The Christmas Bake Off Kindle Edition by Abby Clements

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Helllllo readers, I’m not usually one for Christmas stories but as I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit a little earlier especially with all the Christmas markets I’ve been visiting I thought a festive read would be fitting. This year I’ll have (hopefully) done Birmingham twice and also Manchester and both I am sure will be wonderful. It’s a shame this year I’m not going with my parents but the weekends just haven’t added up but I thought today I would read and review for you a super short but super sweet Christmas story. Enjoy!

With Christmas just around the corner, the residents of Skipley village are gearing up for the annual bake off, and tensions are high. Winning means a lot to everyone involved – talented cake-shop owner Katie dreams of baking stardom, Rachel wants to prove she’s more than a stay-at-home mum, and John hopes his culinary skills will impress the woman he loves.

But when the judges discover that some cakes have been tampered with, the villagers’ loyalties are called into question – whose ambition would stretch to sabotage, and why? The Christmas Bake Off is an exclusive short story from Abby Clements, author of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. This ebook edition also includes bonus recipes for cinnamon cookies and vanilla and almond biscuits.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows a baking competition in a lovely little English village. Among the competitors are Katie who wants to make herself known more professionally in the baking world and Rachel who desperately wants to prove she’s more than ‘just a home baker.’ Baking a gingerbread house desperate to impress the judges – there’s a problem. Sabotage? Who will be the winner? Who has tried to stop the competition winning? All will be revealed in this ‘christmassy’ baking read.

Did I enjoy this festive tale? Yes, don’t get me wrong it is incredibly short – you could plow through this on a lunch-break or a longer bus journey but it does pack a festive punch. The characters although lacking in-depth come across strongly and have lovingly created personalities. Although the plot does use the sabotage of the cakes to bring drama it is all very light-hearted and sweet. The bake-off, rural village was played up to make this a really sweet read and I did feel incredibly festive reading it.

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I did think that there could have been deeper insights into the characters. The book is very, very (very) short and a couple of extra chapters that could have introduced a sub-plot would have helped to fill out the book a little more. The recipe at the back is a welcome addition and I cannot wait to give them a try and bake some Christmas goodies but the book didn’t quite deliver for me in terms of enjoyment. There is a smidgen of romance between two of the bakers which could have been developed but wasn’t quite enough for me to really invest myself in.

Overall this is the perfect lunch-break read when you just need a minute away from the computer, or curled up on the sofa with a hot-chocolate after a long day at work. It’s a sweet read, with a sweet ending. I found myself wanting more from this due to its short length, but for a couple of pennies on Amazon it’s definitely worth a read.

Linnnnks

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Dwarves in Space by S. E. Zbasnik

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Helllllo readers it’s Saturday which is kind of awesome and I have a really interesting review for you today that will definitely brighten a few faces. One of the things I adore about running a book blog is the variety of books I have the chance to get my hands on – it’s not every day I pick up a book about dwarves in space but maybe I should. I recently went to a bookshop and had no idea what I wanted to read; with MLBB I kind of just read anything and everything which is perfect really. Enough of the babble and onto the review.

Thousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans.

The Elation-Cru is not the flashiest ship, nor the newest, or even has all of its bolts attached; but she can fly. Well, sort of wade through space, and that’s when all the parts are working. She supports a sugar addicted dwarven pilot, an elven engineer, an orcish doctor, a silent djinn, and the lone human trying to hold the entire thing together with duct tape. Variel, the captain, has been hiding from a secret for the past five years and time’s finally run out.

When she goes against her common sense and fights to save her onboard assassin/renter from a job gone sour, she finds herself before an ex-colleague that knew her in her previous life as the Knight of the realm. The entire ship is sent on a mad dash across the universe — from a decaying space station, home to the wackiest species the galaxy has to offer, down to the Orc homeworld, which wouldn’t be so bad if Variel hadn’t spent most of her previous life fighting in the war against them. Chances of survival are nil and slipping fast.

I’m not going to comment hugely on the  blurb because I want to just go straight into pulling this apart and looking at all the great things this book manages to do. I don’t normally like fantasy/science fiction books they’re just not for me, but, I enjoyed reading this. The plot although a little heavy was interesting and dotted with exciting events, battles, relationship struggles and there are dwarves in space so – good. I thought the characters were built up well and given strong character straights – I personally found Ferra a really interesting and intriguing character and I liked watching them all develop and their relationships grow throughout the tale. They come across very human (if that makes any sense?) You can imagine them each distinctly.

I liked that this is a real mixture of genres; sci-fi, romance and humour and it’s a brilliant mix as for a reader like me I found the balance made this easier to enjoy. Also in terms of the romance it’s not your cupcake sweet romance but one that builds naturally and develops as the book continues – it feels like a grown-up romance rather than something manufactured for the science fiction genre which I have seen numerous times before (ie space junk) and that made me very happy. There is a lot of action too if you were wondering; it’s punchy, written with guts and isn’t too flouncy which worked. You can get too much emotion and back-thought but here it’s just in your face attacks. It also works with the story line that’s occurring it’s not added for the sake of adding it so thumbs up.

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There is a big wobble though and it’s aggravating but the writing style is quite difficult to get used to and to a point understand. Some of the more complex passages I had to read through a number of times to understand what the author was trying to tell me and at times I just had to move on hoping I hadn’t missed something vitally important. It’s just too boggy at times. I thought that the writing improved as I continued but there were a couple of times I thought of just giving in and calling it a DNF. I’m glad I didn’t but if I was in a less determined mood I might have done  which means others may.

Would I recommend this? For the humour the intriguing characters and the style of the story I would yes, but there are parts that are a little tricky to get through and if you make it through the first slightly painful chapters it does get a lot better as the author finds her feet. An interesting read and one that I enjoyed but I thought had more potential.

Linnnnnks

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A Single Step: Book 1 of The Grayson Trilogy by Georgia Rose

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Hellllllo readers, hope you’ve had a wonderfully bookish day; I’ve got a really lovely review for you today I really think you’ll enjoy. Although I get to review some really fantastic books every so often one appears and it’s just, well, perfect for me as a reader and that has to be the best thing about book blogging; finding books I never would have done before. Today I get to share one of these with you; without delay the review.

Meet Emma Grayson, heroine of The Grayson Trilogy, a series of mysterious and romantic adventure stories.

‘The gun continued to be levelled at me. “Answer it…but don’t tell him I’m here or he’ll get to listen to you die.” That concentrated my mind considerably, and as I reached for my phone I came up with a plan…’

Emma Grayson was left devastated when her life was torn apart by tragedy and betrayal. Now someone believes it’s time for her to start again and puts an advert for a job through her door which leads her to the Melton Estate. Despite her desire for a solitary existence she finds herself discovering a life she could never have imagined, challenging her independence, her fears and her resistance to love.

As the blurb suggest Emma Grayson really needs a new start after a terribly raw personal event and in the midst of it all she manages to secure a job with Lord Cavendish of Melton Manor Estate working in the stables and taking care of the horses. Although Emma is desperate to keep herself to herself she finds herself becoming more and more involved with the tight-knit community found at the estate. Throw in the rather wonderful Trent who keeps getting in the way and sparks begin to fly. We follow Emma as she attempts to right herself and recover whilst also getting experience the hustle and bustle of the estate.

The tale is told on first person narrative which from the very beginning allows us to really relate and connect with Emma especially in the first few chapters where we are reliving the tragedy. I found myself immediately warming to Emma despite her colder attitude towards people. She is both a little stubborn and on edge but I found her growth throughout the book delightful to read about. Trent is just as well written; a bit aloof and full of himself but he has a warm persona that I adored reading about. Supporting characters could have featured more strongly in terms of characterisation but this may be built throughout the series.

In terms of writing the description of the surrounding landscape really helped to bring the tale to life and although there is a lot of detail about the stable work it didn’t overwhelm (I am honestly terrified of horses but I didn’t feel it was too much of a feature.) I thought the mystery about the manor intriguing and the trips Trent makes with Lord Cavendish helped to raise the suspense making the read all the more exciting.

There were a couple of wobbles for me; I couldn’t quite decide what the genre of the book was. This is often not a problem but it felt a little disjointed; mystery, romance? There is also a lot of the facts of Emma’s past thrown into the beginning of the story and although it’s good to learn so much I think it did cause the book to drag a little. I think dispersing it throughout would have helped with the suspense a little more and also push the story forward. This is also causes a bit of confusion when we start learning more about Trent’s back story and it feels a little clumsy.

However, this a lovely story to get you mitts on and throw yourself into. There are a few problems but that doesn’t distract from the wonderful writing style the deeply raw character back-stories and the strong plot-line. There are so many special moments and a real understanding of the story of life on the estate the caring for horses. The plot rises and falls and builds strongly rather than haphazardly and that really does bring about a really special story.

 Linnnnnks

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Diary of a Size 12 by Sophie Quinn

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Hellllllo readers, bit of a sad review today because it’s a DNF book or a ‘did not finish book,’ in non-bookblogger lingo. It’s one of those horrible things when you’re reading a book and you just think I would rather be reading anything, anything other than this. As with many bloggers it takes a lot for me to brand a book DNF but here it had to be: without delay le review.

When Georgia McAllister – self-named fashion goddess, store-branded size twelve – applied for a new job as a CEO’s secretary, she was far from imagining she’d just taken the very first step towards her dreams. It’s definitely not easy to start a new career at thirty – could that even be called a career, by then?

Either way, she got it and she wasn’t letting it go, not even for the latest Chanel clutch she’d been keeping her eye on for months. But she might have to, if she doesn’t gather the strength to deal with Mr. OCD, Mr. All-kinds-of-rude-and-cold, Mr. CEO, Julian von Hauser

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As the blurb suggests the book follows Sophie as she applies to become the secretary for a very well to do fashion magazine. From the very first sentence Sophie and Julian find it difficult to stay on the same page and argue throughout. Struggling with OCD Julian argues with Sophie’s often not so perfect or professional approach to her new job whilst Sophie can’t quite put her finger on whether she likes or loathes her new boss: can’t see where this is going, can you?

That’s a very quick plot-line to sum up, but this book was awful, awfully awful. I tried to read this numerous times because I thought you can’t give up on chapter three but I seriously couldn’t see this through. Firstly the characters are exhausting; Sophie could be summed up in the word oxymoron; one minute she is telling Julian to stuff his job where the sun doesn’t shine and then she’s basking in the attention of a fashion designer. She’s exhausting, whiny and her speech is drivel.

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In terms of their relationship which I have to admit I saw very little of, there is a minute where poor Julian is having a panic attack in a lift and Sophie decides to tell him at that moment that she’s decided he has OCD and that this panic attack is utterly normal. What? What? It’s so bad it’s just aggravating. Additionally I wouldn’t be utterly surprised if I found out that the author didn’t read a single sentence back before uploading this; not only were there grammatical errors on every single page the author tended to add her own words like – screwerer? or millimetricaly?

I’ll bring this review to an end soon but I thought there was definite promise here in terms of the ideas; the use of the size 12 and the idea of Julian needing Sophie and their relationship blossoming despite this (I assume) but there were too many issues. Character’s that didn’t deliver, a lack of understanding of spelling, grammar and the totally lack of care when writing about OCD and panic attacks was difficult to read. I couldn’t finish this and I won’t be trying again.

Linnnnnks

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The Morning After Memoirs by Kate Michaels

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Helllllo readers, hope you’re well. I’m currently going through a quarter-life crisis which my best friend Dan says it utterly normal; he’s on his second. I feel like a real-life Bridget Jones I have no idea what I’m doing in my life or what I want to do or anything. Gah, I feel like a cliché but how do people get to stages in their lives where they know what they’re doing? Or do you just never get there. I loved this book but it fell a little close to home, either way a brilliant book to read over a glass of wine or two.

A smart, irreverent slant on modern dating, Kate Michaels’ sexy, laugh-out-loud debut reimagines the world of Sex And The City with the biting realism of Lena Dunham’s Girls.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess wakes up on New Year’s Day a touch hungover and a whole lot confused. The man in bed next to her is not her boyfriend, Ben. In fact, she doesn’t even remember Not-Ben’s name. It won’t be the first time she finds herself in a questionable situation in a year that proves her new single-in-the-city lifestyle is far from the glamorous, Sex And The City world she’s been promised on TV. Between hacking through last year’s leg hair, accidentally snogging someone who may well be her cousin, getting hit over the head with a sex toy that isn’t even hers, and ending the night with a walk of shame into her parent’s garage, Jess’s single life is turning out more cockroaches than cocktails.

The Morning After Memoirs is the story of one woman’s search for love, meaning, and a low-calorie alternative to wine. The Morning After Memoirs is a story essentially about Jess and her drunken antics.

I thought this book was a hell of a lot of fun – it’s one of those books that you can just dive into, have a good giggle over and relate so easily to the humour and the comedy feels. As the blurb suggests the book follows Jess as she struggles through a terrifying break-up with Ben. Moving on from the terrible event eating a Chinese for two in front of an exercise DVD we watch Jess in her newly single life and find that it’s not so much fun. Leg hair, fat jeans, a sex toy or two and her new neighbour it’s going to be a little nuts to say the least.

I immediately fell for Jess, probably because she reminds me so much of myself unfortunately; I loved the way that she named the people around her – Not-Ben, Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, Hot Waiter Number Two to name a few.) I wouldn’t say she’s a lot like Carrie Bradshaw, more a Bridget Jones character but that doesn’t make her any less amusing. She’s just like us; she eats, drinks, swears too much and gets herself in some seriously amusing situations. The book starts and ends at consecutive New Years so we get a whole year in the life of Jess. I also thought the fact that every time a new potential suitor is introduced he gets his own mini bio – Chris – 5ft 8″, brown eyes, likes pugs was really lovely. It just added a special touch.

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In terms of wobbles it didn’t have a big story line – it is very much a look at the life of a woman working and living in London. For me there wasn’t a hell of a lot more than that to a point. There is a lot of narration but just not quite enough action for me as a completed story and I struggled with that because it feel at times that things were being repeated just to get to a certain length of book. I also thought that relationship with Ben, after four years just kind of stopped. Apart from a couple of weeks where we see her lose herself she kind pulls it back together.

However, the writing is witty and fun, it shows a lot of style and I enjoyed the characters that were well built up throughout; even the supporting character got enough time in the spotlight and that helped to add depth to the book as a whole. For me  I would have enjoyed a more substantial plot line but overall a very fun and interesting read.

Linnnnks

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Almost Perfect (Perfect Trilogy Book 1) by Julie Ortolon

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Hellllllo readers, it’s time for another book from the depths of my kindle. I’ve been working super hard this month to make sure that allllll my reviews make it onto Amazon and Goodreads; it’s my blog resolution, but I seem to have made sure that it takes less than a month for them to go live there. I know that’s still quite a bit of time but it’s the best I can do right now, will continue to attempt weekly but, I’m human. Forgive my little bookish self. Today’s book was once I read on the train to somewhere in the UK and just needed something simple and easy for my tired mind – for that, this was pretty perfect.

A Free Spirit and a Reformed Bad Boy — a Perfect Match

Maddy was always the artistic one of the group, alive with color and mischief from her saucy red curls to her vintage hippie skirts. Her challenge, the friends decide, is to get her artwork accepted at a gallery. A job as arts director at a summer camp near Santa Fe—with its multitude of galleries—seems like a start in the right direction.

There’s just one catch: The camp is run by Maddy’s high school flame, Joe, whose heart she broke—okay, smashed—and his anger towards Maddy hasn’t cooled one bit. But neither has their attraction.

Old desires burn hotter than ever as Joe makes it clear there’s only one way back to his heart: She has to get serious about her art. But will falling in love help or hinder Maddy as she struggles to meet her challenge?

As the blurb suggest, the book (number one in the series) follows Maddy, Amy, Christine, and Jane who were roommates in college ten years ago. Jane has become a very successful TV anchor and has released a self-help book titled “How To Have The Perfect Life”. The girls are thrilled for her until they realise that they have been used as bad examples within the book. Although they are a little angry at their former friend they decide to listen to Jane and decide to face their biggest fear in an attempt to have their perfect life. This book follows Maddy who is challenged to have her work shown in a gallery in Santa Fe but to do so she signs up to be the Arts & Crafts Coordinator at Mama’s camp site, Camp Enchantment where former flame Joe is working after leaving the military. Can the two work through their differences, will Maddy have her art shown?

I’m going to throw in now that this isn’t a really new surprising idea for a book; it is predictable but I’m going to look over that for now. The characters are build well – Maddy is feisty and sure of herself but she lacks precision and the ability to choose. She has a way of not allowing herself to do what she really wants – Joe, finds this difficult to understand and is continuously pushing her and I found the sexual angry chemistry between them enjoyable to say the least. I thought Joe was particularly well written although he was a little madening; he does have that army, military vibe and I thought his dominance but his need to be with Maddy was sweet to read about. There’s quite a lot of intensity and I thought that hiding of their burgeoning relationship and the running of the camp created a mood.

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In terms of negative, the book isn’t particularly deep as I mentioned and I think although the book wasn’t short that all three stories could have been woven in together because I’m not thinking of getting hold of the next two. I think books that manage a number of plotlines are a lot more sophisticated and resonate more with me because it allows for the interweaving of stories more than just the relationship we get between Maddy and Joe. I found the story between the two a little sickly; although Maddy breaks Joe’s heart (in the past) he is immediately right back to where they were when they first dated and although it’s passionate it’s just not real. I don’t think anyone would be so driven to be back in a relationship after what he goes through and although the author does discuss this, throughout it’s more him desperate to get her back.

Overall this was the perfect book for a tired train journey, it moved with pace, developed a number of characters and did interest me. Unfortunately all a little the same as to all the other romance books I’ve read recently and didn’t keep me on my toes but if you want a cute romance this may be perfect for you.

Linnnnnks

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Through the Riptide by Bert Murray

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Hellllllo  readers, I’ve forgotten what day of the week it is I’m so tired – recently I’ve been struggling to sleep. I remember as a teenager seeing so many social media posts ‘I can’t sleep damn insomnia,’ and ‘I’m so tired I can’t even remember what sleep it,’ etc etc. I was always one of those cocky buggers who could fall asleep as soon as their head touched the pillow. Not this week though. Every night I’ve been up till four am so tired it hurts to shut my eyes, but unable to sleep and it has been, well horrible, and exhausting. I stayed one night at T’s and he found me sobbing at 3am. What’s wrong he asked, like a small child I just whined ‘I can’t sleeeeep.’ The benefit is, many many MANY hours of reading time – and I found the perfect book to get me through the long sleepless hours. Enjoy.

An attractive thirty year old professional woman leaves NYC after being attacked there and finds a new job by the seashore. She has to decide whether she will date her ex-boyfriend or a mysterious new man she meets on a bus ride. Filled with passion, emotion, romance and the excitement of a summer by the sea…

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Before I fall asleep I’m going to put this review together but forgive me if I warble a little I am zombie status. The book follows Lindsey who after escaping the terrifying act of sexual assault, decided to escape to Manhattan to recover and re-establish herself. Karl her ex-boyfriend asks whether she would like to start working in the Hamptons although warned by her mother the danger of returning to what she knows best she accepts the offer. Moving to the Hamptons with its gorgeous beaches and a new lifestyle Lindsey begins to fit in but it isn’t without its troubles. We follow Lindsey as she attempts to forger her past and move on.

Before I get into the nitty gritty I want to pause and say that this isn’t the first in the series but this definitely stands alone as a novel; there are hints of backstory but it isn’t told in so much detail that  you feel you’re missing out which is always a bonus. It’s written really nicely; I normally hate that word but it has a pleasant relaxed feeling which I really needed. I was impressed by the authors ability to write from a different gender’s perspective I think it can sometimes be done badly but here it was well mastered and Lindsey comes across as a really delightful and personable character. I rooted for her throughout and found her very easy to relate too which is always brilliant. I found the mix of her re-building herself mixed with her potential new relationship an exciting plot to follow and one I really enjoyed.

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The writing is compelling and moves with a sense of pace – keeping very steady but it flows which is perfect for this type of book plot. I liked the little additions and although I don’t want to give too much away the toying with the state of her relationship with Karl and her building relationship with Colin leads to an intriguing tale. I thought there was a great attention to detail and building the story rather than just the characters. Although I love character build up and think it’s really important I thought that the story was built too rather than being left to fall on the strong shoulders of the characters if that makes any sense. I thought the use of sexual assault and the re-building of our character after that was done well and handles really well; it did worry me a little at the start but I needn’t have.

Couple of little wobbles for me as a reader, I thought that Jasmine was difficult to warm to and I would have like to see more of her because I didn’t feel I really got to know her intently. Maybe it’s just me but it was a shame as she is/becomes Lindsey’s best friend. I don’t want to give away too much but I did feel I missed out a little on Colin and Jasmine due to not reading the first book; I found that Karl was built enough to not need that first explanation of their characters and seeing them grow but that’s I guess my fault for not reading the first.

Overall this is a really pleasantly written book with some lovely characters and a really interesting plot-line. The pace is strong and the writing clean – a brilliant, lovely little read.

Linnnnnks

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Any Red-Blooded Girl by Maggie Bloom

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Hello readers; for this review I delved into the depths of my Kindle and the books that I downloaded when I realised that you could get books for free. Yesssssss. However, it doesn’t mean that they are all worth the time even though you don’t pay a penny for them. As a dutiful blogger it’s sad to say I really wouldn’t recommend this book, but will give it a little review any way.

The last thing fifteen-year-old Flora Fontain wants to do is spend her summer vacation stuck in a tent with her overprotective parents and angst-ridden brother, especially when she should be in Europe with her best friend Jessie—sipping espresso, posing for cutesy tourist pics, and hunting for hot Italian (or French, or maybe even English) stud-muffins.

But since her parents trust her about as much as they trust a cat burglar at the moment, Flora has no choice but to suffer through the boyfriend-less summer of her discontent from the back of a rented SUV, until…fate tosses a sexy, sophisticated gypsy boy into her path, making Flora wonder if destiny might know best after all. That is until destiny screws up, big time. Because just as Flora falls head over heels, an unexpected turn of events threatens to land her in the slammer—or worse, separate her from the man of her dreams.

I’m not going to spend time rewriting the blurb because it’s all in there really but honestly, and I wouldn’t say it unless it was, this book was pretty awful. I thought the cover was really eye-catching but what’s inside really didn’t deliver. The characters are watery; Flora is exhausting she’s stroppy, whiny and tirelessly rude to her parents. Mick was soppy and mushy and too goddamn sensitive. It’s confusing because the author is selling him as this dangerous character, which he is, but the two sides of his character are just too detached.

The plot, summer romance between two very different personalities, not allowed by parents etc, although stereotypical isn’t inherently awful but here it is so over-done. Flora and Mick adore one another after little over a day and their constant sneaking off to meet one another gets very tedious very quickly. Maybe I’m getting a little old and cynical in my old age but I couldn’t help myself thinking – get a goddamn grip. What also caused an issue for me were the themes that were discussed. Although the writing and the plot is very much 11+ parts of the relationship are a little too old for that age group and it just didn’t settle right with me.

If I’m completely honest with you this book made me angry because it’s lazy writing. I know writing books is struggle and I am in awe of the numerous authors who tirelessly work to bring out fantastic fictional tales and yet 764 people (including myself) have read this terrible book when we could be reading tens of books that are hundreds of times better. Please don’t be another to add a review to this frankly inappropriate and exhausting tale. Sorry but it has to be said.

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Tangled Up in Blue by J.D. Brick

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Helllllo readers, another book for you today from the wonderful J.D Brick. I read this when I was struggling with a classic reading block. Some days you just need something a little lighter and I thought a steamy romance might help. Was I right? Hella yes and today I can bring you another exciting review. I won’t go on here because the blurb is supppper long so let’s get stuck in shall we?

Blue

The last thing I need in my life is another damsel in distress. No f*ing way I’m going down that road again. All I want is someone to help pay the rent. All I want is to party like there’s no tomorrow. Get my degree. And forget the past.

But then she shows up, running through me just like a freight train. She’s definitely a distressed damsel, and all my hero instincts start kicking in. I try to play it cool; I try to resist. Somehow, though, she burrows deep under my skin, and I can’t even think straight. It’s not just that her body turns me into a walking, talking boner. The thing is, I’m wrestling with demons I can barely control. What happened in Afghanistan, what I did over there, it never really leaves my mind. Being with Keegan, though, soothes my soul. I can’t explain it any better than that.

I want this girl. I need this girl. Deep down, I know that having her could destroy us both. But I just can’t stop myself.

Keegan

I’ve got no time for the playboy party animal who has suddenly become my accidental roommate. Even if he’s hot. Even if every other girl on campus wants him. Even if he is intense and seductive and so passionate about his music that watching him play makes my heart sing.

Because he’s exactly what I don’t need. Except that, dear God, Blue turns out to be everything I’ve ever wanted. He turns out to be so much more than I could have imagined that day I moved in with him.

But then, he becomes an agonizing mistake. At least that’s what most people would say. And I’ve got one hell of a choice to make…

Pretty exciting if not, long blurb although it doesn’t give too much about the plot. The book follows Blue (gah that man is a hot mess) and Keegan. They are opposite through and through but as soon as they meet the sparks begin to fly. It’s not going to be easy though; both are hiding secrets. Blue is hiding the damage caused by the events surrounding the deaths of his best friends while serving in Afghanistan. Keegan is hiding the reason why she moved from the campus; a stalker is becoming more and more of a nightmare and their threats are becoming more dangerous. Throw in the raucous parties, a few nightmare housemates and you’ve got one hell of a story.

Apparently the genre of this book is New Adult Contemporary? Ignore that, this book is hot and heady. I hate to say this but it pulled me in from the first page and I didn’t put it down much to the annoyance of my parents who I was visiting at the weekend. I thought the idea of throwing the delicate Keegan into such a party house was a really strong idea. It helped to make her come out of her shell and develop which is what we want. In terms of character she is gutsy, sarcastic, but also delicate and easily hurt she’s a darling of a character and I loved her. Blue is just, well *sighs.* Any man who pens a song for a friend and then sings it almost exclusively for her is just, well, pretty goddamn sweet. Through he is this constant changing character; hot hunk to utterly sweet and thoughtful, I thought he was a delight.

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The plot is really strong; we have a multitude of different plots. The relationship between the two main characters, the stalker storyline and the back stories of both our main characters as well as a number of supporting characters. I thought the stalker storyline was handled well although I was surprised how well Keegan dealt with it. I would have been a shivering wreck of a human being. Through all of the dilemmas we get to watch their relationship develop and it is good, really, really good.

In terms of writing it is told as a dual POV which is something I don’t normally like but here it really worked. The plot moves with pace and the author knows how to build suspense. The characters fall for each other pretty quickly but there are so many things that could cause it to all blow up so you’re constantly wondering whether it will all go to plan. The writing is evocative and descriptions deep, and the erotic scenes. Well I wouldn’t want my mother to know what I was reading. My only real wobble was that the tale ended on a cliffhanger and the second book isn’t out yet! Lkjkjfahgauhg *groans.*

It is cheesy, it is a little perfect, it is what I would normally rave about, but I loved this. Gah damn it where is that second book!

(Additionally I believe the cover has changed but I much preferred the one I was sent so that’s why I’ve included it! ^^^)

Linnnnnnks

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The Proposal by Lily Zante

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Helllllo readers, an interesting book today because it comes from the realms of my terribly dusty kindle. It appears that at one time or another T borrowed my Kindle charger for his phone and I ended up with his charger and then one of them got lost so, being the chivalrous one I have let him pinch it and I have been left, Kindle-less. *Sobs* However I have recently got my hands on a charger and now can read and listen to my heart content. Digging around I found this having never reviewed it and thought it was time that I did. Figures. It’s got hundreds of reviews on Amazon but today I add my own. Enjoy.

A high-flying career woman with no time for romance finds herself at a loose end for her company’s annual marketing convention. Partners are encouraged, and Nadine Stefano has every intention of fitting the image she believes her boss wants.
At her sister’s recent bachelorette party Nadine finds herself irresistibly drawn to Ethan, one of the male strippers.

A single woman, desperate to present the image of being in a settled and happy relationship, she hires Ethan to act as her pretend boyfriend.
Not only is he five years younger, but he is also sexy as sin.
Theirs is a strong attraction, and the over-worked and uptight Nadine soon finds herself falling for the easy-going young man.

But company politics and nasty colleagues stand in their way.
Will they follow their hearts, despite their differences, or will Nadine dump Ethan in order to pursue her career goals?

When I first got hold of my Kindle I am not ashamed to say I immediately downloaded as many cheap and cheerful books as possible just to keep me happy really. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend money but the idea of free books was so exciting. However you tend to get the same sort of stories. This book follows the relationship between Nadine and Ethan. Nadine is a career woman through and through however she sees herself falling for a stripper who she meets at her sisters ‘bachelorette’ party. (Sounds fancier than a hen do, I like that.) The book follows them as Nadine struggles with her feelings towards her new love interest and we read as their relationship continues despite the company rules and regulations and nasty not to mention jealous colleagues.

All in all this is a really easy to read, enjoyable(ish) story. The book waltz’s around and manages to pull the reader along just about. Both characters are well written; Nadine is a very strong character but she lacks confidence which is something Ethan has in bucket loads. They strain against each other as they try and overcome the wobbles in their character profiles. I didn’t fall for either of them and Ethan was a little bit too much of a clean cut character for me but I can see the attraction. I must also add that the villain Sandra was written with spite and determination, very well done because she’s pretty damn awful.

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In terms of plot it is a little stereotypical however the main issue for me was that the story jumps around all over the place in terms of the POV. One minute we’re with Nadine then Ethan and then back again with very little warning which becomes tiresome after a while. I did like that we learn that the reason Ethan is stripping is to help out a friend but also to earn a little money to help pay for materials to make his metal sculptures; of course our uptight main lady doesn’t take the time to find this out and therefore the problems with her colleagues begin to get out of hand which is a interesting plot twist although still a bit clichéd. The writing style is a bit superficial; there are points where Nadine immediately assumes a female seen with Ethan is a threat to her and vice versus but it’s okay.

I think if you have a free evening in the bath with some bubbles and a glass of wine you’ll be fine; it’s a time filler rather than something I would rush out and immediately buy. It lacks something which is a shame because there is a plot there, there are well built characters (even though they are at times unlikeable,) there’s something there but it doesn’t quite deliver. I also felt at the time that it had been broken down into smaller segments in the ploy to make more money and that is something that doesn’t quite sit with me. I downloaded this for very little if anything at all so I wouldn’t be clawing to get hold of a copy but if you want something easy quick with a bit of lust this might just be for you.

Liiiiiiiinks

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