susan Ericksen as narrator brings Roarke and Eve’s big personalities to life.  Roarke’s Irish accent is subtle and perfect, enhancing the overall experience.

I must give a shout out of thanks to Livvy @The Absent Historian for the recommend! 

Monday 22 September 2014

Read Pink 2014 Spotlight

I'm (Rachel) excited to feature Penguin Random House's Spotlight for Read Pink® because breast cancer is a disease that has touched so many lives including my own.

Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000
in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Beatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers
“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

Karen White, The Time Between
“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!”

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes
“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren't there yet. There's a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes