Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review of Surrender (Surrender Trilogy Book 1) by Jennifer Burrows



Book Title: Surrender (Surrender Trilogy #1)
Genre: Romantic Thriller/Suspense
Pages: 312
Author: Jennifer Burrows
Date Published: 28 July 2014

Synopsis:

Katherine Anderson was living a dream life. She came from an influential family, had a successful career as a food critic, and was about to marry the man of her dreams. Her life suddenly takes a change for the worse when she finds her fiancé in the arms of another woman. Her dream wedding now cancelled, she tries to find herself in Italy, on a trip she was supposed to be taking with her new husband.

Massimo "Tony" Bertalucci has had his life destroyed by a cartel known to be trafficking black market olive oil out of Italy and around the world. While the cartel thought the entire Bertalucci family was dead and buried, Tony remains very much alive and determined to find a way to get his life back.

When Tony and Katherine’s worlds collide, she becomes Tony’s only hope of escaping Italy alive. What Katherine doesn’t realize is that this charming, unassuming Italian man is using her to save his own life. Will she be able to get back to the states safely, or will she be subjected to the same fate as Tony's family? Will Tony find a way to stop running? Or will he have to surrender his life to the cartel?

Review:


Surrender (Surrender Trilogy, #1)Surrender by Jennifer Burrows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was sent a book recommendation by a friend for this book. I read the blurb and became intrigued, so I decided to give this book a go. I am glad I did, because I loved it!

Katherine Anderson is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a food critic, with the power to make or break a restaurant or café. After coming home early and finding her fiancé in a compromising position, she decides to take the honeymoon trip to Italy in an attempt to figure out what to do. Meeting a charming Italian man wasn’t part of her plans, but Tony Bertalucci is unlike any other man she has met.

Massimo “Tony Lupito” Bertalucci is also a wonderful character. I liked this charismatic and charming man. His family has been involved in the production of olive oil for several generations, but after an attack by a black market cartel that left his family dead and him running scared, he sees Katherine as his salvation.

I started to read this story and found it to be an exciting and thrilling read, which hooked me from the first page. I could fully picture the story in my own mind with clarity, due to the descriptive writing of the author. I have never been to Italy, but the way it is described, especially the city of Florence, I felt like I was there. But, the descriptions also made me feel sad that I really wasn’t! I am seriously considering visiting Italy for real.

The story is told through not only Katherine’s and Tony’s points of view, but also through the eyes of an American FDA agent, Special Agent Daniel Thompson. I liked this agent, as he is dedicated and seems to be honourable. He and his Italian compatriot, Agent Andreo Manchetti are investigating the cartel and the connection to the Bertalucci family. The story is full of twists and turns, and has a villain that chilled my blood! He is completely psychotic, and his identity is a total shock! The feeling of terror, paranoia and disbelief that Tony feels is palpable and had me jumping at perfectly normal noises at home. It also had me feeling sorry for Katherine, as she had no idea through most of the story about the danger following Tony. But, once she is involved, I was completely in awe of her level head and inner strength. I am not sure if I would be so calm in a similar situation, but I suppose since her life had already imploded, she just took it in her stride. I did find myself in tears several times throughout the story, so a tissue may be required. I reached the end of the story and nearly screamed out loud in surprise, because there is a huge twist. I couldn’t wait to see what happens next, so I have downloaded Shattered, the next book in the trilogy, and I hope to start reading it as soon as possible.

Jennifer Burrows has written a fantastic, intense and suspenseful thriller. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story is wonderful. I am definitely planning on reading more books by this author in the future.

Due to scenes of a sexual nature that are a little on the explicit side, as well as scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book to readers who love romantic thrillers, mysteries or suspense novels. – Lynn Worton

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review of Logan's Redemption: Redemption Book 1 by Cara Marsi





 Book Title: Logan's Redemption (Redemption Book 1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 252
Author: Cara Marsi
Date Published: 26 August 2010

Synopsis:

Doriana Callahan's life is unraveling. Someone is stalking her and sabotaging her father's company; her teenage son is rebelling; and Logan Tanner is back in town. For sixteen years she's kept an explosive secret from Logan, a secret he soon discovers.

Logan never belonged in Doriana's world, but a long time ago he allowed himself to dream of a future with her, until the awful night he was forced to run. Now he's back and he needs her forgiveness, but first he must forgive himself.

Despite the fact that Doriana kept the existence of his son from him, Logan vows to protect her. He races against time to stop the culprit threatening Doriana and works to forge a bond with his son.

Can the love and passion that still burn between Doriana and Logan overcome old lies and new dangers? The clock is ticking on a second chance at love.

Review:


Logan's RedemptionLogan's Redemption by Cara Marsi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Redemption Series. I really enjoyed it!

Doriana Callahan is a wonderful character, although sometimes I wanted to knock some sense into her. She is a single mother, with a rebelling teenager. However, her stubbornness in accepting help of any kind, didn't endear her to me. Her family are supportive of her, but she seems to resent their meddling (which I can understand up to a point) and is terrified that her family would find out the identity of her son's father. After sixteen years, I doubt they would even care anymore, but who can say? When her father employs Logan Tanner to investigate the sabotage of his business, Doriana's life is thrown into turmoil.

Logan Tanner is also a wonderful character. He is very determined, focused and dangerous in his own way. He left town sixteen years ago after an event that made him run. He may have done something bad in the past, but he was only protecting himself in self defense. This, amongst other things, convinced me that he is a good and noble man. Now living in Tuscon, he runs a very successful private investigation and security business. He's back in Philadelphia, but being near Doriana reminds him of what he left behind. Can he find the saboteur and leave with his heart intact?

I started to read this story and was hooked from the first page. The story is told from the points of view of both Logan and Doriana. I am a sucker for romance novels with a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger in them; this book has it in spades. There are some interesting characters in this book. Dan Callahan is an extremely sharp businessman. I liked him a lot. Franco is Doriana's brother and a bit of a playboy, who never seems to take anything seriously. And then there is fifteen year old Josh. I liked this troubled teen. He is trying to find where he fits in and, although he makes a few mistakes, he has a good heart.

The danger is not as imminent and right there as if this is a thriller, but the intrigue and mystery as to who is sabotaging the business had me turning the pages. The chemistry between Doriana and Logan is definitely smoldering, even after sixteen years apart. Their sexual tension permeates the story and when they finally get back together, it's extremely HOT. I did find Doriana's incessant worries about Logan finding out about Josh being his son to be a bit of an overreaction on her part. I don't have any experience with having children, but I don't think that Logan would have ever considered taking Josh away from her; it didn't fit in with my impression of his character. This is a rather formulaic romance and similar to many other romance novels I have read over the years, but I really did enjoy it from beginning to end. However, there are a few twists that surprised me. I am now looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Franco's Fortune, as soon as I can.

Cara Marsi has written a wonderful contemporary romance. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. Her characters are not perfect and have flaws, but this makes them seem more realistic and alive in my opinion. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.

Due to scenes that are a little explicit in nature (although not as explicit as some books I have read), I do not recommend this book for readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love steamy contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oops, I am guessing this was not the intent.....

Fallen by Nick Stephenson

Book 5, I read book 1 and loved it...now I wonder if the TV show is one I have not had the time to watch...

The start of this book is almost to a letter a reproduction of episode one of season one of The Blacklist, yes an agency change.  Yes a son and not a daughter but for more than half the book it felt as if I were reading the script to a very famous tv show.  Not bad if you consider I adore the show although the part the main protagonists plays in the story is pathetic....

So well written, well edited.  Cool name, catchy cover but seriously, watch episode one of the tv show and save hours of reading.  I waited and waited and waited for an original plot line....none came.

WaAr 


Count the puppies to see my star rating..... 

Book Review of Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword by Melanie Hatfield



 Book Title: Kingdom Of The Snark : The Quest For The Sword
Genre: Comedic Fantasy
Pages: 265
Author: Melanie Hatfield
Date Published: 20 June 2012

Synopsis:

If a whimsical fantasy like "The Hobbit" was written with the adult oriented humor of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," you would have "Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword."

Renee the Righteous is a young Quester who must find the long-lost Sword of Power to save her people. When at last she thinks her quest for the sword is at an end, she discovers a catch: it takes two people to claim the blade, not one, so she needs a Questing Partner for help. Too bad Renee never bothered to make any friends on her journey, and she has to put her trust in a stranger. She thinks she has found the perfect Questing Partner in Guy Smokes, a hapless Assistant Barkeep always willing to help anyone with heaving bosoms. However, Guy might just change his mind after they are attacked by lustful nun assassins and lethal men in green cloaks. Will Renee be able to claim the Sword of Power, or will she and her Questing Partner be slain instead?

Journey to a land where men are women, women are men and unicorns are jerks in "Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword."

Review:


The Quest for the Sword (Kingdom of the Snark, #1)The Quest for the Sword by Melanie Hatfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in a trilogy. I absolutely LOVED it!

Renee the Righteous is a character I wasn't sure I liked or not. One moment I wanted to slap her, the next I was cheering her on! She is shockingly self-absorbed, even arrogant to the point of rudeness; no wonder she has very little in the way of friends. She sees people as total idiots and not worth her attention, that is until she needs to find someone to help her find and claim the "Sword of Power". When she meets Guy Smokes, a young barkeep with dreams of owning his own pub, she gets him to agree to help her.

Guy Smokes is actually a fantastic character. I really liked him. He is gentle and kind. I don't know if it was his naivety of the world (he had only ever been in Mudville), or he had been affected by the family business of being "weedmen" (yes, it's what it sounds like), but when he agreed in helping Renee, I wanted shake him and ask what he thought he was doing! Nevertheless, he doesn't realise what he's gotten himself into. But he soon finds out!

This story is very difficult to review without giving out any spoilers, but I will do my best.

It is told in the fashion of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy; I was hooked from the first page. However, I felt like a rabbit or deer, caught in the headlights of a car which is heading in my direction - completely transfixed. It is a highly entertaining read, with lots of humour and laugh out loud, witty events and comments. However, it also made me cringe with the dark humour that also dotted the story. There are so many different characters I lost count, from fairies to trolls, dwarves, unicorns and even a dragon. However, the most scariest characters were the lustful nun assassins! Nuns' and assassins are two words you don't normally see together in a sentence, but the author has combined them to create a group of religious zealots who will attack and abuse unwary men and force them to have "relations" with them. I was like, "huh?", but they actually were much more terrifying than any dragon I have come across. I certainly wouldn't like to meet these nuns! If I ever had the misfortune to travel to Quaal, I would hightail it out of there faster than the speed of light! I would suggest you do the same. Unless, of course, you want to be ravaged by nun assassins that is!

There are plenty of sword fights, danger and action, with several twists and turns to keep it interesting. Lord Asher Dark is a rather pathetic villain in my opinion. He is incredibly narcissistic. In fact, he and Renee would have made an interesting romantic match. I found myself putting the book down whenever there was an eye-rolling moment, which was often, but I would quickly pick it back up again to find out what was happening next. What really got to me was Guy's friendship of Renee. Even when she was being a total donkey's bottom to him, he stayed. He is a truly good man, with a huge heart and a tonne of loyalty; I wish he was my friend!
When I reached the end of the book, I was slightly devastated, but I am looking forward to continuing the trilogy and reading the second book, An Affair with Wizards when it is released.

Melanie Hatfield has written a fast paced, entertaining and humorous read that had me giggling and smiling from ear to ear. I love her writing style, which is full of wit and snarky comments, and the flow was wonderful. As this is her debut novel, which combines her love of comedy and fantasy, I can't wait to see what else she comes up with.

Although there is mention of ravishing and other sexual situations, there is nothing explicit. There is also mention of fighting and violence, but it is not gory. Therefore, I recommend this book to readers from the age of 15 upwards and to readers who love humourous fantasy like or similar to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. - Lynn Worton

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Audio/Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey



Book Title: The 5th Wave
Genre: YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Adventure
Pages: 457
Audio Run Time: 12 Hrs 41 Mins
Author: Rick Yancey
Date Published: 7 May 2013 (E-Book)
9 May 2013 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: Trust no one. Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.

Review:


The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this book to me, but I also received a recommendation from Audible due to my taste in YA dystopian science fiction. Therefore, with my curiosity piqued, I downloaded an audio copy to listen to; I really enjoyed it!

This audio book is narrated by Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza. They both did a wonderful job in bringing the story and the characters to life. Although, I did find the switch from female to male voice a little jarring at first (I am used to listening to one narrator only in most stories), but soon enjoyed the different points of view.

Cassie (short for Cassiopeia) Sullivan is a sixteen year old girl on the run from "the others" - aliens who have invaded the bodies of certain humans, and are the start of the 5th wave in a war to take over the planet. I really liked this character, she has a lot of spirit and determination. However, she also has an irritating habit of being a bit whine-y. I suppose teen angst is expected in characters this age, but what really bugged me about this character is her issue with trust. I won't go into specifics, as that will be a spoiler, but her easy acceptance of a character after all she had been through just didn't sit right with me.

There are three guys as main characters in this story, and each of them have their own quirks and, in the case of the older boys, secrets.

Evan Walker is not all that he seems. He hides a dangerous secret, but when he meets Cassie, something within him changes. However, this character is still a mysterious enigma, even when his secret is revealed. What was it about Cassie that made him change his mind? Why was he alone, rather with others like him who argued against colonization? These and other questions that buzzed in my head remain unanswered as the story continued. Perhaps they will be answered in the next story? I hope so, because I would love to get to understand what he and the others hope to achieve.

Ben "Zombie" Parish is a young man dying from a deadly virus they call "the Plague" from the fourth wave when we meet him. Rescued and healed, he joins the fight in the war against the "infected" - humans who have an alien infesting their brain. I really liked this character. He is quite bright and determined, not to mention charming. He also has a huge heart and takes a young five year old boy under his wing.

Sam (Sammy) is Cassie's young brother, who finds himself being part of Squad 53 and being called "Nugget". I really loved this character! He is so sweet, and what he goes through at such a young age made my heart wrench; I wanted to give him a huge hug! It made me wonder if children this age are as resilient as they say, or would he have problems later on in his life? And then there is bear! I love bear. He is Sammy's one comfort in a world gone to hell, but he gives it to Cassie; I cried when he did that!

This story is very compelling and the characters are quite lifelike. However, having read a few other dystopian novels, some of the scenario's didn't quite ring as believable (mostly the alien invasion and their motivation behind it). But, there are some scarily possible human ones that I could see happening in the not so distant future. Cassie's and Evan's relationship also doesn't seem to have the "spark" necessary to be believable either, which I was surprised at. However, this may be because I was listening to the story and not reading it.

The fifth wave is actually about trust, or the lack thereof. Do the characters believe and trust everything that they have been told or shown by those in power? Or do they question everything and find themselves actually fighting in a war where lines are blurred and things are not as they seem? This theme runs through the whole story. And there are several twists and turns that make you, as the reader, question everything too, never mind the characters. I found myself riveted by the tale. And, even though the audio book is over twelve hours long, I found myself thinking it was too short! I will still have to wait until 2016 before the movie is released though. In the meantime, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Infinite Sea.

Rick Yancey has written an exciting, fast paced dystopian novel that kept me hooked from the beginning to the end. I love his fast pace writing style and the flow of the story was wonderful. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love YA dystopian novels like Divergent and The Hunger Games, or TV series like Fallen Skies. - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Baby V (CHIANTI KISSES Book 1) by Tara Oakes


Today, I am pleased to be part of the release day blitz for Tara Oakes newest book, Baby V (CHIANTI KISSES Book 1). - Lynn
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SYNOPSIS

*** This novel is intended for those over 18 years of age, due to mature content.

 Life is full of choices... paths, if you will. Vincenza Lombardi's life has been carefully planned out and orchestrated by her wealthy and powerful family. Nothing but the best for their "Baby V". The best prep schools, the finest finishing schools, and the top girls-only university in the nation. As the only daughter, she has been protected and shielded by her three older brothers from anything unsavory that could possibly compromise their pride and joy. Every decision, every move, has been to prepare Baby V for the role she was born for. But Vincenza, or "V", has other plans. Home for one last summer before she embarks on her secret life plans, she's determined to forge her own way, on her own, separate from her impressive but constricting family legacy. As if three older brothers aren't enough to stand in her way, V also has to deal with Dom DiBenedetto. The Dibenedetto and Lombardi families had grown their fortunes together, raised their families closely and run one of the most successful importing business in the world. As CEO, Dom is used to running things his way and getting what he wants. As the head of his family, Dom takes his role seriously... ensuring the future and security of his employees and his loved ones. Unbeknownst to her, V plays a critical role in those plans, but will they fit in with the life she see's for herself?








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Tara is a thirty something newbie author from Long Island, New York. She's a voracious reader, a passionate writer and obsessive junk T.V. aficionado. When she's not doing one of those three things she is attempting to garden, hanging with her hubby or partaking in some retail therapy. She enjoys connecting with her readers and is having a blast entering into this new world of publishing.

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Book Review of Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 4) by Felicity Heaton



 Book Title: Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 302
Author: Felicity Heaton
Date Published: 6 January 2015

Synopsis:

A jaguar shifter with a dark secret, Kyter has spent his entire life running from his demons. When a tragedy takes him back to his pride’s village, he is set on a path of vengeance that will see him collide with the terrible ghosts of his past and a beautiful vision of his future.

Iolanthe deals in finding artefacts for discerning clients, but this time her client is one of the deadliest men in Hell and her mission has the highest stakes imaginable. Failure is not an option when your life is on the line, but things take a dangerous turn when she crosses paths with a handsome and mysterious male on the hunt for the same artefact—a male who declares she is his eternal mate.

Can Iolanthe resist Kyter’s wicked allure and find the artefact before he does? Can Kyter face his demons and win the heart of his fated female? Or will this deadly game of cat and mouse claim both of their lives?

Review:


Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates, #4)Hunted by a Jaguar by Felicity Heaton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Eternal Mates Series. I loved it!

First off, I would like to say that I absolutely LOVE the covers used in this series. Every one of them that I have seen are extremely drool worthy, and I would seriously consider hanging these up on my walls if they were available as posters. However, as they are not, I will just have to drool over my Kindle.

Kyter is a character who was introduced in the first book of the series, Kissed by a Dark Prince. He intrigued me from the start, so I am now glad to have read his story. I really liked this intense cat! He's so sexy! However, he also has a vulnerability about him I couldn't help but fall in love with. He may be a jaguar shifter, but he has a dark secret, which is not so secret to his pride. He has endured and survived terrible abuse because of this secret, which drove him from his home in the jungle to the bright lights and urban sprawl of London where he runs his nightclub, Underworld. When he sees a mysterious beauty in the street and their paths cross, Kyter is stunned. Can he convince her that they are meant to be together as Eternal Mates?

Iolanthe is a fantastic character. I really liked her feisty, take-no-prisoners attitude. She is very independent, and hates giving up control of her life. She is a treasure seeker (think a female Indiana Jones), who has been tasked with finding an artefact for a dangerous client who happens to be a demon. When she meets Kyter, sparks fly, but can she overcome her fear of losing control long enough to find true happiness?

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book, and pre-ordered my copy as soon as it became available.

I started to read it as soon as I could and was quickly swept away. The scenes were so well described that I felt like I was actually there, in amongst the action. I really wanted to get my hands on the village elder of Kyter's pride, due to what he perpetuated and allowed to happen in Kyter's formative years. Sadly, since he is a fictional character, I cannot. But, if these events not happened to a younger Kyter, would he be the same person he is today? I am not so sure. However, as the events did happen, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the man he is now.

There is a cameo appearance by Payne, one of the characters from the Erotic Vampire Theatre series. He is only in one scene, so if you blink, you may just miss him. I enjoyed that scene though. Another character makes a welcome appearance in this series, and that character is Bleu. At first, I was surprised by his appearance in the story, but since he is friendly with Kyter and when his relationship to Iolanthe comes to light, it made perfect sense. The reader is also introduced to Cavanaugh, another cat shifter, who works for Kyter at Underworld. He has issues of his own, and I am looking forward to finding out what they are in the future.

The story is full of action and danger in the form of demons who happen to also be assassins. What was not fully explained, I felt, was what the demons wanted with Barafnir. However, that was a minor irritant to me. Other readers may not have the same reaction. There are several twists and turns in this tale, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout the story. There is a fantastic fight scene featuring Kyter, Iolanthe, Bleu and Barafnir, which had me sitting on the edge of my seat. This is one thing I love about this author - her flair for describing battle scenes in such detail that I can not only picture it, but smell it and feel like I'm actually there! I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Craved by an Alpha, which is due to be released soon.

Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed! I love her writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is number one on my favourite authors list!

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of vampires, elves, werewolves, succubi, incubi, angels, dragons and demons. - Lynn Worton

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Fish